Explore Elkin to make singles comfortable at events

By Beanie Taylor - beanietaylor@elkintribune.com

As Explore Elkin looks for new ways to encourage both tourism and town interaction, a new demographic is being served.

Starting with the June Block Party on Saturday, Explore Elkin will invite individuals to join together for the Single N Mingle group.

Locals as well as those from out-of-town are welcome set up their lawn chairs in front of Gypsy Princess where representatives from Explore Elkin will be present to serve as hosts, making introductions and serving up ice-breakers.

“Smart idea,” said area resident John Cheek. “Sometimes it’s hard to plan ahead and organize a group to go out and hang around with. This would give the freedom and know who will be out and about.”

“I think knowing that there would be an established group at a function is a positive thing,” said Mike Cheek. “I feel that more folks would be inclined to attend a function if they know there will be friends or possible friends also attending.”

Many singles do not attend events because they are either not interested in a long-term relationship or do not have a date and would rather not go alone.

“A lot of my friends are in relationships and have children so they’re not able to go out as much as they used to. It would be good to meet new people to be able to go out with,” said one woman who asked to remain anonymous due to the cultural stigma attached to being single and alone.

“I encourage single people to come out even if you’re not looking for someone to date,” said Brittany Russell, “everyone needs a good giggle and it is always nice to have a smiling face to wave at on the street in our small-town setting.”

Although happily married herself, Russell will help facilitate the event on behalf of Explore Elkin because she has seen the struggles of dating in a small town.

“I have many friends in the area that are single and it is hard to meet someone not in a bar setting or other uncomfortable situations,” said Russell.

Many singles are not interested in traditional meeting places as they represent a variety of ages, interests and backgrounds.

“I believe that the Explore Elkin Single N Mingle group will be a great opportunity for newcomers, singles, or even widowers to be able to attend events without feeling like they are alone,” said Russell, who hopes this new welcoming element in the Explore Elkin environment will encourage people to participate in exploring more.

Join the Explore Elkin Single N Mingle Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/291065694766910/.

Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.

By Beanie Taylor