Trail Days meeting set for Thursday

By Wendy Byerly Wood -

As work continues behind the scenes, organizers of the NC Trail Days festival will host a second community meeting Thursday with several goals in mind. Kicking off the gathering will be the debut of a video on Chatham Manufacturing’s history.

Following complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar at 6 p.m., Explore Elkin will present the debut of the Chatham Manufacturing documentary on the screen in the Reeves Theater at 6:30 p.m. Local video producer John Litschke created the documentary.

Prior to the first community planning meeting for Trail Days, a video on Elkin’s history was presented. Denise Lyon, who is chairing the NC Trail Days organization, said she expects a lot of people will come Thursday to see the Chatham video who weren’t present at the first meeting.

“We want to introduce some of the new people to what we’re doing as far as the trail festival,” Lyon said.

Immediately following the video debut, there will be an update on the progress of plans and activities for NC Trail Days, which is slated in Elkin for May 31-June 2, 2019. Lyon also hopes to get more ideas from the community and field more volunteers for the event.

“It’s taking the whole town to make us a trail town, and we’re recognized all around the state right now as a trail town,” Lyon said of the reason to include the community in planning and putting on NC Trail Days. “It’s taken everybody’s enthusiasm, sweat, hard work, support and creativity to make that happen.

“We are so proud of everything that’s happened in Elkin as far as trails, and we want the whole town to be proud of the trail festival we’ve created,” she said.

The plan for Thursday will be an update on how the festival planning is progressing, gain more input and ideas from the community, and make sure nothing is being forgotten, Lyon said. “We are in the middle right now of getting into the nuts and bolts of putting the festival together, but we’re really, really open to more ideas and ways that people want to help.”

She said the first meeting provided organizers with a great wealth of ideas and the last few months have been spent narrowing them down to what is doable in the first year of the event.

Also, they’ve been identifying team leaders to help coordinate activities such as guided hikes, river events, mountain bike events, road cycling events and the Stone Mountain hill climb trail race. Other team leaders are needed, though, to help with other areas, such as someone creative to coordinate the Trail Days parade, Lyon said.

“At the meeting Thursday, we are going to let everyone know where we have holes to fill as far as team leaders and hopefully some people will jump out of the crowd and want to lead,” she said.

In addition to finalizing team leaders and working over the next few months to support their coordination of various activities for Trail Days, Lyon and Explore Elkin leaders have been working on getting sponsors and getting organizations, retailers and vendors secured for Trail Days. A website,, also has been created and launched.

“There are lots of moving parts,” Lyon said. “What we plan to do is have another community meeting after the first of the year and then start zeroing in on where multiple volunteers in the community can start coming on board.

The festival is scheduled for May 31-June 2, because it is the weekend of National Trails Day, the first Saturday of June each year.

“We just thought people who are real interested in trails will start to know that and associate National Trails Day with coming to NC Trail Days every year,” Lyon said.

One of the “really cool things” Lyon said she looks forward to sharing with the community is, it will be a host for a 5Point Film Festival outdoor adventure film reel at the Reeves on Friday night of the festival. The 5Point festival is held annually in Colorado, and then afterward the films are shown at select locations around the country, with Elkin on the list as one for next year.

“There is going to be tons going on in the three days of the festival,” Lyon said.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

Chatham documentary to debut

By Wendy Byerly Wood