Seafood, dancing and Motown – you'll get it all at Downtown Motown.
It's a music and seafood festival 9 On Your Side is hosting tomorrow evening on the Washington waterfront. It's also an opportunity to raise money for downtown revitalization.
"Our plan would be a compromise between keeping things natural and people having access to the river, but also creating commercial activities that will help our tax base here in Beaufort County," says Beth Byrd, the executive director of the Washington Harbor District Alliance.
Her group is heading long-term plans for waterfront revitalization. Byrd says they want to add more parks, shops and restaurants. They even have plans for a hotel in the mix.
Byrd says opening Festival Park was the first step in realizing their vision. Next up will be a $250,000 dockmaster building equipped with public bathrooms, and private bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities for boaters. It will replace a single-wide trailer that's been serving that purpose for years and will be paid for with state grant and city money.
The improvements could take up to 20 years to complete, Byrd says. But she hopes they will transform Washington into a waterfront economic powerhouse, while sustaining its "small town charm."
Still, there's just one thing holding them back.
"We have so many ideas and just not enough money," she says.
Two ways they're tackling that issue: state grants and fundraising with events like Downtown Motown and the Pamlico Seafood Festival.
"Not only are you going to have a great time, but this money goes to a really important cause and that's investing in our downtown area," Byrd says.
Downtown Motown & the Pamlico Seafood Festival details:
Where: Festival Park, 161 East Water Street, Washington, N.C.
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