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How to Revive Wake Forest’s Downtown: Throw a party! (or Several)

For awhile now, Wake Forest’s downtown has been the town’s best-kept secret. Bob Johnson hopes to change that.

Since Wake Forest College pulled up stakes for Winston-Salem in the 1950s, the downtown has had its ups and downs. Like most downtowns in America, it, too, fell victim to the pull of shopping malls with expansive parking lots.

Despite that, the downtown is on an upswing, and a major one at that. Several news businesses have opened, and more are coming. There’s a buzz around town, and the merchants are enthusiastic.

Johnson, who owns several buildings along S. White Street, wants to go beyond a positive buzz and turn the downtown in a real destination. He aims to brand the Wake Forest downtown as a center for family-friendly festivals of all stripes.

In a recent article posted to the Web site Ezine Articles, Johnson wrote:

Wake Forest IrishFest Poetry and Prose Writing Competitions Are Now Open

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Wake Forest IrishFest Poetry and Prose Writing Competitions Are Now Open

On Sept. 26, the first Wake Forest IrishFest will be held at Festival Park in downtown Wake Forest. To help celebrate Wake Forest’s national and international reputation for fostering the arts, there will be two writing competitions – a short story contest and a poetry contest.

These competitions are in proud and loving memory of two young men who shared a passion for writing. They left behind a rich legacy of the written word. In their honor, the following events are now added to the inaugural Wake Forest Irish Festival: The Andrew Britton Short Story Competition & The Graham Johnson Poetry Competition.

The Rules
* No entry form is needed. Entry is by US Mail, or by e-mail if required.
* You can make as many different entries as you like, in either or both competitions. Cost is $15 per story; $10 per poem.
* There is no restriction on theme or style, and all are welcome.
* Entries should be submitted on standard 8.5×11 paper, double-spaced type, and with no name showing on script.
* Maximum 2,000 words for the short stories; maximum 50 lines for the poems.

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