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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: