An after-hours venture in downtown Clinton continues this week with a special “Battle of the Badges” competition and a visit from Crooked Run Vineyards, which will be selling muscadine slushies during the event.
The Clinton Main Street Program Promotion Committee, in partnership with many downtown Clinton businesses, began “Mill Around Late” on the first Thursday of May as an extra opportunity for residents to shop, dine and mill around downtown until 7 p.m.
The first two events hosted visits by the Southern Smoke BBQ food truck, Pelican’s Snoballs, Hubb’s Farm barrel train and music by Chris Woodson, executive director of the Sampson County History Museum. Thursday’s event will attempt to maintain and build on that momentum with the return of the “Battle of the Badges,” a good-spirited competition between the Clinton Police Department and Clinton Fire Department.
“We are looking forward to the challenge. Clinton Police won the last ‘Battle of the Badges’ held several years ago in downtown, and Clinton Fire hopes to bring home the win this year,” noted Clinton Fire Chief Scott Phillips.
Donald Edwards, acting chief for the Clinton Police Department, hopes to see people come out for the entertaining event. It’s not only about the friendly competition, but about the blue and red line reaching out to the community, he noted.
“The Clinton Police Department looks forward to participating in the ‘Battle of the Badges’ and hopes citizens will come out to enjoy the competition,” Edwards remarked. “The police department participates in many community and public education events which gives us the opportunity to connect with our citizens in a positive manner.”
Jennifer Wiley, division chair of Business and Occupational Programs at Sampson Community College, will be a part of some of that education. She will be attending to share information about opportunities to participate in programs related to both fire and law enforcement offered by the college.
Crooked Run Vineyards will be selling muscadine slushies during the event. Crooked Run is a family-owned muscadine vineyard located in southern Sampson County. Deborah Thompson, owner of Crooked Run Vineyards, sells Crooked Run’s muscadine products out of Simply NC, the store she owns downtown. She lauded the “Mill Around Late” event as a whole.
“As a downtown business owner and Clinton Main Street Program Promotion Committee member, I have seen ‘Mill Around Late’ as a great opportunity to offer our customers and citizens that extra time to shop and participate in fun activities downtown,” Thompson said. “Building those relationships is key to any successful customer service-oriented business, and Simply NC is pleased to be a part of ‘Mill Around Late’ in downtown Clinton.”
Mary M. Rose, Clinton-Sampson Planning director and Clinton Main Street manager, said the Main Street Program’s Promotion Committee welcomes the citizens of Clinton and Sampson County for the monthly event. The hope is visitors will enjoy the night’s activities while taking advantage of the products and services offered downtown on a daily basis.
“You do not have to leave Sampson County these days to find something interesting for your family to participate in,” Rose stated. “We have the Sampson County History Museum, dinner on the courthouse square, a sweet treat or coffee in one of our downtown businesses, or just an evening walk to admire the public art.”
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