Ideal conditions for Clemmons Community Day: ‘Record attendance’ on hand for annual event at Jerry Long Family YMCA

Published 12:10 am Thursday, April 25, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

CLEMMONS — Besides the obvious celebration of community, what makes Clemmons Community Day such a significant event year after year?

Well, it depends on who you ask. Perhaps nobody is better equipped to offer an answer than Denise Heidel, the executive director of the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the popular gathering.

“It’s a lot of the same wonderful things that everybody has come to know and love about Clemmons Community Day,” she said. “I mean, we don’t reinvent the wheel when it has worked so well.”

The 2024 event was held on Saturday on the grounds of the Jerry Long Family YMCA along with the first pop-up event of the season for the Clemmons Farmers Market with more than 40 vendors. (The official Opening Day for this year’s farmers market will be Saturday, May 11, at the Y.

Certainly, ideal conditions were in play with a mix of sun and clouds along with comfortable temperatures for Clemmons Community Day, which featured more than 100 vendors on hand to share about their businesses and services — with many giving special offers, games and freebies to those visiting their booths.

In addition to the vendors, there was a wide selection of food, music, entertainment and other activities, including the popular bounce houses, inflatable slides and a train ride for kids.

The day started off with the opening ceremonies led by Kristin Johnson, who is executive director of the Historic Broyhill and the president of the chamber. Other dignitaries were introduced, followed by the presentation of the colors, the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.

When asked about her expectations for Clemmons Community Day, Johnson mentioned “record attendance.” And although there were no official estimates, an attendance in the same range or more than last year’s 5,000-plus was a virtual certainty with a swarm of vehicles jockeying for parking spots in and around the Y.

Many familiar faces were on hand, including Ron Willard, who was the first “interim mayor” of Clemmons and regular attendee in the past on the special day.

“It’s just amazing,” he said of the 10th consecutive Clemmons Community Day at the Y and the 13th overall.

However, some in attendance were there for the first time, such as Andrew Kwasnik, who said he and his family moved to Clemmons last year.

“This is our first year out here,” said Kwasnik, “and we’re just hanging out and going to check out the local Clemmons vendors.”

Standing near the large slide holding on to a carriage with his baby girl, Kwasnik commented on his “little man” going down the slide and his wife keeping a closer eye on their son.

When asked why he and his family moved to Clemmons, he said with a laugh — “probably just to get out of Winston-Salem. We’ve really enjoyed living here. It’s a great place.”

Vince and Blache Gallo from Advance also were attending their first Clemmons Community Day, but the circumstances were much different.

“We didn’t have anything to do this morning,” Vince said with a chuckle. “It surprised me. I thought if we came early, it wouldn’t be crowded. And we got here at 10:30, and it looked like it had been going for three days.”

His wife, Blanche, added the event “was a neat thing” and that “we’re over here all the time” when they come to the Y.

The vendors seemed to be getting plenty of attention to check out their wares, including Travis Beane, the owner of Clemmons Bicycle.

“It’s an event we always want to be a part of to support the community and come out here to shake hand, kiss babies and meet families,” he said, adding that it’s an opportunity to meet a lot of people, have fun and possibly make lifelong connections.

“We have people that are coming in the shop when I was back there in the mid ’90s working in high school with the original owners,” said Beane, who became the owner in 2006. “They’re coming in, and they’re saying, ‘hey they’re bringing the children in because their parents brought them in.’ It’s a third generation coming in now. It’s crazy. It just shows that Clemmons has that footprint. We’ve got a great community here.”

In addition to event partners the village of Clemmons and the Jerry Long Family YMCA, village sponsors at the top level included Allegacy Federal Credit Union, Novant Health, Jerry Long Family YMCA, WTOB Radio and Ad Signs.