Downtown Elizabeth City businesses see opportunity in city's Fall Music Weekend

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Posted at 7:56 AM, Oct 07, 2021

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - This weekend, listen to live music and support local shops and restaurants.

2021 Fall Music Weekend in Elizabeth City runs from October 8-10. Acts begin playing at 5 p.m. on the green at Mariners' Wharf Park.

Musicians will be simultaneously scattered around the city's downtown area on sidewalks and inside businesses, representing several genres of music including classic rock, reggae and country.

Visitors can also visit a beer and wine garden, lawn games and other events.

The weekend follows weekly concerts on the green in August and September.

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Mariners' Wharf Park

Organizers at non-profit Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. say events like this are all about building on recent growth in the area, which currently houses 19 restaurants, cafes and bars along with other types of businesses in just a few blocks.

"That's one of the things that we're trying to do with our downtown is make it experience-based," said Debbie Malenfant, Executive Director of Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. "People are looking to (small) businesses to provide those experiences so when you come downtown, you can eat and shop."

One of the businesses hosting musicians is Content Commanders on S. McMorrine Street. Owner Shannon Baylor-Henderson says she's planning "Tiny Desk"-style performances.

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Shannon Baylor-Henderson envisions the performance space inside her business, Content Commanders.

"There's this bustling feeling about downtown that's kind of happening. Everyone is taking more stake and interest into downtown and investing a lot of time and community support into the area," said the business owner who opened her doors a year ago.

A couple blocks away on Main Street, three businesses are joining together to host musicians; Sanctuary Design Co., Glimmer Beauty Lounge and clothing shop Jade Whale Co.

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Three businesses are partnering for performances, (L to R) Diana Bennett of Jade Whale Co., Darlene Tuttle of Sanctuary Design Co. and Mollie White of Glimmer Beauty Lounge.

"We have this little harbor, the beautiful historic district and everyone's really connected so to be able to celebrate everything together, it's gonna be a great weekend," said Darlene Tuttle, Owner of Sanctuary Design Co.

The weekend comes near the end of a difficult year for Elizabeth City. Last spring, Andrew Brown was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies serving warrants. Months of protests followed, as officers were cleared and the community was left divided.

Organizers say they hope events like this music-filled weekend can play one part in bringing people together.

"We are looking to build relationships and build bridges and come out of that experience in a positive way," said Malenfant.

For more information about Fall Music Weekend, including times and locations, click HERE.