A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible early. Partly cloudy skies. Low around 70F. Winds light and variable..

A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible early. Partly cloudy skies. Low around 70F. Winds light and variable.

Carmen Hedrick makes Sunberry toast which is toast with strawberries, sunflower butter and hemp seeds at The Well Cafe and Juice Bar in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday, May 17, 2019.

“I love that I can conveniently go out somewhere and eat healthy or just looking for a quick pick-me-up to feel good,” Jackson said.

Vitality Bowls specializes in bowls of touted superfoods like acai, graviola, acerola and pitaya. The shop is just one of several fast-casual healthy food chains specializing in salads, bowls and other healthy options to open locations in Greensboro in the past couple of years. Others include Grabbagreen, Zoe’s Kitchen, Flame Broiler, Corelife Eatery, and Chopt Creative Salad Co. — many of which are based along the West Coast where all healthy trends seem to originate.

“I think it’s just a progression of good, healthy organic eating that is moving across to the East Coast,” said Janet Mazzurco as she plunged her plastic spoon into a Detox Bowl of chilled pureed acai, almond milk and kale.



Mazzurco, who has been battling stage 4 metastatic melanoma for 10 years, has become hypersensitive to what she eats. “Treatments wreak havoc on my microbiome in my gut,” Mazzurco said. “Your gut is your second brain.”

And research points more and more to keeping our digestive tracks healthy and happy with fresh fruits, vegetables and bone broths.

“People are taking prescription drugs for those things that should be done with regular, proper eating,” said Grammenopoulos, who opened Corelife Eatery last year.

Corelife specializes in salad and grain bowls. Grammenopoulos said everything on the menu is made from scratch, including the restaurant’s bone broths. He said those things can’t be rushed.

“If I’m going to order (in a restaurant) and that person is going to turn around and say ‘Here you go,’ it can’t be real food. It’s going to have some processing,” he said.

Chopt Creative Salad Co., one of Greensboro’s most recent healthy-eating entries, focuses on, well, salads.

“For the past 18 years, we’ve seen a positive impact on people through our food,” said Colin McCabe, who co-founded Chopt with Tony Shure.

In addition to signature salads like Mexican Caesar and Kebab Cobb, the chain mixes it up with highlighted themes.

“We take local ingredients and every 60 days introduce ‘Destination’ specials inspired by part of the world such as Vietnam, Mexico and the Mediterranean,” said McCabe.

“My husband and I, we’ve always been very active and eating healthy,” said Therese Lopez, who opened Vitality Bowls with her husband, Michael earlier this year. “We wanted to start our own business and when we came upon this concept and saw what ingredients they use and how they made their food, we could definitely stand behind it.”

Grammenopoulos said he was impressed by Corelife’s concept, whose president, Scott Davis, spent 25 years with Panera Bread, one of the first successful healthy eating chains. Corelife is now one of the fastest-growing chains in the country.

“If these guys are doing what they’re really claiming they’re doing, I want a piece of that,” said Grammenopoulos, who has become the area developer for more restaurants.

Another growing concept in healthy eateries is cold-pressed juice bars specializing in juice made from fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Clean Juice chain opened two years ago in Greensboro. At about the same time, locally-owned Organix juice bar opened a Greensboro shop.

“It’s essential to getting these raw nutrient-dense items into your diet,” said George Memory, who started Organix in Winston-Salem before branching out into Greensboro.

Memory said most people aren’t going to consume four pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. But if you walk into his shop, you can get the equivalent in a 12-ounce bottle of juice.

“I’m thrilled that there is a larger appetite for healthier eating and healthier options,” Memory said.

It’s not just chains that are giving diners healthy eating options. Several locally-owned restaurants have menus offering salads, bowls and fresh food. The all-vegetarian Boba House has been a popular destination for over a decade since taking over Hong Kong House, one of Greensboro’s original healthy eateries. The Well Café is a newer healthy eatery.

“I’m passionate about food and I want anyone to be able to eat healthy food,” said Jessika Olsen.

The café is part of Sonder Mind and Body, a holistic wellness center Olsen opened last year with her sister Veronika Olsen.

It offers bowls like the burrito-inspired Bright Bowl with roasted cauliflower and black beans and the Korean-inspired MmmBop Bowl with sautéed spinach and zucchini.

The café’s menu is vegan and vegetarian. For extra protein, customers can add a duck egg. The menu also focuses on allergen-free food.

Those top seven allergens are gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, shell fish, dairy, soy and corn. Eggs are another top allergen, but Olsen insists the café’s duck eggs do not come into contact with any other foods.

“Every time I come in here, I get something different. I love the bowls,” Linz said as she tried the BBQ Jack Bowl, which features jackfruit as a stand-in for pork barbecue.

Vitality Bowls customizes orders to accommodate a person’s allergies and special needs. So does Corelife.

Olsen said the menu at The Well Café changes seasonally depending on what she can get from local farmers. She tries to create dishes that are tasty and are inspired by a variety of styles. The café even offers gluten-free Belgian Waffles on its weekend brunch.

“It’s our belief that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for health,” McCabe said. “We want people to come in … and say, ‘This tastes better than any cheeseburger or pizza and I feel better for having eaten it.’”

And nutritious-eating concepts are catching up to traditional fast food, despite the latter offering more and more of their own healthy options.

“In the next five-plus years, we’re going to be very close to overtaking it or be right there with it because consumers are going to start asking for it,” Grammenopoulos said.

And now that healthy options have become fast-casual, customers like Kaya Jackson at Vitality Bowls love the convenience.

GREENSBORO — Thanks to the Rotary Club of Greensboro, a custom-made carousel will turn this summer on the grounds of the Greensboro Science Center.

A new, circular Joseph M. Bryan Carousel House has been constructed at the end of the center’s parking lot at 4301 Lawndale Drive, on the hill that leads to Country Park.

Artisans at Carousel Works in Mansfield, Ohio, have been hand-carving and painting its colorful wooden figures in preparation for installation.

It will be quite a carousel — the largest in North Carolina and one of the largest in the United States, made by the world’s largest manufacturer of wooden carousels.

“We said we wanted this to be first class, the best it can be,” said Bernie Mann, president and publisher of Our State magazine and the president of the Rotary carousel project. “We’re only doing it one time.”

It will become part of the recently formed Battleground Parks District, more than 400 acres encompassing the science center, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Country Park and Tannenbaum Historic Park.

The Rotary Club has raised nearly $3 million to finance the carousel, the building and a surrounding plaza that features a 20-foot clock tower sponsored by Schiffman’s Jewelers.

Donors gave $188,000 after an open house in March. “We raised it in five days from people who said, ‘I want to be a part of this,’” Mann said.

Anything raised above project costs that will go into a maintenance fund to help the science center operate the carousel.

“When it opens, it will be a huge hit,” said Glenn Dobrogosz, the science center’s chief executive officer.

When finished, the carousel will display 56 figures carved from basswood, half of them horses. A variety of animals will make up the other half.

Among them are Revolutionary War Gen. Nathanael Greene’s horse, college mascots and a Greensboro Grasshopper.

Look for figures depicting science center animals, including Tai the red panda, Drogo the Komodo dragon, a penguin, pygmy hippo, okapi, flamingo, shark, octopus and clown fish.

The carousel will celebrate city history through artwork on panels, called rounding boards, around the top.

The Joseph M. Bryan Carousel House honors the late city insurance executive, philanthropist and long-time Rotarian.

The structure has been customized with partial solid window walls and drop-down garage-style doors with windows. They can open in summer and close in winter, enabling the carousel to operate year-round.

It will cost a little to ride the carousel: $1 for science center members, $2 for non-members, Dobrogosz said. The center will develop a scholarship program for groups that apply well in advance for discounted or free rides seasonally.

The carousel project has been in the works for 13 years. The Rotary Club initially had hoped to locate it downtown, alongside a planned building for Senior Resources.

But it was a difficult time to raise money to finance both. Senior Resources purchased a building on Benjamin Parkway. The Rotary Club looked at other potential carousel locations and eventually turned to the science center, which has added to its attractions in recent years.

A preliminary design for the planned carousel at the Greensboro Science Center. The Rotary Club of Greensboro is raising money to finance its construction and installation, likely to occur in 2018.

Construction of the Rotary Club of Greensboro’s carousel project at the Greensboro Science Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Jan. 2, 2019.

Hugo Lopez and Gerson Cruz of Carolina Classic Windows ride a scissors lift as they install windows during construction of the Rotary Club of Greensboro’s carousel project on Wednesday at the Greensboro Science Center. The carousel is expected to open in late spring or early summer.

Plumbers David Swaney and Juan Bernal of Joey’s Plumbing work during construction of the Rotary Club of Greensboro’s carousel project at the Greensboro Science Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Jan. 2, 2019.

Plumber David Swaney applies flux to a copper fitting during construction of the Rotary Club of Greensboro’s carousel project at the Greensboro Science Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Jan. 2, 2019.

Hugo Lopez and Gerson Cruz of Carolina Classic Windows ride a scissor lift during construction of the Rotary Club of Greensboro’s carousel project at the Greensboro Science Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Jan. 2, 2019.

Emily Hinton and Rod Lindsey created the plaza design for the Rotary Club of Greensboro carousel at the Greensboro Science Center.

Emily Hinton and Rod Lindsey created the plaza design for the Rotary Club of Greensboro carousel at the Greensboro Science Center.

Iris Donohue plays with a flamingo figure as the Rotary Club of Greensboro held an updateTuesday on the financing and construction of a striking carousel in the Battleground Parks District in a photo taken in Greensboro, NC on June 12, 2018.

The Rotary Club of Greensboro held an update Tuesday about the financing and planned construction of a carousel in the Battleground Parks District in Greensboro. The carousel will feature 56 figures carved from basswood.

Bryce Donohue makes a fish face while admiring carousel ride characters as the Rotary Club of Greensboro held an update Tuesday on the financing and construction of a carousel in the Battleground Parks District in Greensboro.

Rotary Club of Greensboro held an updateTuesday on the financing and construction of a striking carousel in the Battleground Parks District in a photo taken in Greensboro, NC on June 12, 2018.

Iris and Bryce Donohue admire carousel figures as the Rotary Club of Greensboro holds an update on the financing and construction of the carousel in the Battleground Parks District.

Bryce Donohue and his sister, Iris Donohue, admire a fish carousel ride figure as the Rotary Club of Greensboro held an updateTuesday on the financing and construction of a striking carousel in the Battleground Parks District in a photo taken in Greensboro, NC on June 12, 2018.

Iris and Bryce Donohue admire carousel figures as the Rotary Club of Greensboro held an update Tuesday on the financing and construction of a striking carousel in the Battleground Parks District in a photo taken in Greensboro, N.C., on June 12, 2018.

Beatrice Langston-DeMott, 2, and her mother, Brooke Langston-DeMott, enjoy the swings at the newly renovated Henry Street Park.

GREENSBORO — Beatrice Langston-DeMott, 2, looked placid as she sat in the dark plastic seat, swinging back and forth.

With her shady white bonnet, she looked almost too young to be on a swing set, but with her mother, Brooke Langston-DeMott, swinging face-to-face, the tot seemed perfectly at ease.

It’s a rare swing, for two people, that allows a parent to move right in step with her child, but the multi-generational approach at Henry Street Park is designed to attract people from the youngest to the oldest, all enjoying the outdoors at the same time.

Nearby residents of the Abbotswood at Irving Park senior living community are equally welcome at the park, with its small walking loop surrounding a grassy plaza area. The senior community provided the money for the new park when it paid the city $392,000 to buy 7 acres of the old Henry Street Park. That left 9 acres for the new concept. Abbotswood used the land for an expansion that sits just adjacent to the new park.

Bill Haney and Sue Beck have lived at Abbotswood for three years, and they’ve hiked the length of the Appalachian Trail, but this small park is just what they need next door.

Before the new park was built, Haney said, “there was a sidewalk with vegetation and mud and dirt. It just wasn’t a very attractive place at all. We thought it was extremely good news when Abbotswood partnered with (Greensboro) Parks and Recreation.”

The new park, with a workout area, swing set and cluster of innovative play equipment for children, has been in the works since 2012. Marshall Watson, who lives in a house across Henry Street from the park, was one of the first people who saw the need to clean up and revive what was anything but a community asset.

“It’s been a long, long journey to get here,” Watson said at the park’s dedication on May 10.

Watson said he saw a lot of people doing a lot of illegal things in the old park, but the neighborhood founded a Community Watch program with the Greensboro Police Department in 2012 to begin a cleanup process.

Still, Henry Street Park was the scene of violence last September when a pregnant woman was shot and her unborn baby died. The victim had been at the park with two other people when the shots were fired. This was before the new equipment and landscaping was installed.

Watson in 2012 started working with then-City Council Member Zack Matheny, now the president of Downtown Greensboro Inc.

“We walked around this neighborhood a couple of times,” Matheny said. The park “was underutilized.”

Teenagers should feel right at home on the sports court, a full-size basketball court with pristine goals above and built-in soccer goals below at either end, surrounded by a low fence to keep spirited ball games separate from walkers on the loop.

You can imagine a warm summer evening with children, teenagers and adults of all ages working out and enjoying the fresh air in the 9-acre park.

Watson and Matheny stood at the western end of the court while they talked about their hopes for the new park.

In addition to the parent-child swing, the set also offers a swing big enough for an adult and, of course, swings for children.

“What’s great about this site is it includes six elements of play: swinging, sliding, spinning, climbing, balancing and brachiating (a fancy word for swinging from from overhead bars),” said Josh Hammond, a sales associate with Cunningham Recreation of Charlotte, which built the play areas.

The structures made of orange pipe and blue plastic appear as a confusing maze at first, but Hammond patiently explains the purpose of every piece as Beatrice climbs slowly on a slide for the smallest children.

Hammond begins his tour at the swing set. The special swing that Beatrice and her mother were using is called an “expression swing,” and it’s so popular and innovative that therapists are using them in other places to help children build trust. When parents are estranged from their families, the swing can help rebuild a relationship with a child through play. In some parks, expression swings have seats small enough to support infants.

Walking a few feet to a play area with the labyrinth of orange pipes, Hammond describes the play gear called “X Scape” by his company.

One section has plastic pods, like steps, fastened to the bottom of several curved orange pipes — a play area designed to encourage creativity.

A “tilted skyrunner” is essentially an overhead spinning wheel with eye-catching wings of colored translucent panels, like stained glass.

“The younger ones like to chase the colors” as they flash on the ground, while bigger children like to hang on and spin, Hammond said.

Whatever you call it, the “Thrive 450” rig was designed by a company called GameTime with a trainer from the “American Ninja Warrior” TV show. It offers users a full workout in a 450-square-foot space.

It includes a push-up station, a sit-up station, platforms for standing jumps, pipes for arm dips and other exercises.

The best thing for physically fit parents is that the workout station isn’t but a few dozen feet from the kids’ play area.

“A parent can come here and work out and have a clear line of site to see their kids,” Hammond said.

The park is built with ramps and pathways that are accessible to disabled people, and city park planner Vonda Martin hopes that will draw everyone into the park. There’s a walkway from Abbotswood into the park as well.

Even the placement of play gear was done with an eye toward making the sports court on one side of the park as appealing to teenagers as it could be, Martin said. The playground equipment is the first thing families see, keeping them from walking through a basketball or soccer game on the sports court.

Beatrice Langston-DeMott, 2, and her mother, Brooke Langston-DeMott, enjoy the swings at the newly renovated Henry Street Park.

Lucas, a 3-year-old Chihuahua, and his owner Esteban Ricon run through the open field at the newly renovated Henry Street Park in Greensboro, N.C. on Friday, May 10, 2019.

Cunningham Recreation salesmen Josh Hammond and Jason Kovarik talk under the playground equipment at the newly renovated Henry Street Park in Greensboro, N.C. on Friday, May 10, 2019.

Lucas, a 3-year-old Chihuahua, and his owner Esteban Ricon came to the newly renovated Henry Street Park in Greensboro, N.C. on Friday, May 10, 2019.

Marshall Watson, a resident on Henry Street, tells the gathered crowd at the press conference on Friday, May 10, 2019 at the newly renovated Henry Street Park in Greensboro, N.C. that he will walk the track with them anytime.

Jean Linden, a resident at Abbottswood, puts up a shot on the multi-sport court on May 10 at the newly renovated Henry Street Park in Greensboro.

Beatrice Langston-DeMott, 2, and her mother, Brooke Langston-DeMott, enjoy the swings at the newly renovated Henry Street Park.

Lucas, a 3-year-old Chihuahua, and his owner Esteban Ricon run through the open field at the newly renovated Henry Street Park in Greensboro, N.C. on Friday, May 10, 2019.

Cunningham Recreation salesmen Josh Hammond and Jason Kovarik talk under the playground equipment at the newly renovated Henry Street Park in Greensboro, N.C. on Friday, May 10, 2019.

Lucas, a 3-year-old Chihuahua, and his owner Esteban Ricon came to the newly renovated Henry Street Park in Greensboro, N.C. on Friday, May 10, 2019.

Marshall Watson, a resident on Henry Street, tells the gathered crowd at the press conference on Friday, May 10, 2019 at the newly renovated Henry Street Park in Greensboro, N.C. that he will walk the track with them anytime.

Jean Linden, a resident at Abbottswood, puts up a shot on the multi-sport court on May 10 at the newly renovated Henry Street Park in Greensboro.

GREENSBORO — A new bank coming to the city will become the presenting sponsor for the upcoming N.C. Folk Festival.

TowneBank, a Virginia-based bank that will open a Greensboro branch in the fall, will be the presenting sponsor of the second annual folk festival, scheduled to take place Sept. 6- 8 in center city.

Making the announcement Tuesday at downtown LeBauer Park were folk festival director Amy Grossmann and Mayor Nancy Vaughan. They were joined by TowneBank North Carolina President Matt Davis and TowneBank Triad President Scott Baker.

TowneBank will open a branch in leased space on the first floor of the Physicians for Women of Greensboro building at 802 Green Valley Road.

“The North Carolina Folk Festival is a perfect opportunity for us to partner ... and to become further involved in this wonderful community,” Davis said.

ArtsGreensboro produces the free outdoor festival of multicultural music, dancing, storytelling, crafts and food with the city of Greensboro, the Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau and other partners.

LeBauer Park hosts one of the stages. For the festival, the stage will be called TowneBank Stage at LeBauer Park.

“We like to be a part of community events that celebrate diversity in our culture and communities,” Baker said. “This is one that does that in a very unique and spectacular way.”

The announcement was met with applause from a crowd that included City Council members and city of Greensboro staff members.

Started in 1999 in Portsmouth, Va., TowneBank has become one of the largest banks headquartered in Virginia, with 41 banking offices and $11.57 billion in assets, according to its website.

It operates from the oceanfront of Virginia Beach, to the Outer Banks, to Williamsburg, Richmond and central Virginia.

The bank already has brought nine jobs to Greensboro, Davis said. It aims for a larger facility in Greensboro and to expand to other Triad markets.

The N.C. Folk Festival spun out of the National Folk Festival, which held a three-year residency in Greensboro and drew more than 400,000 people to downtown Greensboro.

Vaughan noted an article on FarandWide.com that named the folk festival as the 17th largest music festival in the world, based on 2018 attendance.

“The folk festival is one of the most fun weekends to spend in the city of Greensboro,” Vaughan said.

The festival costs about $1 million in cash to produce, plus in-kind contributions. TowneBank was the first sponsor to be announced; others will be announced in the future, Grossmann said.

From Sept. 6 to Sept. 8, audiences will be treated to as many as seven stages featuring continuous musical entertainment.

Attendees will dine on regional and ethnic foods, experience folk art demonstrations and performances by global and multicultural artists, and share the fun of the Family Activities Area with their children.

Already, nine acts for the upcoming festival have been announced. They include Irish band Lúnasa, jazz and funk group Mwenso and The Shakes, Afro-Cuban duo Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca, country and Telecaster master Redd Volkaert, and sacred steel group The Allen Boys.

To learn more about the festival, visit https://ncfolkfest.com; facebook.com/NCFolkFestival; twitter.com/NCFolkFestival; and instagram.com/ncfolkfestival. (tncms-asset)d8532c2a-b475-11e8-852d-00163ec2aa770 —(/tncms-asset)(tncms-asset)19d7d4d4-b309-11e8-b311-00163ec2aa771 —(/tncms-asset)(tncms-asset)1df738e6-ae29-11e8-8a32-00163ec2aa772 —(/tncms-asset)

Sam Williams, aka "Big Sam," performs at the North Carolina Folk Fest on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

David Hurt, of Greensboro, juggles while listening to the music at the BlueCross BlueShield CityStage.

Ava Kuecker dances on stage with Big Sam's Funky Nation at the North Carolina Folk Fest on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 in Greensboro, NC. 

Dom Sebastian Alexis, center, teaches a breakdancing class at the North Carolina Folk Fest on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Dom Sebastian Alexis (center) teaches a breakdancing class at the N.C. Folk Festival on Sunday in Greensboro.

Sam Williams, aka "Big Sam," performs at the North Carolina Folk Fest on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Dom Sebastian Alexis, center, helps students during a breakdancing class at the North Carolina Folk Fest on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Breakdancing instructor Dom Sebastian Alexis leaps into the air during a breakdancing class at the North Carolina Folk Fest on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 in Greensboro, NC. 

Sona Jobareth performs on the City Stage at the NC Folk Festival in Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Kristyn Harris performs on the Wrangler Stage at the NC Folk Festival in Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

The Fitzgeralds perform at the lawn stage at the NC Folk Festival in Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Rhiannon Giddens plays the banjo on the Lawn Stage for her final performance at the NC Folk Festival in Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Eleazar Chavez of La Patronal practices backstage before his performance at the NC Folk Fest Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Annika Lindgen, 10 (left) and Josephine Craig, 9, eat gelato while they're tied together with beaded necklaces. "We did it so we wouldn't lose each other" they said at the NC Folk Fest Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

A group of kids wear Spirit shirts that they received at the NC Folk Fest Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

The guitarist for Sona Jobareth looks up while he plays at the NC Folk Fest Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

A woman smiles as she watches The Fitzgeralds perfrom at the NC Folk Fest Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Julie Fitzgerald of The Fitzgeralds performs at the NC Folk Fest Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Charles Prefontaine smokes a cigar at the NC Folk Fest Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

A group of kids play on the wall by the Lawn Stage at the NC Folk Fest Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Two boys sit and watch the City Stage from across the street at the NC Folk Fest Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas play the last set of the evening of the inaugural N.C. Folk festival on the Blue Cross Blue Shield NC Citystage Friday night Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in Greensboro, N.C. 

A large crowd gathered at the Wells Fargo Lawn Stage tent to listen and watch as Rhiannon Giddens presented an evening of jazz, spoken word and tap dance as the inaugural N.C. Folk festival kicked off Friday.

A large crowd spins out of the Wells Fargo Lawn Stage tent to listen and watch as Rhiannon Giddens presented an evening of jazz, spoken word and tap dance as the inaugural N.C. Folk festival kicked off Friday night.

Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas play the last set of the evening of the inaugural N.C. Folk Festival on the Blue Cross Blue Shield NC Citystage on Friday night in Greensboro. The Folk Festival runs through Sunday.

John Jorgensen Quintet performs on the Blue Cross Blue Shield NC CityStage as the inaugural N.C. Folk festival kicked off Friday night.

The crowd dances to Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas as they play the last set of the evening of the inaugural N.C. Folk festival on the Blue Cross Blue Shield NC Citystage Friday night Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in Greensboro, N.C.

The crowd dances to Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas as they play the last set of the evening of the inaugural N.C. Folk festival on the Blue Cross Blue Shield NC CityStage Friday night.

Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas play the last set of the evening of the inaugural N.C. Folk festival on the Blue Cross Blue Shield NC Citystage Friday night Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in Greensboro, N.C. 

Mayor Nancy Vaughan, right, and Council member Sharon Hightower address the crowd gathered for the kickoff of the inaugural N.C. Folk festival Friday.

Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas play the last set of the evening of the inaugural N.C. Folk festival on the Blue Cross Blue Shield NC Citystage Friday night Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in Greensboro, N.C.

Festival goers watch John Jorgensen Quintet performing on the Blue Cross Blue Shield NC CityStage as the inaugural N.C. Folk festival kicked off Friday night, Sept. 7, 2018, in Greensboro, N.C. 

James Le and his daughter Clementine Le, 2, watch as Laurel Gropper and Billy “Two Rivers” Hunt play during the First Friday Greensboro Drum Circle monthly event, which coincided with the first day of the N.C. Folk Festival.

UNC-Greensboro Chancellor Frank Gilliam (left) and UNCG cheerleaders help kick off the inaugural N.C. Folk festival Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in Greensboro, N.C.

Grammy winner and Greensboro native Rhiannon Giddens presented an evening of jazz, spoken word and tap dance as the inaugural N.C. Folk festival kicked off Friday night, Sept. 7, 2018, in Greensboro, N.C.

Rita McAdoo-Bey arrives early to get a good seat, she said, and rest from volunteering earlier in the day as she waits for opening comments at Blue Cross Blue Shield NC CityStage for the kick off the inaugural N.C. Folk festival Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in Greensboro, N.C.

Francesco Turrisi (left) and Robyn Watson acknowledge each other during their percussion and tap dance during Rhiannon Giddens' evening of jazz, spoken word and tap dance as the inaugural N.C. Folk festival kicked off Friday night, Sept. 7, 2018, in Greensboro, N.C. 

Kevin Westerberg (left) and Grant Tedford (right) put together tents on Saturday to be used for the N.C. Folk Festival.

Matt Vegiard checks a level as he sets up a position for audio equipment for the North Caroline Folk Festival next weekend on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Kamba Nkonzi, left, and Prescott Spigner assemble a stage staircase for the NC Folk Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Kamba Nkonzi bolts together a railing for a stage staircase Saturday in preparation for the N.C. Folk Festival, which begins Friday.

From left, Grant Tedford, Joel McAllister, and Kevin Westerberg put together tents for the NC Folk Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Timothy Levy uses a jackhammer to drive a tent stake into the ground as he sets up tents for the upcoming NC Folk Festival, pictured on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Timothy Levy uses a sledgehammer Saturday to put a tent stake into the ground as he sets up tents for the N.C. Folk Festival, which will begin Friday in Greensboro.

Kevin Westerberg puts together a tent for the NC Folk Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Whitney Brown uses a lift to place platforms out of the way while tents get set up for the NC Folk Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

The tents are rising and the stages are being set this weekend as workers continue to prepare for the North Carolina Folk Festival, held in Downtown Greensboro next weekend, Sept. 7-9, 2018. 

Kevin Westerberg (left) and Grant Tedford (right) put together tents on Saturday to be used for the N.C. Folk Festival.

Matt Vegiard checks a level as he sets up a position for audio equipment for the North Caroline Folk Festival next weekend on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Kamba Nkonzi, left, and Prescott Spigner assemble a stage staircase for the NC Folk Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Kamba Nkonzi bolts together a railing for a stage staircase Saturday in preparation for the N.C. Folk Festival, which begins Friday.

From left, Grant Tedford, Joel McAllister, and Kevin Westerberg put together tents for the NC Folk Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Timothy Levy uses a jackhammer to drive a tent stake into the ground as he sets up tents for the upcoming NC Folk Festival, pictured on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Timothy Levy uses a sledgehammer Saturday to put a tent stake into the ground as he sets up tents for the N.C. Folk Festival, which will begin Friday in Greensboro.

Kevin Westerberg puts together a tent for the NC Folk Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

Whitney Brown uses a lift to place platforms out of the way while tents get set up for the NC Folk Festival on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 in Greensboro, NC.

GREENSBORO — People packed Elm Street on Wednesday, snacking on funnel cakes and other treats and with many displaying their love of country in red, white and blue.

More than 110,000 people were expected to gather in downtown Greensboro for the annual two-day Fun Fourth Festival, which was capped off late Wednesday with music but no fireworks, thanks to the threat of an evening storm. (They’re rescheduled for 9 p.m. Saturday, according to the city.) Vendors selling food, art and jewelry lined both sides of the street, while a host of food trucks offered treats along Friendly Avenue by Center City Park.

Raul Ortiz sat smiling at a small table with an umbrella. Decked out in a red, white and blue hat and shirt, he was excited to celebrate another Fourth of July in Greensboro.

“I wanted a better life and job for my family,” said Ortiz, who has lived in Greensboro for 17 years. “Being an American has given me an opportunity to provide for my family.”

Downtown Greensboro wasn’t the only place people gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July. Over in the Kirkwood neighborhood, decades of tradition continued with the annual parade down Independence Avenue, which featured everything from kids on bikes to a gigantic American flag. Other roads in the small community off Lawndale Drive carry similarly patriotic monikers, such as Liberty Road and Colonial Drive. Residents call this area “America’s Most Patriotic Neighborhood.”

Back in downtown, Ortiz began to tap his foot lightly when he heard one of the bands begin to play in Center City Park. It’s the music that brings him back every year, he said. He and his wife don’t just sit in the park and listen though, they walk around the entire festival in search of live or recorded music being played.

“We like to dance to all of the music at the festival,” Ortiz said. “It’s something nice to do.”

The Greensboro transplants — Fisher from the Philadelphia area and Lanse from around Connecticut — and their three young children whisked through the crowd, taking in the smells of funnel cake, barbecue and fried Oreos, before 8 p.m. hit.

That’s about the time the children head to bed. Before then, the couple said they planned on having a “northern barbecue,” which they said is limited to hotdogs and hamburgers.

Uncle Sam (aka local lawyer Locke Clifford) handed out dozens of small, American flags to anyone who would take one.

A regular Uncle Sam impersonator, Locke said Wednesday was hot but not as bad as last year. He said the crowd seemed bigger than a year ago.

Children wait in line for the start of the annual Fourth of July Parade in the Kirkwood neighborhood in Greensboro on Wednesday.

A girl holds a flag and eats candy at the Fourth of July Parade in Kirkwood in Greensboro, N.C., on July 4, 2018.

Garrett Wolfe, 6, waits for the parade to start at the Fourth of July Parade in Kirkwood in Greensboro, N.C., on July 4, 2018.

Lauren Wolfe, 4, throws a tennis ball to Major before the Fourth of July Parade in Kirkwood in Greensboro, N.C., on July 4, 2018.

The Kirkwood Neighborhood lines up before the Fourth of July Parade in Kirkwood in Greensboro, N.C., on July 4, 2018.

Evie Hadley, 3, waits for the parade to start at the Fourth of July Parade in Kirkwood in Greensboro, N.C., on July 4, 2018.

Stuart Coates, left, and Emma Scroggins hold smoke bombs before the Fourth of July Parade in Kirkwood in Greensboro, N.C., on July 4, 2018.

Brody Bett, 8, waits for the start of the Fourth of July Parade in the Kirkwood neighborhood in Greensboro on Wednesday.

Six-year-old twin sisters Eva Marston (left) and Iris Marston ride in the parade at the Fourth of July Parade in the Kirkwood neighborhood.

A man drives a four wheeler with a boy in his lap at the Fourth of July Parade in Kirkwood in Greensboro, N.C., on July 4, 2018.

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