COVID-19 claims outdoor Town events through March 2021, Renaissance Centre set to resume in-person events with reduced capacity

In response to state restrictions on outdoor gatherings, the Board of Commissioners (BOC) agreed Tuesday to suspend through March 2021 all Town-sponsored events that draw large crowds. As a result, the Lighting of Wake Forest will join Friday Night on White, the Fireworks Spectacular and a host of other 2020 events impacted by COVID-19. The community’s traditional holiday kick-off, which typically attracts thousands of people to downtown Wake Forest on the first Friday in December, will be offered this year as a virtual event on Friday, Dec. 4.  

No other large outdoor happenings have been scheduled from now through the first quarter of next year. The Christmas Historic Home Tour had been set for December 5, but the Historic Preservation Commission announced in July it was postponing the event until 2021.

The Town’s decision to extend its moratorium on huge gatherings was based on the expectation that residents will not be allowed to assemble safely in large numbers for the foreseeable future. Currently, state law limits gatherings to 50 people outdoors and 25 people indoors. Town officials say that once state restrictions loosen they will consider hosting events that draw bigger crowds.

In the meantime, Wake Forest is exploring and developing options that will allow residents (who so choose) to safely enjoy a mix of cultural and recreational activities and experiences within prescribed guidelines.

In November, the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, which has been closed since late March, is scheduled to begin hosting a limited number of in-person events with a reduced capacity in accordance with state guidelines. The Town and the Renaissance Centre will implement updated safety and cleaning protocols and take all reasonable precautions to best promote the health and safety of those who choose to participate.

To adhere to reduced capacity requirements, program attendees will be required to register in advance and sign a participation waiver. On the day of the event, masks and wellness checks will be required prior to admission. During the screening, attendees will be asked a few short questions and a temperature check will be performed using a touchless thermometer. Anyone who does not clear the screening, along with all the members of their group, will be prohibited from entering the Renaissance Centre. Several hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout the facility and physical distancing will be enforced.

Additional information will be provided as events are announced.