40th annual White Lake Water Festival on tap next week

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

WHITE LAKE — The organizers of the annial White Lake Water Festival are hoping to blow things out of the water this weekend.

This year marks the 40th year of the festival that kicks off the vacation season, and organizers have some special events planned.

“I think this has the possibility to be our best Water Festival ever,” said Dawn Maynard, Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. “With recent water issues, people are going to be free to enjoy the festival, which is what we hope they will do.”

Things kick off Thursday with a captain’s choice golf tournament sponsored by the Rotary Club.

On Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., the Soul on the Beach Band will be entertaining folks at Goldston’s Beach, while car enthusiasts take in the Classic Car Cruise-In at Goldston’s Beach at 6:30 p.m. From 7 to 9 p.m., a street dance featuring the Southern Touch Band will take place in the Goldston’s Beach parking lot.

Saturday’s events take place on multiple theaters. Across from the Scotchman on U.S. 701 will be a Classic Car Show, which will begin at 10 a.m. Judging will take place from noon until 2 p.m., with awards to follow.

​Also at 10 a.m., the White Lake Water Festival Parade will leave Camp Clearwater and head north around the lake, featuring entertainment like the Sudan’s little cars, clowns and entertainment groups, dance troupes, marching bands, and floats from numerous civic and non-profit organizations, schools, elected officials, businesses, and automotive and motorcycle groups.

​While the parade is taking place, registration will be ongoing for the co-ed volleyball tournament. To be held at the Camp Clearwater volleyball court, registration will be held at 10 a.m., followed by team meetings at 10:30 a.m. The cost to enter is $40 per team, which must consist of two males and two females. Winnings will be calculated based on the number of teams entered, but first place will win $400. Additional information may be found by visiting www.eastsidevball.com/wlwf-tournament.

Musical entertainment will also be taking place on at multiple venues.

“I’m super excited about our stages,” Maynard remarked. “We’ve tried to pay tribute to the people who really helped make the Water Festival, and I think our stages will really wow people when they see them.”

On the James Melvin Stage from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be Southern Touch Band. Holiday Band will be bringing their unique style on the Elaine Lomax Stage from 1 to 3 p.m., and back on the James Melvin Stage will be Rivermist from 3 to 5 p.m. and Hip Pocket from 9 p.m. until midnight.

“One of my favorite things about the Water Festival is that all this is free,” Maynard said. “We don’t charge for parking, and all the music is free for people to enjoy.”

While the entertainment is going on, activities include facing painting, professional wrestling, and special activities for children, as well as craft, food, and business vendors.

At 2 p.m. will be what Maynard said is one of the things she’s most excited about this year — the D.C. Faircloth Evolution of Water Skiing Show.

“There used to be ski shows a long time ago,” she commented, “but this is going to be different — it’s going to be a show of how water sports have evolved from skiing to what people do on the lake these days. I’m really excited about it and think people will enjoy it immensely.”

The show will take place on the water in front of Goldston’s Beach.

Additional information on the White Lake Water Festival can be found by visiting www.whitelakewaterfestival.com.

The White Lake Water Festival will take place Thursday, May 17, through Saturday, May 19.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com.

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Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal