Remember the past, celebrate the future at the 2021 White Lake Water Festival

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 6:46 PM EDT
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WHITE LAKE, N.C. (WECT) - Remembering the past, celebrating the future: that’s the theme of the 2021 White Lake Water Festival, which kicks off Friday, May 21.

The festival comes as one of the primary venues for the event is undergoing a facelift.

Goldston’s Beach at White Lake will celebrate its 100th anniversary this summer with a new name, The Grand Regal at Goldston’s Beach.

“It’s going to be very much traditional but new and exciting because there are changes happening at White Lake and we are hoping that everybody comes out and enjoys what they typically remember but also takes in some of the new stuff,” said Terri Dennison of the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

According to a press release, the Grand Regal is a collaborative project to include Regal Resort Campground, Carolina Bay, The Venue, Goldston’s Motel and Goldston’s Beach.

Jenna and Dean Hilton purchased Regal Resort, Carolina Bay, and The Venue from Susan and Ronald Inman. Mollie Womble Owen and Jake Womble, relatives of the late Harry Womble, who owned and operated Goldston’s Beach for decades, invested in Goldston’s Motel and Beach. The business partners are working together on the project with the hopes of revitalizing White Lake.

“Goldston’s Beach is now becoming a larger property and people will be able to see some of the changes that have happened there,” said Dennison.

This year’s festival will include the traditional parade and live music.

While many COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, especially outdoors, Bo Barefoot, one of the event’s organizers, said he recommends that visitors bring a mask and still practice social distancing.

“We’ve got plenty of space,” said Barefoot. “It’s a 10 acre site to walk around and if you can’t maintain 6 feet, let’s put our masks on, let’s be cognizant of others. Let’s be aware. Let’s be safe.”

Barefoot pointed out that while he and Dennison are vaccinated, both still plan to wear their masks if they get close to groups of people outdoors.

“We are not mandating it but we are politely asking that to people be respectful of others in regards to COVID,” he said.

For more information about the schedule for the weekend, click here.

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