ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – Building off recent growth, the “Harbor of Hospitality” is hoping to become a destination for neighboring communities.
Saturday wrapped a new event put on by Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. called “Party Outside the OBX.”
The play on the phrase “outside the box” featured a packed, two-day schedule with activities and deals catered to people who live in the Outer Banks.
“A lot of people coming to town and we’re trying to make it more known that we are here now,” said Mattie Brewer, who works at Small Town Trendz, one of the businesses joining the event.
Brewer says she’s noticed numerous new businesses move into the city’s downtown area in recent years, which is now home to more than two dozen restaurants, cafes and breweries.
A large apartment development, Betsy Town Flats, is expected to add as many as 130 new residents to the area as early as this summer.
Despite the name of the event, organizers tell News 3 they’re hoping people from inland North Carolina and Hampton Roads also stop in.
“Party Outside the OBX” joins other events aimed at bringing people to the area, including the First Friday Art Walk and the North Carolina Potato Festival.
“Friday, yesterday, I saw a lot of people that we’ve never seen before so it’s just awesome to see that [this has] also worked so I’m really proud of our town for doing the work that they have,” said Gerald Trotman, who co-owns Main Street businesses Elizabeth City Pizza Company and The SweetEasy.
One of the events scheduled for Saturday included Elizabeth City’s Juneteenth celebration, running from 2:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Mariners’ Wharf Park.