Downtown Greensboro set for Fun Fourth Festival, laser light show

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — We’re three days away from one of the largest events in downtown Greensboro.

The Fun Fourth Festival attracts more than 30,000 people downtown every Fourth of July weekend.

Downtown Greensboro Inc. and its community partners had less than six weeks to plan the entire festival. That’s because they didn’t have a plan until Gov. Roy Cooper lifted the mask mandate and capacity restrictions in May. There are also going to be some changes to the festival this year.

“We can’t get fireworks. We can’t even get people to light fireworks if we’ve got ‘em so let’s do the laser light show instead,” said Zack Matheny, CEO of DGI.

Matheny told FOX8 the city almost didn’t have a show to conclude its Fun Fourth Festival this Saturday. He and his team contacted every community partner they’ve worked with in the past but they were either booked up or did not have enough manpower to spark the show. That’s where the lasers come in.

“Lasers and lights going everywhere with some music in the background — definitely bright and shining all through downtown. We did it in December and so it was an obvious choice for this July 4,” Matheny said.

Karen Jarvis, with Allegacy, has sponsored Greensboro’s Fun Fourth Festival for years and is excited for people to come out and shop local.

“We want people to come downtown and support these small businesses that are the backbone of our community. Many struggled during the pandemic and so we want to support them and encourage folks to get downtown, spend some money, go to dinner, enjoy the folks and support them any way they can,” said Jarvis, who serves as Allegacy’s corporate communications manager.

Matheny is excited to see downtown come to life, especially since the festival was canceled last year because of the pandemic.

“We’re a little tired planning this thing in such a short time but when we see the smiles on people’s faces out in the community, coming back together, enjoying each other and enjoying the music, we can’t wait,” Matheny said.

The laser show will start at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 3. The best spot to watch is from Market and Davie streets. You can check out the full list of Fun Fourth events at downtowngreensboro.org.

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