• Rob Glover

Are You Going to GO Fest?

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

Do you have plans September 26th?

Why not head to downtown Gastonia. We’re closing the streets and having a party. There will be food trucks, live music, and a couple of special beers from local breweries just for this event.

In Gaston County, we’ve shown that we don’t need a reason to have a street party. But this one is for a very special occasion.

This is GO Fest, the kick-off to GO Month— a 30-day celebration of the tremendous achievements all across Gaston and a preview of the exciting developments that are yet to come.

Have you heard of GO Month?

If you’ve lived in Gaston County for the last several years, you probably have.

If you’re one of the thousands of people that made their home in gaston this year, we’ll fill you in. Oh, and welcome!

“GO Gaston” is the slogan of our county. It stands for Gaston Outside, a nod to the natural amenities here and our location just outside Charlotte.

But it also conveys movement; like the forward momentum we’ve witnessed here and others are now starting to understand. You’ll likely see the green “GO” symbol on water towers and shop windows.

We dedicate October to recognizing all the progress that’s happened over the last twelve months and the amazing people that made it happen.

The first thing you might notice during the month is the creative ways towns display our GO green. It might be a string of lights on the front porch of a house or it could be a huge GO symbol projected on the side of a historic brick building or an entire historic landmark lit up in green. Or it might be a light “bright enough to be seen from space” as one municipality has told us.

Either way, it’s just the beginning. To give time to reflect on all of our achievements this year, Go month is separated into four weekly themes:

Week 1: Business and Economic Development

Week 2: Restaurant and Retail

Week 3: Education and Workforce Development

Week 4: Culture and Recreation

There will be events each week focused on those themes. You can expect a luncheon that celebrates women in business. There will be public art displays and plenty of performances. And you’ll see invitations and discounts to our newest restaurants as well as long-standing favorite eateries.

While GO Month is a time to reflect on our progress and thank those involved in it, it’s also a time to get involved in setting our course for the future. So we encourage you to attend as many events as possible. Speak to municipal, community, business, and non-profit leaders. Try a new restaurant or shop. And network with other Gaston residents and visitors from around the region.

You’ll find the calendar of GO Month events at www.gastonoutside.com.

What can I expect at GO Fest?

First of all, you can expect a celebration fitting of the occasion. Both Cavendish and Ole Dallas breweries will have special GO Month beers on offer. There will be food trucks. And the Shelby Rae Moore band will be filling the streets with their powerful vocals and a seamless fusion of rock, blues, country, and bluegrass. Wait until you hear Shelby belt out Hit the Road Jack.

But wait, there’s more!

During each musical break, city leaders will be asked on stage. No, they won’t be there to talk about their own accomplishments. That would be too easy. Instead, they’ll be looking at one of their neighboring Gaston County towns and explaining why it is an amazing community.

Those town representatives will also have booths set up so you can speak directly with them. Ask questions and find out what’s coming up for your city.

Want a sneak peek of the next wave of development plans in downtown Gastonia? You got it! During GO Fest, building owners will open up their spaces so you can get a first-person glimpse of the plans they're cooking up.

One more thing you won’t want to miss. You know that amazing mural in downtown Belmont? We’ve asked Motley Studio, the folks who helped create it, to design a giant Gaston County-themed, paint-by-number mural in Gastonia. And you can help paint it later on in October!

So, do you have plans on September 26th? You sure do. We can’t wait to see you there.

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