Rock the Block becomes a two-day event this year with an inaugural Rock the Block Moonlight Madness 5K & Fun Run Friday night that is at its maximum capacity for the course.
The run is the centerpiece of a Rock the Block “pre-party” on Friday night from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Civic Plaza at Fourth and Trade streets. The party band Funetik Union will be performing and vendors will be selling food, soft drinks and beer.
Activities resume Saturday when Rock the Block takes over downtown from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with six stages of music, an air-conditioned children’s area on the upper level of the Benton Convention Center, food and merchandise vendors, a free crafts show at Fourth and Poplar streets and an International Row on Marshall Street featuring ethnic foods and entertainment.
The Moonlight Madness 5K & Fun Run is a fund-raiser for the Forsyth County United Way. As of Tuesday, 900 runners had pre-registered for the race and registration was closed because the race course cannot accommodate more runners, said Ed McNeal, the city’s director of Marketing and Communications who oversees Rock the Block.
“The race course is out-and-back down the Strollway and Salem Creek Greenway, and it has a limited capacity,” McNeal said. “With the surge in pre-registrations that came in early this week we won’t be able to accept any walk-up registrations on Friday night. But we’re already looking to certify a new route for next year so we can accept more runners.”
Rock the Block will again feature the Forsyth Tech Rock This! Teen battle of the bands. The stage this year has been moved to Third and Cherry Streets and drawings for prizes will be held after each of the preliminary rounds. Last year’s winner, Salem Speaks, will perform at 10 p.m. after the final round.
The Forsyth Medical Center Kid’s Zone will again be in North Main Hall on the upper level of the Benton Convention Center. Kids can play all day for just $2. The WBFJ Contemporary Christian Stage is also set up in Benton Convention Center. Parking is just $2 in the convention center parking deck at Sixth and Trade streets.
Other music stages include the Foothills Brewing Rock Stage that starts at noon, the Blue Grass and Modern Toyota Country stages in Winston Square Park, and the Millennium Fund Beach and Jazz Stage in Civic Plaza, featuring The Catalinas at 1 p.m.
The Sheetz King BMX Bike show will perform at noon, 2, 4 and 8 p.m. Yes Weekly’s popular Tee Time karaoke will be set up at Fourth and Liberty Streets, and fire dancers and food and merchandise vendors will fill the side streets.
For complete information about Rock the Block, including performers, schedules and a map of the events, go to www.RocktheBlockWS.com