09 Mar HOLLY SPRINGS
Holly Springs is one of many Wake County suburban communities within easy driving distance of the capital city of Raleigh and Research Triangle Park, one of the largest research parks in the world. An affordable cost of living combined with small-town ambiance and an emphasis on family fun and safety have proven incredibly tempting to employees that work in the ‘big city’ or RTP.
The mayor of Holly Springs has a message to all those interested in this township of approximately 37,500: “We are a customer-friendly town, and our customers are our citizens.” And it appears the customers are more than satisfied because this town, once a colonial settlement, has consistently been among the fastest growing municipalities in the state.
Expanding so quickly can sometimes cause growing pains, so the town council has paid special attention to balancing the requests of newcomers with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” long-time residents. Their new logo not only represents the holly and the spring, but the recognition of the deep roots the town has that must be respected while providing the foundation for innovative and healthy growth.
One characteristic that both the old and the new see eye-to-eye on is they want Holly Springs to provide a safe haven for kids to thrive, and this remains a driving force behind the town’s vision. As the mayor has been known to say, “If it’s good for the kids, it’s good for Holly Springs.” The town has won numerous accolades in recent years such as The Safest Municipality in North Carolina” according to website safehome.org, “The Best Place in North Carolina to Raise Kids” per Businessweek, and “Best Place for Home Ownership in North Carolina” as well as one of the “Best North Carolina Towns for Young Families” by NerdWallet.com.
So what makes Holly Spring so fun for the family? Let’s start at Bass Lake, where there’s something for everyone. How about a birthday party for your 10-year-old? They’ll have so much fun during an interactive program and crafting that they won’t even realize they’re learning about the ecology of the lake. Kids a little older can participate in the summer work program while Dad hits the water for a little fishing (the lake is stocked with bass courtesy of the North Carolina Community Fishing Lake Program), and Mom takes a tranquil walk on the many nature trails. Couples will want to stick together at their wedding at Bass Lake, voted second best wedding venue in North Carolina by wedding-spot.com. The whole family will leap at the chance to engage in letterboxing—hiking, treasure hunting and creative expression all rolled into one activity. Learn all about the lake on Bass Lake Day, the first Saturday in October.
Batter up at Womble Park, or head to the PIT Soccer Field Complex if you’d rather kick your ball than hit it. Numerous projects are underway to expand and add parks such as a new location for outdoor festivals and potential horse stables at Sugg Farm Park, botanical gardens at the newly-acquired Mims property, and state-of-the-art playground facilities at Jones Park.
Recently, Tennis Magazine named Ting Park the “Public Park of the Year,” but there’s more to ‘love’ about the park beyond tennis courts. An 1,800 seat multi-sport stadium is the place to be to watch football, baseball, lacrosse and soccer. It’s also home to the Holly Springs Salamanders, a collegiate summer baseball team. Additional soccer fields and basketball courts round out the park.
Meander through the many greenway trails that zigzag throughout the town, designed to ensure you see the town’s natural beauty.
Last stop on the Parks and Recreation tour is the Cultural Center, the place for plays, concerts and movies, both indoors and out. Often seen at the center is the all-volunteer Holly Springs Community Band. The center includes an expansive library as well.
The HURRAHS (Happenings Underway in Resource and Recreational Activities in Holly Springs) spring/summer brochure has no less than 175 classes and clubs ranging from Awesome Acrylics for Kids to Princess Tutu School where toddlers dance to princess-themed music. The adults have plenty of choices too, like Just Desserts where you’ll learn how to bake scrumptious pastries or Medieval Swordfighting where you’ll learn how to dodge, parry and thrust like the best of ‘em. Seniors can whoop it up at Bingo and Mahjong when they’re not on the road to visit North Carolina attractions as part of the Senior Summer Freedom Friday trips.
More outdoor amusement is to be had at the Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex. Dhers, a professional BMX rider, brings his special brand of fun to Holly Springs. At his public mountain bike, BMX and skateboard park, you can train alongside experts or just have a great party. Find outstanding golf and southern charm at the Devil’s Ridge Golf Club or 12 Oaks Club. Play another kind of golf—disco golf—at Jones Park.
Life is celebrated in Holly Springs with multiple events throughout the year. Delight in warm days and cool nights at the town’s annual Spring Fling held at Bass Lake. Fireworks over the lake mark Independence Day and Santa’s sure to be spotted enjoying some ho-ho-hot chocolate at Main Street Christmas. Food trucks, bands and craft beer are a combination made in heaven at the Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival held each fall. Feast your eyes on what local artists and crafters have on display (and for purchase) at the May Outdoor Market on the Square Enter your drone in the Wings over Springs Fly-In drone race – proceeds of the event benefit Meg’s Smile Foundation.
Meeting the needs of the growing town means plenty of shopping and eateries. If your fishing pole comes up empty at Bass Lake, the Bass Lake Draft House will quell your appetite, or have it your way at My Way Tavern. For something sweet, it’s hard to resist blueberry cobbler ice cream at Mama Birds’ Cookies + Cream. Your taste buds will cry ‘Opa’ at Greek Basma and party Mexican-style at Fiesta Mexicana. Hoppin’ on the brewery bandwagon are Bombshell Beer Company and Carolina Brewing Company.
Alongside summer squash and stone fruits, you’ll find seafood, fresh pasta and maple syrup at the Holly Springs Farmers’ Market open from May to October and on a limited basis in the winter at its new location at the Cultural Center. If you’re up to it, have some rattlesnake sausage chili at their Battle of the Badges Chili Cook Off held in the fall.
Shopping centers house all the national favorites like Target, Home Depot, Michael’s, Petco, The Children’s Place, Marshall’s, Kirkland’s and GNC, to name a few. Local boutique stores cater to those looking for that special something for that special someone. Bless Your Heart Boutique is the place for affordable yet one-of-a-kind clothing, gifts and monograms. Catch the latest apparel trends at Charming Charlie’s. Brew your own libations with supplies from Homecrafted, a retail supplier for homebrewers and winemakers.
Shopping for a bargain will lead you to one of the many consignment and thrift stores in the area like Thrift Place, Going Full Circle or Guardian Angel Thrift, whose proceeds benefit individuals with cancers, training for those with autism and Alzheimer’s research,respectively And the long list of proposed, approved and ongoing projects on the town’s website suggests there’s no slowing down anytime soon. Expect more single-family home subdivisions, apartments and townhomes, mixed-used developments, shopping centers, a new private school, and hospital expansion in the near future. It’s all part of the plan to keep Holly Springs’ customers happy and healthy so they’ll keep coming back for more.