Twin Creeks Distillery is finding ways to partner with other local businesses to promote Rocky Mount and Franklin County.

There is an event in Rocky Mount that local business owners should pay attention to Friday night but not just because it sounds fun.

BBQ & Booze is being hosted by Twin Creeks Distillery’s tasting room and Southern Smoke Co. BBQ and catering. The reason the event is important is because it is a great example of what community partnership is all about.

The event, which takes place from 5 to 9 p.m., is co-hosted by two local businesses which are featuring local goods and services. BBQ & Booze is serving as a pre-party for the June 28 Harvester show featuring LeAnn Rimes. The local distiller will be serving up cocktails as well as featuring cold brew from the local Rocsato Coffee Roasters.

As part of the event, an old-time jam band will perform in the street and there will be giveaways. The local food vendor and local distiller have partnered for the event to make downtown Rocky Mount a bigger draw and a better place. This event should serve as an inspiration to local business owners — especially those downtown — to find ways to work together.

Rocky Mount has come a long way, but it still has a ways to go. It could have a downtown like Floyd with its General Store and trendy shops. Downtown Rocky Mount needs some additional retail and restaurants to lure visitors. There are some great local places already, and adding more could only enhance the area.

A simple Google search reveals at least a dozen empty properties around town. Some downtown properties have been used for storage or sitting vacant for a while. Town officials should be forward thinking in finding ways to attract retailers who can fill those spots. Landlords should be striving to revitalize their buildings instead of letting rooftops cave-in. Retailers who are already present should be partnering for events like BBQ & Booze to attract visitors, especially people already coming for a show.

The Harvester is a great draw, as evidenced by the five-year report which was presented in April, but it alone is not a golden ticket. The Harvester alone cannot hold up the town. Business owners, officials, property owners all need to come together to make Rocky Mount shine.

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