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  • Explore Elkin

Town ignites more Elkin exploration

11 November 2018

Elkin, NC

As the Explore Elkin initiative ignites the area many Elkin Explorers can be found around town not only making use of the discounts available through the Explorer Discount Card, but invested in the community in their personal activities.

Looking around the room at Explore Elkin’s Second Annual Explorer Appreciation Dinner guests included artists who decorate the streets with free gifts from the community mingling with those in charge of the organizations that gift our local less fortunate as well as neighborhood business owners, large and small.

The abundance of local activities that have evolved thanks to the initiative as well as the demands of the weather may have drawn from the crowd assembled, however, the motivation has not waned as Elkin Town Manager Brent Cornelison described continuing efforts and attractions to the area.

After the organization of a Strategic Plan by Crystal Morphis, which included the Elkin Valley Trails Association as well as Explore Elkin and other entities, the town is ready to continue enhancing the Elkin encounter by embracing a Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP).  

“That entails looking at future streetscapes, future gateway items; not just this gateway but all of our gateways,” described Cornelison.

“This is a town-wide plan. We’re looking at infrastructure.  If we want to build a Riverwalk, what’s is going to take?  What does our Land Use Plan look like?  Is it still what our Land Use Plan needs to look like,” said Cornelison continuing to state the kinds of questions that would be asked as the CMP is developed noting revitalization of downtown as well as other corridor advancements.

“Looking at all the things we have, all our ordinances, all the things that we’ve come to have,” continued Cornelison, “how do we make that into what we want to be?” 

One of the things Elkin wants to be is a destination for those traveling through the area.  The relocation of the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce (YVCC) and the property they attend is one of many steps towards the enhanced Elkin experience supported by the Explore Elkin.

“The idea was Heritage and Arts Center,” explained Cornelison of the previously known Heritage Center, “maybe that was not going to pull somebody off the interstate so you’ll see Experience Center.”

In addition to an expansive visitors center managed by the YVCC many other local attractions have been embraced by Explore Elkin such as the Foothills Arts Council and the Foothills Theater who provided the entertainment for the evening.

Directed by Kim Arnold Ledge, Ledger & Legend starred Mike Cheek taking a humorous twist on a serious subject with the assistance of Newell Hauser and Brian Horton.

The actors elicited laughs and tears from the audience enticed by a dinner buffet provided by Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital and wine compliments of Elkin Creek Vineyards.

Explorers anticipate a number of events throughout the year in addition to the appreciation dinner such as Explorer Hikes, a Family Flotilla and the first opportunities to serve as volunteers at Reevestock and other local events.

For more details on how to become an Elkin Explorer send an email to or go to

Beanie Taylor is a freelance writer covering a variety of events throughout the Yadkin Valley.  Contact her at

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