Wake County

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane sponsors a World of Bluegrass stage

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane is chipping in her own money to make this year’s World of Bluegrass festivities a success.

She and her husband Ron are sponsoring one of the biggest stages at the Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest on Oct. 3-4. According to the festival’s sponsorship application, backing the City Plaza stage comes at a cost of $30,000.

“We wanted to play an active role in making the street festival even bigger and better because we’re big supporters of both the music and events that bring people to Raleigh,” the mayor said in a news release issued Monday.

Organizers of the event praised the McFarlanes for getting involved – and credited the mayor with helping land the event last year.

“City Plaza Stage is in many ways the crossroads of the StreetFest,” said Laurie Okun of the Raleigh Convention Center. “The McFarlanes’ sponsorship helps us make sure this crossroads is a nonstop party.”

The stage will feature 11 hours of live music each day, including high-profile bluegrass artists like Chatham County Line, Sierra Hull and Claire Lynch.

Most of the other stage sponsors announced so far are corporate donors like Red Hat, Pepsi and Belk. The McFarlanes are the only individual donors on the list; they recently sold their pharmaceutical business, MedPro Rx, to a Michigan company.