Volume 16, Number 8
Wake Forest has been chosen as the site for the Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo on Saturday, April 18, 2018, by the American Public Power Association. The site is on property just north of Holding Village at the current dead end of South Franklin Street.
On that day, hundreds of electric lineworkers from public power utilities across the United States will descend on Holding Village to compete in timed contests to showcase their skills and knowledge in the craft of line work. Teams of lineworkers will climb poles, build overhead construction, pull up wire and hang transformers, all within a set time limit. Events will be judged on safety, work practices, neatness, ability, equipment handling and speed. The event will be free and open to the public.
Area residents who live in the vicinity of Holding Village will likely notice increased activity in the area in the coming weeks as crews begin preparing the grounds to serve as the rodeo site. Initial efforts will include clearing brush and constructing temporary roads, followed in early 2018 by the installation of over 100 temporary utility poles, none of which will be connected to live power.
The work will be performed during normal work hours and is not expected to cause any serious disruptions. All heavy equipment and deliveries will enter the site via Friendship Chapel Road.
Utilities & Public Works Director Mike Barton said the rodeo will need a lot of room and should draw a crowd of 2,500 to 3,000 people. “It’s going to be the entire lot between the Operations Center and the (Holding Village) Amenity Center. We will be barricading the (old Friendship Chapel Baptist Church) cemetery to protect it. Competitors and bus traffic from the Raleigh Convention Center (for rodeo participants) will enter the property from Friendship Chapel and visitors will enter into the property from Franklin Street with no parking on either Franklin or Friendship Chapel.”
Wake Forest’s lineworkers are familiar with the rodeos and have won top prizes through the years, Barton said. “We’ve been participating for about 8 to 10 years in the State NCAMES Rodeo. We have had a couple, Scott Abbott and Hugo Mier, participate in the National APPA Rodeo as NCAMES top 3 finishers. Hugo most recently finished 3rd in the NCAMES 2017 rodeo and 1st Place in the 2015 NCAMES Rodeo while Scott took 2nd in the 2012 NCAMES Rodeo.”