2020 is half over. The July 4 holiday is one that many of us will not soon forget. Our traditional celebrations with our friends and families have changed, our anticipated plans of attending concerts, movie theaters, sporting events, and simply just gathering at a park or beach, have been thrown out the window. Thoughts about our independence as a nation, and what it means to each of us, has become personal, yet relevant in everyday conversation and promotes either a sense of pride or inquiry.  We wonder how our lives have changed and will continue to do so for the remainder of the year.  A simple meal out at a local restaurant or even hosting friends and family inside air-conditioned homes now need to be within certain state or county guidelines.

Still, I am thankful for what our country stands for – living in the land of the free and the brave. Which includes our front-line workers; let us stand #AloneTogether!


Who won this big guy for the High Rock Lake July 4 Dock Decorating Contest? Keep reading to find out!


Dragon Boat Festival had to Give Up the Ship 

The Rowan Chamber’s Dragon Boat Festival has been cancelled due to COVID-19, another activity that we had to scrap this strange year. I do want to share how much pre-event thought and best practices for safety operations the Dragon Boat committee worked on.

After monthly meetings with the committee, led by 2020 committee chair, Daniel Matangira, the plan was to continue the event on High Rock Lake; however, without spectators. A smaller number of entered Dragon Boat teams would compete and each team (less than 25 people) would be spaced six feet apart from other teams. Only the official Dragon Boat participants would be allowed onto the property. Plans were coming together for the championship finale race to be live streamed for community watch partiesA take on the Kentucky Derby’s four minutes of excitement. The Rowan Chamber staff even measured out the locations for vendors, teams and how the traffic flow would work, with proper distancing, additional hand sanitizing units, and cleansing of boats, paddles and life jackets were in the works. But atlas, not. 


Rowan Chamber staff hard at work!


“This year’s event would have looked different, but due to current North Carolina restrictions, we decided in the best interest of our competitors, sponsor partners, and vendors, we had to cancel the event. We thank our sponsors including Novant Health, Trinity Oaks, and Hot Wire Communications; teams and especially our volunteers for working with us as our plans changed and changed again. The Dragon Boat Festival will go on in 2021, Saturday, July 24 and it will be well worth the wait,” said Chamber President Elaine Spalding. 

The 2021 Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival will be held at the Rowan Shrine Club on High Rock Lake at 6480 Long Ferry Road, Salisbury, NC.  For more information check out their website.


Patriotic Competition Features Social Distancing 

High Rock Lake Association continued its efforts on showcasing its lakeside residents’ creativity surrounding a patriotic theme. The second annual July 4 Holiday dock decorating contest winner was awarded to Yachtsman’s Point, Lexington residents, Kathi and Lennox McLendon. This year, the vote went to the HRLA community with an online poll through its online site. The McLendon’s clever dock design not only incorporated a patriotic theme but featured social distancing with six-foot distance measures and even face masks on a five-foot tall inflatable Uncle Sam, as well as Aunt Samantha and little Sammy. 


Little Sammy having a blast in the sun. He’s also being safe and wearing his face mask! 


“We are so excited to win. It was a lot of fun decorating the dock for the fourth, but we wanted a theme that would be relevant to people as they were boating by, so we chose ‘Stay Safe, Stay Healthy America,’ said Kathi McLendon. The winning dock is located just to the left of the N.C. Wildlife Access Area, Southmont by Hwy. 8. 


Check out the winning dock for the High Rock Lake July 4 competition! Congratulations to the McLendon’s! 


The HRLA dock decorating concept was created last year with 29 docks entering in the competition. The inaugural award, an antique wooden engraved oar, was given to Kris and Randy Hall of Salisbury, that was displayed on their dock the past year. The ‘traveling oar award’ will sit on the McLendon’s dock for the summer. The winning prize package will also include a $200 cash prize from HRLA and a $100 gift certificate from Lexington BBQ.


Aunt Samantha very patriotic and following the governor’s face mask orders. Make sure you’re staying safe and wearing your mask everywhere you go! 


“With COVID-19 and social distancing, we didn’t know what to expect on the level of participation,” said Board Vice President Membership, AnnMarie Clark. “I am thrilled that our lake community supports an activity such as this, and loves seeing the creativity with the various patriotic themes. At this unprecedented time, a fun distraction is what we all need,” continued Clark.

HRLA board members who shepherded the annual event are Barry Childers, Ron Gibson, Rick Monk, Jim Noonan, Lee Snow, AnnMarie Clark and myself.


Vice President At-Large, Barry Childers hands prize package envelope to Kathi and Lennox McLendon, from six feet away.


Lake Rules are Simply Common Sense

I have received several emails and Facebook inquiries regarding no wake zones in front of lakeside residences. The N.C. Wildlife Commission recently released simple rules to be good stewards on the lake.

While wake-boarding on the water this summer, please follow the guidelines below to “wake responsibly”:

  • Stay at least 200 feet away from the shoreline, docks, or other structures. 


Stay safe this weekend out on your favorite lake! 


  • Keep music at reasonable levels. Sound travels well over water. If it is loud enough to hear at 80 feet back, it is likely loud enough for homeowners and others to hear as well.
  • Minimize repetitive passes on any one portion of the shoreline. Once you have run the same line for a while, move on to another area. There is so much more to see!

I hope to see you all out on the lake…from a distance!

And do not forget the sunscreen. July is UV Safety Awareness Month.


Make sure you have all your sunscreen packed and ready to go!


I would love to hear from you on what your favorite lake activity is, or someone that you would like me to feature in 2020. Please email me at highrock@YourRowan.com


#itsaROCOthing         #lakeliving      #YourRowan  #BeAnOriginal     #HighRockLake