Special events

The Union County Special Events Center, which will open on Thursday, is located behind the Agricultural Center in Monroe and encompasses 36,500 square feet.

MONROE — The grand opening of the new Special Events Center in Union County will be held on Thursday, July 22. This center is located at 307 Cultivation Circle in Monroe, directly behind the Union County Agricultural Center, on the property of Jesse Helms Park.

It includes an outdoor facility, as well as an indoor event center, and has a total of 36,500 square feet.

Family-oriented programs and opportunities will be offered on Friday, July 23, and Saturday, July 24. Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, there will be bounce houses, food trucks and a live animal display, followed by an outdoor movie showing of “Rango” at sunset. On Saturday at 5 p.m., “Chairman of the Board” will perform. Also on Saturday, there will be bounce houses, food and beer trucks, followed by a firework show at 8:45 p.m.

“We are excited to be able to offer the weekend of events for the residents of Union County,” said Patrick Niland, Assistant County Manager, in a statement. “The last year and a half has been challenging and we are elated to finally have the opportunity to showcase this fantastic community asset. If you have a chance, please come out and join us, it promises to be a great weekend.”

The Special Events Center will give Union County Parks and Recreation the chance to offer additional programming opportunities to residents. Such events include movie nights, stargazing and nature exhibits.

“Union County Parks and Recreation is extremely excited about the new Special Events Center,” said Jim Chaffin, Director of Parks and Recreation, in the statement. “This space will provide numerous opportunities for programming and events for residents in eastern Union County. We also look forward to the development of Jesse Helms Park passive area in the near future as well.”

The Special Events Center will also allow Union County Cooperative Extension to offer more educational programming opportunities to residents. The Cooperative Extension plans to host 4-H livestock shows, rodeo shows, specialty sales, equipment trade shows and demonstrations.