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Updated: Feb 7, 2022

2016 Small Town Main Street – Best Promotion

Mayodan, NC

Hay bale sculpture in Mayodan, NC
Hay bale sculptures pepper the town of Mayodan during the annual Hayodan fall festival

Hayodan, the Mayodan Hay Bale Sculpture Project, is an annual fall event sponsored jointly by the Town of Mayodan and the Mayodan Downtown Merchants Association. Businesses, non-profits, school groups, citizens and others, sponsor and decorate large, round hay bales, transforming them into works of art that are displayed at sponsor sites, on public property and along streets in the downtown commercial area and in other locations around town.

Mayodan wanted to boost its profile with area residents and tourists and distinguish itself from an adjoining community in order to create new economic opportunities. Inspired by the public interest generated by a single hay bale sculpture erected downtown in 2013, the Small Town Main Street Committee proposed the project in 2014 and the Mayodan Downtown Merchants Association agreed to co-sponsor the event. That fall, twenty-four hay bales were sponsored and decorated. In 2015, Hayodan included more than forty hay bale sculptures. The Rockingham County Arts Council endorsed the public art aspect of Hayodan in 2016, awarding it a $1,000 grant to pay for hiring an artist and providing supplies for a special "cre-hay-tion." Hayodan also spawned a "What the Hay!" festival in downtown Mayodan in 2016 and two fundraising events for local organizations. It has received local media coverage and, in 2016, it was featured on UNC-TV's North Carolina Weekend program. The project generated increases in physical traffic through the town and virtual traffic on the Town's website and Facebook page. Hayodan has helped the town achieve some of its goals - to encourage town leadership, businesses, and citizens to move beyond a "recovering mill town" mentality to promote Mayodan as alive, friendly, hopeful, artistic, attractive and resourceful, as well as a great place to live, work and visit.

The NC Department of Commerce - NC Main Street Center and Rural Planning Center congratulates the town of Mayodan and the Mayodan Downtown Merchants Association for this wonderful promotion!

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