Features and Web Editor
New and longtime residents were ecstatic when Money Magazine announced Apex, NC as the “#1 Best Place to Live in America.” The town quickly began planning a celebration for this great feat, budgeting $20,000 (most of which was obtained through sponsorships,) to the event dubbed Peak-a-Palooza.
The festival was held on Saturday, Oct. 10. It was a beautiful autumn day with the sun shining, wind blowing, and ideal temperatures. The city limit signs now completed with the new accolade were a popular place to take pictures at the event. The town of Apex held a similar event in 2013 to commemorate being named the “#9 Best Place to Live in America” and the “#1 Best Place to Live in North Carolina”; there were over seven thousand who came that year. The expectation was for many more to attend this time, not only because of the more prestigious award, but also because of the town’s rapid growth. Many Apex High School students and alumni were in attendance. Sophomore Morgan Finley said that she would come again, and alumni Kalabria Gilbert explained how she has grown to love and appreciate the town of Apex more than she has in the past. Class of 2015 graduate Jennifer Friedler said that she was happy to be home for it and loved the sense of community at the event.
A variety of attractions brought crowds of families and individuals to the event. Activities, including bounce houses, a climbing wall, a miniature train ride, as well as drummers and hula-hoopers, thrilled young kids. Delicious food trucks were also in-tow with various cuisines; ice cream, snow cones, BBQ, and good old fashioned hot dogs and hamburgers were very popular. Spectators could also check out live bands such as the Stone Age Romeos and the Will McBride Group. A magician, storyteller, and several aerialists put on several different exciting shows. To top it all off, mascots Mr. and Mrs. Wuff from NC State, Rameses from UNC Chapel Hill, and Wool E Bull from the Durham Bulls were in attendance.
All Apex Town Council members and those on the ballot for empty positions were present and campaigning throughout the day. Councilman Eugene Schulze described Peak-a-Palooza as, “the epitome of a community event.” Schulze also said that, “the people in the [Apex] community are what makes Apex number one.” Apex High’s own social studies teacher Denise Wilkie, a member of the town council and a canidate for mayor was thrilled to participate. “[I] am honored to be on town council while it happened,” Wilke stated. The proud resident and councilwoman also said “that it couldn’t been done without the staff, civic groups, and the wonderful people of Apex.” Good luck to all candidates; remember to go out and vote on Nov. 3.
Overall many enjoyed celebrating being a part of the best town in America. Money Magazine’s award confirmed that Apex is truly the Peak of Good Living.