PEMBROKE — Town leaders want the estimated 30,000 people attending Lumbee Homecoming to know that golf carts will be the only acceptable motorized means of riding around the festival.
The event will about 2,000 golf carts for which permits must be obtained. No all-terrain vehicles, utility vehicles, motorbikes, dune buggies or side-by-sides unless they have been registered and properly plated with North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
“State law does not allow ATVs, side-by-sides so we cannot allow it,” Town Attorney Gary Locklear said Monday. “In the past ATVs have been allowed, this was in error. They will not be sold (permits) from now on. It is the law. State law says we can regulate golf carts. We can’t regulate these other vehicles.”
The festival, in its 49th year, celebrates the Lumbee community through cultural and artistic events, It will be held June 23 through July 8. In the past, festival attendees have used many different types of vehicles to move between events in the summer heat.
“All Pembroke police officers have been instructed to take appropriate action in the event of any person found operating an all-terrain, utility vehicle or other similar vehicle within the town of Pembroke,” reads a public service announcement the town plans to advertise. “Such persons will be subject to citations and/or towing.”
Locklear told council members Monday that the town is negotiating its lease of the courthouse it uses. The building is at 210 N. Main St. and recently was purchased by Calvary Baptist Church. The lease, as currently negotiated, will see the town pay the same rent as it did under the previous owner.
The town must consider looking to find a more suitable, permanent home for their court, Locklear said.
“We need to start looking at a new location,” he said. “An adequate location.”
There are many benefits to Pembroke having a local court, including allowing law enforcement offcials to attend hearings without having to “spend half a day in Lumberton or Maxton,” Locklear said.
In other business, council members:
— Set public hearings for June 26 on possible changes to local ordinances relating to electronic advertising signs, and zoning of commercial property around The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
— Heard Mayor Greg Cummings say he will proclaim the second Sunday in June as Illya Lindsey Harvest 4 Hope Cancer Support Ministry Day in support of fundraising efforts to help local families dealing with terminal cancer.
Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly