Yes! Your family should move here!
Hope Mills is part of Cumberland County. We’re the 2nd largest municipality in the county, Fayetteville is the largest. Our population is roughly 17,000 strong.
Hope Mills is known for it’s parks and recreation. Most of the municipalities in Cumberland County rely on Fayetteville to run their programs but we’re independent.
The center of our town is Lake Park and the lake. There’s a gorgeous gazebo and Big T’s. Big T’s is a concession stand with a large pavilion and picnic tables. They sell hot dogs and other miscellaneous things…but they’re known for their snow cones! There’s a boat ramp, a playground and a fishing pier.
Each December the town puts up a giant Christmas tree and we gather for the official tree lighting ceremony. There’s cookies and hot cocoa and Christmas carols or a DJ. Sometimes there’s a large bonfire and there’s always lots of fun stuff for the kids to do.
In the Summer you can also visit Fantasy Lake or Waldo’s Beach. They both have rope swings, giant inflatable slides and lots of water fun. Waldo’s beach also boasts a swimming pool with a slide and a lazy river (my fav!). And on Main Street we have Surge Trampoline Park.
We have two parades a year: Christmas and July 4th. Street lights are decked out in the season appropriate banners, and people line the parade route to watch the parade go by. There’s usually a celebration in Municipal park afterwards with live music, a petting zoo, tons of food trucks and craft vendors.
We also celebrate Ole Mill days every October. In addition to the festival in Municipal park there’s always a reunion for the people who worked in the Mills our town is named for. And the town does Trunk or Treat every October.
This summer Hope Mills had FOUR ball teams win state championships! They all traveled to Louisiana to compete in the Dixie Youth World Series of ball. We had a huge send-off celebration in the park to recognize each and every player. It was also an opportunity for local businesses and organizations to present them with checks to help off-set the expense of traveling to Louisiana. The local businesses and organizations always rally to support a good cause!
We have a new parks and recreation director…Lamarco! He’s kind of quiet, but he’s already making a HUGE splash. In addition to the usual selection of youth sports, he’s been introducing a wide range of classes for all age groups: arts, dance, sign language, and music! He’s really changing the dynamic in the rec center.
The recreation center has a dedicated programs for senior citizens. It also has a fully stocked exercise room and a gymnasium. They have tons of youth programs from after school to summer day camps.
In Municipal park we have tons of ball fields, an outdoor basketball court, tennis courts, a skate park, pavilions, a phenomenal walking trail, and a playground.
Once a month Municipal Park is home to the Food Truck Rodeo! It’s a favorite event around here. In addition to the many food trucks, there are support agency vendors and live music or a DJ. The rodeo is an opportunity for us to support local charities and there’s usually a theme. For instance, the last food truck rodeo was in support of back to school and everyone brought school supplies to donate to the local Kiwanis chapter.
We also host a Farmer’s market once a month May thru October. The town staff have been relentless in searching out the very best local vendors. We have hand made crafts, live plants, farm fresh produce and even farm raised eggs and cuts of meat. This event is usually held in conjunction with another event, like Pet fest or the shred event. Pet fest had dancing horses…and flying dogs. Seriously!
We also offer lots of opportunities to get involved with the community. The town has an Appearance Committee, Historic Preservation Committee, Lake Advisory Committee, Parks and recreation Committee, And Veteran Affairs Committee. There’s also a veteran’s park across from our rec center and we participate in heroes Homecoming every year…a week long celebration of veterans with tons of events all over the county.
In June we started an art council. They’re hosting Sweet tea Shakespeare Theater’s production of Timon of Athens later this month and an art walk. We also just held a ribbon cutting ceremony at municipal park for art sculptures. Some have been purchased and are on permanent display and some will trade out in the spring for new sculptures. We’re working on incorporating more art throughout the community and day!
We also have VFW Post, American Legion, Kiwanis, and a Chamber of Commerce.
Twice a year the town hosts Citizens Academy. It’s one night a week for six weeks. each week you sit down and talk with a different department. My husband and I did it this spring and we learned a LOT! Mostly, we learned that for a small town we have an absolutely phenomenal staff. I brag about them all the time! they’re all very educated and have years of experience, but they’re also really nice and will go out of their way to help anyone.
We have some great local restaurants…The Diner by Chef Glenn, Robin’s on Main, Big T’s, Sammio’s, and Zorbas. And we have some great small businesses. the mayor owns a baby boutique in the white historic house on Rockfish, Marci’s Cakes and Bakes is on Trade Street and so is 1910 Apothecary where you can buy hand made jewelry and handmade candles.
In the spring the town is covered in pink azaleas, followed by the lavender wisteria and then of course…kudzu! And all summer we’re serenaded by the cicadas.
Fayetteville is just ten minutes away. We’re never going to get an Ariana Grande concert here, but we have Disney on Ice, the Nutcracker in December, and smaller concerts at The Crown Complex. They’re also home to the Marksmen Hockey team and occasionally Rogue Roller Derby. There’s a dogwood festival twice a year and Fourth Friday in the historic section of downtown. Fourth Friday usually has a theme. Dickens Day, Zombie Walk, Midsummer Night. There’s live music, lots of great places to eat, vendors and people watching!
Just outside of Hope Mills is JP Riddle Stadium…home of Swampdogs Baseball! We LOVE them! And downtown Fayetteville just adopted the Woodpeckers and built a stadium. We also have an arena football team.
On the other side of Fort Bragg is a historic home owned by one of the Rockefellers. It’s open for tours several times a year. And within 1-2 hours from here is The historic Battle of Bentonville site which does reenactments every spring, the House in the Horseshoe, which also does reenactments, the Sylvan Heights Bird Sanctuary, Aloha Zoo, and the Poe House.
Basically, there’s always something to do here!
We’re not perfect. It gets so hot you just wanna sprout gills and stay in the pool some summers and I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more farm life. But overall…it’s a great place to live.