MONROE, NC – As the summer winds down and back to school supplies begin to decorate the store shelves, many families are looking for the best way to squeeze every last drop of fun out of these August days. Holly Tidwell with HollyDay Farms says her event planning skills and beautiful property in Monroe, NC, are the answer anybody could be looking for. Whether a guest wants to plan a party for a specific reason, or they are looking for a fun day out with the family, HollyDay Farms has a lot of great options. The primary focus of this beautiful and private, 15-acre park-like setting with a fishing pond is to build community and provide a place for special memories to be made!
In October of 2020, Tidwell, a local event planner from Waxhaw, NC, decided to build her dream. With the help of her realtor, Joy Groya, Tidwell found a property that answered every need. “It wasn’t just the fact the location had everything I wanted,” Tidwell shares, “I felt immediately bonded with the property.” Tidwell’s first-born child, who died at birth 17 years ago, was named Monroe. “I couldn’t believe this property was in a town named Monroe! I believe it was a sign. Like something was saying ‘This is your baby. Now you can take care of her for the rest of your life.’” Tidwell smiles at the memory despite her eyes filling with tears.
To honor her daughter, Tidwell installed a memorial statue. Also, because Monroe had died due to complications related to Down Syndrome, every Thursday Tidwell opens her pond to Special Needs Individuals from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Those guests get to fish at her farm for FREE, and teachers get to enter for half-price as well. Tidwell also extends the same half-off invitations to Union County Middle and High School students on Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. On Fridays, all first responders can enjoy the same deal. The pond is also open every Saturday and Sunday, from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. There’s always a “HollyDay” to celebrate. “Holidays break up the monotony of life and give us something to look forward to,” Tidwell declares. “I want to help each one be special in someone’s life. For example, on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, all fishers with a military ID fish for free. On Mother’s Day, all moms fish for free, and Father’s Day, all dads fish for free.”
Opening up her pond for local anglers was not originally part of Tidwell’s plans. “After spending months renovating the farmhouse and property, people began stopping by and asking to fish. I kept hearing from the fishers that there were very limited places to go fishing,” Tidwell explains. Now she allows public fishing for a $10 donation and a signed waiver. Since it’s a private pond, no fishing license is required, and that thrilled families! “As a mom of four, I was always looking for good things to do with my family. That’s why I also let kids 12 years and under fish for free,” Tidwell happily informs.
Tidwell posted a video welcoming neighbors to come. Within a few days, the video had over 19,000 views! Hundreds of guests have visited the farm since opening day on May 8, 2021. She’s also had fishing tournaments that were a huge success! There are plenty of largemouth bass, brim, crappie, sunfish, and catfish to catch as well in this self-sustaining, all-natural pond! Tidwell is able to keep it that way through her catch-and-release policy. “My pond looks good because it’s got the perfect ecosystem of fish,” Tidwell says. “I want to keep the ecosystem balanced, and if we let people take fish, the pond can’t take care of itself anymore.”
Recently, Michael Resor, a local competitive bass fisherman, approached Tidwell to see if HollyDay Farms wanted to be his tournament sponsor. Tidwell happily accepted. She is also planning on hosting a Michael Resor Fishing Tournament at her pond on August 7th and 8th. “Resor will be in attendance, teaching fellow enthusiasts how to fish for specific species in our pond,” Tidwell explains. This August tournament will be for the longest fish. “This is the most COVID-friendly way to host the event,” Tidwell mentions. “We will have a competition entry fee, and the winner takes half the total entry pot instead of their catch.”
The most unique thing about HollyDay Farms is not the pond but Tidwell herself. She was voted Best 2021 Event Planner and Best 2021 Wedding Planner in Union County by the Charlotte Weeklies. “I’ve been planning parties for neighbors, friends, and family for years. I love building community,” Tidwell beams, and she has put her talents and expertise to work on the farm!
HollyDay Farms now offers beautiful date night packages where Tidwell transforms the gazebo, bridge to an island, and porch swing area into unique date nights. Couples can sit in the gazebo, with a beautiful tablescape, watch the sunset, and enjoy a delicious dinner delivered from local restaurants. It’s the most magical place to propose to your sweetheart or have an anniversary dinner!
Tidwell is also an ordained Reverend. This means she can marry a couple in an elopement ceremony, or she can plan a memorable wedding at her pond and property. “My favorite way to describe the event location is ‘garden chic,’” Tidwell explains. “I want to create a ‘mini-Biltmore’ right here in Monroe.”
When you use HollyDay Farms, you get the complete package. Tidwell and her team will create, set up, run, photograph, feed, host and tear down any party they are asked to plan. “I see my neighborhood as my new mission field. Life can be unpredictable. We have to schedule the moments that make it beautiful,” Tidwell says.
To learn more about HollyDay Farms go to their Instagram or Facebook page @HollyDayFarmsNC. To get in touch with Holly Tidwell and her team or to schedule an event go to https://www.everydayisahollyday.org