WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Honoring and remembering a beloved champion of Washington was the goal of the first Annual Mac “Bear” Hodges Musical Festival on Saturday.

In Washington’s Harbor District, friends, families, and local supporters gathered to raise money for a statue of the late mayor.

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“Jaycee’s, Pirate Club, whatever Mac got involved in, he gave it 100%, he never wanted to take credit for anything, that was him you know? said Lou Hodges, Mac Hodges’ wife and a Washington council member.

“Like today, this event, he would not have wanted this for himself, he liked to be in the backstage, but Mac just had this nature about him that he could get people together, Mac loved everyone.”

Many at the event said they loved Mayor Hodges, and that was the reason why they were raising the funds for Mac’s dream of having a statue in downtown Washington.

“We raised about $17,000 from donations, but we still need about half, so it was a way of raising the funds that would have been appropriate for who he was. He loved music events in Washington, so the music festival seemed the perfect idea,” said Virginia Finnerty, an event organizer who previously worked with Hodges.

Executive Director of the Washington Harbor District, Meg Howdy, said this event was put on to honor a man who dedicated himself to the area.

“And so this is a great opportunity for us to honor a man that gave a lot to Washington. He worked really hard and he brought the community together. It didn’t matter what part of the community you were from, where your house was, he wanted everybody to come together,” Howdy said.

According to his wife, at the end of the day, Mayor Hodges was just like everyone else in Washington.

“Mac loved Washington, Mac loved music, Mac loved a good time and Mac loved a Bud Light,” said Lou Hodges.

Event organizers say any funds remaining after the statue is installed will go toward upkeeping the downtown area in Mayor Hodge’s memory.