Celebrating Lafayette's birthday

09 LAF TRAIL AT RIVER MOST CROPPEDBy proclamation of the General Assembly, Fayetteville is “Where North Carolina celebrates Lafayette’s birthday.”

The party this year takes place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 6 and 7. Sponsored by the Lafayette Society and the Transportation and Local History Museum, the celebration unfolds every year at several venues across the city the weekend after Labor Day. 

The Marquis de Lafayette sailed from France in 1777 to fight for American independence as a major general under Gen. George Washington. He was given command of the Army of Virginia, and he was instrumental in the defeat of Cornwallis in the decisive battle at Yorktown in 1781. After returning home, Lafayette continued to fight for “government by the people” in the French Revolution and remained a steadfast advocate for human rights, especially the abolition of slavery. 

Fayetteville is the “first and only” when it comes to Lafayette. It is the first city in the nation named for him — in 1783. And it is the only namesake city he actually visited — in 1825. 

The birthday festivities begin Friday evening with “Arias and Artifacts” at Methodist University in Davis Memorial Library. “Friends in War, Friends in Peace” will honor two young men, separated in time by 200 years, who were determined to fight for liberty on foreign soil: Frenchman Marquis de Lafayette and Fayetteville native Pfc. William Mitchell “Billy” Shaw. A free program about these patriots of the American Revolution and World War II begins with refreshments at 5:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., the celebration moves to the Matthews Center on campus with “An American in Paris,” a lively hour of music highlighting composers who studied at the Conservatoire Américaine de Fontainebleau. Tickets for the concert cost $10 and may be purchased at the door or in advance at City Center Gallery & Books by calling 910-678-8899. 

On Saturday, the Lafayette Trail Tour in downtown Fayetteville starts at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and croissants at the Museum of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry. On the tour, guests will see the places Lafayette visited in 1825. The expert narration by FILI Commander Bruce Daws will paint a picture of what the visit, with all its pageantry and celebrations, would have been like. Guests will have the rare opportunity to tour inside the historic Phoenix Masonic Lodge where Lafayette, a Free Mason, was entertained. A light lunch will be served at the lodge. The cost of the all-inclusive tour is $30 per person, $25 for students and teachers. Reservations are required — visit City Center Gallery & Books, or call 910-678-8899. 

Also on Saturday, the Museum of the Cape Fear will celebrate Lafayette’s birthday and the American Revolution with the annual Festival of Yesteryear: Revolution on the Cape Fear, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Arsenal Park. In addition to numerous fun and educational activities for the whole family, this year’s event features professional actor Stephen Seals of Colonial Williamsburg portraying James Armistead Lafayette, an enslaved African American who served in the Continental Army as an aide under the Marquis de Lafayette. Admission is free, and there will be a Lafayette birthday cake-cutting at 1p.m. with free ice cream and cake at “Camp Lafayette” as long as it lasts. 

The weekend celebration ends Saturday night with “Party Like You’re in Paris,” a free wine-tasting party at The Wine Café at 108 Hay St. from 6-8:30 p.m. There will be a variety of excellent but affordable French wines for tasting and purchase. This “virtual tour” of France has become a social highpoint of the summer for many people. 

For more details about the Lafayette Birthday Celebration, visit www.lafayettesociety.org. 

The Lafayette birthday celebration includes a Lafayette Trail tour hosted by Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Commander Bruce Daws.

FTCC to host Trojan Fit 5K

08 Color runRunners and walkers and people who just love bright colors are in for a treat. FTCC’s Department of Health & Fitness Science is hosting the Trojan Fit 5K color run on Saturday, Sept. 21. 

Larzaris Butler, the department chair, explained that the money from the race will go toward scholarships. “It’s an inaugural run for the health and fitness science department. The money will go toward scholarships for people in the health and fitness science programs,” he said. Eventually, the department hopes  these scholarships will grow into an endowment. The goal is to raise $5,000 at this year’s race. 

While Fayetteville Tech has held 5Ks for other organizations, such as Relay for Life, in the past, this is the first race the college has sponsored.

The race is going to be a color run, which means a safe powder that comes in a variety of colors will be thrown as the participants go through the route. It’s common for runners to wear clothes that are light colors or white so the colors will show more on the clothes. The colors mostly wash out, although it is suggested by seasoned runners to wash the clothes worn at the race sooner rather than later and to wear clothes that you don’t mind being stained, just in case. To keep the colors in your clothes as a memento from the event, it helps to spray the clothes with vinegar after the race, allow them to dry, iron them, wash them in cold water and dry them in a dryer. The process helps to set the stain. 

Joseph Davis, an instructor in the health and fitness science department, said that the 5K race is not just open to students — it’s open to the whole community. “We really encourage people of all activity levels to come out and have some fun. We’ll have a running category, a walking and jogging category and a family one for parents with kids and strollers and wagons. It’s a community event,” Davis said.

“It’s something that brings everyone together,” Butler said. “In a typical week, we are working, attending church events and participating in a variety of other activities. We don’t have time to sit down and socialize with our neighbors and the people who live and work beside us. Events like this bring us together from all walks of life to do something fun. We want (the 5K) to be something that’s fun for the community and beneficial for them health-wise.”

The fun doesn’t stop when the race is over; the department will have a unique kind of award ceremony as well. “This isn’t a traditional race, so our awards are a little nontraditional, too,” Davis explained. 

“Keeping in the spirit of having fun, we’re going to have awards that have jokes to them,” said Butler. “Right now we’re thinking that the youngest runner will get a golden baby’s running shoe. The oldest runner will get a silver running shoe.” These are just a couple examples. 

Butler is excited for the opportunity for the department to host the race, especially because he knows the hard work that his staff has put into the event. “We started working on this thing a year ago,” he said. “They (the staff) have outdone themselves on every aspect on all of it.” 

The event is one that will celebrate community and wellness while also promoting a great cause. “Fayetteville Tech is a community college and being the health and fitness department, we feel it is part of our goal to promote wellness and physical activity. So we are trying to promote positive change in that way,”  Davis said. 

The race will be held Sept. 21. Runners will begin at 9:30 a.m. Walkers will begin at 9:33 a.m. and families or anyone with a stroller or wagon will begin at 9:36 a.m. Visit https://www.active.com/fayetteville-nc/running/distance-running/trojan-fit-5k-color-run-2019 to learn more information or to register for the event. 

"Army on the Move" at Averasboro

10 Civil WarAverasboro Battlefield Commission and The Carolina Legion present the Civil War event “Army on the Move” Saturday, Sept. 14, and Sunday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Averasboro Battlefield and Museum. Members of the 26th N.C., 6th N.C., 49th N.C. and the Iron Grey Mess and Reilly’s Battery will take part in numerous demonstrations. There will be battlefield and ravine tours occurring throughout the event as well. 

“The purpose of this event is to give the spectators and visitors a look at how an army moved its forces during the Civil War,” said Benny Pearce, secretary of the Averasboro Battlefield Commission. “It will be a living-history event. In addition to that we will have some exhibits that feature World War II as well.”

The battlefield is significant historically. “The Battle of Averasboro was held on the Cumberland County and Harnett County line on March 15 and 16 in 1865,” said Pearce. “A lot of people don’t know that the actual Civil War battle was held that close to our locations here in Cumberland and Harnett counties.”

Pearce added it was the next to last battle of the Civil War, the last one being in Bentonville, North Carolina. 

“We have many exhibits, and a lot of them were donated to us from people who live in  the Cumberland and Harnett county areas,” said Pearce. “A lot of the other ones were donated by interested people that came to visit with us and wanted to share with us the artifacts they maintained in their families for many, many years.

“We try to present a history of showing by artifacts and to tell about the battle using maps at the museum that we have especially prepared for us. We have very knowledgeable volunteers and we are an all volunteer organization with no paid staff members, but we have many knowledgeable tour guides that can share with visitors what the Battle of Averasboro was all about.” 

The Averasboro Battlefield and Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The museum is free and open to the public. Admission for the event is $5 for ages 12 and older and $3 for children under 12. Pets are not allowed. The museum is located at 3300 NC Hwy. 82 in Dunn  For more information visit www.averasboro.com or call 910-891-5019.

Cumberland County Fair brings farming, fun and more to the community

11 01 Dairy cowsThe Cumberland County Fair is back in Fayetteville, bringing with it a blend of homegrown traditions, interesting exhibits, exciting rides and fun for people of all ages. It  will open at the Crown this Friday, Aug. 30. 

The theme of the fair this year is “Moo-vin’ and Groovin’.” The dairy industry is a hot topic, and the Cumberland County Cooperative Extension  is using the event as an opportunity to teach people about dairy farms. “Our agricultural display will be focused on dairies,” said Jessica Drake, the extension agent in charge of  4-H Youth Development for Cumberland County. 

“The mission is to highlight all things dairy and maintain an emphasis on the historical importance of agriculture in Cumberland County,” said Daniel Marsh, the director of marketing for the Crown.

One of the highlights of the theme-related activities utilizes virtual reality. “We’re having virtual reality 11 02 SCAVENGER so people can enjoy visiting a farm and learning about it without leaving the fair. This is an opportunity North Carolina State provided to us,” Drake said. “We want to bridge that gap from farm to fork.” 

Additionally, there will be a milking booth, a children’s area and information on the N.C. Dairy Alliance. “The fair is a prime opportunity to be able to get a lot of people educated through a hands-on experience,” Drake explained.

The Cumberland County Fair highlights the importance of agriculture every year. In fact, it’s partnered with the North Carolina Association of Agricultural Fairs. The North Carolina Association of Agricultural Fairs awarded two scholarships this year for the fair. One went to Ashlyn Johnson of Lincoln Memorial University who will be studying veterinarian medicine and the other went to John Faatz of N.C. State 11 03 BEST OF SHOWUniversity who is studying livestock management. 

A variety of  community organizations will be represented at the fair to explain their services and what they offer throughout the community. Attendees can also count on a variety of vendors inside and outside on the midway. 

Before the fair’s opening, many people swarm in to enter their proudest creations as exhibits for the chance to win ribbons and cash prizes. Participants can enter food items such as fresh produce, canned goods and baked goods. There are floriculture, horticulture, agriculture, arts and crafts, photography, sewed items and livestock categories as well.  The winners of “Best of Show” ribbons will move on to compete in the N.C. State Fair in October. All of the items are on display. 

“Youth have the opportunity through the livestock shows to show off what they’ve accomplished and what they’ve worked hard on  all year,” Drake said. “It’s very important for youth to have that sense of accomplishment whether they win or they lose. Really, (entering anything in the fair) is a great opportunity for anyone of any age to put their accomplishments on display.” 

Other indoor attractions include a scavenger hunt, the Junior Livestock Show, the antique farm exhibit and a toddler driving school.

This year’s main attraction at the fair will be Johnny Rockett’s Cycle Circus Live, which is the largest FMX Freestyle show of its kind in the world. The show will feature a variety of acts, including FMX, BMX, The Globe of Death, Daredevil Divas, Triple Flipping Motorcycle, The Fire Girls and more.  The 11 04 RIDEhigh-tech pyrotechnics and the daring stunts make this a popular show. 

A whopping 27 rides will be offered by Big Rock Amusements on the midway this year. For people who enjoy the classic rides, there will be the Giant Wheel, a Ferris wheel that is over 80 feet tall, a Fun Slide, a grand carousel and a Tilt-a-Whirl. Visit http://bigrockamusements.com/events/35 to see the full offering of rides. 

Although part of the event falls on Labor Day weekend, the Cumberland County Fair is an exciting tradition worthy of a “stay-cation.” “It’s a staple,” said Marsh. “Many families within Cumberland County and the surrounding area choose to stay home around Labor Day, and this is an opportunity for us to provide them with quality entertainment at a reasonable price. There is no better way to not only end the summer, but to also begin our event season here at the Crown Complex.” 

Throughout the duration of the fair, there will be promotional nights. The Up & Coming Weekly coloring sheet contest is Aug. 31. 

With their student IDs, attendees can receive $2 off the cost of admission. 

Sept. 1 is “Ultimate Stay-Cation Student Night.” Students with IDs will receive $4 off admission. 

On Sept. 2, attendees who arrive between 1-5 p.m. pay ten dollars for admission and rides, and those that arrive after five pay $15 for unlimited rides and admission for “Early Bird Pay One Price Night.” 

Sept. 3-5 is “Pay One Price Night.” “Senior Day” takes place Sept. 5 and offers free admission for senior citizens until 5 p.m. and offers unlimited rides with admission.

 “Military and Emergency Services Appreciation Night” takes place Sept. 6. Admission is free with an IDcard. The last day of the fair is “Faith and Family Day.” By mentioning their church or bringing a church bulletin, attendees can receive a $2 discount.

 “It’s important to bring community together. The fair is a fun, low-stress environment where you can all just enjoy each other and learn about the community through different organizations that put booths up,” Drake said. 

The fair opens this Friday at 5 p.m. and continues through Sept. 8. It is appropriate for all ages. Visit http://www.crowncomplexnc.com/events/cumberlandcountyfair for more information. 

Sweet Tea Shakespeare debuts new production in Hope Mills

09 TimonWebSince 2012 Sweet Tea Shakespeare Theater has been entertaining Fayetteville. But its newest production, “Timon of Athens,” debuted Aug. 21 in Hope Mills. Bringing “Timon of Athens” to Hope Mills was the result of a partnership between Sweet Tea Shakespeare Theater and the newly formed Hope Mills Creative Art Council. 

“Timon of Athens” is the story of the too-generous Athenian nobleman Timon. Timon shares his wealth liberally with his “friends,” hosting lavish parties and lending financial support to their many endeavors. Apemantus warns Timonthat his friends are taking advantage of his generosity, but Timon refuses to heed the warnings, saying, “O, that men’s ears should be / To counsel deaf, but not to flattery!” 

He’s further warned by Flavius, his servant, that his wealth is dwindling. But again, Timon ignores the warnings, preferring to give money rather than his time, binding his friends to him with his generosity.

Eventually, Timon finds himself destitute and without friends to lend him their support. He leaves Athens to live in a cave. While scavenging for roots, he discovers a cache of gold, which he squanders on ill-conceived plots to ruin Athens — and the friends who betrayed him.

The play was performed by Sweet Tea’s youth company, “Green Tea.” Green Tea is a yearlong program designed to introduce 12- to 17-year-old students to the technical elements of acting and the intricacies of Shakespearean language. It culminates in a full performance. 

Sweet Tea Shakespeare Theater is known for its minimalist approach to Shakespeare productions. The group limits the use of sets, props and costumes, preferring instead to focus on the storytelling element of the production. The shows also include live music and often original songs. And unless there’s inclement weather, they perform outdoors, providing refreshments to their guests and creating the same atmosphere in which Shakespeare’s plays were originally enjoyed. 

“Timon of Athens” was performed at the historic Moulder-Warner House, owned by Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner, who is one of the founding members of the Hope Mills Creative Art Council. The house is on a spacious corner lot just off Main Street. It’s traditional white columns, hydrangeas and magnolia trees lend themselves to its idyllic charm. The members of Sweet Tea Shakespeare Theater and the Hope Mills Creative Art Council were pleased with the night’s success and are looking forward to many more joint ventures. They have a production tentatively scheduled for March 2020 and another scheduled for June.

Up next for Sweet Tea is “HamLIT,” set for Friday, Oct. 4, and Friday, Nov. 1,  at the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County. It will show Thursday, Oct. 10, at Dirtbag Ales Brewery and Taproom and Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18-19, and Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-9 at Hugger Mugger Brewing in Sanford. “HamLIT” is also set to take the stage Friday, Oct. 11; Thursday, Oct. 24;  Sat., Oct. 26, at Paddy’s; Sunday, Oct. 13, at Fainting Goat Fuquay-Varina; and Sunday, Oct. 27, at Fainting Goat in Benson

Behold follows in the lineup Dec. 5-7 and 12- 14 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Methodist University.

For ticket information visit www.sweetteashakespeare.com

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