- Tuesday, 03 September 2019
- Written by Hank Parfitt
By 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.
- Tuesday, 27 August 2019
- Written by Jenna Shackelford
The 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 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 University 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 high-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.