During the Revolutionary War, the French played a huge part in securing victory for the United States. One man more than any other stands out as a hero and a leader, our town's namesake, the Marquis de Lafayette. In honor of this hero of the American Revolution, and our namesake, starting Sept. 6, the Lafayette Birthday Celebration ensues.
To kick-off the celebration, Lieutenant General Russel L. Honorè will speak as part of the Lafayette Leaderhip Speaker Series. General Honorè is famous for his management of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. He is now a public speaker about emergency preparedness and leadership in modern day America. The lecture is free to the public and is on Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. until 11:50 a.m. in the Reeves Auditorium at Methodist University, 5400 Ramsey St.
There are a number of events over the weekend for people to enjoy. They are family friendly, and the majority are completely free to the public.
"There is the Lafayette Trail tour where people retrace the steps of Lafayette's visit in 1825. Kids can go with their parents to Wine, Paint and Canvas and paint an Eiffel Tower. For people who like sports there is a 3K pooch run and fencing - an open fencing tournament at the All American Fencing Academy. There is something for everyone. There will be sidewalk sales and entertainment in the streets," Hank Parfitt, the event organizer said.
Wine, Paint and Canvas will offer the paint your own Eiffel Tower from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Sept. 8. It costs $30 for adults and $20 for children. For more information, call 483-0433. Wine and Canvas is located at 3350 Footbridge Ln.
The sidewalk sale is also on Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., all throughout downtown Fayetteville. For more information, visit www.lafayettesociety.org/sidewalk-sale.php.
The 3K Dog Jog and a 5K Road Race will begin behind the Medical Arts Building at Hay Street and Bragg Boulevard. The race starts at 9 a.m. on Sept. 8. The Lafayette Open Fencing Tournament is the fourth annual tournament. It begins at 10 a.m. and will last until 3 p.m. at the All American Fencing Academy, 201 Donaldson St. For more information, call 644-0137.
The Marquis de Lafayette is a huge part of American History, and though cities all over the United States bear his name, Fayetteville, N.C., is the only one ever visited by the man himself. One of the most popular events of the birthday celebration each year is the guided tour of the Lafayette trail. "Bruce Daws, the city historian and commander of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry, which is the second oldest private militia in the nation, will guide people through the route Lafayette took when he visited Fayetteville. He will be wearing the uniform that the militia would have been wearing in 1825, when Lafayette visited." Parfitt said. Before the tour there will be coffee and croissants and afterwards there will be a great lunch catered by Circa 1800. A new addition to the tour this year is the local landmark The Cool Springs Tavern. Tickets are $3 and are available by calling 678-8899 or at City Center Gallery & Books at 112 Hay St.
For more information, visit www.lafayettesociety.org/events.php.