Sesquicentennial Opening Ceremony February 15

  (Brevard, NC) - The Opening Ceremony of the Transylvania County Sesquicentennial will be held Tuesday evening February 15.  The public is invited to attend the ceremony beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the main courtroom of the Courthouse in downtown Brevard.  The front doors of the Courthouse will open at 5:00 p.m. and attendees will have an opportunity to view a traveling display "Living Off the Land" prior to the beginning of the formal ceremony.  The display was created by the Transylvania Heritage Museum in partnership with Transylvania County as part of its Sesquicentennial Celebration.
   The February 15 event serves as the formal ceremony to kickoff the County's year long celebration highlighting the 150 years from the county's founding in 1861, through 2011.  Anna Yount is co-chair of the opening ceremony committee and said "there is a real significance to the date for this ceremony.  February 15 is the actual day that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the legislation that formed Transylvania County from Henderson and Jackson counties.  This is a once in a lifetime event for Transylvania County.  Being at this opening event will have real meaning for all who attend."
   Joseph P. Jordan introduced the act to establish the County and chose the name "Transylvania" - a name derived from trans ("across") and sylva ("woods").  Much more on the history of the County will be on display at the opening ceremony.  The exhibit will be in the main corridor on the first floor of the Courthouse and traces the economic development of the County from the 1800's until today.  A book from 1861, Public Laws of the State of North Carolina Passed by the General Assembly will also be on display.  This book has the actual text of the legislation forming the County along with other legislation from the 1860-61 session.
   At 5:50 p.m. church bells throughout the County will ring to signify the official opening of the 150th year.  Once attendees view the historical display, they proceed to the upstairs courtroom for the formal presentation.  Reverend Marcus Dodson is composing a special invocation for the ceremony.  The invocation will be followed by remarks from elected officials and a multi-media show that serves as a pictorial history of Transylvania County.  This multi-media show will be the first screening of a documentary style program that highlights the 150 years of the County.  There will then be a reading of the original proclamation forming the County.  The formal presentation is expected to take about one hour.
   Mike Hawkins, chair of the Sesquicentennial Steering Committee, said "we are extremely excited that the opening event has finally arrived.  After 15 months of planning for the Sesquicentennial year, events will now begin coming one after another and the opening event promises to be a great kickoff.  It will be one of the really important evenings in the life of our County."
   The opening ceremony will be broadcast via live video to Brevard High School and Rosman High School.  The Steering Committee wants to ensure that as many residents as possible can participate in this meaningful and historic evening.  Immediately following the ceremony the Courthouse bell will ring 150 times.
   Members of the public will be able to access the ceremony in four different ways:
     -  In person, at the Courthouse
     -  Over the radio, on WSQL-AM 1240
     -  Via video simulcast, at Brevard High School & Rosman High School media centers   
     -  Via live internet stream, at
   For additional information please call the Transylvania County Administrative offices, at (828) 884-3271 or visit the official website at

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