Transylvania County Celebrates 150th Birthday

The planning for the Transylvania County 150th Birthday Celebration has been going on for months and now the centerpiece event of the Sesquicentennial year is just a month away. The celebration will begin at 10 am on Saturday, September 3 on Main Street in downtown Brevard. The day’s many signature activities will run until 5 pm and will be followed by a special concert and fireworks extravaganza on the campus of Brevard College from 7 – 10 pm.

Mike Hawkins, Chair of the Sesquicentennial Steering Committee looks forward to a memorable day. “What a Sesquicentennial year we have had so far! With the various community center events, the many activities in the school system, all of the great arts and recreational events, the many historical presentations and projects, and the ongoing visioning project, it has been a very full six months since our Opening Ceremony on February 15. We estimate around 10,000 people have participated in one or more of the Sesquicentennial activities so far, and we are only about half way through. The birthday celebration on September 3 is really shaping up as a day that people will remember for years to come. Under Leigh Trapp’s direction, a group of very hard working volunteers have designed a celebration fitting for a 150-year anniversary. It will pay tribute to community festivals of yesteryear, while celebrating who we are today, and looking forward to who we could become tomorrow.”

Leigh Trapp has spearheaded this full day of true celebration for the County. According to Trapp “this is one day in 150 years and there’s a lot to celebrate. We want to showcase our history and more importantly our County’s resiliency as we move forward. The team has some surprises in store also – there will certainly be a wow factor to the day!  This is a collaborative event with Farm Farm, Transylvania Heritage Museum Founder's Day and the Celebration Committee all working together to provide a meaningful experience for the public.” 

The day-long celebration will take place on several blocks of Main Street. The venues include Experience Transylvania - a series of interactive exhibits on the history of the county. Communication Through the Ages will allow visitors to interact with other generations for a peek into other timeframes. Transportation and industry will be highlighted as well.   The memory tent and community vision board recognize both the past and the future of the county. 

Libby Freeman is Chair of the Events Committee for the Sesquicentennial and says “planning for the birthday celebration has been going on for months and months. As a fourth generation resident of Transylvania County, I had no idea when I was growing up that I would have the honor of helping to plan the 150th celebration of our county.  

With the generosity of corporate sponsors and the numerous volunteer hours it takes to produce an event of this magnitude, I think our county residents and visitors will have an experience they will never forget.  We are certainly very fortunate to have someone with the knowledge and expertise that Leigh Trapp has producing this event. Madrid Zimmerman is also on the committee and all of her festival experience for the Heart of Brevard is so beneficial.”

In addition to the experiential exhibits which are unique to this sesquicentennial event the day will also offer more traditional activities like bingo, square dancing, and children’s games. The 150th Cake Cutting Ceremony is a birthday tradition and this one offers fun and surprises. Trapp says that there will be plenty of music, free popcorn, ice cream and lemonade on hand as well.

Farm Fair celebrates local producers from 9 am – 2 pm at the American Legion Building and Founders Day will take place at the Transylvania Heritage Museum on Main St. Founder's Day includes genealogy displays, Cherokee dancers and civil war re-enactments. There will be a selection of diverse activities for residents and visitors to share and celebrate.

That evening Brevard College will welcome the celebration to campus. The evening will feature music by Brevard Community Band and Brevard College’s Music Department students. The public is invited to come early at 6:30 pm to picnic. At approximately 7 pm, there will be a free Edwin McCain concert sponsored by the City of Brevard. Edwin McCain is a frequent visitor to Transylvania County and fans will enjoy a concert to close out a special day for the County. At 9:00 pm the 150th Birthday Celebration will be capped off with a Multi-Media Fireworks Extravaganza sponsored in part by Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company.

Trapp says a special thanks goes out to Brevard native, John Felty, owner of Mountain Song Productions who is overseeing production of the evening’s concert and festivities. “John creates such amazing musical events and productions for this county. We are so fortunate that he’s been so willing to collaborate with our team to insure the evening’s events are special,” said Trapp.
Trapp says “we want everyone to be treated to something really special that honors our County’s past and creates new memories for the future.” 

The event has already and will continue to require a group of committed volunteers.  There will be a variety of fun 3-hour volunteer shifts the day of the event.  Those interested can sign up via www.TC150.com. The Transylvania County 150th Sesquicentennial is a year-long county celebration. For more information visit www.TC150.com.

Parking for Edwin McCain Concert and Fireworks at Brevard College:
Because Brevard College will be in session and the college campus parking lots will be filled with student/faculty vehicles, no campus parking will be available on site. Residents and visitors are encouraged to park in one of the nearby parking lots and walk the short distance from the surrounding parking lots to the campus. Police and volunteers will be on hand to direct traffic. All residents and visitors are encouraged to get to Brevard College’s campus early for a good seat on the lawns and the soccer field at Brevard College.

Schedule of Events for September 3rd:
Downtown Brevard: 10am-5pm
9am-2pm 3rd Annual Farm Fair: Celebrating Our Local Producers at The American Legion Building (55 East Jordan Street)

10am-5pm Founders Day at the Transylvania Heritage Museum:
Cherokee Presentations, Genealogy Displays, Crafters, Civil War Re-enactment Camp, and more! (189 West Main Street)

10am-5pm Experience Transylvania: A series of interactive exhibits where you
can experience our history

10am-4pm Bingo

10am-5pm Heritage Pavilion: Demonstrations and Performances

Square Dancing • Live Heritage Music All Day

11am-2pm Traditional Kids’ Games

11pm-3pm Free Popcorn, Ice cream and Lemonade

2pm 150th Cake Cutting Ceremony


Brevard College

You are invited to come down to Brevard College early to picnic. Free music will begin at 6:30pm

7:00pm FREE Edwin McCain Concert
Sponsored by the City of Brevard

9pm Multi-Media Fireworks Extravaganza sponsored in part by Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company
Featuring Brevard Community Band and Brevard College’s Music Department Students


 

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