Heritage Day plans coming together

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 23, 2004

AHOSKIE – Plans for the first-ever Ahoskie Heritage Day are quickly coming together.

The event, set for Oct. 9, will be set aside for all citizens and visitors to help Ahoskie celebrate its long and distinguished heritage as well as helping the town plan for an exciting future.

&uot;Unlike events that take place within one specific area of the town where many venues are grouped around a central location, Ahoskie Heritage Day will be an event taking place all over our town,&uot; said Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn. &uot;It will be a day where businesses, churches, civic groups and others, including our citizens, can celebrate who they are by holding sales, specials, fundraisers and other events.&uot;

She continued, &uot;This will be a day where we encourage everyone to come to Ahoskie to shop, eat, enjoy good fellowship and entertainment and just to have fun. The possibilities for what everyone in town can do to participate in this day are limited only by their inability to dream.&uot;

What makes Heritage Day even more unique is the fact that it coincides with two historic events already scheduled for early October – the Atlantic District Fair and the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce’s Indian Summer Days Arts and Craft Show and Sale.

The 84th annual Atlantic District Fair is set for Oct. 5-9 at the ADF Fairgrounds located off Holloman Ave. near the old R.L. Vann School. As it has over years past, the Fair includes harness racing, agricultural displays, amusement rides and plenty of great food.

Over at the Town of Ahoskie gym (the old Ahoskie High School), the 34th annual Indian Summer Days event is set for Oct. 8-9. Hours are 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 8) and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 9). Craftsmen are encouraged to display their wares at the event. They can do so by contacting the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce at 332-2042.

Meanwhile, Heritage Day organizers are planning to compliment these two historic events with numerous other activities. Already scheduled are a 5K run, hosted by the Viquest Center, a Health Fair/Exhibit sponsored by Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, an Antique Auto Show at No Man’s Land Park on Main Street and a Vaudeville Show at the Gallery Theatre.

Special activities for children include a pie eating contest, bicycle decoration and parade, horseback riding and sack/relay races.

Other special activities now in the planning stages include a slow-pitch softball, organized through the Ahoskie Parks & Recreation Department, and a pet contest sponsored by Barks-N-Bubbles Pet Shop.

Blackburn reported that the faith-based community is also planning special events in conjunction with Heritage Day. To date, the Ahoskie First Baptist Church has committed to hosting a pumpkin decorating contest for children. Meanwhile, the Ahoskie Presbyterian Church has promised to play hymns on the hour through their chime system.

&uot;Several other churches have indicated to me that they are exploring ideas on their involvement and we will pass along that information on these events as they develop,&uot; said Blackburn.

Those wishing to host a yard sale or to display &uot;vendor-type&uot; items will be allowed to do so at a pre-designated spot on Main Street. Call the Town Hall (332-5146) for details.

Downtown business owners are currently working together to plan a day filled with shopping, entertainment and fun for all ages.

Food is always a major drawing card for any type of special event and Ahoskie Heritage Day will be no exception. The Ahoskie Rotary Club will kick-off the day with a pancake and sausage breakfast followed by the Ahoskie Kiwanis Club offering chicken pastry.

&uot;With the support of area businesses, churches, organizations and citizens combined with the two wonderful historic events already existing here in our town, we have the opportunity to do something in Ahoskie that’s never been done before,&uot; noted Mayor Blackburn. &uot;The success of this day is in the hands of each of us and our ability to be creative.&uot;

Blackburn stressed a need for volunteers and hosts for various activities. Those wishing to participate in this manner are urged to contact the Town Hall.

Last week, the Ahoskie Town Council voted unanimously to sponsor Heritage Day. With that sponsorship in place, Blackburn and other Heritage Day organizers can accept financial donations to the event and place that money into a special portion of the town’s budget.

&uot;We will be sending out information to all businesses and organizations here in town asking for whatever help they can muster in order to make Heritage Day something we can all be proud of,&uot; concluded the Mayor.