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Beale featured at Chamber banquet

MURFREESBORO – A major tourist attraction for the local area will be the subject of the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet.

Roanoke Rapids Mayor Drewry Beale will serve as the featured speaker at the April 18 event, set for a 6 p.m. start in the Chowan Room at Thomas Cafeteria on the campus of Chowan College.

Beale will bring Murfreesboro Chamber members and guests up to date on Randy Parton’s plans to develop “Carolina Crossroads” n an entertainment and shopping district now under construction off I-95 just south of Roanoke Rapids.

Randy Parton is the brother of country music legend Dolly Parton. Along with little sister Stella, the Parton family will occupy the first of eight music theatres planned for Carolina Crossroads.

As part of his presentation, Mayor Beale will show graphics of the theme park, hotels, theatres, shopping venues and other attractions planned for the site.

The initial phase of the project is projected to open in 2007. At full operating capacity, the 1,000 acre park and accompanying businesses is projected to employ approximately 30,000 individuals.

A revolving cast of musicians will perform at Carolina Crossroads’ theaters year round, including Dolly Parton and other very high-profile artists, drawing tourists to support the retail district. Some of those concerts are planned for this summer in an outdoor arena. The first is planned for June 3 when “Big and Rich” come to town.

Tickets to the April 18 Chamber banquet are now on sale for $20 each. Reservations need to made no later than Wednesday, April 12 as the college staff must order supplies well in advance due to the Easter holiday.

Advance tickets are available from Chamber of Commerce directors or at the Chamber office located inside the Roberts-Vaughan Village Center on Main Street.

In addition to the meal and the guest speaker, the banquet will feature a social hour and silent auction beginning at 6 p.m. The dinner starts at 7 p.m.

For more information, contact the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce at 398-4886.