Heritage Day labeled successful

Published 9:08 am Tuesday, September 15, 2009

AHOSKIE – Under picture-perfect skies and autumn-like weather, Ahoskie Heritage Day completed its annual two-day run here Saturday.

And, according to event organizers, the sixth annual festival exceeded all expectations.

“Despite a sluggish economy, we were very pleased with this year’s Heritage Day,” Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn said. “The number of vendors was down a bit from last year and there was a slight decline in overall attendance, but given the shape we’ll all in financially right now we were thrilled with the response we had and the enthusiasm of the crowd. Everyone seemed to have a great time, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Blackburn was especially appreciative of the partnership the town experienced with the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce.

“We were delighted with the efforts put in by the Chamber,” she noted. “They pitched in with the set-up and then ran the welcome tent as well as the dunking booth, which, by the way, was a big hit.”

The Mayor added that the Heritage Day Art Show, held at the Episcopal Church fellowship hall, came close to enjoying a record number of entries and spectators.

Meanwhile, the Heritage Day Backyard BBQ Cook-off welcomed a record number of teams, all combining their “cue” for a plate dinner that raised money for the Ahoskie Library Building Fund.

KC and the BBQ Boys won the event. No Left Overs and Brown’s BBQ respectively finished second and third. The Sponsor’s Choice Award was earned by No Left Overs.

Over in the Heritage Day horse shoe pits, Clifton Vaughan teamed with Chris Bell to win the first place trophy. The team of Mike Everett and Allen Turner placed second with James Gilliam and Phillip “Shotgun” Bell finishing third.

While those events were developing, the crowd circled the Heritage Day grounds where numerous events and displays were offered, including a dog show hosted by PAWS of Hertford County.

“We received some positive comments from the arts/crafts vendors and the food vendors,” Blackburn said. “That tells me we’re on the right path in making Heritage Day the best it can be.”

The day began with a bang with the annual Heritage Day parade and the fun continued until 11 p.m. Saturday night. The Navy Rock Band and the Coastline Band kept the crowd entertained from mid Saturday afternoon until the close of the event. On Friday night, that musical honor went to the Band of Oz.

Blackburn stressed that none of the event’s success would be possible without the town’s hard-working employees.

“We are fortunate to have the best employees in the world,” she said. “They don’t complain…they just work.”

If there was a downside, it came with the lack of carnival rides.

“The carnival people just didn’t follow through,” Blackburn said. “That was very unfortunate.”

Plans are already underway for the 2010 Ahoskie Heritage Day.