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Heritage Day features variety of events

Ahoskie Town Manager Tony Hammond emerges from the “dunk tank” at last year’s Heritage Day Festival. The event returns this Friday and Saturday (Sept. 10-11) and features a wide variety of activities. File photo by Cal Bryant

AHOSKIE – It has been referred to as Ahotskey, Ohoskie, Hoskie and by numerous other versions of its name.

No matter how it’s spelled, Ahoskie is “The Only One” of that name in the entire world and the town will celebrate its proud past and exciting future during the seventh annual Heritage Day Festival on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10-11.

Admission is free and so is the parking.

“We’re back, bigger and better than ever,” said Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn. “We feel we have something for everyone, young and old, at Heritage Day, an event that honors those who settled here centuries ago and help shape this town and our local area. It’s that tradition, that proud heritage, which we celebrate today.”

No matter what type of entertainment one seeks, Heritage Day has tons to offer…from music, to amusement rides, 3-on-3 basketball, horseshoes competition, horse drawn equipment/antique tractor demonstrations, children’s games, a huge display of fireworks (9:15 p.m. on Friday) and even an event that honors our furry, four-legged friends with the annual PAWS Dog Show.

If one seeks to satisfy their hunger pains, Heritage Day features 14 food vendors. Those menus include ‘burgers, hot dogs, apple/potato jacks, pretzels, nachos, fried crab, Italian sausage, barbecue, chicken, fish and barbecued bologna along with plenty of soft drinks, smoothies, orangeade, lemonade and home-churned ice cream.

Hunting for unique items? If so, be sure to browse the display areas of numerous arts and crafts vendors.

There promises to be an assortment of games for the children on Saturday afternoon.

For the adults looking for some innocent fun, be sure to stop by the Dunking Booth sponsored by the Women’s Division of the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce. There, from 12 noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday, local business leaders will sit on the “wet seat”, waiting for patrons to send them for a plunge.

And what’s an event without a parade? Heritage Day has one beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, traveling west on Main Street. Miss North Carolina – Adrienne Leigh Core – will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshall.

The annual Heritage Day 5K Run, sponsored by ViQuest, leads off the parade (starting point is in front of the Ahoskie Town Hall).

Another popular event at Heritage Day is the annual Backyard BBQ Cook-off. That is scheduled to get underway at 7 a.m. on Saturday where the competitors will fire-up their grills and began the slow process of roasting whole hogs over hot coals. Once the cooking process is complete, all that pork will be finely chopped, seasoned and served with all the traditional trimmings. Proceeds benefit the Ahoskie Public Library.

Heritage Day also features an Art Show at the Fellowship Hall of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. That Saturday event runs from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Also scheduled on Saturday is a flagpole dedication ceremony at the new Ahoskie Creek ball fields. That event, featuring State Senator Ed Jones and members of the local Woodmen of the World Lodge, will take place at 12 noon.

Friday’s featured musical group is The Pizazz Band. They will perform on the Ahoskie Amphitheater stage from 7-11 p.m.

Saturday’s musical line-up at the Amphitheater includes local DJ Jay Jenkins, the Double Eagle Band (12 noon – 4 p.m.) and The Band of Oz (7-11 p.m.).

All events, except for the art show and parade, will take place at the Ahoskie Creek Recreational Complex, located off West Memorial Drive behind Roanoke-Chowan Hospital.

“The success of this festival depends on the hard work of a small group of people who comprise the Ahoskie Heritage Days Festival Committee, but most importantly it depends upon the support of our citizens,” Mayor Blackburn concluded. “We welcome our local citizens, both here in Ahoskie and all over Hertford County and the Roanoke-Chowan region, to come out and enjoy an atmosphere of family fun.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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