There’s still life in small towns

Published 10:11 am Thursday, May 23, 2013

Those in Conway should be proud of a job well done.

On Saturday, the town celebrated its 100th birthday with the Centennial Celebration. The culmination of one year’s work paid off big for the town, Conway’s Centennial Celebration Committee, and, most of all, those who call Conway home.

The town of Conway was chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly on Feb. 27, 1913.

The community’s roots in Northampton County reach as far back as the 1700s. The town at least had two names before it was Conway—first, Kirby Township and then Martin’s Crossroads.

Like so many other neighboring towns, it was the railroad that breathed life into the community and solidified its name. Conway came from the name of a relative of a chief railroad official.

The town recognized the official incorporation date in February with a formal celebration with a reading of its charter by Mark D. Martin, Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

But Saturday’s celebration was the real blow out, the real deal, the big time for the town, all of its citizens and those from the surrounding areas.

Your town will only turn a century old once and if you’re going to do it you might as well do it exactly the way Conway did it.

A 5K, a parade with detailed floats and well thought out floats, contests, musical entertainment, displays of the town’s history, vendors, activities for children and families, and to cap off the day fireworks; the celebration had it all.

I’m sure for many who attended the Conway event it was a pleasant surprise to see something on this level right in their backyard.

There’s always this notion that there’s nothing to do in small towns, there’s no hope, no future. Small towns are not for everyone, but for those who stay, those that decide to stick it out, who decide to raise a family there—there’s life, there’s hope and there’s a future.

Conway’s Centennial Celebration was an example of this, an illustration that dreams thrive in small communities.

Like I opened this column, those involved with coordinating this event should be proud for what they did for the Conway community.

They dreamed big and Conway’s citizens reaped, as well as visitors to the town on Saturday, the reward.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.