Ahoskie’s history on display

Published 2:27 pm Sunday, September 6, 2015

AHOSKIE – Even at 122 years-old, the town of Ahoskie is merely a “baby” when compared to the likes of other local municipalities who trace their incorporations back to the 1700’s.

However, Ahoskie’s youthfulness has not prevented it from establishing it own history and heritage. Two of its biggest accomplishments are the town remains the only one in the world with its unique name, and it is the largest municipality in the Roanoke-Chowan region.

Those facts, and more, will take center stage next weekend when the town rolls out the proverbial red carpet and welcomes thousands of guests during the 12th annual Ahoskie Heritage Day. The two-day festival (Friday-Saturday, Sept. 11-12) includes live bands on the Amphitheatre stage, plenty of food, arts and crafts vendors, amusement rides, the popular 50/50 Golf Ball Drop, Wheels of Thunder (motorcycles), antique tractor and car show, 5K run, horseshoe tournament, the annual Backyard Barbecue Cook-off (sanctioned by the North Carolina Pork Council), and a huge display of fireworks.

Friday night opens with the fabulous Embers featuring Craig Woolard at the amphitheater at 7 p.m. Friday night also features the start of the annual Backyard BBQ Cook-off, a pig-cooking competition that lasts through the night with judging on Saturday morning. Proceeds from this event benefits the Ahoskie Public Library Building Fund.

Saturday morning begins with the Vidant 5K Run and the annual Heritage parade down Main Street and to the Ahoskie Creek Recreational Complex at 10 a.m. The parade will feature District 3 State Senator Erica Smith-Ingram as the Grand Marshal, the Wheels of Thunder motorcycle ride for charity, the Buffalo Soldiers trail riding club, draft horses and wagons and several high school bands and local organizations on display. Call the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce if you would like to enter a parade unit (332-2042).

The Ahoskie Public Library’s Backyard BBQ Cook-Off has raised more than $80,000 for the Ahoskie Public Library Building Fund. Those attending the Heritage Day event on Saturday can purchase pork barbecue sandwiches ($3.50 each or two for $6), barbecue plates or by the pound ($10 each) to help support the Building Fund.

For information on becoming a sponsor of the event or to purchase tickets for BBQ plates or BBQ by the pound, contact any Ahoskie Public Library Trustee or call the Ahoskie Library at 252-332-5500.  Teams interested in cooking can contact event coordinators Trey Bryum at 252- 395-0046, Chris Slachta at 252-209-6721 or the Ahoskie Library.

All day on Saturday at the Ahoskie Creek Park there will be food and craft vendors, games, children’s rides and the Wheels of Thunder on display. The Moonshine Band will rock the afternoon from 1-4 p.m.

Adding to the “heritage” experience this year on Saturday afternoon is an exhibition and competition with the draft horses and carts. The teams will maneuver through an obstacle course performing several tasks that would have been part of their everyday work in olden days. They are judged on both time and precision. There will also be a display of various carts that were used by citizens of Ahoskie at the turn of the twentieth century.

Another exciting feature this year is the arrival of the Nucor Steel Origami Bear of Hertford County to its permanent home in Ahoskie Creek Recreational Park. This artwork, by Roanoke Chowan Community College’s Jim Messer, is an astounding 24’ long by 12’high. The artist crossed curriculums of mathematics, geometry, arts and trades, such as welding, to create a metaphor which communicates ideas that express where we want to go as a community, reaching higher levels of learning and success in education, trades and relationships. It will be a sight to behold.

The Art Show & Sale will be all day Saturday at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, featuring an all- time high 35 artists exhibiting everything from oil paintings to pottery. All displays are available for purchase and you may also enjoy the unique opportunity to talk with the artists and understand their perspectives first-hand.

Saturday night, Heritage Day patrons will dance into the evening with the sweet sounds of Steve Owens and the Summertime Band at the amphitheater (7-11 p.m.). The Town of Ahoskie will put on a huge fireworks display during one of the band’s breaks. The fireworks show is sponsored by Southern Bank, Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce, Ahoskie Town Council, and Ahoskie Tourism Development Authority.


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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