Heritage – Woodland style

Published 9:46 am Thursday, October 19, 2017

WOODLAND – An estimated 250 to 300 people turned out for Woodland’s first Heritage Day event, according to Town Mayor Ken Manuel. The event held on October 14 at the Woodland Community Park featured a variety of food and craft vendors as well as activities for all ages.

The event got underway on Saturday morning with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the town’s new playground equipment, which was donated by the Northampton County Board of Commissioners after a written request by Manuel last year. He also acknowledged the many other people who came together to make the playground a reality.

“The installation of the playground equipment could not have been completed without the hard work of our Public Works Crew, consisting of Perry Lee Collier and Jessica Griffey,” Manuel said. “We also want to thank Lauren Morris and her organization, Health Matters, an affiliate of the Center for Disease Control, which donated the wood chips and soft rubber material for the playground. Additionally, Ms. Morris also put us in contact with Mr. Bill Ellis, a state certified playground installer from Kinston, NC, who donated much of his time and heavy equipment to assist us in assembling the apparatus. Lastly, a debt of gratitude is extended to the 20 volunteers who came out last month to help us assemble and erect the equipment.”

After the dedication, the day’s activities were in full swing. Mayor Manuel said one of the day’s most popular events was the “Cops vs Kids” basketball game. Deputies from the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office participated with a group of teenagers from the community.

“The Cops vs Kids basketball game went over really well,” he explained. “That was an awesome thing.”

A small petting zoo, sponsored by Cooperative Extension, was popular with the younger children, the mayor added. Other activities included a bounce house, pony rides, sack races, face painting, a life-size Hungry Hippos game, and a basketball speed shooting contest.

Manuel also said raffles held throughout the day were well-received by the crowd. Audrey Hardy, the Community Health Coordinator of the Roanoke Valley Community Health Initiative, donated different prizes to be given away. These prizes included a wide range of items such as bicycles, a George Foreman grill, a Britta water system, and sports equipment.

“We were actually raffling off prizes for young people as well as adults,” Manuel said.

To promote the “heritage” part of the event’s name, a history tent was set up containing a multitude of pictures of both the town and its people throughout the years. A few historians clad in authentic historical attire were on hand to talk with people visiting the tent.

The event was put together by Woodland Community Outreach, Inc. which is a nonprofit organization founded in 2016 comprised of a group of citizens from the town and the surrounding area.

“The whole purpose of Woodland Community Outreach is to sponsor different kinds of special events and other recreational activities and things for the enhancement of everyone in our community,” Manuel said of the group. “I’m very proud of everyone. It was definitely a team effort.”

Manuel said he was thankful for everyone who helped make the event possible, and was excited about how the day turned out.

“We had many more people than we had originally thought we would have,” he explained. “We just weren’t sure with this being out first time out, but it was just a wonderful, wonderful thing for Woodland.”