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Carver’s Creek May Day Celebrations

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By Charlotte Smith

A hidden treasured community comes out in full bloom every year for the annual May Day celebrations. The citizens of Carver’s Creek, tucked in the eastern country roads of Bladen County, are a shining example of southern hospitality offering food and fellowship to all.

The crowd was filled with distinguished guests, friendly faces and loving family members. This year the focus was on the history of the Baltimore Community Center. Back in the 1940’s the building was a school. All past school staff members and students were invited to attend.

Decorated Montford Point Marine and Korean War Veteran, Mr. Henry Samuel Grange, was one of the first spectators at the event. Grange said he attended the school at the Baltimore Community Center back in 1947.

Smiles widened at the arrival of Ms. Eveleena Bryant, a retired school teacher. Ms. Bryant was one of the first teachers at the Baltimore Center school back in 1945. Ms. Bryant said she taught at the school for 15 years. Many former students of the school came out for the celebrations.

Well respected area photographer, Kenneth Armstrong was present. He captures the special event every year.

Past May Day photo by Kenneth Armstrong
Claudia Stack a documentarian and film producer along with her cinematographer and editor, Rich Gehron were on the scene. Stack produces films with a focus on schools that African American families helped to build during the segregation era.
“This is our first interview for this project,” Gehron, stated. The Baltimore Community Center will be featured in Stack’s next documentary, Lessons from the Rosenwald School. Release of the film featuring the local area will not be for a while according to Gehron.
Sondra Blanks, a Carver’s Creek citizen and volunteer at the community center said the area is still an amazing place to live. She said she wished more young people would move back into the area.
Blanks commented, “There is no place like Carver’s Creek!”

Before the May Day flag was braided with colorful ribbon and the fried chicken was served up, the crowd lined the street for the annual parade. Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy Cadet Corps lead the procession with Firefighter, Marvin Andrews, following in behind them driving the Carver’s Creek fire truck.

Bladen County Board of Commissioners, Dr. Ophelia Munns-Goins, and Arthur Bullock waved and tossed candy. Elizabethtown Town Council member, Rufus Lloy and Bladen Community College Board of Trustee, Dennis Troy were also in the parade.

Troy reminisced about meeting his wife in the very spot where he stood after the parade ended.  He said back then his wife attended third grade on the grounds and the two met at a May Day Pole Celebration.

Ms. Angelia Rhodes stated this is the 12th May Day Parade. She along with Charlotte Smith commentated the parade. View the video of the parade, now: