By Leyton Ezzell
Founders’ Day is when the people of the Town of Elizabethtown come together to honor the town’s first establishing residents, “especially those who fought the British to gain Independence.” In 2023, the town is hosting various events to celebrate its 250th anniversary.
The kick-off to months of celebration in the small town displayed the history of the revolutionary period in association with the Sons of The American Revolution, or the SAR, an organization dedicated to preserving history and finding the family trees of Americans back to the Revolutionary War. The Le Marquis de Lafayette chapter of the SAR traveled from Fayetteville to show off different tools and weapons used in the American Revolution.
David Dowless Jr., president of the Le Marquis de Lafayette chapter, was asked why he thought this type of history was important to preserve, and he responded with, “People forget their family’s story. My 7th great grandfather fought at the battle of Elizabethtown and many other battles. It’s important to remember what everyone did to create this country. It also recognizes youth programs and things like Boy Scouts.”
According to a publication by Terri Dennison, Town of Elizabethtown Public Relations Officer, the anniversary celebrations and events will continue with events every other month, including interpretation, vendors, and entertainment. On May 6, the next 50-year period (1824-1873) will be celebrated with a demonstration of what a Naval Store is, an interpretation of the Civil War, and a quilt show. On July 8, the years 1874-1923 will be highlighted with information about the importance of agriculture in our area, transportation on the Cape Fear River, and the impact of World War I. The September 23 event is being called a “Homecoming” and will focus on 1923-1973. It will focus on our emerging industry and leaders. The final event will occur in conjunction with the Pork & Beats Festival on November 3 & 4 and will focus on modern times.
Vendor applications, sponsorship opportunities and parade entries can be found at https://elizabethtownnc.org/visitors/250th_celebration/
The 250th Committee welcomes any additional ideas and suggestions. Please contact Terri Dennison at 910-862-4368 for more information.