Cleveland gears up for Heritage Day

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin
CLEVELAND ó This town’s gearing up for its first Heritage Day.
Commissioner Mary Frank “Frankie” Fleming-Adkins asked fellow board members Monday night to authorize up to $5,000 of the $18,000 allocated to the Park Committee for the festival, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 18, from noon until 6 p.m.
Mayor Jim Brown, noting that he wasn’t questioning her request, asked if she had developed a budget for the festival.
Fleming-Adkins said she didn’t expect Heritage Day to generate a lot of revenue its first year. There are, however, expected to be some venders who will pay a fee to set up at the festival, she said.
Already, Fleming-Adkins said some conflicts for the third Saturday in October have come up. “I’m not saying it’s going to be cancelled,” she said, adding that it probably won’t be that large this year.
The money allocated for Heritage Day will be used to pay someone to do the sound and a pianist, Fleming-Adkins said. If she is able to get the group she wants, she said they will probably perform for free.
Brown wanted to know if any of the vendors would require insurance. Fleming-Adkins said if any did, the individual vendors would provide it and not the town.
Cleveland Elementary School has already signed up to be part of Heritage Day, she said. Pumpkin-painting will be one of the activities along with horse rides and dancers.
Brown asked if the 6 p.m. ending time would have the festival going until after dark. Fleming-Adkins said she didn’t think so as the scheduled Daylight Savings Time change is not until the following weekend.
“I’m hoping it’s going to be cool,” she said, “and I’m hoping it doesn’t rain.”
One of the events planned for the festival is the presentation of an official document proclaiming Cleveland as a twin of Killyleagh, northern Ireland. Killyleagh officials have also written a letter to the Cleveland Town Board offering congratulations on the town’s 125th anniversary this year.
Fleming-Adkins and Commissioner John I. Steele, whose e-mail correspondence and friendship with Killyleagh town official John Huddleston led to the twinning, were among 15 Third Creek Presbyterian Church choir members who visited the town earlier this year ó performing concerts at Down Patrick Cathedral in County Down, where St. Patrick was buried, and the Stormont parliament building in Belfast.
Fleming-Adkins, who heads up the Cleveland Park Committee, said members who reorganized the committee five years ago set a goal of having at least two festivals a year. The annual Spring Festival has been held for five years now. “We’ve got that under our belts,” she said.
Brown said he ran into West Rowan Band Director Chris Beck at a ballgame, who said he was pleased with how smoothly everything went at the Spring Festival.
Fleming-Adkins said she had suggested that the band participate in Heritage Day to raise funds. Even if it’s on a different evening, Brown said it would be nice if the full band or jazz band held a concert at the park.
The Heritage Day celebration is the featured article in the town’s September newsletter, which asks for church groups and nonprofit organizations to get involved with the event. Heritage-type crafters such as basket-makers, potters and quilters are being solicited for the festival along with horse-drawn plows, antique tractors and other old-time agricultural items.
Fleming-Adkins is also looking for someone with an apple cider mill.
Anyone with suggestions on Cleveland’s first Heritage Day is asked to call her at 704-278-2286 or Gwen Graham at 704-278-4128.