Hurley Park celebrates spring

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 11, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — People couldn’t stop smiling Sunday during the Hurley Park Spring Celebration.
The sun was shining, flowers were in full bloom, music filled the air and there was plenty of Cheerwine to go around.
“What better place to celebrate spring,” Salisbury resident Beth Foreman said. “It’s a chance for people to be very relaxed and enjoy the weather.”
Foreman, who attends the event every year, brought her grandsons Elijah Foreman, 5, and David Mayl, 12, to hear their grandfather Bob play trombone with the Salisbury Brass.
Melissa Drye said her 5-year-old daughter Kaitlin also enjoyed listening to the group perform.
“Her and her dad used to go the symphony together,” she said.
Drye said Kaitlin with her 2-year-old sister, McKenzie, had also enjoyed a carriage ride and free snacks.
And she took a time out to snap a couple of pictures of the girls.
“I wanted to take advantage of the pretty foliage,” she said.
Kristin and Anthony Beaver of Chine Grove brought their sons Andrew, 8, and Corey, 13, to the celebration for the first time this year.
“It’s really nice, there’s a good sense of community,” Kristian Beaver said. “Every community could use something like this.”
Kristin Beaver said she enjoyed a performance by magician Buddy Farnan, but her sons were more mesmerized by the Alberti Flea Circus.
Jim Alberti entertained groups with his “fleas,” that did tricks including shooting out of a cannon and high diving.
All that was needed to enjoy the show was a little imagination. There are no trained fleas.
Andrew, who waited about 30 minutes to see the flea circus and assisted Alberti with one of the tricks, didn’t actually see a flea, but he’s pretty sure it landed on his shirt.
Eight-year-old Ben Blumenthal could relate.
“When the flea shot out of the cannon I didn’t see him shoot out, but I heard him make a splash,” he said.
Alberti’s grandfather started the flea circus, but after he died the circus shut down.
He decided to bring it back to life while working as a teacher University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 1987.
“I never intended to be a career teacher so I decided it was time to leave and do something else,” he said.
Alberti said the project was a labor of love between him and his adopted son, Darryl.
“When I mentioned the flea circus his ears perked up, so we built it together,” he said.
This was the first year Alberti performed at the Spring Celebration.
The Salisbury Symphony Orchestra’s musical petting zoo is no stranger to the event.
Linda Jones, the symphony’s executive director, and Susan Trivette, education director, set up a tent to let children try their hand at instruments such as violin and flute.
Adams Stage Lines of Concord provided about 25 horse carriage rides up and down Annadale Avenue.
The Salisbury Fire Department was on hand to give children an up close look at their truck.
Carolina Artists were also there selling paintings, birdhouses and a variety of other works.
Elfi Trott, an artist from the group, sat in a lawn chair enjoying the clear skies Sunday.
As a landscape painter, she draws much of her inspiration from places like Hurley Park.
The entire event was free. And those who stopped by the park Sunday got to take it all in with a bag of popcorn washed down with an ice-cold cup of Cheerwine.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.