Festival planned for Friday and Saturday
The final celebration of Newport’s sesquicentennial is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
“The highlight of the main event is just to help celebrate Newport’s 150th birthday,” said Kathy Jo Buttery, coordinator for the event. “We’re not just promoting the future of Newport, but we also like to preserve the past and it just kind of gives some of the younger generation an idea of what Newport was founded on and how they used to do things, some of the agricultural part of Newport and how Newport grew.”
Newport Heritage Days runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday with local entertainment and vendors offering a variety of food in Newport Community Park on Howard Boulevard across from Newport Town Hall.
The big day is Saturday, when a parade begins at 10 a.m. and will run from Johnson Street down Chatham Street, across the railroad tracks and up Howard Street to the town hall.
“Right now we’ve got about 60 entries, including the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band from Cherry Point and the base’s color guard,” said Buttery. “We’ll have antique cars and trucks and tractors. We’ve got some military vehicles. We’ve got some floats from different organizations. The Croatan High School marching band will be in the parade. We’ve got some horses and covered wagons. We’ve even got the Number One fire truck, the first fire truck that Newport had that’s going to be in the parade this year.”
As soon as the parade is over, starting at 11 a.m., all the festivities begin in the Newport Community Park.
“We’ve got crafters. We’ve got agricultural demonstrations,” said Buttery. “We’ve got local singers performing. We’ve got food vendors and all the antique cars, trucks and tractors that you will see in the parade will be out to the park. We have games that the parks and recreation department for Newport have put together.”
Other festival activities include heritage demonstrations, tobacco tying curing and grading, sausage making, cow milking, winemaking, blacksmithing and quilting.
Attendees young and old can take town tours for $5 and a hay ride for $1.
“The country store will have antiques on display. We’ll have a bake sale. We’ve got some hoop cheese and pickles and a quilt raffle,” said Buttery. “We have birthday T-shirts that we will be selling and the Newport Cook Book will be for sale as well.”
Proceeds from the town tour, the hay ride and the country store goes back to the Heritage Committee, which pays for the singers and other expenses to put on the festival.
The festival grounds are free and open to the public.
There will be a wide variety of food items. Holly Springs Original Free Will Baptist Church will be serving barbecue sandwiches, funnel cakes and popcorn. St. James United Methodist Church will be serving hot dogs. The Future Farmers of America chapter from West Carteret High School will be serving pork chop sandwiches and clam chowder. The Newport Alumni Association will be serving nachos and soft drinks. Also there will be Kona Ice, Crystal Coast Kettle Corn, and Pop and Nana’s Ice Cream.
In the evening Saturday, Emily Minor will perform at 6 p.m. followed by Sound Express at 7:30 p.m.
For those unable to attend, Visually Inspiring Productions has a live online feed that will be available at www.visuallyinspiringproductions.com.