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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Faircloth

Elizabethtown to Celebrate 250 Years

Updated: Feb 12

Elizabethtown will be celebrating 250 years of history over the span of 2023. Several events have been planned through November, and the first will be Founder's Day scheduled for March 4.

According to organizers, the day will include a parade and a festival in honor of the men and women who helped establish Elizabethtown on the Cape Fear River. Their goal is to educate the public and interpret the lives of early settlers from 1773-1824.

A parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Town Hall to kick off Founder's Day, and some very special guests are expected to be involved in the procession.

"We are encouraging descendants of the founding fathers to enter floats or walkers in the parade, but we also want families to celebrate when they found themselves here," said Chamber Director of Communications and Marketing Terri Dennison.

Following the display, a dedication and official opening of the anniversary celebration will happen at the Farmers Market. Demonstrations of the Revolutionary War period and local vendors will be available for attendees to enjoy at the facility. Barrownburn, a traditional Celtic band, will perform from 12-3 p.m. in honor of the Scotts-Irish heritage of the original descendants.

Other events will take place every other month including interpretation, vendors, and entertainment. On May 6, the years of 1824-1873 will be highlighted by reenactments of life during the Civil War era, demonstrations of the naval stores industry, and a quilt show.

The next five decades,1874-1923, will be observed on July 8 with information on the importance of agriculture in the area, transportation on the Cape Fear River during that time period, and the impact of World War I on Elizabethtown.

On Sept. 24, the 'Homecoming' event will honor the years of 1924-1973 and will focus on the emergence of industry and leaders. The final festivities will be held in conjunction with the Porks and Beats Festival on Nov. 3-4 to bring the anniversary celebration up to modern times for the years of 1974-2023.

Parade entry applications for the March 4 event can be found at the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce, or they can be submitted online at Entries are due by Feb. 24.

Vendors applications and sponsorship opportunities for any of the anniversary proceedings can also be found on the same site.

Elizabethtown was established in 1773 and incorporated in 1895. It was named for either the sweetheart of Isaac Jones, owner of the land the town was built on, or for Queen Elizabeth I of England. The Battle of Elizabethtown was also fought at 'Tory Hole' in August of 1781.

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