Whaleyville May Day coming together

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

The village of Whaleyville has sat for more than a century, content to be an obscure, albeit quaint, farming community, but villagers are now preparing to break out and show off their home.

Whaleyville Ruritans have just about everyone in the community involved in staging the first ever, &uot;Whaleyville May Day,&uot; which will take place Saturday, May 8. The event is open to the public and those who plan to attend will have no trouble in finding the site. The entire village will be involved with booths, foods, fun and festivities all up and down the main thoroughfare, Whaleyville Boulevard (Route 13 South).

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Jeff Colley and Dean Russell, both Ruritans, are co-chairmen of the event that was devised to promote the community and its good old’ down home atmosphere.

As Colley said, the event is growing by leaps and bounds as businesses, civic groups, arts and crafters, vendors of all types and exhibits from across Hampton Roads jockey for a position at the event.

&uot;People have been tremendously supportive of our mission to promote this event,&uot; said Colley. &uot;We have so many events for people of all ages and most recently, we got &uot;Miss Pickleberry&uot; to provide games and rides for kids. Some of the games and rides include a moonwalk, Ferris wheel, pony ride, train ride, and a slide. It goes without saying that the kids will have a great time at Whaleyville Community Day!&uot;

As the youth enjoy their fun, adults will also find many entertaining events like horseshoes at the Whaleyville Community Center. The City of Suffolk is working in the community to prepare for the event, even pouring new sidewalks and installing the beautiful new streetlights that are mushrooming across the city. They even installed the horseshoe pits for May 8.

In preparing for the Whaleyville Community Day, workers made a discovery that has many people in the village looking back to the good old’ days.

&uot;We found the barbecue pit that was located on the Community Center grounds,&uot; said Russell. &uot;The barbecue was erected by the Whaleyville High School Class of 1956, and they are pretty excited that it will be out there for everyone to admire once again.&uot;

Russell added the Whaleyville Ruritan Club is interested in any information, especially photographs or a yearbook that shows the barbecue’s original condition. They are currently seeking graduates of the Class of ’56.

&uot;It is also believed there was a shelter located adjacent to the barbeque,&uot; said Russell. &uot;We would like to gather more information about the barbeque and the shelter, and possibly restore the structure.&uot;

A car show is also set for May 8 and entries for cars into the car show will be accepted up to 11a.m. that day. To ensure a spot in the show, contact Colley or Russell for an application.

There will be dozens of vendors at the site, including Betty Brinkley and her pillows, beads, wreaths and fabrics. Michelle Colley is bringing one of the newest trends, scrap booking to the event with her business, Creative Memories Scrapbooking, and Kimpert Jewelry will have a booth there with handmade jewelry available for purchase.

There will also be many exhibits like that of Blacksmith Franklin Jacksonwho will demonstrate his skills as a &uot;smithy,&uot; and Winston Robinson brings his skills in woodcrafting of birdhouses. Sharon Duggan, face painter extraordinaire, brings her face painting and airbrush tattoos to the Community Day and several business will have demonstrations including Lowe’s and their home improvement demos.

The Whaleyville Ruritans are still working on a working dog trial demonstration for the event, and those interested in showing their dogs should contact Colley or Russell. Currently, they have set competitions for the best looking dog and the ugliest dog. All well mannered pets are welcome to the Whaleyville Community Day, however, owners must take full responsibility for their pets and their behavior. All pets must be on a leash and they must be current with vaccinations.

Of course, an event of this scope takes a lot of sponsorship and Whaleyville is certainly being shown that they are no longer Suffolk’s &uot;red-headed stepchild.&uot; Along with the City of Suffolk, businesses from across Hampton Roads have stepped forward to help make the event a success, with people like Bob Ewell’s Tire Service in Portsmouth who has signed up to sponsor the main tent.

One other important event to look for at the event is the Whaleyville Volunteer Fire Department’s Fish Fry which will take place right on Route 13 at the fire station.