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Rain fails to dampen local spirit

AHOSKIE – The show did indeed go on.

Despite intervention from Mother Nature, the town of Ahoskie rolled out a soggy red carpet last week and entertained its citizens and visitors with three major events n Atlantic District Fair, Heritage Day and Indian Summer Days.

While the crowds weren’t as large as expected due to the sometimes wet, always cloudy and damp weather, local officials were pleased.

Heritage Day, now in its third year, got off to a dry start with Thursday night’s Gospel Fest. Of course, the rain came on Friday, putting a damper on that night’s festivities, but even the wet stuff failed to flood the overall spirit of the occasion.

“I was so proud of the way different clubs and organizations came together to help one another,” Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn said. “We had to rethink some things due to the weather. What that process produced was the Kiwanis Club helping out the Jaycees and the Chamber of Commerce helping out the hospital. That’s what it’s all about….helping others when the chips are down.”

Mayor Blackburn was making reference to a big night of activities planned by the Jaycees on Friday. That outdoor event, featuring the Pizazz Band, was moved indoors to the Ahoskie Kiwanis Club. On Saturday, the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce’s Indian Summer Days event inside the old gym graciously made room for a Health Expo sponsored by Roanoke-Chowan Hospital.

“This is the first time we’ve had to deal with the weather, but that’s what happens to those who plan outdoor events,” Blackburn said. “We made some adjustments and moved on.”

The Mayor continued, “All in all, I thought things went very well in spite of the weather. The (Atlantic District) Fair enjoyed some good weather in the early going; Indian Summer Days was once again a success and we dodged the raindrops and offered our citizens and our visitors a chance to enjoy all that Ahoskie has to offer. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves.”

One of the newest events added to Ahoskie Heritage Day was a demonstration of antique farming equipment plus a look at the mode of travel of yesteryear n horse drawn carriages. That event, complete with a pig picking, was held in the Ahoskie “buyout” area. Shuttle service between the Heritage Day/Indian Summer Days event site on West Main Street to the buyout area was provided by old-fashioned hayrides.

Additionally, the Ahoskie Historic Preservation Committee experienced a good turnout to their display inside the old Ahoskie High School Band Building. There, sales were brisk of copies of old photos from the town as well as old parking meters that once adorned the downtown business district.

An Art Show (at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church Fellowship Hall) and Pumpkin Decorating Contest (at First Baptist Church) were also featured attractions during Heritage Day.

Russell Allen of ViQuest said he was pleased with the inaugural Heritage Day 5K Run/Walk sponsored by his employer. Ahoskie Recreation Department Director Dennis Everett said he was also pleased with the turnout for the first-ever 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.

Phyllis Frymier, Executive Director of the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce, was extremely pleased over the success of the 36th annual Indian Summer Days Show and Sale.

“The crowds were great and the vendors were very pleased,” Frymier said. “The vendors were complementary of how well things were organized and how friendly the people were here. It was the best assortment of vendors we’ve ever had. I really enjoyed the show and hope everyone else did as well.”