GARLAND — Town officials are preparing for one of the biggest events of the fall season. The new tradition will continue with not just one, but two days for the festivities.
Mayor Winifred Murphy and commissioners recently discussed and approved the upcoming fourth annual Community Day.
“This year we want to do something a little different,” Murphy said about the committee’s goal to expand the celebration.
The plan is to begin Friday, Oct. 6, and continue through Saturday, Oct. 7. Murphy said one idea is to have the opening ceremony on Friday evening. Some of the vendors may also be available that evening too.
“It always get rushed by doing something at 9 (a.m.) and having to get back to the parade route,” Murphy said about cramming the ceremony and parade in one day.
In addition to the parade and vendors, the event features entertainment such as a street dance, music and games for children. For a few decades, Garland community members enjoyed the Rotary fair, which went away after the town lost its charter. Community Day took its place with assistance from North Carolina Small Towns Economic Prosperity (N.C. STEP) and other community groups. Officials once said the event is an opportunity for the people of Garland to reflect on the town’s history and heritage, and to celebrate the present, in addition to embracing future generations.
Another idea is to move the street dance to the Curtis D. Cain Memorial Park if the basketball courts are finished before early October. Holding the ceremony in the park could be another option, town officials said.
Murphy is working with Garland Police Chief Ronald Matthews and Sampson County Sheriff’s Office authorities for security and road closures. This year, she said she would also like to avoid people having to cross U.S. 701 during the celebration.
“That’s the only reason we want to do much as possible on one side, so the children and spectators wouldn’t be crossing over 701,” she said.
A special events application for road closures is also being sent to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Additional details about the two-day event will be released in the future. For more information, contact Garland Town Hall at 910-529-4141.