"Celebrating 225 Years"
Rutherfordton’s 225th Anniversary will officially be kicked off April 14, 2012 with a Birthday Party on the Courthouse Lawn with cake, speeches, recognition and invited guests including state, federal and local dignitaries. The 225th theme for the month of April is “Celebrating Main Street”. Special signage will be located at strategic entrances to the Town and select Town vehicles will sport temporary decals with the celebration logo. Ne street banners with a replica of the Bechtler $1 coin will grace the light poles in the downtown area. The banners purchased with assistance from Rutherford Town Revitalization can be used in subsequent years to remind visitors and citizens of the Town’s significant gold heritage.
The May 225th Anniversary events will focus on “Celebrating our Cultural Heritage.” Plans continue to be developed for and include Rutherfordton’s 40th annual Mayfest, a fun filled best family festival on the top of the hill in Rutherfordton, the annual Gears and Gable cycle event to benefit Rutherford Housing Partnership and as let to be announced other cultural activities. In addition, the Rutherford County Visual Artist Guild is coordinating other cultural heritage events during May in celebration.
For the June Anniversary celebration the theme is “Celebrating Landmarks and Architecture”. With the entire Rutherfordton downtown a historic district and numerous other private and public historic structures including a significant collection of antebellum homes, events planned will capture this unique heritage. A special event is planned at the Firehouse Inn. Tours of historic homes, St. John’s Church, and guided walking tours are taking shape.
For the month of July, the Anniversary’s theme is “Celebrating Freedom”. An old timey 4th of July with parade, banners, window display and much more , are planned under the coordination of Rutherford Town Revitalization and a host of other sponsors. Details about this fun filled family 4th will be forthcoming.
During the month of August the theme for the 225th Anniversary is “Celebrating Education and Health Care.” Rutherford County Schools, Rutherford Regional Health System and others including a retired educator are coordinating the planning of events. More on this as plans are finalized.
The 225th Anniversary theme celebration is “Celebrating our Gold Heritage.” Rutherfordton/Rutherford County is the home of the Bechtler mint and the first gold $1 coin minted in the nation. In recognition of this first and the significant Becthler history, UNC-TV will complete this year the production of a documentary focusing on this heritage. The project has been funded by the generous support of varied organizations and individuals. (*1 Funders)
The documentary will be aired state-wide on UNC Public TV beginning October 2012; however, as part of 225th Anniversary Celebration, UNC-TV has authorized a local premier on September 29. The premier will take place at Rutherfordton Spindale Central High School Auditorium. More information about the premier will be provided here at a later date.
October is traditionally a month when Rutherfordton and Rutherford County celebrate its Revolutionary War history and “Celebrating our Revolutionary War Heritage” is the theme for the 225th Anniversary celebration. Events will include the annual OVTA activities at Gilbert Town located about 3 miles outside Rutherfordton’s town limits on October 4 and commemoration on this heritage with the annual Rutherfordton fall festival known as the Hilltop Fall Festival. Plans are to expand the festival activities to include both the first Friday and first Saturday of the month of October (Oct. 5 &6).
The November theme for Rutherfordton’s 225th Anniversary is “Celebrating Faith and Church Heritage.” Rutherfordton’s faith community and all of the churches along with and the ministerial association will be planning ways to emphasize this significant heritage. They will recall and retell the history of Rutherfordton churches and center on the importance of faith to the Town’s heritage.
The Rutherfordton Christmas Parade scheduled for Saturday, December 1, 2012 will mark the end of 225 days of celebrating Rutherfordton’s 225th Anniversary. The year will conclude with
the small town anticipation of yet another Christmas in the lovely town with friendly people who value its people, its traditions and its history and heritage. Some local citizens have hinted of their desire to see the large conifer on the courthouse lawn re-lighted for Christmas, as a reminder of the Christmases of times past.
More than 50 volunteers are already working on committees and subcommittees to make this a memorable 225th Anniversary. However, more volunteers are needed. John and Frankie McWhorter who are co-chairing the 225th Anniversary Committee have said, “ The 225th Committee and the Town of Rutherfordton would welcome 225 volunteers at least. Anyone wishing to serve in any capacity from fundraising, to sponsorship or with a special interest in one of the themes identified is invited to participate.
To volunteer to serve on a committee or to assist with the celebration activity, contact the John or Frankie McWhorter Rutherfordton225@gmail.com.