Saturday was a day of contrasts for the 10th annual Jonesville Jubilee.
The morning portion started off at 10 a.m. to misting rain and cold, wintry temperatures, followed by sun and wind in the afternoon. The crowd huddled under blankets in jackets as Jonesville Historical Society leader Judy Wolfe made the opening remarks at Mineral Springs Park.
Wolfe, who according to a Winston-Salem Journal article has had major health issues lately, sat on the front of the stage Saturday holding a cane. According to the article Wolfe checked herself out of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Friday in order to attend the event she spearheaded and organized.
Wolfe was resuscitated twice from congenital heart failure and may have double pneumonia, according to the article.
Wolfe pushed on undeterred, even as rain began to fall and the weather appeared to be turning foul.
The opening ceremony was filled with history as Wolfe introduced Effley Howell, Sr. to the stage. Howell is a former Jonesville resident and the owner of Thankful Heritage, Inc., a nonprofit organization that operates an African American museum with artifacts dating back to the 1700s.
Howell stood on a donated step of the historic Benham Hotel and gave his rendition of the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. The step he stood on was formerly used as a place of slave trading in 1830s Jonesville.
The step was donated by Mayor Lindbergh Swaim and his family and will remain at the site.
Tim Cook of Cook Insurance, Leon Reece, and Tim Wolfe each sang patriotic songs as the crowd saluted the flag placed in the center of the new park. The flag was donated to the park by a military family whose son gave it to them.
The flag originally flew over Baghdad.
Congresswoman Virginia Foxx visited and spoke to the crowd, a tradition at the event. Foxx has attended all 10 of the Jonesville Jubilees.
Among several congratulations and “thank yous” of the morning Wolfe paid a special acknowledgement to Phil Bullard for helping put Jonesville on the map. Bullard was a weather spotter for WXII News Channel 12 for many years.
Wolfe also thanked the Wagoner family for donating the land for the new park.
Booths dotted the street, with Jonesville police cordoning off the lower section of West Main Street to provide a safe environment for vendors and pedestrians.
Traffic stops did not hinder one couple from riding their mules and wagon through the town, giving an even more historic feel to the event.
The Mineral Springs portion of the day ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event kicked off again in Lila Swaim Memorial Park after a two-hour break.
Arlington Fire Department draped a massive American Flag from the extended ladder on one of their trucks at both sites. Anyone entering the park or crossing the Yadkin River from Elkin could easily spot the flag on such a windy day.
A young woman made an appearance in the afternoon among the many musical and talent demonstrations. Ashley Macemore was named Ms. Wheelchair North Carolina for 2013, and asked for help paying for a trip to Nationals in Houston, Texas.
Macemore is required to raise upwards of $2,500, $1,850 of which is for the pageant alone.
The pageant is unusual because it focuses on spokesmanship, or in this case spokewomanship, rather than a traditional beauty contest many are familiar with. Born with a genetic disease that left her in a wheelchair, Macemore is judged on her abilities to speak out for the needs and rights of those with disabilities.
Macemore showed how able she was to win Nationals by speaking to a large crowd spread out all over the park.
Several individuals and businesses donated, helping Ashley to move closer to her goal. She will speaking at the upcoming Town Hall meeting on May 13, as well as Ronda’s Town Hall meeting on May 14.
Bluegrass and oldies music played throughout the afternoon, ending just before the fireworks began a few minutes before the scheduled 9:30 p.m. cue.
Organizers moved up the start of the show by a few minutes to avoid bad weather that was being forecast to move in.
The fireworks celebration almost did not happen. Budget issues have plagued the firework organizing, leaving many to wonder whether this year would be the first without the light show.
Town officials and the Historical Society were able to make the show a success in the end. The booms echoed out of Lila Swaim and could be heard far off into town as darkness fell on Lila Swaim Park.
To donate to Ashley Macemore online, visit giveforward.com/fundraiser/rt72/mwnc2013.
To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at email@example.com.