Ivor gears up for 100th birthday

Published 12:01 am Saturday, September 27, 2008

IVOR—With less than a month to go, the Town of Ivor is hard at work putting the finishing touches on what will be the biggest celebration in its history—its 100th anniversary.

Officials are painting, repairing and sprucing up town property, while residents and business owners are giving a little extra care to the appearance of their homes and workplaces.

Even the town’s four churches are putting on a fresh face.

“We just want to show off our town for this occasion,” said Councilwoman Sandra Vick, liaison between the town government and anniversary committee.

“Many of us have lived here for years and we’re proud of our heritage.”

The day promises to be one to remember, said Vick, as she revealed the schedule of events.

Starting at 10 a.m. Oct. 18, the parade, which will be the first event, will leave Ashleigh Drive at the “Pines of Ivor” just off Main Street and proceed toward the town’s business section down Main Street.

It will turn left at Gale Avenue, then left at Babb Drive, right at Bell Avenue and left at Rawls Drive, on which it will proceed until it returns to Main.

Turning right on Main Street, it will end at the Pines where it began.

“We already have a good lineup for the parade,” Vick said, adding that entrants range from marching bands from Smithfield and Windsor High Schools, to floats, old cars, the “General Lee” from the Dukes of Hazard TV show, the Shriners, fire and rescue vehicles and horses.

Tom Saunders, whose family resided in Ivor for many years, will serve as Grand marshall.

“We still have space for more entrants, however,” Vick said. She noted that anyone interested in participating, may call her at either at (757) 859-6789 or 334-2908.

The following events will occur either inside the Ivor Municipal Building or on its grounds.

The opening ceremony, featuring Saunders as the keynote speaker, will be held on the main stage outside at noon.

Following the national Anthem, sung by Linda Clifton and signed by “Gold Star Mom” Sharon Patterson, a patriotic cantata, the “Spirit of America,” will be presented by the Ivor Community Choir. Performed on the main stage at 1 p.m., this will include a tribute to all branches of the armed forces.

A Sky Diver performance will be held at the H. Massey Joyner Ball Park at 1:45 p.m., and at 2:15 p.m. the New Branch Baptist Church Choir will give a concert of inspirational music.

The H. Massey Joyner Ball Park will be the stage for an old-time donkey softball game, starting at 2:45 p.m.

Joyner, who is in charge of the event, reported that he had a number of prominent people lined up for each team, but grinned and said jokingly, “I’m not at liberty to release their names at this time.”

From 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., bluegrass and contemporary music by Thunder Creek, Courtney Haywood and Silver Street will be performed on the main stage.

During the day, dozens of crafters, vendors and food concessions will be spread out over the grounds.

Vick said plans are to close the part of Bell Avenue adjacent to the ballpark and playground to be used for some of the craft booths, while demonstrations will take place at various locations on the grounds.

For the children, Moon Walks, a fire truck slide and numerous obstacle course slides, a petting zoo and face painting will be provided.

For those who “like to remember when,” an old car exhibit will be located on the northern end of the grounds.

The auditorium of the municipal building, which was Ivor High School until 1955, will be reserved for memorabilia and “anything connected to Ivor history,” said Vick.

Alice West Scott, who has written the history of Ivor for the program book, is in charge of the archives display and asks that anyone who may have items they would like to share to contact her at (757) 859-6231.

“We’re interested in anything, as long as it relates to Ivor. If you’re a former resident of Ivor, or perhaps you inherited items from folks who used to be affiliated with the town, talk to me,” she said.

Vick said the celebration seems to have aroused a sense of warmth and comradeship among the people in the community. “Many of them gave donations and will be listed as sponsors in the program book.

“And, to keep people from forgetting,” she said with a smile, “we’ll be selling T-shirts and caps with our anniversary logo on them.”

To further help people remember, the Ivor Post Office is offering a pictorial cancellation. Designed by Sandy Koury, a former Ivor postal employee, it may be purchased for a small fee.

“We have been offered the use of vans from some of the area churches to transport people who are unable to walk well,” Vick went on. “We also urge people to bring a lawn chair—they’re going to need them when the fireworks go off.

“The day will conclude with a huge display of fireworks at the H. Massey Joyner Ball Park,” Vick said.