Ivor celebrates centennial

Published 11:17 pm Tuesday, October 21, 2008

IVOR—Despite chilly temperatures and the threat of rain, hundreds of residents and visitors came out Saturday to celebrate the town’s 100th birthday.

The festivities began with a noisy cavalcade of marching bands and fire engines down the main drag and the occasional convertible slowly driving dignitaries along the parade route.

Ivor native Tom Saunders, a major shareholder for Dollar Tree Inc., led the parade as grand marshal, while U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and Mayor Keith Joyner followed. Former Mayor Russell West, owner of Ivor Furniture, sped along the route in a motorized lounge chair.

Saunders later gave the keynote speech at H. Massey Joyner ball park.

“Ivor has played a very important role in my life,” he told the crowd. “The values that come out of towns such as Ivor have served me well. Small town values are needed more today than they have ever been.”

Behind the stage, in the municipal building, people pored over old photographs and newspaper clippings that were on display.

“They’ve been kept very well,” said Pauline Brown Pittman while looking at her class picture from 1949.

Taylor Brantley, Donald Babb and Mark Brantley stopped at the table filled with pictures from G.C. Niblett Grocery.

“His dad and I were buddy buddy when we were this high,” Babb said about Brantley and gesturing to just above his hip.

Vendors lined Bell Street selling crafts, jewelry and other goodies while the smell of barbecue, Brunswick stew and french fries wafted over the ball field. In the afternoon, a team of skydivers was set to perform, followed by an old-fashioned donkey ball game.

Six area churches came together as a community choir to sing spirituals on stage with a little help from three children from Nottoway Elementary School who performed patriotic recitations.

Children were treated to a petting zoo, face painting, inflatables and fire truck slide.

At night, attendees danced to performances by Thunder Creek, Courtney Haywood and Silver Street and watched a fireworks finale.