09/29/04 — Market Day planned for Faison

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Market Day planned for Faison

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on September 29, 2004 1:58 PM

FAISON -- Plans are taking shape for the first Market Day celebration in Faison.

The event to be held Oct. 23 will celebrate the town's farming and produce market heritage.

On Monday, the Faison Improvement Group held its last meeting before the celebration. The organizers say that at one time the produce market in Faison was the largest in the country.

The celebration will begin with a parade at 10 a.m. and line-up at 9 a.m. The parade will start at the former produce market on N.C. 403 and proceed to the railroad tracks next to U.S. 117.

At the tracks will be a temporary market with an auctioneer and a brief opening ceremony to honor the six original families who started the produce market.

The North Duplin High School Band will perform in the parade and on stage. Cloggers will also perform on stage.

The parade will end at the stage by the tracks, and the opening ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Mayor Bill Igoe will give the welcome address. Duplin Commissioner L.S. Guy will be the master of ceremonies.

Honorees, who will be dropped off and escorted on stage by the Boy Scouts, will receive plaques of recognition for their part in the creation and operation of the produce market.

Jane Hollingsworth, who is also a member of the town board, reported that the program is being fine-tuned. She said North Duplin High School is building a stage, and a backdrop is being created with a sketch reminiscent of the old produce market.

Mrs. Hollingsworth told the group she went to work at the produce market when she was 14 years old. "It was a fast life for three months, but a good life, too. Some of the truck drivers carried it as far as Canada and Detroit."

Nan Fesperman's Red Hat Society will have "'taters and collards and cabbage."

She and her husband, Bill, were in New York one summer and saw a produce truck drive past them that had come from the produce market in Faison.

Wilma Taylor said her committee did research back to 1776 when Faison was mostly land and had just a tiny community.

A variety of vendors have signed up, and 15 have committed. The sign-up fee is $5. One of the booths will be manned by FIG, which will be selling Market Day T-shirts and recruiting members. The FIG booth will also have a comment box for the critique that will be held during the meeting following the celebration.

The Recreation Department will be selling hot dogs in the park.

The Faison Lions will be selling barbecued sandwiches.