10/20/04 — Remembering Market Day: Produce sales kept Faison a busy place; now the town is reviving the tradition

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Remembering Market Day: Produce sales kept Faison a busy place; now the town is reviving the tradition

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 20, 2004 2:01 PM

FAISON -- Sarah McColman remembers the pickup trucks lining both sides of the street during the produce market days in the 1960s.

Her mother told her there used to be lines of horses and buggies with the backs filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. Her grandmother used to rent out her apartments to the buyers and auctioneers who would come to town for the market.

"My uncle used to rent out bedrooms," she said. "The buyers and the auctioneers rented room where they could."

The grading and the loading seemed to last all night. You could hear the machines running. It was the same all her life through high school.

"I guess it changed when I was in college," she said. "All the kids in high school were working at the market in one way or another. When we turned 16, it was where to work. I worked in the office."

July 4 wasn't a holiday in Faison. The kids had sparklers, but "green season was green season, and everybody worked."

She enjoys the memories. The farmers would be lined up along the tracks all day. The line never seemed to move.

"I'm sure it did, but it was always long," she said. "Faison was a pretty little town then."

The whole community will remember the tradition during Market Day celebration Saturday in downtown Faison. Ms. McColman will have sweet potatoes and collards at the Southern Exposure restaurant on Main Street.

A parade from the old Faison Fruit and Vegetable Exchange to the railroad tracks will kick off the celebration.

A ceremony will follow at 11 a.m. Vendors will open for business along Main Street at 11:30 a.m. The Farmer's Market opens at noon in the Community Building on Main Street.

After lunch, children of all ages will have games, relays, contests, concessions, music and dancing.

At 1:30 p.m., the Sampson County Cloggers will perform in the park on Park Circle Drive. Also in the park, the Faison Museum will have a Market Display. Bradshaw's Museum will open on Bradshaw Road, with free admission. Also at 1:30 tours will begin at the Buckner Hill Plantation on Taylor Town Road for a fee.

At 4 p.m., bring a lawn chair to a country music concert in the park featuring Justin Smith and Blair Mozingo.