03/23/06 — Committee wraps up Daffodil Festival plans

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Committee wraps up Daffodil Festival plans

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 23, 2006 1:45 PM

FREMONT -- Community leaders will be honored Saturday during the 20th annual Daffodil Festival with a memorial monument in Fremont's Daffodil Park.

The names of several people, including husband-and-wife couples, will be engraved on the monument. The monument will be unveiled shortly after the 10 a.m. opening ceremonies.

Brenda Paul, the vice president of the festival foundation, said family members can memorialize long-time residents who have served the community. The $350 cost covers the engraving and park maintenance. She said the monument will be an ongoing project.

The Embers will return to the festival and play from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the second stage at East Main and Sycamore streets. The Embers, who play about every other year, include three local performers, Gerald Davis, Steve Davis and Jeff Grimes.

New to the festival, The Monitors of Wilson will perform from 3 to 5 p.m. on the first stage at East Main and Goldsboro streets. They play a variety of music.

Another special guest will be Karen E. Dodd, the author of "Dressed in Gold: Fremont's Streets are Paved in Gold During the 20th Annual Daffodil Festival." The article appears in the March issue of Our State magazine.

The Fremont Garden Club and the Fremont Historical Society have bought a limited number of copies and will sell them for $5. Mrs. Dodd, a free-lance writer from New Bern, will autograph the magazine from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Fremont United Methodist Church.

A daffodil exhibit and school art show also will be held in the church.

Mrs. Paul announced this week that the Twisted Stallions, a group of Ford Mustang owners from Wilson, will bring from 10 to 25 classic and new autos for display.

Two new queens have been crowned and will take part in the opening ceremonies with town officials.

Leiren Tillman, a junior at Charles B. Aycock High School, was crowned Miss Daffodil during a March 5 pageant. The daughter of Danny and Leigh Tillman of Fremont, she also was chosen the Little Miss Daffodil in 1998.

Jessica Ballance, a fourth-grader at Fremont STARS School, was selected March 11 as the Little Miss Daffodil. She is the daughter of Andy and Jenny Ballance of Fremont.

The festival is the first in Wayne County, and because it occurs on the last Saturday in March, organizers keep a wary eye on the weather forecast.

"We watch the weather hour by hour," Mrs. Paul said. "As long as it doesn't rain or there is high wind, we can deal with everything else. We have been very fortunate to have good weather."

In case of bad weather, the festival will be moved to the school with the entertainment in the auditorium and the food vendors and craft exhibits in the gymnasium.

About 45 to 50 food vendors and crafters have registered. Mrs. Paul said late callers have been turned away. Many sign up a year in advance, as soon as the festival ends, with Jean Thorne, the event treasurer.

Mrs. Paul said the festival also draws former Fremont residents.

"We get a lot of people, even though they grew up here, to return for the day. It does bring the community together," she said.

"We get calls from people who come to see the flowers and the gardens. The entertainment, the Embers, and the schools, the Charles B. Aycock Jazz Band and the Fremont STARS singers, brings a lot," Mrs. Paul said.

The other scheduled entertainment includes the Goldsboro Civic Ballet at 10:15 p.m., the CBA Jazz Ensemble at 11 a.m. and the Fremont STARS at noon.

Other activities include the Children's Alley with rides, games, remote-control car races and a rock-climbing wall. Horse-drawn trolley rides will be offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jingles the Clown will entertain all day.

The Fremont Rotary Club will sell barbecued pork lunches and the Fremont Volunteer Fire Department will sell barbecue chicken near the railroad.

Other members of the festival committee are President Keith Stewart, Secretary and Town Clerk Dianne Spellman, Lemmie Uzzell, Sarah Beth Harris, Brian Bennett, Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie, Acting Police Chief Wayne Schwark and Public Works Director Tim Howell.