12/11/08 — Waynesborough trails to be dedicated to Kemp in Saturday ceremony

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Waynesborough trails to be dedicated to Kemp in Saturday ceremony

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 11, 2008 1:46 PM

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Lynne Waddell puts the finishing touches on a Christmas tree in the Faircloth Law Office at historic Waynesborough Village in preparation for Saturday's festival, Christmas in the Village, which will begin at 1 p.m. with a hiking trails dedication scheduled for 2 p.m. The festival will last until 5 p.m. All of the historic buildings in the village are decorated in a 19th century motif, with handmade decorations like what would have been found in an 1800s home.

The Old Waynesborough Commission will dedicate several miles of hiking and nature trails to the late William P. Kemp during its annual Christmas in the Village event Saturday.

The holiday celebration will be 1 to 5 p.m. at the reconstructed 19th century village located at 801 U.S. 117 South.

A business leader and longtime community volunteer, Bill Kemp served as the commission's president before he died in November 2006 at age 83.

Kemp built Kemp Furniture Co. into one of Wayne County's leading businesses. He was a former president of the Southern Furniture Manufacturers Association, a member of the North Carolina Hospital Board, chairman of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, president of the United Fund, which is now the United Way, president of the Tuscarora Council of the Boy Scouts of America and chairman of the Red Cross board.

He also was active in the restoration of Old Waynesborough.

Current Commission President Arnold Leder said Kemp was instrumental in many of the improvements at the village -- and funded a lot of them, too.

In fact, before Kemp died, Leder said he told Kemp that the commission would like to name one of the village's landmarks after him.

"I said we would like to dedicate the pavilion to him, because he built it and paid for it," Leder said.

But Kemp told Leder he preferred the trails.

"And it makes sense. He was the outdoor type," Leder said. "He was my troop leader. Working on the grounds was his big thing. He built a lot of the fence around the village himself. He did a lot of the gardening. He was always pruning or planting something. That was his thing."

The dedication ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. at the entrance to the trails, where the commission plans to erect a monument honoring Kemp. During the ceremony, the commission will unveil a color-coded sign explaining where all the trails go.

Afterward, a reception will be held in the village's Visitors Center.

But the dedication is only a part of the afternoon's activities.

From 2 to 3 p.m., the Water Bottom Dulcimers will perform, followed by a concert by the Third Century Singers from 3 to 4 p.m. Children will also be able to hear stories told by Mrs. Santa in the Visitors Center.

All of the buildings and grounds will be decorated in the traditional 19th century motif with candles and living plants.

Between 1 and 5 p.m., live blacksmith demonstrations will be given in the Hatch House.

And weather permitting, hay rides will be available during this time.

Santa is scheduled to arrive at 4 p.m., when he will lead the children through the village to place lanterns in the historical buildings.