9th Annual Lafayette Birthday Celebration
September 11-12, 2015
Hosted by Lafayette Society and
Fayetteville Area Transportation & Local History Museum
In 2015, Lafayette’s ship, the Hermione, once again sails from France to America. Join us as we celebrate his
birthday during “the year of Lafayette!” This is North Carolina’s official Lafayette Birthday Celebration, as recognized
by the NC General Assembly and the United States House and Senate!
Friday, September 11
6:00 PM Arias and Artifacts at Methodist University
In 2014, a Methodist University alumnus donated a treasure trove of early 19th century memorabilia to the university's Lafayette Collection. These ceramics, snuff boxes, and commemorative ribbons adorned with Lafayette’s image were sold as commemorative items during his “Grand Tour” of America in 1824-25. This gift kick-started a drive by the Lafayette Society and the university to eventually make the collection a nationally-recognized destination for scholarly research on Lafayette and his life and times.
Stop by Davis Memorial Library at 6:00 p.m. to enjoy some refreshments, view some of these items, and meet members of the Methodist University Chorale who recently performed in France in Fayetteville’s sister city while on a European tour. A short program will begin at 6:30PM. At 7:30, soprano Gail Morfesis and Friends will present a short concert of French music by composers Bizet, Ravel, and Debussy and others in Hensdale Chapel across from the library. Performing with her will be Russian international pianist Anastasia Popova Bryant, clarinetist and director of the Fayetteville Chamber Orchestra Sejung Ra, and award-winning child prodigy and cellist Shinae Ra.
Saturday, September 12
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM Lafayette Birthday Farmers Market
The nice folks at the Farmers Market have dedicated this Saturday’s market to the city’s namesake hero! Lafayette became quite the farmer once he retreated to his chateau outside Paris after Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in France in 1802. Come downtown and browse the farmers’ tables for delicious, locally-grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, breads, and honey.
There will also be scarves, soy candles, plants, woodwork, and other crafts. Also, experts from the Botanical Garden will be there with an exhibit on herbs like fennel, borage, sage and rosemary and how these would have been used for cooking at the time of Lafayette’s visit in 1825. Also, check out their display of antique farm implements and household items.
325 Franklin Street. 910-433-1457
www.fcpr.us/transportation_museum.aspx also on Facebook
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Lafayette Trail Tour
Bruce Daws, Fayetteville’s City Historian and Commander of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry, will lead you on a fascinating trip through time as you retrace General Lafayette’s footsteps during his visit to Fayetteville in 1825. Your journey starts at 9am at the F.I.L.I. headquarters on Burgess Street with coffee and croissants.
There will be some walking but an air-conditioned bus will help make your journey a relaxing experience. Extra-special “add-ons” this year include a look inside the Phoenix Masonic Lodge and a visit to Cool Spring Tavern, where you will learn the secrets about Fayetteville’s oldest standing building and the family that lived there for 200 years.
After the tour, relax with a light lunch on the second floor of the 1831 Market House! Wine or tea is included! Tickets are only $30 per person and include the tour, the morning coffee, the lunch, and a Lafayette Society hand fan and lapel pen. Space is limited to 30 individuals and early registration is strongly recommended. Call 910-678-8899 or visit City Center Gallery & Books at 112 Hay Street.
The Lafayette Trail is an official Heritage Driving Trail of the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. A preview of the sites you will be visiting is available at www.visitfayettevillenc.com.
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Lafayette/Rulnick Open Fencing Tournament
“Fight like a man!” A Frenchman that is! Lafayette’s grandfather was commander of the Black Musketeers, the elite unit of master swordsmen in service to the French King and the basis for the classic novel The Three Musketeers. Another little-known fact – Fayetteville has a school Downtown where adults and children can learn the art of fencing!
Owner/instructor Gerhard Guevarra has been teaching classes at his studio on Donaldson Street for many years and this tournament draws fencers from all over eastern North Carolina. Come to the All-American Fencing Academy while you’re Downtown and watch some of this exciting competition.
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM Colonial and Revolutionary War Doll Exhibit
The Lafayette Doll and Toy Club of Fayetteville will celebrate Lafayette’s birthday with a unique display of members’ dolls dressed in the clothing styles of the Colonial and Revolutionary War eras.
While shopping at the Downtown Sidewalk Sale, drop by Diane’s Vintage Market on Hay Street to see these little charmers and learn all about dolls through the ages from club members. These ladies know their stuff – their organization is a member of the United Federation of Doll Clubs and they are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year!
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Lafayette Birthday Sidewalk Sale
Downtown is a happening place because of all the mom and pops that offer such unique and exciting gift ideas for friends, family, or yourself! So come shopping Downtown with Fifi the pink poodle as we celebrate the famous Frenchman’s birthday with an old-fashioned sidewalk sale!
Merchants will set out sale tables loaded with clearance items and you might also find great savings inside the store! Remember: All this shopping will make you hungry, so be sure to check out the restaurant specials too! And keep an eye out for the strolling French café musician with the accordion! For a sneak preview of some of the specials, see below.
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Festival of Yesteryear: a Celebration of Early America
Come to the Museum of the Cape Fear and Celebrate Lafayette’s birthday by travelling back in time to the American Revolutionary War, when this young French nobleman fought alongside colonial troops from Brandywine to Yorktown. Focusing on the Colonial and Revolutionary War periods, this program features re-enactors demonstrating various aspects of daily life including music, toys and games, militia drills, and even colonial dentistry!
Living history groups include Camp Flintlock, the North Carolina Highland Regiment, and Captain Dry’s Militia Company. Be sure to visit Apprentice Alley, where children can participate and learn a variety of trades through hands on crafts and activities. This is a FREE event! The Museum of the Cape Fear is located at 801 Arsenal Avenue in Haymount, next to Downtown Fayetteville. For more information, visit www.ncdcr.gov/ncmcf.
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM Lafayette District Scouting Expo - Cross Creek Park
During the Revolutionary War and more than a century before the Boy Scouts were founded, Lafayette displayed the virtuous character traits listed in the Scout Law….”A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, etc.” For the birthday celebration, Cross Creek Park - often called “Lafayette Park” because of the statue - will be filled with Venture Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Cubs from the Lafayette District of the Occoneechee Council.
There will be displays of scouting crafts and activities, various fun games, and even some hot dogs and campfire food! Scout leaders will be on hand with information for parents on how their son or daughter can get involved in a Cub pack or Scout troop in their local community. And there will be free birthday cake and ice cream for the first 100 people!
1:00 PM Army Ground Forces Dixie-Land Band
The French influence is big in Louisiana and so is Dixieland Jazz! Come Downtown to Lafayette Plaza in Cross Creek Park to hear this uniquely American style of music performed by the Army’s finest musicians.
The “Dixie Sergeants” is one of several ensembles of the Army Ground Forces Band that perform concerts all over the country as the Musical Ambassadors of the American Combat Soldier. Free birthday cake and ice cream to the first 100 guests!
6:00 - 8:30 PM French Wine and Cheese Tasting
Drop into The Wine Café after the sidewalk sale and educate your palate about French wines! There will be a free wine tasting with an expert to explain the characteristics of wine from different regions of France. Continue your tour of France through the wine stations and after you have identified your favorites, plan to take a couple of bottles home with you (French wines are actually very affordable!).
There is no admission charge but come early because this popular event always fills up fast. It’s a guaranteed fun evening but even more so this year because those wild-and-crazy folks in the Glow Run will be rounding the corner right in front of the Wine Café.
Located at 108 Hay Street across from the Market House.
7:30 PM “Lafayette and the Greek Revolution”
Lafayette, National Revolutions, and Greece in the 1820’s Dr. Lloyd Kramer, professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill, will present a talk on Lafayette and the Greek Revolution at 7:30PM on Saturday September 12 in the Market House. In 1821, Greece revolted against the Ottoman Empire and Lafayette advocated vigorously for their independence.
Large numbers of French and American citizens lent their support to the Greeks because of his influence. Dr.Kramer will also discuss Lafayette’s life-long support for human rights and national independence movements in many countries following the American Revolution. Copies of Dr. Kramer’s award-winning book Lafayette in Two Worlds will be available for purchase and signing. Admission is free and the audience is invited to visit the French wine tasting at the Wine Café next to the Market House before or after the lecture.