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7th Annual Lafayette Birthday Celebration
Join Fayetteville in commemorating the birth and life of Lafayette at events held annually on the weekend after Labor Day! Click here to see last year's events. View Past Events Gallery
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September 6-8, 2013

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 6

11:00AM Lafayette Leadership Lecture Series

  Lt. General Russel Honoré, (U.S. Army, Retired), known as the “Katrina General” or the   “Category 5 General,” was sent in by the President of the United States to lead New Orleans out of the disaster of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He is now a nationally- renowned speaker on preparedness at a time when we face the threat of natural and man-made disasters on a daily basis. He studied and practiced effective leadership techniques in the military and he understands how these can be used by our civilian leaders to help our society survive - and even prosper - in the 21st Century. He understands how poverty weakens us as a nation and how access to a good education for everyone can overcome that. General Honore would have recognized a kindred spirit   in Lafayette, who fought for America under George Washington in the Revolutionary War and became a highly effective leader of the men who served under him. 

  General Honore’s commanding presence on stage, combined with the timeliness of his   message and his no-nonsense approach, make this a “don’t miss” event. Admission   is free but anyone bringing large groups should notify Pam McEvoy at or call 910-630-7043.

  Reeves Auditorium,

  On the campus of Methodist University

  Hosted by the Lura S. Tally Center for Leadership Development at Methodist University and the Lafayette Society


7PM   Paint Your Own Masterpiece

  Wine and Design will put you in touch with your inner artist during the Lafayette   Birthday Celebration. You will be shown how to paint your own beautiful work of art,   either the Market House or the original State House, which was built in the same location in 1783 and burned down in the Great Fire of 1831. One of Lafayette’s friends,   who did an etching of the State House on a trip to America in 1814, presented it to him   as a gift and told him about his first namesake city.  The original etching still hangs in La Grange, Lafayette’s chateau outside Paris. Bring your own wine and they will supply the   canvas, arts supplies, and expert instruction. (The Wine Café offers a 5% discount on a       bottle of wine if you are registered for this event.) Anybody can do it! Cost is only $30   per person. Call 910-483-0433 now to reserve your spot at the easel!

  Wine and Design

  113 Donaldson Street  to register online or call 910-483-0433


Saturday September 7

8AM   Lafayette 3k Pooch Run

  Join other pet-lovers Downtown for a breezy jog with Fido in the morning. This 3k fun   run starts out in beautiful Cross Creek Park, where Lafayette’s statue stands. Organized   by the same folks who bring you the Cinco de Mayo 10k & 5K Run every year, you can be sure   this event will be well-organized and fun. There will be awards for top finishers in each of 3 weight categories and for Best Dog in Costume. Registration fee is only $20 and includes event t-shirt and water points will be supplied for pets and owners. Visit This event is organized by the Mexican American   Association in memory of Ike Ramirez (Family Pet). Funds raised will be used for the   Parade of the Nations during the International Folk Festival. For more information call     Julio (910)-578-9680.

  Cross Creek Park, Downtown


8AM-1PM Lafayette Birthday Farmers Market

The Farmers Market has become a popular Downtown destination on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. The nice folks there have dedicated this Saturday’s market to the city’s namesake hero! After Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in France in 1802, Lafayette retreated to his chateau outside Paris where he became quite the farmer!

Come downtown and browse the farmers’ tables for delicious, locally-grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, breads, and honey. Crafters are also on hand with soaps, jewelry, art, and more for sale. Come join the market festivities on the grounds of the Transportation Museum at the corner of Franklin and Maxwell Streets.

Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum

325 Franklin Street. 910-433-1457 also on Facebook


9AM-1PM   Lafayette Trail Tour and Elegant Luncheon

  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 and the award-winning 2007 documentary on the 250th Lafayette Birthday   Celebration. There will be some walking but an air-conditioned bus will help make your   journey a relaxing experience. A special treat this year will be a visit to the Cool Spring Tavern. Built in 1787, this is where delegates stayed when Fayetteville served as the   state Capitol and hosted the Constitutional Convention in 1789. Cool Spring Tavern is   not open to the public and has not been toured in many years.

  After the tour, you will be treated to an elegant luncheon on the second floor of the 1831 Market House, catered by one of Downtown Fayetteville’s most popular   restaurants, Circa 1800. Tickets are only $30 per person and include the tour, the morning coffee, and the elegant luncheon. 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.

  Tour starts at 9am at the Museum of the F.I.L.I. on Burgess Street


10AM- 6PM Lafayette Birthday Sidewalk Sale

  The Downtown Alliance of Fayetteville invites you to come shopping with Fifi the pink poodle! It’s an old-fashioned sidewalk sale but the savings are thoroughly modern! There will be specials   on French furniture, French fries, French wine, books on France, and many other things that aren’t French but you just might need as a gift for a friend - or even “pour moi!” You can even   find some of the original Lafayette bracelet charms from 1983 for sale at Walter Guy Jewelers! There will also be a strolling Parisian café musician, performances by “The Amazing Thiriot Family,” and plywood cutouts where you can be photographed by your friends as Lafayette or Marie-Antoinette. Visit the table about France and our sister-city and you can learn to speak   French in 10 minutes or less! You might even spot someone in the crowd who looks just like Lafayette. It’s all fun and great savings on great bargains.

  Check out


10AM-5PM   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. The Johnston County Highland Militia and Captain Dry’s Company of the New Hanover County Militia will demonstrate the role of the American militia in the struggle against England, while the  71st Highland Regiment will depict Loyalists who sided with the British. The Festival of Yesteryear will also include the 10th US Infantry Regiment, reenactors of the War of 1812, when the United States again had to defend herself from England’s aggression. Camp Flintlock and Apprentice Alley will offer fun activities for children during a day of “Living History” that covers our country’s early years from the Colonial Period through the War of 1812. 

  The Museum of the Cape Fear is located at 801 Arsenal Avenue in Haymount, next to   Downtown Fayetteville. For more information, contact Megan Maxwell at 910-486-1330   or visit


9AM-2PM   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. Come to the All-American Fencing   Academy and watch this exciting competition, now in its fifth year. Congratulations to   last year’s winners – Elli Moreno from the Apex, NC club won 1st in the Mixed Epee, while Madeline Hanna and Matthew Harris from the All-American Fencing Academy   took 2nd and 3rd.  Emily Winstead from the Raleigh Fencing Club and Jason DuPertuis from the Mid-South Club took 1st and 2nd in the Mixed Foil, while John Murray from   Fayetteville’s club took 3rd in that division. The tournament this year takes place both   days, Saturday and Sunday.

  All-American Fencing Academy

  207B Donaldson Street

  910-644-0137 or  


1:30PM   Paint Your Own Masterpiece for Kids!  

  Bring the kids back to Wine and Design on Saturday so they can create their own     masterpiece. This time it’s the Eiffel Tower! Owner Crystal Keen will provide instruction   tailored just for children, but Mom and Dad can paint one too. It’s a fun, shared event   that will become a cherished memory for them and costs only $25 per artist. You are   welcome to bring their favorite snacks and drinks to the studio. Advance reservations required.

  Wine and Design

  113 Donaldson Street to register online or call 910-483-0433


2:30PM Dedication of Lafayette Plaza

  Fayetteville’s statue of Lafayette was placed in Cross Creek Park 30 years ago by the     Lafayette Society. It has been surrounded by rose bushes and other shrubbery for all these years. Now, after raising the money through private donations,   the Society has replaced the half-circle in front of the statue with a brick seating area, a   raised speaker’s dais, and a brick perimeter wall. The Lafayette Plaza is now a user- friendly place for weddings, induction ceremonies, and other events in Cross Creek Park,   one of Fayetteville’s most beautiful green spaces. Plan to help us pay honor to Lafayette   as we dedicate this plaza in his name. The Methodist University Chorale under the   direction of Dr. Michael Martin with accompanist John Dryman will perform “Vive la     Liberte, Vive Lafayette,” which was composed for Fayetteville’s celebration of Lafayette’s 250th birthday celebration in 2007.

  Cross Creek Park, between Green St. and Anne St.


6:00PM   Regency Ball: a Demonstration of Early American Dance

  The Museum of the Cape Fear is sponsoring the Regency Assembly of North Carolina, a     group of 21st Century admirers of the Regency and Federal Periods (1789-1820). They celebrate the lives and times of Jane Austen and Dolley Madison and Napoleon,  and   the music, fashion, and dance of that era. (Fact: When Fayetteville held a ball for Lafayette in 1825, the style of dress and the music and dancing would have been very   similar.) Come watch this elegant combination of style and grace in motion at the Regency Ball in the social hall of St.Michael’s next door to the Museum of the Cape Fear. The musical group Syllabub will help the dancers keep in step and caller Jack Maus will   help guests understand the dance moves.

  Regency Assembly of North Carolina and the Museum of the Cape Fear

  St. Michael the Archangel Marionite Catholic Church

  Arsenal Avenue next to the Museum of the Cape Fear

  For more information, contact at 910-486-1330

  or visit


6:00-8:30PM   French Wine and Cheese Tasting

  Drop into The Wine Café after the sidewalk sale and join Frenchman and wine     connoisseur Thomas Meunier to learn more about the great wines of France. There will   be tasting stations and French cheese to help you discover the best pairings for your palate. There is no admission charge but come early because this popular event fills up fast. It’s a fun evening for anyone who wants to learn more about wine!

The Wine Café

  108 Hay Street


Sunday September 8

10:30AM-3PM   Lafayette Birthday Brunch

  The Marquis Market is a relaxed, urban eatery and coffee shop that ranks high on the     growing list of popular restaurants in Historic Downtown Fayetteville. Their signature   French toast on the Sunday morning buffet has become the highlight of the week for many a   Downtown resident and visitor. Come try some in honor of our French hero’s   birthday!

  Owner Brian Smith is honoring Lafayette by naming today’s feast the Lafayette Birthday     Brunch. Volunteers from the Lafayette Society will be assisting Brian and his staff and, in return, he will donate a portion of each ticket to the Society for future citizen exchanges with our sister city in France. Hours are 10:30 AM to 3PM and reservations are strongly   encouraged. Call 910-483-1337.

The Marquis Market

  116 Person Street


9AM-2PM   Lafayette/Rulnick Open Fencing Tournament continues.


Read more about Lafayette from local historian Roy Parker Jr.

Join the Lafayette Society by contacting us today!

250th Birthday Celebration

Click here to view Telly Award-winning video

Click the image below to view our latest newsletter (PDF).
* Special Edition *

* Spring 2013 *

Purchase Lafayette Commemorative Items
Purchase a handsome glass paperweight commemorating Lafayette and Fayetteville, NC’s unique relationship to him. A very limited number of collectible items from the 250th birthday celebration in 2007 also remain.

(click to enlarge)

Call 910-678-8899, or click here for more information.

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