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Dillwyn's 100th: Party Is Saturday

On Saturday, May 12, there's going to be a big birthday party in the Town of Dillwyn and everyone's invited.

In celebration of the Dillwyn Centennial, the Buckingham County Lions Club and the Dillwyn 100th Anniversary Committee have planned a great Buckingham County Day in Downtown Dillwyn.

Although most vendors and displays will open at 9 a.m., the celebration officially begins at 10 a.m. with the Come Home to Dillwyn Parade.

At the parade's reviewing stand, located at the BBRR Train Depot, opening ceremonies will include an invocation by the Reverend Billy Swan, pastor of Dillwyn's oldest church, White Hall United Methodist Church, organized in 1897.

When the Buckingham County High School JROTC Color Guard arrives at the reviewing stand, Brenda Absher will sing the National Anthem.

As he has done for many Buckingham County Days, John Staton will serve as Master of Ceremonies. After the parade, the Jones Family will perform in concert at the train depot.

What and Where

The festival area begins with vendors and exhibits at First Baptist Church and stretches through mid-town to the Bank of America.

Activities for children and older youth will be set-up in an area next to the old Ranson Brothers Store.

Along with inflatables by Awesome Party Supplies, there will be games offered by Maysville Baptist Church, horse and pony rides by Bob Toney and the Tom Mix Rangers, farm animals provided by the 4-H Livestock Club, environmental education activities by the Peter Francisco Soil and Water Conservation District, and face painting.

<!– 1upcrlf2 –>Vendors and displays will also be set-up along the storefront areas of Main Street and the Clock Plaza; in the large parking area in front of what used to be a deli and cleaners; and across the street at the Clements Office Building and Taylor's Cleaners.

The Country Cut-Ups will be on hand to provide live music in the mid-town area.

Farther down Main Street, the Buckingham County Library will be hosting a book sale, activities for children, and at 1 p.m., a drawing for a Acer Aspire 15″ Pentium laptop computer as the grand prize; a Kindle Fire as the second prize; and $100 cash as the third prize. Proceeds will benefit the capital campaign to build a new library.

Bruce and Kay Dunevant have planned a great Car Show in the parking lot at Bank of America. Registration will be available on Saturday morning and winners will be announced mid-afternoon.

Music at Ellis Acres

Ellis Acres Memorial Park offers a fantastic venue for the great line-up of musical entertainment.

Groups will perform on the presentation platform at the park's pavilion. Picnic tables and folding chairs will be available for festival-goers or they may bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.

Beginning around noon, the Buckingham Community Choir will perform in concert. At 1 p.m., Mitch Toney and the Point Judith Band will take the stage. Central Virginia Blue will follow at 2 p.m. Then, at 3 p.m., Worm Patterson and All Problems Solved will round-out the day.

Ellis Acres Boosters will be serving up fried chicken and fish with sides and beverages. Proceeds from the food and beverage sales will benefit the park's ongoing construction and maintenance.

“We are pleased to be able to showcase our newly constructed covered pavilion,” shared EAMP's Wilbert Dean.

Encouraging visitors to tour the park and its facilities, Dean reminded that the park offers handicapped accessible outdoor bathrooms.

Sharing that the park is constructed on 9.5 acres that was the site of the county's first secondary school for African American students, he stated, “We hope everyone will enjoy our beautifully restored campus and its historical features.”

Free Parking and Shuttle Bus Service

Free parking will be available throughout the Town. Crystal Cathedral has graciously offered its entire lot for parking.

Members and adult leaders from Boy Scout Troop 6535 will be stationed at that site to assist in parking. The Boy Scouts will also be serving as crossing guards at several locations in Town.

Free Shuttle Bus Service will be available throughout the day. In the morning, the bus will run from the Industrial Park, where parade entries will line-up, and travel through Town.

The bus route will include stops at Crystal Cathedral, First Baptist Church, Mid-Town, Bank of America for the Car Show, and Ellis Acres.

Vendors and More

This year Judy Grigg, Buckingham County Day Coordinator, advertised the event on festival/tourism websites and visited other festivals to solicit vendors.

Her efforts resulted in many newcomers as well as traditional Buckingham County Day favorites.

“We have a wonderful variety of vendors,” said Grigg. “With Mother's Day on Sunday, this will be the place to find that perfect gift for mom.”

She added, “And the great mix of food vendors will definitely be a crowd pleaser.”

Grigg also encouraged everyone to visit the exhibits and displays. She explained that many organizations/agencies would be on hand to provide information about outdoor and recreational activities, medical services and resources, public safety, volunteer opportunities, and historical landmarks.

From panning for gold with the Central Virginia Gold Prospectors to learning about electricity at the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative exhibit, Grigg said there would be several displays offering hands-on demonstrations.

Lions' Share

Frank Knott, President of the Buckingham County Lions Club, reminded that Buckingham County Day is not only the annual fundraiser for the Lions Club but also serves as a fundraiser for numerous other organizations.

For example, Knott said the Boy Scout Venturing Crew would be selling cotton candy and snow cones to help raise funds for its programs, which help build personal and leadership skills in coed youth ages 14 to 21.

According to Knott, the Lions Club shares its proceeds with the Buckingham County Volunteer Fire Department, which includes the Arvonia, Dillwyn, Glenmore, and Toga companies; and the Buckingham County Rescue Squad.

Additionally, the Lions Club donates part of the proceeds to Boy Scout Troop 6535, which helps with parking, traffic and pedestrian control, and clean-up during Buckingham County Day.

“We also use part of the proceeds to continue our efforts to help the visually impaired,” said Knott, noting that just during the month of April, the club provided new eyeglasses for eight Buckingham residents who met the club's assistance criteria.

Come Home to Dillwyn

Mayor Ervin Toney offered, “We invite everyone to join with the Dillwyn Town Council and all of the town's residents as we celebrate Dillwyn's 100th Anniversary.”

The mayor shared, “We are proud that the town is moving with the times and pray that as we make the improvements through the revitalization program all the business and property owners will cooperate with us so we can grow together.”

Reminiscing about spending time in the town when he was a young boy and his dad ran a shoe shop, Toney talked about how he and his childhood friends used barrel staves as makeshift sleds to slide down the huge sawdust piles that were once part of the town's landscape.

“I have so many great memories,” said Toney. “I remember coming to town and watching the old steam engine spin as it tried to get up the hill with all that pulpwood.”

He offered, “I remember Dillwyn being completely filled with people and traffic on a Saturday.”

This Saturday, as people Come Home to Dillwyn to celebrate Dillwyn's Centennial for Buckingham County Day, the streets of Dillwyn will indeed be bustling once again. Happy Birthday Dillwyn.