Town hosts annual Bath Fest celebrationPublished 7:33pm Saturday, May 24, 2014
BATH — Music, pirates, a chicken show, arts and crafts, local history and croquet were among the ingredients making BathFest a success.
This was the ninth year North Carolina’s oldest first town hosted the celebration, according to event chair Melissa Clinkscales.
“The theme this year was ‘Bath Roots Run Deep’,” said Clinkscales. “The idea was to give people the chance to research their local family tree … we wanted to get back to the roots of Bath.”
So while the May 17 event offered fun and entertainment for folks of all ages, BathFest also turned into a day of research for those wanting to learn more about genealogy. To that end, staff and research materials from the State Library of North Carolina, Bath Community Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Beaufort County Genealogical Society made it easier to delve into the histories of the area’s original families.
The day’s festivities also included the traditional Cut-Throat Croquet Tournament, which raises funds for the Beaufort County Community College Foundation. Live music entertained the crowds, there was a pirate costume contest and members of the local 4-H Club hosted rabbit and chicken shows.
Special guest for the day was Ben “Blackbeard” Cherry, who spun magical tales of piracy and posed for photos with his fans. An art show spotlighting the talents of Bath Elementary School students was held, and other children’s activities included rope making, weaving and pirate projects.
Adding another history footnote to the occasion, Historic Bath State Historic Site offered free tours of the circa 1830 Bonner House and the circa 1751 Palmer-Marsh House.
BathFest proved to be a shopper’s paradise, as well, with vendors offering baked goods, handcrafted jewelry and pottery, birdhouses, baskets, aprons, soaps, wreaths and decorative items.