County’s 300th: How sweet it is

Published 8:57 pm Monday, December 3, 2012

Lynn Lewis (left) is offered a slice of Beaufort County’s birthday cake by Penny Sermons on Sunday afternoon as Lloyd Balance (right) and Keith Hackney look on. The celebration was one of the final events in the year-long commemoration of the county’s 300th anniversary. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

BATH — One of the final events celebrating Beaufort County’s 300th anniversary was held over the weekend in Bath and it was the sweetest of parties.
Following the town’s Christmas parade, local residents and visitors were invited to the former Bath High School for a party, complete with birthday cake.
“This is a culmination of the year-long celebration of the 300th birthday,” said Penny Sermons, who co-chaired the event with Lloyd Balance. “We wanted to use Bath because it is the oldest town in the state, so it seemed like a good place to kind of wind it up.”
According to Balance, celebratory events were held in communities throughout the county this year.
Earlier in 2012, events were hosted in conjunction with Belhaven’s July 4 festivities, reunions of the former Belhaven High School and the former Pantego High School, and the Aurora Fossil Festival, in addition to concerts in Washington and Chocowinity. A highlight of the celebration was a performance by the North Carolina Symphony on the Washington waterfront in September.
The final event, a Christmas concert featuring the Elizabeth City State University Choir, is planned for Thursday beginning at 7 p.m. at Northside High School.
“We wanted to do something special like this in every community,” Balance noted.
Keith Hackney, a local historian and attorney, assisted Sermons and Balance in serving cake. He said that while Beaufort County is indeed known for its rich history, its citizens are to be commended too.
“We are a community full of generous, caring people … and I think our 300th anniversary is a good reflection of that,” Hackney said.