Home town proud

Published 4:55 pm Monday, April 29, 2024

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Last weekend was a very special one in Washington. There were over 1,500 or maybe even more people visiting our town. Washington was buzzing with excitement and goodwill.
There was so many wonderful events going on, and there was something for everyone to do and enjoy. The big event was Cycle NC which brought about 1,400 or more people to Washington. It was an awesome event. I enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people from all over our country. The Washington Tourism Board did an outstanding job with the event, and cyclist from 33 states got a chance to enjoy all that Washington has to offer; our beautiful town, the wonderful people here, fabulous food and many cultural events.

In addition to Cycle NC visitors, there were people visiting from across the country and NC to enjoy the Estuarium, the Historic Turnage Theater, the Underground Railroad Museum, our restaurants, the Harbor District Market, the local stores and breweries, Goose Creek, to name a few.

At the Underground Railroad Museum, we had a few hundred visitors ourselves. Friday, we opened at 10 a.m. and closed at 5:30 p.m., and Saturday we opened at 9 a.m. and closed at 1 p.m. to do a special Green Book Walking History Tour. On both days we were so busy, I didn’t even get a chance to drink a bottle of water, let alone get something to eat.

Then we had visitors who participated in the Green Book Walking History Tour that went from Main and Gladden Streets to Sixth and Gladden Streets. Some highlights from that tour covered the Black Employment Agency that was at Fifth and Gladden Street in 1913, the offices of four of the six Washington Black physicians who practiced here from 1898-1965, the home of Washington’s first Black lawyer (who was born in 1867,) the house Dr. Booker T. Washington stayed at near Gladden Street during his visit to Washington in 1910 and Spring Garden Baptist Church built in 1866, the first Black church in Washington.

The phenomenal Green Book events at the historic Turnage Theater featuring nationally renowned playwright and author, Mr. Calvin Alexander Ramsey, whose book ‘Ruth and the Green Book’ inspired the Oscar winning movie the Green Book was truly outstanding.

I can’t tell you how proud I was of Washington for showcasing how great our town is. And to the City of Washington, the Washington Tourism Board, the Historic Turnage Theater, Spring Garden Baptist Church, the Human Relation’s Council, local businesses and organizations and to all who joined together to make last weekend so amazing, thank you for a job well done and for making Washington shine so bright! And a special thank you to Councilman William Pitt representing the Washington City Council at the Green Book events at the Historic Turnage Theater. It meant a lot to Mr. Ramsey.

Leesa Jones is a Washington native and the co-curator of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum.