Write Again…How truly special it was

Published 4:55 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Would that my word skills were adequate to convey how very special the June 9 event held at the Turnage Theater was. Alas, they are not.

I suspect probably everyone who was part of the really large turnout would be in agreement. Those who didn’t attend will, cannot, really appreciate how special it was.

Prior to entering the theater there was much memorabilia to peruse. Several costumes and phots of the events were on display.

It was the presentation I person; and most powerful, a poignant portion-the major part of the entire program-that was so interesting, enlightening, enjoyable, and emotion-producing that all came together to give an unforgettable experience. Hyperbole this is not.

So. Should there be any soul now reading this who actually doesn’t know that to which I refer, it was the Tulip Festival, held each April. That’s right, the Tulip Festival.

And friends, the Tulip Festival was a really, really big deal. Terra Ceia celebrated in all its Dutch American heritage.

Estimates of the crowd were in excess of 10,000. In our beloved Little Washington. That’s right. Amazingly such crowd numbers were repeated the following day.

Floats? Bunches. Gaily and colorfully decorated.
Bands? You bet. 14 in all. One with a precious small child majorette.
People in Dutch costumes in both parades? Of course.

Children also/ Come on; you know there were. Many. Proudly parading. Pets? Dogs and cats. God bless ‘em too.

The film depicting all of this was absolutely masterful. The events shown took place in 1939, but the tech wizards at UNC-Chapel Hill re-mastered it to perfection. Shown on the theater’s big screen, it put you right there, a perfect position to enjoy the event to the fullest.

Such a challenging undertaking, preserving and presenting this for us, was surely daunting. Surely. It took more than a few people to make it happen.

There are two people, two very special, perceptive, dedicated and industrious souls, without whom the project would not have become a reality.

Ray Midgett and Stephen Farrell, one of whom is a bonafide senior citizen, one a very young man. Their legacy is sealed.

Interestingly, neither a native. Ray is from Hatteras, Stephen from Aberdeen. How ‘bout that, y’all?

Will “the Tulip Festival” be shown again sometime? Yes, stay tuned. Later…

NOTE-The Tulip Festival took place from 1937 to 1941. You know what caused it to end.