The Town of Selma has planned a year-long celebration of its 150th birthday.
On May 1, 1867, with a dance and barbecue, town founder John W. Sharpe sold lots around a newly established station on the N.C. Railroad. Sharpe, who was a Confederate officer in the Civil War, had moved the Mitchener Station about one mile east along the tracks to establish the town. Selma was officially chartered on Feb. 11, 1873.
The celebration begins with a 5K run Jan. 21. Here is what else is on the calendar:
Feb. 13-17 – Selma & Black History Month. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., speakers from the Selma Historical Museum will talk about black residents who had an impact on Selma from its founding to the present. Also, writers and historians who have published works on Selma will conduct interactive lectures and media presentations. The programs will be at the Selma Historical Museum, 104 W. Anderson St. To learn more, call Eric Jackson at 919-333-4899.
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March 1-31 – literary programs. The Friends of the Selma Library will have book displays, children story times and adult discussions about Selma and writers who have influenced Selma throughout the decades. Dates, times and themes will be announced soon. All programs will take place at the library, 305 N. Pollock St.
April 22-23 – “Selma in the Spring” & Historical Homes Tour. A pageant of period costumes and historical hats will grace the streets of Selma, offering a beautiful setting for a photo opportunity and subsequent contest for the best-looking photo. The annual Historical Homes & Gardens Tour will also take place, and artists will demonstrate and display their works. The tour will begin at the Max G. Creech Selma Historical Museum, and the event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
May 6, 13 and 21 – Selma Police, Fire, & EMS Recognition. Selma’s police, fire and emergency medical departments will host open houses with vehicle and equipment displays. Also, the town will recognize its veterans, living and deceased.
July 4 – Independence Day celebration and Dinner at the Depot. Join the town in a daylong July 4 street party while reviving some old-time events from Selma’s past like the Melon, Tomato and Better Baby Fair. The evening will end with another Dinner at the Depot at 7.
Aug. 5 – Chili Cook-Off. This summer shindig from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will focus on food, with a chili cook-off, barbecue cook-off and pecan pie contest. Musical groups will perform throughout day. The events will take place around the Town Hall gazebo.
Sept. 23 – Farm Day. The event, with an assist from the Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly, will display crafts, tools and crops from farms of yesteryear. In addition, the town plans an architectural scavenger hunt to highlight Selma’s various building styles. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Town Hall gazebo will serve as the hub.
Oct. 7 – Railroad Days. The annual event will offer its regular fare, including live entertainment, vendors, food, rides, a parade and 5K run. Also on the schedule are guided historical and architectural tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tours will depart from the history museum.
Nov. 1-30 – Family History Days. The town plans to videotape oral histories from a cross-section of its senior citizens and show those throughout the month. The tapes will be placed in a time capsule the town plans to bury at the end of the year. Ray Jaklitsch is coordinating the project. To learn more, call him at 919-333-4899 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dina Flowers is the contact person for the entire celebration. Call her at 919-291-1428 or email her at email@example.com.