By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times
CAROLINA COMMUNITY – If there’s one thing that can be said about the Carolina community, it’s that its people know how to celebrate their history.
For the sixth year running, the Carolina community will honor its days of yore with Carolina Heritage Day. This annual event, scheduled for Sunday at the Old Carolina Schoolhouse and Community Center, brings hundreds of people into the area to celebrate the richness of its history.
“Carolina Heritage Day is an event that reaches out beyond the borders of Carolina to neighboring communities,” said event organizer Thomas Conwill.
“It’s an event that celebrates our heritage. I think most people are curious about their roots and history. The events of Carolina Heritage Day bring history to life in many ways.”
It does this through what Conwill called “living history exhibits.”
Every year, participants dress in historical clothing and re-enact the daily lives of the people who lived there more than 100 years ago.
Displays will be open for viewing beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday morning. Exhibits will include quilts, aprons, a family heritage wall, antique tractors and cars and many more items.
At 11 a.m., there will be a community church service, which Conwill said was one of the biggest draws of the event. Five area churches participate in the service, which is held inside the historic schoolhouse. Bro. Mike Yielding of Evergreen Baptist Church will preside over the service and arrive by horse and wagon.
According to Conwill, the schoolhouse is the heart of the Carolina community. This is why so much of the event is built around it.
“The Carolina Community Center, which was once a school, is a special place for those who live here,” he said. “Most of our parents or grandparents attended school in this building. It holds lots of memories. People are drawn here on Carolina Heritage Day to remember, hear stories or even tell stories.”
Following the church service, there will be a pot-luck dinner.
The day will continue with all kinds of old-timey events ripped straight from the pages of Carolina community’s history. Guests can drop by Conwill Bros. Grocery for a visit, take a wagon ride across the community, visit the local grist mill to see how it operates, visit a Civil War camp or help shell some corn.
Those with a competitive streak might be interested in the handful of contests being held that day, including Moon Pie-eating, hog-calling, dinner bell ringing and storytelling.
All of these events are free and everyone is welcome to attend and participate.
The Carolina community is one of the oldest in the county. Settled in 1833 by a group of brave pioneers from North Carolina and South Carolina, Carolina quickly became a thriving hub of homes and schools.
“Stories from the first pioneer wagon train have been told and retold for generations,” Conwill said. “If your family is from Carolina, you’ve probably heard the Carolina story.
“Carolina Heritage Day brings that story to life.”