Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tobacco Harvest Festival Attracts Thousands, 1949

From the December 1949 issue of Extension Farm-News
Everyone but the weatherman cooperated in making Haywood County’s third annual Tobacco Harvest Festival one of the biggest and most successful farm events ever staged in Western North Carolina.
Spectators had to brave chilling winds and a full-scale snowstorm to see the festival parade, but they came in droves and stayed until the very end. The colorful event drew an estimated 12,000 persons, as large a crowd as the one that lined the streets to greet the late President Roosevelt.
More than 3,000 jammed every nook and corner of the Waynesville Armory on the final night to witness a demonstration by five expert square dance teams and to see Mrs. Jennie Mae Early of Thickety community crowned queen.
The festival, held November 22-26 under the sponsorship of the Merchants Association, offered a program of information, inspiration, and recreation, which attracted the attention of the entire Western part of the State. Among the speakers were Congressman Monroe Redden, U.S. Senators Clyde R. Hoey and Frank P. Graham, Judge Camille Kelley of Memphis, Dr. E.L. Butz of Purdue University, and Mrs. Perry Taylor, vice president of the Federated Women of North Carolina.
Wayne Corpening, whom Dr. E.L. Butz referred to as a “human dynamo,” and his assistants worked so hard during the Haywood County Tobacco Harvest Festival that one of them, Turner Cathey, badly needed a new hat when the event was over. According to The Waynesville Mountaineer, he got one too—but not exactly what he was expecting.
Turner noticed that one of the pictures taken during the festival showed a prominent businessman wearing an extra-broad smile as he presented the loving cup to the tobacco queen. He called up to the man and in a stern voice said:
“Young man, I have before me a photograph of you and a young lady. Your wife would like to have this picture, but I promise not to deliver it to her if you will give me a new hat.”
Next morning a package was delivered to Cathey in the county agent’s office. Inside was a large straw hat left over from last summer’s stock.

No comments:

Post a Comment