The Charleston Alumni Committee has coupled with the Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society for the Hiwassee Heritage Festival to fill the weekend with activity.
An alumni basketball game will be held in the school gym beginning at 6 p.m. Friday. Male and female alumni are expected to participate.
Officials have organized a schedule for the 100th anniversary celebration.
Opening ceremonies will be held in Charleston City Park beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.
An assembly program at the school at 11 a.m. is set and current Principal Jodie Granham will be opening the cornerstone of the school which was set by students in 1958.
“There is supposed to be a list of students from 1958. There are classes who were supposed to have built the cornerstone (into which time capsule-type items were placed). An ear of corn is also supposed to be in it as well as a number of other items such as copies of the Banner and a Bible,” said Darlene Goins of the committee.
A 1958 Banner photo shows Jerry Lauderdale placing the items in the cornerstone. The ceremony was held after the school burned and the rebuilding began.
A Cow-Pea Cook-off will also be held in the Charleston City Park during the anniversary festivities.
Judges for the cook-off are Sarah Jennings from WTVC NewsChannel 9, Janet Bunch from the UT Agricultural Extension Service and Faye Callaway, president of the Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society.
Memorabilia will also be on display and “Wild River” will be featured along with a documentary which will also be presented at the Museum Center at Five Points later this evening.
Melissa Woody, vice president of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce said, “A little-known piece of agricultural history will also be celebrated with the first-ever Cow-Pea Cookoff. Charleston was once known as the cowpea capital of the world because of the large amount of peas grown in the area and shipped to markets far and away.”
Cowpea is the general name for the crowder pea, black-eyed pea, silver hull and other field pea varieties known as vigna unguiculata.
Cash prizes will be awarded for the best in appetizers and entrees using any type of pea in the cowpea family, according to Woody.
Entries should be brought to the stage in Charleston Park by 10:30 a.m. for judging. Winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Complete rules are available at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce or www.visitclevelandtn.com.
“The Cow-Pea Cook-off is a great way to recognize a true Southern food and a part of our Southern culture,” Woody said. “Charleston is just full of surprises and the fact that the small community was a major exporter of this staple on our tables is another amazing part of Charleston’s story.”
Until the railroads came to the area, the Hiwassee River was a major shipping route for the surrounding area. Charleston was the main port from which much of the agricultural production of the area was shipped.
“A website has been established with updated information at www.creekmore1971.org,” said Goins of the 100 birthday celebration of the school.
Here is a timeline of events Saturday:
- 10 a.m. — Opening Ceremonies by the Alumni Committee.
- 10 a.m. — Registration for Cow-Pea Cookoff immediately after opening ceremonies.
- 11 a.m. — Assembly program at the school; the school will be open for tours and memorabilia displays.
- 12:30 p.m. — Announcements in the park and cook-off winners will be announced.
- 2 p.m. — Alumni program and trivia questions.
- 3 p.m. — Tribute.
- 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. — Music in the park featuring Don Wilson and Boys at Heart.
- 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. — Class gatherings in the park.
n 8 p.m. — Sock Hop in the school gym.