BLADENBORO — Sweltering temperatures under a blazing sun did little to quell the enthusiasm or the turnout for Friday’s ribbon-cutting and grand opening for the Bladenboro Farmer’s Market.
The Farmer’s Market is the culmination of a numerous conversations and planning sessions by members of the community and the Boost the ‘Boro Committee.
Johnny Anderson, president of the Boost the ‘Boro Committee, gave the opening remarks and recognized the dignitaries who were on hand early Friday afternoon.
Not only was the building officially pronounced to be open for business, it was also dedicated to the memory of Hiram Hester. He was a member of the Boost the ‘Boro Committee and was active in Bladenboro.
Anderson told those gathered that there is a plaque inside the building that marks the dedication of the building to Hester and a separate plaque that recognizes the businesses and individuals who have volunteered their time or made donations to see the Farmer’s Market become a reality.
Dan Ward, the vice-chairman of the N.C. Tobacco Trust, said,”This is a beautiful, fun part of my job — to be at check presentations, grand openings and ribbon-cuttings.”
Ward joked with the crowd gathered that Feb. 10, the day which the Tobacco Trust presented the town of Bladenboro with a check, could be considered the official planting date.
“It is great to be here and see the result,” said Ward.
N.C. Rep. William Brisson was also present, and said, “This will be very viable to the community.”
N.C. Rep. Ken Waddell also attended and told those present that the community should be proud of the effort put forth in the Farmer’s Market and the results.
Bladenboro Mayor Rufus Duckworth also spoke.
“It was a lot of hard work. It was fun and as everyone can see, it was well worth it,” said Duckworth.
Also during the festivities, time was taken for Brisson and Waddell to present the family of Hiram Hester with the Old North State Award. Accepting the award on behalf of the family was Murray Hester and Gordon Hester, brothers of Hiram Hester.
“Hiram (Hester) was a go-getter. When the mayor came to me and came to William (Brisson) and said we need to do something (to recognize Hester), we tried to figure out what the award should be,” said Waddell.
The Old North State Award is given to individuals who represent exemplary service and dedication to North Carolina, according to reports.
“On behalf of Mischa (Hiram Hester’s wife) and the family, we thank you. Hiram loved the community, he loved calling Bladenboro home,” said Gordon Hester.