Winston-Salem will celebrate its centennial with four days of activities May 9 – 12 that include a parade, the world premiere of a festive piece for orchestra commissioned for the centennial, a community worship service, the premiere of a centennial documentary, a community toast with a specially brewed “centennial” beer, and more.
The celebrations will begin on Thursday, May 9, which is the 100th anniversary of the day that the consolidation of Winston and Salem into one city took effect. A historic marker will be unveiled on First Street at 6 p.m., followed by a reception and open house in City Hall to view historical displays.
The reception will be followed by the premiere of “Merger: Making the Twin City,” an hour-long documentary produced by WSTV 13 that recounts the origins of Salem and Winston and their tortuous path to consolidation. The film will be shown at A/perture Cinema on Fourth Street at 8, 8:30, 9 and 9:30 p.m.
On Friday, May 10, all city residents who are or will be 100 years old in 2013 are invited to a special Centenarian Luncheon at the Benton Convention Center. That evening, the Arts District will host a “Blue Moon” gallery hop. The gallery hop will be augmented by displays of historical artifacts by the Police and Fire departments, music and art by local students, and a free concert by the Vagabond Saints Society from 7 to 10 p.m. The concert will be preceded by a community toast with a special centennial beer crafted for the occasion by Foothills Brewing, or Primo Water’s “centennial” water.
Old Salem Museums and Gardens will host a free Community Day at Old Salem on Saturday, May 11. In addition to free admission to all Old Salem attractions, visitors will also enjoy colonial crafts, demonstrations of the Tannenberg organ, recitals in the style of 18th century performers, an heirloom puppet show and performances by the Winston-Salem State University Jazz Ensemble.
A centennial parade, featuring marching bands, special floats, and impersonators of historic figures will start at 2 p.m. in Old Salem and march up Main Street into downtown. The parade will conclude at Corpening Plaza, where a party in the plaza will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. featuring food and merchandise vendors and a free concert headlined by Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen.
Also on Saturday, a centennial scavenger hunt in Old Salem and downtown will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., followed by an after party at BB&T Ballpark. Team registrations will be accepted starting March 1.
Sunday, May 12, is the anniversary of the first meeting of the consolidated Board of Aldermen. A non-denominational community worship service and love feast will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the May Dell on the campus of Salem Academy and College. Also Sunday, the Winston-Salem Symphony will perform the world premiere of “Hail the Coming Day,” a festive piece for orchestra composed by Dan Locklair of Wake Forest University in honor of the centennial. The premiere will be part of the symphony’s regular May concerts scheduled for 3 p.m. May 12 and 7:30 p.m. May 14.
The centennial activities were planned by the Centennial Commission, a group of citizens that has been overseeing the city’s 100th birthday celebration. More information about the centennial celebration, including a calendar of events, is available at www.W-S100years.com.