The history of Hillsboro is on full display during the Little Levels Heritage Fair, and this year was no exception. Traditions were honored through music, contests and displays from years gone by.
Visitors were fully immersed in the past as they toured the McNeel Mill, where Jan McNeel had displays of photos, books and memorabilia from the McNeel family; and the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace, where the life of the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes winning author’s life – from birth to success – is shared in the three-story home where she was born.
At Hillsboro Elementary School, the traditions continued, with crafters selling their wares, and photos from past fairs showed the different ways in which the community has celebrated. Outside the school, traditional tunes by local musicians groups delighted those who gathered under the large tent to catch up with old friends and enjoy the sporadic cool breeze.
In the field, youngsters played old-timey games like tug-of-war and relay races with eggs on spoons. Rodeo star Hannah Burks was set up with practice materials, sharing tricks of the trade with those who wanted to learn roping skills.
For those interested in something with higher octane, the lower field had a car show featuring glittery cars and trucks from all eras.
The annual pie-baking contest drew several entries in the two categories – berry/fruit pies and cream pies.
Winners were: Grand prize, first place, Janet Baker; and second place, Connie Rose.
Berry/fruit pies: first place, Connie Rose with her famous strawberry rhubarb pie; second place, Suzanne Stewart with a blueberry rhubarb pie; and third place, Huntersville Traditions Days with a strawberry rhubarb pie.
Cream pies: first place, Janet Baker with a cream cheese apple blondie pie; second place, Dagwood Walker with a peanut butter pie; and third place, Connie Shewsberry with a blueberry cream pie.
On Saturday afternoon, the parade included floats with remembrances of past generations, and farm equipment, which was used on centuries-old farms in the Levels.
Led by the Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps, the parade was small, but it had a lot of heart.
Parade results were: Walking and Horse Category – first place, Ramona Hardy. Best Agricultural Equipment – first place, Joe Hollandsworth; second place, Dustin Simmons; and third place, Anderson Ag Services.
Floats: Bicentennial Best in Show – Little Levels School float; first place, Rose Family “Embracing the Past with the Future;” second place, Richard Hill Memorial float; and third place, Kinnison Family float.
The event culminated Sunday with a heritage walking tour, cemetery tours, Vespers at the McNeel Cemetery honoring Lanty McNeel.
The final event of the weekend was burying the Bicentennial Time Capsule for the Little Levels at the McNeel Cemetery.