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Crossing of the Dan draws throng / February 17, 2009
The two-day Crossing of the Dan celebration on Friday and Saturday drew strong crowds, with Friday’s events focusing on local sixth grade students who as part of their SOL testing study the American Revolution. “We are so fortune to have the support of our schools,” said Anne Rabb, regent of the local DAR chapter who worked to involve the local students in the celebration.

Friday’s two programs included art, essays and poetry competition winners recognitions. The students also presented a play for both programs which they produced especially for the event.

Attendance Friday drew a packed house as the students performed and were then treated to monologues by D’oyle Moore, portraying Gen. Nathanael Greene.

“The students were so interested and so well behaved,” Rabb said. “I hope this is something that we can continue to do in years to come.”

The student participation attracted the presence of two representatives of the National Trust for Historic Preservation on Friday, Rabb said. Sonja Ingram, field representative for the APVA and Jennifer Hurst, statewide education coordinator for APVA, both came to the Friday programs and said they were very impressed that sixth graders were included in the celebration.

Rabb also had high praise for colonial musician Ken Bloom, who she said “could play music on a rock. He was so knowledgeable about musical history and had made a banjo, which he played, from a gourd. He also played a flute he had made from the bone of a deer.”

Also featured on Friday evening was a lecture by Dr. Wayne Lee, Associate Professor of History at UNC, Chapel Hill, who presented information on the Revolution’s military campaign in the southern states and particularly in North Carolina.

The Friday night pilgrimage to the Dan, highlighted by a big barn fire, was a special event of the evening, Rabb said.

Saturday’s program, beginning with a catered breakfast for members of the Sons of the Revolution and the Daughters of the Revolution, was followed by an address by Dr. Dennis Conrad, editor of Greene’s papers. Conrad told his listeners much about Greene’s philosophy which emphasized the importance of a strong cavalry as well as the mobility of small units of the military. Commanding small units enabled Greene to attack and then move quickly from place to place, Conrad told his listeners.

The celebration ended with a pilgrimage to the Boyd’s Ferry site on the Dan and a luncheon for some 70 guests in the banquet room of The Prizery.

“It was an absolutely wonderful celebration,” Rabb said on Sunday, noting that “Mother Nature couldn’t have been better to us in providing the good weather for both days of the event.”

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