For many, the big 4-0 is a milestone to dread. For those who live in Davidson, however, it's a number to celebrate.
This Saturday, Davidson will mark the 40th anniversary of Town Day, with fun activities and community service projects that capture the spirit of the town.
The event originated in May 1971, when Mayor Tom Sadler designated the week of May 8-15 "Clean Up week," with Town Day concluding the activities.
Downtown Manager Kim Fleming said this year's anniversary hopes to recreate that sense of service and community.
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"Because we are celebrating our 40th year, we've tried to go back to what it originally was- a day of service," she said.
The day offers many opportunities for citizens to be involved with projects, from planting a vegetable garden at the Ada Jenkins Center to spreading mulch along Main Street to grabbing a trash bag and picking up garbage.
No signup is necessary; simply show up to lend a hand. Mayor John Woods will also be recognizing several organizations that have completed community service projects this year.
Town Day also will include many of the familiar traditions and activities. It begins with the Davidson Cornelius Child Development Center's 5K Race and Fun Run at 8:30 a.m.
"This has always been a great event," said Fleming. It's also one that especially resonates with residents, since the center was on the brink of closing due to financial reasons a short time ago. Due to an outpouring of community support and donations, the center has remained open and flourished.
"It shows that whatever the cause, the people of Davidson always rise to the occasion," said Fleming.
The Village Green will host food, games and entertainment from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., with old favorites such as the Davidson Elementary Cake Walk, an old-fashioned duck pond and booths and games. The Davidson Housing Coalition has built a fun house, the library will hold its book sale, and Woods will unveil the new brick library patio, honoring the citizens' efforts to save the public library.
"The patio really shows just what this community can do, and represents the spirit of what Town Day is about," said Fleming. "This is a day when everyone can get together and reflect that this is a great community."