Yearlong Celebration for 250th Anniversary

From Chatham County

Throughout 2021 Chatham County will commemorate its 250th anniversary through diverse community-centered events and activities that highlight Chatham’s uniqueness, rich history, and promising future. The yearlong festivities will focus on five key areas – Creative Arts, Community and Diversity, Growth and Change, Agriculture, and Natural Environment.

Chatham 250 Planning Committee

Chatham 250 celebrations are being coordinated by a planning committee made up of representatives from across the county who have diverse backgrounds and unique skills – but with one common thread – their passion for Chatham County. The Chatham 250 planning committee includes representatives from community organizations, local businesses, Chatham County and municipal governments, faith-based organizations, and the public at large.

The Chatham 250 co-chairs are Dr. Carl E. Thompson, Sr., Senior Pastor at Word of Life Christian Outreach Center and former Chatham County Commissioner; Renee Paschal, retired Chatham County Manager, local government budgeting consultant and Chatham County Council on Aging Board Member; and Lendy Carias, Chatham County Schools Teaching Assistant.

“I have called Chatham County home for nearly three decades, and it has embraced so many of us from all walks of life with warmth, acceptance, and tolerance,” said Paschal. “I am truly inspired by this awesome team we have assembled to honor our wonderful community and its people by celebrating 250 years of being Chatham.”

Chatham 250 Logo

One of the first decisions the Chatham 250 planning committee made was determining a special logo for the celebrations.

“Our goal for the Chatham 250 logo was to represent the authenticity of the county, and we also wanted to engage our community members, so we launched a contest for professional and aspiring artists alike,” said Thompson. “More than a dozen Chatham County residents, both adults and children, submitted their unique artwork, and we were thrilled by the designs we received. It was no easy decision, but we chose Sally Gregoire’s design, a postage stamp embodying many great elements of Chatham County.”

Chatham 250 Guiding Values

The Chatham 250 planning committee also determined guiding values aimed at unifying the community through the celebrations – Equitable Engagement, Community Centered, Culturally Responsive, Authentic Celebration and Preservation, and Transparency. These values symbolize the core of the planning committee and its leaders.

“It is my passion to serve and assist others, and my goal is that Chatham 250 will unite the diverse communities and equalize them,” said Carias. “I hope the unity that comes from Chatham 250 will spur community progress beyond the celebration and on to upcoming generations.”

Chatham 250 Events

Chatham 250 already has many projects underway including researching the histories of churches and communities from throughout Chatham County, creating a passport guide to the rich collection of cherished events, activities, places and treats from across the county, grafting Aunt Rachel heritage apple trees in honor of Lee Calhoun’s legacy in Chatham County, and holding a Foundation Day celebration in early April.

A reenactment will take place at the Chatham County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday, December 7, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center in Pittsboro. The re-enactment will portray a bill to establish Chatham County that was introduced at the Colonial Assembly held at New Bern on December 5, 1770. The Board will also make a special proclamation.

While COVID-19 is still present in the community, Chatham 250 is making every possible effort to protect the health and safety of Chatham County residents in its celebrations, offering virtual, contactless, and/or small group activities.

Information about Chatham 250 projects, events, and activities will be posted on a special Chatham 250 website beginning in early 2021. Website details will be provided at a later date. Residents can also receive updates through Chatham County government’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor.