Apex plans celebration of its history

aramos@newsobserver.comJanuary 29, 2014 

  • If you go

    Apex’s first Founders Day Celebration will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 1. The free event will feature a 5K race to raise money for the local Kiwanis club, exhibits, an antique car show, an old farm-equipment display, Civil War re-enactments and presentations by historians.

— Local history buffs have something to look forward to this March: Apex’s first Founders Day Celebration.

The town is partnering with the Apex Downtown Business Association to put on the event.

Apex has no shortage of festivals that celebrate everything from art to barbecue. But the Founders Day Celebration will be the first festival that celebrates Apex exclusively.

The event will also help fill a four-month gap on the town’s festival calendar.

As part of the partnership, Apex will donate space at The Halle Cultural Arts Center and the public parking lot behind the Tobacco & Mule Exchange. The town will also provide trash-collection services.

The Apex Downtown Business Association will cover the insurance and programming costs, along with police staffing fees.

Apex Town Councilman Scott Lassiter, a liaison to the town’s parks and recreation advisory board, said the town can never have too many festivals.

“It’s one of those things that brings the community together,” Lassiter said. “In our cultural resources master plan, citizens spoke out in tremendous support of the festivals we do.”

As a history teacher at East Wake Middle School, Lassiter said he is looking forward to Founders Day.

“Any time we can expose where we came from, maybe to people new to the Apex (area), it works to build that greater sense of community that all towns are looking for,” Lassiter said. “A festival like this will help them get an understanding of what we were like before they got here – our trek from a whistle-stop community to one of the largest towns in North Carolina.”

With about 40,000 residents, Apex is the 22nd largest municipality in North Carolina, according to the state Office of Budget and Management.

It is the fifth largest municipality in the Triangle, behind Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Chapel Hill, according to state figures.

At the turn of the 20th century, Apex had about 350 residents.

Apex was incorporated in 1873, according to the town’s website. It got its name because the area was the highest point on the Chatham Railroad between Richmond, Va., and Jacksonville, Fla.

Wake County’s first tobacco auction market was established in Apex in 1905, according to the website.

The free Founders Day Celebration will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, March, 1. The festival will include a 5K race, Civil War re-enactments, history presentations and more, said Mike Sayers of the downtown business association.

Sayers hopes people will come out to learn “the history of the town from its inception.”

“They’ll find out this used to be called Log Pond instead of Apex,” he said. “It’s a lot of history.”

Ramos: 919-460-2609; Twitter: @AlianaCaryNews 

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