Celebrating the Granville County of yesterday and today

Granville County celebrates 275 years of history and progress on July 24 at the Granville Athletic Park in Oxford. The community-wide event kicks off with the dedication of the Phase III expansion of the Park (9 a.m.) to officially mark the completion of the new amenities. The addition of six tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, an all-inclusive playground, a sheltered pavilion, a fitness station, open play space and additional parking are all included in the expansion, which adds 11 acres to the already existing GAP.


Following the dedication will be opening ceremonies for Granville County’s 275th Anniversary Celebration at 10 a.m., with a presentation of colors and remarks from local dignitaries. Activities and entertainment are planned throughout the day (until 4 p.m.) as residents and visitors are encouraged to explore the park, choose from a wide variety of food truck menus, enjoy live music and programs, and learn more about resources available throughout the county.


Entertainment from the amphitheater stage includes all local performers and puts a spotlight on community talent ranging from gospel/inspirational singers to jazz/R&B performers. Also included is bluegrass music, local theater, line dancing and more, appealing to all ages and musical preferences.


   * 11:00, Frank Sossamon, southern gospel favorites and hymns
   * 11:30, Oxford Housing Authority, African drumming demonstration
   * 12:00, Mary Potter Community Choir, gospel selections
   * 12:30, Silvanus Slaughter, folk, jazz, rhythm & blues
   * 1:00, Granville Little Theater, historical skit/musical theater
   * 1:30, Gwen Rubio and Friends, mid-day stretch, line dancing
   * 2:00, God’s Men of Harmony, a cappella gospel, praise music
   * 2:30, Backyard Bluegrass Band, bluegrass, country
   * 3:00, Jonathan Abbott, gospel, patriotic favorites
   * 3:30, Detroit Yancey, inspirational, jazz, rhythm & blues


Local author Lewis Bowling will be available at the GAP’s Sport Pavilion, signing copies of his new book, “Looking Back: 275 Years of Granville County History.” This work, a comprehensive review of the last 275 years, tells the County’s story in Bowling’s familiar narrative style and through rare photos. For those who have not yet purchased this coffee-table style book, copies will be available on site, as well as commemorative souvenir coins that mark the County’s milestone anniversary.


Serving as a presentation area for local programs of interest is the GAP’s outdoor classroom space, located along the walking trail in the Jonesland Environmental Preserve. Scheduled programs from this site include:


* 11:00: Our Tobacco Heritage, Gary Cross, N.C. Cooperative Extension,  
   Granville County, with special guest Billy Yeargin;

* 1:00:  Reading Food Labels (informational workshop through the
   Creative Lifelong Learning program). Granville County Senior
   Services, facilitated by Linda Robinson;

* 3:00: Meet John Penn, featuring the Thornton Library’s North
   Carolina Room Specialist Mark Pace


Food trucks on site, with a wide variety of menu items, will be:

   * B&T’s Frosty Green Snowballs;   
   * Cakes by Chelsea;
   * D’s Presto;
   * Jay Boyz Hot Dogs;
   * Kona Ice;
   * Mixx D’s;
   * Mama’s Funnel Cakes
   * Nana’s Kitchen;
   * R&J’s Fish, Wings and Things;
   * Soul Bachi; and
   * Southern Snow.


Almost 50 nonprofit vendors will be participating with exhibits, displays and community resources available throughout the Park. BoHo the Clown and McGruff the Crime Dog will make special appearances throughout the day as children enjoy bouncy houses, fire trucks on display from across the county, and hands-on activities. The Lord Granville Agricultural Heritage Association will also have vintage farm equipment on display at the Ellok Jones tobacco barn, located near the GAP’s main entrance.


The Granville Athletic Park is located at 4615 Belltown Road in Oxford. For more details about Granville County’s 275th Anniversary, please call the County Administration Office at 919-603-1308 or visit


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