Sandburg in September festival celebrates National Park Service Centennial

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2016

On Aug. 25 the National Park Service will celebrate its 100th anniversary as the manager and protector of “America’s best idea.” As the official support group of the only NPS property wholly contained within western North Carolina, the Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara has created a line-up of Sandburg in September events to keep the centennial celebration party hopping at our own backyard national treasure. Special Sandburg in September events will mark National Park Service’s 100th birthday.

Over the course of 16 days, eight community events will center around the life of poet, biographer, folk singer and social activist Carl Sandburg who spent the final 22 years of his life with his wife Paula on their farm in Flat Rock. Included in the festival are:

– A community singalong with Jim and Pat McGill and Pat Corn

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– A screening of the movie “The Day Carl Sandburg Died”

– A spoken word poetry performance by South Carolina artist Moody Black

– A gallery exhibition of Carl Sandburg-inspired art

– A concert of Sandburg poetry put to music by acclaimed New York musician David Nagler

– As part of this year’s birthday bash the Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara are offering the public a chance to participate in the Give100 Centennial Challenge, a raffle where the winning $100 ticket will receive a customizable National Park vacation trip for two valued at $5,000. Only 150 tickets will be offered and all ticket holders receive a free one-year membership to the Friends.

All funds raised during the Sandburg in September festival go directly to the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site.

The centerpiece of the Sandburg in September festival will be the Friends’ bi-annual Hobo Ball (Carl Sandburg spent time as a hobo when he was 19 years old and the experience informed his writing the rest of his life) on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. Guests to this year’s Centennial Gala at the Mountain Lodge and Conference Center in Flat Rock will enjoy dancing to the jazz standards of Katie Ciluffo, Bill Altman & Friends.

– article submitted by Doug Gelbert