Thanks to Community Support – Halloween at Silvermont Park Was a Huge Success

PumpkinPatchSignThe second year for the “Lighted Pumpkin Patch & Revenge of the White Squirrels” event at Silvermont Park was a huge success, thanks to the support of Transylvania County residents and other visitors.  Over 2600 people visited the illuminated paths decorated with an extensive collection of carved pumpkin and other Halloween displays.  Kids of all ages enjoyed scouting for the hidden white squirrels along the trails, listening to the live music that was performed every evening, dining on goodies from the food trucks, visiting the first floor of the mansion and taking part in photo ops with a giant white squirrel!

The Pumpkin Patch fund-raising event ran for three weekends in October, and raised close to $14,000 for the Friends of Silvermont (FOS) fund to benefit Silvermont Park.  The Friends of Silvermont are community advocates for keeping Silvermont Park as a vibrant community center and historic landmark. The mission of FOS is to support and advise Transylvania County management in the renovation, enhancement and upkeep of the Silvermont mansion and surrounding park.

The event was possible through the contributions of over 100 volunteers, the Transylvania County Parks & Recreation Department, funding by the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority, and many helpful businesses.  Individuals from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the French Broad Garden Club, and the FOS provided the majority of volunteer efforts.

The initial unpacking of displays was a huge chore, requiring the relocation of the thousands of pumpkins and heavy displays from multiple storage locations to the Silvermont grounds.  Keystone Camp provided space for storage of many of the displays over the last year.  Participants from the Schenck Job Corps were vital to the moving process, as were members of the County Inmate Work Crew.

Volunteers spent hundreds of hours restoring the displays, planning the layout and logistics, and installing the many decorations and electrical cords required for illumination.  Thanks to County funding, new electrical outlets were available throughout the park, making the layout much more manageable this year.

During the event, volunteers worked the gates and parking lot, patrolled the trails, coordinated games, and managed the event.

New to the event this year, two food trucks provided warm drinks and others treats – many thanks to the Velvet Cup and Pauline’s Coffee Cart!

The live music of Ben Phan, Opus Vita, Alabama Headlights, Kevin Muehleisen, and Silvermont’s own Mountain Music group took turns entertaining the crowd from the steps of the mansion – thank you!

The Oskar Blues trolley transported appreciative visitors to Silvermont on several nights from neighboring parking lots and the Gallery Walk.

Other businesses that contributed to the success of the Pumpkin Patch include Ace Hardware, The Transylvania Times, Blue Ridge Quick Print, Allegra, and Keystone Camp.

The Silvermont mansion turns 100 years old in 2017 and plans are being made to celebrate the centennial.  Mark your calendars for May 13, 2017 when the primary celebration will be held!  The FOS encourages members of the community to provide continued support for Silvermont Park enhancement efforts by becoming a Friend of Silvermont.  To become a Friend, visit the FOS website at www.silvermont.org/membership/

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Silvermont Open for Twilight Tour

The second floor museum will be open during the Brevard Twilight Tour on December 3, from 5pm – 7pm.  It will be a great time to visit this historic site which will be decorated for the holidays.  The lovely silver Silvermont mansion Christmas ornaments will be Ornamentavailable for purchase. The  House Museum has been restored to reflect the era and lifestyle of Joseph Simpson Silversteen and his wife Elizabeth who built and moved into this 33-room colonial revival house in 1917.  Please note:  the museum is not  handicap  accessible due to its location on the second floor.

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Lighted Pumpkin Patch Coming Soon!

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Strategic Plan for Parks to be Presented

Come learn about the strategic plan for Brevard & Transylvania County Parks – Monday September 26, 7pm, County Commissioners meeting.strategic-plan-meeting

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Lighted Pumpkin Patch Will Return – Volunteers Requested

Last October’s “Revenge of the White Squirrels” and “Lighted Pumpkin Patch” events in Silvermont Park were such a hit, that the Friends of Silvermont plan to bring the event back this October.  Planning for the event has begun, and they are looking for volunteers who would like to be a part of these fun Halloween activities.  The event will run for three weekends in October and will include some of the displays from last year, along with additional displays and activities, providing an even bigger and better experience for children and families over the Halloween holidays.

PumpkinPatchSignAn immediate need for the event is location of long-term storage space for the thousands of pumpkin decorations.  For the past year, the team used a Quonset hut on the grounds of Keystone Camp, a much-appreciated short-term solution for the project.  A larger, more accessible space would make the maintenance of the decorations more feasible.  A large unheated barn or garage would be ideal.  If you have or know of a space that might be available, please contact Pinkie Byrd at pinkieb@comporium.net.   

Teams are now being formed to prepare the displays and to manage the event.  A first step will be to find people with an artistic/craft orientation to help get the pumpkin displays ready. There are opportunities both for display repair as well as design.  Some of the displays need some rehab and additional decoration for use this year.  Some of the donated displays were not used last year, but with some TLC and design layout, could be put into action this year.  For anyone interested in being a part of this project, please contact Jeanne Hunter (jeannehntr@yahoo.com).

The group is seeking additional volunteers to help with moving and set-up on the grounds, as well as staffing of the event.  Contact Pinkie Byrd at pinkieby@gmail.com if you would like to volunteer. 

 

 

 

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Memorial Service and Reception for Lee Stewart – April 9

LeeStewartEmily “Lee” Masburn Stewart, of Brevard, passed away in Marietta, Ga. Dec. 14, 2015 surrounded by four generations of a loving family.

She is best remembered for a life long love of helping others, demonstrated in recent years by her involvement with The Council on Aging, AAUW and Silvermont. She had the remarkable ability to see the good in others and bring out the best in them.

A memorial for her will be held at the English Chapel at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 9, 2016. Following the service, a reception will be held at Silvermont from 3 to 5 p.m ., hosted by the Friends of Silvermont. Lee’s family would be pleased if you would join us for this remembrance of the impact she made on each of us.

In lieu of flowers donations to Silvermont in her honor would be appreciated.

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Trail Sign Greets Walkers and Honors Jonathan Baker

003A vibrant new sign has been installed at Silvermont, providing a map of the Silvermont ADA Trail that meanders through the park.  The trail was donated in memory of Jonathan Baker by his parents Gene and Sally Baker; the sign helps commemorate their wonderful gift.  The sign also provides a brief history of Silvermont, with fun cutouts of the Silversteen family allowing park visitors to have their pictures taken with Dorothy Silversteen. Come see the latest addition at Silvermont Park and enjoy the lovely spring weather by walking the trail!

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