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Sonker Festival, Civil War event postponed

Various local events routinely have fallen victim to the coronavirus over the past couple of years, and now the weather is wreaking havoc including prompting the postponement of two major gatherings scheduled this coming weekend.

Officials of both the Surry County Sonker Festival and the Civil War Encampment and Living History Weekend in Ararat, Virginia, have announced that neither will be held as planned.

“This is all due to the hurricane weather, the impending weather situation,” explained Tom Bishop, a spokesman for the annual Civil War event that was to be staged on Saturday and Sunday.

In response, organizers have moved it to the weekend of Oct. 8-9 in the hopes of better conditions then.

“We’re doing everything we can to get the message out,” Bishop said of the change.

Officials of the Surry County Historical Society, which conducts the sonker event that was slated for Saturday, have made a similar announcement.

“Due to the weather forecast, the board of directors of the Surry County Historical Society is postponing the Sonker Festival to a later date,” advised the group’s president, Dr. Annette Ayers.

Unlike the Civil War Encampment and Living History Weekend, no alternate schedule has been devised for the sonker event, which takes place at the historic Edwards-Franklin House on Haystack Road west of Mount Airy.

“We have not determined the date as of now,” Ayers added earlier this week.

The Surry County Sonker Festival, now in its 41st year, has not been held since 2019 because of COVID-19. It celebrates the deep-dish dessert native to this area, available for sale in multiple flavors, with a band playing traditional music, various exhibits and tours of the Edwards-Franklin House also part of the occasion.

Heavy rain expected

A rainy forecast is in store for the local area this weekend as the remnants of Hurricane Ian move north, according to the National Weather Service.

Rain will reach the area late Friday and continue into the weekend.

Ian could bring widespread moderate to heavy rainfall and a flash flood threat to the region. In addition, gusty winds will be possible depending on Ian’s exact track, the National Weather Service was reporting Tuesday.

At last report, showers are likely both Saturday and Sunday, with the precipitation threat greatly diminishing on Monday.

Living History schedule

In being shifted to Oct. 8-9, activities during the Civil War Encampment and Living History Weekend will operate under the same time frame as previously reported.

This will include mock battles both days and an exhibit featuring a replica of the CSS Hunley submarine.

“We may have some of our uniformed and period clothing people that have other commitments,” Bishop mentioned regarding re-enactment troops involved in the battle recreations and others who lend authenticity to the event.

“But this cannot be helped.”

The Civil War Encampment and Living History Weekend is held at Laurel Hill, the birthplace of Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart.



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