Although there are many cities in the US named after the Revolutionary War hero, Marquis de Lafayette, Fayetteville, North Carolina, was the first city named in his honor. And it was the only city that Lafayette visited during his Grand Tour of the United States in 1825. Today, Fayetteville celebrates the birth of the French nobleman with a variety of events September 7-8.
In 2007, the United States Congress issued a proclamation that declared Fayetteville as the place "where North Carolina celebrates Lafayette's birthday". Then in 2011, the NC House of Representatives declared that Fayetteville celebrate Lafayette's birthday every September.
This years events include: author Mark Leepson speaking about his book Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from an Idealist General; the Festival of Yesteryear, a tour that traces Lafayette's 1825 visit, a 5K run/3K dog walk, French wine and cheese tasting, fencing tournament, and "Party in the Park', a family-themed party including bounce houses, face painting, pony rides, live music and entertainment as well as birthday cake and ice cream for all.
Can't make the birthday celebration? No worries. The Lafayette Cultural Heritage Trail allows visitors to trace Lafayette's 1825 Fayetteville tour any time. Or stop at the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry armory to view Lafayette's carriage.
Learn more about this event and more at the www.lafayettesociety.org.