Centreville Day organizers are making final preparations for the annual festival next week, lining up vendors, scoping out the parade route, organizing volunteers and setting up a ghostly trail for the first ever zombie/ghoul 5K fun run for charity.
“This is going to be great,” said Cheryl Repetti, event organizer. “We are very excited for this year’s event.”
Repetti and the main organizing group, the Friends of Historic Centreville, met Wednesday night in a final tune-up for the Oct. 20 festival. The response from the business community has been overwhelming with local shops snapping up all available spots at the festival – about 75. There will be a citizen’s parade as well as something new this year, a 5k Zombie Slouch Fun Run.
Runners are invited to dress up in their best Zombie garb for the run, Repetti said. Fun run revenue goes to the Candlelighters Foundation, which helps families with children diagnosed with cancer.
The theme this year is that the festival is celebrating the 220th anniversary of Centreville becoming a community. The fact there is a Centreville Day 2012 is something of a marvel after the festival collapsed in 2010 when the former sponsor ran into legal troubles and went insolvent.
Repetti and the Friends of Historic Centreville re-launched the celebration last year on a bare-bones budget to huge crowds (about 3,000 visitors showed up) and a warm community response — a new Civil War Museum (the Stuart-Mosby Civil War Cavalry Museum) opened in the historic district the same day of the festival last year.
The celebration has a long tradition, with some sort of town fair held in Centreville probably since the early 1900s, Repetti said. The current version began in 1992 as a celebration for the town’s 200th birthday. Originally a crossroads town known as Newgate village, the community was renamed Centreville in 1792 when the Virginia assembly gave it town status.
The arc of Centreville’s story begins with how a humble colonial crossroads town survived occupation by two Civil War armies (which deforested the entire area while here) and continues into today as it grew into a prosperous bedroom community. The festival will be centered at Historic Centreville Park, a 15-acre area hidden behind a pair of drug stores off of Lee Highway and Route 28.
Proceeds go to Friends of Historic Centreville, which supports improvements at the Historic Centreville Park. Anyone who would like to volunteer at Centreville Day may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The festival is free and will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 20.