Jane Phillips: The Spectacular Kinston Fair of 1915 - Part 3
The day of the Kinston Fair 1915 finally arrived. Many people were in town from far and near to attend the 10-county fair. Before sunrise many were scurrying about in preparation for the fair parade. The banks, cotton market and other businesses were closed for the opening day of the fair. The railroad was busy bringing trainload after trainload to the Kinston Deposit. The police were diligent in their duty to keep law and order.
Kinston was showcasing their town in grand style as a means to draw more business to the community. In great anticipation people were lining up and down Queen Street to see the fair parade. The parade was to continue from Queen Street to Vernon Avenue going on to the fairgrounds.
As usual for any parade it was a little late getting started. The Grand Marshall Thomas Mosley was in the parade’s lead car with it adorned with colorful patriotic red, white and blue banners. Alongside and following the Grand Marshall’s car was a marvelous sight of many young women riding horseback.
They were dressed in colorful red coats and beautiful flowing white plumes in their hat. It was a grandiose view for the beginning of the big parade. Next was the Colangelo Italian Band in a horse drawn wagon. Company B Second Infantry following was striving to march in step with the music the band offered.
During the day the band had several concerts downtown and later in the week at the fairgrounds. Following were the cars of the Fair’s chief guests of the occasion, the Honorable William Jennings Bryan, a world famous orator and populist political figure. With him was the other guest, the honorable Lt. Governor E. L. Daughtridge. Following in their decorated automobiles were the official escorts of the guest.
They were the leading citizens of the town and other sections. All along the parade route Bryan and Daughtridge were cheered. They were delighted and removed their hats frequently to respond with a wave to the plaudits that the crowd lavished upon them. Bryan was tanned, middle age and looked the statesman that he was. Daughtridge was neat and the typical gentleman planter. They both seemed to enjoy the whole affair immensely.
Then doubling on Queen Street were many decorated cars with different themes. All were elaborately ribboned and adorned with flowers of the season. Flags or banners were visible on most of the vehicles. A motor truck had a piano which was played throughout the parade. One of the popular floats was that of the Woodmen of the World, a magnificent assemblage and it attracted great admiration with the woodmen marching in uniform
One of the prettiest sights of the parade was the two prancing black horses with white harnesses pulling one of the fire department's light hose wagons. There were many other floats delighting the throng alone the parade route. At the end of the parade many fell in line behind the long procession of marchers, automobiles and floats. When they arrived at the fair grounds they came to a halt after encircling the race track.
Kinston Fair 1915 Part 4 continues in next Saturday’s edition of Neuse News.
Various articles in the Kinston Daily Free Press of 1915