CANTON — Papertown’s annual Labor Day Parade will take on a different format this year, with the customary wagon train and caravan of floats replaced by a procession of planes performing aerial acrobatics across Haywood County.
“We’ve had to cancel the event and the parade we’ve been doing all these years, however the Cruso Endowment is providing a parade celebration of a different sort,” said Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers. “There will be a celebration in Canton on Labor Day, it will just be in the sky.”
At midday Labor Day, Sept. 7, the Bandit Flight Team of Raleigh will fly over Haywood County through Waynesville’s airspace, circling around Haywood Regional Medical Center, then performing an airshow above Canton.
“It’ll be a celebration of Labor Day,” Smathers said. “Especially for our essential workers at the nursing homes and medical center.”
The Bandit Flight Team is a group of pilots that perform at events across North Carolina not only to entertain, but to preserve military Warbird heritage, the organization’s website said.
Further details about the flyover and airshow are forthcoming, Smathers said during the Canton town board meeting Aug. 13.
Other Canton business
Also during the town’s Aug. 13 meeting, the board united in a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to Town Manager Jason Burrell.
The board unanimously approved a resolution to accept $50,000 from the state for a joint wastewater feasibility study between the towns of Canton, Clyde and Waynesville.
Following a closed session at the end of the meeting, the board returned before adjourning to authorize the $150,000 purchase of 3.3 acres of road frontage adjacent to the 450-acre Chestnut Mountain property.
As plans further for developing Chestnut Mountain into a space for public recreation, the 3.3-acre tract will be used for the front-country area of the park, including parking, creek access, a potential event lawn and other amenities, said Assistant Town Manager Nick Scheuer in an email.
Some of that land will also be reserved for potential developments like an outfitter, bike shop, coffee shop, taproom or something of the sort, Scheuer said.
“Given the topographical constraints, this acquisition is incredibly important to the successful development of this amazing multi-use park,” Scheuer said.
Following comments from the public, town administration said it will consider forming a traffic calming policy for Locust Street and other residential streets where residents have reported speeding during past months.
Burrell said he wants to research the issue and bring policy ideas back to the board for deliberation.
Also in response to comments from the public, Burrell said he would look into recent complaints of garbage trucks spilling sludge into the streets over the past month and a half.
The next meeting of the Canton Town Board is in town hall at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27.