10th Annual Lafayette Birthday Celebration

Join Fayetteville in commemorating the birth and life of Lafayette at events held annually on the weekend after Labor Day!

This is North Carolina’s official Lafayette Birthday Celebration, as recognized by the NC General Assembly and the United States House and Senate!

September 9 and 10, 2016 in Historic Downtown Fayetteville, NC (unless otherwise indicated)


Click on an event below to learn more!


Arias and Artifacts at Methodist University

Lafayette was greeted like a rock star everywhere he went during his 1824-1825 tour of the United States. The merchandising frenzy that surrounded him rivals that of any stadium rock band of today. Stop by Davis Memorial Library at 5:30 PM to enjoy free refreshments and view the latest additions to the memorabilia in Methodist University’s Lafayette Collection. There will be a short program beginning at 6:00 PM.

Following this, stroll over to Hensdale Chapel on campus for a live concert of French music by vocalist Gail Morfesis and Friends, starting at 7 PM. Professional musicians and singers, including Russian international pianist Anastasia Popova Bryant, will entertain you with an hour-long performance of works by French composers. Admission at the door is only $10 and tickets are also available in advance at City Center Gallery & Books at 112 Hay Street or by calling 910-678-8899. This was a sold-out event last year, so get your tickets now!

Lafayette Trail Tour

In 1825, the citizens and city leaders of Fayetteville were honored beyond measure when Lafayette visited here on March 4 and 5 during his “Grand Tour” as a guest of the Nation. In 2016, you can follow in his footsteps on a narrated tour by Commander Bruce Daws of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry. This unique historical experience culminates with an exclusive reception with the marquis de Lafayette himself! He will share with you some of his experiences as a young Major General fighting under George Washington during the American Revolution.

The tour begins with coffee and croissants (of course!) at the Transportation and Local History Museum and ends with a light lunch and the reception with Lafayette. Afterwards, guests are invited to join the cake and ice cream party with Lafayette at Cross Creek Park. Tickets are only $30 and may be purchased at City Center Gallery & Books on Hay Street or by calling 910-678-8899. There will be some walking but other portions of the tour will be on a comfortable air-conditioned bus.

The Lafayette Trail is an official Heritage Driving Trail of the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Get a preview of your tour at www.visitfayettevillenc.com.

Market House Exhibit “Lafayette in Fayetteville – 1825”

The circa 1832 Market House is one of only 40 buildings in the entire state of North Carolina designated as a National Landmark. The State House, built in 1788, stood on this site when Fayetteville was the Capitol. Lafayette spoke from its east balcony in 1825. Come upstairs to the second floor and explore an exhibit on Lafayette’s visit to Fayetteville, the only city named after him that he actually visited. The exhibit will be closed from 12noon to 2:00PM for the Birthday Cake and Ice Cream Party in the Park.

Festival of Yesteryear

Focusing on the Colonial and Revolutionary War periods, this program features re-enactors demonstrating various aspects of daily life including colonial medicine, crime and punishment, music, toys and games, and militia drills. Highlighting this year’s event is the return of Lafayette himself, portrayed by Mark Schneider. Living history groups include Camp Flintlock and the North Carolina Highland Regiment. Be sure to visit Apprentice Alley, where children can participate and learn a variety of trades through hands-on crafts and activities. Concessions will be available for purchase. FREE ADMISSION.

The Museum of the Cape Fear is located at 801 Arsenal Avenue in Haymount. For more information, visit www.ncdcr.gov/ncmcf.

Lafayette Birthday Sidewalk Sale

The shops in Historic Downtown offer THE most unique shopping options to be found anywhere in Fayetteville. The merchants
are celebrating Lafayette’s birthday by offering some really great deals on the sidewalk or inside their stores.

Birthday Cake and Ice Cream in the Park

It’s a Birthday Party!! Come to Cross Creek Park in Downtown Fayetteville and gather at the statue of Lafayette for FREE cake and ice cream as long as it lasts. There will be face-painting stations and coloring and children’s games. Lafayette District Boy Scouts will have a “monkey bridge challenge” for the kids and the All-American Fencing Academy will do a live demonstration of sword-fighting. “Get in the Groove” with live music by the ever-popular 82nd Airborne Band Jazz Ensemble. Lafayette himself will arrive at 1PM in time for the cake-cutting and the kids will love meeting this dashing hero of the American Revolution. Take “selfies” with Lafayette and with Miss Fayetteville Dogwood Queen and her court. Lafayette “Rock Concert Tour“ souvenir tee shirts will be available for purchase.

Mysteries of the 1825 “Lafayette Map” of Fayetteville

In 2014, 33 original copies of this rare map were found in the basement of an old Fayetteville home. Research appears to date the printing to 1825. City Historian Bruce Daws will make a fascinating presentation about the map and how its markings correspond to present-day landmarks. Digital copies of the map will be available for purchase and proceeds benefit the Lafayette Society.

Mr. Daws will make his presentation at 6pm and again at 7pm at City Center Gallery & Books at 112 Hay Street and admission is FREE. Come early for the 6pm presentation and then enjoy the free wine tasting next door at the Wine Café… or get your wine first and come for the 7pm presentation! You choose!

French Wine Tasting

While downtown discovering the mysteries of the “Lafayette Map,” drop into The Wine Café and discover the pleasures of French wines! Owner Angie Malave will host a free tasting along with a guest expert to explain the characteristics of wine from different regions of France. Continue your virtual tour of France through the wine stations and after you have identified your favorites, plan to take a couple of bottles home with you. Fact: French wines are the real thing and they are actually
very affordable.

There is no admission charge and no reservations are required, but come early because this popular event always fills up fast. This is a guaranteed evening of fun in Historic Downtown! The Wine Café is located at 108 Hay Street across from the Market House.

Thank You to All of Our Sponsors:

Lura S. Tally Center for Leadership Development at Methodist University

Morgan Stanley