State News

Fayetteville celebrates All-America win

Posted July 1, 2011 11:05 p.m. EDT

— The city of Fayetteville kicked off the Fourth of July weekend with a special community-wide celebration Friday evening that included a symphony performance and spectacular fireworks display at Festival Park.

This year, the city and its residents are celebrating the proud distinction of being one of the nation's 10 All-America cities.

The National Civic League chose Fayetteville last month for demonstrating outstanding civic accomplishments. It's the third time the city has won the award – it won in 1985 and 2001.

"It's really a wonderful honor to be a part of a city that's growing," Fayetteville resident Gwendolyn Johnson said.

This city of Military Might – home to the 82nd Airborne – has undergone a renaissance over the last three decades, shedding its dubious image of the past – one that included strip clubs, seedy bars and the nickname "Fayettenam" – and transformed into a family-friendly community, with festivals, fine dining and downtown living.

"There's not a better place to celebrate our nations' birthday," Mayor Tony Chavonne said.

As an All-America City, Fayetteville can use the title to promote the city, to attract new industry and overall improve the quality of life for everyone who calls Fayetteville home.

City leaders and a delegation of approximately 60 people traveled to Kansas City, Mo., to show judges in a 20-minute presentation how the city has grown to be a thriving community with a strong economy.

The 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus began the presentation by marching and singing “All the Way Fayetteville,” to which panel members and competing delegations gave a standing ovation.

Among the other cities to win the distinction was Eden, in Rockingham County, Belleville, Ill., Tupelo, Miss., Lakewood, Colo., and Fort Worth, Texas.