(from the Shad
Festival, Grifton N.C.)
· Shad are “anadromous” fish that live most of their lives in the salt water
ocean, but spawn and hatch in fresh-water inland streams.
· Tagging studies have shown the very same shad in the ocean off Nova Scotia in
the summer that are off Florida in the winter (Scientific American, March 1973,
“The Migrations of the Shad” by William C. Leggett).
· “The Family Town” as Grifton’s slogan was suggested in 1974 by 11-year-old
Tony Gunter. Tony said, “There are so many things for families to do together in
Grifton: Little League ballgames, school activities, picnics and tennis in the
Town Park, going fishing, and the Shad Festival is the best fun of all!”
· The first Shad Festival Parade and Arts and Crafts Show were in 1972.
· Chief Arnold Hewitt of the Tuscarora Indian Nation near Niagara Falls, NY was
a special guest of the 1977 Shad Festival and participated in the dedication of
the Grifton Historical Museum. The tribe’s historian, Chief Edison Mt. Pleasant,
visited in 1979 to research Tuscarora roots in the Grifton area.
· Our shad-shaped “Grifton” logo was designed by Maxine Harker in 1974.
· The first “Fishy Tales” Storytelling Contest was on April Fool’s Day, 1981.
· We selected two official Shad Festival songs in a contest in 1985. Don Sauls
of Grifton wrote “The Shad Festival Song” and Dave Marshburn of Kinston wrote “I
· In 33 years the Grifton Shad Festival has sponsored 86 different events.
· Two other towns have Shad Festivals (though they celebrate American Shad):
Lambertville, NJ on the Delaware River whose “Shad Fest” is the last weekend in
April each year and Windsor, CT on the Farmington River whose “Shad Derby” is
the middle of May. Also, several places along the Hudson River in New York have
shad bakes on the riverfronts during April and May as the fish migrate upstream.
· The shad saved George Washington and his troops: ”The most memorable day was
the one early in spring when schools of shad came swimming up the Schuylkill ---
thousands upon thousands of beautiful, fat shining shad. The whole camp turned
out to catch shad. The river so swarmed with fish that each haul of the net
brought in hundreds. That night for the first time since the army had moved to
Valley Forge there was not a hungry man in camp; each solider went to bed with a
belly stuffed with shad.” (p. 179 of a chapter called “The Revolution” in “The
Pennsylvania Dutch” by Frederic Klees, published 1951 by Macmillan Co.)
· The official North Carolina boat is the shad boat.
· In 1972, Jack Morgan, Sr. of Morgan Printers designed the round shad logo used
on our posters.
· Thomas Jefferson was born at Shadwell, VA.
Copyright 2003 - Town of Grifton - All Rights Reserved
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