Jones County town hosting first Founders Day Festival amid boom of new businesses

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TRENTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Saturday’s Founders Day Festival means a lot to the people of Jones County. That’s especially true in Trenton.

Jones County has three rural towns that were devastated by Hurricane Florence in 2018: Pollocksville, Maysville and Trenton. As each of those locations works to return better than ever, no place is the progress more evident than in Trenton.

It is a recovery effort two years in the making. What once had almost nothing in many of the buildings in Trenton now is welcoming local, small business. Florence devastated businesses and homes and forced residences to relocate out of the rural area.

Now, people and businesses are making a comeback.

“There is life, there is energy, there is excitement,” Trenton Mayor Darlene Spivey said, comparing two years ago to today. “I think everybody is ready for some type of festival to get out and have fun.”

That is exactly what the town is providing. Saturday, the community will celebrate its comeback with a Founders Day Festival. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“All these nice, locally-owned businesses with their doors open, you know will have different things going on,” said Jones County Economic Director John Bender.

Bender said about seven of the town’s new businesses will celebrate with a grand opening on Saturday.

“Of course, the grocery store, that is huge,” Bender said. “We have got Rascals Roost. Soon, we will have a cafe opening up right beside it.”

Bender says the businesses are close knit and will be able to support each other and help rebuild the economy.

“It creates this just cool, small-town feel, and that is what we are going for, and I think if you come out here and you experience it, you’ll really enjoy it,” Bender said.

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