Pittsboro, NC – Chatham County kicked off its six-month celebration of the County’s 250th Anniversary on April 10th with Founding Day. To build on that event’s excitement, the Chatham 250 planning committee invites community members to continue the milestone celebrations with the Chatham 250 Passport Experience.
The Chatham 250 Passport Experience will help residents and visitors alike explore the uniqueness of Chatham County. Each of the five Chatham 250 Passports – Creative Arts, Growth and Change, Community and Diversity, Agriculture and Natural Environment – offer nearly 20 accessible and fun activities that are also designed for a COVID-19 safe environment. The self-guided tour meets scavenger hunt is designed to assist in the exploration of Chatham County in honor of this 250th anniversary.
“We are looking forward to sharing local places to explore in this commemorative year,” said Neha Shah, Director of Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Our guests will love these sites, both the favorites to which they visit more than once and the new ones they’ve had on their list to check out.” I’m eager to share the passports so that guests explore, based on their interests; Chatham 250 curated things to do that are free or low-cost, accessible, self-guided, with safety and simplicity in mind, for everyone visiting – including day trips, road trips, and overnight guests.”
Many local businesses and organizations are participating in the Chatham 250 Passport Experience as Passport Partners. These partners include Chatham Arts Council, Chatham County Public Library, Chatham County Parks and Recreation Department, NC Cooperative Extension Chatham County Center, The Carolina Stockyard, Huckleberry Trail Farm, Farm at Penny Lane, Hoppin’ John Fiddlers’ Convention, Chatham County Manager’s Office, Main Street Pittsboro, Chatham Community Remembrance Coalition, Chatham County Historical Association, Chatham Artists Guild, Chatham County Council on Aging and Friends of the Lower Haw River.
Chatham 250 participants are encouraged to register through the Chatham 250 website: chatham 250.com. The registration form can be found on the “Chatham 250 Passport Overview” page. The information provided through the registration form will help ensure that there are enough Swag Bag prizes for participants who complete the passport experience. By completing this registration form, participants also opt into receiving a monthly email about upcoming Chatham 250 events and opportunities to complete passport activities.
How to Get a Passport
All five Chatham 250 Passports are available for download on the Chatham 250 website, on the Chatham 250 Passport Overview page. Participants can choose to download one passport or all five passports. Printed passports will also be available at key locations across the county, including the Chatham County Welcome Center and Chatham County Public Library branches. Additionally, all Chatham County students will receive one printed passport through their schools. Interested residents are asked to email or call 919-545-8408 if they would prefer a printed passport mailed to them.
Activities, Events and Details
Each passport includes nearly 20 safe, accessible, and fun activities designed to explore the Celebration Theme by connecting with new people, places and experiences in Chatham County. Each activity is designed to happen at the participants’ preferred pace in their own way, allowing them to maintain their health and safety during the pandemic without sacrificing any of the fun and excitement of exploring the County.
Passport participants can use the QR Code on the passport to discover event and location details for the passport activities on the Chatham 250 website. Each passport has a unique calendar full of events and a detailed list of ongoing events and locations to assist participants with completing their passport. Most activities are free and open to the public; any activity that requires an entrance fee, ticket or reservation is indicated on the calendar.
Participants should check off completed activities on their passport as they go. The Chatham 250 Passport is based on the honor system. Participants are also encouraged to post their Chatham 250 Passport Experience on social media using #Chatham250. The first activity on each passport is a Chatham 250 Celebration Theme event. These events, hosted by Chatham 250, will occur throughout the Chatham 250 Passport Experience and will be free and open to the public.
Passport Upload and Drop Off
A passport is considered completed once a participant completes at least 10 passport activities on a single passport. Completed passports can be uploaded on to the Chatham 250 website or dropped off at the Chatham County Public Library book drop. If possible, participants dropping off their passport at an external Library book drop, should write their name and email on their passport, and place their printed passports in a sealed plastic bag. Completed passports must be uploaded or dropped off by Saturday, October 23, 2021.
Passport Swag Bags
Participants who submit a completed passport will earn an enviable Swag Bag, curated by the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau. They will include fun and useful souvenir items, discount coupons to local businesses, and some exciting prizes. Swag Bag items have already been secured from Carolina Brewery, Starlight Mead and Huckleberry Trail Farm.
Chatham 250 is seeking additional Swag Bag sponsors. “The Chatham 250 Swag Bag is an affordable promotional opportunity for our visitor businesses to offer a token, souvenir, or coupon as we encourage guests to visit and learn more about them over the next six months,” added Shah. “We are offering three levels of sponsorship, $50, $75, and $100, a sliding scale for business owners to include a coupon ($100 level) or a fun and useful item ($50 or $75 level, based on the value of the gift item). We intentionally made these sponsorships low-cost and the value of promotion offers a long time frame from mid-April through October. One-hundred percent of the funds will go to support the expenses related to the Chatham 250 celebration and festivities.”
“We are so fortunate to live in a diverse community, and with diversity comes opportunity to learn and grow,” said Shirille Lee, Communities in Schools of Chatham County Youth F.I.R.S.T. Student Support Specialist and Co-Liaison of the Chatham 250 Events and Activities Committee. “In developing our Chatham 250 Passports, we wanted to incorporate the wealth of Chatham County. We wanted activities that were family oriented and representative of the diversity of Chatham. Our goal is to have at least one activity that will appeal to every Chathamite. As Chatham County celebrates 250 years, we hope our residents will take advantage of the activities planned and adventures highlighted to hear, feel, see, smell and taste Chatham!”
Those with any questions about the Chatham 250 Passport Experience may contact Hillary Pollan, Chatham 250 Project Manager, at . More details on the Chatham 250 Passport Experience and other Chatham 250 activities can be found at www.chatham250.com.