Old Butler Day event planned for Saturday

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, October 3, 2023

By Angela Cutrer
Star correspondent
The Butler Ruritan’s annual Old Butler Day celebration is set for Saturday, Oct. 7, at 123 Selma Curtis Road in Butler. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and organizers have packed the day with fun opportunities for families and individuals alike.

This is Butler’s biggest event for the year and 40 vendors have signed up to sell items varying from T-shirts to baked goods to handmade crafts.

The Stateline Stompers are scheduled to perform from 9-9:30 a.m. and live music is scheduled for all afternoon. The first-ever Miss Old Butler Day Pageant for girls aged up to 18 is planned as a new entry into the day of fun. The pageant is scheduled for 10-11:30 a.m.

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Children can also enjoy a supervised bouncy house, train rides, a caricature artist, face painting, a temporary tattoo station, treats and multiple games with prizes. The concession stand will be open from 11 a.m. until the end of the event and will have several menu items from which to choose.

However, the day is especially poignant for previous residents’ families, interested parties and current supporters, who join together to remember “the town that wouldn’t drown.”

The Butler and Watauga Valley Heritage Museum will be offering guided tours all day. The museum opened in 2000 “to honor the citizens of Butler as well as Watauga Valley, Roan Valley and Elk Valley” by showcasing the history of Butler and the relocation of the town to higher ground to make way for Watauga Lake, thus providing flood control and cheap electricity.

The museum gives participants the ability to relive the history of Old Butler, the only incorporated town to be intentionally flooded by the TVA.

In addition to entertainment and tours, Old Butler Day allows the Butler Ruritan to give out information about the club as well as offer items for sale, including T-shirts, stickers and license plates. The Ruritan is a civic service organization made up of local clubs in urban areas, small towns and rural communities, said Emilie Watson.

“The Butler Ruritan is Butler’s branch,” she said. “We are made up of volunteers of every age and social class and our mission is ‘Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service.’ We keep up Butler Park, help the local volunteer fire department and help the Butler museum through donations and volunteer hours.

“We are also responsible for several annual events in Butler including a Trunk or Treat, an Easter Egg Hunt and Old Butler Day. We raise money all year long through various fundraisers, and it all gets put back into the community!”