4th Annual Oak Hill Cemetery Tour set for Oct. 26


From Special Reports

Experience the wonder of Newnan’s Oak Hill Cemetery as never before during the 4th Annual Oak Hill Cemetery Tour, “Stories to Crow About,” set for Saturday, Oct. 26.

In this interactive, immersive experience of Oak Hill Cemetery, costumed actors will enthrall ticket holders with lively, engaging tales of Newnan’s rich history. Tours depart every 20 minutes from nearby Dunc’s BBQ Kitchen where ticket holders enjoy a BBQ dinner and a performance by the New Orleans style jazz band, Mayhayley’s Grave. The 2019 tour benefits ChildrenConnect, Newnan’s interactive children’s museum located in the historic Male Academy on Temple Avenue.

The Oak Hill Cemetery Tour is from 3:40 to 6:30 p.m. and focuses on Newnan residents of the 19th and 20th centuries. Some featured in the 2019 tour include Eugene Grace purportedly shot by his wife Daisy in 1910. Local residents Dean and Melissa Jackson will portray Mr. and Mrs. Grace. Coweta County Convention & Visitors Bureau employee, Mark Puckett, will portray John Palmer “Ripples” Reese, a reporter for the Newnan Herald who originated sacred harp singing at the Chattahoochee convention. There are several other stories to “crow about” including observations from a Confederate widow, a clairvoyant, and a few intriguing surprises.

2019 Oak Hill Cemetery Tour Director Carla Cook Smith notes, “We are proud to have Dunc’s BBQ Kitchen as our sponsor this year and know ticket holders will appreciate the added benefit of a good meal to round out the afternoon’s entertainment. The walking tour is chocked full of history, mystery and lore.”

After checking in at the parking lot behind Dunc’s BBQ Kitchen, guests are welcomed directly across the street at the gate to Oak Hill and given a brief history of the cemetery by a costumed Michael Prange. Additional performers in costume include actors Dawn Campion, Frankie Hardin, Joy Puckett, Carol Healy and ChildrenConnect founder, Pamela Prange. This educational event is a unique opportunity for citizens to experience Oak Hill in an engaging, dynamic way.

All tickets include a BBQ Dinner from Dunc’s catering tent, a guided tour of the cemetery and the Mayhayley’s Grave experience. This is a family friendly event; however, it is not recommended for very young children.

While the tour takes place in the month of Halloween, the tone and atmosphere will remain one of respect and reverence. By highlighting Newnan’s Oak Hill cemetery, the stories of the deceased are perpetuated and the memory of the former citizens prolonged and celebrated. “The event is a celebration of Newnan’s living and those who’ve passed. It will bring life to a historic area of town that has much to explore,” says Larisa Scott, creator and organizer the cemetery tour for the last three years.

The walking tour lasts approximately one hour and begins and ends in the parking lot directly behind Dunc’s BBQ Kitchen.  Mayhayley’s Grave will play in the parking lot to the right if the restaurant. Tickets which are $30 for adults, $20 for children age 12 and younger, may be purchased at Eventbrite, by visiting ChildrenConnect at 30 Temple Avenue, or in the Coweta County Courthouse CVB office (Welcome Center). For more information call ChildrenConnect at 470-414-2544 or tour organizers at 678-416-3121.

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