Tickets remain for 6th Annual Oak Hill Cemetery Tour set for Oct. 23, 30
From Special Reports
Meet those from Newnan’s past up close and personal during the 6th Annual Oak Hill Cemetery Tour, “See the Cemetery in a Whole New Light.”
Folks can choose from one of two live, in-person tour dates: Oct. 23 and Oct. 30, 2021. All tours include dinner, live music, McRitchie Haunted Mansion tour and an unforgettable guided walk through the cemetery’s historic Presbyterian section.
In this interactive, totally immersive experience on the above Saturdays, actors enthrall guests with lively, engaging tales of Newnan’s rich past. Tours, led by costumed guides who embody other familiar Newnan residents, depart every 20 minutes from the McRitchie-Hollis Museum (Newnan Coweta Historical Society). Before or after the tour on October 23rd ticket holders will enjoy dinner at Dunc’s BBQ Kitchen and, back by popular demand, a fabulous performance by the New Orleans style jazz band, Mayhayley’s Grave. On 10/30 ticket holders will have delightful time taking the Arnotti-Stephens production of the “Not So Scary Spootackular” musical concert at the museum. Guests can choose to dine at Dunc’s BBQ Kitchen or from one of two food trucks, Mother Cluckers or 360 Food Truck. The 2021 tour benefits Bridging The Gap continuing storm relief efforts and a small historic preservation project.
Steve Duncan, owner of Dunc’s BBQ Kitchen says, “We love being in Newnan and celebrating this fantastic town. This is a fun, engaging and unique way to get folks out for a fall evening. We look forward to making this a memorable night for everyone and especially for being able to raise money for a very worthwhile cause. Bridging the Gap does phenomenal work in our community”
The Oak Hill Cemetery Tour focuses on Newnan residents of the 19th and 20th centuries. Featured graves in the 2021 tour include: Manuel Salbide, founder of Newnan’s only cigar factory, who has a street named for him; The Reverend James Stacy, who served as minister of Newnan Presbyterian Church for over forty years; Master Charles Thompson who, though unable to walk from falling out of a tree at age 8, led a successful drive to build Newnan’s Carnegie Library; Georgia Governor William Yates Atkinson who, among other accomplishments, saved the game of football in the state! Something different this year will be that the tours are led by other Georgia and area notables such as Sheriff Lamar Potts, Minnie Pearl, Chief William McIntosh and Mayhaley Lancaster herself, among others.
The 2021 Oak Hill Cemetery Tour Director Larisa Scott notes, “This tour grows in popularity each year. People so look forward to it. In 2020 despite the weather and COVID concerns, around 600 guests walked through on the tour and had dinner al fresco at Dunc’s. In this 6th year of producing the event, it’s a joy to work with both Dunc’s BBQ Kitchen and the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. There is a lot included in this ticket and it is sure to be a night to remember. We hope everyone will come out with family or friends to support Bridging the Gap, enjoy delicious food and take part in this once a year unique community event that helps us better understand our town’s history.”
After checking in at the courtyard behind the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, guests will meet their costumed tour guide portraying someone notable from local history such as Chief MacIntosh, Mayhayley Lancaster and others. The fun begins immediately as the guides tell their own stories which are connected to Newnan’s remarkable past. Ticket holders are then escorted into the old Presbyterian section where local history is up close, real and deeply personal.
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 these former citizens celebrated. “The event continues to bring life to a historic area of town that has much to explore,” says Scott.
The guided walking tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and begins and ends at the McRichie-Hollis House, but guests may continue down to Dunc’s BBQ Kitchen to use their meal voucher. Guests are invited to come early or linger later for music, dance, the McRitchie Haunted museum tour and merriment in the back courtyard at the museum especially on Oct. 30 when there is the option of food trucks at that location and a live concert by Arnotti-Stephens on the back lawn. Says Joe Arnotti, “We can’t wait to bring our brand of entertainment to the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. I promise everyone will have a blast as we sing favorites of the season accompanied by dance in the courtyard.”
Purchase tickets at eventbrite.com (link below, recommended), or for a limited number of paper tickets for the 10/23 tour visit Dunc’s BBQ Kitchen at 98 Jackson St. or for 10/30 paper tickets visit the McRitchie-Hollis Museum at 74 Jackson St., Questions? Review the thorough information offered on eventbrite.com or call 678-416-3121 (tour organizer), 404-290-8174 (Dunc’s BBQ) or 770-251-0207 (NCHS). The earlier tickets are purchased the more ticket goers will have the opportunity to choose their preferred tour begin time.