- Mia D'Agostino
A Word on Taylorsville
David Odom on Taylorsville
I called Mr. Odom at around 11am on a Monday, not knowing if he would even pick up a call from an unknown Connecticut number. The phone rang a few times, and then I was greeted with a thick southern accent. I quickly outlined the highway 64 project and asked him if he would still be interested in answering some questions about Taylorsville. Without missing a beat, Mr. Odom responded, saying he was currently at an intersection, but he would pull over and then be happy to answer my questions. Mr. David Odom is the Town Manager of Taylorsville.
Odom describes Taylorsville as a “small rural town in Western North Carolina, full of farming, furniture and furniture.” Odom also highlighted the fact that there are over one hundred and thirty churches in the county, which could contribute to the “righteous persona” Taylorsville carries.
I began by asking what part of Taylorsville draws in the most tourists. Mr. Odom immediately spoke of Rocky Face Recreational Park, located at 3451 Rocky Face Church Road, in the northeastern section of Alexander County. Rocky face offers a number of activities to the public, including camping, hiking, and rock climbing. It is also an ideal destination for picnic lunches! Another draw is the Emerald Hollow Mine, which is the only emerald mine in the world open to public mining. Located within the foothills of the Brushy Mountains, the mine is host to more than sixty different types of natural gems.
Mr. Odom stated that there are numerous events that serve to bring the Taylorsville community together. The Apple Festival is held on the third Saturday of October, and draws an estimated 35,000 attendees. The festival has over four hundred booths and includes rides, entertainment, and food. The festival was started in 1988 to honor the importance of apples to Alexander County, which is third in North Carolina Apple production. Next comes the annual Christmas parade, which is sponsored by the Alexander County Government and is open to everyone. Saturday December 7, was the date for the 2020 Christmas parade, but unfortunately, it won't be happening this year. Instead there will be a virtual parade with family activities and entertainment.
As a self proclaimed barbecue lover, Odom mentioned Crossroads Grill and Scotty’s Hometown Grill as must-see dining spots in Taylorsville. Both restaurants serve classic American fare and are described as family friendly. An honorable mention goes to Yellow Deli run by the Twelve Tribes in Alexander County, which Odom describes as eclectic but delicious, serving healthy food, bakery items, and mouth watering apple pies.
Covid has impacted tourism in Taylorsville greatly, according to Odom. The citizens of Taylorsville have been doing their best to follow the governor’s executive order and limit assemblies, utilizing outdoor space as much as possible. One of the greatest impacts covid has had on the community is on the younger generation in cancelling sports seasons. Many kids are involved in youth sports and it has been especially devastating to have their seasons cancelled. With that being said, everyone is in the same boat, and finding joy in the little things.