Jean Laltrello, Tourism Committee, and Karl Welsher, St. David’s Welsh Society of Georgia, are chairing the event. They are working with community leaders and volunteers throughout the area.
A group of local leaders presented a proclamation, signed by Governor Nathan Deal, to Rockmart Mayor Steve Miller on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
The document focuses on the fact that many people of note descend from Welsh ancestry, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Abraham Lincoln.
Citizens from the country of Wales began immigrating to North America in 1640 and settled in what would become Pennsylvania. Eventually some of these settlers came to the Rockmart area to mine slate.
Historians have written about their success in shipping the product in an international market, which is believed to be the reason the community was identified as “Rock Market”.
Miller said plans are under way to make Welshfest/Heritage Day more successful than in 2012.
“It is another positive thing we offer visitors,” Miller said. “Everyone is anticipating this year’s event.”
Bob Culver has been selected as the master of ceremonies on March 16 and Jimmy Lester, Mary Morgan, Ann Wheeler and
GeorgeAnna Watson are on board to make sure the town’s best historic foot is put forward.
Dan Williams, local Welsh runner, will appear in the “Keeping up with the Joneses” 3.2-mile/5K fun run on the Silver Comet Trail from downtown Rockmart to Van Wert.
Marc Stringer will be in the Learner’s Tent to discuss the best ways to collect an oral history, questions to ask and methods to use.
The Wesley Chapel AME Church will be open for tours on March 16 as part of Welshfest.
It has been identified as the only “slate” church outside the downtown area, and will be a stop for the bus tours out to historic Van Wert Church.
A bus will leave from the downtown Rockmart Museum as part of a tour to the old church.
Tom Melville, an American cricket player, author and leading interpreter, is scheduled to conduct participant cricket games at Welshfest 2013.
These games will not be demonstrations or performances but a 100 percent participant activity. Kids, adults, men, and women - from age 7 to 70 - will make up the teams and get an opportunity to play.
The games will be run on a continuous walk up basis from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are open to the public.