EDENTON — Involving the whole community in plans to celebrate the 240th anniversary of the Edenton Tea Party in October is the idea behind one of its key events — Teapots on Parade.
Organizers are reaching out now to citizens and asking them to loan teapots from their own collections for an exhibit that will encompass the Chowan Arts Council and allow some teapots to be displayed at local businesses.
Among those excited to support the idea is local innkeeper Giuliano Giannone, owner of the Parsonage Inn on West Queen Street.
Giannone has an impressive collection of teapots handed down from family members as well as those he acquired from a previous career. The most special of them is one that belonged to his maternal grandmother, who lived in Italy and died at age 102.
He said that he remembered her using it when he visited her as a young boy and that made it even more special.
It’s memories like that one that Giannone and others associated with the event are hoping those who loan the teapots will share, he said.
“We’re hoping to get a lot of people involved to make it a real community event,” Giannone said.
Barbara Jones of the Downtown Café and Soda Shoppe said she and her husband, Frank, know there is a lot of interest in teapots among locals and visitors.
The Edenton Tea Party-themed one that sits in the front window of their business draws questions from those seeing it for the first time. Business associates gave it to them, she said.
“When we moved here in 1996, Frank was still with McDonald’s,” she explained. “When the owner/
operators moved from here in 2011, they had the teapot and gave it to us. They were moving to Virginia Beach after being here five or six years.”
When the couple started their business in downtown Edenton, the
teapot came right along with them and today occupies a place of honor in the front window. Some who’ve seen it have wanted to make it their own, she said.
“People have been asking us about it for years,” she said, laughing. “But it’s not for sale.”
Chowan Arts Council Executive Director Murielle Harmon hopes that level of enthusiasm and interest will carry over into the newly planned exhibit.
Harmon said that the CAC exhibit would include the creations of several potters that will be for sale.
“It’s going to be a fun thing, to look at these teapots from the new to the old,” Harmon said. Anyone interested in loaning a teapot for the celebration or just wanting more information is encouraged to contact Patsy Lowell and John Collins by Sept. 5 at 482-4151 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.