Hobson City is celebrating its 119th birthday with myriad events at its annual Heritage Festival starting Monday.

The first self-governed African American community in the state is celebrating over a century of existence with revivals, reunions, banquets, walks and more.

The celebration will begin with an old-fashioned tent revival, hosted by New Hope Baptist Church, at 7 p.m. Monday at J.R. Striplin Park. The evening has been slated for praise and worship led by the pastor of Oak Ridge Missionary Baptist Church, Anthony Chatman.

The festival returns to action at 6 p.m. on Thursday with another free event at the Calhoun County Training School. This event will focus on celebrating and honoring the community and will feature guest speaker Nicole Malone, who is a writer, actor and producer.

August 17 will be a busy day for festival goers, beginning with a free event from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the Calhoun County Training School. This event will host speakers to discuss how to transform Hobson City into a vibrant, inclusive community and cultural destination. The community is invited to this conference, which will feature talks on mental health issues in the community and building bridges between colleges and communities.

Friday’s festivities will conclude with the mayor’s annual banquet from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 per person and offers a meal with Mayor Alberta McCrory and the guest speakers.

Saturday, the final day of the Hobson City’s Heritage Festival, will start with a 5K walk, which will begin at the Hobson City Public Library.

“The purpose of the 5K walk is to raise money to help the library,” said Sharon Thomas, the city’s librarian, who is helping organize the walk. “It will be my first time doing a 5K in this area.”

According to Thomas, proceeds from the walk will directly benefit the library. She said funds will go toward purchase of more books and upgraded hardware and for general upkeep.

Registration for the walk begins at 8 a.m. and is $12 for adults and $5 for kids and seniors.  The goal of this event is to build awareness and raise money for the support of youth and literacy programs.

A homecoming reunion at J.R. Striplin Park for Hobson City natives will be held immediately following the walk for literacy. The city encourages families to come and reunite with others to celebrate the town’s history.