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Welcome to Statesville, North Carolina.

We’re a modest little city of 25,000 friends and neighbors located north of the quasi-nation city of Charlotte, which as you may have heard, is a cultural mecca and one of the greatest banking centers in the free world.

Statesville is not.

Statesville was originally to be named the First City, it being the most promising city of growth in the 1700’s for the young state of North Carolina. But being First isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and we are people that do not trust fame nor seek opulence. We like our feet planted in churches, farms and solid businesses and not the quicksand of average accruals and corporate mergers. Our ancestors were stoic unassuming people and worried about getting the big head so they decided to let others take the glamorous headliner names like Raleigh, Asheville or Charlotte. One glorious morning after early chores were done, our ancestors met over coffee and doughnuts and decided upon the name “Statesville”. The name “Statesville” implies that we are the center and essence of North Carolina --- but we’re careful to be humble about that.

Statesville is an island located in a gentle rolling sea of dairy farms, corn and soy beans. Most people here get their deer every season, the First Pharmacy has hot dogs that even your momma can’t make, and churches end their worship service at exactly 12:00 noon so you don’t have to worry about the pot roast being overdone. We’re considerate and caring like that.

Charlotte consumes gallons of vinaigrette dressings and tons of smoked salmon. Statesville is a city where fish is fried (as our Lord intended they be) and a bottle of Kraft French Dressing is good enough for anybody --- so get over yourself. Oh sure, we have restaurants that can compete on a global scale with any plate of pâté or crème de menthe cake you would want, but to go into detail would be bragging and unfair to others, especially to New York. We’re too modest for that.

We are a hard working gentle city straddling the intersection of two major interstate highways which gives easy access to businesses and beckons families seeking a safe harbor with a need to tie to the docks of good neighborhoods. If you come here looking for a big city life of traffic congestion, loud race car tracks and sushi bars on every corner you’re going to be disappointed.

Someone once said that “life is a show” and our show is better enjoyed one day at a time among friendly people, good neighbors and blue berry scones.

We don’t do a New York show with David Letterman or Jimmy Fallon. Our show does not have:
A pre-show guy in baggy pants and suspenders running around the audience for 10 minutes telling goofy jokes to get you all pumped to scream and yell.
Actresses with low-cut dresses pushing their latest movie or sobbing about the difficulty of trusting people.

Our show of life isn’t the worst you’ll ever see, but it’s the best experience you’ll ever have.

Later in the show we have street festivals and outdoor parties with the downtown area closed off for your convenience --- and it’s free, Honey Cakes. You have a chance to eat boiled peanuts, drink a variety of beverages, get rowdy, sing country or beach music and win valuable prizes for the Most Beautiful Baby, Hog Calling, Corn Leaf Identification, and my personal favorite --- the Mr. Marvelous contest.

If you’re sick we’ll bring you a hot dish. It’s not about us, it’s all about you--- as long as you’re with us.

You may now have figured out that we can be passive-aggressive, steadfast but tempered, proud yet truthful but most of all we’re a friendly humble community and we’re so glad you came.

Welcome to Statesville, you lucky person you!

Many thanks to Joe Hudson, retired Water Resources Director, for sharing these great words about Statesville. Joe is also a newspaper columnist and author of Big Decisions Are Best Made with Hot Dogs. You can read more from Joe on Sundays in the Statesville Record and Landmark.