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May 7, 2021

Rowan Public Library offers Cheerwine History Exhibit in connection to May 19 festival

SALISBURY — When the Cheerwine Festival rolls around May 19, you might consider taking a break from the heat, music, food and drink by visiting the Cheerwine History Exhibit at Rowan Public Library, 201 W. Fisher St.

Cheerwine itself has supplied the many company-related items on display. The artifacts, covering the 101-year history of the soft drink, can be seen in a display case immediately inside the West Fisher Street entrance, while other items fill the gallery hallway leading to Stanback Auditorium.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on festival day, a Cheerwine digital presentation will be shown in the auditorium, and it will feature a video about the company by UNC-TV’s “My Home, NC.”

Cheerwine’s restored 1927 Ford delivery truck will be parked on the library grounds during the festival.

The first Cheerwine Festival held last year in downtown Salisbury celebrated the soft drink’s 100th birthday. This year’s festival will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 19 on Main Street.

Rowan Public Library will be open that day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The exhibit was installed Tuesday and runs through May 22. It can be seen other days the library is open, not just on festival day.

Library hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. May 14-16 and May 21-22; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. May 17; and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 18.

Many of the same items on loan from Cheerwine were part of the Cheerwine history exhibit at the Rowan Museum last year.

The things on display at the library include bottles, bottle caps, bottle openers, cans and packaging from every era of Cheerwine, including many of its sister products through the years.

There are iconic Cheerwine signs and advertising posters from the past. Old photographs show Cheerwine founder L.D. Peeler beside an early soft drink delivery truck and a street sign from about 1940 of the Carolina Bottling Co. plant when it was on East Council Street.

A few other artifacts are mixed in such as a Cheerwine matchbook, a Cheerwine calendar from 1939, Cheerwine badges and a Cheerwine uniform patch.

Cheerwine is known, of course, for its cherry flavor and, some would say, its fizziness. Carolina Beverage Corp., makers of Cheerwine, is still privately owned and managed by the founding family, five generations of whom have worked there.

Part of the Cheerwine displays in the hallway gallery blend in with the library’s other exhibit on World War I, the era in which Cheerwine was born.

Adult librarian Amber Covington has been the library’s liaison to Cheerwine for the exhibit.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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