Activists invite community to Titan-Free Jamboree

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Titan-Free Jamboree is Sunday at Battleship Park. Courtesy of Stop Titan.
Titan-Free Jamboree is Sunday at Battleship Park. Courtesy of Stop Titan.

Two months after winning an eight-year battle against Titan America LLC, a company that sought to build a cement plant in Castle Hayne, local residents and environmental groups are inviting the community to join them for party.

The “Titan-Free Jamboree,” which will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Battleship Park, is billed as both a celebration of Titan’s decision to pull out of the project as well as a thank-you party to acknowledge the grassroots work that was put in over the years.

During that time, the Stop Titan Action Network (STAN), which is hosting the fete, was formed. The coalition includes local groups such as Cape Fear River Watch, Citizens Against Titan and Penderwatch & Conservancy, state-wide organizations like the North Carolina Coastal Federation and North Carolina Sierra Club and a couple of legal groups, the Southern Environmental Law Center and Duke University’s Environmental Law and Policy Clinic.

In March, when Titan announced its decision, local environmentalists and activists were elated. Mike Giles of the N.C. Coastal Federation said it was “the best news [he’d] heard in eight years.” Castle Hayne resident Kayne Darrell, who lives near the proposed plant site, said she’d been “dreaming about this day for eight years.”

“We worked long and hard for this,” said Darrell, whose fight against the manufacturing company turned personal when she and a local pediatrician were sued for slander by Titan in 2011 for comments they made during a New Hanover County Commissioners meeting. “It’s about giving the community a voice, especially for us living here in Castle Hayne. The community has spoken … our community is galvanized.”

Though Darrell and her neighbors have no doubt been celebrating since they first heard the news, Sunday’s event is a chance for everyone involved to get together. There will be live music by local band The Clams and steel drum ensemble Sea Pans as well as activities for the kids.

Free food and an ice cream truck will also be available to attendees, although people are asked to bring their own beverages and chairs. Though the jamboree is free, registration is required so organizers can prepare enough food.

The event will be held regardless of weather, as there will be a covered area. To find out more about the event and to RSVP, visit the event’s website.