At approximately 4:30 on Friday afternoon, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper addressed the Boone community for the first time since his election in 2016. Gov. Cooper appeared under the newly renovated Appalachian Theatre on King Street with his wife and Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz, as well as multiple community leaders and members of the Appalachian Theatre Board of Directors.
John Cooper, the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the theatre, introduced the Governor as well as speaking about the history of the theatre, its renovation and its meaning to the community.
Gov. Cooper began his speech by talking about why he ran for office.
“I want a North Carolina where people are better educated, healthier and have more money in their pockets,” he said.
The second part of his address was spent on the importance of art to our community as well as our nation and the positivity of the Appalachian Theatre renovation.
“We are here in a historic place. When you think about the arts, it’s a reflection of who we are,” he said. “Making sure our people are better educated and making sure they are exposed to the arts is so important.”
Also during his speech, the Governor recognized John and Faye Cooper, local community leaders and the owners of the Mast General Store on King Street. He presented each of them with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest honor a North Carolina governor can bestow on a civilian.
“When you need scholarships endowed at our great university, when you need people willing to work with the chamber of commerce, when you have people work to help to alleviate poverty, community leaders are critical,” he said.
To the excitement of the crowd, Gov. Cooper worked a “Go Mountaineers!” into his speech and led the crowd in the first stanza of the North Carolina state toast.
“I’m excited to come back to Boone many times,” he said. “I’m looking forward to coming to a play here! It’s going to be great!”
Video of Cooper addressing crowd in Boone:
Story By: Brooks Maynard, Senior Sports Reporter
Photo and Video by: Maleek Lloyd, Visual Managing Editor