History quiz bowl to highlight N.C. knowledge

Apr. 29, 2014 @ 04:59 AM

The more someone knows about North Carolina, particularly its past, the better they are likely to perform in an upcoming competition testing their knowledge of Tar Heel State trivia.

The Lee County Library, in partnership with the Trustees and Friends of the Library, will be hosting Sanford’s fourth annual North Carolina History Quiz Bowl on Tuesday, May 14.

Up to 20 contestants will take the stage from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Old Fellowship Hall of the First Presbyterian Church on Hawkins Avenue to answer questions about geography, sports, state facts, agriculture, trivia and more.

“I've always enjoyed trivia and have a passion for history,” said last year's winner, Dr. Kelly Faulk. “It's just getting up there and having a good time.”

During the first two years, the quiz bowl focused on Civil War history specifically. The director of the Lee County Library, Michael Matochik, said he thinks keeping with the broader scope of last year's quiz bowl will be helpful in attracting more participants.

“People will know a lot of answers, learn new things, remember old things,” Matochik said. “I think it's a heck of a lot of fun.”

Jordan Minter, the library's outreach specialist for the last two years, came in third place in the 2013 competition.

“People really enjoy it, whether they are good at history or not,” he said. Last year, Minter struck out on a question about a mythological creature from Appalachian folklore. He already has signed up this year and is looking to win it all.

Jim Greathouse of the Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum will host the proceedings; the museum helps present the event along with the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville.

The Museum of the Cape Fear has hosted a Civil War Quiz Bowl for the past 13 years and played a large part in bringing the event to Sanford. The contestants come up with the categories, and volunteers from the museums come up with the specific questions.

“It's very interesting,” Greathouse said. “You go into these things not knowing what the level of competition will be like. Every year, I've been blown away by the knowledge of the contestants. I learn more from them as the host than I would as a contestant.”

Apart from the traditional question and answer sections, this year's quiz bowl will feature true-or-false, fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice categories. Depending on the number of contestants, each player will get two or three strikes before they are out.

Faulk said, “I think a lot of people are intimidated in front of a crowd. But they make it easy for you. The spectators are great. You don't have to be a history buff to enjoy it.”

"It's a really fun time,” Greathouse said. “You can go to a movie, but this is something you can participate in and actually learn something.”

The competition is open to all age groups. Refreshments will be provided for everyone who attends, and prizes will be awarded to the top contestants.

“In the past, it's been gift cards,” Matochik said, “and bragging rights, of course.”

Matochik added that many people in the audience last year wished they had joined the competition. He hopes that people won’t hesitate to join on stage this year.

To sign up, call (919) 718-4665 or stop by the Lee County Library to fill out an application.