HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — Thursday afternoon, June 23, the NC Apple Festival Board announced it had accepted the resignation of its executive director following comments he made on social media about the Juneteenth holiday.
In a news release Thursday at 4:25 p.m., the board's statement read:
"For 76 years, the North Carolina Apple Festival has brought our community together to celebrate one of the most important agricultural crops grown in Henderson County and our local farmers. The NC Apple Festival couldn't happen without the dedication of the board members who serve and volunteers throughout the year as well as the apple growers, vendors, entertainers and downtown merchants that participate during the festival weekend.
As a board, we were saddened and disappointed to hear our executive director, David Nicholson, made disparaging remarks on social media about the Juneteenth Holiday. We have accepted Mr. Nicholson's resignation, effective immediately. His remarks do not reflect or represent the board or our mission to the community. Just as we celebrate the apple harvest during Labor Day Weekend, we join in celebrating Juneteenth with all members of our community and apologize for the actions of Mr. Nicholson."
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NC APPLE FESTIVAL RECEIVES BACKLASH OVER JUNETEENTH COMMENTS
Nicholson, who was the NC Apple Festival's executive director, received backlash for his comments, for which he quickly apologized on Facebook, saying he truly did not know there was a Juneteenth holiday.
His Facebook comment, since deleted, read, "The Post Office is closed today for some made-up holiday that I never heard of? Just when is the 'Old Fat White Man Day'? (sic) I really want to celebrate this day.”
Crystal Cauley, local activist of the Black History Collective of Henderson County, spoke with News 13 on Wednesday, June 22, and called for Nicholson to be replaced.
“We would like for him to step down and have a new representative for the North Carolina Apple Festival because it represents us as a county here in Western North Carolina and throughout our state,” Cauley said Wednesday.