King Nyle Frank addresses his subjects in this photo taken from The Daily Tar Heel Dec. 3, 1970 edition
King Nyle Frank addresses his subjects in this photo
taken from The Daily Tar Heel Dec. 3, 1970 edition.
All of the pictures on this page were in this DTH,
sent to us by (former King) Nyle Frank.

CARRBORO, NC -- March 6, 2000
There has been much conversation and controversy over the nickname "Paris of the Piedmont," that was thrust upon the tiny town of Carrboro, North Carolina in the early 1970s. While most people chuckle after hearing the history of its inception, there are those who will argue for days that Carrboro has no right to use the name of the historic city in France.

Picture of Nyle Frank taken from the Daily Tar Heel Dec. 3, 1970 edition According to local lore, a young man named Nyle Frank decided one day it was time for him to be crowned dictator of the Invisible University of North Carolina. He put on a robe and a crown and paraded around UNC campus whilst tooting his trumpet. The University folks, good sports that they were, fired Frank from his job, and exiled him to the neighboring mill town of Carrboro.

Being a resilient and resourceful kind of guy, he moved the "Invisible University," complete with a newspaper called "The Centipede," to Carrboro. Somewhere along the line "Paris of the Piedmont" was said to have burst forth from the lips of Frank, and the rest is history. But the truth is it was John Martin, a reporter for the Chapel Hill Weekly, who originated the name. Nyle just reported it.

The Carrboro Fête Committee met on March 1st. to discuss the Fête de la Musique, which will again fall on Father's Day this year.

Talk turned to "that Frank guy, Frank Nyle."

"Nyle Frank," Berkeley Grimball, who attended the 1970 coronation, corrected.

Thus it was decreed that on this Fête 2000, on day 18 in the month of June, the aforementioned King Nyle Frank will make his triumphant return to the Paris of the Piedmont, and take the stage as the King of the Fête and Grand Marshal of the parade.

(This is where you cheer.)

Nyle Frank will be here in Carrboro for Fête 2000, to join in our celebration, lead the parade, play music, and discuss the finer points of the name that somehow stuck.

For those of you who have a problem with our treasured, but light-hearted nickname "Paris of the Piedmont," put that in your pompadour and preen it!

For more info on perfomers at the Fête, click on a link below.


Janet Bratter | An Interview with Nyle Frank | Nyle Frank Bio | Tim Smith

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