The president’s State of the Union Address is given every year and usually generates a lot of publicity, while the chair of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners’ State of the County Address rarely happens.

 Even in years when it does, it generates virtually no publicity or reaction. However, this year, Guilford County government has huge plans for the coming State of the County Address that will be delivered by Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston.

Alston has dusted off the practice and expects to bring it back in grand style.

One thing that’s different this time around is that it won’t just be the chairman behind a podium reading a dry speech. County staff said they are planning to spruce it up with videos and supplemental audio, interjections from other speakers, and some “surprises” that they said they don’t want to give away.

There is no indication at all that Taylor Swift will make a surprise appearance and perform some of her hits. However, if that were going to happen, county officials would of course not be able to announce that ahead of time.

Another big difference this time is that county staff has sent out hundreds of invitations to area leaders including Guilford County commissioners, Guilford County administrators, mayors, community leaders, and federal and state elected officials. The county is in fact hoping for such a large turnout that it is creating an overflow area for the people who arrive after the 264-person capacity commissioners’ meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro meeting room is full.

Alston plans to use the speech to highlight the county’s accomplishments in recent years as well as to share what’s coming for Guilford County. He will deliver the address on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 4:30 p.m. The speech is expected focus on Alston’s theme of “One Guilford: Building Stronger Communities, Together.”

The public is welcome to come out and watch the State of the County address or watch it on the county’s Facebook page. The speech will also be livestreamed at, or people can watch the live broadcast on Greensboro Television Network (GTN) airing on Spectrum Channel 13, Northstate Channel 31 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99.  (That of course, assumes that Spectrum and the county do not get into a war over broadcast rights and Spectrum pulls the plug on the county’s video feed.)

As chairman of the board of commissioners, Alston has made it a goal to bring all the local governments in the county closer together and more connected to the county’s government.

Alston said this week that over the last two years Guilford County has had some big wins by welcoming cutting-edge companies with hundreds of high-paying jobs to our community, and has made “transformational investments” in the county’s schools and workforce,

“We are a county on the move, united, and laser-focused on the promise of building a stronger community,” he said.