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July 23, 2015

Newton Says, Paint It Red, White & Blue For Reunion!

Newton, NC – In honor of the 126th Soldiers Reunion, the Newton Appearance Commission is sponsoring the Paint the Town Red, White and Blue contest.

The Paint the Town Red, White and Blue contest gives Newton’s residents and businesses the chance to show their patriotic spirit during Reunion Week. Residents and businesses are invited to decorate their homes, yards and businesses with a patriotic theme for a chance to win a $100 Lowe’s gift card.

Judging will take place Friday, Aug. 14, through Tuesday, Aug. 18. Winners will be announced on the Appearance Commission’s Facebook page and the city of Newton website, as well as at the Appearance Commission’s booth on Reunion Day.

One winning business and one winning home will receive a $100 Lowe’s gift card.

Decorating Contest Instructions:

Registration is required. Registration forms are available at the Main Library in Newton, Newton City Hall, the Newton Recreation Center, and at

Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Thursday, August 13.

Registration forms may be submitted to a drop box at Newton City Hall or sent to

Decorations must be a patriotic theme and be visible from the street.

Please contact Appearance Commission Chair Collette Touchette at with any questions.

Night Move Band Plays At Valdese Family Friday, July 24

Valdese, NC - Valdese Family Friday Night summer series will continue their season with the Night Move Band beginning at 7:00pm, Friday, July 24, in the Town Parking area in downtown Valdese.

The Night Move Band is all about entertaining and exciting the crowd. With a cast of musicians that can each boast over 25 years of experience, this band is just as at home on stage in front of a large festival crowd as they are playing for a private party. With a diverse song list, the Night Move Band performs R&B, Beach, Classic Rock and Funk music.

Phil Witherspoon, Lead Vocalist/Percussion/Keyboards, has been in bands for over 30 years and has played all up and down the East Coast. Fronting the band and bringing his special talents to the audience is what he is all about. 

Mike Miller is the newest member and provides keyboard, lead and backup vocals. Ron Skinner adds the bass guitar/vocals with a funky low punch delivery and is one half of the bands solid rhythm section. Robert “Bob” Bunch Drums is the other half of the band’s tight rhythm section.

The Night Move Band

He has been playing drums for many years and has toured the East Coast playing with a variety of bands. Bob is an accomplished drummer that lays down a back beat that very few drummers can provide. Michael Roof plays saxophone and provides vocals. Larry Arndt provides lead guitar and brings his soulful/blues/rock attitude to the band.

Concession will be available and provided by the Valdese Merchant’s Association. Myra’s cruise in will continue every Friday night at 6:00pm and downtown shops will remain open later. For further information about events in Valdese and the full Family Friday Night’s Concert Schedule go to

The Family Friday Night Series is sponsored by the Town of Valdese, Valdese Merchants Association and the Morganton News Herald.

For further information regarding events in Valdese, go 828-879-2129.

Fallen Heroes Fundraiser Is Set For Saturday, August 29

Morganton, NC - The Table Rock Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society (F.O.O.L.S.) is a brotherhood dedicated to furthering training and brotherhood among firefighters. Each year they have a benefit to provide a fund to assist their Brothers and Sisters in Fire-EMS-Rescue and Law Enforcement community when tragedy strikes or needs arise due to injury, illness or death.

The 3rd Annual Fallen Heroes Fundraiser is Saturday, August 29, from 10am to 10pm at Catawba Meadows Park, 701 Sanford Drive, in Morganton, NC.

There will be barbeque dinners for sale, Emergency vehicles (Fire Trucks, Rescue, EMS, local Police and Sheriff's Dept),
bouncy houses for the kids and a Car Show and Cruise-In. Tickets will be sold for prize drawings and Pink Heals will be present with their pink Fire Truck and personnel.

Prizes include a $500 VISA Gift Card, a Glock Model 19, Gen 4, a Ruger 10/22 Takedown and fourth prize is $250 cash. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. The drawing will be held the day of the event at Catawba Meadows Park.

A free concert, with music beginning at noon, runs until 10 pm. On stage will be the Americana-grass band Wiregrass, Malco Conclusion, Midlife Crisis of Hickory, and the duo of Darren and Justin.

The headliner is Kaleb Hensley from Lenoir and his band. Kaleb lives in Nashville, and his been burning the roads up, touring from Detroit to Orlando to Austin. He returns to the Lenoir/Hickory area as often as he can, and will taking the stage from 8 to 10 pm.

Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend!

For more information, go to or Table Rock F.O.O.L.S on Facebook.

CVCC To Host Monthly Catawba Valley Jam, First One Is July 28

Hickory - Catawba Valley Community College’s Department of Fine and Applied Arts is hosting a monthly acoustic jam session open to CVCC students, faculty, and the general public on the last Tuesday of the month starting July 28. The jam will meet every month except December. The sessions will be held in the Student Center on the Main Campus in Hickory from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Catawba Valley Jam” is open to acoustic musicians of all types. The format is a play-around, like a song circle, where each person chooses a tune or song. Old-time, blue grass, gospel, or Americana are just a few of the music genres that will be explored.

For more information, contact Paula Bell at 828-327-7000, ext. 4087, or

Caregiver Support Program Offers Local Families A Break

Hickory - Caring for an older member of the family, who is ill, can be very rewarding and challenging. Karen Harshman willingly cared for her father John Godfrey during his illness and more so after he had to have surgery. During the time Karen cared for her father, she continued to work and raise her young daughter. Karen was glad to care for her father but found that she needed extra help. She was able to receive help from Health and Home Services of Catawba County through the Family Caregiver Support Program respite grant. Karen states, “The respite program benefited me by allowing me to maintain my employment and not have to take a leave of absence from work. It provided high-quality care for my father in his home, as opposed to putting him in a skilled nursing facility.”

Family members are the major provider of long-term care in the United States, with over 65 million individuals providing care to an older adult. Many caregivers have to remain in their jobs while being caregivers for family members. The responsibilities of caring for a loved one can often leave a caregiver inattentive to their personal health or leave little time for a break from their daily responsibilities. Taking a break from caregiving and focusing on their personal needs often renews the caregiver, allowing them to cope better and continue providing care for their loved one and their responsibilities.

While caregiving can be very rewarding, it can also have an emotional, physical and financial toll on the caregiver. When the stress of caregiving begins to have an impact on the caregiver's health and mental well-being, it is time to seek help and support. The Family Caregiver Support Program is a Federal and state program from the federal Older Americans Act that provides supportive services for those considered caregivers. Program services are available to adult family members who are caregivers for a person age 60 or older and priority given to caregivers providing care and support to persons with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and/or to individuals with disabilities.

Melody Beaty, RN, BSN, Agency Director for Health & Home Services administers a respite program in our area which provides much-needed breaks for caregivers who are caring for a family member. As Melody explains, “Every day hundreds of people are providing care to a loved one in our community. For most they do not even recognize themselves as caregivers. This labor of love can be stressful and overwhelming at times.”

The Family Caregiver Support Program serves Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba County caregivers and services are available to assist caregivers on their journey. It is important for caregivers to take a break or take some time for themselves during the time they are dedicating to caring for a loved one. If you are caring for someone and feel you need assistance or if you know someone who is a caregiver and could use a much-needed break, contact the following organization in your county:

·Alexander County – HomeCare Management Corporation, 315 Wilkesboro Blvd. NE, Lenoir NC 28645. Phone – (828) 754-3665

·Burke County – Handi-Care, Inc., 304 South Main Street, Drexel, NC 28619. Phone: (828) 437-8429

·Caldwell County – HomeCare Management Corporation, 315 Wilkesboro Blvd. NE, Lenoir, NC 28645. Phone – (828) 754-3665

·Catawba County - Health and Home Services, Inc., 910 Hwy 321 NW, Suite 150, Hickory, NC 28601 or by phone at (828) 322-2710.

Photo: Left to right: Jennifer Godfrey, John Godfrey and Karen Harshman

Trolley For Hire For Special Events In Burke County!

Morganton, NC – Burke County tourists have a new transportation option thanks to the Burke County Tourism Development Authority.

The TDA recently purchased a diesel-powered trolley that can be used for charters and special events throughout the region. The idea to add the trolley came from TDA director Ed Phillips, who saw a need for that type of transportation in a county with a growing tourism industry.

“In other areas that have used trolleys, it really adds a lot to the community,” Phillips said. “It’s a nostalgic, fun type of transportation that is mostly found in coastal New England towns or historic southern towns, and we have enough interest here in Burke County for one.”

The trolley was purchased from a tour company in Kannapolis and has been branded as Ridgeline Trolley and Tours.

Trolley Driver Joe Johnson of Morganton

In addition to being available for charters for family reunions, weddings, birthdays, and other gatherings, Phillips and his organization will soon put together tour packages. Phillips said the plan is to utilize the trolley to create special events such as wine hops, historical tours and themed excursions.

“It allows us to create packages showcasing our wineries, history and outdoors without having to go out of the county to get transportation,” Phillips said.

The Ridgeline Trolley rolled into service on July 10. It is air-conditioned, heated, and accommodates up to 22 passengers. Groups can charter the trolley for $150 per hour.

“We had three charters in the first week and hadn’t even promoted it yet,” said Phillips. ““The trolley’s unique atmosphere adds to the special event it is being used for. It even has a politician’s platform on the back which makes it great for photos.”

For more info on the Ridgeline Trolley and upcoming tours, call the visitors center at 888-462-2921, or go online to:

HCT’s Magic Unicorn Of Many Colors Opens Thurs., July 23

Hickory - Performances begin this week for “The Magic Unicorn of Many Colors,” the first play in its summer RugBug Theatre series.

In this play, Alegria, the Magic Unicorn, causes all kinds of problems!  But, she also makes wishes come true!  Juanita loves to solve problems…and sing!  She finds Alegria, saves the cornfield, hunts for a missing doll in the middle of the desert, and gets to sing and dance!

RugBug Theatre plays are designed for young audiences, ages 3-10. The plays total running time is about 45 minutes and has an intermission break as well.

Performances are July 23rd through August 1st. Times are Thursdays and Saturdays at 2:30pm, Fridays at 11:30am. Tickets are $5 per person, available at the door only. For more information call 828-328-2283.

The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The summer RugBug Theatre series is sponsored by the Hickory Rotary Club, Shurtape, Dr. S. Kimberly Jones DDS and Catawba Pediatric Associates PA. The RugBug Theatre is also part of the 2015-16 season sponsored by Paramount Automotive.

This program is made possible by a Projects Pool grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County with funding from the NC State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts .

The RugBug Theatre play, “The Magic Unicorn of Many Colors hits the stage of the Council Chambers Theatre this week, beginning on Thursday, July 23rd. For more information call (828) 327-3855.

Photo: Arielle Brown has the title role in he RugBug Theatre play, “The Magic Unicorn of Many Colors hits the stage of the Council Chambers Theatre this week, beginning on Thursday, July 23rd. For more information call (828) 327-3855.

Arielle Brown

Valdese Weavers Celebrates A Century At Waldensian Fest

Valdese, NC - Valdese Weavers is celebrating a landmark in 2015 as they commemorate their 100th anniversary. As part of that celebration, the company is sharing a historic exhibit with the town during the annual Waldensian Festival on August 8.

The Valdese Weavers historic exhibit will be on display in the Waldensian Room at the Old Rock School on Main Street, August 8, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Among the many items on display will be antique textiles from the early 1700s to 1800s paired with current day fabrics inspired by the documents, plus vintage weaving tools, other artifacts and textiles from the 1920s and1930s.

Two craftsmen will be present illustrating the art and technique involved in creating fabrics.

One artisan will demonstrate hand weaving on an antique, eight-harness hand loom while another will be painting and creating original art, which is often used as inspiration for the company’s textiles.

Valdese Weavers has also dug into the archives of each brand to recreate 100 of its most popular fabrics, which will be on display. The centennial fabrics represent the company’s best sellers across all residential applications from upholstery to bedding to luggage.

Visitors can also explore Valdese Weaver’s company timeline, which notes significant business accomplishments from 1915 to today, and preview excerpts from their 100th anniversary book, designed to celebrate the accomplishments of a century of outstanding employees.

To learn more visit, or connect through Twitter and Facebook.

Catawba County’s Seniors Morning Out Has New Locations

Hickory - Catawba County's Senior Nutrition Services has two new locations for its Seniors Morning Out Program.

These are at Center United Methodist Church, 2945 Sherrills Ford Road, Catawba; and at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth Street, NE, Hickory.

Pastor John Love and the leadership of Center United Methodist, said in a statement: "We are blessed to have the opportunity to house the Catawba Seniors Morning Out Program. We have been looking for a mission opportunity to serve the community, and this opportunity dropped in our lap. What a privilege it is to be able to be involved in this program."

Pastor Harv Turner of Huntington Hills Church of God, said: "It is our privilege to partner with Catawba Senior Nutrition Service and Jan Shaffer (supervisor of the program) as a means of outreach to impact our community and the great people of Hickory and beyond."

There are a total of five locations where the Seniors Morning Out program is held. The others are at West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th Street, SW, Hickory; at Maiden Community Center, 207 East Klutz Street, Maiden; and at First Presbyterian Church, 701 North Main St., Newton.

Seniors Morning Out is free and open to any resident of Catawba County who is 60 or better. The program includes a variety of fun and informative activities as well as monthly outings. A hot, balanced lunch is also provided. The program operates from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, except for holidays. Bus transportation is available to county residents who cannot drive. This program is not limited by income. Any county resident who is at least 60 may attend.

For more information about this program, call 828-695-5610, or go to

Senior Nutrition Services also has a Facebook page at

Food Lion Feeds Food Drive For Local Food Pantry On Aug. 8

Valdese, NC - As part of its sponsorship of the 2015 Waldensian Festival, Food Lion Feeds will host a canned food drive during the festival to raise meals for the local food pantry, Burke United Christian Ministries.

Attendees are encouraged to bring canned items with them to the festival and Food Lion associates will be on hand to collect the items at booths located near the main stage. Food Lion Feeds will match all canned food collected up to 2,500 pounds.

The canned food drive is part of Food Lion's mission, through Food Lion Feeds, to help end hunger in the grocer's local communities. Through Food Lion Feeds, Food Lion has committed to donated 500 million meals in the local communities it serves by the end of 2020.

Saturday, August 8, 9am to 9pm in Downtown Historic Valdese, N.C. Booth 75 and 77.

About the Waldensian Festival

Since 1976, on the second Saturday in August, Valdese hosts an annual festival to celebrate the “Glorious Return” of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native valleys in the Cottian Alps of Italy in 1689. This celebration is mirrored around the world by other Waldensian communities. Now in its 40th season, the Waldensian Festival is an exciting event with over 170 food and craft vendors, live entertainment, historic attractions and much more!

About Food Lion

Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates. Through Food Lion Feeds, the company has committed to provide 500 million meals to individuals and families in need by the end of 2020. Food Lion is a company of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group. For more information, visit

Local Artist Norma Rader Deal’s Show Is At Callahan’s, July 31

Newton, NC - Local artist Norma Deal is returning to North Carolina – she and her paintings will be featured in a one woman show, Coming Home, Frome The Mountains to the Sea and Back Again, at Callahan’s Cafe in Newton on Friday, July 31.

Born and raised in Conover, North Carolina, Norma left the area to pursue a higher education, marriage and career, finally retiring to the lowcountry of South Carolina where she has made a name for herself as a top notch fine artist. Norma has had an interest in painting throughout her life eventually making it a full time business venture.

Her work is a wide range from folk art to contemporary abstract, mainly working with oil and mixed media, often experimenting with new techniques and materials. Her paintings are often mystical, with floating figures and a soft ethereal feeling about them.

Dock of the Bay, Aruba by Norma Deal

She is inspired by the natural world around her wherever she is; she loves to paint the beautiful North Carolina mountains and lakes, as well as the coastal areas of her current home in the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton South Carolina area. After moving to the lowcountry Norma developed an interest in the unique Gullah traditions of the south and has painted many images featuring the Gullah people. Whatever her subject she paints with a rare talent and an enviable imagination.

Norma is very involved in the art scene in her community and has works at numerous galleries and shops there, but it will be a treat for her to share her work in her old stomping ground of NC.

Please visit Callahan's Cafe, on the square in Newton on Friday, July 31st from 5 to 8 pm. Light refreshments will be served at the event which is free and open to the public and is catered by Debbie Leatherman.

Libraries Host Puss In Boots & Other Family Events This Week

Newton, NC - Catawba County Library System has a FREE cure for the sweltering sun this week with story times, crafts, movies and dramatic performances.

All ages are invited to “Puss in Boots” by Green Bean Players beginning at 1:30 pm on Saturday, July 25 at the St. Stephens Branch.

On Thursday July 23 at 2 pm, children at the Maiden library are invited to make a Superhero Power Band bracelet. On Friday, July 24 the Southwest Branch invites elementary-aged children to make their own Shaken Glass Ornament at 10 am.

Other Summer Reading activities include Family Story Time at the Claremont Branch on Thursday, July 23 at 11 am. Ready to Learn Story Times will take place throughout the week at the Conover, Sherrills Ford-Terrell, St. Stephens and Southwest Branches as well as at the Main Library, Newton. Contact any branch or visit the library’s website for program times.

All of the events are part of the Summer Reading program to encourage reading and other educational activities when school is not in session. For more information about these and other library events, contact your local branch visit or email

Questions about programs should be directed to the individual branch or to Youth Services Librarian April Green at 828-465-8668.

Hudson Dinner Theatre Auditions For Guys And Dolls, Aug. 24 & 25

Hudson, NC - Auditions for the Hudson Dinner Theatre Production of “Guys and Dolls” will be held in the Hudson Uptown Building Auditorium on Monday and Tuesday, August 24th and 25th at 7:00 PM. The reading will be from the script and an accompanist will be provided, if auditioners bring a song. Wear comfortable clothing for movement.

“Guys and Dolls” is a delightful, colorful, larger than life musical comedy set in the New York Underworld of the 1940s. Based on material by the author, Damon Runyon, “Guys and Dolls” follows two camps: the underworld of gamblers, gangsters and night clubs on the one side and the Salvation Army on the other. There are two love stories, some quality music and exciting dance, wrapped in comedy and a unique style of speaking from the period and personnel.

There are roles from ages 16-70: gangsters, gamblers, dancers, singers, Salvation Army personnel and one burr under your saddle cop! All roles with the exception of the cop are singing roles. The cop is Lieutenant Brannigan and is the one pre-cast role – (Stephen Starnes). Overall, the director is looking for about 40 actors, singers, dancers. For more information, call the director Keith Smith, at Hudson Town Hall, 728-8272.

Soldiers Reunion Cruisin’ Car Show Is Sunday, August 16

Newton, NC – The 126th Soldiers Reunion kicks off Sunday, Aug. 16, with classic cars, music, fellowship, and fun at the Soldiers Reunion Cruisin’ Car Show.

The Cruisin’ Car Show, now in its 24th year, has become one of the most popular activities during Reunion Week, according to Wayne Dellinger, chairman for the Soldiers Reunion. Thousands of area residents attend the show each year to view hundreds of vintage vehicles. Dellinger said the classic car event is part of the Reunion’s weeklong tribute to U.S. military personnel, both past and present.

The cars and trucks—all 1972 or older—will be on display beginning at 2:30 p.m. The event will encompass the 1924 Courthouse Square and downtown business district, with spectators invited to view a myriad of original and restored classic automobiles. About 6:30 p.m., Newton’s one-way streets will transform into two-way streets, with cruising to bring back muscle car memories for local residents.

During the event, musical entertainment will be provided around the 1924 Courthouse Square. Bring your lawn chairs and dancing shoes for an entertaining afternoon and evening of classic cars and classic music.

If you would like to participate in this year’s Cruisin’ Car Show, you must own a car or truck manufactured before 1973, pay a $2 registration fee, and obtain an official Cruisin’ placard. Placards are available at Pin Station Bowling Center.

For more information, or to register, contact Wayne Dellinger at 828-464-3906.

2014 Cruisin’ Car Show at Soldiers Reunion, Newton, NC

WP Youth Symphony Is Setting Auditions Now For Aug. & Sept.

Hickory - Western Piedmont Youth Symphony will hold auditions for its 2015-2016 season by appointment only, 2-6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25th - Friday, Sept. 4th (with the exception of weekends) in the Performing Arts Wing of the Arts & Science Center on the SALT Block, 243 Third Avenue N.E. in Hickory. All new and returning members MUST audition.

WPYS Candidates should prepare the following for audition: 2 Major Scales in 2 or more octaves, 1 minor scale (any of the three forms is acceptable) in 2 or more octaves and one prepared solo piece or etude.

Each musician will also be given a short passage of sight-reading.

Those selected to the WPYS have the opportunity to rehearse September-April under the direction of Maestro John Gordon Ross and perform in two concerts:

The WPYS Fall concert will be 7 p.m. Monday, November 23, 2015 at the SALT Block Auditorium in Hickory.

The WPYS Spring concert will be a side-by-side, performed with the professional WPS orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 16, 2016 at P.E. Monroe Auditorium on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University, also in Hickory.

Tuition for the 2015-2016 will be $100 per year, with payment plans and tuition assistance available to qualified members. That fee includes weekly Monday night rehearsals, two concert performances, a concert T-shirt and two pre-concert pizza dinners for the well as the opportunity to work with our professional resident string quartet during sectionals and challenges! The first rehearsal will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14th in the Keiser Community Room in the West Wing at the SALT Block.

To reserve your Youth Symphony audition time, call the WP Symphony office at 828.324.8603 or email WPS at

Human Society Sets Rabies Vaccine Clinic In Catawba, Aug. 1

Catawba, NC- Humane Society of Catawba County, in collaboration with Catawba County Animal Services, will be offering off-site rabies clinics in August and September. There will be 1 year rabies vaccines available for $7.00.

The next clinic is Saturday, August 1st, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Catawba Fire Department, 108 N Main Street, Catawba.

All dogs must be on a leash and under control of the dog owner at all times, and all cats must be in a carrier for the safety and security of the cat.

No appointment is necessary. Rabies clinics are available to any member of the public and are not limited to residents of Catawba County.

Victoria, pictured, is available for adoption. Go to for photos of available cats and dogs in need of ‘fur-ever’ homes.

HSCC -Hickory, 3224 20th Ave SE, Hickory, NC 28602, Tel: 828.464.8878. HSCC -Newton, 201 Government Services Dr., Newton, NC 28658, Tel: 828.466.7171.

The Wig Bank Of Caldwell Co.’s Summer Bash Is Sat., August 15!

Lenoir, NC – The Wig Bank of Caldwell County, with the support of Madison & Ali Bumgarner and SunTrust Bank of Lenoir, announces that their 2nd annual Summer Bash will be held on Saturday, August 15, 2015 from 5pm until 11pm in Lenoir, NC. This year’s Summer Bash will fill the evening with this never before together colossal trio of music with The Extraordinaires, DJ Johnny B and The Entertainers. These three regionally renowned champions of beach music are sure to satisfy your desire to boogie all night long. Tickets are $20 each, $25 each at the door. Early purchase is recommended, anticipating an early sell out due to this amazing line up that will draw hundreds if not thousands of fans from all over the region.

The Extraordinaires, a 9 member band from Hickory, NC have been performing weekly all over the Carolinas since 2003. With their electrifying style they will keep you hustling until you’re exhausted. DJ Johnny B is an award winning DJ and since 1981 has performed all over the southeast and has co-hosted many events with legends such as Clarence Carter, Percy Sledge, The Platters and many more. The Entertainers, an 8 member recording and performing band from the Charlotte, NC area, has been performing their beach music all over the southeast together since 1980. Their original songs and extensive song list are sure to delight all shag dancers.

The Wig Bank of Caldwell County is a non-profit organization that serves cancer patients and their families at no cost. They provide a comfortable place for respite and care, support groups, wigs, hats and scarves, make-up, gas & food gift cards and much more.

For tickets or more information about this unrivalled Summer Bash event, sponsorship opportunities or The Wig Bank of Caldwell County please call 828-758-9111 or visit

Hickory Bond Projects Moving Forward, Drawings Presented

Hickory – The Hickory Bond Implementation Commission held a joint meeting, hosted by the Hickory Parks and Recreation Commission, at Winkler Park Activity Center on Tuesday, July 14, before the Crawdads Home Game.

In mid-May and early June, the three Bond Projects’ Subcommittees, Citywalk, Riverwalk, Streetscapes and Gateways, scheduled meetings with Freese and Nichols (FNI), the professional bond program management service that was hired by the City. The Bond Commission has been advising on the first three projects, while City staff oversees the Park 1764 project.

At the July meeting, Freese and Nichols presented the conceptual drawings for the Riverwalk project. “We have looked at the constraints and opportunities at the parks, along the lake,” said Charles Archer, FNI account manager.

“The river is a destination area and important linkage for the City,” said Matt Milano, FNI landscape architect.

The Riverwalk is a comprehensive water front trail system.

Projected look of Riverwalk

“We wanted to develop an artful system that is expressive and inspiring, increase connectivity to existing points of interest, and make the southern portion of the Riverwalk a destination space,” added Milano.

Some of the concepts include a combination concrete path and deck section over the water, low level pedestrian lights, including architectural character into the railing and decking, and overlooks that will have backless benches for best full visual ability that will be steel to match the rails.

In addition to the Riverwalk project, the Streetscapes/Gateways and Citywalk Subcommittees each gave a brief update on their projects.

Assistant City Manager Andrea Surratt presented the details of the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant program that the City has applied for and is being reviewed by the Department of Transportation (DOT). If awarded to the City, this grant will assist with completion of the City Walk project, comprised of 1.2 miles of pedestrian, bicycle, roadway, streetscape, safety, signage, signalization, intersection, crosswalk, and public meeting space improvements. The total cost of Citywalk is projected to be $27.5 million. Hickory is requesting $22 million in Tiger funds and will commit $5.5 million in local funds.

Mayor Rudy Wright, Councilmen Hank Guess, David Zagaroli, City Manager Mick Berry and Assistant Manager Andrea Surratt spent Thursday in Washington DC, meeting with elected officials and US Transportation staff, drumming up support for the Tiger Grant application. “We have total support from our NC delegation,” said Berry. “And, we had a very productive meeting with US DOT Deputy Secretary Kevin Monroe. We’ve got a strong grant application, and we’ve learned some things we can do to make it even stronger.”

August 24 through the 26 will be the next Subcommittee meetings and the full Bond Implementation Commission will meet in late October. The majority of the October meeting will be about the Streetscapes/Gateways and Citywalk projects. The City should know more about their application for the TIGER Grant at that time.

All Bond Implementation Commission and Subcommittee meetings will be posted on’s Home page, under City Meetings.

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