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February 15, 2018

21st Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Show Is Sat., March 24

Hickory – Today, the Historical Association of Catawba County announced that the 21st annual Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival (CVP&AF) will take place Saturday, March 24, at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. This acclaimed event brings together 110 potters and vendors from across the southeast to exhibit and sell their unique artistry and craftsmanship, including historical pottery, textiles, folk art, baskets and furniture.

Saturday’s festival also includes pottery videos, live demonstrations and a special lecture and exhibit: “The Hilton Family Potters from Craft Art,” presented by Dr. Terry Zug. The Hilton family of potters worked in the Catawba Valley from the late 1800s into the early twenty-first century (nearly 300 years!). The exhibit, curated by Dr. Zug, demonstrates the family's skills and products as they changed over time - from traditional jars & jugs to sculptural forms like dolls & log cabins. The lecture is at 11:00 a.m. and is included in the Saturday ticket price.

The CVP&AF will also host the Friday Night Preview Party on March 23 from 7-10 p.m. at the Hickory Metro Convention Center featuring a Southern supper, cash bar and live music. The Preview Party is the primary fundraiser for the festival and provides guests with the opportunity to purchase festival items early. And new this year, all Preview Party ticket buyers will be entered in a drawing for a $200 gift certificate to be used on Saturday at the festival. To be eligible, tickets must be purchased by the March 16 deadline. The raffle winner will be announced during Friday’s event.

Tickets for the Friday Night Preview Party are $45 and include admission into Saturday’s festival. These can be purchased online or through direct mail (see direct mail directions below). Tickets for Saturday’s festival are $6.00 for adults, $2.00 for children ages 3 to 12, and can be purchased at the door. For more information about the CVP&AP, please visit

Stacy Lambert Cow Milk jug

Additional event details below: Friday Night Preview Party, Friday, March 23 from 7–10pm. Hickory Metro Convention Center, 1960 13th Ave. Dr. SE, Hickory, NC 28602. Tickets: $45 each (includes admission to Saturday’s festival). Purchase Online OR Purchase By Mail: Download and fill out an order form, include a check or money order and mail to: CVPAF/Party, P.O. Box 2583, Hickory, NC 28603.

Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival, Saturday, March 24 from 9am–5pm. Hickory Metro Convention Center, 1960 13th Ave. Dr. SE, Hickory, NC 28602.

Tickets: $6 for adults, $2 for children ages 3-13. Tickets purchased at the door.

About the Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival
The CVPA&F began in 1998 with a mission to showcase the history of Catawba Valley alkaline glazed stoneware and the potters who continually produce this traditional utilitarian ware. Development and growth have allowed the festival to include potters from across the state and the South, as well as dealers offering historical pottery and antiques, providing a context for understanding the history and use of pottery in the South. The Festival is a non-profit event benefiting the Historical Association of Catawba County in Newton, and the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove. More than $500,000 has been donated to the institutions over the past 18 years.

Call For Artists For Hickory Art Crawl; Deadline Is April 15

Hickory, NC: The Hickory Downtown Development Association is seeking artists interested in participating in the upcoming 2018 Downtown Hickory Art Crawls. Art in most disciplines will be accepted, although art must be in good taste and able to be shown to persons of all ages. Artists will display their works in and around local downtown Hickory businesses and demonstrations are encouraged. There is no charge to the artist for participation and no commissions are charged on items sold, but artists are required to personally pay all applicable NC taxes.

Artists selected to show will need to bring all necessary display items, tables and chairs. Failure by the participating artist to appear at the event will be considered during the application process for other downtown events.

The 2018 dates are Thursday, May 17, and Thursday, September 20.

The Art Crawl begins with a Kick-Off Party at 5:00 pm. The actual Crawl begins at 5:30 pm and ends at 8:00 pm. Artists must be set up by 4:30 pm and may not remove displays before 8:00 pm.

For an application, please contact Barbara at or Connie at or call 828-322-1121. Please follow the application process closely as incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications are due by April 15 for the May 18, 2018 Art Crawl and by August 15 for the September 21, 2018 Art Crawl. You will be notified at least two weeks before the Crawl of your acceptance.

Hickory Downtown Development Association, Boyd & Hassell Industrial Commercial Real Estate, and the United Arts Council of Catawba County sponsor the semi-annual Downtown Hickory Art Crawls.

For more information on The HDDA, membership, businesses, other events and downtown Hickory, please call 828 322 1121 or email Please visit the website,

Bethlehem Friends Of Library Used Book Sale Is March 22-24

Bethlehem, NC - Book lovers of all ages: mark your calendar for the eighth annual Friends of the Library used book sale on March 22-24. Sponsors are the Bethlehem Friends of the Library. Location is the Bethlehem Fire Department, 7373 NC Highway 127, in Bethlehem.

Donations are currently being sought for gently used books. Such items can be taken to the Bethlehem Branch Library, 45 Rink Dam Road or call the library office at 828-495-8753. Items that cannot be accepted are encyclopedias, magazines, Reader’s Digest condensed books, or books that are badly worn and water damaged.

Special hours on Thursday, March 22 are arranged for those who are members of the Bethlehem or Taylorsville Friends of the Library and book vendors. Those hours are 9-12 noon. Individuals who purchase a Friends membership at the time of sale can take advantage of those special hours. Book vendors are asked to register for a $25 donation to the Friends.

Regular book sale hours are Thursday, March 22, noon to 6:00 p.m., Friday, March 23, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 24, 9:00 to 2:00 p.m. Special pricing will be available on Saturday.

Bethlehem Friends members encourage the public to use this sale as an opportunity to keep books out of the landfill by donating books for the sale and then purchasing low cost, current books.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to support literacy by enhancing services for children and adults at the Bethlehem Branch Library.

Special thanks to the Bethlehem Fire Department for use of their facilities.

Friends’ one year memberships can be purchased at the library prior to the sale or at the sale. Membership is $10 for individuals, $15 for family and $8 for seniors.

Joy Prom Is Set For Saturday, April 24, Discovery Church

Newton, NC - The Second-Annual Joy Prom event for the Catawba Valley and Unifour area is now open for registration. Joy Prom is a full-scale prom event for the special needs individuals throughout the community for ages 16 and older with developmental and/or physical impairments. Joy Prom will be held on Saturday, April 28 from 5:30pm until 9:00pm at Discovery Church on Startown Road in Newton. Registration for Joy Prom is now open on a first-come, first-served basis by visiting and is open to the first 100 registrants.

Joy Prom is dedicated to making every prom attendee feel like a prince or princess before, during and after the event. On their night to shine, guests will be paired up with a volunteer as their escort for the evening and will be honored with the on-site Glam Shop for hair and makeup touch-ups, shoe shines, and even help with straightening the tie. And as the Joy Prom celebration begins, everyone will enjoy a short limo ride around the campus with a walk down the red carpet followed by dinner, music, dancing, and paparazzi-style photography throughout the night.

To help commemorate the event, each prom-goer will receive a specialized swag bag with lots of goodies to keep Joy Prom 2018 in their memories for years to come! Parents and caregivers are also included in the fun of Joy Prom while they relax and enjoy refreshments as well as a live video-feed of the festivities at an on-site Hospitality House.

To help get into the spirit of the evening, Discovery Church will be host to a special Prom Store prior to the event that will be open by appointment to assist prom-goers with formal wear selections and accessories as well as any alterations that may be needed.

Joy Prom began last year and has been a vision and event sponsored and hosted by Discovery Church, believing that every person is made in the image of God and that each life should be valued and celebrated!

There is no cost to attend Joy Prom and the event being hosted by countless volunteers and sponsors throughout the community. To help make Joy Prom 2018 a continued success, individuals and organizations are always encouraged to donate their services, products and formal attire.

For more information on registering or donations, please visit or call Discovery Church at 828.855.2200.
Joy Prom 2017 Red Carpet

Godspell At LRU Next Thursday- Sunday, February 22-25

Hickory - Lenoir-Rhyne University will continue its 2017-18 Playmakers season with a production of Godspell (2012 Revised Version). The play will be performed Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. All performances will take place in Belk Centrum Theatre.

Conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak with music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the 2012 revised version includes contemporary cultural references, noticeably updated from the original 1971 production. Godspell provides for a time of singing, dancing, and storytelling with Jesus and a group of followers. Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, this musical of love and friendship includes a rock band and high energy performances.

Dr. Lindsay Weitkamp, LRU assistant professor of theatre, is the director. Musical direction is provided by Dr. Christopher Nigrelli, professor of music, and vocal coaching and accompaniment is provided by Jeana Borman, instructor of music.

The play features a cast of LRU students including Chase Fowler, Katie Kennedy, Ricky Lineberry, Brianna Miller, Sam Miller, Ashton Pesterfield, Mason Segers, Ariona Smith, Corey Smith, and Jessica Sprinkle. Mili Koncelik is the stage manager and Callie Cope is the assistant stage manager and assistant choreographer.

Godspell (2012 Revised Version) is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

Admission is free, but tickets are required due to limited seating. Tickets are available at the door or can be picked up at the LRU Box office in P.E. Monroe Auditorium. Box office hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit or call 828.328.7206 for ticket information.

LRU’s Playmakers stimulate interest in the dramatic arts and provide a theatre experience for the community. They are also considered the official producing body for the LRU theatre program.

Ultimate Takes The Field At The Hickory YMCA

Join The Fun On Sundays At 3pm

Hickory - Sunday afternoons at the Hickory YMCA outdoor fields are a time for families to walk their dogs, kids to learn to ride their bicycles, and, recently, Ultimate Frisbee players to catch some air. A little like soccer, a little like football with a disc, Ultimate Frisbee (or simply “Ultimate” for fans of the sport) is a non-contact sport that encourages sportsmanship, strategy, and love of the game. Players throw the disk to one another to make progress down the field toward the opposing team’s goal. The disk can very quickly be turned around; offensive becomes defense in the blink of an eye. In football, “Hail Mary” passes are rare and risky, but are commonplace in Ultimate thanks to the long hang-time of an errant flying disc. It is an exciting game to both watch and play.

Sunday afternoon players at the Hickory YMCA agree. Liz Benoit is new to the area and she regularly plays with her longtime friend Megan Tibbs. “Ultimate has provided me with the opportunity to meet new people. I had never played Ultimate before and everyone was really encouraging and helped me to learn the game quickly. I definitely encourage everyone to come out and play with us!” said Benoit. Tibbs added, “Ultimate is a good game with good people. I feel that there are not a lot of sport activities for adults and Ultimate provides a great way to get outside and be active.”

Recent Ultimate Frisbee action at the YMCA field

Organizer Rob Lelewski moved to the area almost two years ago. He wanted to find a way to connect with the Hickory community. “Ultimate is one of those games that has a way of bringing people together. I look forward all week to Sunday afternoons because I love to play and I love to share the game with others. New people join almost every week.”

Heather Garvey, Senior Program Director at the YMCA of Catawba Valley, is hopeful that the weekend sessions may become a fully-supported athletic league for the YMCA. “The Y is home to leagues for adult basketball, volleyball, and flag football. We are hoping that Ultimate can eventually join that lineup. In the meantime, the pickup games on Sundays at 3pm are a great opportunity for people looking for a casual game with a great community.”

Friendly Ultimate players meet every Sunday at 3pm

Lelewski also has high hopes for the future of Ultimate in Hickory. “Everyone keeps spreading the word and new and seasoned Ultimate players have joined us for Sunday pickup. Eventually we’d like to field four teams and play two games at a time. We have the space, so the more the merrier.”

Ages 14+ and all levels of experience are welcome. If you are a newcomer, Lelewski teaches the basics every week at 2:30pm before the group play begins at 3:00pm at the Hickory YMCA fields. Running shoes (ideally cleats) and a willingness to learn are the only requirements. If you would like to learn more, search Facebook for “Hickory Ultimate Frisbee” and join the online community for the latest information, weather based cancellations, and other events.

Unpacked: How Many Cultures Make Catawba Home

Exhibit Opens Thurs., Feb. 22 In Newton

Newton, NC – A new multicultural exhibit in the Catawba County History Museum, entitled “Unpacking: How many cultures make Catawba home” highlights stories of immigration to Catawba County over the last 40 years.

The Historical Association of Catawba County (HACC) invites members of the public to the exhibit opening Thursday February 22, 6:30 p.m. at the Museum on the Newton Square. Leaders of local cultural organizations, municipalities, volunteers, and artifact lenders will be in attendance.

“This community-curated exhibit came to life thanks to the time and efforts of volunteers who believe that history is vibrant and universal,” explained HACC Executive Director Dr. Amber Clawson Albert.

A primary goal of the exhibition is to make the traditions, stories, and objects of different cultures more accessible to museum visitors. The exhibit opening will also serve as the kick-off event for the mural competition, details of the countywide contest will be announced at the event and later posted online.

Supported by the United Council for the Arts Grassroots Arts Project (GAP), the new exhibit features belongings that residents brought to Catawba County in recent years. In addition to the GAP grant, the project is sponsored by private contributions and the NC Arts Council, a division of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

“It’s been wonderful to participate, even in a small way, on a project that celebrates all that we are as a people with such genuine respectfulness,” said Erica Derr, Collaborative Services Librarian for Catawba County Public Library and Steering Committee member.

The exhibit opening is free, family-friendly, and will include light refreshments. The Catawba County History Museum is located at 30 North College Ave Newton, NC.

If you have questions about the exhibit or want to get involved email

About the Historical Association of Catawba County: a non-profit organization that offers heritage programming and preserves four historic sites – The Catawba County Museum of History, the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge, Murray’s Mill Historic District, and The Harper House/Hickory History Center.

About the United Council for the Arts: since 1960, the non-profit organization has built partnerships with vibrant cultural organizations and local government to serve the community through funding cultural education and programming. The office is located in the west wing of the SALT BLOCK.
Display at ‘Unpacked’

Life In Ridgeview: Do You Know Me?

Storytelling On Feb. 20, 21 & 22, 5-6:30pm

Hickory - One Purpose Parks & Recreation Council (OPPRC) is calling on all Ridgeview community residents to join in celebrating life in Ridgeview, through some good old fashion storytelling.

February 20, 21, and 22 at 5:00 – 6:30 p.m., the public is invited to meet at the Ridgeview Recreation Center to share stories and the positive points of personal and community life in Ridgeview.

“We are asking all Ridgeview residents, ages 9 to 95, to bring us their personal stories of our fun and loving community”, states OPPRC Board member Anita Flowers.

“There are many stories and fond memories of the community to share,” said Thom Hutchens, Production Stage Manager and Board Member of Hickory Community Theatre who will share responsibilities with the residents in turning their memories and stories into three, one-act plays, and then presenting the stories on stage.

After 2-3 weeks of putting the stories to paper, Ridgeview citizens will become the storytellers on stage. Rehearsals will be conducted for 5-6 weeks, before public performances in April, at a location to be announced. All positive thoughts, stories, folk lore, etc. are requested and will be welcomed. Participants will share the responsibility of developing these memories into actions, and selected community members will perform the stories for public entertainment and education.

“We want to show Ridgeview as more than just a neighborhood, but a group of loving, caring and sharing group of individuals”, said OPPRC Board Member Tracy Ray.

“I desire for the lives and stories of Ridgeview to be shared beyond the Ridgeview community”, stated Hutchens. “Getting stories on paper, and onto a stage, will show Ridgeview as a vital and valuable community within the city of Hickory.”

Tickets For HCT’s Comedy Kitchen Witches Are Selling Out

Hickory - The Kitchen Witches, a new comedy at the Hickory Community Theatre is proving very popular with local audiences. Opening weekend performances were sold out and the upcoming second weekend has only 57 seats still available.

“It’s a bittersweet thing to be having to turn people away so early,” said John Rambo, Managing Director. “We’re doing our best to get word out about the remaining performances though. I always tell folks it’s never too early to get tickets but it can be too late if you wait.”

This delectable comedy is about two rival cooking show hosts who are pulled together onto the same show. One woman stole the other’s husband so the sparks and insults fly with hilarious results.

Upcoming performances of The Kitchen Witches are Thursdays at 7:30pm (Feb 15 & 22), Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm (Feb 16, 17, 23 & 24) and Sundays at 2:30pm (Feb 18 & 25.)

All seats are $16, seniors and students are $14. Tickets are now on sale online at or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Saturday.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. The Kitchen Witches is produced by Dr. George Clay, III, DDS and Robert Abbey, Inc.

Photo: Chrissy Colavecchio Schramm (left) Justin Thomas and Connie Bools in The Kitchen Witches at the Hickory Community Theatre. Performances continue February 15th through 25th in the Firemen’s Kitchen. Go to or call (828) 328-2283 for tickets and information.
Photo by Ken Burns.

Hickory PD’s Citizens’ Police Academy Starts March 22

Hickory – Are you interested in learning more about law enforcement to include patrol techniques, community policing, criminal investigation, firearms, or just want to become more familiar with the Hickory Police Department in general? Now is your opportunity!

The 41st session of the Hickory Police Department Citizens’ Police Academy (CPA) begins Thursday, March 22, 2018. Sessions are held at the department each Thursday from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00pm, concluding on May 24, 2018, with a graduation from the academy.

Interested parties are encouraged to contact our department and complete an application no later than March 8th. Space is limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Call 828.324.2060.

Return Applications to: Hickory Police Department, Attn: Lt. S.D. Hildebrand, 347 2nd Ave SW, Hickory, NC 28602.


Whelks, Glass & Garden Lights: African-American

Cemeteries & Archaeology At Library, Feb. 22

Hickory - Celebrate Black History Month with an exploration of African American archaeology and cemeteries with archaeologist Melissa Timo on Thursday, February 22, at 6:30 pm at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library. Although the land was almost never legally theirs, cemeteries often became the spiritual homeland and the birthplace of many of the modern traditions and values for enslaved and formerly enslaved Africans and their descendants. In cemeteries, these marginalized communities, guided by strong matriarchal figures, reshaped this landscape from something alien to something of their own, using folk culture, spirituality, community, kinship networks, and culturally significant artifacts. This talk will cover the early history of African and African American graveyards in the American southeast and present a case study of the journey one archaeologist took with one such descendant group to reclaim their memory through their old family burying ground.

Pine Forest Cemetery in Wilmington, NC

Melissa Timo, M.A., R.P.A., is the Staff Archaeologist of the Exploring Joara Foundation, Inc. She has been a public archaeologist and historical interpreter for nine years, and has been involved in archaeology for fifteen years. Timo has worked with a variety of institutions including Southwest Region of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, a variety of historical societies and National Parks, the University of West Florida, and the Vanderbilt summer home Great Camp Sagamore. In addition to public archaeology, Melissa’s specialties include: historic cemeteries, historical archaeology, African American archaeology, and the archaeology of frontier communities.

Whelks, Glass and Garden Lights is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 304-0500 ext. 7235. Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block.

Black History Jeopardy At Ridgeview Branch Library, Sat., Feb. 17

Hickory - Are you a history buff or love game show competitions? The Ridgeview Branch Library is hosting a Jeopardy-style quiz game on Saturday, February 17, beginning at 2 pm. Students in grades 5-12 will compete on small teams to see who has the best history knowledge. This month will feature questions on Black History in honor of Black History Month. Light refreshments will be provided.

Ridgeview Library is located at 706 1st Street SW, at the corner of 1st Street and 7th Avenue SW, beside the Ridgeview Recreation Center. All library programs are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Nicole Morse at the Ridgeview Library, 828-345-6037 or or visit the library’s website at

Celebration Of Black Culture Mon., Feb. 19, At LRU

Hickory – In recognition of Black History Month, Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs will hold a “Celebration of Black Culture” event on Monday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Grace Chapel.

The event will feature a collaboration of presentations and performances from the Black Student Alliance, Nu Generation Gospel Choir, and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Greek organizations.

The gospel choir will sing hymns from various periods in history, providing a musical journey through time. The Black Student Alliance will provide information about notable events throughout black history, while the NPHC organizations will provide historical facts on black Greek organizations.

LR’s Office of Multicultural Affairs aspires to create a diverse community that welcomes people of different races, cultures, ages, genders, sexual orientation, religions, socioeconomic levels, political perspectives, abilities, opinions, values and experiences.

For more information visit

Hickory PD Hosts Discussion On Homelessness On Mon., March 5

Hickory – Hickory Police Department will host a community forum on homelessness, the effects, and possible community strategies that can be implemented to address some of the issues by establishing a collaborative community effort.

The discussion will be held in Grace Chapel on the Lenoir-Rhyne University campus on Monday, March 5th from 2:00 to 5:00pm. All community stake holders and media are invited to be part of the discussion. Goals for the forum are:

To get accurate information to the public on the real facts about homelessness in Hickory.

Provide information about the services that exist.

Discuss ways to address the homelessness issue in a productive way without encouraging panhandling, urban camping or other things that are detrimental to our community or those in need.

Understand Your Child’s mClass Report This Sun., Feb. 18, At LRU

Hickory - TRC, DORF and NWF? What do these abbreviations mean? What is phonemic awareness?

Have you ever struggled to understand your child’s mCLASS: Reading 3D report? As a parent, you want to help your child become a fluent reader, but understanding the reading jargon is difficult and frustrating. You wonder how you can best help your child at home.

Patrick Beaver Learning Resource Center, as part of its Parents as Voices in Education series, wants to help parents understand their child’s reading report. “What do these scores mean?: Understanding your child’s mCLASS report” will be held on Sunday, February 18, 2018, from 3:00-4:30 pm in room 159 of the Rhyne Building at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Professionals will explain the different skills that mCLASS tests. Participants can then attend up to three breakout sessions to discover practical strategies to help their child at home.

This presentation is free and open to the public. To get the maximum benefit from the presentation, parents will want to bring their child’s mCLASS Literary Performance Report or DIBELS Next report.

Presenters for the program are experienced teachers and committed professionals. Windy Barham works for Catawba County Schools as their K-6 English and Language Arts Curriculum Specialist and Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Coordinator. Brian Smith is currently the Alexander County teacher of the year. He is also a Top Teacher Blogger for Scholastic magazine, an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University and on the board of NC International Dyslexia Association (NCIDA). Dr. Monica Campbell is co-chair of the school of education and Teaching Scholars Director at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Before teaching at the college level, Dr. Campbell was an exceptional children’s teacher in Catawba County Schools. Michael Lemke is a PhD Student at Concordia University and the Elementary Education Program Coordinator at Lenoir Rhyne University. Before joining the faculty at Lenoir-Rhyne, he worked as a classroom teacher and instructional coach at South Newton Elementary. A former English teacher, Angela Lawrence is the executive director of Patrick Beaver Learning Resource Center.

For more information, call 828-624-2012, email at or visit us on Facebook @PBLRC or

RockyFest Issues Call For Artists For April 21st Event

Hiddenite NC: Vendor applications are currently being accepted for the 6th Annual RockyFest being held on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area (Rocky Face Park).

Fees for vendors are non-profit ($0, limit 10, first come-first served), arts/crafts ($30), commercial ($40), and food ($80) vendors. Spaces are 10’ x 10’. Electricity is an extra $10. The vendor application is now available online at . Once submitted, vendor applications will be reviewed by staff who will ensure a good fit with the event. Vendors will need to be set up by 9:00 AM and be prepared to stay until at least 4:30 PM that day.

For more information about RockyFest 2018, visit or call (828) 632-1308.

Alexander County Government expresses its appreciation to the fine sponsors of this year’s event: Duke Energy, Alexander Railroad Company, Craftmaster Furniture, Huntington House Furniture, EnergyUnited, McGill Associates, Schneider Mills, and West Consultants.

LRU Graduate Cast As Bilbo Baggins In HCT’s

The Hobbit, Playing On Stage March 9-25

Hickory - LRU graduate Cody Stuckenschneider has landed the leading role of Bilbo Baggins in the Hickory Community Theatre’s upcoming production of The Hobbit. Performances will begin on Friday, March 9th and continue through Sunday, March 25th.

Stuckenschneider, who’s performed with community and college theatres throughout the region describes Bilbo Baggins as one of his three “dream roles.”

When asked for details he said, “I chose to audition for this play because the Lord of the Rings series is perhaps my favorite book series of all time and I have read each installment, The Hobbit included, well over a dozen times. So to have the opportunity to be a part of bringing that story to life was simply something I couldn't pass up. I was hoping to get Bilbo, just because he is my favorite of the Hobbits in the series and I really love his character. I put on my audition form that I would like to be Bilbo or Gollum, just because I have been successful as a character actor before and thought that would widen my chances of being cast, but Bilbo was what my heart was set on.”

Stuckenschneider started acting at age 11 and was the drama club president in both middle school and high school. He completed his BA in Theatre at Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2016.

Subtitled “There and Back Again,” The Hobbit follows the adventures of Bilbo, one of the most conservative of Hobbits. Although he’s never ventured far from home he’s convinced by the wizard Gandalf to join a band of unruly dwarves on their quest to restore their leader Thorrin Oakenshield as King Under the Mountain. First published in September 1937, as a fantasy story for children, the classic story by J. R. R. Tolkien has been thrilling readers for generations.

Performances of The Hobbit are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm (Mar 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 & 24); Thursdays at 7:30pm (Mar 15 & 22); and Sundays at 2:30pm (Mar 18 & 25.)

All seats are $18, seniors age 60+ are $16 and tickets for students and youth 18 and under are $10. On Thursday nights all adults and seniors are $14. Tickets are now on sale online at or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Friday.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. The Hobbit is produced by Robert Abbey, Inc. and Sunbelt Furniture Xpress.

Photo: Cody Stuckenschneider is Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit at the Hickory Community Theatre. Performances begin on March 9th in the Jeffers Theatre. Click or call (828) 328-2283 for tickets and information.
Photo by John Koval.

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