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Click Here For More Local Events • Page 2 Of Local News

May 25, 2017

Seniors Morning Out Participants To Enjoy A Variety of Activities In June

Hickory – Seniors Morning Out participants will enjoy a variety of activities in June, including bowling, learning new recipes through cooking classes, trips to museums and to Mt. Airy and programs on number of health and wellness topics.

Seniors Morning Out operates from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday in five convenient locations. A hot, balanced lunch is also served. Any county resident who is 60 or better is invited to participate. The program is free to participants, although donations are accepted. Bus transportation is available in some locations for those who do not drive. If you would like to participate in any or all of these activities, contact the site supervisor at least 48 hours in advance.

A few of the program highlights are as follows:

At the West Hickory SMO site, located at West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th St. SW, Hickory: June 5: Broccoli Apple Salad cooking class; June 8: Play Family Feud; June 15: Travel to the Patrick Beaver Library to watch “The Shack;” June 21: Join for a True or False quiz followed by BINGO; June 27: Blood pressure checks followed by presentation on Summer Ailments by Carolyn Thompson, RN with Catawba Valley Medical Center. To reserve your place at any of these activities, contact Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746.

At the East Hickory site, located at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth St. NE, Hickory: June 8: Trip to Mt. Airy; June 13: Vaya Health with Jeff Dula on Depression and Suicide in Older Adults; June 14: Friend walk followed by BINGO; June 20: Trip to Catawba County Museum followed by Dixies for lunch. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, contact Rita Pritchard at least two days in advance by calling 828-320-5963.

At the Newton SMO, located at First Presbyterian Church 701 Main Ave., Newton: June 1: Watch the movie “A Dog’s Purpose” with popcorn and soda; June 7: Walking and stretches followed by BINGO; June 13: Blood pressure checks provided by Christina Ford from Rescare; June 22: Program on Home Safety by Carol Robinson from HealthFirst. To reserve your place at any of these activities, contact Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133.

At the Catawba SMO, located at Center United Methodist Church, 4945 Sherrills Ford Road, Catawba: June 1: Program Laughter is the Best Medicine; June 6: Bowling at Pin Station followed by shopping at the Wal-Mart in Conover; June 8: Blood pressure checks and program on Arthritis Treatment and Exercise by Kayla Hefner, CVMC; June 15: Cookout at Mt. Pleasant UMC with music provided by Sentimental Journey; June 22: Popcorn and movie at Sherill’s Ford Library “A Dog’s Purpose.” If you would like to attend any of these programs, contact Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434.

At the Maiden SMO, located at the Maiden Community Center at the corner of East Second St. and Klutz Street: June 6: BINGO and group singing; June 8: Group walking and blood pressure checks with Kayla Hefner, CVMC; June 15: Program on Techniques for Effective Communication by Terry Spencer; June 22: Group walking and movie day at the Newton Library; June 28: Wheel of Fortune game followed by program the Health Benefits of Lifelong Exercise. To participate in any of these activities, contact Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966.

Seniors Morning Out is operated by Senior Nutrition Services of Catawba County Social Services. In addition to SMO, Senior Nutrition Services operates Meals on Wheels and related programs in the county. This program relies on donations by local individuals and businesses. If you would like to make a donation, you may go to and click on the red “Donate Now” button. Be sure to choose Meals on Wheels or Seniors Morning Out from the drop-down menu. You may also write a check to Catawba County Social Services and write “Senior Nutrition Services” in the memo line. Mail your donation to Senior Nutrition Services, P.O. Box 207, Newton, NC 28658. If you or your group would like to sponsor a fund-raising event for Catawba County’s Senior Nutrition Services, contact Jan Shaffer at 828-695-5610.

Additional volunteers are urgently needed to deliver Meals on Wheels. You can volunteer as little as one and a half hours a month. To find out more, contact Senior Nutrition at 828-695-5610 during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for holidays. For the latest updates, like their Facebook page at, or visit their website at

Catawba County Senior Nutrition Services is a United Way funded partner. Catawba County United Way’s mission is to increase the organized capacity of people to help others by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For more information, locate us on Facebook, 828-327-6851 or

24th Annual Pickin’ in the Park Concert Series Starts Fri., June 2

Hudson, NC - Hudson will be once again holding their 24th Annual Pickin’ in the Park Concert series this year on the first Friday night each month, June through September from, 7 ’til 9 pm.

On Friday, June 2, the “Hiway Band” will be in concert. This group performs a variety of music from oldies, country to classic rock.

This is a FREE family style event to the public which is held in Hickman Windmill Park located directly behind Hudson Town Hall on Central Street, downtown Hudson. The event is held weather permitting. The public is urged to bring a lawn chair as seating is limited. Concessions are also available.

This event is sponsored by the Gold Mine Jewelry Store and the Town of Hudson. For more info, contact Bill Warren at 828-726-1009.

The Barefoot Movement Plays At Sails Original Music Series, 5/26

Hickory – Friday, May 26, the City of Hickory’s 2017 Sails Original Music Series will feature Barefoot Movement, a band described by CMT Edge as “one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene.”

Based out of Nashville, the band has been honing their bluegrass tunes and musical chemistry for more than seven years. “The Barefoot Movement played our Sails Stage a few years ago and everyone just raved about them,” explained Sails Music Coordinator, Bob Sinclair.  “So it finally worked out to bring them back for more.  These guys are so much fun.  They combine acoustic music prowess with great songwriting in their own sweet way – barefooted!”

The Sails Original Music Series is able to bring excellent musical entertainment from all over the United States with the help of numerous sponsors. The presenting sponsor of the series is Lowes Foods, while the Hickory Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau is the premier sponsor for the month of May, in conjunction with their 31 Days of May Campaign, celebrating tourism in North Carolina.

The Hickory Wine Shoppe is the premier sponsor for the month of September. Additional sponsors include, Bob Sinclair Music, Larry’s Music & Sound, Patrick, Harper & Dixon, LLP Attorneys at Law, Pfahlert Creative Labs, Olde Hickory Taproom, Crowne Plaza, and WNCW.

Each show begins at 6:30 p.m. and audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Olde Hickory Brewery and Silver Fork Winery will sell beer and wine in designated areas, and there are a variety of close-by restaurants to patronize.

The Sails Original Music Series runs every Friday evening in May, June, and Sept. Visit for updates, rain locations, and photos from the shows.

First United Methodist Church Offers Free & Low-Cost Classes

Hickory - First United Methodist Church of Hickory has the following FREE Health and Wellness programs available to the community.

"Inflammation and Your Diet" Educational program given by Holley Dagenhardt, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Learn dietary strategies that may help decrease inflammation in your body. Thursday, May 25, 6:30pm in Scout Room.
Zumba every Tuesday evening at 5:45pm. This class is a low-moderate intensity level.

Females in Action is an outdoor, peer-led workout with varying levels of intensity and modified to meet your needs. These workouts are offered Wednesday and Friday mornings at 5:30am-6:15am meeting in the parking lot of First UMC of Hickory. Friday mornings at 9:30am at Glenn Hilton park. Saturday mornings at 8:00am in the parking lot of First UMC.

Hopeful Heart Yoga on Monday evenings from 6:30pm-7:30pm. A time for gentle stretch and flow yoga. Increase flexibility and gain balance. Suggested donation of $1-$2.

For more information contact First UMC of Hickory at 828-322-6058, located at 311 3rd Ave. NE, Hickory, 28601.

HCT’s Smash Hit Musical Rent Continues This Holiday Weekend

Hickory - Rent, the smash hit musical about a group of artists reaching out to accomplish their dreams, continues for its third weekend of performances, beginning Thursday, May 25, at 7:30pm at the Hickory Community Theatre. Tickets are available at the theatre box office (828) 328-2283, or online at

Rent is a rock musical with music, lyrics and book by Jonathan Larson, loosely based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists, struggling to survive and create a life in New York City’s East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, some of whom are coping with addiction and AIDS.

Rent is only on stage through June 4. Remaining performances are 7:30 pm Thursdays, 8:00 pm Fridays & Saturdays, and 2:30 Sundays, May 18 through June 4, 2017. Tickets are $20. There is a senior discount of $2 and tickets for students and youth 18 and under are just $10. Tickets for Thursday performances are $16 for adults and $10 for students and youth. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the theatre box office. The box office is open 12-5 Wed through Sat in person or by calling 828-328-2283.

The show contains strong profanity, sexual situations and references to drug abuse, so it is recommended for mature audiences only.

Rent is produced by Catawba Valley Medical Center and Robert Abbey. This show is the ninth production of the Theatre’s 68th season, sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

PHOTO: Donovan Harper and Matthew Reid in the HCT’s production of the ground-breaking musical Rent, entering its third weekend of performances on May 25 at 7:30pm. Photo is by Ken Burns.

Annual Swinging Under the Stars Concert Is Sunday, May 28

Hickory - The 10th Annual Swinging Under the Stars Concert will be held in Downtown Hickory at the “Sails on the Square” on Sunday, May 28, 2017 starting at 6:30pm. This FREE event features the Hickory Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Rick Cline, performing big band arrangements of jazz standards from the great American songbook.

Swinging Under the Stars is presented by the City of Hickory and hosted by the Hickory Music Factory.

This year Hal Rowe from WHKY will emcee the event and the Hickory Music Factory’s youth big band will open up the evening.

There will be vendors selling kettle corn, snacks and drinks so bring a chair relax and enjoy the show!

Swinging Under the Stars draws over 1,500 patrons from all over the region to swing dance or simply to watch and listen to the classic big band music of the swing era.

In 2008 Rick Cline and Hickory Downtown Development received the “Best Downtown Event” for all of North Carolina for the Swinging Under the Stars.

This event is supported by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County.Sponsors for the concert include: City of Hickory, Larry’s Music, Hickory Wine Shoppe, Old Hickory Taproom and Infinity Sound and Lighting Design.

For more information please contact the Hickory Music Factory at 828-308-5659 or

Come Out For The Oasis Shriner Parade On June 3, In Conover

Conover, NC - Thrills, chills and spills aplenty for young and old alike will come to downtown Conover Saturday afternoon, June 3, at 2:00 P.M. as the world famous units of Oasis Shriners stage a parade that has entertained countless thousands including President Dwight Eisenhower and many other notable leaders.

There will be a number of clowns with wild antics that will bring broad smiles and laughter to children and their seniors as well.

The Shriners love to entertain children and to provide superb medical treatment to children with orthopedic problems, spinal problems, burns, cleft lips, cleft palates, cerebral palsy and other conditions. This care is provided regardless of the family’s ability to pay. Shriners raise millions of dollars each year to help these children.

Along with the clowns there will be a host of unique motorized units including small NASCAR type cars, small tractor trailer trucks, go carts, vintage convertibles, mechanized alligators, dune buggies, a vintage fire truck, and a host of others.

The Oasis Shriners

Shriners are not afraid to look silly if it brings a smile to a child’s face, in fact they think it’s healthy to be a little silly every now and then. They invite you to come and join in the fun.

Oasis Shriners will also have crack marching units in colorful regalia in the parade including the award winning Oasis Patrol and Patrol Color Guard. A parade is not complete without great marching music. The Oasis Band, the Oasis Oriental Band, the Oasis Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Oasis Highlanders (bagpipe specialists in the Carolinas Scottish tradition) provide lots of fine parade music. Conover will be host to Oasis Shriners members from the fifty western counties of the Old North State.

Oasis, the largest chapter of Shriners International, has five thousand members. Oasis is also the biggest contributor to Shriners Hospitals for Children of the 196 international chapters. Last year Oasis contributed over $2,100,000 to the hospitals. The big parade will include some additional characters that you will find entertaining including the world’s largest walking Fez (that’s the unique red hat worn by all Shriners dating from their inception in the 1870’s) and the Oasis Hillbilly team who just roll out of “them hills” to show off in Shrine parades.

The Oasis ceremonial team will also be marching in brilliant costumes leading a large group of newly initiated Shriners. You will probably see some familiar faces in that group. Oasis Shriners will stage a fun filled parade that will have you chuckling for many days to come, the Oasis Shriners parade in downtown Conover, on Saturday, June 3.

Valdese Family Friday Night Continues Season

With Shake Down on Friday, May 26 At 7 PM

Valdese, NC- Valdese will feature Shake Down, a six piece band from the foothills of North Carolina, as part of their Family Friday Night Concert Series this Friday, May 26th at 7:00pm.

Combining a mixture of both “past and “present” in both talent and music variety, Shake Down provides an enjoyable evening for the family. Specializing in genres such as beach, rock and roll, funk, Motown, country and Top 40 this group will play what the crowd wants to hear.

Matt Schrum is a natural born singer. Having performed in such groups as Lenoir Rhyne Youth Chorus, ACHS Madrigal Choir, and Lenoir Rhyne Accapella Choir, he is Shake Down’s lead singer and saxophone player.

The Band “Shake Down”

Meredith Schrum is a student at Appalachian State and plays the trumpet and sings backup and lead vocals in Shake Down. Having been born into a musical family, Meredith began playing the trumpet at a young age and has performed with the ACHS and College of Charleston Wind Ensembles, as well as the Appalachian State Concert Band. Zach Tyner is an all-around music man. Not only does he play keyboards and sing backup for Shake Down, he also manages a music store in Taylorsville, and teaches guitar and keyboards. Having played drums for over 90% of his life, Roger Icenhour now plays drums and sings for Shake Down.

Harry Schrum is a natural born musician. Even as a nine year old, his older brothers would ask his help chording out songs. Harry continues to use his musical talents to play the guitar, sax, and sing in the Shake Down band. Bill Rose plays bass and provides vocals but also entertains the audience as Shake Down’s Master of Ceremonies.

Concessions will be for sale during the concert series and different civic groups will offer 50/50 raffles every Friday. Season lineup cards will be available for pick up at the concession trailer and will feature special offers and discounts from participating merchants. Checkers, Tic-Tack-Toe and other games will be available for public use.

Myra’s Cruise In will begin 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 Nights Concert Schedule go to or call 828-879-2129.

African Drumming And Steel Drum Workshops Are June 19-23

Hickory - Rick Cline’s annual African Drumming and Steel Drum Workshop will be June 19-23. Participants of the African drumming workshop wil learn traditional west African songs / rhythms and their meanings as well as how to improvise and “speak” with their drum and is for ages 9 and up.

The African workshop is from 7:30-8:30 each night and no experience is required. The Steel drum workshop is from 6-7:30 each evening and the only requirement is that to be able to read music a little.

African Drumming And Steel Drum Workshop

This group will learn not only how to play this exotic instrument, but also the history of the steel drums and how each instrument plays a unique role in the ensemble. Workshop Location is The Salt Block, and the fee is $80.

Both groups will perform on Friday pm June 23 at Hollar Mill and again on Saturday, June 24, 10am at the Hickory Farmer’s Market.

For more information, email: or text 320-2959.

Charlotte’s Historic Excelsior Club May Reopen Soon

Charlotte, NC (AP) - A historic North Carolina black club which has been a landmark may reopen by the end of the year, the club’s owner says.

The Charlotte Observer reports ( owner Carla Cunningham, a Democratic state lawmaker, said she plans to restore Charlotte’s historic Excelsior Club as an event venue.

``I would like to . walk in there and say, `Wow, look at this place!’’’ Cunningham said.

Earlier this year, Cunningham began foreclosure proceedings on James Ferguson, a prominent civil rights attorney who bought the club from her husband Pete in 2006. The club closed last June for renovations, but financial problems had already begun to surface.

Cunningham has said that in 2014 she reduced monthly mortgage payments to Ferguson’s corporate entity, HKL, from around $6,000 a month to $4,000 and even then payments were sometimes late. In the last year, the building had fallen into disrepair.

In February 2016, city inspectors found an extensive list of code violations, including a falling ceiling, unsafe wiring and structural problems. The club had faced civil penalties of $12,800.

HKL still faces federal tax obligations of more than $166,000, according to Cunningham’s attorney.

The Excelsior opened in 1944 at a time when blacks had little access to other social clubs. It became a magnet. Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong played the Excelsior. Presidential candidates Bill Clinton and Al Gore took their respective campaigns there. It’s also where excited patrons celebrated the election of Barack Obama as the nation’s first black president. The Excelsior is also in the National Register of Historic Places and was declared a local landmark in the mid-1980s when it was under the ownership of Ken Koontz and a partner. The landmarks commission called it ``perhaps the finest example of the Art Moderne style in Mecklenburg County.’’

Koontz said he’s happy the building will be preserved. ``I think restoration and reopening is just phenomenal,’’ he said. ``That’s what I’ve always hoped would happen.’’

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