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August 14, 2014

Sails On The Square Music Series Returns On September 5!

Hickory – In just a few short weeks, The Sails on the Square will come to musical life on Friday nights, once again, with the September Sails Music Series. The organizers of the series are working to ensure that Hickory, North Carolina will continue to be a unique Friday destination for the musically adventurous citizens of the area.

The Sails Music Series kicked off in May and jammed through the month of June. This community event takes a break during the hottest summer months, July and August, and resumes in the month of September. Every Friday night in September, starting at 6 p.m., a variety of musical talents will perform.

All the groups included in the lineup are family friendly, which creates a fun and laid-back atmosphere for all.

These musical talents are traveling to Hickory from Portland, New Orleans, and Los Angeles, and the musicians all bring different stylistic element to the stage that are sure to be unique.

“The idea behind the entire series is to expand on Hickory, NC as a destination place,” said Bob Sinclair, Music Coordinator for the series. "Our city is quickly becoming known as a place where people find something unique, inspiring, youthful and fresh.  This musical series builds on that and is attracting a youthful audience - coming to Hickory from all across the region.  They come to see the music, but they see all the other good things that Hickory has to offer – The Sails, our brew pubs, our revitalized warehouses, our great restaurants, and the lake, just to mention a few.”

The Sails events have attracted families who have strolled along Union Square, watched their children play in the grass, eaten in downtown restaurants, enjoyed a glass of wine, and shopped in the retail stores.  It has become a destination event where people have come to spend an evening in Hickory, enjoying a calm and friendly musical event.

September 5, Seth Walker

This North Carolina modern roots talent utilizes his gift by combining melody and lyric within a song, adding Gospel-drenched and Southern-inflected voice, and playing his guitar with a natural ease. Walker, recently, took up residency in New Orleans, and has allowed his music to evolve with his new environment. His newest album, Sky Still Blue, has a funky melting-pot swagger, gospel-soaked fervor and gritty guitar burn, inspired by New Orleans life.

September 12, Greg Trooper

This singer/songwriter grew up in Little Silver, New Jersey and found himself inspired by the rich music scene in the nearby New York City. He looked to Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, and Hank Williams for inspiration and found that his music was influenced by all three. Since 1986, he has released 12 albums and his most recent was Incident on Willow Street. The album dabbles in a variety of musical styles with its root in country, a touch of edginess, and an element of rock and roll.

September 19, Fruition

This string infused quintet was originally brought together by each member’s desire for adventure. The Portland, Oregon group has traveled the United States playing at festivals including High Sierra Music Festival, Northwest String Summit and All Good Music Festival. In 2013, the quintet released their first album, Just One of Them Nights, but not before overcoming some adversity. Fruition is comprised of nomadic independent musicians who didn’t have the funds to create a high caliber album. So, the group utilized a popular online fundraising tool, Kickstarter, and surpassed their $20,000 fundraising goal to make the album a reality. The album then debuted at #11 on Soundcan’s Bluegrass chart.

September 26, Adam Levy Trio

Guitar playing and excellent songwriting are what made Levy a sought after artist. Growing up, he was no stranger to iconic tunes. His grandfather, George Wyle, penned the theme for TV’s Gilligan’s Island. To create a name for himself, he traveled, internationally, and played his music for the past 30 years as a member of Norah Jones’ Handsome Band. During this time, he was also playing guitar in recordings for other successful artists. In ’07, he left Jones’ band to concentrate on his songwriting.

Newton 125th Annual Soldiers Reunion Events Begin August 14

Newton, NC – The Newton Parks & Recreation Department is offering complimentary events to the 125th Annual Soldiers Reunion celebration. Check out the activities below, gather up your family and friends and join us for dancing, games, and more.

2014 Soldiers Reunion Senior Citizens Dance

On Thursday, Aug. 14, the 2014 Soldiers Reunion Senior Citizens Dance for those ages 55 and older will run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the lower level of the Newton Recreation Center, 23 S. Brady Ave. Entertainment will be provided by “Billy Rose,” a local band that performs country, beach, square dance, polka, waltzes, and jazz. Admission at the door is $8 per person. There are no advance ticket sales. Everyone attending is asked to bring finger foods. Soft drinks will be provided.

2014 Soldiers Reunion Softball Tournament

The softball tournament takes place on Friday, Aug. 15 and Saturday, Aug. 16 at Jacob Fork Park and possibly Broyhill Park. The entry fee for the double-elimination tournament (governed by USSSA rules) is $135. The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13. Entry forms are available at the Newton Rec Center and at

2014 Soldiers Reunion Cornhole Tournament

The cornhole tournament begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 19 in the upper parking lot of the Newton Rec Center. This is a round robin tournament, open to the public ages 18 and older. The entry fee for teams of two is $10. Winners will receive trophies courtesy of Newton Recreation Department. The deadline to register is 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15. Entry forms are available at the Newton Rec Center and at

2014 Pet Mania

Dress up your pets and hone their talents for the annual Pet Mania event, which takes place this year at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 20 on the west side of the 1924 Courthouse Square. Conover Veterinary Hospital joins the Newton Parks and Recreation Department in sponsoring this popular competition.

Design by Kenrick Leung

Cats, dogs, hermit crabs and snakes have all made appearances in years past to compete in nine categories with one pet selected for the Best of Show award. Participants may register up until 6:15 p.m. the day of the event. All pets must have proper vaccinations (with tags) to enter the event. Entry forms are available at the Newton Rec Center and at

Soldiers Reunion Horseshoe Tournament

Stretch your arms and limber up for the horseshoe tournament at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21 at Westside/Jaycee Park. The single-elimination tournament is open to the public for those 16 years and older. The entry fee for a two-person team is $10. Teams must register by 6:45 p.m. the day of the event. Entry forms are available at the Newton Recreation Center, or online at

25th Annual Soldiers Reunion 5K Run/Walk

Saturday, August 23, One of the most popular Soldiers Reunion events planned by the recreation department is the annual Soldiers Reunion 5K Run/Walk. The event kicks off at the Newton Rec Center with the one-mile fun run at 8 a.m. and the 5K follows immediately at 8:30 a.m. The event is sponsored by Carolina Glove & Safety Company, Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists, Cook’s Sporting Goods, Fleet Feet Sports, Geppeto’s Pizza & More, Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo L.L.P, Lee Industries, Pepsi, Subway, Therapeutic Solutions, Tadlock’s Trophies and Texas Roadhouse.

Trophies will be given to the top three male and female finishers in the 5K overall, as well as in each age division, with awards presented for first place only in each age division for the one-mile fun run. Race applications are available at Newton City Hall, Newton Recreation Center, participating sponsors and at

Pre-registration rates are $15 for the 5K run/walk, and $10 for the one-mile fun run until 5 pm, Wednesday, Aug. 20. Late registration runs through 7:30 a.m. on race day for $20 for the 5K and $15 for the one-mile fun run.

Soldiers Reunion Annual 30-60-100 Mile Century Bike Ride

The final event is the annual 30-60-100 Mile Century Bike Ride which begins with a mass start at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 24 at the Newton Rec Center. The event is sponsored by Carolina Glove & Safety Company, Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists, Cook’s Sporting Goods, Geppeto’s Pizza & More, Lee Industries, Lighting Cycles, Pepsi, Rock-n-Road Bicycles, Subway, Therapeutic Solutions, Tadlock’s Trophies and Texas Roadhouse. All bicycle rides will be conducted at each rider’s own pace, with three ride lengths mapped throughout Catawba County.

Each ride offers scenery and hills for cyclists to enjoy. The ride is open to anyone; however, those under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian while participating in this event. First aid, refreshments, t-shirts, and more will be provided for all participants. Ride applications are available at Newton City Hall, Newton Recreation Center, sponsoring locations, and at The pre-registration fee is $20 until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20. The late registration fee is $25.

For more information about any of these events, contact the Newton Recreation Center at (828) 695-4317, or visit the City of Newton website at

Kick-Off: Cruisin’ & Car Show, Sunday, August 17

Newton, NC – Classic cars, good music, fellowship, and fun – these are common at the annual Soldiers Reunion “Cruisin’ & Car Show” scheduled for the afternoon and evening of Sunday, August 17. The event officially kicks off the 125th Annual Soldiers Reunion celebration.

In its 23rd year, Cruisin’ has become one of the most popular activities during Reunion Week, according to Wayne Dellinger, chairman for the Soldiers Reunion. The car show and cruisin’ alone are expected to attract thousands of area residents and hundreds of vintage vehicles that day. 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., and will then cruise the streets of downtown Newton at approximately 6:30 p.m. in remembrance of days long past. The event will encompass the Courthouse Square and downtown business district that Sunday, with spectators invited to view the myriad of original and restored classic automobiles. At about 6:30 p.m., Newton’s one-way streets will transform into two-way streets to accommodate the cruising, bringing back muscle-car memories for many local residents.

The Littles perform August 18

During the event, the band Music Unlimited will provide musical entertainment on the east side of the 1924 Courthouse Square from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and an additional hour after cruisin’ ends. Music Unlimited is a regional dance band with Tony Coccagna of Shelby on guitar, keyboard and vocals; James Phillips of Conover on bass, guitar and vocals; and Mike Sherrill of Newton on drums and vocals. The band plays a mix of 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, rock ‘n roll, beach music and country.

Area residents are invited to bring lawn chairs and dancing shoes for an entertaining afternoon and evening of classic cars and classic music. This year’s music is sponsored by Midstate Contractors, Carolina Glove, Peoples Bank, and Jenkins Funeral Home & Cremation Service.

Greater Vision performs August 18

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 from Dellinger’s Department Store or Pin Station Bowling Center. For more information, or to register, contact Wayne Dellinger at (828) 464-3906.

Gospel Groups Mon., Aug. 18

Newton, NC – The Greater Vision and The Littles will perform at the annual Soldiers Reunion Gospel Music Night at 7:30 p.m. Monday, August 18 on the Courthouse Square in downtown Newton.

This concert is free and open to the public. Area residents are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy traditional, inspirational, and contemporary gospel music from these two popular groups.

Music Unlimited kicks of the 2014 Soldiers Reunion

Headlining this popular event is Greater Vision, which has been inspiring audiences since 1990. This highly acclaimed and awarded trio consists of Gerald Wolfe, the group’s founder and emcee; Rodney Griffin, baritone; and Chris Allman, tenor. The Singing News Magazine and Southern Gospel Music Association named Greater Vision Gospel Music’s Favorite Trio.

The Littles of Monroe, N.C. will also perform at Gospel Music Night. The Littles have a progressive style of gospel music built around great arrangements, close family harmony and strong vocals. The Littles consists of Jack, Jan and their daughter Rebecca. The Littles have been recognized with several industry achievements including awards from Singing News Fan and showcases at regional and national conventions.

WPS Auditions For Youth Symphony Are Aug. 25-Sept. 5

Hickory - The Western Piedmont Youth Symphony announces auditions for the 2014-15 season. The Youth Symphony is open to all students of middle school through college age by competitive audition. The ensemble rehearses on Monday evenings from 5:00 pm until 6:30 p.m. at the Arts and Science Center of Catawba Valley and is conducted by John Gordon Ross.

Audition requirements are: a prepared solo piece illustrating both technical and sustained playing, two major scales in two or more octaves, and one minor scale (any form) in two or more octaves. Sight-reading is also part of the audition. Memorization is not required.

Individual audition appointments may be made by calling 828-324-8603 or by email at Audition dates are Monday, August 25 thru September 5. Dues for participation are $65 per year. There is no audition fee.

The Western Piedmont Youth Symphony’s first concert will be Monday, November 24 in the SALT Block Auditorium.

Western Piedmont Symphony is a grant recipient the North Carolina Arts Council and a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. Business offices and rehearsal space are located on the SALT Block at 243 Third Avenue NE, Hickory.

Business hours are 10:00 am until 4:00 pm Monday-Friday. Contact the symphony office at (828) 324-8603 for more information or visit our website: .

Josh Eckard BBQ & Yard Sale Fundraiser, August 22 & 23

Hickory - Josh Eckard was injured on July 4th in a motorcycle accident. Josh was airlifted to Baptist Medical Center and spent nearly two weeks in ICU. He has had one surgery and faces several more.

Please come out and enjoy some BBQ and help us raise money to offset some of the medical costs Josh will endure. A yard sale will be held concurrently with the BBQ.

The hours on Friday are 9 am to 7 pm and on Saturday are 7 am until. Free delivery with 4 or more plates!

Accepting call ahead orders, please call David Deal at 828-312-9975 or Tony Eckard at 828-446-0577.

The yard sale and BBQ will be held at General Service Company located at 3104 Springs Road, Hickory, NC.

For more information please visit

HCT Honors Its Volunteers With Kay Awards Party, Sat., Aug. 16

Hickory - The Hickory Community Theatre has just announced the nominees for its annual Kay Awards. The award ceremony and celebration of the theatre's volunteers happens on Saturday, August 16, at 8pm in the Jeffers Theatre.

The field this year is huge, with 67 actors and actresses nominated for awards in eight categories, including Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Character Actor, Character Actress, Female Newcomer and Male Newcomer. There is also the ensemble award, which could go to any of the 2013-2014 season’s eight casts.

“The ensemble award race is a close one,” said Pamela Livingstone, Artistic Director. “Ensemble performance is the thing that makes live theatre so vibrant, because it’s all about how the actors relate to one another, in character, on stage. I am so proud of all our actors, because they do this so well – not just this season but year after year.”

The evening also celebrates the more than 300 volunteers who make the magic happen both on stage and off. Awards are being presented for Volunteer of the Year and Technical Volunteer of the Year, as well as a President’s Award for special achievement on behalf of the Theatre.

The celebration takes place on Saturday, August 16, at 8pm in the Jeffers Theatre. The Social Hour begins at 7pm. The evening includes light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. An optional $5 donation per person is requested at the door.

The Kay Awards are sponsored by CBSA Architects and The Compounding Pharmacy. Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

2013-2014 Kay Award Nominees

Leading Actress
Emily Schuttenberg (Lady of the Lake) Spamalot
Christy Rhianna Branch (Aouda, et al.) Around the World in 80 Days
Christy Rhianna Branch (Andorra Hamilton) The Seamstress
Emma Lee Kurts (Sarah Shorr) Trying
Norma Frank (Ethel Thayer) On Golden Pond
Carys Bowen (Eleanor) The Lion in Winter

Leading Actor
William E. Morgan (Arthur) Spamalot
John Koval (Phileas Fogg) Around the World in 80 Days
John Koval (Richard McFarland) The Seamstress
Bill Boyd (Grandpa Joe) Willy Wonka
Ty Vogler (Charlie Bucket) Willy Wonka
Donavan Harper (Willy Wonka) Willy Wonka
Charles Jeffers (Judge Francis Biddle) Trying
James Best (Norman Tayer) On Golden Pond
Christopher Honsaker (Henry) The Lion in Winter
Jeff Hartman (Valjean) Les Misérables
William E. Morgan (Javert) Les Misérables

Supporting Actress
Connie Bools (Cynthis McFarland) The Seamstress
Lark Bodnar (Veruca Salt) Willy Wonka
Grace Bollinger (Mrs. Bucket) Willy Wonka
Carolyn Oursler (Augusta Gloop) Willy Wonka
Dorothy Collier Best (Chelsea) On Golden Pond
Meredith Potter (Alais) The Lion in Winter
Grace A. Bollinger (Cosette) Les Misérables
Carol Anne Hartman (Fantine) Les Misérables
Ingrid Anna-Lisa Keller (Éponine) Les Misérables

Supporting Actor
Nathan Crabtree (Lancelot, et al.) Spamalot
James Hildebrand (Bedevere, et al.) Spamalot
David Hood (Galahad, et al.) Spamalot
Mark Rose (Robin, et al.) Spamlot
Bob Smith (Passepartout, et al.) Around the World in 80 Days
Benjamin Thomas (Detective Fix, et al.) Around the World in 80 Days
Murilo Artese (Mr. Salt) Willy Wonka
Matt DeLeary (Candy Man) Willy Wonka
Simon Kinder (Mr. Bucket) Willy Wonka
Marcus Phillips (Mike Teevee) Willy Wonka
Si Waugh (Phineous Trout) Willy Wonka
Christopher Honsaker (Bill Ray) On Golden Pond
Coleson Berlin (Billy Ray) On Golden Pond
Joshua Propst (Steven Blackwell)The Seamstress
Donovan Harper (Phillip) The Lion in Winter
Simon Kinder (John) The Lion in Winter
Joshua Propst (Richard) The Lion in Winter
Silas Waugh (Geoffrey) The Lion in Winter
David Townsend (Enjolras) Les Misérables
Joahua Howard Yoder (Marius) Les Misérables

Character Actress

Mary Moretz Howell (Brigid Ryan) The Seamstress
Diana Albers (Grandma Georgina) Willy Wonka
Leslie Cline (Mrs. Gloop) Willy Wonka
Jan Robbins (Grandma Josephine) Willy Wonka
Hollis Whalen (Ms. Teavee) Willy Wonka
Edyth Pruitt (Mme. Thénardier) Les Misérables

Character Actor
Steve Austin (Patsy, et al.) Spamalot
Daniel Breuer (Historian, Spamalot
Christopher Honsaker (Etc., Etc. Etc) Around the World in 80 Days
Steve Austin (Patrick Ryan) The Seamstress
Rick Chandler (Grandpa George) Willy Wonka
Jeff Hartman (Charlie) On Golden Pond
Nathan Crabtree (Thénardier) Les Misérables

Newcomer Actor
Paul David Kurts (Bamatabois, Montparnasse, et al.) Les Misérables
Jeff Manus (Bishop, Claquesous, et al.) Les Misérables
Jeremy Whitener (Foreman, Feuilly) Les Misérables

Newcomer Actress
Patricia Folsom (Laker Girl et al.) Spamalot
Karla Woggon (Mrs. Beauregarde) Willy Wonka
Heather Baynes (Factory Girl, Young Whore, et al.) Les Misérables

Women’s Resource Center Needs Daily Volunteers

Hickory-Women’s Resource Center is seeking women volunteers who have a passion for giving back to their community and supporting women who are undergoing life-changing transitions.

We need support during our regular daily business hours. WRC Business Hours are 9:00am—4:00pm,Monday through Thursday.

Women’s Resource Center empowers women through Workforce Development, Advocacy, Enrichment Programs, and Community Partnerships.

If interested, please contact Cindy Rose, Executive Director at 828-322-6333 or email

Humane Society’s 13th Annual Benefit Golf Tourney Is Aug. 26

Newton, NC - On Tuesday, August 26, Humane Society of Catawba County will hold the 13th Annual Bud Lofland Memorial Golf Tournament fundraiser at Rock Barn Golf and Spa. Initiated in 2002 by Mr. Lofland, this annual event is the largest fundraiser for HSCC. Mr. Lofland was an avid supporter, volunteer and dear friend to HSCC and the homeless animals who now benefit from this event.

Sadly Bud Lofland passed in 2008, but in his honor and memory the golf fundraiser continues to help support HSCC. Humane Society of Catawba County does not receive any tax dollars, support from national humane organizations or United Way donations. Executive Director, Jane Bowers, adds, “With the recent opening of our second shelter in Newton, we need the extra support of the community more than ever.”

By either playing in the tournament or becoming a sponsor, the funding will help HSCC continue its mission: “To make our community a better place by serving as an advocate for companion animals.  Our vision for the future is that no adoptable animal will be euthanized in Catawba County, and that animal cruelty and inhumane treatment of animals will cease to exist.”

For more information or to enroll as a golf player or tournament sponsor, please visit or contact HSCC -Hickory at (828) 464-8878, Monday-Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

Lincolnton Arts News: Grant Offered & Crawl Needs Artists

Lincolnton, NC – Applications for the Regional Artist Project Grant (RAPG) are now available. The grant provides funding for individuals and unincorporated groups of artists to pursue projects that further enhance their artistic development.

The RAPG is open to eligible artists in all disciplines and provides an all or nothing grant of up to $2,000 to pay for one professional development fee, or to purchase or rent one piece of equipment.

Applications are available by contacting the Arts Council of Lincoln County at 704 732-9044 or and must be submitted online by noon on Friday, September 19, 2014.

The RAPG is funded in part by Arts Council of Lincoln County, arts councils in nine North and South Carolina counties, the North Carolina Arts Council and the Blumenthal Endowment.

Artists Sought!

Lincolnton, NC - The Lincolnton Art Crawl Committee extends an open call for local artists who would like to participate in our fall art crawl. Join us as Downtown Lincolnton hosts our next art crawl on November 14, 2014.

Restaurants and businesses will open their doors for a special evening of art, food, music and dance. These merchants will host Lincoln County’s artists and craftspeople who will showcase a wide variety of fine art and craft mediums including paintings, drawings, photography, pottery, fiber arts, jewelry, metal smithing, wood turning, and more.

For more information or to register as an artist, please email the Arts Council of Lincoln County at

RugBugs’ The Fish Princess Final Three Shows August 14-16!

Hickory - The final, fun performances of “The Fish Princess” are this weekend with the RugBug Theatre@HCT, currently performing at Sonya’s Dance Academy.

When a young boy snags an enchanted fish, he thinks his family’s troubles are over because of the wishes he gains when he lets her go. But the troubles have just begun because the boy’s sister gets greedy. Eventually they learn that friends are the most important treasures.

On hand to greet children before the show will be the friendly and human-sized KIA hamster!

Performances at 2:30pm on Thursday and Saturday and 11:30 am Friday, August 14-16. Admission is $4 per person, general admission at the door. Call (828) 327-3855 for more information.

Performances are being held at Sonya’s Dance Academy, located at 258 First Ave. NW, next to Crescent Moon Café.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The RugBug Theatre@HCT is a signature project of the Hickory Rotary Club and this production is co-sponsored by Commscope and Shurtape.

PHOTO: Ty Vogler, Emma Snyder, Kathryn Whalen, Hayden Whalen and Jake Vogler star “The Fish Princess” at the RugBug Theatre for Children. The rest of the cast includes The funny fairytale starts Thursday at Sonya’s Dance Academy and concludes its run on August 16.

Visit or call (828) 327-3855 for details.

Family Friday Night Features Band Sweet Revenge, Aug. 15

Valdese, NC - Valdese Family Friday Night Summer Concert Series will continue their season with Sweet Revenge at 7:00pm on August 15, 2014 in the Wells Fargo/Town Parking lot in downtown.

Playing a great repertoire of classic rock, “Sweet Revenge” features Eric Woody on drums, Tim Pittman on bass and vocals, Dr. Ken Bonfield on piano and vocals, Dr. Stephen Scott on guitar, Kevin Buckland on guitar/vocals and Larissa Scott on vocals. Myra’s will continue their Friday “Cruise In” with over a hundred classic/antique cars and several of the merchants will remain open to provide an opportunity for those that might want to walk around town and visit the shops. 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 to or call 828-879-2129.

Free Swim Lessons To Be Offered In Fall, Watch For Dates

Hickory – The City of Hickory Parks and Recreation Department provides Hickory residents the benefit of free swim lessons at the Hickory Foundation YMCA.

“The City of Hickory and the YMCA are committed to teaching the community to swim,” said City of Hickory Parks and Recreation Director Mack McLeod. “The Hickory Foundation YMCA and the City of Hickory swim program partnership is a great example of how working together provides top-notch programs for the community. This partnership started in 2009 and has been gaining popularity ever since.”

“We love the partnership with the city,” said Angela Chapman, the executive Director at the YMCA. “As it grows, we’re glad to be teaching the community how to swim together.”

During summer session one, which ran June 16 – 26, 292 verified City of Hickory residents participated in the swimming lessons. More than 500 City residents are expected to participate in the four summer sessions. Participants ranged in age from eight months to 50 years old.

“I love my swim lessons!” Easton Teague (5) exclaimed. He had not taken swim lessons before, but now, after three sessions, he has moved onto a second level swimmer with the YMCA. Easton’s mother, Emily, said, “It is fantastic that the program is open to every Hickory resident.”

Amber Weeks, mother of three, relayed a similar message, “The program really is for everyone.

For safety reasons, there is no excuse to avoid learning how to swim.”

Drowning is still a serious problem in the United States. Every day approximately ten people drown, which totals over 3,500 annually.

Pamela Clark, a mother of two participants, believes that the instructors are great. One of those instructors is Jessica Burgess, who has been teaching kids to swim at the YMCA for three years. Burgess is a junior swim team member at Pfeiffer University, and is used to seeing experienced swimmers, however, she noted, “It is so rewarding to see them improve by blowing bubbles, kicking their feet, or using their arms for the first time. The little things are really significant.”

Summer session registration has closed. The next swim session is the Fall Session 2, which begins in October. Registration dates have not been set yet, but more information will be posted on, once those dates are announced.

City of Hickory residents who complete a Residency Verification Form will be able to participate at no cost when the next swim sessions are available. City residents will, also, need to provide a birth certificate for anyone under the age of 18 and parents must sign up their own children.

Residency verification forms are available at the Parks and Recreation Department Administrative Offices, Highland Recreation Center, and Ridgeview Recreation Center. Once a City resident has the verification form, they will register their child at the Hickory Foundation YMCA.

For more information, please contact Senior Recreation Programmer Angela Smith at (828) 324-6990 or

Swim lesson at the YMCA

CCCTI’s Culinary Arts Sets Menu, Dates For Caldwell Cuisine

Lenoir, NC - Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Culinary Arts program has announced the dates and menus for its fall semester installment of Caldwell Cuisine. Each of the meals will be served at 6 p.m. at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir and are priced at $21 plus tax per person. The events are open to the public, but diners are required to purchase tickets prior to the event.

In addition to providing an opportunity for the community to enjoy the gourmet food at a reasonable price, the events also provide CCC&TI’s Culinary Arts students a chance to apply their classroom knowledge.

Following are the dates and menus for the events:

Thursday, September 25 – Farm to Table

Farmer’s Chowder featuring charred corn, sweet pepper, leeks, Yukon Gold potatoes, thyme and Grand Marnier; From the Field: Salad with arugula, baby beets, cherry tomato, gorgonzola, candied pecans and blue cheese vinaigrette; Choice of Entrée: From the Range – Roasted airline chicken breast, jalapeno-corn hoe cakes, braised local greens, local baby carrots and paprika jus OR From the Stream – Cornmeal dusted N.C. Trout, braised fennel, root vegetables, confit of tomato, nage; For the Sweet Tooth: Buttermilk chess pie, berry compote and zest of lemon.

Example of cornmeal dusted trout

Thursday, October 30 – Oktoberfest

Apple-Celery Root Slaw with Granny Smith apples, celery root, carrots, endive, creamy vinaigrette and chives; Kartoffelsuppe, a potato soup with leeks, onions, celery, parsley and crispy bacon; Choice of Entrée: Scheweinebraten – Braised pork roast, caraway-cabbage and apples, kartoffelpuffer (potato cakes) with apple sauce and chive crème fraiche OR Schupfnudeln – Potato dumplings, seared teres major, root vegetables, mixed mushroom, white wine reduction, rich thyme demi; Apple Dumplings with salted caramel ice cream.

Thursday, November 13 – Spanish Tapas Night

Ensalada: Local greens, confit of artichoke, white asparagus, marcona almonds, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette. Setas Al Ajillo: Crimini, oyster and shitake mushroom, shallots, thyme and 30-year sherry. Ceviche: Scallop, shrimp, lime, mint, cilantro and sweet corn. Patatas Bravas: Crispy potatoes, tomato brava sauce, saffron aioli and cilantro. Pincho Moruno: Skewered lamb, Moorish spices and house pickles. Postres: Chocolate flan, berries and cardamom cream.

Space is limited at each event. For tickets visit or call the Civic Center Box Office at 828-726-2407.

For more information about CCC&TI’s Culinary Arts Program, contact Director Chef Keith Andreasen at or 726-2478.

Hudson’s Fiddler Tickets Are Now On Sale For October Show

Hudson, NC - The Town of Hudson announces that tickets for the upcoming dinner theatre production of “Fiddler on the Roof” went on sale as of Monday, August 11th, at the Hudson Uptown Building (HUB).

Show dates are Thursday through Saturday, October 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, and 25th. “Fiddler on the Roof” tells the story of a small Russian Jewish village, threatened by the crumbling of tradition from within and political pressure from without.

Set in 1905 and revolves around a poor milkman named Tevye who has 5 daughters, 3 of marrying age. They want to marry for love and nor because their spouses are selected by a matchmaker. “Fiddler on the Roof” is one of the most beloved, longest running shows in Broadway history, with musical selections such as “Tradition,” “Matchmaker,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Do You Love Me?” and many more.

The meal is catered by Dan’l Boone Inn. Tickets for dinner and the play are $30.00. Tickets for the show only are $15.00. Dinner is served at 6:30 PM with the show to follow at 7:30 PM.

Purchase tickets by calling (828) 726-8871, or you may go by the HUB in person during business hours, which are Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM.

The box office is closed from 12:30 PM until 1:30 PM each afternoon for lunch.

The plays are performed in the HUB Auditorium. The address is 145 Cedar Valley Road, Hudson, NC 28638. Hudson dinner theatre is sponsored by the town and by the Hudson Community Development Association, a 501-C-3 non-profit organization.

Cleveland Co. Post-Polio Support Group Meets August 18

Shelby, NC - The Cleveland County Post-Polio Support Group will hold the August meeting at the conference room of the Life Enrichment Center of Shelby on Monday, August 18, 2014 at 6:00 in the evening. The conference room is located at the back of the building.

The center is located off Hwy 18 North on Life Enrichment Blvd, just north of Cornerstone Dentistry. Each person attending should bring his/her own meal.

Drinks- coffee and water - will be provided.

The program will be presented by David Thompson, a polio survivor. He will share his story of life with polio. (David was scheduled for July but postponed his program until August.) If you are a polio survivor please plan to attend. Feel free to bring a caregiver with you. For more information you may call Janet Walker at 704-692-6249.

Treehouse At Zahra’s Playground Will Open Tuesday, August 19

Hickory – After numerous discussions, committee meetings, and reviews of architectural drawings, the Treehouse at the Zahra Baker All Children’s Playground at Kiwanis Park is ready to be opened.

Tuesday, August 19 is set for the community to be a part of the dedication and grand opening of the Treehouse at the Zahra Baker All Children’s Playground at Kiwanis Park (805 6th Street, SE, Hickory). The ribbon cutting will begin at 11:30 a.m. and it is open to the community.

In February 2013, Mayor Rudy Wright met with a committee of members at the Zahra Baker All Children’s Playground at Kiwanis Park to begin conversations between all the groups about the possibility of adding a treehouse at the playground.

There was approximately $17,000 left in the Kiwanis Clubs’ account from the previous fund-raising campaign that built the playground that was dedicated in May 2012. That money, along with new contributions from the community, businesses, and organizations, totaling $33,000, was used to build a treehouse, accessible for wheelchairs, at the playground.

New treehouse will be wheelchair accessible

“Building a tree house that is accessible to children of all abilities at this playground just made sense,” said Mayor Wright. “There was a beautiful tree that a treehouse fit around, perfectly.”

Mayor Wright added, “I am simply overwhelmed by the appropriateness of this memorial to Zahra. In fact, just the other day, I went by the playground to see the progress of the Treehouse and I saw a large crowd at the playground, people of all ages, a very diversified crowd, and a man came up to me who had a three or four year old child with him and said “we love Zahra’s park.” Although we know it actually as Kiwanis Park, the Zahra Baker All Children’s Playground has become so well known that people recognize this wonderful park as Zahra’s. It truly represents its’ name; it’s for all children, young and young at heart, with all abilities. This Treehouse has been a vision of mine and others to bring to life for our community and surrounding communities and I am thrilled to see it open to all the children.”

“Adding the Treehouse to the Zahra Baker All Children’s Playground is a great addition to the already wonderful amenities at the playground that all children are able to play on and be a part of,” said Mack McLeod, Director of Hickory Parks and Recreation. “With the new additions of the restrooms and the picnic shelter at Kiwanis Park, near the Zahra Baker All Children’s Playground, the Treehouse brings a new excitement to the playground with its grand opening.”

View of treehouse during construction

The Kiwanis Clubs of Catawba Valley, the City of Hickory, and the community worked together to bring this portion of the playground to life. “People who have developed other wheel-chair accessible treehouses have told us that it is a type of defining moment for that wheel-chair bound person to enter the treehouse for the first time,” said Mayor Wright.

“On behalf of the Kiwanians in the county, the playground and treehouse has been the greatest project that we have undertaken in our history and most rewarding,” said Steve Aaron, who has been the committee chairman and also is a member of the Western Catawba County Kiwanis Club. “We want to thank community for their support, as well as the people in the community for their support and all who helped build the park.”

Due to the efforts of the following businesses and organizations, the Zahra Baker All Children’s Playground will be opened on August 19: Western Catawba County Kiwanis Club, Hickory Kiwanis Club, Ernie Sills with CBSA Architects, who did the design work, Hickory Construction Company, who has built the treehouse, Texas Roadhouse and Chive On Hickory, who assisted in fundraising efforts, the City of Hickory Engineering Division, and the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Three Talented Actresses Become Evil Eels In ‘Mermaid’

Hickory - “The badder the better. The meaner the most.” That’s Jen Wilson’s description of Ursula, the tentacled villaines she plays in the musical “Disney’s The Little Mermaid.”

Currently in rehearsal for the Hickory Community Theatre production, Wilson is joined on stage by the evil eels Flotsam and Jetsam, played by Anissa Briggs and Lark Bodnar. All three admit they like playing characters who make trouble. A look at their theatre credits backs that up.

Although her first role was a nun in “Sound of Music,” Jen Wilson made her mark in Hickory playing Roz, the snitch who was in love with the boss in “9 to 5” in 2012 and most recently played a lady of the evening (among other roles) in the ensemble of “Les Miserables” at the end of last season. In her regular life, she is a teacher with Burke County Schools. A lifelong resident of Valdese, she attended Freedom High School and got her teaching degree from Lees McRae College.

Anissa Briggs has been involved in theatre since age six and her favorite role so far has been as the bratty Baby June in “Gypsy” at HCT in 2010. Her other “bad” roles including playing one of the Violets in “Willy Wonka, Jr.” in 2013 and part of Kaa the snake for “Jungle Book KIDS” in 2011. This summer, she had the privilege of attending the Rockettes Summer institute in New York, where she got to dance with the famous troupe for their appearance on America’s Got Talent. She is an A/B Honor Roll student at Fred T. Foard High School.

Lark Bodnar was most recently seen at this Theatre playing supreme brat Veruca Salt in “Willy Wonka, Jr.” She also played another great meanie, Sharpay, the main antagonist in “High School Musical” for Clater-Kaye Productions. Earlier this year, she was a top 20 finalist in the Rotarian Idol competition. A native of Simi Valley, CA, Lark’s family moved here in 2007 and she is now a rising freshman at University Christian High School.

“Disney’s The Little Mermaid” plays on the Jeffers Theatre Mainstage, September 5-21 2014 with performances at 8:00 PM Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 PM Thursdays (Sep 11 and 18), and 2:30 PM on Sundays (Sep 14 and 21). Tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances are $18, reserved seating, with $2 for seniors (60 and over) and $8 off for youth (18 and under). Thursday show tickets are $14, with a $4 discount for youth. Call the box office at (828) 328-2283 for tickets and information.

The Hickory Community Theatre is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is co-produced by Catawba Valley Medical Center, in association with Dr. S. Kimberly Jones, DDS.

PHOTO: (L-R) Anissa Briggs (Flotsam), Jen Wilson (Ursula) and Lark Bodnar (Jetsam) have fun being villains in The Little Mermaid, opening September 5th at the Hickory Community Theatre. The musical fairy tale plays for ten performances in the Jeffers Theatre. Please visit or call (828) 327-3855 for more details.




































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