Archive for August, 2010

Go Antiquing Downtown!

Friday, August 27th, 2010 | Posted By: Jami McLaughlin | Economic Development, Entertainment, General Interest | No Comments

One person’s attic is another person’s treasure. You never know what you will find or what special piece will have you reminiscing about your family until you join the treasure hunt downtown in a full-fledged antique search for one-of-a-kind collectables. All are in walking distance of one another, but you may want to drive a large truck or SUV to pack up your new dear to your heart riches at the end of the day. Tea sets, quilts, vintage clothing and jewelry and furniture are a few of the items that you can find on your trek through the district and here is where to find them:


  • The Antique and Gift Mall is located at 123 Hay Street and is a good stop for furniture and decorative items for your home. Also, those hard to find lamps and lampshades are easy to find here as well as an excellent assortment of ornaments and figurines.


  • J&D Antiques at 242 Hay Street has a wide selection of furniture and other collectables.  Make sure to look in the jewelry cases for exceptional custom jewelry and pay attention to the shelves on the wall for various patterned dishes.


  • Yankee Antiques and Reproductions is tucked away on Burgess Street, just behind J&D Antiques.  This warm and inviting store features beautiful furniture and knick knacks as well as homemade candles and soaps. 


  • The Cotton Exchange at 226 Donaldson Street is somewhere you can spend an entire afternoon.  There is something in every nook and cranny in this 7000 square foot antiques mall with more than 20 vendors sharing their unique collections and wares and on 4th Fridays, there are free rides around downtown on the Cotton Exchange Express so do not miss the train!


  • The Livery, another collection of independent vendors set up like the Cotton Exchange, is located at 147 Maxwell Street and has a fantastic selection of art work, furniture, quilts and much more. Inventory is constantly changing so check back often to see the new pieces offered.


After you have finished your antiquing adventure, share a lunch at McDuff’s Tea Room and Emporium at 114 Gillespie Street.  With tea served in old-fashioned cups, old fashioned recipes and a showroom with tea sets to purchase, this is the perfect locale to finish the day.  And, of course, that is not your cup of tea; there are a variety of restaurants and other shops around to suit any interest.  This is Downtown Fayetteville, after all!

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Wow, do we have events downtown!

Friday, August 27th, 2010 | Posted By: Jami McLaughlin | Economic Development, Entertainment, General Interest | No Comments

Most are familiar with the larger events we have downtown, but did you know that downtown hosts events almost every weekend, if not 2-3 events a weekend?  Our downtown area is quite the entertainment district along with our fabulous restaurants, cute shops and museums.  In case you are new to the area or just to downtown, here is a run-down of those larger favorites that get better year after year:


International Folk Festival

This colorful festival incorporates our community’s rich heritage and is designed to highlight all countries represented in the Fayetteville area.  Every September, Hay Street lights up with the brilliant pageantry and color with the Parade of Nations followed by live entertainment, authentic cuisine at the International Café, unique arts and crafts, a children’s area and more.  This year’s dates are Friday, Sept. 24 to Sunday, Sept. 26 so mark your calendars now!  Visit for more information including volunteer opportunities.


4th Friday

4th Friday is a celebration of the arts in beautiful downtown Fayetteville.  4th Friday has expanded this year to include Arts Alive at 4th Friday, sponsored by the Arts Council, hosting live entertainment stages, art booths with professional artists displaying their art for sale and artists demonstrating their craft on Franklin and Maxwell streets.  The Downtown Alliance organizes the rest and merchants and restaurant owners around the district open their doors and feature specials, artists, music and much more!  For more information, visit


Dogwood Festival

This award-winning festival shows up in the Top 20 events in the Southeast on a regular basis and for good reason.  More than 200,000 people make their way downtown every Spring for the amazing music stages, the food vendors lining the promenade of Festival Park, the street vendors with all kinds of arts, crafts and more down Ray Avenue and Hay Street and the other events taking place over the entire City during the weekend.  This year, musical acts included the Gin Blossoms, Soul Asylum, Joe Nichols and quite a few local favorites on the Festival Park stage and on the Rock Shop stage.  Find out more including the two other events hosted by the Dogwood Festival: Historic Hauntings and the New Year’s Eve Party in the Park complete with a dogwood drop at


Fayetteville after Five

Fayetteville after Five, sponsored by the Fayetteville Museum of Art, is a terrific, and free, concert series hosted at Festival Park.  Starting after work, bring your lawn chairs and beach blankets, grab dinner and beverages and enjoy a great selection of music among friends.  There are two more dates left in the 2010 line-up:

  • Aug. 19 – Craig Woolard Band
  • Sept. 16 – Chairmen of the Board

Mark your calendars!  For more information, visit


Downtown is certainly one of the best places to host your events with a captive audience and gorgeous surroundings!  If you are interested in hosting an event in the downtown area, contact Erica Brady at 433-1505 for details including permit information.

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Staying Cool Downtown!

Friday, August 27th, 2010 | Posted By: Jami McLaughlin | Entertainment, General Interest | No Comments

If there has been any doubt, summer is here.  Just look at the outdoor thermometer or walk outside.  If you need some quick tips for staying cool downtown, here you go:


  • Eating at one of our many air-conditioned restaurants or under a large umbrella on the patio.  Keep hydrated and check out the menus of lighter summer fare such as salads, sandwiches and wraps.
  • See a movie at the Cameo Theatre.  Plush seats and all Hollywood has to offer will greet you at this celebrated cool spot on Hay Street.
  • Sundresses and hats!  There are cute items at Belle Curve and Kindred Spirits as well as fun bags and other accessories to make keeping cool a little more stylish.  Seersucker and hats can be bought for the men at Sunny’s and Leon Sugar’s.
  • Ice cream is always a fun treat and what a wonderful way to keep cool in the summer.  Horne’s Café and The Chocolate Lady now have scoopable ice cream or you can get frosty beverages at the Green Bean Coffee Shop, Rude Awakening Coffee House or other restaurants. 
  • To burn off some of those calories from the ice cream, try walking in our heavily shaded parks with beautiful fountains such as Linear Park.  The Linear Park trail next to the water is a fun way to get some exercise and stay beneath some shade.
  • Come out at night!  We have a terrific nightlife scene downtown and something for everyone.  Fourth Fridays are especially fun with the addition of Arts Alive at Fourth Friday and the many shops and restaurants open with guest artists and specials.


Staying cool is literally a breeze downtown!  And if you don’t mind the heat, try Fayetteville after Five sponsored by the Fayetteville Museum of Art.  The museum has selected fantastic bands that will keep you movin’ and shakin’ in Festival Park.  Fun for the whole family!

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It’s the Right Time to Look Downtown

Friday, August 27th, 2010 | Posted By: Jami McLaughlin | Economic Development | No Comments


With over twenty new businesses that have opened since January and new condos, this is the time to look at living or opening a business downtown.  Several new businesses will be opening this year including Pierro’s Express and Wet Willie’s Daiquiri Bar and Restaurant.  There are several small business resource groups that are willing to help with opening up your own business including CEED, The Center for Economic Empowerment and Development, formerly known as The Women’s Center of Fayetteville, located at 230 Hay Street, and the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce in Haymount.


The City of Fayetteville is also committed to Downtown Fayetteville and has designed programs to offer economic incentives for investment in the district.  These programs help encourage the restoration of facades through rehabilitation, offer loans for small business owners investing in our community and jobs. Through the City’s Community Development department, three programs are offered including the following:


Facade Improvement Grant Program

This program is designed to promote the revitalization of facades of active, for profit businesses through the rehabilitation of commercial building exteriors and landscapes. This effort benefits Fayetteville by removing blight, expanding the tax base and increasing the economic vitality of Downtown Fayetteville and redevelopment plans areas. An eligible business must be located within the identified boundaries and meet all program requirements. The City of Fayetteville will provide a matching reimbursement grant up to $5,000 for each facade renovated.


Downtown Loan Program

Loans are available from $50,000 to $300,000 for relocating and expanding businesses that wish to construct, acquire or renovate commercial properties in the downtown area. The partnership between the City of Fayetteville and local banks has resulted in an attractive interest rate for qualified applicants and relocating and expanding businesses located in the specified geographic boundaries of the downtown loan area are eligible to apply for the program.


Business Assistance Program

The City of Fayetteville established the Business Assistance program to stimulate small business investments within the city limits, to create new services and retail business to redevelopment areas and to create jobs. The Business Assistance Program provides funding to assist the small business owner with the additional equity needed in order to qualify for primary financing. The City of Fayetteville’s loan works in conjunction with a primary loan from a bank or approved lender.


For more information on these programs, please contact Michelle Haire, Economic Development Administrator for the City of Fayetteville, at 910-433-1596.  For further information on available properties and residences and contact information for agents and property owners, call 910-433-1599.

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Top 10 Reasons to Love Downtown Fayetteville!

Friday, August 27th, 2010 | Posted By: Jami McLaughlin | Economic Development, Entertainment, General Interest | No Comments

1. Festivals and events that fill the streets


The Dogwood Festival, 4th Fridays, International Folk Festival, Fayetteville after Five concerts and other special events make downtown a family friendly fun place to be and most are free so a full night of entertainment won’t break the bank!


2. More than 2 dozen restaurants and bars with open doors, great menus and a fantastic atmosphere


With cuisine ranging from Italian pasta to delectable tapas to lighter fare salads to mouth watering desserts, this is your place to bring a date, your family or have a lunch or dinner out with friends. Patio seating make it all the more fun to see and be seen while having a delicious meal!


3. Beautiful historical buildings and streetscape – just look around and know you are in one of the best places


Any history or architecture buff can explore the many exceptional buildings that have been beautifully restored and the examples of Neo-Classical, Gothic Revival and Romanesque Revival styles and more. The Market House alone is one of less than 40 National Landmarks in the state of North Carolina.

4. One of a kind shops with unique gift items, clothing, local products, you name it


Personal service and fantastic merchandise make downtown one of the best places to shop in the region. New clothing stores such as Leon Sugar’s and gift shops like Holmes Fine Gifts have items to suit any taste, or any occasion.

5. Our fantastic parks – Festival Park, Linear Park, Cross Creek Park, just to name a few


Talk about wonderful places to have a fabulous picnic, walk or see a concert! Events and activities are commonplace in these parks, but if you just wanted to get healthy and take a nature walk, our trails in Linear Park are for you!


6. A truly cool atmosphere


Our heart of the City has been described as trendy, artsy, charming, picturesque, creative and diverse. Urban living, nightlife, friendly people, museum tours and lunch groups have people from all over having different experiences with the same result – returning over and over again!

7. The Airborne and Special Operations Museum and the new State Veterans Park


The Airborne and Special Operations Museum, affectionately known as ASOM, is one of our region’s top attractions and brings thousands of people downtown every year. The new North Carolina State Veterans Park will sit adjacent to the museum and is moving quickly towards their goal of debuting on July 4, 2011.


8. The Field of Honor


The Downtown Alliance hosts the Field of Honor every year and it is truly a sight to behold with sponsored flags lining the field in front of ASOM. Our appreciation for our soldiers, veterans and their families is worth a stand alone in this top ten list to say the least.

9. Award winning performances and gallery worthy art


Plays, performances, displays and world renowned exhibits are featured downtown with so many options to see local shows at the Gilbert Theatre, The Arts Council, the Fayetteville Museum of Art and many more. Our museums, art studios and shops showcase the best that our community has to offer!


10. More shops, restaurants, luxury condos and the like on the horizon


More than ten years has gone by since our community started its plan for downtown revitalization and, in that time, we have made great strides towards building our center city, commercially and residentially. Downtown is growing and has new developments around every corner. Be a part of seeing your downtown grow in this next year and onward!


If you haven’t been downtown lately, you need to see what you are missing!  Grab some friends or your family and come explore Downtown Fayetteville.  You’ll be glad you did!

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An Adventure for the cautious (and everyone else, too.)

Thursday, August 19th, 2010 | Posted By: Melody Foote | Uncategorized | No Comments
 zip-quest-fayetteville-034When ZipQuest planned their media day a few weeks ago, they invited a travel writer I know and have worked with in the past, Mary Gallagher. Mary invited me out to meet her at ZipQuest and have lunch with her after her tour. When I arrived, the Zip Quest folks were kind enough to ask me if I wanted to go on the 2-1/2 hour tour with Mary. I excitedly said yes, I’d love it. After I said yes, I started to have second thoughts. If you know me, you know that “daredevil” or “adventure seeker” are not descriptions associated with me.

Ground school was interesting. This is where on, on a short zip line that allows you to touch the ground, you try out different maneuvers you will need on course. My natural clumsiness shined –it took me several tries to get some of the maneuvers correct. But I got clearance to go out on the course.

As we approached the first ladder to go out on the tour, our two guides attached us to the course in two places. They explained from this point on – we will be connected to the course at all times.   Throughout the trip, I could see their strict protocol in place. As they moved us from one part of the course to another – a guide would disconnect one of our attachments and reattach it at the next point. The second connection was only undone and moved after the first was fully connected.   While I’m sure it is tedious for the guides, as a visitor I felt completely safe. 


When, on the first zip, one guide zipped to the next platform to help us with our landings  – I felt a knot in my stomach and thought “what did I get myself into.” They asked for volunteers to go first, and I couldn’t do it. I did agree to go second. My first landing was clumsy, to say the least. The guide caught me more than helped me. However, the Zip was exhilarating; and I couldn’t wait to do it again.  

By the third zipline, I couldn’t see the landing platform, and I didn’t care –I was confident in my ability to land comfortably. At the close of the tour, I had traveled across 8 ziplines (one longer than a football field), three bridges,  three spiral staircases and stood on 16 platforms high up in the trees.  From my perspective, one of the great things about ZipQuest , is that non-adventurous folks like me can go on a major adventure and feel completely secure. 


ZipQuest is located in northern Fayetteville at Carvers Falls ,  a virtually untouched 55 acre area of forest with an amazing waterfall. The waterfall is said to be the largest in the eastern Carolinas.

ZipQuest is just one of the fun things to do in our community. For more ourdoor and adventure ideas, check out our All American Adventure Driving Tour.   To learn more about this or other fun things in greater Fayetteville, connect with the CVB via one of the outlets below.

FACVB on MySpace

FACVB on Facebook 

FACVB on Twitter 

The Climbing Place

Friday, August 13th, 2010 | Posted By: Janine West | Entertainment | No Comments
This past weekend I went to The Climbing Place, located in the heart of Downtown Fayetteville and had a great time! My kids were truly amazed!  It was our first time going to an indoor rock climbing place. We were all briefed on how to get all strapped in and how to be prepared.  After we learned all of the safety instructions, they let us climb any wall we wanted to try out! It’s a great way to teach teamwork to your kids.
It is a truly incredible feeling when you reach the top! I definitely felt accomplished at the end of the day but as for my hands and body, well they were feeling the exhilarating workout the next day. I will be coming back here for another challenge soon!

Iron Mike @ ASOM

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 | Posted By: Janine West | Education, General Interest | No Comments
A few weeks ago, the original Iron Mike Statue, which was previously displayed on base at Fort Bragg, was moved to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in historic downtown Fayetteville where it now stands at the entrance to the museum, welcoming visitors.  With the original deteriorating, a new, bronze Iron Mike replaced the old in 2005. After being refurbished, the 16 ft. 4in., 3,235 lb. original statue’s new home was selected.

The term “Iron Mike” is usually used as American slang to refer to men who are especially tough, brave and inspiring.  Fayetteville’s Iron Mike represents a World War II-era Airborne trooper, since Fort Bragg is the “Home of the Airborne,” with the 82nd Airborne Division and XVIII Airborne Corps headquartered there.  While the Iron Mike was modeled after former VXII Airborne Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Robert F. Sink, the statue was not named after one man or unit, but is dedicated to all paratroopers; past, present and future.

If you haven’t seen the Iron Mike Statue, I highly recommend taking a trip to the ASOM to check it out.  While you’re there, check out this amazing museum itself to learn more about the history of the Airborne and the different conflicts they have been a part of beginning in 1940 and ending with the current wars.  There is even simulator that will make you feel like you’re a paratrooper yourself!

Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop before you leave – I’ve bought a lot of great gifts for my loved ones in the military.  And, don’t hesitate to bring visitors here too!