On July 4, 2011 North Carolina’s Veteran’s park will open in downtown Fayetteville beside the Airborne & Special Operations Museum.
To encourage advance media coverage of the park’s opening, I pulled together and released some information on the park. Prior to my research, I knew very little. What I learned is pretty neat, and I thought I would share it with you.
The park’s theme is “A Veteran’s Journey: life before, during and after service.”
Dozens of artistic details pay homage to the state and veterans. Since the park is for all branches of service, many places in the park have themes of five.
There will be both apparent and subtle symbolism in the three main outdoor areas of the park: Community Plaza, Service Plaza and the Reflection Garden.
In the Community Plaza, a bronzed right hand of a veterans from each of NC’s 100’s counties will adorn a curved “Oath” wall. In front of the wall will stand 50 columns, each with a county’s name on each side. Fur civilians from each county will also have their hands cast on a tile and the tiles will be incorporated into the columns. The Community Plaza represents the time before a citizen joins the military.
The Service Plaza, next to the Community Plaza, represents the period when a veteran is on active-duty. This portion of the park will incorporate seven abstract sculptures that are made of military salvage parts. The sculptures signify seven concepts often associated with the military: commitment, courage, dedication, heroism, sacrifice, service and honor.
Next to the Service Plaza, the Reflection garden offers two still pools of water. This symbolizes life after service.
Other noteworthy features of the park-
* soil from each of NC’s 100 counties is being incorporated into all aspects
* In the Visitors Center building, a multi-colored glass wall will replicate all of the military service ribbons.
* Seven water features throughout the park
I can’t think of a better place to honor North Carolina veterans than our community of history, heroes and a hometown feeling.
I love fall and one of my favorite things about this season is Halloween. Not only do I enjoy dressing up, but am drawn to the spookiness of it and there’s no better way to experience the spirit and spirits of Halloween than to go on a haunted hayride! Fayetteville’s annual Historic Hauntings: A Ghastly Ghost Tour is taking place this weekend, October 21-23, and I fully intent to be there! Ghostly re-enactors and story-tellers take the truly brave on a tour of Fayetteville’s most infamous haunted historic sites, including a torch-lit trek through Cross Creek Cemetery where spirits of Confederate Soldiers are known to roam.
The Cumberland County Fair has officially begun! Crown Coliseum is holding their 20th annual Cumberland County Fair this year running from September 16 to September 26th. They are anticipating more than 45,000 visitors to come and check out the exhibits, contests, rides and food vendors!
Tickets are $20 for entry admissions and you receive unlimited rides and more than $25 in coupons for free food and drinks at the fair! What you can expect once you get in is: an interactive petting zoo, a trout fishing pond, the Star Family Circus, Diaper Derby and Parent Olympics, Cape Fear Cheerleading contest, Cumberland County Invitational Step Show and more. Additional events include; two nights of motor cross racing, professional wrestling, two nights of professional bull riding and lots of talented local singers, dancers and karate groups! Phew…now that’s a whole lot of entertainment to handle!
Military and family members get a discount on Sept. 21st!
So come on out to celebrate the 20th annual Cumberland County Fair and all of the fun, exciting things it has to offer this year!
I had the BEST date night ever on Friday night! My boyfriend and I went to Roland’s Dance
Studio to learn how to salsa and ballroom dance and had an absolute blast. It costs $10
per person for the night to get group lessons and dance the night away. It’s also a great
way to meet other couples! Sometimes we changed partners so we would learn different
techniques from each person we danced with.
I got to personally dance with Roland himself, and learned that the dance studio has been
in his family for 48 years. Dancing with him was the most magical experience, which words
can’t describe. I felt like I was gliding across the floor so eloquently, when really he
was leading me and doing all of the work!
They have gift certificates available too, which I would recommend getting for someone
who is getting married. My boyfriend and I are going to continue to go back and learn
different kinds of dances and show off our moves when we go to formal events!
Here’s a video of our adventure. I am not only an extremely amateur videographer, but I am also an indulgent mom – so you’ll see lots of Erinn and hear lots of me. My hope is it will give you a sample of Fourth Friday.
For information on other things to see and do throughout Cumberland County, go to WWW.VisitFayettevilleNC.com . We highlight hundreds of happenings each year.
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!
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 www.theartscouncil.com/international-folk-festival for more information including volunteer opportunities.
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 www.theartscouncil.com.
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 www.faydogwoodfestival.com.
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 www.fayettevillemuseumart.org.
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.
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!
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!