Another great lineup at Rock’n On The River

11Rock'n On The River promises an exceptional evening on Friday, July 19. Kicking off the event, the Dalton Davis Band will captivate the audience from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Following their performance, the headliner ZZ Top Notch will take the stage, delivering an electrifying show from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Dalton Davis, hailing from Mamers, will add a touch of country flair to the lineup with his full band. Be sure to give him a listen before you see him live on his YouTube channel here:
Founded in 2022, ZZ Top Notch is a tribute band that celebrates "that little ol' band from Texas," capturing the essence and excitement of an authentic ZZ Top performance for their audience.
Featuring The Reverend Willie Gibson (Chuck Sirko on guitar), Dusty Thrills (John Hubacheck on bass), and Frank Beardless (Joe Snyder on drums), this trio is dedicated to delivering an unforgettable experience to every concertgoer.
These three experienced musicians deliver an electrifying performance of all the iconic hits, including “Sharp Dressed Man”, “Legs”, “Waiting on the Bus”, “La Grange’’, and “Tush”, spanning decades of beloved ZZ Top music.
With their authentic recreation of the band's look, costumes, and sound, combined with their ability to captivate and entertain the audience, ZZ Top Notch promises an unforgettable show.
This free event is set to unfold at Campbellton Landing, located at 1122 Person Street. Parking is available for $10 per vehicle. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., allowing ample time to secure a prime location, so don't forget to bring a chair.
Please note that outside coolers and containers are prohibited, but a variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase on-site. Notably, 50% of the beer sales will benefit the Karen Chandler Trust Cancer Charity. For more info, visit www.facebook.com/people/Rockn-On-The-River

(Photo: ZZ Top Notch will be the headliner for Rock'n On the River, July 19. Photo courtesy of ZZ Top Notch's Facebook page)

Your ultimate guide to Fayetteville’s Boba Tea scene

17Are you a boba tea enthusiast? Or are you just starting to explore the world of this delicious and trendy drink? Either way, you're in for a treat! Fayetteville has a thriving boba tea scene that offers a wide variety of flavors and unique experiences. Get ready to dive into the ultimate guide to Fayetteville's boba tea scene and discover all the hidden gems this city has to offer.
Whipping up the quintessential boba tea is akin to conducting a symphony - it's all about hitting the right notes at the perfect tempo. In Fayetteville, the maestros behind your beloved boba cups are not just making a drink; they're curating a culinary concerto. The journey begins with the tea, the soul of the concert, where every leaf plays a note in the aromatic harmony that forms the base of your boba experience.
But what’s a melody without a bit of pizzazz? That’s where the magic of mixology comes into play. Fayetteville's boba artisans are like culinary wizards, blending a variety of syrups, milks, and creative essences to transform each sip into an overture of flavors. Imagine a dash of lavender here or a swirl of caramel there – it’s all part of the spellbinding process.
The grand finale, the boba pearls themselves, are no mere supporting act. Achieving that signature chewy, yet tender, texture requires a meticulous timing and temperature dance. It's a performance where precision meets patience, culminating in those delightful orbs that add the final flourish to your drink. So, the next time you take a sip, remember: you're not just drinking tea; you're savoring a masterpiece.

Ding Tea Fayetteville
Opened on November 28, 2023
5447 Yadkin Rd, Unit 116
In addition to boba, they have tea beverages such as milk tea, fresh tea, and lattes.

Queen Bee Boba Tea
Opened June 10, 2023
Cross Creek Plaza, 1800 Skibo Rd, Ste 252
Making artisanal drinks for tea lovers that include milk teas, fresh tea, smoothies, fruit teas and even coffee.

Happy Cup NC
Opened June 16, 2023
Elmwood Crossing, 2653 Hope Mills Rd 316
Happy Cup isn't only a place to pick up a great boba tea, milk tea, milkshake, smoothie, slushie, hot tea, or brewed coffee, they also offer acoustic performances on Fri/Sat and karaoke anytime.

Tealicious Boba
Opened March 30, 2023
2711 Raeford Rd Suite 100
Get your flavored teas, milk teas, yogurt juice drinks, slushies, milkshakes, smoothies and coffee, but a snack as well for they also offer egg rolls and popcorn chicken.
Fruity Boba Fayetteville
Opened March 3, 2023
The Piccadilly Circus 2826 Raeford Rd
The place to pick up a tasty smoothie, milk tea, fresh fruit tea, sparkling drink, supreme foam smoothie, fresh tea, and coffee latte.

ShareTea Fayetteville
Opened June 24, 2023
Tallywood Shopping Center 3116 Raeford Rd Suite 230
They offer a wide variety of flavors for bubble and boba tea. They also have some unique toppings for your drink including pudding, aloe vera, lychee jelly, creama and more.

Royal Tea
Opened Sept 23, 2023
Fayetteville Pavilion 2043 Skibo Rd Suite 104
Looking for cheese tea, matcha or chocolate drink or a really unique seasonal drink or speciality drink? Don't skip on the snack foods either, including egg rolls, fries, wontons and more.

Fresh Rolls (Robo Tea)
Opened Sept 22, 2020
Northgate 3821 Ramsey St Suite 116
One hand is for your boba tea, the other is for one of their delicious ice cream rolls.

LOL Bubble Tea & Coffee
Opened September 21, 2014
5044 Yadkin Rd #101
Order a coffee, frosted milk drink, sea salt tea latte, milk smoothie, flavored tea, milk tea, slushie, yogurt drink or go for an egg puff or grilled Taiwanese sausage.

Kung Fu Tea Fayetteville
Opened March 26, 2022
7835 Good Middling Dr. Unit 106
A large variety of drinks that include dairy free, vegan, caffeine free and gluten free options. Also check out their punch, milk strike, and seasonal specials.

Bubble Tea Express
Location one:
136 Westwood Shopping Center
Opened December 22, 2011
Location two:
Cross Creek Mall
Opened July 21, 2014
One of the OGs of the Fayetteville boba/bubble tea world with two locations these guys have had plenty of practice crafting many great drinks. Don't pass up their tasty snacks like fried okra and fried string beans as well.

Volunteers needed: United Way annual Meal Packing Event

14United Way of Cumberland County is hosting its annual Meal Packing Event on August 22, at the Crown Expo Center, 1960 Coliseum Drive from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Doors open for volunteers at 10:30 a.m. Last year, volunteers packed 70,000 meals within 2 hours. This year, United Way of Cumberland County hopes to match that number again.
What is the Meal Packing Event?
The Meal Packing Event is an annual event, that brings volunteers from across the county together to pack meals that will then be distributed to non-profits who feed those in the community.
What nonprofits are being supported by the meal packing event 2024?
• Alms House Hope Mills
ALMS HOUSE collects and redistributes food to families each day. This food comes from surplus and prepared perishables that make donations to their program. Their goal is to bridge the gaps between individual income and government benefits.
Website: https://www.almshousehopemills.com/food-asisstance/
• Armed Services YMCA
The ASYMCA Fort Liberty Food Pantry helps to combat this issue in the community they serve. This program helps military families worry less about food and focus on mission readiness.
Website: https://fortliberty.asymca.org/services/food-assistance/
• Catholic Charities
Hunger in our communities is an issue that far too many families are experiencing. A lack of nutritious meals can have long-lasting effects on the physical, mental, and social well-being of all members of a family. In response to this need, Catholic Charities operates five food pantries in central and eastern North Carolina.
They recognize that addressing hunger requires a community response. Therefore, Catholic Charities leverages the support of community partners to provide over 3 million pounds of food to families in need each year. Catholic Charities Food Pantry Services are dedicated to distributing healthy groceries, increasing access to food, and developing innovative solutions to address food insecurity in a collaborative way.
On each visit, families receive a week’s worth of groceries, helping to fill the gap that families experience once their resources have been exhausted and before they receive their next paycheck. Once their immediate need for food is addressed, Catholic Charities staff and volunteers may connect families to other critical services that aim to remove barriers to self-sufficiency, increasing access to opportunities and creating hope for a better future. With dignity and respect at the forefront of all interactions, families are offered a hand up during their most challenging times.
Website: https://www.catholiccharitiesraleigh.org/food-pantry/
• Falcons Children’s Home
Falcon Children's Home is a childcare facility. They have no other purpose or business. The care of children is their foremost concern and the centerpiece of all that they do. They seek to provide services and opportunities that will enhance the well-being of every child - mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Website: https://www.falconchildrenshome.org/residential-care
• Fayetteville Urban Ministry
FUM came into existence in 1974 to address the widespread needs of people suffering in crisis situations throughout the county. Starting from a basement, Emergency Assistance grew into an effective grassroots operation that touched thousands of lives. Now the program houses a food pantry, clothing closet, and a financial assistance service for families and individuals in crisis. All of this is made possible by community partners who donate non-perishable food items, new & lightly used clothing, hygiene items, household goods, and money. Their EA department offers financial assistance (when funds are available) and support to help people meet their basic needs and overcome financial barriers that may be setting them back. They help transform lives by providing basic necessities to those in need and strive to help them make permanent improvements to get them back on track.
“It is simply amazing what a bag of groceries, clothing, or a few dollars can do to transform a life story!” In December of 2022, by utilizing funding provided by local partnerships, they were able to provide utility and rent/mortgage assistance to nearly 50 families in need.
Website: https://www.fayurbmin.org/emergency-assistance
• Operation Blessing
Since 1982, they have seen literally thousands of people come to them in need. Through the years, our community has generously donated clothing and food to reach out to their neighbors.
Due to trying economic times and cuts in social programs, many come to Operation Blessing to have their needs met, all without cost.
Website: https://operationblessingfayetteville.com/what-we-do/
• Spring Lake Family Support Services
The Fresh Start program for the homeless is about restoring hope and dignity to those who struggle most in our communities.
A domestic violence program designed to mobilize our community, promote safety & empower victims and their families to break the chains of emotional, mental, and physical abuse.
Website: https://www.thekinseyhouse.org/services

• Second Harvest Food Bank Children’s Backpack Program
The “Hunger Relief for Kids” Backpack program provides end-of-week meals for students who may not have nutritious foods to eat outside of their school system. Each “backpack” contains protein, vegetable, fruit, and grain options for children in easily accessible packaging. Through the backpack program,they are able to provide thousands of meals to students in their service area annually.
Website: https://hungercantwait.org/feed-2/child-feeding-programs/
How can I get involved?
Last year’s event had 300 volunteers. Organizers hope to increase that number this year. Those interested in volunteering can do so in different capacities. There is Setup, Runner/Table Manager, Meal Packing Attendee, Table Volunteer, and Break down. Each volunteer position, a description, and time slot are available online https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UdgGPgPsXFsDQ8jNILdqq1HBJ9cSNjhM4oeiX_oFveU/edit?gid=0#gid=0
Volunteers can register to volunteer online https://unitedway-cc.dm.networkforgood.com/forms/2024-meal-packing-event
For community members who are unable to volunteer, United Way of Cumberland County is also taking donations for the Meal Packing Event 2024. Those who wish to donate can do so using the link https://unitedway-cc.networkforgood.com/projects/227735-2024-meal-packing-event
Who do I contact for more information?
Ashlee Pearson at 910-483-1179 ext. 225 or development@unitedway-cc.org
What can I look forward to as a volunteer?
Don’t fear, packing food has never been so much fun. This year’s event will feature a Meal Packing Challenge, a peer-to-peer fundraising challenge, aimed at getting the community energized to raise money to feed individuals and families. The team that raises the most money will receive the Meal Packing Challenge Award. There will also be awards for the team with the most creative team t-shirt and an award for the team that packs the most meals.
Make sure to register today! Let’s fight hunger together.

Aspiring authors invited to writer's roundtable

16Step into City Center Gallery and Books most Monday evenings and you'll find a small group of eager writers. They’re creatives, all rallying around the written word. For the host, Cam Estremadoiro, this isn’t a new venture. Inspired by previous experience in the arts and publishing, he’s been facilitating writer's roundtables for the last six years, most recently organizing this one in downtown Fayetteville.
According to him, downtown Fayetteville is on the cusp of a renaissance, “After witnessing the growing number of people living, working, and spending time Downtown, it felt like a good time to get involved.”
The roundtable offers several benefits for new and experienced writers. Meeting other writers is a way to stay motivated and enjoy the personal connections that arise from shared interests. Estremadoiro says hosting these roundtables has allowed him to connect with producers, celebrities, poets, artists, and other talented people. They spend time sharing feedback, discussing projects, and offering encouragement. He describes the group they cater to as “writers, authors, poets and creatives.”
Here, you’ll find the support to push past writer’s block and press toward the finish line. Diane Parfitt, owner of City Center Gallery and Books, hopes that the sense of community writers find will put them on the path to publication, “We are happy to provide space for budding writers to share ideas as they hone their craft. We hope this encourages writers in Fayetteville to continue to pursue writing and to develop their work so they will be published.”
Whether you write for personal enjoyment, or with an eye to publication, City Center Gallery and Books provides limitless inspiration. There’s no fee to attend the roundtable, but with a voluntary donation of $5-$10, you’ll receive a matching bonus toward books. And as you indulge in the work of writers gone before you, City Center Gallery and Books is eager to help you find “just the right book” to build your library or get you back into reading, Parfitt explained.
It’s the perfect environment for exchanging skills and services that benefit local business owners and community members alike in the burgeoning downtown area. Estremadoiro is excited about what this means for the future, “The emerging arts and culture scene downtown is a continued indicator of good things to come.”
His advice for anyone interested in attending? “If you can make it through the door, you are well on your way!” He recommends you come prepared to put pen to paper by bringing a notepad or laptop, though they’ll have supplies available. Anything from outlines to ideas to full manuscripts is welcome material for discussion. You can arrive around 6 p.m. at 112 Hay St, Fayetteville, and expect the roundtable to start around 6:45 p.m. -7 p.m. He recommends taking advantage of street parking in the surrounding area for easy access to the building and reaching him with questions or inquiries at 816-372-8218.
There’s a world of writing camaraderie available to you, and Estremadoiro hopes you’ll join:
“Don’t be shy. It’s time to do something new and different.”

Gates Four Summer Concert Series 2024

12As the anticipation builds for the Gates Four Summer Concert Series 2024, music enthusiasts are eagerly marking their calendars for three unforgettable evenings of live music. This year's series starts on July 12 and features some of North Carolina's most sought-after bands. Held at the beautiful Gates Four Country Club, the concert series promises fun, great food, and free live music.

A Community Event
The Gates Four Summer Concert Series is a highlight for the Fayetteville, Hope Mills, and Cumberland County communities. Held outdoors at the spacious Gates Four Pavilion, this event is sponsored by a generous array of local businesses and organizations. Key sponsors include Jay Dowdy of All American Homes, Up & Coming Weekly newspaper, Gates Four, Healy Wholesale Company, Carolina Specialties (CSI), Christian 105.7, Certified Heating and Air Conditioning, The UPS Store (Westwood), Two Brothers Catering, Five West Media Group, Bragg Mutual Federal Credit Union, Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, and PWC Fayetteville's Hometown Utility.

Concert Lineup

Chicago Rewired – July 12
The series kicks off with Chicago Rewired, the premier Chicago tribute band. The band is known for their faithful renditions of Chicago's timeless music and is ready to bring the house down. With record sales topping 100 million, including 21 top-10 singles, five consecutive number-one albums, 11 number-one singles, and five gold singles, Chicago's music has become the soundtrack to great memories for many people.
In the summer of 2015, Charlotte drummer Mike Graci envisioned elevating the local music scene by creating a tribute band that stood out from the typical cover bands. Dissatisfied with the run-of-the-mill cover music prevalent in the area, Graci set out to assemble a group of top-notch musicians who could authentically replicate the complex and beloved sound of Chicago. After five years of meticulous effort and dedication, Chicago Rewired was born.
"Bringing together musicians who could not only play but also feel the music of Chicago was a challenge," said Graci, the band leader. "It took us five years to perfect the Chicago style, but it was worth every moment. The chemistry we've developed is special and resonates with our audiences."
Fans attending the concert on July 12 can expect to be transported back in time as Chicago Rewired performs some of the band's greatest hits. Audience members will have the chance to sing along to classics such as "25 or 6 to 4," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" "Feeling Stronger Every Day," and "Old Days." These songs, known for their intricate arrangements and powerful brass sections, will undoubtedly evoke nostalgia and excitement among the attendees.
"The goal of our performances is to not only play the notes but to capture the spirit and energy of Chicago's music," said Graci. "We want our audience to feel the same joy and excitement that we feel on stage. It's all about creating an experience that everyone can enjoy."

Heart Breaker – August 913
The concert series continues with Heart Breaker, the ultimate USA tribute to the band Heart. This national touring act, based in North Carolina, is renowned for its dedication to performing each song with love, respect, and passion. Heart Breaker aims to provide a genuinely transcendent and pitch-perfect concert experience, both musically and visually. Audiences can expect to hear Heart's greatest hits, such as "Alone," "These Dreams," "What About Love," "Crazy on You," and the iconic "Barracuda." Additionally, the band will perform classic Led Zeppelin songs, paying homage to the band that inspired Heart and its fans.

13aRivermist – September 6
Rivermist, a local favorite, will take the stage next. Formed in July 2014 in Fayetteville, Rivermist is a collaboration of musicians with over 200 years of combined experience. Known for their love of audience engagement and commitment to preserving the music familiar to their roots, Rivermist plays a mix of classic rock, R&B, and various party music. The band has been voted Fayetteville/Ft. Liberty's "Best Local Band" by Up & Coming Weekly for eight consecutive years. With nearly 8,500 followers on Facebook, Rivermist has also gained recognition for their original music, including their chart-topping song "Right Place Right Time." They were nominated for multiple Carolina Beach Music Academy (CAMMY) awards, winning the "Rising Star" award in 2023 and being named the 2021 "Vocal Group of the Year" by the CCMA.



Event Details

• Venue: Gates Four Pavilion
• Doors Open: 5:30 p.m.
• Concert Time: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
• Admission: Free

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for comfortable seating. The concerts are family-friendly and open to all.

VIP Experience
VIP packages are available for those looking to enhance their concert experience. These packages offer premium seating, special perks, and more, ensuring a memorable and luxurious evening under the stars. To purchase your VIP tickets, visit https://fayettevilledinnertheatre.com/

Food, Drinks, and Fun
No summer concert is complete without great food and drinks. The Rolling Taco Truck will be on-site, offering delicious treats for all attendees. With all necessary ABC permits, various beverages will also be available. Exciting door prizes will add to the evening's fun, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Supporting a Good Cause
Partial proceeds from the concert series will be donated to the Kidsville News! Literacy and Education Foundation of Cumberland County, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This initiative highlights the event's commitment to providing entertainment while supporting the local community.
"Events like these are essential because they bring people together in a positive and fun environment. It's a chance for the community to gather, enjoy great music, and create lasting memories. Plus, it's free, which makes it accessible to everyone. A free event like this ensures that all community members can come together and enjoy a shared experience regardless of their financial situation. It's really about building a sense of unity and togetherness,” said Bill Bowman, Publisher, Up & Coming Weekly community newspaper.
"Supporting local events has always been our priority at Up & Coming Weekly. We believe in the power of community and the importance of giving back. This concert series aligns perfectly with our mission to promote local culture and entertainment. When we saw the potential of the Gates Four Summer Concert Series to bring joy and excitement to Fayetteville, we knew we had to be a part of it. It's an excellent opportunity to showcase the talents of our local and regional musicians while providing a platform for them to shine.
"The impact is significant. It boosts local businesses, fosters community spirit, and provides a platform for local and regional musicians to showcase their talents. It's a win-win for everyone involved. Local businesses benefit from the increased foot traffic and visibility, which helps stimulate the local economy. The series also allows musicians to reach a broader audience and gain recognition for their hard work and talent. Overall, it enhances the cultural fabric of Fayetteville, making it a more vibrant and connected community."
Through this interview, Bowman emphasized the Gates Four Summer Concert Series’ essential role in fostering a sense of community, supporting local businesses, and promoting the arts in Fayetteville.
Jay Dowdy, owner of All American Homes and another key event sponsor, shared his passion for supporting the community through music.
"In today's society, people are stressed out. I want everyone to know it's never too late to be who you might have been. No matter your age, nothing should hold you back," Dowdy said.
"I believe in giving back to my community. Giving back to the community is crucial because they support you."
Dowdy continued, "What we're doing with the concert series is offering something unique. Think about it—what else is there to do in town for free on weekends? Hardly anything. We're opening up Gates Four, a gated community that most folks don't know about. It's the best-kept secret in town. We're inviting everyone to come out and see a free concert, not just local bands but ones that play statewide and even nationally. It shows everyone that you care about them."
The Gates Four Summer Concert Series is more than just a series of concerts; it's an opportunity to create lasting memories with friends and family. These free concerts, set in the picturesque Gates Four Pavilion, promise an incredible experience for all attendees.
With a stunning venue, an impressive lineup of bands, and delicious food and drinks, the Summer Concert Series at Gates Four is set to be the season's must-attend event. So, grab your lawn chairs, bring your loved ones, and join the community for a summer of unforgettable music.
While the concerts are free, VIP packages are available for those who wish to enhance their experience with premium seating and special perks. Remember, partial proceeds from the concert series will benefit the Kidsville News! Literacy and Education Foundation of Cumberland County.
For more information and to stay updated on the event, call the Fayetteville Dinner Theatre at 910-391-3859.

(Top Photo: Chicago Rewired will be the first band playing in the Gates 4 Summer Concert Series.Photos courtesy of Greg Adair.  Middle Photo: Heartbreaker is the second band to play in the series and will play Aug. 9. Bottom Photo: Rivermist, the third band to play in the concert series, will hold their concert Sept. 6.)

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