Blind Boys of Alabama open Givens’ season

11 blindboysSeptember is a busy month at the Givens Performing Arts Center in Pembroke, with two first-rate performances. The 2019-2020 season opens with the Blind Boys of Alabama on Sept. 12 followed by Extreme Illusions & Escapes Sept. 20.

The Blind Boys of Alabama have been singing together for seven decades. In that time, America has experienced World War II, the civil rights movement and the Summer of Love; the moon landing, Vietnam and the fall of the Berlin Wall; John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X; the invention of the jukebox, the atomic bomb and the internet. And the Blind Boys have been there through it all, influencing music in the South and helping to shape musical culture that bridges two millennia. 

The original band members met as children at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind and performed their way to the White House, entertaining three different presidents. The Blind Boys  released their debut single “I Can See Everybody’s Mother But Mine,” in 1948. Since then, they’ve won five GRAMMY Awards, plus another recognizing them for their lifetime achievement. 

According to the band’s website, The New York Times said that they “came to epitomize what is known as jubilee singing, a livelier breed of gospel music,” adding that “they made it zestier still by adding jazz and blues idioms and turning up the volume, creating a sound … like the rock ‘n’ roll that grew out of it.” TIME Magazine raved that “they’re always hunting for - and finding - the perfect note or harmony that lifts an old tune into the sublime,” while The Washington Post praised their “soul-stirring harmonies” and “range of cross-genre collaborations,” and The New Yorker simply called them “legendary.”

“When the Blind Boys started out, we weren’t even thinking about all these accolades and all that stuff,” founding member Jimmy Carter told NPR. “We just wanted to get out and sing gospel and tell the world about gospel music.” 

The Blind Boys of Alabama will be at GPAC Sept. 12. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Call 910-521-6361 or visit https://www.uncp.edu/resources/gpac/professional-artist-series/blind-boys-alabama for tickets and information.

Extreme Illusions and Escapes fist came to GAPC in 2017. A raving hit two years ago, Josh Knotts and Lea are back with brand new acts. Winners of the 2016 Merlin Award and the 2016 Fair and Festival Entertainers of the Year Award, the pair will bring Las Vegas-style performances to the Sandhills.

The high-energy shows, skillful escapes and large-scale illusions keep audiences spellbound.

The Sept. 20 show at GPAC starts at 8 p.m. VIsit https://www.uncp.edu/resources/gpac/professional-artist-series/extreme-illusions-and-escapes to purchase tickets.

Season tickets are available. Go for an upgrade and join the Act 1 Diner’s Club. The Diner’s Club includes dinner before specific performances, for just $35. 

Menus include dinners like port wine poached pear, petite beef medallions with shrimp risotto, grilled asparagus and a red wine demi-glace, and New York- style cheesecake.

The dinners are served in the Chancellor’s Dining room in the James B. Chavis Center. Order meal tickets at tickets.com, or call 910-521-6361. 

Visit https://www.uncp.edu/resources/gpac/act-1-diners-club to learn more about Act 1.

The CARE Clinic hosts 25th Annual Golf Charity Tournament

10 N1904P33007CThe CARE Clinic presents its 25th Annual CARE Clinic Golf Charity Thursday, Sept. 19, at Gates Four Golf & Country Club at 11 a.m. 

“The Care Clinic is a nonprofit. We receive no government assistance,” said Cynthia Deere, development and marketing director of the Care Clinic. “It takes about $44,000 a month to keep our doors open, and we receive funds from grants, private donations, business donations and sponsorships from our three major fundraisers each year.”   

Deere added the CARE Clinic’s biggest expense every month is pharmaceuticals because when someone comes in for high cholesterol, diabetes, sinus or a urinary tract infection, they are given the medication at the clinic at no cost. 

“Last year was the first year that we did the Texas Scramble, and it was very well received because we were doing something different,” said Deere. “We have all of the contests that we have had in the past, such as Closest to the Pin, Hole-in-One, a Luigi’s Putting Contest and a Par 3 Poker Challenge.”   

Deere added there will be a dinner and the awards will immediately follow the tournament. 

The CARE Clinic provides free quality dental and medical healthcare, based on household income,  to eligible uninsured, low-income adults who live in Cumberland County and the surrounding areas.     

Registration for the tournament begins at 9:30 am. Each player will get a Titleist player pack. The cost for an individual to play is $300. A team of four individuals is $1,000. Sponsorships are available for purchase. For more information, to participate or to make a donation call Cynthia Deere at 910-485-0555, or email care@thecareclinic.org.

FTCC to host Trojan Fit 5K

08 Color runRunners and walkers and people who just love bright colors are in for a treat. FTCC’s Department of Health & Fitness Science is hosting the Trojan Fit 5K color run on Saturday, Sept. 21. 

Larzaris Butler, the department chair, explained that the money from the race will go toward scholarships. “It’s an inaugural run for the health and fitness science department. The money will go toward scholarships for people in the health and fitness science programs,” he said. Eventually, the department hopes  these scholarships will grow into an endowment. The goal is to raise $5,000 at this year’s race. 

While Fayetteville Tech has held 5Ks for other organizations, such as Relay for Life, in the past, this is the first race the college has sponsored.

The race is going to be a color run, which means a safe powder that comes in a variety of colors will be thrown as the participants go through the route. It’s common for runners to wear clothes that are light colors or white so the colors will show more on the clothes. The colors mostly wash out, although it is suggested by seasoned runners to wash the clothes worn at the race sooner rather than later and to wear clothes that you don’t mind being stained, just in case. To keep the colors in your clothes as a memento from the event, it helps to spray the clothes with vinegar after the race, allow them to dry, iron them, wash them in cold water and dry them in a dryer. The process helps to set the stain. 

Joseph Davis, an instructor in the health and fitness science department, said that the 5K race is not just open to students — it’s open to the whole community. “We really encourage people of all activity levels to come out and have some fun. We’ll have a running category, a walking and jogging category and a family one for parents with kids and strollers and wagons. It’s a community event,” Davis said.

“It’s something that brings everyone together,” Butler said. “In a typical week, we are working, attending church events and participating in a variety of other activities. We don’t have time to sit down and socialize with our neighbors and the people who live and work beside us. Events like this bring us together from all walks of life to do something fun. We want (the 5K) to be something that’s fun for the community and beneficial for them health-wise.”

The fun doesn’t stop when the race is over; the department will have a unique kind of award ceremony as well. “This isn’t a traditional race, so our awards are a little nontraditional, too,” Davis explained. 

“Keeping in the spirit of having fun, we’re going to have awards that have jokes to them,” said Butler. “Right now we’re thinking that the youngest runner will get a golden baby’s running shoe. The oldest runner will get a silver running shoe.” These are just a couple examples. 

Butler is excited for the opportunity for the department to host the race, especially because he knows the hard work that his staff has put into the event. “We started working on this thing a year ago,” he said. “They (the staff) have outdone themselves on every aspect on all of it.” 

The event is one that will celebrate community and wellness while also promoting a great cause. “Fayetteville Tech is a community college and being the health and fitness department, we feel it is part of our goal to promote wellness and physical activity. So we are trying to promote positive change in that way,”  Davis said. 

The race will be held Sept. 21. Runners will begin at 9:30 a.m. Walkers will begin at 9:33 a.m. and families or anyone with a stroller or wagon will begin at 9:36 a.m. Visit https://www.active.com/fayetteville-nc/running/distance-running/trojan-fit-5k-color-run-2019 to learn more information or to register for the event. 

Celebrating Lafayette's birthday

09 LAF TRAIL AT RIVER MOST CROPPEDBy proclamation of the General Assembly, Fayetteville is “Where North Carolina celebrates Lafayette’s birthday.”

The party this year takes place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 6 and 7. Sponsored by the Lafayette Society and the Transportation and Local History Museum, the celebration unfolds every year at several venues across the city the weekend after Labor Day. 

The Marquis de Lafayette sailed from France in 1777 to fight for American independence as a major general under Gen. George Washington. He was given command of the Army of Virginia, and he was instrumental in the defeat of Cornwallis in the decisive battle at Yorktown in 1781. After returning home, Lafayette continued to fight for “government by the people” in the French Revolution and remained a steadfast advocate for human rights, especially the abolition of slavery. 

Fayetteville is the “first and only” when it comes to Lafayette. It is the first city in the nation named for him — in 1783. And it is the only namesake city he actually visited — in 1825. 

The birthday festivities begin Friday evening with “Arias and Artifacts” at Methodist University in Davis Memorial Library. “Friends in War, Friends in Peace” will honor two young men, separated in time by 200 years, who were determined to fight for liberty on foreign soil: Frenchman Marquis de Lafayette and Fayetteville native Pfc. William Mitchell “Billy” Shaw. A free program about these patriots of the American Revolution and World War II begins with refreshments at 5:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., the celebration moves to the Matthews Center on campus with “An American in Paris,” a lively hour of music highlighting composers who studied at the Conservatoire Américaine de Fontainebleau. Tickets for the concert cost $10 and may be purchased at the door or in advance at City Center Gallery & Books by calling 910-678-8899. 

On Saturday, the Lafayette Trail Tour in downtown Fayetteville starts at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and croissants at the Museum of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry. On the tour, guests will see the places Lafayette visited in 1825. The expert narration by FILI Commander Bruce Daws will paint a picture of what the visit, with all its pageantry and celebrations, would have been like. Guests will have the rare opportunity to tour inside the historic Phoenix Masonic Lodge where Lafayette, a Free Mason, was entertained. A light lunch will be served at the lodge. The cost of the all-inclusive tour is $30 per person, $25 for students and teachers. Reservations are required — visit City Center Gallery & Books, or call 910-678-8899. 

Also on Saturday, the Museum of the Cape Fear will celebrate Lafayette’s birthday and the American Revolution with the annual Festival of Yesteryear: Revolution on the Cape Fear, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Arsenal Park. In addition to numerous fun and educational activities for the whole family, this year’s event features professional actor Stephen Seals of Colonial Williamsburg portraying James Armistead Lafayette, an enslaved African American who served in the Continental Army as an aide under the Marquis de Lafayette. Admission is free, and there will be a Lafayette birthday cake-cutting at 1p.m. with free ice cream and cake at “Camp Lafayette” as long as it lasts. 

The weekend celebration ends Saturday night with “Party Like You’re in Paris,” a free wine-tasting party at The Wine Café at 108 Hay St. from 6-8:30 p.m. There will be a variety of excellent but affordable French wines for tasting and purchase. This “virtual tour” of France has become a social highpoint of the summer for many people. 

For more details about the Lafayette Birthday Celebration, visit www.lafayettesociety.org. 

The Lafayette birthday celebration includes a Lafayette Trail tour hosted by Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Commander Bruce Daws.

Cumberland County Fair brings farming, fun and more to the community

11 01 Dairy cowsThe Cumberland County Fair is back in Fayetteville, bringing with it a blend of homegrown traditions, interesting exhibits, exciting rides and fun for people of all ages. It  will open at the Crown this Friday, Aug. 30. 

The theme of the fair this year is “Moo-vin’ and Groovin’.” The dairy industry is a hot topic, and the Cumberland County Cooperative Extension  is using the event as an opportunity to teach people about dairy farms. “Our agricultural display will be focused on dairies,” said Jessica Drake, the extension agent in charge of  4-H Youth Development for Cumberland County. 

“The mission is to highlight all things dairy and maintain an emphasis on the historical importance of agriculture in Cumberland County,” said Daniel Marsh, the director of marketing for the Crown.

One of the highlights of the theme-related activities utilizes virtual reality. “We’re having virtual reality 11 02 SCAVENGER so people can enjoy visiting a farm and learning about it without leaving the fair. This is an opportunity North Carolina State provided to us,” Drake said. “We want to bridge that gap from farm to fork.” 

Additionally, there will be a milking booth, a children’s area and information on the N.C. Dairy Alliance. “The fair is a prime opportunity to be able to get a lot of people educated through a hands-on experience,” Drake explained.

The Cumberland County Fair highlights the importance of agriculture every year. In fact, it’s partnered with the North Carolina Association of Agricultural Fairs. The North Carolina Association of Agricultural Fairs awarded two scholarships this year for the fair. One went to Ashlyn Johnson of Lincoln Memorial University who will be studying veterinarian medicine and the other went to John Faatz of N.C. State 11 03 BEST OF SHOWUniversity who is studying livestock management. 

A variety of  community organizations will be represented at the fair to explain their services and what they offer throughout the community. Attendees can also count on a variety of vendors inside and outside on the midway. 

Before the fair’s opening, many people swarm in to enter their proudest creations as exhibits for the chance to win ribbons and cash prizes. Participants can enter food items such as fresh produce, canned goods and baked goods. There are floriculture, horticulture, agriculture, arts and crafts, photography, sewed items and livestock categories as well.  The winners of “Best of Show” ribbons will move on to compete in the N.C. State Fair in October. All of the items are on display. 

“Youth have the opportunity through the livestock shows to show off what they’ve accomplished and what they’ve worked hard on  all year,” Drake said. “It’s very important for youth to have that sense of accomplishment whether they win or they lose. Really, (entering anything in the fair) is a great opportunity for anyone of any age to put their accomplishments on display.” 

Other indoor attractions include a scavenger hunt, the Junior Livestock Show, the antique farm exhibit and a toddler driving school.

This year’s main attraction at the fair will be Johnny Rockett’s Cycle Circus Live, which is the largest FMX Freestyle show of its kind in the world. The show will feature a variety of acts, including FMX, BMX, The Globe of Death, Daredevil Divas, Triple Flipping Motorcycle, The Fire Girls and more.  The 11 04 RIDEhigh-tech pyrotechnics and the daring stunts make this a popular show. 

A whopping 27 rides will be offered by Big Rock Amusements on the midway this year. For people who enjoy the classic rides, there will be the Giant Wheel, a Ferris wheel that is over 80 feet tall, a Fun Slide, a grand carousel and a Tilt-a-Whirl. Visit http://bigrockamusements.com/events/35 to see the full offering of rides. 

Although part of the event falls on Labor Day weekend, the Cumberland County Fair is an exciting tradition worthy of a “stay-cation.” “It’s a staple,” said Marsh. “Many families within Cumberland County and the surrounding area choose to stay home around Labor Day, and this is an opportunity for us to provide them with quality entertainment at a reasonable price. There is no better way to not only end the summer, but to also begin our event season here at the Crown Complex.” 

Throughout the duration of the fair, there will be promotional nights. The Up & Coming Weekly coloring sheet contest is Aug. 31. 

With their student IDs, attendees can receive $2 off the cost of admission. 

Sept. 1 is “Ultimate Stay-Cation Student Night.” Students with IDs will receive $4 off admission. 

On Sept. 2, attendees who arrive between 1-5 p.m. pay ten dollars for admission and rides, and those that arrive after five pay $15 for unlimited rides and admission for “Early Bird Pay One Price Night.” 

Sept. 3-5 is “Pay One Price Night.” “Senior Day” takes place Sept. 5 and offers free admission for senior citizens until 5 p.m. and offers unlimited rides with admission.

 “Military and Emergency Services Appreciation Night” takes place Sept. 6. Admission is free with an IDcard. The last day of the fair is “Faith and Family Day.” By mentioning their church or bringing a church bulletin, attendees can receive a $2 discount.

 “It’s important to bring community together. The fair is a fun, low-stress environment where you can all just enjoy each other and learn about the community through different organizations that put booths up,” Drake said. 

The fair opens this Friday at 5 p.m. and continues through Sept. 8. It is appropriate for all ages. Visit http://www.crowncomplexnc.com/events/cumberlandcountyfair for more information. 

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