Dogwood Festival plans musical variety, traditional fun

12b Country vocalists, post-grunge bands and a Michael Jackson tribute highlight performers coming for the 41st annual Fayetteville Dogwood Festival, organizers announced Feb. 15.

Ax throwing and a giant rock wall will also be part of the fun at the April 27-30 festival. Executive Director Sarahgrace Mitchell and the festival board of directors presented a preview of the three-day festival at Segra Stadium.

Live music, food vendors, a BMX bike stunt show, and a street fair with local performers are on tap throughout downtown Fayetteville as local restaurants and shops welcome thousands of visitors.
Musical acts are among the best draws for Fayetteville’s biggest festival, including local acts and national names who will perform on the main stage at Festival Park.

Ashland Craft and David Nail will be the main acts on Friday night, April 28.

With hits like “Make It Past Georgia” and “I Smoke Weed,” Craft has made a name in country. She will hit the stage at 8 p.m. with her deep, bluesy voice and guitar-heavy set. Her modern country blues style is likened to her influences, Miranda Lambert and Bonnie Raitt.

Friday night headliner David Nail hit it big with fun-loving songs like “Let It Rain,” “Whatever She’s Got” and “Red Light.” His style of country music will have fans on their feet.

The fireworks show Boom and Bloom will follow Nail’s performance. Saturday will bring local acts starting at 2 p.m. in Festival Park before the night gets a post-grunge edge with rock bands LIT and Buckcherry.

“My Own Worst Enemy” was a hit for California-based LIT in 1999, and the band has maintained a strong radio presence since.

Another California band, Buckcherry, will take the stage at 9 p.m. with well-known hits like “Everything.” On Sunday, the national tour of “Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience” will kick off at 7:30 p.m. after a series of local acts beginning at 2:30 p.m.

One of the local acts on Sunday will be the Throwback Collaboration Band, featuring lead singer Adolph Thomas and guitarist Duce Thomas playing R&B and soul. Based in Fayetteville, the band has been together four years and has played at festivals across the state.

“We play ’70s and ’80s Motown dance-style music,” said Adolph Thomas.

A limited number of front-row seats are on sale at www.thedogwoodfestival.com. Of course, the music is just one part of the fun at the festival, as activities will extend throughout the downtown area.
A festival tradition, “The Cork and Fork: A Premier Food and Wine Event,” is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. April 27 at Festival Park. Tickets can be purchased at the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival website. A silent auction will benefit this year’s nonprofit partner, Fayetteville Urban Ministry.

Other favorites returning to the festival include the Airborne Aerial entertainers, performing Saturday near the Festival Park Plaza food court. On Saturday and Sunday, BMX stunt shows will take place on Hay Street, between City Hall and the Hotel Prince Charles, and Ring Wars Carolina will stage wrestling tournaments at Ray Avenue and Hay Street.

A car, motorcycle and truck show is scheduled on Sunday at Market Square, Person Street and Green Street. Interested motorists can register their vehicles for the show at the festival website.
Two children’s areas, the KidZone sponsored by Carolina Fun Factory and the Midway, which will host carnival rides for children and adults, will be at the corner of Mason Street and Ray Avenue.

New activities planned this year include the Axes and Armor Hatchet House, where the adventurous can throw axes for free. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Gillespie Street.
For more information about the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival, including how to purchase tickets for front-row seating or the Cork and Fork event, visit www.thedogwoodfestival.com.

Free seminar answers questions about buying a home

16From finding the right house to getting the best performance out of mortgage lending, home buying is the biggest purchase of many people’s lives. Unfortunately, the process can be overwhelming.
On Feb. 18 at 9:30 a.m., Bill Snuggs of Be Snugg At Home Realty (powered by EXP Realty) and Susan Zeiber of Mortgage Source of Fayetteville, Inc. welcome home buyers and sellers to their home buying seminar at the West Regional Library, located at 7469 Century Circle on the west side of Fayetteville.

This seminar has been designed with the customer in mind, the perfect opportunity to learn about the home buyer’s market from realistic, experienced and trustworthy players.

“We want to help people realize” that they shouldn’t be afraid of buying a home, Susan Zeiber explains. “In fact, we can help you rehabilitate less-than-perfect credit.”

Since 1998, Zeiber has been the owner of Mortgage Source of Fayetteville, Inc. Known primarily for Veteran’s Administration loans, she is equipped to meet whatever loan program suits your needs.

“We’re not here to judge anybody,” she says. "We’re here to help [you] buy a house.”

Susan practiced mortgage lending for 20 years at banks and lending institutions in Fayetteville before opening Mortgage Source.

“Home ownership is the key to a stable,” wealth-building life, Snuggs says matter-of-factly. If you live in a house, you pay a mortgage.

“The difference is it’s either “your mortgage or your landlord’s mortgage,” he quips. Known for his no-nonsense approach to customers, Snuggs has been a realtor in Fayetteville since 2008.
Owning a home is building personal equity that can be used “to pay for college for your kids, or you can use that equity to subsidize your own retirement,” he says.

Snuggs served in the Air Force for 20 years and in the federal civilian sector for 11 more, attaining the position of Budget Officer for the National Labor Relations Board.
In the home buying business, finding somebody that you trust makes all the difference in the world, he says. He and Zeiber work together to do right by the clients.
Since 2010, they have built a business relationship when Zeiber was able to close three loans that were deemed impossible to finance by Snuggs' old mortgage department.

“That’s what I wanted to say about Bill,” Susan says. “Bill has integrity, and, you know, integrity is what you do when nobody is looking.”

This home buying seminar is free, it’s open to everybody, and there will be coffee, biscuits and door prizes. The seminar is roughly three hours long.

“Buying or selling a house is stressful enough,” Snuggs says. “Susan and I try to” take out as much stress as possible.
The realtor and loan officer plan an informal seminar “because it makes us approachable,” Zeiber explains. “People are afraid to talk. They think that they’re being judged . . . and they feel like their entire life is on somebody’s desk.”

“Even though homebuying is scary, it’s doable, and we will be there for you every step of the way,” she adds.

Totally Bodacious 80s party will glow

14It’s time to dust off the VHS of “Sixteen Candles,” “Ferris Bueller's Day Off,” and time to grab neon-colored items for an 80s party at Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery on Feb. 25.

The winery’s Totally Bodacious 80s Glow Party may be the flair to spark anybody’s week. The event has a $10 cover charge that can be pre-purchased on the winery’s website. Guests will be able to purchase their own drinks from the bar using cash or a credit card.

According to Derrick Rice, the winery’s events director, guests can expect to have a great time as they enjoy music from a DJ, and drink specials and refreshments from the 80s.

“The purpose of the Totally Bodacious 80s Glow Party is to bring a pit of nostalgia and fun to those who remember the 80s as the best musical and outrageous fashion era,” Rice said.
He said it is an event for people to let loose and enjoy themselves.

This enjoyment may come from attendees dressing up for the two contests — Best 80s Movies Costume and Best 80s Costume. He explained how the two differ from each other.

“One is for the overall 80s costume and the other is for an 80s movie costume where the guests can depict their version of some popular 80s movie or television characters,” Rice said.

The event would not be an 80s event if dancing was not involved. Attendees can learn the “Thriller” dance while there.

“There will be a professional dance instructor on hand to teach the moves to Michael Jackson's “Thriller” music video,” he said.

Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery is located at 195 Vineyard Drive in Elizabethtown. For more information call 910-645-4291 or visit https://www.capefearwinery.com/

Black History Month: History Museum highlights oldest African American Episcopal church in Fayetteville

15In honor of Black History Month, the Fayetteville History Museum is highlighting Saint Joseph’s Episcopal Church. The church was officially chartered in 1873, which means it is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Saint Joseph’s Episcopal Church, located at 509 Ramsey Street, is the second oldest Episcopal congregation in Fayetteville and the oldest African American Episcopal congregation.

According to Saint Joseph’s, in the late 1860s, several founding members were also involved in the founding or operation of the Howard School, which evolved into the first State Normal School (teachers’ school) in North Carolina. This later became Fayetteville State University. Saint Joseph’s parochial school was separate and one of the first local schools for people of African descent.

The church later was the space that held USO and NAACP meetings for Black residents of Fayetteville.
Heidi Bleazey, the Historic and Natural Resources Manager at the Fayetteville History Museum, says the church was vital to the community.

“There’s this beautiful nestled church in this corner of a busy, busy Ramsey Street that so many people drive by. And then you consider 150 years of not only building a faith community on that space but building a community and bringing to the needs of that community,” Bleazey said.

The church has survived three fires. The first fire was in 1917, which destroyed the first rectory and parish house. The second fire in 2005 destroyed their large gazebo.

The most recent fire in 2015 severely damaged the quarter of the church nearest the main entrance and the entire sanctuary was damaged due to water from the fire. The church was restored in 2017.
The church is known for its Queen Anne-style architecture, the stained windows from Tiffany & Co., and a pipe organ that was built in 1857. The organ was damaged in the 2015 fire but has been restored and now uses electricity.

The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

“These old buildings are register buildings, they’re seen as spaces where time is frozen, and this is a unique space where time continues to move, and people continue to live and breathe life into that space. But it's also a snapshot into the past at the same time there,” Bleazey said.

“But here are people that are doing daily church business there. And suddenly, it’s the longevity of the community, and the congregation are why that building and that congregation have reached the age that they have,” she said.

“That’s why they're celebrating 150 years, and their commitment to service and the community is kept active and kept them functional and kept that building of importance.”
Saint Joseph’s will be celebrating 150 years as a parish on May 26 through May 28. They will be preparing an Anniversary Book to commemorate this historic occasion.

“We plan to do a mayoral proclamation for the Sunday that’s closest to the 28th,” Bleazey said. The celebration is ongoing, and the Fayetteville History Museum exhibit will be up for a year.

She added that the parish of Saint Joseph’s intends to celebrate all year long as well. The Fayetteville History Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to the public. The Fayetteville History Museum is located at 325 Franklin Street in downtown Fayetteville. The museum is part of the Historic and Natural Resources of Fayetteville Cumberland Parks and Recreation.

For more information, visit www.fcpr.us/historymuseum or call 910-433-1457.

Fayetteville Fury ready to kick off indoor soccer season

18Fayetteville’s professional indoor soccer team, Fayetteville Fury will kick off their second season home opener against Memphis on Feb. 18 and 19 at the Crown Coliseum.

For those who did not know professional indoor soccer is a thing, the Fury is a part of the National Indoor Soccer League. The league was created in 2021 and Fayetteville Fury is one of the many teams in the organization that has men’s and women’s divisions.

Their season kick off is against the Memphis Americans. The Men’s and Women’s divisions will have 24 regular season games. After the home opening weekend, the Fury will be on the road until the next home games on March 10 against the Central Florida Crusaders. It is rare for one sports ticket to get someone into a men’s and women’s game.

Andrew Haines, NISL owner said, “We are the only league in the country that does that at the professional level. All tickets get you into both games.”

During the inaugural season, the Fayetteville Fury Men’s team won a championship title. Haines discussed how this being the league’s second season proves that the sport is real and not just a concept.

“We produced a quality product for the community, and our Men’s team won the league championship,” Haines said. “We are in building mode and excited to kick off our second season.”
The League’s Affect on Fayetteville

“Our league and teams all affect each other,” Haines said. “Our successes and failures are shared. Our front office and coaches from around the league all work together behind the scenes ... off the field we are one family with a common goal.”

To learn more about the league or purchase tickets, visit www.fayettevillefury.com/.

About the National Indoor Soccer League

The NISL was founded in January 2021 by a group of seasoned sports team/league owners with over 50 years of ownership experience. The league features both a Men’s & Women’s Division, competing in double header game days over a 16-game regular season that takes place between January and April. Current teams include Central Florida Crusaders, Columbus Rapids (Georgia), Fayetteville Fury, Memphis Americans, Rome Gladiators (Georgia), and Tampa Bay Strikers.

The NISL is committed to promoting and supporting member teams, while providing an avenue for players, coaches, and front office staff to develop their skills and gain exposure for opportunities at higher levels, all while providing high-quality, affordable entertainment in the communities they call home.
For more information, go to www.nislpro.com.

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