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Hickory Farmers Market – Buy Local, Buy Fresh

Hickory Farmers Market

Hey, Hickory, have you noticed a bit more fresh in your fresh-air-and-sunshiny Blue Ridge locale lately? That’s because the annual Downtown Hickory Farmers Market is now underway, bringing together “fields, folks, and fun” for a seven-month-long fresh fest that runs through November.

The Farmers Market is just one of the many fabulous things to do in Hickory North Carolina, a town of many claims to fame, including booming businesses and college campuses, world-famous hand-crafted furniture, world-renowned art walks, beautiful community parks, and lovely temperate seasons that provide favorable year-round growing conditions for a variety of crops.

This charming mountain-lake town with nutrient-rich soil and moderate climate is a grower’s paradise that wins raves from local farmers and community gardeners. Many of Hickory’s finest restaurants and gastropubs offer seasonally changing menus with organic veggies and meats sourced from local farms. No matter the season, locals and visitors alike can always count on home-grown specialties as part of the fresh dining experience.

That’s just how it is in Hickory! People here understand the value of supporting their hometown farms by buying local. There are obvious economic benefits to feel great about. Buying local cuts down on fuel and travel time from farm to table, reducing the community’s carbon footprint, improving the environment and the local economy. And the benefits don’t stop there! Eating locally grown produce means your veggies are packed with nutrients and less likely to have been refrigerated, artificially ripened, or contaminated. Long (and delicious) story short, farm-to-table living is good for your own health, your family’s health, the health of the community, and the health of the planet. It’s a win-win-win-win!

But how do you maintain that farm-to-table lifestyle throughout the year? That’s where the Hickory Downtown Development Association (HDDA) comes in. They know locally-grown products are important to their community. That’s why they sponsor the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market and pack the seven-month-long schedule of events with tons to do, see, taste, and enjoy.

At its centrally located train side setting under The Sails, the Hickory Downtown Farmers Market brings the farm into town! Dozens of enthusiastic farmers from local and family-owned farms are on hand to meet and greet their customers and offer the “glory of a good harvest,” which includes fresh produce, grains, plants, flowers, and shrubs, as well as a surf-and-turf bounty of select meats and mountain trout. They stock their stands with locally sourced honey, eggs, and cheeses, fresh baked goods, marinades, preserves, and pickles. And it’s all presented in a festival atmosphere, enhanced by live music, games and events, booths for buying bushels of fresh ingredients, plus dried herbs and spices, artisan crafts, Chefs’ Market creations, street foods, and more.

The Downtown Hickory Farmers Market promises “a soulful feeling and a sense of belonging,” and, as the HDDA says, “for the first time, you’ll know what happiness smells like.” We’re pretty sure we can smell it from here! Or is that the scent of sweet ripe strawberries, which are currently at peak season (April to June). How do we know? The HDDA has provided a handy produce calendar on the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market web site. And we have to admit we’re counting down the days ’til summer when the peaches, cantaloupes, and watermelons will be ripe on the vine! But there’s plenty to do while we wait…

Throughout the month of May, the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market offers family-friendly activities, including “Spin a Kid to Camp” and “Kids Corner Activities” sponsored by the YMCA, plus live music from local performers Kitty G&M OD, Sherrill Keever, Kevin Lee Smith, and ELVIS!

Warm June breezes will be scented with floral notes as the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market ushers in the Lavender Festival starting on June 10th  and keeps the party going with Eat, Drink & Be Local Week starting June 17th. And there’s even more live music from Bob Sinclair & The Big Deals and Piedmont Percussion Program’s Steel Drums with Rick Cline.

As the summer rolls on, the fresh just keeps on coming with more music, more kid stuff, more family events, and our favorite fruits, along with the rest of the huge summer harvest, including farm-fresh potatoes, peppers, peas, eggplant, cucumbers, squash, beans, and (get your chompers ready) corn-on-the-cob!

Be sure to stay tuned in to the online event schedule. Even though the Farmers Market festivities continue on through October and November – grape harvesting season, by the way (did someone say home-made wine?) –  the schedule will be adjusted to accommodate two of the most popular things to do in Hickory North Carolina – the annual Oktoberfest (October 14) and Shuck-n-Peel Festival (November 11).

Are you sold on Hickory yet? We have to admit, it’s one of our favorite mountain towns in Western North Carolina. But there are lots more like it. You know, the charming towns along the Blue Ridge that get you thinking about exploring NC mountain real estate – or as we like to call it, your very own slice of heaven in the foothills.

What makes these towns so heavenly? Just ask the people who live there, in places like Hickory and nearby Lenoir. These are people who escaped the daily grind to retire in the great outdoors, surrounded by gorgeous terrain in a secluded gated mountain community that’s just minutes from outdoor adventures, art and culture experiences, dining hot spots, and exciting night life. These are the thrill-seekers and chill-seekers who relish both the adventure and relaxation that only comes from mountain living.

Not far from Downtown Hickory, a whole community of outdoorsy types with a penchant for fishing, hiking, community gardening, wine-making, and living life to the fullest are enjoying all these benefits and more at The Coves Mountain River Club, a 3,600-acre mountain community with five miles of river frontage along the Johns River. Amenities here include a community vineyard and garden, and the Lenoir North Carolina weather makes finding your inner gardener a breeze!

Residents of The Coves can take a 40-minute scenic drive to the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market to enjoy the bounty of locally grown fresh produce, and pick up a few growing tips from friendly farmers to take back with them to Isabel’s Garden and Evelyn’s Vineyard, where they plant and sow their own delicious produce and harvest their own Muscadine grapes alongside neighbors and friends. Later in the year, they’ll sit together on the porch of The Coves’ community lodge, where they’ll enjoy 360-degree views of majestic mountain ranges while they share a beautiful farm-to-table meal complemented by their own home-made wine from home-grown grapes. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

When you’re ready to tour a selection of beautiful NC mountain real estate to find your own slice of heaven in the foothills, give us a call at 828.754.0700 and schedule your visit to The Coves. We’ll help you plan your visit to experience the nicest Lenoir North Carolina weather and catch the best of the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market, Oktoberfest, Shuck-n-Peel, and other fun things to do in Hickory North Carolina.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Hickory | Shopping & Antique Hunting

Lifelong Learning at Catawba Community College

lifelong learning Wester North Carolina

Our perceptions about retirement have vastly changed over the years and the reality of our “Golden Years” has changed too.  If you reside in the NC mountain communities, you are fortunate to be living an enchanting new chapter, pursuing your interests and your hobbies in the perfect inspiring setting.  The beauty in the variety of things to do in Hickory NC, is you will never run out of lifelong learning options, and we all know how new adventures and journeys keep our hearts, minds and bodies young.

Living at The Coves, tucked into the NC mountain communities, and being close to Catawba Valley Community College, is just one of the many ways to stay connected socially while you continue to hone your crafts, pick up a new language for a trip abroad, or increase your knowledge and skills in a vast array of areas.

No matter the season, CVCC has courses that will stimulate your mind while enriching your life.   These are some of the courses available in your Hickory neighborhood for personal enrichment when you’re searching for things to do in Hickory NC:

Crocheting and Knitting Workshop; introductory course for reading and following patterns, learning basic stitches, tips and techniques so you can create thoughtful gifts to keep your family and friends feeling loved and warm.  Best of all, needlework is a perfect way to relax while being creative.  First class March 14-May 9, 2017; Tuesdays; 1-3pm, Hickory Senior Citizens Center; instructor, Mary Ann Parkhurst.

Needle Fun Workshop; for a variety of needle crafters at any skill level—crochet, knitting, or embroidery—the choice is yours. First class March 14-May 9, 2017; Tuesdays; 9-12pm, Newton Rec. Center; instructor, Mary Ann Parkhurst.

Quilting Back to the Basics Workshop; whether you’re a beginning or intermediate quilter, choose the pattern and size quilt you want to create and sew to your heart’s content.  First class March 13-May 8, 2017; Mondays, 9-12pm; Newton Rec Center; instructor, Mary Ann Parkhurst.

Sewing Beginning; learn to thread a sewing machine and be on your way to perfecting straight and curve seams from a simple pattern. Bring your own sewing machine or use one provided.  March 30-May 4, 2017; Thursdays; 6-9pm; CVCC EC, Rm. 975; instructor, Micki Earp.

Multimedia Editing and Production; create video stories with photos, texts, sound, video and animation to share on YouTube, Vimeo or other social media outlets; learn to shoot, develop and edit your video before publishing—all the while staying current with friends and family; March 16-April 20, 2017; Thursdays; 6-8pm; CVCC, REP 124; instructor, Aaron Tallman.

Beginning Flower Arranging; create gorgeous wreaths to welcome your visitors and arrangements to brighten every room; March 28- May 2, 2017; Tuesdays; 6-9pm; CVCC EC, Rm. 1209; instructor, Wanda Reep.  Be sure to look for Advanced Flower Arrangement in the months ahead.

Soap Making—The Basics and Beyond; covers safety, tools, techniques, molds, cutting, and wrapping.  If you choose to participate, apron, kitchen gloves and safety glasses are required.  Good squeaky clean fun! March 20-April 2, 2017; Mondays; 6-9pm; CVCC EC, Rm. 1209; instructor, Ann Oswald.

Stained Glass—Beginning Level II; the fundamentals of stain glass design from choosing the correct glass, to creating patterns, and cutting and grinding—culminates in a stunning lampshade.  Supply list is provided the first class; April 3-May 15, 2017; Mondays; 6:30-8:30pm; Newton Rec. Center, Newton; instructor, Melanie Zimmerman.

Art and Craft Classes; art media of your choice whether you are beginner or advanced, sharpen your skills, confidence, and expression while you draw and paint; brush strokes, color combinations, preparations and composition.  March 14-May 9, 2017; Tuesdays; 8:30-11:30am; CVCC EC, Rm. 1209; instructor, Natalie McNeely.

Get Your Brushes Wet; no matter if you are just beginning or you’ve been painting for decades—share your creative time with others using oils, acrylics, watercolors and pastels.  Learn composition, mixing, and general brush skills.  March 15-May 10, 2017; Wednesdays; 9am-12pm; CVCC EC, Rm. 1209; instructor, Pat Flachbart.

Cake Decorating:  Flower and Cake Design Course #2; learn to create fancy borders, flowers, and basket weaving with royal icing.  Your beautiful cakes will make your parties the talk of the town. April 6-May 5, 2017; Thursdays; 6-8pm; CVCC EC; Rm. 1209; instructor, Glenda Peek.  Wilton Kit #2 is necessary for course.

Cake Decorating: Fondant and Gum Paste Course #3; learn the art of fondant to create shapes, borders and flowers, as well as fondant icing; a final project will be designed with all the techniques you’ve learned.  May 11-June 1, 2017; Thursdays; 6-8pm; CVCC EC; Rm. 1209; instructor, Glenda Peek. Wilton Kit #3 is necessary for course.

Embossed Fondant Cupcakes; hands-on fondant basics—handling, storing, tinting, rolling, embossing, embellishing,  and creating flowers and bows; April 24, 2017; Monday; 6-8pm; CVCC EC; Rm. 1209; instructor, Glenda Peek.  Pre-requisite:  Cake Decorating-Beginning Class.

Candy Making; drip, drizzle and mold your sweet Wilton treats at any skill level.  Demo-style class with some hands-on instruction; May 15, 2017; Monday; 6-8pm; CVCC EC; Rm. 1209; instructor, Glenda Peek.

Golf for Beginners; learn the proper golf techniques to hit the course with confidence; April 10-May 8, 2017; Tuesdays; 6-8pm; CVCC EC Golf Course; instructor, Jeff Toney.  Range ball fee is extra.

Shag-Beginning; six-count method fundamental steps—shag, female turn, male turn, chase, cuddle, pivot, lead out.  Don’t forget to bring your partner!  March 14-April 11, 2017; Tuesdays; 7:30-8:30pm; Newton Rec Center, Newton; instructor, Judy Boston.

Hand Gun-Gunsmithing Basics; beginners age 21 with and older with current permits learn the basics of equipment, safety, care, maintenance, and repair; March 20-May 1, 2017; Mondays; 6-9pm; CVCC EC; Rm. 1050; instructor, Steve Cox.

Basic Pistol for Women; for beginners to learn the basics of pistol shooting; April 5, 2017; Wednesday; 6-9pm; CVCC EC; instructor, Tom McNeely.

Pistol Defense for Women-Part II;  hand-on instruction for beginners to learn safety, storage, buying, stances, positions, sight, gun maintenance and the five fundamentals of shooting; March 23, 2017; Thursday; 6-9pm; CVCC EC; instructor Tom McNeely; April 12, 2017; Wednesday; 6-9pm; CVCC EC; instructor, Tom McNeely. Pre-requisite: Basic Pistol for Women class.

Catawba Valley Community College makes it simple to continue your lifelong learning since it’s conveniently located for those who live in The Coves and those who live in other neighboring NC mountain communities at 2550 US Hwy 70 SE, Hickory, NC.   Hickory is situated between Charlotte and Asheville, at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  For those who reside in this traditional community, it’s clear that enriching your life and continuing your quest for lifelong learning at CVCC is just one of the many splendid aspects of our region.

Longing to discover more awesome things to do in Hickory NC? You won’t have to search long or hard. Hickory maintains its quaint appeal while offering plenty of culture and recreation. Folks won’t run out of culinary options, from Japanese to Italian, from American bistros to good old fashioned BBQ.  Hickory’s shopping rivals its cuisine for those of you who need a little retail therapy or want to get started on birthday and holiday gifts. 

From galleries, to boutiques, outlets and more, the only thing stopping you from shopping will be your tired feet.  When you and your family are ready for a little entertainment or recreation, this is the place to be—cinemas, arcades, museums, distilleries, wineries, parks and golf—there aren’t enough days in the year to do it all in Hickory.  And if you’re ready for a romantic date, there’s the symphony, the theater and plenty of live music to create the perfect mood. 

While you’re exploring homes at The Coves, catch a glimpse of all that Hickory offers throughout the year and see how easy it is to meet new friends.

For more information regarding CVCC call 828-327-7000 ext 4320.

Tags: Hickory

Standard Oyster Company Opens in Hickory NC

One sure thing for the North Carolina mountain communities, is the broad range of restaurants that have either been preparing mouth-watering cuisine for years, or have just sprung up in a refurbished spot with a dash of historic charm and ambience.  When you’re searching for things to do in Hickory NC, perhaps looking for a romantic evening, or the fun spot to be where everyone flocks for some much-needed social time,  our restaurants in Hickory NC are sure to please.  Those of us who live in The Coves are fond of new culinary pleasures, and this region is rich in its offerings. 

Just under a year ago, in April of 2016, Standard Oyster Company opened its door to the North Carolina mountain communities, offering the most delectable fresh and seasonal seafood as well as a full bar that includes regional spirits, great wine, and North Carolina beers. Located right on 2147 N Center Street, off of Hwy 127, in the heart of Hickory, the Standard Oyster Company is open Monday through Thursday from 4 in the afternoon, for those of you who love a little raw bar happy hour before dinner, until 10 at night.  Friday and Saturday the hours are extended from 11 in the morning, (who can refuse a delicious brunch on the weekend?) to 11 at night, and Sunday’s hours are 11 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. Do you want to indulge in chilled seafood platters, steamed shellfish, and other classic American fare?  Then this is the perfect place!  

The Standard Oyster Company was created with a relaxed atmosphere in mind, so you feel a sense of kicking back with an urban vibe—industrially metro.  “It was cultivated and brought to life by seafood enthusiasts for seafood enthusiasts.  Our mission is to create an energetic dining experience…” their website promises, and once you step off the street and into their restaurant, you’ll understand how they succeed.   They offer a variety of fresh oysters and seafood that will make you think you’ve left the gorgeous mountains and magically stepped onto the Atlantic seacoast.  But the truth is, your sweet home at The Coves is close by, and this outstanding restaurant needs to be added to your list of amazing things to do in Hickory NC.

No matter the day of the week, those of us in the North Carolina mountain communities can find something delicious happening in this new kitchen.  Crabby Mondays deliver endless crablegs for $35; Steamy Tuesdays bring $1-steamed oysters accompanied by red bliss potatoes and kale slaw, and draft beer for a mere $3.50; what would the middle of the week be without Wine Wednesdays (half price bottles of wine and all wines are included!); and Date Night Thursdays provide a savory seafood three-course meal– $50.00 for you and your sweetheart.

For private events the Standard Oyster Company offers unique, off-site catering options–low country boils, crawfish boils, on-site raw bar, and custom buffet services that will ensure your event is raved about to those who love the restaurants in Hickory NC.  Call (828) 322-1705 for more information and remember that their space is available for private events daily for breakfast or lunch and all day Sunday. Give them a call for more information.   A limited number of reservations are accepted in advance and walk-ins are more than welcome, but for parties larger than six,  when you’re looking for things to do in Hickory NC with your friends and family, please make a reservation.

If you are in search of new restaurants in Hickory NC, the extensive and rotating menu at the Standard Oyster Company will be sure to keep you coming back to the heart of town for brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner.  Visit their website for the complete every day menus as well as special event menus that will inspire your palate and give you one more reason to appreciate the fine life we live at The Coves surrounded by our glorious mountain community.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Hickory | Restaurants & Breweries

Crafting Hickory – Sneak Preview of Redevelopment Plans

proposed Hickory Riverwalk

So much beauty and charm, so little time! That’s how we feel about the many picturesque and lively mountain towns in North Carolina. After sampling them all, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But today we’re shining our spotlight on a true standout. Known as a furniture capital, a natural wonder, a recreational heaven, and an entertainment haven, this beloved town has mastered the art of blending “small town values with big city drive.” That’s right, Hickory, North Carolina, we’re talking about you. 

For years, Hickory has encompassed all that’s great about mountain living. Visitors rave about the limitless things to do in Hickory North Carolina, and residents boast that their traditional-yet-progressive hometown offers something for everyone. Not one to rest on its laurels, Hickory is currently focused on its own redevelopment, with city officials confident they can renew and revive the area by bringing in new jobs and residents to stimulate the local economy like never before.

Here’s how they’ve set about “Crafting Hickory” –  After studying a few pages from the playbooks of recently revitalized cities like Greenville, South Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennessee, county and city officials in Hickory developed a similar success strategy, putting focus on the specific needs of its own businesses, communities, and neighborhoods. A team of dedicated committee members, citizens, and consultants came together to create a plan called Inspiring Spaces, which promises to improve Hickory’s appearance, grow its businesses, and strengthen its overall economy. This forward-looking plan strives to preserve Hickory’s “Life. Well crafted.” motto while subscribing to Mayor Rudy Wright’s secondary motto: “Nulla Vestigial Retro – No Steps Backwards.”

Here’s a sneak peek at three of the major projects currently in development by the Inspiring Spaces committee, as they take steps toward creating a well-crafted life for the citizens of Hickory in the 21st century and beyond:

HICKORY RIVERWALK

A network of picturesque pedestrian walkways will extend from Geitner-Rotary Park along Lake Hickory and extending into the surrounding landscape along the Catawba River on the periphery of the city to US-321. Designed for functionality and recreation, this combination boardwalk/ trail will serve as both a city system that links multiple points of interest along the route – including local businesses, event spaces, parks, and playgrounds –  and a unique destination space with brand new shopping, dining, and entertainment venues which we’ll soon see springing up at the southern end. With built-in scenic overlooks spaced throughout, the eight-to-10-foot wide waterfront trail will accommodate both walking and biking. Hiking trails will be added to offer even more recreational opportunities for those who like to venture off into more rugged terrain.

Hickory Riverwalk is a perfect fit for a healthy, vibrant town where visitors and locals like to stay active, enjoy the great outdoors, and have their pick of fun things to do in Hickory North Carolina. The Inspiring Spaces team is excited to revitalize this scenic area along Lake Hickory and the Catawba River to help spur new jobs, promote tourism, and encourage residential growth in Hickory and nearby North Carolina mountain properties.

PARK 1764

To further promote economic expansion in Hickory, Catawba County and City of Hickory officials are working together to develop a 178-acre Class A business park with state-of-the-art manufacturing and office complexes that will no doubt attract new companies looking to do business in Hickory. It’s called Park 1784, and it’s ideally located in a quiet community with easy access to two major interstates, just two miles from I-40 (E/W) and 30 miles from I-85 (N/S). Hickory currently has limited areas for existing businesses to grow, or for new businesses to move into. This project solves both problems by allowing businesses currently in Hickory to grow and expand, and by paving the way for new companies wanting to build or relocate to Hickory in an industrial park that’s less than an hour’s drive to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

CITYWALK

Then there’s Citywalk! This one’s sure to be a favorite with university students and business professionals who spend much of their day in Hickory’s business district. This attractive downtown corridor will connect all of the area’s best features, offering easy access between businesses (including the university campus) and a variety of surrounding shops, services, venues, and transportation stops. Citywalk will extend from Lenoir Rhyne University, down Main Avenue, and past Union Square along the railroad tracks. It features a pedestrian bridge plus added amenities along Main Avenue and Union Square. The Inspiring Spaces team has developed a vision for Hickory’s Citywalk as “a great place for all residents to enjoy … a place where young adults want to work, live, and play.”

When it comes to revitalizing an already amazing little slice of Blue Ridge heaven, Hickory’s not alone. Sure, they may have borrowed a page from the playbooks of Greenville and Chattanooga, but they’re not the first, and they certainly won’t be the last to transform their charming city into a vibrant, walkable mountain community, preserving the character of the past while infusing it with all the amenities of 21st Century living. That’s the perfect combination, according to thousands of baby boomers who each year choose to migrate from the daily rat race to a peaceful-but-active mountain lifestyle in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

If there’s one thing these folks know, it’s how to live life to the fullest, in a place that offers mild mountain climates, fishing from the riverbank just outside your door, enjoying sun salutations against the backdrop of Grandfather Mountain, and hiking, biking, and gardening the day away until the sun sets behind your beautiful Western North Carolina mountain property. This is living. Where avid foodies gather at a neighborhood gastropub to share a farm-to-table meal and toast their friendship with a local microbrew. Where live music festivals flow endlessly from one season into to the next. Where public art sculptures (think Hendersonville’s Painted Bears, Hickory’s Painted Benches, or Aiken’s Painted Horses) beckon the cultural crowd out into the streets. Where charming towns inspire road trips to the next mountain town on your bucket list.

Hickory’s a town where life is well-crafted. And lucky for you, it’s surrounded by your choice mountain towns in North Carolina where life is well lived. When you’re ready to start looking at Carolina mountain properties, look no further than The Coves Mountain River Club. Our 3,600-acre mountain community with five miles of river frontage along the Johns River is an easy 40-minute drive to Hickory’s Downtown Farmer’s Market.

The well-crafted homes at The Coves range from cozy to luxurious and offer scenic mountain and water views in all directions. And when it comes to outdoor walking paths, Hickory may be expanding on a good thing, but we have plenty of our own. And they’re perfect for hiking, biking, or horseback riding. There’s also a full range of amenities, including a community vineyard and garden, modern fitness center, and hilltop swimming pool located on the grounds of the neighborhood lodge, the best place to take in the spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding Blue Ridge mountain ranges.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule your visit to The Coves. We are Lenoir’s most sought-after gated community, and it’s just minutes from Downtown Hickory.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84-page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide, which gives you more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Hickory

United Arts Council of Catawba County – Learning is Living

Lifelong_learning_NC

Now that you’re considering a move to The Coves, here’s a fun and learn something new. The United Arts Council of Catawba County is starting the year off right with a fun-filled line-up of art exhibits, science exhibits, and live performances. Catawba County is located nearby in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and is part of the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Area. Because the county is sheltered by mountains, residents enjoy mild winters and refreshing summer climates where they can enjoy the area’s lakes and rivers and the best North Carolina trout fishing.

Catawba is home to a vibrant, art-focused community that supports local artists, provides education in the arts & sciences, and has several venues that put on lifelong learning events that are fun for the whole family. The year is kicking off with a fun-filled line-up of art exhibits, science exhibits, and live performances. Here’s an overview of events near our North Carolina equestrian community:

MUSEUMS

The Hickory Museum of Art: 243 Third Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601. Phone: 828-327-8576 | The Hickory Museum of Art houses exhibitions from local to world-renowned artists. They offer classes for kids, teens, and adults on subjects that include printmaking, portfolio building, figure drawing, and even floral workshops. 

THEATRE

The Green Room Theatre: 10 S Main Ave, Newton, NC 28658. Box Office Phone: 828-464-6128. Main Office Phone: 828-464-6583 | The Green Room Community Theatre is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Catawba County and surrounding communities through the preservation and growth of the dramatic arts. Their show season usually includes at least two musicals, a family show, an all-youth production, and a comedy or drama.

Hickory Community Theatre: 30 3rd St NW, Hickory, NC 28501. Box Office Phone: 828-328-2283. Main Office: 828-327-3855 | The Hickory Community Theatre is an award-winning theatre in the heart of Downtown Hickory, housed in the Old City Hall. They host a full season of plays, which include at least nine full-length shows in addition to child productions and one act plays. 

SCIENCE / ON THE SALT BLOCK 

Catawba Science Center: 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory, NC 28603. Phone: 828-322-8169 | The Catawba Science Center is a 35,00 sq. ft. science and technology museum dedicated to changing lives and inspiring learning through science and wonder. They offer hands-on exhibits, salt and freshwater aquarium galleries, and a state-of-the-art digital planetarium theater. 

 ART

Full Circle Arts: 42-B Third Street NW, Hickory, NC 28603. Phone: 828-322-7545 | Full Circle Arts is a non-profit artist’s cooperative of regional artists whose members work together to encourage public appreciation of, and education in, the arts. They have a gallery that displays the artwork of exhibiting members, as well as a classroom that is open for courses and workshops in various artistic mediums.

The United Arts Council of Catawba County was originally formed as the Hickory Arts Council in 1960. They were re-incorporated in 1979 as the Catawba County Council for the Arts, and adopted their current name in 2006 to reflect their partnerships with vibrant cultural organizations. Each year, they conduct a United Arts Fund campaign that provides operating support for their Funded Affiliate organizations. They strive to support local youth, encourage lifelong learning, and offer many opportunities for individuals and organizations to receive funding that allows them to promote the arts, science, and history. The UCA offers grants that include support for high school theatre productions, scholarships for Catawba County youth who want to further their independent culture studies, and funding for regional artists.

As you learn more about the foothills, you’ll find The Coves Mountain River Club a vibrant mountain community surrounded by culturally rich entertainment and lifelong learning opportunities. Here our residents watch the sunrise from the mountaintop Pigsah Mountain Lodge, sip wine or stroll through Evelyn’s Vineyard, and plant their own fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers in Isabel’s Garden.

Families (and our four-legged best friends) love taking a dip in Coleton’s Swimming Hole during the summer months or kayaking the Johns River. The most adventurous days are spent hiking to one of our four waterfalls or horseback riding on the 39 miles of trails inside our gates. Residents also enjoy some of the finest North Carolina trout fishing in the state.

At our North Carolina equestrian community, equestrians board their horses at the Round Mountain Ranch, where services include veterinary services and riding lessons. The ranch is located along the shores of the mountain-fed Johns River. Our residents love the spectacular mountain views, friendly community atmosphere, and wellness amenities. We’re confident you will too.

Whether you enjoy outdoor recreation or rich cultural lifelong learning venues, the foothills of North Carolina has it all. Come take a look.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Hickory | Performing Arts

Hickory Choral Society – Where Singers Meet in WNC

Hickory Choral Society

How busy we at this time of the year and owners of cozy Carolina mountain properties. Attending parties with work associates or with friends, shopping in our spare time, wrapping presents when our lists are all taken care of, and decorating our homes with strings of light and boughs of evergreen.  How fortunate we are to have so many things to do in Hickory NC that not only help us relax but also give us the cherished opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family.  

Music is one of holiday’s necessities, filling our hearts and homes with melodies and carols we’ve carried with us since childhood.  The Hickory Choral Society of Catawba Valley, a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County, is proudly celebrating its thirty-ninth year.  This year’s Holiday Concert will be a combination of traditional works as well as new and exciting arrangements. 

The HCS is located at 243 3rd Avenue NE #2N, Hickory, NC 28601; phone–828-322-2210; office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 am to 3 pm.  There is such a strong cultural environment that is accessible to the retirement communities in Asheville NC, and the HCS plays a vibrant role.  In 1978, the Society began spreading its love of song and music.  The Society has grown in both membership and devoted followers who gather for concerts throughout the year.  There are approximately 100 singers who harmonize today, celebrating their belief “that each person, regardless of station, should be allowed to share the divine, universal gift of music and its immeasurable rewards.” 

For those of you who would like to sing with HCS, there is a new singer audition held in May on the third Monday, and a second audition possibly in August.   Volunteer singers come from nine counties: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, and McDowell.   As Tracy Hamlin, former singer of the Society said, “once you are a member, you are always a member. It’s in your heart, your blood, your soul.”  Auditions are judged by the HCS conductor and two assistants, who also select the audition music.  Please be able to sight read choral music.   Every three years each section is re-auditioned.  Annual dues are $50.00.  Performance attire for men is traditional tuxedo, and for women dress ordered through the HCS office. 

Recent Hickory Choral Society Christmas Concerts:

• Friday, December 2, 2016, 8 pm

• Saturday, December 3, 2016, 11 am *Cookies & Carols Children’s Concert*

• Saturday, December 3, 2016, 3 pm

• Saturday, December 3, 2016, 8 pm

• Sunday, December 4, 2016, 3 pm

Mark your calendar for upcoming  Hickory Choral Society Spring Concert

• Sunday, March 26, 2017, 3 pm

First Baptist Church, Hickory

“This was the very first Cookies and Carols occasion, kicking off a new holiday tradition for the whole family.  Join the Hickory Choral Society and orchestra members whose rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas always delivers the joy of the season.  Children are invited to sing up front with the Choral Society.  And this year there will be  some very special guests—Santa and the Grinch!  Children will be love their sweet cookie and cherish the ornament they can take home for the tree.

The cultural diversity and richness in Hickory is just one of the draws of the area for those who have chosen the retirement communities in Asheville NC.  No matter whether we are fully retired, semi-retired, or still working, there’s nothing better than discovering the variety of things to do in Hickory NC.  There’s often a misconception when we leave the metropolitan setting behind, that we won’t find the same cultural opportunities, whether it’s hearing an amazing concert, taking in a museum, or finding an unusually fine restaurant.  Fortunately, this is not the case for those of us who own Carolina mountain properties. 

The Asheville region is such a vibrant community.  The Coves Mountain River Club is located in the suburbs and is a friendly neighborhood you should explore when you enjoying things to do in Hickory NC while deciding to make this area your future home.  We are extremely blessed to have such a healthy and booming cultural arts scene in this region.   For those who visit longing to own one of the scenic Carolina mountain properties,  our inspiring mountain community is exactly the environment we dream about. Amenities include five miles of frontage on the Johns River, more than 39 miles of hiking and horse trails, a full service equestrian center, community gardens, parks and waterfalls in addition to the mountaintop Pisgah Mountain Lodge with an infinity-view swimming pool, hot tub, fitness center and entertainment great room. 

The Coves Mountain River Club is a pleasant drive of only a little more than an hour from Asheville off Interstate 40, and affords those who choose to live on a serene property, the opportunity to take part in the foothills culture.  Our region is known for its exemplary arts-affiliated organizations that continue to blossom from year to year and provide entertainment, education and community to all those who live in The Coves as well as the retirement communities of Asheville NC.

It’s fair to say, the hills are alive with the sound of music in Western North Carolina.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Hickory | Performing Arts