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Historic Courthouse Fire
by Randy Voller
by David Sowell
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The "Chatham County Courthouse Tribute," Saturday, April 3 at 3 p.m., will offer community members from across the county and beyond an opportunity to get together, listen to live music, browse local shops and restaurants, and imagine the exciting possibilities for the future. The entertainment line-up thus far includes: Tommy Edwards & Friends of the Bluegrass Experience; Sarah Shook; Jack Maverick and His Wild Rebels; and The Penny Prophets. Please help spread the word.
Free parking is available at the former PTA Thrift Store on W.Salisbury and the former Ford Dealership on Hwy 64 East across from Hardees as well as on side streets.
Yes, the Chatham County courthouse was damaged by fire. Yes, we are all stunned and saddened ... the courthouse was the crown jewel of this small-town county seat. But Pittsboro has great downtown shops, restaurants, and galleries and the merchants of Pittsboro need our support. The weather is going to be beautiful so we hope to see you there.
Pittsboro’s First Sunday to go on as planned
Pittsboro’s First Sunday, April 4 from noon to 4 p.m., offers a nice, leisurely wander through the unique shops & galleries of Historic Pittsboro, NC. Wonderful dining at several local eateries, and the chance to browse the offerings of a great mix of artists and craftsfolk. This month’s music will be provided by “Flatt Tyred" a wonderful mix of bluegrass tunes.
For an idea of the variety of artists who usually participate, visit pittsboroshops.com or call 919.9605892 for more information
Shakori Hills alive with the sound of banjos
The Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival has definitely seen its share of banjos! From the ancient hands of an old-time master, to the Carolina Chocolate Drops, to a young girl on a teenager's lap, to an indy rocker the banjo has been plucked and strummed and jammed upon to create all kinds of different sounds and moods. No matter what thoughts the word "banjo" conjure up, somewhere at the top of that list is the name Béla Fleck. Though far from the originator of the banjo, his name has become synonymous with the instrument over the past 20 or so years. Lesser known here in the states, but just as important to the instrument is Malian ngoni player Bassekou Kouyate. Shakori Hills is very proud to present both of these chapters in the banjo's story.
Béla Fleck will be performing at 7 p.m. on Saturday night on the Meadow Stage. Bassekou Kouyate will perform on the same stage on Friday at 8:45 p.m. Kouyate will be playing again on Sunday at 3 p.m. on the Meadow, Fleck will join him then as well. Also look for Fleck sitting in with his wife, another astounding banjo player, Abigail Washburn who plays on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. and again at 6:15 p.m. on the Meadow. Fleck will be putting on a banjo workshop in the Cabaret tent on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. and jamming with his friends in Donna the Buffalo. Yes, Shakori Hills has seen its share of banjos, and everyone is probably a little happier (and more educated) for it.
Shakori Hills Spring GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance takes place April 22-25. Featured acts include: Béla Fleck, Chiwoniso, Rusted Root, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba, Donna the Buffalo, Abigail Washburn, Preston Frank, Vince Herman & Great American Taxi, Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys, Eilen Jewell, Crooked Still, Scythian, Asylum Street Spankers, Sim Redmond Band, and The Hackensaw Boys
Festival tickets are on sale now and available by phone and at www.shakorihills.org/tickets-info. Four-day passes are $90 in advance and $100 at the gate. Kids 12 and under are FREE! Day passes are $22 (Thurs), $30 (Fri), $37 (Sat), and $26 (Sun). Youth prices (13-15) are $11, $15, $18, and $13. Tent camping is $10 per tent and vehicle camping is $50 in advance and $60 at the gate.
Sustainable farms open up to the public
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) and Weaver Street Market announce the 15th Annual Piedmont Farm Tour, to be held Saturday and Sunday April 24 and 25. Times are 1 to 5 p.m. both days.
This year the tour will feature 40 outstanding examples of sustainable farming and gardening. The tour includes farms and farming projects in Orange, Chatham, Durham, Person, Alamance and Caswell Counties
Reflecting the popularity of the local and organic food movement, last year the tour set a record of 13,000 farm visits over two days, making this the largest sustainable farm tour in the country.
“This tour is a perfect way for everyone to learn where their food comes from,” said Roland McReynolds, CFSA Executive Director. “Children especially need to learn early that food doesn’t originate from the supermarket.”
A major part of the tour are the organic produce farms and community gardens growing fruits and vegetables with sustainable methods. Tour-goers can learn exactly how these farms grow bountiful food without chemicals.
These farms offer a great way for gardeners to learn food growing tips from expert farmers. The tour features the farm incubator program at the Breeze Farm and the farm education programs of Central Carolina Community College, both national models.
Tour organizers encourage carpooling to save gas and take advantage of the carload pricing. Each carload pays $25 in advance or $30 at the farms -- for the entire tour. Or participants can pay $10 per farm per carload.
Tickets are available online at www.carolinafarmstewards.org. An online map shows the location and features of all forty farms. Closer to the date printed maps and tickets will be available at all Weaver Street Market locations (Downtown Carrboro, Downtown Hillsborough and Southern Village in Chapel Hill.) Tickets will also be available at the Durham Farmers Market, Harmony Farms in Raleigh, and Chatham Marketplace in Pittsboro.
Cancer Support in Siler City
Cancer Transitions: Moving Beyond Treatment, is a free 2 hour, six-week workshop designed to help cancer survivors make the transition from active treatment to post-treatment care. It will take place over six Mondays, April 12 – May 17, 6 – 8 p.m. at the Chatham Hospital Cardiac Rehab Office, 128 Village Lake Rd, Siler City.
It will feature expert panelists including physicians, nutritionists and fitness specialists will address key aspects of cancer survivorship: exercise, nutrition, emotional health, quality of life and medical management after cancer treatment ends.
To register, call 919.663.2314 or email email@example.com
Southern authors to promote literacy in Chatham
Three award-winning Southern authors will discuss the inspirations for their writing at an April 21 luncheon to benefit the Chatham County Literacy Council.
Doris Betts, Lee Smith and Randall Kenan also will take questions and sign books during the Authors for Literacy event at Governors Club. The program will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a silent auction featuring items ranging from art by well-known local artists to an adult tricycle to dinners at popular area restaurants. Betts is a longtime Chatham County Literacy Council supporter and tutor who served on the group’s board of directors and now is on the advisory board. The renowned Southern author of six novels and three story collections is a three-time winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Fiction and a winner of the Southern Book Award for “Souls Raised from the Dead.” Betts, who lives in Pittsboro, taught creative writing at UNC-Chapel Hill for 32 years.
`Smith, a resident of Hillsborough, is publishing her 11th novel, “Mr. Darcy Meets the Blue-Eyed Stranger,” this spring. Her other works include “On Agate Hill,” which was set in this area, and “The Last Girls,” which won the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. She taught creative writing at North Carolina State University for 19 years. Kenan, who studied with Betts, has written several books, including “A Visitation of Spirits” and “Let the Dead Bury Their Dead.” His fiction is centered on what it’s like to be black and gay in the rural South. The UNC-Chapel Hill English professor is a winner of the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature and the North Carolina Award for Literature.
The deadline for registering for Authors for Literacy is April 14. Half of the $50 per person fee will be a tax-deductible charitable contribution to the Chatham County Literacy Council. To register online and pay via PayPal, go to http://chathamliteracy.org/upcomingevents.html. To register by mail, write a check to CCLC and send it to CCLC, P.O. Box 1696, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Please include the names of those attending.