As spring starts to unveil itself and, hopefully, the pollen begins to wash away, it is time for everyone to head outdoors.
From biking to golf, walking, and various water sports, the spring affords us the welcome opportunity to get out and about. Not surprising, this opportunity to get outside also coincides with the kick-off of events and festivals in our area. In fact, there is something going on in Laurinburg every weekend up to Memorial Day.
As I spoke last week in this article, the events begin this weekend with the 2018 Scotland County Farm Tour. The tour will take place this Saturday, April 21st and will run from 8:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m. The day will provide an opportunity to visit and learn about some of the many farmers and producers who provide fresh produce and goods to our community. While at each stop, the local farmer/producer will provide a background on their business. Products will also be available for purchase along the way. For more information visit www.scotlandgrows.com or call the North Carolina Cooperative Extension at 910-277-2422
Next weekend, four local organizations will combine efforts to host SpringFest in downtown Laurinburg.
On Friday, April 27, the festivities begin with a downtown evening of music and a movie. The night kicks-off with The Laurinburg Chamber presenting its first Laurinburg After Five concert of the year. Unlike the others planned for the Morgan Complex, this first concert will take place Downtown. The concert features Hip Pocket, and will start at 6:00. Following the concert, Scotland County Parks and Recreation will be showing the movie, A Dog’s Purpose, on the wall at the Art Garden.
On Saturday, April 28, the Scotland Memorial Foundation will hold their annual FUNd-Run-4-Life and the Arts Council and the City of Laurinburg will host the Spring Art Festival – both sharing the downtown area.
The running events will commence downtown with a 5K at 8:30 am. At about 9:30 there will be a 1-mile fun run/walk. And, of course, there will be the popular “Kids Zone” Play area.
After a morning of exercising the Spring Art Festival also kicks-off downtown on Main Street. The festival will include art exhibits, street artists, live music, food, a beverage garden, and a chance to try your hand at different artistry. The festival will also serve as the formal unveiling of the new art pieces being displayed at the Laurinburg Art Park located at the corner of Church and Main.
For more information on the FUNd-Run visit www.scotlandhealth.org/fundrun. For information on the art festival contact the Arts Council at www.storyartscenter.org.
After a break the first weekend of May (when St, Andrews graduation will take place), the festivals and events continue the weekend of May 11-12.
On Friday, May 11, Laurel Fest kicks off at the Laurel Hill Community Center. The grounds open from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 12th. Now in its 17th year, the
festival will include a wide array of musical acts, pony and camel rides, a train, a petting zoo, inflatable slides, and other activities all open during the event — all at no cost. Food vendors will offer everything from collards, fish, and barbecue to funnel cakes and ice cream. For more information visit www.laurelfest.com or call 910-462-2424.
Also that weekend, on May 12th, Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County hosts its 15th annual Bike to Build. The event will feature a 64, 32, 21 and 10.5 mile bicycle route as well as a 10k run and a 5k run/walk. For more information visit www.biketobuild.org.
Spring Festival season closes out with the Chalk Banks Challenge. The fun will be held on Saturday, May 19th from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Chalk Banks Access Area – Lumber River State Park in Wagram, NC. Contestants may compete in raft, recreational canoe or kayak races, a 5K trail run, youth run, a men’s high heel sprint, and much more. More information may be found at www.chalkbanks.com.
And as spring gives way to summer, don’t forget about baseball and softball season. The marquee tournament this summer will the North Carolina Dixie Softball State Championship which will be held from Friday, July 13 through Wednesday, July 18. Over 60 teams, 600 players and 2500 friends, family and fans will come to Laurinburg for this tournament. It is the first time a community has been awarded the championship tournament for all age groups. Bryan Graham and his team deserve great credit for this achievement and will be working hard to make this the best event Dixie Softball has ever held.
A lot going on – so come out and enjoy the spring and festivals, and see why Laurinburg/Scotland County is a great place to live, work and play
Cory Hughes, executive director of the Scotland County Tourism Development Authority, wrote this week’s Focus on Scotland, an effort by community leaders on making Laurinburg/Scotland County a better place to work, live, and play.