1) Lucille Miller Observatory Open for Monthly Public Observing March 7
The Lucille Miller Observatory is located on the campus of Maiden Middle School on North C Avenue just west of downtown Maiden. This is a free event and all ages and interest levels are welcome. No reservations are needed. We will be at the observatory rain or shine. In case of bad weather, an indoor program will be presented. Light refreshments will be available. Visitors are encouraged to bring their telescopes if they have questions on how to use them or if the telescope needs adjustment. Weather permitting, we will observe Jupiter, the moon and the late winter sky. For more information please contact Jeff Whisenant at [email protected] or call 828-850-6433.
2) Free Programs Examine Slavery and Freedom in Western North Carolina March 8
“African American history in North Carolina does not stop at the foothills, but extends west across the mountains,” said Earl Ijames, N.C. Museum of History curator of African American history. “Archival records, journals and other documents verify freedom seeking by the enslaved, and contributions by those free.” Ijames will be the guest speaker at two different programs March 8. Ijames will present a program on slavery and freedom March 8 at noon at Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort and again at 4 p.m. in Asheville at the Western Regional Office of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. Both free programs are open to the public. The noontime program at Mountain Gateway is a “Lunch and Learn” event where participants bring lunch and a drink is provided. The Freedom for All exhibit is at the Mountain Gateway Museum through March 19. The exhibit examines the path from the Emancipation Proclamation to the 13th Amendment which outlawed slavery in the United States. Ijames was the curator who organized the traveling exhibit, which will tour libraries, historic sites, museums and other cultural venues through Aug. 10, 2015. His talk at Mountain Gateway will examine the exhibit and also reference documents and artifacts from that period. At the Western Regional Office, Ijames will focus on the history of struggle and documents relating to slavery and the Civil War. Many of the formerly enslaved freedom seekers sought refuge in the mountains. There are stories also of escapes from western North Carolina to New Bern. No major battles were fought in western North Carolina, but an intense and violent guerilla war raged there. THe program is part of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War administered by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The traveling exhibit and the “Freedom Coming, Freedom for All” exhibition at the N.C. Museum of History are joint projects of the N.C. Museum of History and the N.C. Freedom Monument Park.
3) Quilt Meeting March 6
The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, March 6 at 1:30 p.m. We will meet in the conference room on the second floor of the Senior center on Poplar Grove Connector in Boone. Our program will be presented by Susan Sweet who will show us how to make beautiful flowers. You will need to bring three coordinated fabrics and a small piece of green fabric for two leaves. The flower consists of the center (one piece large enough to cut a 3 inch circle), a fat quarter to make six 3-1/2 inch circles and a second fat quarter to make six 4-1/2 inch circles. We will be making the flowers, stems and leaves and sewing them onto a denim bag. You will need to bring a needle, threat and scissors. We will have a cutter to make the circles and sewing machines available. Call Dolores at 295-6148 if you have any questions.
4) Critter Crawl 5K Registration Opens March 3
Registration opens March 3 for Grandfather Mountain’s third annual Critter Crawl, a challenging 5K race set for June 7. The race begins in MacRae Meadows and gains more than 900 feet in elevation as it climbs Grandfather Mountain, winds through the animal habitats and ends at the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Proceeds from the race will benefit the otter habitat renovations set to begin in March, including repairs and enhancements to the underwater viewing area. Jessica Howard of Banner Elk, who holds the women’s course record of 30:13 and was the first female finisher in 2013 said she ran in college and completed two marathoms, but the Critter Crawl presented a different challenge. “I’d never done a 5K straight up a mountain before,” Howard said. Howard, 23, said the toughest part was seeing the finish from several switchbacks away, but the spectators cheering at the top helped propel her to the end. “At the end, you’re on top of Grandfather Mountain, and you have that beautiful view. You’ve just run up the mountain, and you have that feeling of accomplishment,” she said. The 2014 race will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 7. To accommodate runners and spectators, the park will end ticket sales at 4 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. Online registration begins at 12:01 a.m. on March 3 at www.grandfather.com and continues through 11:59 p.m. June 4. Same-day registration will be offered if space is available. The entry fee is $35 and includes a disposable timing cup, Critter Crawl T-Shirt, one parking pass for the event and a free Grandfather Mountain day pass to be used anytime from June 8 through July 31. T-shirts are not guaranteed for participants who register after May 28. The top three male and female finishers will be recognized with awards after the race. One parking pass is included with race registration. Additional parking passes can be purchased for spectators during online registration or purchased for $10 per vehicle with cash or check during packet pickup. Spectators may park in designated lots on Grandfather Mountain and MacRae Meadows on a first come, first served basis. Shuttles will be available to transport spectators to and from each parking area, and a schedule will be provided in runner packets. To register for Critter Crawl, please visit www.grandfather.com starting March 3. For more information, call 828-733-2013.