Second Annual Palustris Festival Begins This Week, March 24-27, 2011 - Enjoy Visual, Literary and Performing Arts Throughout Moore County, North Carolina

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Over 100 events throughout the towns and villages of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, and Aberdeen, NC. Events highlighting music, art, dance, dining, and nature. Most are free. Current information can be found at

Hollyhocks Gallery

Enjoy all things cultural - history, music, art, dance, and dining in the beautiful Sandhills of North Carolina.

The 2010 Palustris Festival was a big success! The second annual festival promises to be even more popular with an expanding variety of events, venues, and the addition of special dining options offered by area independently-owned restaurants. Special lodging rates are also available on the website.

Special Events is one of several categories found on the Festival’s website that the coordinators have assigned to help people choose. However, in some cases the lines get blurred when a “visual art” or a “lecture” or “tour” designation can also describe some of the impressive special events that are planned by the many area galleries, businesses and other organizations such as Sandhills Community College or the Moore County Historical Association and the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities.

For example, the Festival gets off to a start on Thursday, March 24th, with the first three visual art events that are all special in their own way. Early risers can have breakfast with Pinehurst artist Kathleen Miler at Artist Alley, as she shares her passion for painting. Or they can take in the Art in the Garden sculpture exhibit sponsored by the Sandhills Horticultural Society on on the campus of Sandhills Community College.

A third choice is the display of William Mangum Art and Ben Owen Pottery at the Campbell House Gallery. One of the most respected and collected artists in North Carolina, Mangum’s work has made its way into private and corporate collections, as well as being shown in notable museums and exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Ben Owen III has made pottery since he was 13 years old at the site where his grandfather and father established the Old Plank Road Pottery in the Seagrove area     Ben has been commissioned to do works for many prominent figures, including a special gift for musician James Taylor, as a lifetime achievement award on behalf of the University of North Carolina.

During the weekend, history buffs have several special events from which to choose. One, to be given at Sandhills Communty College on Friday evening tells The Story of Jugtown as it elaborates on the history of the Owen family. This cultural theater production focuses on an account of pottery making as told through the words of Vernon Owen, Ben Owen III and other members of the family. Accompanying the presentation will be music and a pottery demonstration.

On Saturday morning, the Arts Council and the Moore County Historical Association combine to present two performances at the Old Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Aberdeen. Based on a narrative by Ray Owen, the director and producer who brought the popular “Greeting the Train” to the 2010 Palustris Festival, Bleeding Pines of Turpentine is inspired by the V-shaped cuts made in the area’s longleaf pines to promote the flow of resin collected for turpentine, pitch and rosin.

Other special events include a Friday night return of Affair of the Arts at the Pinehurst Fair Barn, a living-history tour highlighting the Scottish Heritage of the Sandhills at the Shaw House, a group read at the Country Bookshop of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, followed by a Mark Twain look-alike contest. Also on the weekend schedule is a reception featuring instructors and participants of the Center for Creative Retirement at Sandhills Community College, and a Sunday afternoon performance by the African American Dance Ensemble of Durham.

Complete details, including ticket information and prices, locations, times and days of all of these and other happenings of the Palustris Festival may be found on the website, at or by calling 910 692-4356.

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Chris Dunn
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