Plenty of Free and Family-Friendly Events Planned for Palustris Festival

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With less than sixty days left until the unveiling of Moore County’s first-ever arts celebration on March 25 - 28, 2010, the Arts Council of Moore County and the Convention and Visitors Bureau are busy nailing down all the features of the more than seventy-five different events scheduled to be part of the Palustris Festival.

With less than sixty days left until the unveiling of Moore County’s first-ever arts celebration on March 25 - 28, 2010, the Arts Council of Moore County and the Convention and Visitors Bureau are busy nailing down all the features of the more than seventy-five different events scheduled to be part of the Palustris Festival.

A website is up and running with a complete listing of the performing, literary and visual arts that will be showcased during the four days. The website -- http://www.palustrisfestival.com -- is being updated on a regular basis as last-minute details are added.

Included are several presentations focusing on the history of the Southern Pines-Aberdeen-Pinehurst area, and most important, organizers say, is that a good portion of the events are open to the public at no charge, and are family-friendly.

Among the free events are art exhibits at various galleries, nature walks, docent-guided tours of significant landmarks, such as Weymouth Center and Shaw House, historic walking tours in the Village of Pinehurst, and guided tours of the gardens at Sandhills Community College, as well as a wonderful collection of lectures on varied topics at the College.

A unique free event is a trip back in time, provided by the Moore County Historical Association presenting “Greeting the Train; Sounds of Southern Pines Memories” at the Broad Street train depot in Southern Pines. Featured will be bag pipe music, a choir, and flag waving as this bit of theater recreates the roots of the town reaching back through the generations.

Reaching out to all aspects of the arts, the Festival includes a free performance by the Moore County Choral Society’s Ensemble, as well as an open lecture about the noted 20th century artist, Marc Chagall, given by recognized authority on Chagall, Vivian Jacobson. Also included as a free event is a look at “Sam Ragan: The Man, His Words.” Ragan was a well-known North Carolina journalist, author, poet and champion of the arts.

Children are welcome at many of the events open to the public with no admission. However, where there are admission fees, the ticket prices are nominal.    Examples of family-friendly ticketed events include the Baxter Clement Student Spectacular, the Moore Children of SCORE concert, and several productions put on by the Sandhills Theatre Arts Renaissance School.

All three nights of the Festival feature special ticketed events. On Thursday night, after a Southern Culture Dinner at Sandhills Community College, Festival patrons have a choice of music by Danny and June Infantino, or attending the Fayetteville Symphony performance at Robert E. Lee Auditorium at Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines. An “Affair of the Arts” dinner dance at the Pinehurst Fair Barn on Friday night precedes the play based on letters of James Boyd at Weymouth Center on Friday night.

On Saturday night, the Chef’s Palette cocktail reception will be held at Hollyhocks Arts Gallery in Pinehurst before a special appearance by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Tift Merritt. On all three evenings, late night music by the Rooster’s Wife will be presented at the Popular Knight Spot in Aberdeen. The costs for tickets for each event are moderate -- ranging from $15 to $25.

Among Sunday afternoon’s ticketed events will be the theatrical performance of, “The Oldest Living Confederate Widow,” at the old Bethesda Church in Aberdeen. Starring Jane Holding, the one-woman show was adapted by North Carolina author Allan Garganus from his best-selling novel.

For more information on all of the many happenings of what promises to be a fantastic experience for all of the residents and visitors to Moore County the third week of March, access the website at palustrisfestival.com. Details regarding locations and times and days of the events, as well as brief descriptions, are on the website now.

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Claire Phillips
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