Brings boogie shoes to Port City
ALSO IN THIS IS SUE: • CHEF TURNED KNIFEMAKER • GAME ON AT THE KILL ZONE •
FLOWS AT STARRY NIGHT STUDIO • HONORING 119 YEARS OF AVIATION LEGACY • WARSAW’S LONG - AWAITED MURAL
Pizza Village •Pizz as •Subs •Burgers •Appetiz ers •Lasag na •Spaghetti •All YouCan EatS alad Bar! Still Beulaville’ sF avorite Restaurant! 811 W. Main Street (NC24West) 910-298-3346 Daily Lunch Buffet, MondaySaturday Pizza V illa ge 2 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine
Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 3
ON THE COVER
Dancing with the Stars contestants
Ena Sellers firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris DeWitt Annesophia Richards Rebecca J. Whitman
PRODUCTION & DESIGN
Norma Miller email@example.com
Southeast North Carolina Magazine is a publication of the Duplin Times and APG Media of Eastern NC. Contents may not be reproduced without the consent of the publisher.
Winter fun with a sprinkle of sugar and spice
Christmas is in the air! The scent of pumpkin lattes, hot cocoa, and apple cider lls the air in our favorite co ee shops. People seem cheerful and joyous again as festivals and gatherings trickle back and life begins to return to normalcy.
This year, despite the craziness going on around the world, was a good year for southeastern North Carolina. We have seen continued growth in our little communities, with many new businesses ourishing, and others expanding. We have so much to be grateful for, who would have thought we would be enjoying 60-70 degree weather in the middle of November?
As we move into 2023, let’s take some time to re ect and count our blessings. Hug your parents and your children. Remember to call grandma and grandpa, don’t leave it for tomorrow... Check up on your friends, the holidays are not always easy for everyone.
If you are missing a loved one this holiday season, say a special prayer for them, and make a new tradition that can incorporate them as part of the festivities. Last year, I lost my dad and also one of my best friends, both within a week of each other. It was especially di cult during this time of the year, but that loss encouraged me to seek new ways to honor their life and the many wonderful memories I have of them both. This year my new tradition was making an ornament that captured a special moment to put on my Christmas tree. Seeing that every time I walk past my tree makes me smile. If
you miss someone special, I encourage you to nd a way to honor them.
For this Winter edition, we have some great stories lined up for you! The rst one is a feature about Nicholas Nichols, a chef whose lifelong passion for sharp objects led him into discovering his true calling as a knifemaker. His one-of-a-kind work earned him the “Made in NC Award from Our State Magazine.
Let your creativity ow at Starry Night Studio with owner Mary Barwick, a retired teacher who made her dream come true as she opened the doors to her studio in Calypso earlier this year.
Meet William F. “Billy” Stephens, a sweet, 96-year-old Kenansville native and Korean War veteran who recently served as the Kenansville Christmas Parade grand marshal.
Visit Cape Fear Community College on Valentine’s Day for a night of fun and excitement as Dancing with the Stars performs live for the rst time at the Wilson Center.
Entice your curiosity as you peruse the whimsical woodwork of artist Tyson Andrews, whose dreamy and intrinsic creations have earned him Best of Show accolades in judged shows.
If adrenaline-pumping and endorphin-releasing sound like your game, check out the 18 acres of fun at the Kill Zone with indoor and outdoor paintball elds and even a rage room for those of you who like to break things.
Learn about the Carolina Pickle Company, whose Asian-inspired pickle, was nominated for the Coolest Thing in NC by the NC Chamber of Commerce and Made in NC by Our State Magazine.
Meet artist Connie Wilkerson who was commissioned to paint the newly unveiled mural in Warsaw, N.C.
And last but not least, check out Play Dates for a selection of events ranging from art walks, live music, festivals, and more! We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed creating it for YOU.
4 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine
Photo by David Polston
Enjoy some of our favorite Instagram ﬁnds for southeastern North Carolina! Our picks for top Instagramers’ photos: Follow us @senc.magazine Do you have beautiful photos, unique artwork or artisan product we should know about? Tag us @senc.magazine or send us message on Instagram! Share YOUR favorites use hashtag #southeasternnc Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 5 New Bern, NC @marshalsmith.photography Swansboro, NC @ladyswantours
Islands, NC @gabbizaccheria Clinton, NC @twistedvinesvineyard Fort Fisher, NC @wsrobb
Wallace Morehead City Wilmington Carolina Beach Wrightsville Beach Jacksonville Surf City 6 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine Kinston New Bern Fayetteville Swansboro Kenansville Beaufort
Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 7 Play Dates Find out what’s going on up and down southeastern NC 44 Chef turned knifemaker carves a niche 8 Dancing with the Stars 22 Step into a world of whimsical woodwork 26 18 William F. ‘Billy’ Stephens: a staple of the Community Honoring 119 years of aviation legacy 24 Game on at the Kill Zone 32 Agribusiness is in the blood for the Mills Family 36 18 8 Creativity Flows at Starry Night Studio 12 Warsaw’s longawaited mural showcases hometown pride 40
CARVES A NICHE Chef turned knifemaker
Story by Annesophia Richards | Photos by Matt Ray Photography
To admit you’ve had a fascination with knives since childhood might be something most people would keep secret, but for Brunswick County bladesmith Nicholas Nichols, a lifelong passion for these sharp objects has wielded both a rewarding pastime and a successful business. With a background in culinary arts and a family ancestry in metal working, this chef-turned-knifemaker is now carving a niche for himself in the industry
by incorporating small pieces of history into his glinting works of art.
A native of Leland, Nichols’s first interest in knives came during his childhood time in boy scouts, where he loved learning about blades and various metals. As his fascination with knives grew, so did his desire to get his hands on them.
“My father owned a junkyard for over 35 years, so having it at my disposal was kind of like a playground,” says Nichols. “I loved digging through
cars, finding different tools and knives, and then using them to figure out what the person who had once owned them was like.”
After high school, Nichols attended culinary school at Johnson and Wales. Working with food allowed Nichols to have the best of both worlds by incorporating his passion for knives into a rewarding career. He graduated in 2006 and began working as a chef before switching over to food service sales. It wasn’t until 2014, however,
feature 8 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine
that he turned his fascination with using knives into making them.
“I was at a family gathering at my grandmother’s house when I learned my great-great-grandfather had been a blacksmith in Columbus County,” says Nichols. “That discovery put me on a path of wanting to know more about blacksmithing and metal arts.”
His interest soon led him to a gentleman in Hampstead who introduced him to knifemaking, and from there he was hooked.
“I started making knives from old files and toolboxes, growing my collection of tools and equipment, honing my craft, and taking lessons from established knifemakers,” says Nichols. “I began with hunting and everyday carry knives, and eventually got to my main interest, kitchen knives.”
Setting up shop in his garage and supported by his wife, mother, and three children, Nichols soon turned his newfound hobby into a burgeon-
ing side business. He appeared as a contestant on the History Channel’s reality show Forged in Fire in 2020, and later that same year crafted the first of what would soon become many special knives with a meaningful, local connection – the USS NC Battleship collection.
Using wood from the Battleship’s original teak decking that had been replaced during turn-of-the-century restorations, Nichols started creating handles for his knives that each
Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 9
contained a piece of history. His work soon garnered attention across the state and beyond, and in 2020 his Battleship Teak large chef’s knife won the Our State Magazine “Made in NC” Award for the Home and Garden category.
“As soon as I put that wood on a knife it immediately sold, and it was fascinating seeing how people had such an emotional connection to the Battleship,” says Nichols. “Whether you grew up here, your family gave their milk money to bring the ship here, you had a family member who served on it or you remember coming as a kid, there are a million things that draw people to this wood.”
With a portion of all proceeds going back to the Battleship Commission in support of further restoration, Nichols was thrilled to continue shifting his focus from blades to handles and honor the legacy of those who served.
“I’ve passed that ship coming and going from Leland thousands of times, and it’s just always been ever present and ever there, so it would be
really nice knowing that something I’m making is able to help it be here longer for people to appreciate the generation that’s not here anymore to talk about it,” says Nichols. “I like to tell people that the wood I use from the decks is not only wood that’ll cut your carrots, but it defended your freedom.”
Inspired to see the impact his knives were making, Nichols wondered what else he could use that had an emotional connection for people.
He began searching for different woods from important locations like churches, sports stadiums and courts, and soon his specialty collection included handles created with wood taken from the likes of NC State’s Reynolds Coliseum, the Dean Smith Center, University of Alabama and UNCW’s Trask Coliseum.
“I also make custom things from personal collections, such as a set for a gentleman whose wife passed away,” says Nichols. “They’d gotten married
feature 10 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine 10 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine
I was at a family gathering at my grandmother’s house when I learned my great-greatgrandfather had been a blacksmith in Columbus County. That discovery put me on a path of wanting to know more about blacksmithing and metal arts.
under a tree in their front yard, and he had to cut down the tree but had saved the wood, and I used it for the handles. It’s gratifying seeing people smile or hearing about the tears when they get to hold one of my products. Just like when chefs give somebody a great meal that puts a smile on their face, if you can give somebody a knife and hear about how much they love it, it feels good to know you’ve evoked that kind of emotion from somebody.”
In the near future, Nichols hopes
to start adding folding knives to his offerings. As he continues to create functional pieces of art, one thing is clear – anyone who holds one of Nichols’s knives is carrying a piece of the past with them into the future.
“In the throwaway society we live in, it’s just nice to sell something that’ll carry on for generations and be here long after I’m gone.”
To find out more, visit nicholasnicholsknives.com
Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 11
I like to tell people that the wood I use from the decks is not only wood that’ll cut your carrots, but it defended you.
12 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine
Creativity Flows in multiple mediums at Starry Night Studio in Calypso
For artist Mary Barwick, creativity began sitting under her mom’s sewing machine, collecting fabric trimmings, and gluing them into collages with other sewing notions.
“My earliest memories were enjoying textures and bright colors,” Barwick said. Creativity blossomed with multiple mediums and positive environments. “When I went to elementary school, I was exposed to di erent mediums like drawing, painting, and clay. I loved them all,” Barwick says. Creating in more than one material is a practice that continues to keep Barwick’s art alive and interesting today.
Positive reinforcement as a child became an integral role in forming the artist and teacher Barwick would become as an adult. First, her mother supported her art by buying her art
supplies. Then, at Southern Wayne High School in Mount Olive, Lou Ann Smith gave her room to explore a variety of materials, encouraged her to consider becoming an art teacher, and she set a good example of how to be one. Even harsh instructors were formative. “They showed me what not to be,” Barwick said.
Barwick went on to get Associates and Bachelors Degrees in Art Education from the University of Mount Olive (then Mount Olive College) and Barton College (then Atlantic Christian College). Then she started teaching.
Ten years into full-time teaching, the superintendent of Wayne County Public Schools encouraged teachers to go back to school for their Master’s degree. A group of all working mothers with extra curricular responsibilities at their schools decided to take on the challenge one graduate class at a time. Later, they would double up classes and spend whole days at East Carolina University. Barwick was one of those women. “What I wanted to concentrate in so badly was pottery,” Barwick said, “but those studio classes were only o ered during the times when we were teaching, so those of us that were art teachers opted for the painting classes.”
Barwick continued to teach elementary and high school art in Wayne County schools for 31 years. It was only when she retired that she had the freedom to pursue studying with master potters like Dan Finch of Bailey, N.C. “I enrolled in his classes, started going
Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 13
What I wanted to concentrate in so badly was pottery, but those studio classes were only o ered during the times when we were teaching, so those of us that were art teachers opted for the painting classes.
Story and Photos by Rebecca J. Whitman
on Thursdays, and nally had the opportunity to start growing my skills. I have continued to do that ever since,” Barwick said.
What Barwick enjoys the most about where she is as an artist now is the freedom to pursue an idea to completion. “When I was teaching, I would have all these ideas and projects that I would take to class as starter pieces, but I never got to nish them for myself because I was too busy planning the next lesson. Now I can actually follow through on those pieces.”
Now 13 years into retirement from teaching, Barwick nds herself returning to it–in her own space, and on her own terms. “Throughout my retirement, I kept meeting former students who told me how much they loved my art class and wished they could take it again,” Barwick remembers. Many of her former students also went on to become artists and art teachers as well.
“I had a working studio in my garage that I called ‘Starry Night Studio,’ but my dream was to have an art studio where I could produce my art but also o er small classes,” Barwick said.
One night a er dinner in 2020, that dream was made true when her sonin-law, John Kornegay, rolled out a set of plans and welcomed her to her new studio. John had bought a rundown shell of an historical building in downtown Calypso. “He didn’t know what he wanted to do with it at the time,” Barwick said. “He just knew he wanted to do something to better the community.” Later, when he got the idea to turn the space into an art studio, he consulted the builder who did his house to draw up plans for the re-
model. “This building was built by the Works Progress Administration in the early 1900s, and it served as the Town Hall for Calypso,” Barwick said. “When John bought it, there was nothing le of it but the four exterior walls—the windows, doors, and even the roof were gone.” When he was done with it, John gi ed the studio to his mother-in-law. “I am very thankful to him, and now I am just trying to make him proud,” Barwick said.
Starry Night Studio in Calypso is a beautiful respite. Named for her favorite
14 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine
I had a working studio in my garage that I called ‘Starry Night Studio,’ but my dream was to have an art studio where I could produce my art but also o er small classes.
Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 15
16 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine
painting by her favorite artist, Vincent Van Gogh, reproductions of the work are sprinkled throughout the space and outside on the signage. Graduate school paintings of art supplies and clay creations hang from the walls and ll shelves lining the space. The room is alive and happy with color.
Since opening its doors, the studio has been steadily booking classes. “I try to o er at least one class for kids and one class for adults every month. A lot of my projects are seasonal, but there will also be some general projects for people to enjoy,” Barwick said. Original pottery as well as custom ordered pieces are available for purchase through open houses or by appointment.
Starry Night Studio operates on a limited schedule, but all events are posted on the studio’s Facebook page at StarryNightStudioCalypso
This building was built by the Works Progress Administration in the early 1900s, and it served as the Town Hall for Calypso. When John bought it, there was nothing le of it but the four exterior walls—the windows, doors, and even the roof were gone.
Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 17
WILLIAM F. ‘BILLY’ STEPHENS
A STAPLE OF THE COMMUNITY
and photos by Lauren Branch
Billy and his wife, Gene, were lifelong Kenansville residents. Together they operated Stephens Hardware Store and gas station, a business that was started in 1933 by his father, Charlie. Around the town, the corner gas station was affectionately referred to as “almost a museum” because it was packed with antique items the couple collected during their travels.
They were married for 70 years.
Shortly after he and his wife married, Billy was drafted into the military and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After finishing basic training there was nowhere for them to be assigned and his class was forced to go through the six-week basic training process again until they could find a station for them.
William F. “Billy” Stephens, 96, of Kenansville is one of those people.
The antique lovers retired from their businesses in 1989, but not without making many friends along the way. Billy and Gene never had any kids but had a dog named Pee Wee.
Faye Whaley, Billy’s caretaker, laughed as she repeated Billy’s response “You do what you’re told when you’re in the Army.”
While Billy’s time in the Army was
Sometimes in life, special people come along that change the whole dynamic of the community. These people are irreplaceable.
18 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine
When I was dra ed into the Army they sent me to Germany and of course, the war was over, but it was a rough time. It felt like a long time.
short-lived, it was a life changer. He was sent to Germany where he spent a year and a half.
“When I was drafted into the Army they sent me to Germany and of course, the war was over, but it was a rough time,” Billy said. “It felt like a long time.”
The war caused a lot of distress, and although the war was over, he was on standby and could be called back at any time.
While he was in the Amy, a preacher in town asked him if he would be interested in helping him start up a fire station. Without any hesitation, Billy said yes, and once he returned they launched the Kenansville fire station. The founding member held many positions over his 20 years of service with the fire station among them were fire chief and EMT.
“He served as an EMT because if
there was an accident he had to go try to help get them into the ambulance. He helped a lot of people. When there were very few ambulances sometimes they had to take a morgue vehicle or what you call a hearse to pick them up and transfer them to Wake Med or other hospitals,” Whaley said.
The hardest accident scene he ever went to was one when there was a child involved Billy shared. “The child was thrown out of the car into the middle of the highway; not a scratch on the child. They had to transfer his body to the morgue. He said that was the prettiest baby in the world, and that kinda thing sticks with you forever,” Whaley explained.
Although he saw a lot of sad things, he kept his sense of humor all those years.
Whaley has been Billy’s caretaker since his wife died. He wasn’t com-
Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 19
~ WILLIAM F. “BILLY” STEPHENS
fortable being home alone at his age. Whaley agreed to stay with him for a little while so he could get more comfortable being home alone. Four years later, the two are the best of friends and pick on each other often.
“He once fell and when they asked him what happened, he said ‘she pushed me.’ They all laughed about it,” Whaley said.
Billy often talks about how much has changed in Kenansville since he was a child in the 1920s. He said he never thought the road would be as busy as it is today.
He loves everything about Kenansville, especially the people, and loves to reminisce. He remembers when Main Street was a dirt road. His sisters and brothers used to play softball in front of his house. He
remembers how they could see a car coming in the distance through the dusty clouds of dirt kicking up the road, and they would say ‘game over for the time being. Get off the road.’
Billy and his wife were very involved in the community. They were known for giving back. Together they served at Grove Presbyterian Church which is right beside his house.
Billy loves cleaning his yard and cleans the church’s yard all the time. He likes to stay active. Whaley says he probably walks two miles a day.
“Oh, he is truly one of the most amazing and wonderful men in this entire world. He never gets upset or excited,” Whaley said. “He is always courteous and nice, and we get along great. He truly is the most amazing person.”
20 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine
Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 21
The Wilson Center gears up for glitz and glamor when Dancing With the Stars Live comes in February 2023
Story by Chris DeWitt
Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) is a reality show where celebrities are paired with professional dancers and compete each week. Judges score their performances, but ultimately it is the viewers that decide the pairings’ fates each week. The show is cur-
rently in its 31st season. This season debuts as the first-ever live reality show on U.S. streaming platforms. But you have more options to watch DWTS than just from behind your television screen.
DWTS comes to the Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) in Wilmington, NC on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, which also happens to be Valentine’s Day.
“This will be the first time Dancing With The Stars Live has come to the Wilson Center!,” said Katie Solinski, the Wilson Center at CFCC communications manager. “However, DWTS alum Maks and Val have graced the Wilson Center stage twice—back in 2016 and again in 2018.”
Solsinski and the staff of the Wilson Center highlighted that the show will feature some of fans’ favorite
dancers from DWTS Season 31 as they perform brand-new choreography and some standout numbers from the show. There is also a special surprise guest. The staff estimates a full house with 1500 people for this program.
“This show brings the passion, glamor and excitement of the Dancing With The Stars ballroom to you, the fans, in your very own home town,” saisd Solinski. “Get ready to get upclose and personal with some of the best dancers on the planet, who are ready to dazzle you with an exuberant, non-stop dance performance!”
The national tour of Dancing With The Stars Live is a Wilson Center Presents production and is a part of their Stars Series. Wilson Center Presents is the presenting arm of the Wilson Center and includes other programs featured at the Wilson Center. The
22 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine
Photos by David Polston
Wilson Center staff is excited to continue to welcome attendants to more events as they engage the Eastern NC communities with fine arts.
“The staff at the Wilson Center are excited to welcome Dancing With The Stars Live to Wilmington for the very first time,” said Solinski. “Dance productions always bring such a fun energy to the building and we can’t wait to see what fun surprises they have in store. We also have students work on every production on our front-of-house and back-of-house teams, so this will be another great learning opportunity for them to work with a large-scale national tour.”
For more information about the Wilson Center at CFCC, visit www. wilsoncentertickets.com or call 910362-7999.
DANCING STARS WITH THE
feature Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 23
Honoring 119 years of aviation legacy
Story by Chris DeWitt
This year marks the 119th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ rst ight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It is also the 75th birthday of the United States Air Force.
To commemorate the ongoing legacies of the Wright Brothers and the Air Force, the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. will host a special celebration on Dec. 17, as they collaborate with the Air Force and induct General Benjamin O. Davis Jr into the Paul E. Gerber Shrine to honor his leadership of the Tuskegee Air Squadron in World War II. Both celebrations embody the spirit of innovation and fortitude that people like General Davis and the Wright Brothers demonstrated.
“The Wright Brothers achieved the rst heavier than air, powered controlled ight on Dec 17 1903,” said Scott Babinowich, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial chief of interpretation. “Their story is one of perseverance, adaptability, curiosity and pure genius. Prior to Dec 17, 1903, there were many who thought ight was not possible. Through their experiments
24 | Southeastern North Carolina Magazine ALIGNMENT CENTER E WAARDDS WE SPECIALIZE IN FARM AND AGRICULTURAL TIRES, CONSTRUCTION TIRES, PASSENGER CAR, SUVAND LIGHT TRUCK TIRES. We have been locally owned for over 40 year sand family owned for the last 12 year s. We areacer tiﬁed tire dealer of Nexen, Michelin, Nitto, and Firestone, and we stock tires for car s, tr ucks, SUV’s, vans, tractor s, and all your other far mequipment. We are afriendly tire shop that is aBridgestone Firestone dealer in Clinton, NC. Michael Edwards, Owner 910-592-4741 •317 S.E. Blvd., Clinton NC •tireincofclinton.com AlignmentServices for Passenger Light Tr uck &H ea vy Duty,Brakes on ALL Ve hicles, King Pins Michael Edwards, Owner Monday-Friday -8am-5pm 517 Warsaw Road Clinton, NC 28328 Email: Edwardsalignment@gmail.com Phone: 910-490-1292
and self-learning, the Wright Brothers achieved this feat safely, and demonstrated that ight was indeed a possibility. From their rst ight, advances in aviation and technology occurred at an unprecedented rate. Within 25 years, Charles Lindbergh would cross the Atlantic, and just 66 (years) would pass between the rst ight and Neil Armstrong stepping foot on the moon.”
Ten people serve on the full-time sta of the Wright Brothers National Memorial and seven work seasonally. While the memorial is open year round, this occasion brings an elevated energy to the sta and the surrounding area.
“The Wright Brothers chose the Outer Banks due to the sustained winds and so ish sand to support their experiments,” said Babinowich. “While the Outer Banks were sparsely populated in the early 1900s, the Wright Brothers were never alone. The local community supported the Wright Brothers by o ering their land for use and helping in any way they could, which many times meant hauling their gliders back to the top of the hill. Many descendants of these local assistants, as well
as descendants of the witnesses of First Flight still live in the Outer Banks and help the legacy and stories of the Wright Brothers live on.”
According to Babinowich, the memorial gets approximately 450,000 visitors each year. The visitor experience at the memorial centers around the visitor center and ight room, the reconstructed camp buildings, the ightline, and Big Kill Devil Hill with the Wright Brothers Monument on top.
“The visitor center was remodeled and new exhibits installed in 2018,” said Babinowich. “These exhibits highlight the story of the development of ight, and trace the story of the Wright Broth-
ers from Ohio to the Outer Banks and beyond. A highlight of the visitor center is the replica 1903 yer in the ight room. The visitor experience is highly interactive, and does a great job of making the intricacies of ight relatable and understandable. Many accessible features are available, including Braille, assisted listening, tactile elements and descriptive text. Ranger programs are available in the summertime.”
For more information about the anniversary celebrations, visit www. wrightbrothersday.org. For more information about the Wright Brothers memorial, visit www.nps.gov/wrbr or call 252-473-2111.
Southeastern North Carolina Magazine | 25
Step into a world of whimsical woodwork
Story and photos by Ena Sellers
Like a painter dabbing colorful strokes on a canvas, artist Tyson Andrews takes to specialty woods to create one-of-a-kind woodwork pieces that resemble M.C. Etcher’s mathematically-inspired and intricate concepts.
Andrews uses different wood species to create symmetrical patterns of interlocking forms utilizing the wood’s natural color to create dimension and give his pieces a whimsical and intriguing appeal.
“Eye bending and whimsical is my niche as I love people’s reactions to my work,” said Andrews who works out of his garage in Wallace, N.C. where he recently relocated with his wife and daughter.
“Most people tell me my woodworking looks like it came out of Alice in Wonderland.”
Andrews’ passion for woodworking started about 25 years ago when he was building custom-made houses. “I just happened to find myself with custom home builders that were doing really unique things,” said Andrews. “It diversified my building abilities and brought me to where I am right now.”
These days, the stay-at-home dad spends his days creating intrinsic
26 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine
Southeast North Carolina Magazine | 27
art pieces and homeschooling his daughter with the help of his wife. Before moving to Duplin County, Andrews lived in Atlanta and moved around following his wife, who is doing her medical residency at ECU.
“We had great clients down there ... ” said Andrews, as he spoke about some unique custom work he had done for Kenny Rogers, and Dwayne Johnson. “Some of the interior trim stuff was just out of this world… like hidden secret rooms, that was you know on low voltage pivot hinges and just incredible stuff that you just don’t see in anybody’s house.”
Becoming a stay-at-home dad was a big transition for Andrews.
“It was hard to adjust. To tran-
sition from home builder to you know, making sure laundry and dishes (are done) and people are picking up after themselves and the essential stuff to maintain a home,” said Andrews, adding that he finds balance when he walks into his workshop and starts working on his art.
“It just kind of just keeps falling into place… it’s one of those things.”
Currently, all the pieces he makes are for fun, because it enables him to be the most creative.
When asked which project is his favorite, his eyes lit up and he said the birdhouse.
“Every piece is mahogany veneer,” Andrews said pointing at the
I love when people see my stu and they go ‘holy smokes!’ -- that is what I love... I love people’s reactions. Those are the things that motivate an individual to do more unique and inspiring stu .
detail work on the birdhouse rooftop which was hand glued piece by piece. “It took a couple of weeks just to glue on that. It’s got white oak shutters, maple trim…”
The birdhouse design was originally inspired in an old cabin and it started evolving, weeks later the birdhouse has a PVC center where Andrews built four working chimneys, featuring custom stonework, that can be lit and admired through the little birdhouse windows.
The birdhouse has been his favorite project to work on and he finds himself coming back to it and adding more things “and it keeps getting better,” Andrews said. “I’ve had two offers on the birdhouse and the last one was respectfully denied
Andrews enjoys experimenting with different materials and creating intrinsic patterns.
The very first project he created was a puzzle box inspired by something he saw during a trip to Costa Rica more than two decades ago.
“I remember seeing a puzzle box, where you basically have to remove pieces of wood in order to open up other pieces of wood. That was something that inspired me to do this kind of stuff... but something more exotic, like purple heart and extremely figured woods. These are my best sellers at shows, people love these things. Some of them are like puzzles you have to figure out in order to open up the drawers and there are secret
Some of them are like puzzles you have to gure out in order to open up the drawers and there are secret drawers inside of them,” said Andrews. “Everything I do is di erent.”
drawers inside of them,” said Andrews. “Everything I do is different.”
Andrews says he loves the look on people’s faces when he shows them his projects.
The artist, who is in his first year of doing judged art shows, won best in show at the New World Festival of the Arts in Manteo and at the Festival in the Park in downtown Charlotte.
“When I went to Manteo I was flattered beyond belief,” said Andrews. “What really put it in perspective was when I walked around the second day and I saw what everybody else had, and was like holy crap. There is a guy here selling oil paints for $60,000, it was gorgeous and I thought ‘wow they chose me over that... okay that means something.’”
“Even my family, in the course of two years it’s just happening so fast, they are even blown away,” said Andrews, who received accolades for his intrinsic cutting boards. “My mom is a quilter and she calls me a quilter with wood.”
All of Andrews’ cutting boards are end grain, which makes a huge difference when it comes to durability and quality “what makes them fancy is that they are self-healing… If you keep your knife sharp and your board oiled, these things last forever.”
A very unique quality of these cutting boards is the amount of crafts -
manship and labor that goes into each piece as the artist does not use stains, but instead combines different types of wood for their natural color.
“I try to make panels of geometrical patterns… every time after I do a glue up I have to wait for the glue to dry and then I have to re-mill the lumber and make sure everything is precise and exact otherwise the patterns do not work and they don’t look good,” said the artist explaining the process can take anywhere from 6 to 14 hours over the course of a week.
Among the hand full of shows Andrews plans to attend in 2023 are Spring Days, Artsplosure, Carolina Beach Street Art Festival, Center Fest, and Downtown Asheville Festival in the Park.
“What I learned last year is that there’s a difference between art shows and craft shows,” said Andrews, explaining that his clients are art connoisseurs and often people who attend juried art shows. “When you start throwing the word craft in it, that is when people make things repeatedly, and everything you see here is different and so it takes a long time. I don’t use regular woods or stains, only natural wood colors, and the time involved in sanding and polishing it can be excessive.”
While he enjoys all shows, next year Andrews plans to attend only judged art shows. As for now, he is enjoying working on next year’s inventory.
“I love when people see my stuff and they go ‘holy smokes!’ -- that is what I love,” he said with a smile. “I love people’s reactions. Those are the things that motivate an individual to do more unique and inspiring stuff.”
“My type of clients are people who go ‘just make me this-- no time frame-- I don’t care what the cost is just do it.’ No pressure situation, that’s how I essentially like to do stuff,” he added, further explaining his clients are people “looking for something that is out of this world. That they’ve never seen or they never had or nobody else they know had…”
He is excited for next year and tells readers to be ready for some new and exciting pieces at the art shows next year. “I got some other tricks up my sleeve,” said Andrews.
30 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine
I try to make panels of geometrical patterns… every time a er I do a glue up I have to wait for the glue to dry and then I have to re-mill the lumber and make sure everything is precise and exact otherwise the patterns do not work and they don’t look good.
’s Ga at Ki Z e
Story by Lauren Branch
Looking for something unique to do in Wayne County, Kill Zone might be the right place for you.
With 18-acres and five different fields and themes, participants can enjoy a game of paintball on indoor and outdoor fields.
Anyone ages eight and up can experience the rush of the game. Up to 40 people can participate on the outdoor fields, however 15-20 people provides a better game experience. Guns are spring powered so they are
low-impact guns with speeds of 110 FPS which is great for beginners and children between the ages of seven to nine years old.
For protection, you can rent not only the guns, but also masks, vents, hoppers, chest protectors, and paintballs.
There is a picnic area so you can bring your own food and snacks. They also offer monthly packages to those that frequent the fields often.
Many people book in groups for events such as birthday parties, bachelor parties, or company bonding activities, but you can also book individually as a family or group of
friends. Another cool thing about Kill Zone is that they also offer a rage room.
Rage rooms have become popular over the past 14 years. Rage rooms were designed to not only have fun but to also relieve stress. They are also sometimes called anger rooms and smash rooms.
The rage room comes equipped with breakable items such as bottles, plates, cups, mugs, wine glasses, jars, DVD plates, toasters, coffee makers, TVs, printers, vacuums, fax machines, computers, and more.
“People can come in and release a lot of energy that they have built up.
32 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine feature
Photos courtesy of Kill Zone
It can really build up in you. They can bring things in that they want to break too. It’s all about letting it out,” explained the owner Jarrett Valentine.
Valentine and his family are the owners and operators of the business. He is originally from Philadelphia, and the military moved him to Wayne County several years ago.
The Kill Zone’s rage room recently opened in 2022. Valentine had the initial thought for the business after retiring from the military and seeing that Goldsboro needed more unique things for people to do.
When they originally started they only had one field, a smaller building and picnic area, so the business has grown over the years.
~ JARRETT VALENTINE
“It was basically to provide Goldsboro a fun place to go. They didn’t have anything here like this. The need was here, so I decided just to try it out,” Valentine said.
Valentine said they have plans to hopefully open an area for RVs to park, but no other expansions are in the works for right now as the business has been a success and has been running smoothly as is.
All are welcome to come and enjoy themselves!
“Our goal is to have you leaving with a smile on your face and money still in your pocket. With our quality service and affordable prices. Give us a shot; we hope to see you there! Do your best to stay paint free!”
34 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine
People can come in and release a lot of energy that they have built up... It’s all about letting it out.
Southeast North Carolina Magazine | 35
Agribusiness is in the blood for the Mills Family
Growing up with a family that farmed in eastern North Carolina since the 1700s, Christian Mills always knew she wanted to do something agriculture related.
Pursuing her graduate degree in Quantitative Genetics, Christian had the opportunity to live in many di erent places and explore the culture through food. She just had no clue that her journey would lead her to pickles.
Christian went to school and became a nurse practitioner. While studying for
~ CHRISTIAN MILLS
her boards, she took a cake decorating class and found something she loved to do in her o time. “I would post my pictures online, and I started getting orders. That’s when The Tipsy Bee was born,” Mills said. “I enjoyed being a nurse practitioner, but I really loved my cakes and being able to be my own boss.”
In 2010, Christian remodeled a house with a little kitchen and shop to work the business. When she outgrew the house, she built a larger location with a commercial kitchen in Chinquapin, NC. Monday through Thursday, she worked as a nurse practitioner. Nights, weekends, and paid time o from her other job gave Christian time to bake and work in The Tipsy Bee. The Tipsy Bee became a full-made-from-scratch custom cake and cupcake business.
In that busy season, Christian met and married her husband, Johnny, and had four daughters. Today, they work together to build the business and explore
36 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine
Story and photos by Rebecca J. Whitman
It feels good to be making something healthy... We are turning people into pickle lovers who were not pickle lovers before.
its options. For a season, there were three Tipsy Bee locations—Kenansville, Beulaville, and Wallace, but they all closed for various reasons. The Tipsy Bee cakes were popular, and people ordered them for birthdays and weddings all the way to the pandemic.
During the pandemic, Christian shi ed her focus to operate The Tipsy Bee out of its one home location, her husband launched Mills Meats business,
and they began to grow produce. “People during the pandemic took a di erent look on life. They were home and not having big weddings or parties. All of our weddings got canceled, and that was a lot of our business. We were really interested in pushing the agriculture side of things. I always saw The Tipsy Bee as a place that does things from scratch, like my grandmothers and great-grandmothers did every day.
Because our business changed so much, I got to explore some other areas,” Christian said.
First, they tried making hot meals. That went over well, but the input of demand and lack of workers uctuated too much. Not wanting to waste food, they decided to shi to shelf-stable products and try pickling. “I started playing with some family recipes, we kept making cakes and cupcakes, and we started going to di erent farmers markets,” Christian said.
Carolina Pickle Company, incorporated in May 2022, was born out of the ingenuity of evolving during the pandemic. “It feels good to be making something healthy,” Christian says of her new endeavor. “We are turning people into pickle lovers who were not pickle lovers before,” Johnny said.
Though simple in name, Carolina Pickles are far from simple in avor. Claiming to be “the most magical pickles on Earth”, the avor options o ered may surprise you: Taco Dill, Ranch Dill, Pickled Green Tomatoes, and Southern
38 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine
Bar-B-Q to name a few. Carolina Pickles are not just good snacks; they are also good grilled or mixed into salads. The gourmet avors all come cold-packed with the best quality spices and ingredients. Their Sweet Thai, an Asian-inspired pickle packed with crunchy peanuts and oranges, was nominated for the Cool-
est Thing in NC by the NC Chamber of Commerce and Made in NC by Our State Magazine.
Carolina Pickle Company found its niche in the food markets, especially on the coast where visitors saw their product, gave it a try, and became repeat customers. Acceptance into many of these
markets is competitive. When they were accepted into the 2022 NC State Fair, for example, they were told that the fair has a less than 5% acceptance rate.
Christian shares her travels and experiences on the market with her more than 7,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram. Feedback from her customers is an important part of determining what to do with her business.
In the future, Christian hopes to see her businesses grow in production and distribution. “I would like for people to hear about North Carolina and pickles and be able to think of our company too–not just Mount Olive Pickles,” Christian said. “We are not in competition with them because we are not a shelf-stable product.”
The Tipsy Bee will have a continued presence, but Christian’s passion right now is in her pickles, jams, and jellies. The Mills also hope to be able to process their own meats. Mills Meats, their beef and pork company, is a full-service vision. “We grow our own beef and pork, make our own feed, and raise them from start to nish. We know what goes in it; there are no growth hormones or antibiotics in it,” Johnny Mills said. “Livestock and farming have always been our passion; it’s in our blood. People wanting good quality food made locally the way it says it is being done is something we want for ourselves, so why not give it to others?”
Southeast North Carolina Magazine | 39
I would like for people to hear about North Carolina and pickles and be able to think of our company too–not just Mount Olive Pickles. We are not in competition with them because we are not a shelf-stable product.
Warsaw’s long-awaited mural showcases hometown pride
Story by Ena Sellers
Nestled in the small historical town of Warsaw at the corner of College and Front streets is the town’s newest and most talked about landmark-- a more than 70-feet long mural inspired in the town’s people and historical roots.
The mural, which was unveiled during the 102nd Warsaw Veterans Day Parade festivities, is Commissioner Russell Eason’s brainchild. Its unveiling marked the completion of a project and a dream that started a few years ago during a trip to Sneads Ferry. I was then when Eason came across an impressive patriotic-themed mural created by artist Connie Wilkerson and decided that Warsaw needed a mural like that to honor its roots and showcase the town’s greatest pride, as the home of the oldest consecutive running Veterans Day Parade in the State of North Carolina.
Eason, a U.S. National Guard vet-
40 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine
Southeast North Carolina Magazine | 41
Artist Connie Wilkerson stands in front of the Warsaw mural. The more than 70-feet-long mural took her well over a year to complete and was installed in preparation for the 102nd Warsaw Veterans Day Parade.
eran, remembers driving by the large mural and thinking “we need something like this.” He was so impressed, that he embarked on a mission to nd Wilkerson, the artist.
“I can’t say enough about her,” said Eason, describing his awe at her work. She is good!”
A er Eason connected with Wilkerson, the two spoke in detail about his vision for the mural. He shared old museum books with photos and stories of the Warsaw Veterans Day parade, the town’s history, its people, and everything the parade represents.
Wilkerson shared that she started collecting photos from past parades to get some ideas she could incorporate in her nal design. She used the photos that she felt would be successful as part of a larger composition.
“I didn’t know who any of the people were, I didn’t ask,” said Wilkerson as she explained the creative process for her mural composition, which illustrates a procession of people walking from the side of the building.
“I wanted to have a lively, celebratory, diverse appearance. People from all walks of life, ages, and careers, not just service members but civilians, emergency workers… I wanted to have a little bit of everything.”
As an artist Wilkerson likes to stay versatile and while murals are not her primary type of art she loves painting them. She shared that the Warsaw mural is the largest one she has worked on in her more than 20 years as an artist.
“I did my rst mural was at a restaurant in New Jersey when I was 15,” said Wilkerson.
“It’s great to leave piece of yourself behind in a place... that is exactly what art is for an artist-- is a piece of yourself-- and when you leave the town your art is still there. So all the places where my murals are hanging all over the country, every place I feel connected to because every place has a little piece of me.”
But for Wilkerson the challenge was not the mural’s massive size itself, but the fact that she worked on it from hundreds of miles away, painting piece by piece.
“The hard part was because I live so far away, being close to Atlanta at the
time, I could not paint it on the wall, because I have two toddlers and I could not leave them to come here for months at a time,” Wilkerson said.
“This was a challenge,” said Wilkerson explaining it wouldn’t have been six years ago, but with two kids below the age of 5, and no family nearby, it is just her and he husband who works full time.
I had to watch the kids and juggle this over the past year, towards the last month I hardly slept trying to meet this deadline, it was so hard, but I never regretted taking the job because I knew it would be an incredible feeling once it was up there.”
Wilkerson shared that she was able to pull that o because she is detail oriented and she was able to work on each section and give 100% of everything she had.
“I divided the sketch that I’d done into 24 pieces and ended up painting it into 24 separate giant plywood sheets and then assembling it this week when I arrived,” Wilkerson said. “That made it so realistic when it was installed.”
The mural took Wilkerson well over a year, and I’ve never actually seen it as a whole,” Wilkerson said as she was adding the nal touches to the installed mural.
“The plywood worked really great because it enabled us to get such rich, beautiful detail on there and bolder colors than if we would have painted it straight on the wall,” Wilkerson said.
Behind the scenes, once Eason had a rough idea of how much it would cost to create the mural, he started fundraisers and shared that one of their rst supporters was Villari Foods in Warsaw, who upon learning about the mural project
wrote a check for $15,000. Another big contributor was Senator Brent Jackson who wrote a check for $25,000 for the mural.
“I called Senator Jackson ...and told him what I was trying to do,” said Eason. “I told him I was trying to raise money to put a mural on the side of a building here in Warsaw -- I was talking to his aid-- he said ‘how much do you need?’ I said $25,000... he said ‘is that all you need?’ and I said well, I am not sure... he said ‘you are the rst person that has ever asked this o ce for any kind of money like that’ ..oh God,” said Eason with a gentle chuckle as he recalled the conversation. He explained the aid told him nobody has ever point blank asked for something like that, but that they will
42 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine
To be able to create something that visually conveys that pride that they have—that hometown pride—that touches me...
~ CONNIE WILKERSON
present it to Senator Jackson. A month or two later, Eason got a call from the senator’s o ce asking where they needed to send the money. Eason reminisced excitedly as he noti ed the town manager of the $25,000 on the way for the mural, which was funded with no taxpayer dollars.
“There’s been a lot of people involved in this thing,” said Eason, as he spoke about the people who contributed with donations and helped raise funds.
“Warsaw is this way,” said Eason. “We are loud and proud of our veterans, and the people of Warsaw will step up to the plate.”
Wilkerson said she feels blessed, attered and humbled to be the artist who brought the mural to life, and while she
hardly slept as the deadline approached she “knew it would be an incredible feeling” to see the nished product.
“This place I did not know before I got hired, but now I love Warsaw. It is such a great little town and the pride that these people feel... as I’ve been sitting here this past few days working, everyone has been just so excited ...and so supportive,” said Wilkerson.
“I grew up in a small town as well and I understand how precious this small town community and mentality is,” she added recalling how passersby were honking at her and the people talking to her as she worked on the mural.
“They all seem to know each other and wanna wave to each other,” said Wilkerson. “They are all connected and
the pride that they have for this town connects them ...to be able to create something that visually conveys that pride that they have-- that hometown pride-- that touches me and that is so important to me. That is just so much of what art is about because art is about the soul and the pride that these people have is the soul of their town.”
As she worked on the mural’s nal touches, Wilkerson shared the experience felt surreal.
“It will be bittersweet because it is always kinda sad, it is almost like saying goodbye to a child when you are done painting, but at the same time, I guess much like saying goodbye to your child you are like, well, thank God! I need a break,” she said laughing.
Southeast North Carolina Magazine | 43
Events and places to visit in Southeastern North Carolina
DEC 08 THU
Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol
310 Chesnut Street, Wilmington, N.C.
Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol is a modern Christmas classic, described as irreverent, funny and deeply moving story that tells a story of redemption and renewal. The biannual production will be at the Ruth & Bucky Stein Studio Theatre, Dec. 8 through 18.
DEC 15 SUN
All is Bright at Poplar Grove
10200 Highway 17, Wilmington, N.C.
This year Poplar Grove rings in the holiday season with 6 weeks of “All is Bright,” a dazzling festival of lights. Loads of photo opportunities. Fire-pits and marshmallow roasting areas will be out, di erent food trucks each night and the indoor barns will have a select number of culinary cuisine, hot and cold libations, wine and beer and arts and cra vendors. Santa will be here on Saturday nights from 6-8 p.m. and the historic 1850’s Manor House will be decked out in its nest. Santa and the Manor House walk through are free with paid admission of $5 per child and $10 per adult.
Elf the Musical
514 Hancock Street New Bern, N.C.
RiverTowne Players, presents Elf the Musical on Friday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. The musical is about the story of a young orphan child, who mistakenly crawls into Santas’ bag of gi s and is transported to the North Pole. Santa and his elves decide to raise him. Years later, the child nds out he is not an elf and at Santa’s prompting, heads o to New York City in search of his dad, who is on the naughty list, determined to win over his birth family and help New York City remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Harrells Cra Market
70 Park Ave., Harrells, N.C.
The Town of Harrells will host their annual Cra Market on Dec. 17 at the Harrells Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
44 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine
IMPORTANT NOTE ON UPCOMING EVENTS:
All of the events listed here were still on schedule as of press time, but it’s best to check with each venue to ensure that the event is still going on as planned.
A Carolina Sound Christmas
1329 US 258, Snow Hill, N.C.
The cookie decorating class will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Each guest will receive a dozen sugar cookies to decorate and a box to take them home.
139 S. Center Street, Goldsboro N.C.
The University of Mount Olive Presents: A Carolina Sound Christmas on Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Golsboro. This popular group performs a variety of genres. The Paramount Theatre is proud to host this year’s extraordinary premiere with A Carolina Sound Christmas.
DEC 20 TUE
DEC 17 SAT DEC 23 FRI
Acrylic Art Pouring Class
823 S. Kerr Ave., Wilmington, N.C.
Class participants will use an 8x10 canvas to make an acrylic pour featuring a grouping of colors.
Festival of Lights Hayride
1600 Haw Branch Rd., Beulaville, N.C.
Mike’s Farm Festival of Lights Hayride is ongoing through Dec. 23 from 6-9 p.m. The 30 minute hayride through the woods features lighted Holiday scenes, a live nativity and Christmas music along the way.
Southeast North Carolina Magazine | 45
Mad Boar Christmas Eve Party
111 River Village Place, Wallace, N.C.
Maddie Rean & her band will be performing at the Mad Boar Christmas Eve Party on Dec. 23, at 8:30 p.m. Maddie has been on the stage performing across the east coast. Little bit of rock with some country grit. Sharing the stage with artist such as Paramlee, Jimmie Allen, Lonestar, and Vanilla Ice among several others, she isn’t your typical country singer.
Blue Blueberry Drop
Freemont Street, Burgaw, N.C.
Join in on Burgaw’s New Year tradition at the annual New Years’ Eve Blueberry Drop on Dec. 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (12 midnight GMT). Festivities will take place on Freemont Street next to the Pender County Court House. Live music, food trucks, and big crowd of happy people.
Christmas Camp on the Farm
7105 Great Swamp Loop, Lucama, N.C.
Parents can take their children to experience the magic of a Christmas Camp on the Farm at the Painted Farmer. This camp is for children ages 5-17 from 8 to 5:30 p.m.
New Year’s Eve with Nick and Dean Live
127 West Gordon St., Kinston, N.C.
New Year’s Eve with Nick and Dean is the nal show of the year! Send o 2022 in style with an acoustic party at The Herritage on Dec. 31 from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
46 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine
DEC 23 FRI
DEC 31 SAT
206 SW Railroad Street, Wallace, N.C.
The Town of Wallace will celebrate its rst Wallace Strawberry Drop on Saturday, Dec. 31, from 5-7 p.m. at the Wallace Train Depot. The event will feature family friendly fun to ring in 2023.
Dolphin Dip 2023
Roland Avenue Beach Access, Surf City, N.C.
Every New Year’s Day, folks gather at the Dolphin Dip Extravaganza in Surf City, to start the new year with a plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. At noon, a horn sounds and thousands of people run into the ocean to “wash away” the previous year. Festivities kick o at the Roland Avenue Beach Access at 11 a.m. The Dip happens at noon sharp! It’s free for the whole family, whether you plan to jump in or not.
Parents Night Out
114 E Corbet Ave., Swansboro, N.C.
Parents can drop their kids for an evening in with friends or soon to be friends, playing video games, table top games, and watching movies at Pogies Adventure Center. You may preregister or just drop o . Drop o is between 4 -8 p.m. - Pick up is before 11 p.m. Dinner/waters/popcorn provided for all children before 5:30 p.m. Pizza arrives at 6:30 nightly.
JAN 31 TUE
188 Hines Stump Sound Church Rd., Holly Ridge, N.C.
Tuesday Night Pool Tournament on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at the VFW Post 9983 from 6 to 8:45 p.m. Come early to get put on the brackets. This is a bragging rights only pool tournament.
The Book of Mormon
703 N. Third Street, Wilmington, N.C.
The Cape Fear Community College’s hub for arts education and southeastern North Carolina’s most advanced performing arts center presents The Book of Mormon on Feb. 7 from 7:3010:30 p.m.
FEB 14 TUE
Dancing With The Stars
703 N. Third Street, Wilmington, N.C.
Cape Fear Community College presents Dancing With The Stars at the Wilson Center on Feb. 14 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Southeast North Carolina Magazine | 47
Shades of Bublé
310 Chesnut Street, Wilmington, N.C.
Thalian Hall presents Shades of Bublé on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Shades of Bublé: A Three-Man Tribute to Michael Bublé brings the swinging standards and pop hits of Michael Bublé to the stage in an unforgettable high-energy concert event.
Superstar - The Carpenters Reimagined
50 College Rd. NE, Bolivia, N.C.
Brunswick Community College presents Superstar - The Carpenters Reimagined, an original, Fresh Perspective Of Song And Story That Finally Captures The True Quality And Essence Of The Carpenters. Starring Helen Welch - A native of England, Helen is a critically acclaimed vocalist and entertainer. Thursday, Feb. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Indoor Skydiving National Championships
190 Paraclete Dr., Raeford, N.C.
Paraclete XP will host the 2023 Indoor Skydiving National Championships on Feb. 18, 6:30 a.m. through Feb. 19 at 3 p.m.
48 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine 2602 W. Vernon Avenue ,Kinston NC 28504 252.939.3332 www.kinstonrec.com W V A Ki t Kinston-Lenoir County Parks &Recreation Department
Anniversary of Moores Creek Bridge
40 Patriots Hall Dr., Currie, NC
The anniversary of Moores Creek 2023 will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26. Moores Creek National Battle eld provides a wide range of colonial activities as well as our interpretive battle demonstration. Pre-registration is required for all living history units and participants. Registration materials will be sent directly to unit commanders, tradesman, and sutlers. All registered participants are responsible for complying with event safety and authenticity standards.
North Carolina Rice Festival
1212 Magnolia Village Way Leland, N.C.
Join the North Carolina Rice Festival on March 3-4 to learn about and celebrate the region’s rich and diverse cultural history of rice farming. For more details visit northcarolinaricefestival.org
Bolivia, N.C. Breakout Dance Competition will take place from March 10 at 3 p.m. through March 12 at 8 p.m., at the Odell Williamson Auditorium. Breakout takes pride in its unique vibe and motivating atmosphere that leave dancers feeling empowered. Register now, if you’re ready to join the Breakout movement. Visit www.breakoutcomp.com for more information.
Southeast North Carolina Magazine | 49 FEB
MARCH 10 FRI 304 N. Main Str eet •Kenansville NEW Patients Welcome! Come see us! Duplin Eye Associates, OD, PAspecializes in diagnosis and managementof: glaucoma, retinal disease, cataracts, eye infections and injuries. We offercontactlenses, optical dispensary and complete eyeglass service.Outside prescriptions are welcome. Surgical consultationsand referrals are available. We accept most major credit cards, as well as CareCreditand also accept most major insurances. Callorstop by today! Comprehensive Eye and VisionCareSince 1975 402 N. Main Street Kenansville 1-910-296-1781 or 800-545-8069 Dr.John Mason Dr.Eric Yopp R. Dax Hawkins, MD Surgical Eye Care, PA
Croatan Buck Fi y 2023
501 Whitehouse Fork Rd., Swansboro, N.C.
The Carteret County Speedway will host the Croatan Buck Fi y 2023 on March 18, 2023 at 8 a.m. Registration deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. 50/100/150 Mile Gravel Races in Croatan National Forest.
My Time to Shine Talent Competition
315N Chestnut St., Lumberton, N.C.
The Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater presents their annual talent competition My Time to Shine on March 18 at 7 p.m. Auditions will determine who gets to showcase on stage. Cash and gi prizes will be awarded to the top contestants. Tickets are $20.
50 | Southeast North Carolina Magazine
MARCH 18 SAT
Need agreatgift idea for that hard to buy person? Come by The Lighting Gallery and we can help you light up their holiday agreat giftidea andwecan 1144 US HWY.258 N. SUITE B, KINSTON, NC 28504 OPEN MONDAY - FRIDAY 8AM-5PM MARCH 18 SAT Serving all of Duplin County,Randy Wise and his staff offer agreat selection of ﬁne jewelry including watches, necklaces, earrings, and diamonds, diamonds, diamonds!
Southeast North Carolina Magazine | 51 Southeast North Carolina Magazine | 51 Financing anew home can be stressful and confusing, but not with Home Connections! We are aUSDAdealer,and can process USDA direct loans for our customers! Ask about other ﬁnancing options as well! We are committed to help each and ever yperson achieve that goal to the best of our ability Our mission is to provide affordable housing to individuals wanting aquality home, all with a friendly smile, and are SECOND TO NONE in the ser vice end of our industr y! Hours of Operation: Monday -Friday: 8:00 am -6:00pm Saturda : 9:00 am - 2:00pm Sunda : CLOSED 2971 E. NC 24 Hwy Beulaville, NC 28518 Ph: 910-298-3387 Fax: 910-298-3545 Our Clayton Homes NPS score is 96.888, and our goal is to EXCEL in ever yaspect of our business to provide you with exceptional products and SUPERIOR customer ser vice! www.ourhomeconnections.com Double-Single-Modular &Stick-Built Homes
AUTO INSURER IN THE NATI ON # ncfbins.c om Per CRASH Network’s2020 &2021 Insurer Report Card’s Polling of Collision Repair Shops NC CNSB0521 *Nor th Carolina Farm Bureau® Mutual InsuranceCompany*Farm Bureau® InsuranceofNorthCarolina, Inc. *SouthernFarmBureau® LifeInsuranceCompany, Jackson,MS*An independent licensee of the Blue Cross and BlueShield Association Duplin County Far mBureau 308 N. Main Street •Kenansville,NC28349 15 1C ros so ver Ro ad •B eu la vi ll e, NC 28 518 (910) 296-1486 (910) 298-8400 www.ncf bi ns .com Matt McNeill LUTCF Agency Manager firstname.lastname@example.org TeddyBostic Agent Kenansville email@example.com Lynn Mobley Agency Manager firstname.lastname@example.org DrakeLanier Agent Beulaville email@example.com NickBell Agent Kenansville firstname.lastname@example.org Matt Sholar Agent Beulaville email@example.com