Hickory Living July 2024

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Complimentary July 2024 page
the Cover
FEATURES 12 • COVER STORY The Personal Touch: Joan Killian Everett Company Serving The Hickory Area 18 • Happy Retirement Dr. Steven Siciliano IN THIS ISSUE 6 • Welcome to the July Issue 8 • Road Trip Adventures 10 • July Events 22 • What’s Cookin’ Simple Southern Tomato Pie 24 • Family Daycations 12 18 HickoryLivingreserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing. Submissions are welcome, but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. HickoryLivingassumes no responsibility or liability for the information, services, products, claims, statements, accuracy, or intended or unintended results of any advertiser, editorial contributors, company, professional corporation, business or service provider herein this publication. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. 10225 Hickorywood Hill Ave., Unit A Huntersville, NC 28078 (484) 769-7445 HickoryLiving@gmail.com www.HickoryLivingMagazine.com LIVING Hickory contributors CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Amy Casil • Kathy Wheeler Lauren Davidson • Kathy Dicken COVER PHOTOGRAPHY By Shane Greene Photography Sharon Simpson Advertising Director sharon@lncurrents.com (704)
MacAdam Smith Publisher mac@oasisluxuryhomes.com (484)
Kathy Wheeler Design & Advertising Sales kathylivingmagazine@gmail.com (828) 238-3224 contents 4 HICKORY LIVING • JULY 2024 8

July Issue Welcome to the

Happy Birthday America! This July fourth, we celebrate our independence, the brave beginnings of our nation, and our freedom. We celebrate those who serve and have served our country and communities to keep us safe at home and abroad. Whether you believe our government’s decisions are right or wrong, we should never take our freedom for granted. Let your voice be heard. We should never relinquish our personal

power or underestimate our ability to make a difference as individuals. By exercising our freedoms, becoming productive citizens, and giving back to our communities, we make America a better place to live.

As we celebrate Independence Day, I ask that you pray for our nation, teach your children to be patriotic, determine to use your time, talents, and resources to make America a

stronger nation and a better place for all. Whether you celebrate in your back yard with a family cookout or join a community near you for holiday fun, we wish you a happy Fourth of July! Let the celebration begin!

You will find many ways to celebrate this month. Our July Events, on page 10, is filled with fun for the entire family! Get outdoors and enjoy the many fireworks shows, festivals, movies, and concerts this month!

If you are in the mood for a road trip, you will find suggestions and tips on page eight. Our country is a beautiful place to explore! Are you looking for places to take your family? We have a list of theme parks, water parks, and educational places you may want to visit on page 24.

On the cover this month, we are featuring The Joan Killian Everett Company. With over 30 years of experience, Joan Everett and her team are committed to their real estate clients and offer impeccable service. Read their article on page 12. It’s easy to see how Joan has consistently been one of Catawba Valley’s top-selling REALTORS® with more than $650 million in sales to date!

Dr. Steven Siciliano, a board-certified plastic surgeon at Piedmont Plastic Surgery & Dermatology, is retiring this year. His career in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery has spanned over three decades. He is loved by his patients, staff, and fellow plastic surgeons and will be greatly missed. Wishing Dr. Siciliano a welldeserved retirement on page 18!

Thank you for reading the July issue of Hickory Living. We hope you enjoy all the festivities July offers!

© iStockphoto.com | Mshake

Road Trip Adventures

There are all sorts of road trips, from a short scenic drive to cross-country travels. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most of your journey.

HHave you ever just wanted to take a drive with no destination in mind… just a general direction and no GPS commentary? We live in the perfect area for scenic views and relaxing drives! Pick a country road and see where it takes you. Maybe you will run across a diner or general store you’ve never been to before. Explore your area as if you just moved here! You will be surprised by what you’ve been missing and save the GPS for when it’s time to return home.

If you are looking for a day trip, travel north for a short drive to the mountains or pack a picnic and hit one of our beautiful lakes. Traveling east to the coast makes a great weekend trip. If you are looking for a longer road trip, Interstate 40 is the third longest highway in the U.S. and runs from Wilmington, North Carolina all the way to Barstow, California about two hours northeast of Los Angeles.

Imagine all of the sites you can see as you make your way through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. It doesn’t have to be hard to find a route and with the proper apps, you can plan your trip as you go!

There are apps that can help you find just about anything you are interested in like museums, historical sites, trails, and other hidden gems. AllTrails, Roadtrippers, Roadside American, Tourist Attraction Finder, and Atlas Obscura are just a few to try. If you are looking to plan a more structured trip and create an itinerary, gowandering.com can help you plan and select attractions.

Whatever road trip you decide to take, be flexible and open to surprises and new adventures. Your trip is more about enjoying the journey rather than just reaching the destination!

Here are some items you should keep in your vehicle:

• Make sure you have a spare tire with proper air pressure and a jack. You may be thinking, “Well duh, everyone knows that!” However, don’t assume your new vehicle came with a spare and a jack only to find out it wasn’t included in the purchase when you go to change a flat tire.

• A road map is a good item to have in case your GPS loses signal.

• A charged portable battery can be very handy. Halo Bolt is a good example of a battery that can give your car battery a boost. It also has a built-in flashlight and can charge your phone, tablet, or laptop.

• You never know when you may need a pillow or blanket for comfort, an umbrella, or camp chair.

• Keep extra medications with you in case you decide to extend your trip.

• Hand sanitizer, sun screen, and sun glasses are a must.

• Always keep some cash for those out-of-the-way places who don’t take credit cards.

©iStockphoto.com | champpixs


July 3, 13, 27

Independence Day Extravaganza

L.P. Frans Stadium, 2500 Clement Blvd NW, Hickory Crawdads versus Winston-Salem Game starts at 6:30 PM. Featuring Hot Dog Eating Contest and the longest fireworks show of the year. www.milb.com/hickory/tickets/ promotions

Saturday Screenings

Downtown Union Square, Hickory

Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Movie starts at 8:30PM weather permitting.

July 13: Little Giants

July 27: Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey


July 5, 12, 19, 26

Valdese Family Friday Night

Held at Temple Field behind The Old Rock School • Bring a lounge chair • Music starts at 7PM.

July 5: Randy Clay Band

July 12: The Super 60s

July 19: Queen City Sirens

July 26: Garrett Huffman Band townofvaldese.com


July 4, 12, 19, 26

Independence Day Fireworks

Thursday, July 4th • Freedom Park

400 Independence Blvd., Morganton

Estimated time: 9:45PM • Parking available in nearby businesses on Independence Blvd., Wamsutta Mill


Road, and North Green Street


TGIF Summer Concerts

Amphitheater Stage at the Courthouse Square

Bring a lawn chair. Food and beverage vendors open at 6PM. Music from 7 until 10PM.

July 12: Tuatha Dea

July 19: Hustle Souls

July 26: Groove Machine morgantonfest.org


July 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26

July Fourth Fireworks Show

Mulberry Recreation Center

720 Mulberry St SW, Lenoir Parking available at local businesses

Friday Night Live Music

Saturday, July 13: 9AM–9PM

9AM: Vendors/Festival opens

12PM: Blackberry Pie Eating Contest

12:30PM: National Anthem

1PM: Blackberry Cobbler Parade

1:30PM: Darren Bryant

4PM: Blue Water Trio

7PM: Chasing Phoenix

It’s Cruise-In Time

Downtown Lenoir

Saturday, July 6 • 3–9PM

Bring your favorite classic car, hot rod, truck, or motorcycle and join in the fun!



July 4, 5, 6, 12, 19, 26

Fireworks Extravaganza

Thursday, July 4th

Downtown Lenoir on the Square

801 West Ave • 7–10PM Bring a chair.

July 5: Dial Up Radio

July 12: Kings of Noise

July 19: Red Dirt Revealators

July 26: Southern Thunder

21st Annual NC Blackberry Festival • Downtown Lenoir

Featuring loads of fun for the entire family with vendors, food, a parade, a Kid’s Party, and music!

Friday, July 12: 5–9PM

5PM: Never B’s

7–9PM: Kid Party

7PM: Kings of Noise

8PM: 5K Glow Run

Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock Park open from 10AM–9PM Fireworks at 9:30PM. For ticket info, visit: tweetsie.com

July 4th Celebration

Saturday, July 6th

Main Street, Blowing Rock

No parking on Main until after the parade. Shuttle will run from Shoppes on the Parkway to Main Street between 8AM–2PM.

10–11AM: Parade • 11–7:30PM Music blowingrock.com/july4th/

Music On The Lawn

The Inn at Ragged Gardens

203 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock

Bring a lawn chair, no coolers, no pets. Friday nights 5:30PM–8:30PM. For lineup, visit ragged-gardens.com

©iStockphoto.com | Onradio

on the cover

The Personal Touch: Killian Everett Company Serving the Hickory Area

The first thing Joan Everett said when I spoke to her about The Joan Killian Everett Company was, “Hickory is a great place to live.” Joan said, “We are getting families of all ages moving to Hickory, and they are coming from everywhere.”

With over three decades of real estate experience, Joan Everett has consistently been one of Catawba Valley’s topselling Realtors® with over $650 million in sales to date. And although Hickory isn’t the biggest real estate region in North Carolina, Joan has been in the top of NC Real Estate Producers.

Joan’s business has now evolved from a single top producing agent into a dynamic team environment. And…that has

ultimately led to the culmination of The Joan Killian Everett Company which currently consists of a group of 14 likeminded agents with a boutique agency vibe.

The Joan Everett Team works together to provide seamless services to clientele. “Our purpose is protecting and caring for our clients,” she said. We talked about how real estate is a people business and that service to people is first and foremost in a successful real estate firm.

“Our success comes from our team approach,” Joan said. Within the JKE Company Joan’s immediate team members are Christy Shepard, Xan Pilgrim, and Michelle MitchellImpagliazzo.


Trusted Friends and Teammates Exemplify Excellent Service

Speaking with Joan showed me how deep roots in Hickory can go and the beautiful quality of life that the community has built. “We’re able to be successful because each of our team members step in to provide service whenever a client needs it,” Joan said.

Christy Shepard said, “We love what we do and are all good friends and teammates.” She emphasized that the team provides service from the very first meeting with a client to well beyond the close of each transaction. Christy added, “We treat each client as if they are our only client.”

“We have an awesome team dynamic,” said Xan Pilgrim. “I’m very thankful to serve such a fabulous community and such a wide variety of clients.” Michelle MitchellImpagliazzo added, “We face challenges together which makes the journey more enjoyable and fulfilling.”

Along with Joan, JKE Team members are active participants in the Catawba Valley area. They contribute their knowledge and connections to every client, which helps them to fulfill their unique needs and dreams.

Challenges in Real Estate

I discussed challenges in the real estate market with Joan. She mentioned that when she started out, contracts were only two pages long. I checked, and the basic North Carolina Offer to Purchase and Contract agreement is now 17 pages long. Each year, more requirements are added. “It’s a lot for people to absorb,” Joan said. “This is just one area where experienced real estate professionals help both sellers and buyers understand and navigate the buying and selling process.”

Around the country, many real estate markets are struggling, particularly in the area of starter homes and firsttime home buyers. Joan said, “these challenges have happened throughout home buying history.”

Hickory’s home buying market is healthy, Joan said, although there is a limited inventory due to market conditions. Fortunately, she said, with the strength of her team and years of experience, she’s able to locate homes for buyers and successfully list properties. “There’s a home for everyone,” she said. “I firmly believe that.”

Local Roots, Deep Connections

Joan mentioned that she started in real estate in 1991 and she’s now become a multi-generational real estate profes-



On the cover–The Joan Killian Everett Team

From left to right–Michelle Mitchell-Impagliazzo, broker-incharge; Joan K. Everett, broker and owner; Christy Shepard, marketing specialist/broker; and Xan Pilgrim, broker (standing)

Opposite page–Michelle, Xan, Christy, and Joan

Pictured above:

• Joan Killian Everett, broker and owner of the Joan Killian Everett Company

• Xan, Christy, and Michelle

• Joan greets a buyer.


Photos: Pictured above:

• Joan and Michelle reviewing details with a buyer.

• Joan with Office Manager Renee Willis

sional, serving grandparents, parents, and children. The agency does represent estate properties and has listings for very distinctive homes and land, but Joan emphasized, “we work with a wide range of clients in every price range.”

We also talked about how important it is to have connections in the community to provide top service to clients. Joan’s maternal and paternal family are Hickory natives, so when it comes time to call for services, they know the most reliable and capable businesses and contractors. From home inspections to repairs and any other needs such as attorneys, lenders, and surveyors, JKE Team has the ability to call on prompt, reliable services to support the selling and buying process.

The Essential Personal Touch

Joan discussed the importance of relationships and service in real estate with me. For many people, buying a home is the biggest financial transaction of their life, and owners are attached to properties that they may have called home for years. “I love to see people fall in love with the home they buy,” Joan said.

Joan is modest, but I asked her about what she’d heard from her many satisfied clients about their experience with the JKE Team. “Well,” she said, “Many clients tell me they appreciate the way we listen to them and understand what they need. Our goal is to build relationships and create clients for life.”

She added, “I want to make them feel confident in the buying process. It’s not just about buying a home, it’s about making them feel comfortable and introducing them to people.” She and the Joan Everett Team help buyers locate communities that meet their needs.

The outstanding service offered by the Joan Everett Team led by Joan Everett is deeply rooted in Hickory and the Catawba Valley.

Many new families have moved to Hickory for its quality of life, and they’re fortunate that they can turn to top real estate professionals who not only know the area, they recognize its beauty and value. “We could live anywhere,” Joan said about herself and her husband, “but we’d never leave Hickory.”

The Joan Killian Everett Company 828.638.1666 JoanEverett.com

Happy Retirement Dr. Steven Siciliano

It is rare when someone’s career has improved so many lives. That is the case with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Siciliano. He has helped thousands of patients with all kinds of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery throughout his more than 30 years of practice.

He joined Hickory Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Center in 1993 and practiced there for 23 years. The practice closed when Dr. Siciliano joined Piedmont Plastic Surgery & Dermatology in 2016.

This year Dr. Siciliano will be retiring from PPSD. The staff, fellow surgeons, and I’m sure, his patients would like to honor his service to our community and his profession by wishing him the best life has to offer.

Dr. Siciliano received his Bachelor of Science from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. He received his medical degree and completed his residency in general surgery and plastic surgery at The Medical University of South Carolina. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Siciliano is loved and respected by his patients, peers, and staff. Dr. Rosiane Roeder, a fellow plastic surgeon and one of his colleagues wrote:

31 Years of serving Hickory and the Unifour

“Hey there!”

I hear him chime from a corridor away, emphatically and gregariously. The warmth that is carried beyond the words that can fill a room with humble compassion and a twinge of humorous levity. A space that will be hard to fill in our practice, community, and our hearts as Dr. Steve Siciliano retires from the clinical practice of Plastic Surgery after 31 years.

As I see him trot down to the operating room one last time, I feel grateful that he was my partner and mentor for seven years. Grateful to have such a wonderful role model. I hope he knows how influential he has been to many.

Foremost, he is a family man. A husband, a father, and most recently a grandfather. A friend. A true leader. An incredible surgeon. One who made a significant impact in his patients’ lives not only with his knowledge and skills, but with his incredible bedside manner and uncanny sense of humor. All of which, we who have been gifted with the opportunity to work alongside him, will cherish for the remainder of our careers.

I have met hundreds of surgeons in my life and Dr. Siciliano is a rare breed. The elegance in his surgical work is a true reflection of him as a human being. Always respectful, pondered and patient. The type of gentleman any true Southern Gentleman would be envious of.

We who have been forever changed by being your patient, friend, and colleague rejoice in knowing that even though we are losing one of the greatest, you are more than deserving of this next milestone step. Spoil your family, who inevitability had to share you with so many and are highly deserving of credit for the part they played in supporting your career. Spoil yourself, as we know that in this job, taking care of oneself is always the last thing we worry about.

As for us, the ones left behind, we will certainly still ring you up for advice and will every day ask ourselves…“What would Steve do?”…and we will do just that to continue on forward, to the best of our abilities, trying to live up to your legacy.

— Dr. Rosie Roeder


What’s Cooking?

Kathy Dicken lives in Huntersville and is the author of the food blog, The Tasty Bits. For more meal ideas that are simple and delicious, you can follow her blog at www.thetastybits.com or on Instagram @thetastybits.

Simple Southern Tomato Pie

Servings: 6 • Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour


1 refrigerated pie crust

3 medium heirloom tomatoes

3-4 spring onions, chopped

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup fresh chopped basil


Preheat the oven to 4000. Cut tomatoes in half and scoop the seeds out with a small spoon. Then slice tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices and place on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt, and cover with paper towels and press down lightly to absorb moisture. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Next, roll out refrigerated pie crust into a 9-inch pie dish, crimp edges and poke crust all over with a fork. Bake crust for 8-10 minutes until it begins to brown. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. While crust bakes, sauté chopped green onions in 1 tablespoon of butter for 2-3 minutes.

To make the filling, stir together shredded cheese, mayo, basil, eggs, onions, salt and pepper. To assemble, arrange 1/3 of the tomato slices into the baked pie shell in a slightly overlapping pattern. Gently scoop and spread 1/2 of the filling on top of tomatoes. Repeat with another layer of tomatoes and filling, then top with remaining sliced tomatoes.

Shield edges of pie with aluminum foil before baking for 35-40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Garnish with more fresh basil if desired.

NOTE: Juicy tomatoes contain too much water for pie making, thus I always scoop out the seeds & juice before slicing.


Summer FUN!

School’s out, so it’s likely you’re looking high and low for the best opportunities to keep your family busy. We’ve rounded up some great finds that are fun for the whole family!

Family Daycations

Theme Parks

There’s nothing more thrilling than a theme park when you’re a kid. Amusement parks are a welcome escape from reality for the whole family.


Situated between Boone and Blowing Rock, Tweetsie Railroad is a timeless attraction for hot summer days where you can cool off in Wild West style! Go for the historic train ride and stay for gold panning, amusement rides, and live entertainment.


Carowinds tops any summer attraction list in the Carolinas. Just South of Charlotte, this amusement park clocks in at 400 acres of pure fun. Roller coasters provide a thrilling escape from screen time, and water parks are sure to keep you cool while having a blast!


Just because school is out doesn’t mean learning stops. Squeeze in some educational activities this summer. A side of fun can be enjoyed at these choices!


Discovery Place in downtown Charlotte, is an ideal destination for those who love STEM! Children of all ages— even children at heart—will enjoy the interesting exhibits and science-related learning activities that are hands-on and full of fun.


Catawba Science Center is really something to behold at 35,000-square feet. Not only will you enjoy handson exhibits, you’ll also find salt and freshwater aquarium galleries and a digital planetarium theater!


The Greensboro Science Center is just as fun as its Catawba counterpart, with an aquarium, a museum, and a zoo! Our favorite part, however, is SkyWild, the treetop adventure park.


The Biltmore Estate in Asheville could take an entire weekend (or more) to fully explore. Of course, there’s the 8,000-square foot estate, also known as America’s Largest Home. But, you’d be

remiss to forgo the gardens, Biltmore Village, the restaurants, the gift shop, and, adults only please, Biltmore’s famous winery.

Water Parks

July and August heat waves are no joke, but it’s easy to majorly chill out with these fantastic water parks!


You could spend an entire day just at Carowind’s Tidal Wave Bay. Lounge chairs and cabanas surround the pool area, so parents can relax while kids splash around with tubes and rafts, having the time of their lives.


Spend an entire weekend—or even a week—at Great Wolf Lodge resort! With an indoor water park, this attraction also includes a ropes course, MagiQuest, and more. It’s a kid’s fantasy land. Also, don’t miss out on their summer camp options!

Here’s hoping you and your family have a total blast this summer!


Photo @ Steve Exum

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