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Complimentary October 2013

Living the Good Life

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LIVI NG

from the publisher

Welcome to the October issue.

Iredell

October promises to be a busy and exciting month with the change of the seasons, free concerts, Carolina BalloonFest and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Carolina BalloonFest is October 18 - 20 and will be a fun weekend for the whole family! The festival is held at the Statesville Regional Airport and will host a display of over 50 hot air balloons, live entertainment, food, wine, kid's activities and more. Downtown Mooresville will finish up their Live in the 115 outdoor concert series October 18th with two great acts. The concert is free and will be held in John Franklin Moore Park. You will see plenty of pink ribbons this month to represent Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please support fundraisers for the cause or maybe make a donation to Susan G. Komen to help find a cure.

Living the Good Life

October 2013

Mailing Address - 1670 E. Broad Street, Suite #195 Statesville, NC 28625 704-873-7307 E-mail - IredellLiving@gmail.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kristie Darling • Kirk Ballard David Bradley • Meredith Collins Janet Harriman • April Dellinger • Jessica Fox COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Shane Greene Photography COVER STORY The Enchanted Olive

Have a great month and thank you for reading the October issue of Iredell Living Magazine!

Editorial stock photography, unless otherwise noted, is from ThinkStock.com

Follow us on facebook–IredellLivingMagazine http://twitter.com/IredellLiving

Myron T. Gough Publisher, Iredell Living

W W W. I R E D E L L L I V I N G M AG A Z I N E . C O M Myron T. Gough Publisher/Owner

Kathy Wheeler Art Director/Sales

Linda B. Wilson Sales

myron@iredelllivingmagazine.com (704) 873-7307

kathy@iredelllivingmagazine.com (828) 238-3224

linda@iredelllivingmagazine.com (704) 657-0237

Tami Brode Sales

Karen Shore Sales

Bob Church Sales

tami@iredelllivingmagazine.com (704) 699-5983

karen@iredelllivingmagazine.com (704) 425-3986

bob@hickorylivingmagazine.com (336) 686-7271

Iredell Living reserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing. Submissions are welcome, but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. Iredell Living assumes no responsibility for information, products, services or statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. 4

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content

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October 2013 8

• Enjoy The Season!

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• The Enchanted Olive: Healthy, Fresh, Delicious!

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• Tribute To The Troops Ride In North Carolina

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• Piedmont HealthCare: Rheumatologist Dr. Dijana Christianson

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• Teacher Appreciation Day

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• What's Cooking?! Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pound Cake

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• A Word From The MooresvilleSouth Iredell Chamber: Solve A Mystery At The 2013 Business Expo

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• A Word From The Statesville Chamber: Carolina BalloonFest Celebrates 40 Years

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fall fun | food | giving back | local business 6

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Enjoy the Season! By Jessica Fox ©rabbit75_ist | iStockphoto | Thinkstock

Fall

is my favorite time of the year. I love everything about it, except raking leaves. Football season has started; the leaves are changing colors creating picturesque scenery. Temperatures are dropping, fall festivals are in full swing, and then we end the month of October with Halloween. We’ll visit a pumpkin patch for hayrides and find the perfect jack-o-lantern, create a one-of-a-kind costume and eat lots of candy. How fun is that?! There is no way to predict the best day to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway for the peak of autumn color. However, the best time is usually mid-to-late October. Leaves normally start changing earlier in the higher elevations and work their way down the mountain as the month progresses. Visit www.virtualblueridge.

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com/color-reports for the latest peak autumn color updates. You will also find a calendar of events on www.blueridgeparkway.org.

just delightful. Before visiting, check them out on facebook.com/grandfathervineyard to make sure they are open and not hosting a private event.

Banner Elk will host their 36th Annual Woolly Worm Festival on October 19th and 20th. Last year's event drew about 23,000 attendees. One of the fun events at the festival is racing woolly worms up a string. The winning worm predicts the upcoming winter weather by the color of the 13 rings on its back, and its owner wins $1,000. My brotherin-law used to stop on the way up the mountain and get his special caterpillar instead of purchasing one at the festival. People name their woolly worms, and some of the names are just too funny. While you are in Banner Elk, visit Grandfather Vineyard and Winery. The setting is beautiful and the owners are

Between Carolina BalloonFest and LIVE in the 115 outdoor concert October 18th, you will find plenty of events to attend without ever leaving Iredell County. Live in the 115 is held in downtown Mooresville and will feature Carrie Marshall at 5:30 p.m. and Sista-T and the Smokin' Section at 7:30 p.m. Whether you decide to rent a cabin in the mountains, take a day trip to the Great Smokies or enjoy the scenery in your own backyard, take the time to let the beauty of the season sink in. Remember it will be another year before fall rolls around again. Enjoy it while it lasts!


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LIVI NG

cover story

Photos

On the cover and pictured–Lon and Shannon Barker, owners of The Enchanted Olive Opposite page, bottom–Shannon helping a customer with their order From left to right: Shannon Barker, Lon Barker, Tiful McLaughlin, sales associate, and Aaron Haengel, manager, discuss new items and wines. 12

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By Kristie Darling | Photos by Shane Greene Photography

Olive oil…really? Absolutely! This simple food has become the oil of choice in our kitchens. We cook with it, dress salads with it, dip bread in it, we even clean and moisturize our skin and hair with it. It’s believed that olive oil’s culinary and medicinal cultivation goes back over 4,500 years. Oil production and storage during the exodus from Egypt is mentioned in the Old Testament as having been guarded by priests...it was a sacred commodity. And now, extra virgin olive oil, (EVOO) in several distinct, straight versions, as well as flavorful infused blends, are offered for your tasting pleasure at The Enchanted Olive in historic, downtown Mooresville. Olive oil’s many cooking companions–balsamic vinegars, herbs, spices, and wines–can be tasted and selected to perfect your cooking and dining enjoyment. “You can prepare excellent quality gourmet meals at home

with everything we have in the store,” Owner Shannon Barker told me, “all very affordable, delicious, and always fresh.”

THE TASTING BAR Shannon and her husband, Lon, fell in love with the concept of an olive oil and balsamic vinegar bar when they first saw it several years ago. Lon explained: “The idea that folks could sample the oils and vinegars in the store before purchase

made perfect sense to us. We carry so many different blends of both extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars, it’s hard to choose what you want or discover what you like without a taste test.” Like a vineyard wine tasting, The Enchanted Olive makes sampling easy. Fresh oils and vinegars are displayed in NSF certified fustis (dispensers), and the labels on each are delightfully intriguing. Infused EVOO blends with names like citrus habanero, basil lemongrass, blood orange, the mayor’s Italian herb with garlic blend (next time you’re chatting with Mooresville’s mayor, Miles Atkins, just ask…) call out to be tasted. There are over 60 EVOOs, specialty oils (prized black and white truffle infused oils, grapeseed, sesame, and avocado oils), and Italian balsamic vinegars to try. Fresh bread dipped in each flavor or flavor combo is unique and delicious; you’ll want to taste each one!

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Shannon and her team help you understand what you’re tasting. “We prize customer service,” Shannon said. “Every purchase is poured in the store for you. We can prepare a custom blend, explain the many health benefits of EVOO and balsamic vinegar, suggest complementary wines, vinegars and herbs, and share recipes we love.” Shoppers can select custom poured, samplesized 2-ounce bottles, 8-ounce, 12.7-ounce, or 24-ounce bottles, depending on their need. Certified, American cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils are featured. I started with several sample bottles so I could try each first, and having made a killer bowl of kale chips with chipotle EVOO and espresso balsamic, I plan to go back to taste and buy more! PARTIES, CLASSES, EVENTS! “We are truly blessed to have wonderful customers who tell us how much they enjoy having the store in Mooresville,” Shannon said as she gave me the cook’s tour. “We have special events every month, and that gives us an opportunity to get to know folks better and learn more about what they like.” The store is a beautiful venue for bridal luncheons, baby showers, corporate meetings and receptions. With seating for up to 49 and very reasonable pricing, The Enchanted Olive’s spacious loft has recently hosted the Chamber of Commerce, the mayor’s volunteers’ banquet, and the Mooresville beautification committee’s Christmas party. The store’s colorful, olive grove mural frames the sunny first floor where shiny dispensers mingle with displays of dried herbs, spices, gourmet mustards, terra cotta pottery, and olive oil-based bath and body products. A large wine rack is filled with local and regional wines. Wine and paint workshops are held in the loft several times each month. Local artist, Jin Williams, teaches two-hour classes in various media, partnered with a private wine tasting. “I call it paintby-numbers,” Shannon explained, “without the numbers! Anyone can do it. Just call if you’d like a class for you and your friends. You can select the media you’d like Jin to teach!” Recent workshop paintings colorfully adorn the building’s original brick walls. Home parties are big everywhere, and this month in-home cooking classes and oil and vinegar parties can be booked to kick off the holiday season. Recipes will be prepared with samples and tastings for everyone. “Check our website and Facebook page for details on booking an at home or in store party, for recipe ideas, upcoming events, and for our new cookbook!” Shannon continued. “New holiday items are starting to come in; the store changes all the time.” IN THE COMMUNITY The Enchanted Olive’s high quality products and commitment to our community are experienced in many ways. “As a family owned business, we want to be a good community partner, so we 14

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participate in community events whenever we can. We’ve set up an effective fundraising program for selling sampler product kits that schools and nonprofits can easily employ to raise funds. Everything is set up for you to successfully complete your fundraiser in about a month,” Shannon explained. “We support this program with full customer service. Everyone has a fun time, and we’re glad for the opportunity to help.” In the store, look for ONEHOPE Wines, an award-winning selection with a portion of sales supporting the American Cancer Society, childhood hunger, autism research and our American troops. Numerous restaurants and catering companies in Mooresville are buying their oils from Shannon and Lon…good ideas travel fast! CUSTOMER SERVICE IS EVERYTHING Shannon’s staff focuses on helpful assistance and serving customers. “We’re all about educating our customers so they discover what they like and find what they need,” Store Manager Aaron Haengel explained. “Olive oil is discussed a lot in health circles and the media, and people want to learn more– EVOO’s many heart health and weight

loss benefits, how to use olive oil as a beauty product, cooking and recipes–we can help with all of that.” Aaron works closely with Shannon and others in the store: Tiful McLaughlin is the most recent sales associate to join the team. She was (and still is!) a devoted fan of the store and eagerly agreed to working with Shannon. “Working here is perfect for me,” Tiful said. “I have several favorite salad dressings and marinades that I make all the time. The quality and flavor of our oils and vinegars make everything taste great.” Shannon’s mom, Marie Allen, is there when needed, especially at special events, and her aunt, Brenda Silvent, works part-time. Three years ago Shannon and Lon envisioned “just a little store where I could get away from the fast pace of the food industry.” They are very pleased with the growth and popularity of The Enchanted Olive. “Our customers love to cook and love to eat. They appreciate quality, delicious ingredients,” Shannon told me. “We have very loyal shoppers, and we’re always grateful for the compliments we get.”

Photos:

Opposite page, top to bottom • Fustis, used to store EVOO and vinegars, maintain product freshness and line the tasting bar filled with infused (flavored) EVOO. • Aaron and Tiful stock containers for the spice corner. • From left to right–Aaron Haengel, manager; Tiful McLaughlin, sales associate; Shannon and Lon Barker Above–Left, the upstairs loft is available for private parties Right–The Enchanted Olive spice corner Simple Salad Dressing or Marinade 2 oz. 25 Star Balsamic Vinegar 2 oz. Mayor’s Blend EVOO Tiful's Favorite Dressing or Marinade 2 oz. Espresso Balsamic Vinegar 2 oz. Blood Orange EVOO

The Enchanted Olive 119 North Main Street • Mooresville

Plan to visit The Enchanted Olive soon. Your taste buds will thank you.

(704) 230-4704 www.EnchantedOliveOil.com IREDELL LIVING • OCTOBER 2013

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Tribute To The Troops Ride In North Carolina

Photos:

Left–Tribute To The Troops show their heartfelt gratitude for the sacrifice of a fallen soldier in a family dedication ceremony. Below–Statesville native Rockie Lynne, singer/songwriter Photos by Janet Harriman

By Janet Harriman Music stirs people into motion. Consider the power in the abbreviated lyrics of the song “Home” below. When heard, this patriotic anthem is sure to move you, too. “Eighteen and called for duty God and country and fellow man Beaches made for beauty Are covered with bloody grains of sand Mothers hide your children There’s danger in this land And Father, please forgive me For I know not who I am Fly home, my sweet angel From sea to shining sea Fly home, my sweet angel Won’t you fly on home to me” Tribute To The Troops was inspired and organized in Minnesota. A video featured the song “Home” written by country artist and Statesville native, Rockie Lynne. It depicted images of our fallen heroes, beginning with the lives lost during the United States’ presence in Iraq. A small group of 60 Minnesotans, on 45 motorcycles, joined together to conduct the first Tribute To The Troops Ride in the fall of 2004. The entourage visited the families of three fallen soldiers to convey thanks to each family and to assure them that 16

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their loss and sacrifice would never be forgotten. Each participant personally acknowledged the loss of the families’ beloved soldiers. “We took them a flag in a case and we hugged them,” Rockie said. “We went there and just hugged them. It was all these people going up to the families and telling them that they care. It was an unbelievable watershed of emotion. They thanked us, but we were there to thank them.” Lynne co-founded this organization and is also the national spokesperson. Mission Statement. Tribute To The Troops is an organization of grateful Americans dedicated to preserving the memory of those men and women of our military who lost their lives while bravely protecting our freedom. It is in their memory that we honor and convey our heartfelt gratitude to family and friends left behind and extend our sincere appreciation to all veterans who have served, whether in war or in peace. Tribute To The Troops North Carolina Chapter began building membership and organizing motorcycle brigades in 2012. Tribute To The Troops has also established chapters in Illinois and Oregon.

Make a difference in the lives of military families and their children! The 2013 Tribute To The Troops North Carolina Motorcycle Ride is scheduled to roll October 19 – 20 from Tilley HarleyDavidson in Statesville. For information and registration details visit www.TributeToTheTroops.org and click on Chapter Sites and then North Carolina. Saturday evening’s ride ends with dinner and a concert featuring Rockie Lynne at Richard’s Coffee Shop in Mooresville. The Sunday afternoon ride finishes at Di'Lishi Frozen Yogurt Bar in Statesville. Join them at 4:00 pm to welcome the riders home and enjoy a cool yogurt treat. Remember to vote for Tribute To The Troops inside Di’Lishi– they award quarterly donations to the organization with the most spoon votes! Ride to experience what Rockie knows: “Tribute To The Troops is the worst possible way to meet the greatest people.” Tribute To The Troops® is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Tribute To The Troops established the Fallen Hero’s Children’s Education Fund to provide financial assistance to the surviving children of our fallen heroes to be used to defray the costs of post-secondary education. We strongly believe that these children should have the opportunity to pursue the career or vocation of their choice after high school, and that the loss of a parent should not inhibit their ability to follow their dreams. Since the inception of the Fund, we have contributed over $230,000, which directly benefits the surviving children.


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Rheumatologist Dr. Dijana Christianson By Meredith Collins Photos by Shane Greene Photography

Dr. Dijana Christianson, rheumatologist with Piedmont HealthCare's Lake Medical Associates.

What is rheumatology? Dr. Dijana Christianson wants you to know! “When most people think ‘rheumatology,’ they only think about older people and arthritis,” Dr. Christianson said. “Rheumatology includes a variety of diseases affecting people of all ages.” She provides medical care for patients with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and patients who have problems with their joints, soft tissue, vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), and hereditary connective tissue disorders. These diseases include osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout. Dr. Christianson is in a medical practice with two other physicians at Gateway Medical Plaza in Mooresville, near Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. The practice is part of Piedmont HealthCare, one of the 18

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largest physician-owned and directed multi-specialty groups in the Southeast region, providing medical expertise for nearly all medical specialties. Her personal journey to becoming a rheumatologist has been a challenging adventure. When she was 18 years old, her family fled to the United States from Bosnia during the war. Once here, a church group adopted her family. They assisted with acclimation to their new culture and helped with Dr. Christianson’s school enrollment. Since that time 15 years ago, she has become fluent in English, and her family has become American citizens, active in the community. When asked what career path she wanted to take, she informed the church elders she wanted to be a doctor. “They encouraged me to choose

something else, but I’ve always been pretty stubborn,” Dr. Christianson said. “Since childhood, I have wanted to be a doctor. The magic of life itself fascinated me, and during our darkest moments, I still felt that somehow my dream would eventually come true. I was not going to give up.” Despite some concern about how everything was going to work out, Dr. Christianson started school a year later at King College in Bristol, Tennessee, and then attended medical school in Missouri. After her residency in Pittsburgh and a fellowship in Rheumatology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, she joined Piedmont HealthCare and Dr. Sean Fahey (also a MUSC Alumnus) last year. The decision to choose rheumatology as a specialty was easy for Dr. Chris-


tianson. “I love this field,” she said. “It’s so interesting. Our diseases are everywhere, and they have specific pathways of presentation. Some are very common while others are rare. I consider rheumatology the perfect blend of discovery and practice. It enables one to care for a broad spectrum of patients with diagnosis ranging from common conditions to very complicated multi-systemic diseases.” Dr. Christianson is certainly up for the challenge and enjoys treating patients, seeing improvements and helping them return to their everyday lifestyles. She lives in Mooresville with her husband and two young children.

Photos: Above, left–Dr. Christianson reviews a patient's electronic record, while the room is being prepped for treatment. Above, right–Dr. Christianson runs diagnostic tests and administers treatment for joint pain.

Lake Medical Associates of Piedmont HealthCare 157-A Professional Park Drive • Mooresville 704-658-1001 www.piedmonthealthcare.com

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But how is it that you know all of these things as though they were second nature? Teachers–the educators we rarely think to acknowledge for our vast array of knowledge. Luckily, October 5th gives us the opportunity to thank educators everywhere for their time and dedication to us, our children and the future of America in the form of Teacher Appreciation Day.

© Stockbyte | Thinkstock

Teacher

APPRECIATION DAY By April Dellinger If you are reading this, chances are someone spent countless hours working with you on skills like the alphabet, phonetics, grammar, syntax, sentence formation and reading comprehension. You recognize the number at the bottom of this page because it was taught to you in a classroom. Chances are, you also recognize yourself as a citizen of the United States of America, and you know that in 1492, an Italian explorer by the name of Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas. I bet you know that in 1620, The Mayflower brought pilgrims to The New World, and by the end of the 18th cen20

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tury, The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776 in order to bring independence to our colonies. You recognize that North Carolina is the state in which you reside, the capitol being Raleigh. Surely, you must also know that you live on planet Earth, the third planet from the Sun, which is composed mostly of iron (Fe), oxygen (O), silicon (Si), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S), nickel (Ni), calcium (Ca) and aluminum (Al). Gravity is no stranger to you, nor are kinetics or classical mechanics. You're using your brain right now in order to see, smell, hear, think, touch, taste and move.

Take a look around you today and notice what a large impact our educators have on the life around us. We have firefighters to save us; police officers for protection; lawyers and judges to ensure there is justice; doctors and nurses to heal; engineers, physicists, and architects to create, discover, and build; farmers to plant and grow; store CEOs, managers, and staff to sell goods, and much more. Every job around you was made possible because a teacher cared enough to prepare a student to grow and learn further than the classroom. So this year on October 5th, rather than sending an apple to school with your child as a humble “thank you” to their teachers, lend encouragement to the important educators in your life, and do a little show-and-tell of your own in order to properly extend gratitude to those who give your growing student the tools and building blocks to a successful future. Need a few ideas: gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target, Staples or craft stores in order to help provide classroom supplies, donate your own personal time to volunteer in your child's classroom, nominate your child's teachers for awards or send a heart-felt thank you card crafted by you and your child. If you're the student, acknowledge your teachers openly in class and bring awareness to your classmates. You wouldn't be who you are today without teachers.


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What's Cooking?! Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pound Cake

With the chill of autumn setting in, now is the perfect time to preheat the oven and enjoy the pleasure of baking at home. Wilton has a wide selection of bakeware, decorating and party products to help you make delicious, comforting treats that will warm your home and are perfect for expressing love and appreciation to family and friends.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pound Cake Makes about 16 servings.

3 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 1¾ cups firmly packed light brown sugar 4 eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1¼ cups 100 percent pure pumpkin ¾ cup dark cocoa Candy Melts

Candy, roughly chopped

Glaze: ½ cup confectioners’ sugar ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional) 2 teaspoons milk

Directions: Preheat oven to 325ºF. Prepare Dimensions Cascade Pan with vegetable pan spray with flour. In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. In large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition; beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with pumpkin. Stir in chopped candy; mix until just combined. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 55-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes; invert onto cooling grid and cool completely. For glaze, stir together confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon and milk in small bowl. Drizzle over cooled cake. Recipe and photo courtesy of Wilton Products. IREDELL LIVING • OCTOBER 2013

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Photo by Captain Gus

Solve A Mystery at the 2013 Business Expo

A WORD FROM

J

oin the Mooresville-South Iredell

historic, downtown Mooresville. Adja-

Chamber of Commerce for

cent to the Citizen Center is plenty of

Business Expo 2013. On Thurs-

free and convenient parking. It is only

day, October 24, the Business

a short drive away, no matter which

Expo will once again fill the Charles

part of town you are in.

Mack Citizen Center. With close to 100 booths featuring area businesses

The Expo starts at 11 AM and runs

and organizations, this Expo is a

until 5 PM. Immediately following the

networker’s dream. The annual event

Expo, the Mooresville-South Iredell

consistently sells out with businesses

Chamber of Commerce hosts Business

and visitors looking to connect with lo-

After Hours for their members and

cal services and products. This event is

businesses. Held in Alice’s Courtyard,

open to the public free of charge.

Business After Hours continues until 7 PM. Food and beverage will be provid-

This year’s theme is Solve A Mystery–

ed by Divino's Pizza, Salsarita’s Fresh

something fun that will increase booth

Cantina, and Victory Lanes Finish-Line

traffic and maximize the return on

Restaurant. The Chamber encourages

investment for our exhibitors. See if

all local residents, chamber members,

you can uncover our clues hidden at

and business professionals to stop by.

each vendor’s booth. Based on the game Clue, search for the usual suspects:

Grow your business by connecting with

Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum, and

potential partners and customers at the

Mr. Green…even Miss Scarlet will be

Expo. Previous attendees report this

there!

event to be one of the best returns on their investment for business develop-

Last year, over 1,000 people visited our

ment year after year. You do not want

Business Expo. Don't miss this op-

to miss this event.

portunity to stop by and vote for your favorite and most creative displays.

Visit our website: www.mooresvillenc.

Take advantage of this incredible op-

org for more information on how to ap-

portunity to showcase your products

ply for a vendor booth. Our presenting

Kirk Ballard

and services. You will meet face-to-face

sponsor for this outstanding event is

President and CEO Mooresville - South Iredell Chamber of Commerce

with hundreds of other busnesses and

Sam's Club, opening soon off Highway

customers who will be actively net-

150.

working at the exhibition hall that day. The Charles Mack Citizen Center is located at 215 North Main Street in

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A WORD FROM

Carolina BalloonFest Celebrates 40 Years

I recently had occasion to get reacquainted with best friends from high school and their spouses. Aside from the fact that we had a little bit less on the top of our head and a little bit more around our belly, we hadn’t missed a beat. After the perfunctory, “what are you doing now?” answers, I was accosted by many of this crew with… “When is the balloon festival? I have always wanted to come and this year is my year.” These friends, residing 60-100 miles away, knew that Statesville/Iredell County must be a pretty cool place if it could host an event that strikes a sense of wonder in everyone that attends. We all quest for those opportunities in which we are awed–or those grand instances in which we simply stop whatever we are doing and stare. On October 18-20, folks from all over the region will flock to the Statesville Regional Airport with the expectation of that happening. Statesville is home to Carolina BalloonFest, reportedly the second longest running hot air balloon festival in the country and, for that weekend, the best spot in North Carolina to hear the continuous usage of the word, WOW! Over 50 balloonists from all over the country will be in town for this historic event. With six mass ascensions planned (please know that mass ascensions ONLY happen shortly after sunrise and a few hours before sunset, weather permitting), we will have multiple opportunities to stop, look up and smile. Hot air ballooning is a fine mix of artistry, science, common sense and sport.

David Bradley President and CEO Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce

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In addition to hot air balloons, Carolina BalloonFest is loaded with other facets to tickle the senses: • Two entertainment stages will feature well recognized groups like Danny

Woods and the Prophets, as well as the eclectic Scottish tribal drum group, Albannach. • The Kids Zone area full of bounce houses in which our youngest can enjoy more than simply balloons. We will also have a zip line that allows a bird’s eye view of the festival grounds. • Nearly twenty food vendors will offer a respite to any empty belly. • A wine tasting garden featuring several North Carolina wineries. • A marketplace for craft vendors whose wares can grace any home or office. This year is a particularly important year. On the backs of many of the country’s ballooning pioneers, and many of this community’s staunch organizing volunteers, we celebrate this event’s 40th year. There have been cyclical periods of success of the National Balloon Rally/Carolina BalloonFest. On the cusp of this anniversary, we are proud to be riding the crest of a sensational wave. This year, beginning with a celebration of our history on Thursday evening, we will pay tribute to those who have sweat, bled, cried, and laughed with each other to make this a trademark image for this community. Of particular interest will be the recognition of the only pilot who has been here every year, Don Cline of Greensboro. Under the leadership of Carolina Balloonfest Chairman Bud Welch, the board of directors, and Executive Director Robb Collier, this year’s festival is shaping up to be extraordinary. If you would like to volunteer, wish to buy tickets or simply want to see if we can further tempt your interest to come out, please go to: www.carolinaballoonfest.com.

You won’t be sorry!


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