Lake Norman prepares for the holidays
The biggest meatball in North Carolina Amy Sullivan Weishaarâ€™s decorating approach Davidson Womenâ€™s Basketball takes the court VOL. 10 NUMBER December 2017
The location, the style, the feeling you get when you walk through the door – every aspect of your home should be a reflection of who you are, where you’ve been and the life you aspire to live. Your best life begins with a home that inspires you. Call us today and let us find your inspiration. 877.539.9865
New London, North Carolina premiersir.com/id/3200446 704.727.4170 Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.
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Contents December 2017 vol. 10 No. 12
20 Make a Mess Kevin Turner’s the Man Cave
Mike Savicki tastes the “biggest meatball in North Carolina”
Movers, shakers and more at the lake
13 Bags of Hope feeds the future
14 Savvy Salon & Day Spa
stays ahead of the trends
69 Out + About The 2017 Best of the
Lake Design Competition and Awards Gala
70 On the Circuit What’s happening at
How we live at the lake
foxtrot at Dynamic Ballroom
26 T he Holidays
How Lake Norman prepares for the season of joy
Artist Amy Sullivan Weishaar’s minimalist holiday style
Lake Norman this month
72 Lori’s Larks Editor Lori K. Tate learns to
Photo illustration by Kerrie Boys.
22 Thoughts from
About the Cover:
Dine + Wine
Eating, drinking, cooking and fun
60 Wine Time
6 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
Bacchus Tapas and Wine delivers a tasty trip
62 On Tap
Hot Rods and Hops for the holidays
63 In the Kitchen
34 T rends + Style
Everything you need for a beautiful blue Christmas
with Jill Dahan
Almond or Sunflower Toffee Squares
64 Nibbles + Bites
Midwood Smokehouse is smokin’ good
36 G ame On
A new era for Davidson Women’s Basketball
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Lake Norman CURRENTS is a monthly publication available through direct-mail home delivery to the most affluent Lake Norman residents. It also is available at area Harris Teeter supermarkets, as well as various Chambers of Commerce, real estate offices and specialty businesses. The entire contents of this publication are protected under copyright. Unauthorized use of any editorial or advertising content in any form is strictly prohibited. Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine is wholly owned by Oasis Magazines, Inc.
2014 Gold MarCom Award Winner for Design Excellence 2013 Platinum Award Winner for Magazine Special Edition 2013 Lake Norman Chamber Business of the Year
2010 Gold MarCom Award Winner for Best Magazine 2009 APEX Award Winner for Publication Excellence
In CURRENTS November 2017 issue on pages 25 and 26 (Happy Campers), we misspelled Smithville. We apologize for the error.
Between the Beacons Charting Your Course to Retirement
The Changing World of Retirement Investment Strategies
“When is the stock market going to crash?” seems to be the number one question we get asked lately. Wow, do I wish I had the answer to that one! The bottom line is that nobody knows for sure, but I can tell you that if you plan properly, it shouldn’t matter much. Below are what are called the “three buckets of money”, and the trick is to know how much to have in each bucket as you grow older. Too many people leave too much of their money in the growth bucket through retirement, which leads to unnecessary stress over trying to predict what the markets will do. If you’ve got things split up correctly, then fluctuations in your investments shouldn’t make or break your lifestyle. 1) Savings / Liquidity – This is where you’ll use checking or savings accounts at banks for liquidity and
how much of your assets should be in each bucket as you go through various phases in your life. And guess what? Everyone wants your money! So, you get bombarded by all the financial institutions claiming they’re the best for you for all kinds of goofy reasons. In our opinion, the best thing consumers can do when it comes to putting a solid retirement plan in place is to seek out an independent Registered Investment Advisor that has a fiduciary responsibility. That means they don’t work for any one particular company pushing only that company’s products, but rather that they work for you and must do what’s in your best interest. Here are a few “rules of thumb” we follow at JDS Wealth Management in order to meet the objectives as described above and utilize the appropriate blend of financial institutions: A) Develop a written retirement income plan. This plan should show where income will come from, and when/how. The plan should take into account income goals, taxes, Social Security, safe money strategies, growth strategies, liquid assets, and inflation. Our “Chart Your Course Retirement Plan” covers all of these. B) Balance risk based on your age, income needs, and risk tolerance. We like to use the “100 Age Rule”
as a guideline for the appropriate safe/risk ratio. Simply put, place a percentage sign behind your age, and that’s approximately how much of your liquid assets you should have in a safe place. The older you get, the less risk you should take, because time is no longer on your side to recoup losses. We use a program call Riskalyze to determine your Risk Number for the assets that will be invested. We design a portfolio to match your Risk Number and monitor things over time. C) Guarantee basic income needs. We use guaranteed insurance contracts to guarantee income. As discussed last month, income planning is the key to retirement planning. Don’t leave your income up to chance! At JDS, everything we do is designed to take the worry out of your retirement. If you’d like to set up a visit to discuss your retirement and get your own Chart Your Course Retirement Plan, then give us a call. And remember: The purpose of the money dictates where you put it! Until Next Month, James D. Stillman
(704) 660-0214 jdswealthmanagement.com 119-F Poplar Pointe Drive Mooresville, NC 28117 James D. Stillman is a licensed insurance professional, Registered Financial Consultant, and Investment Advisor Representative. He is the founder and president of two companies: JDS Enterprizes, Inc. and JDS Wealth Management Corporation, a Registered Investment Advisory Firm. All content is intended for informational purposes only. Guarantees apply to certain insurance and annuity products (not securities, variable or investment advisory products) and are subject to product terms, exclusions, and limitations and the insurer’sclaims-paying ability and ﬁnancial strength.
James D. Stillman
safety, so you have money to pay for bills and emergencies. Not a lot of growth here, but it’s money you can get your hands on quickly. 2) Investments / Growth – The goal of investments is to grow assets and build a nest egg for the future – either for retirement or some other future goal. This is where most folks use the world of Wall Street investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, etc. You do have to take on more risk, but if you have time on your side and invest through the ups and downs of the market, then the risk will likely pay off. Wall Street is not the only option for growth, but it is by far the most popular choice. 3) Income & Preservation – Once you start approaching retirement, the main goal should be to guarantee some income and preserve more of your assets. You don’t want to sabotage all the work you’ve done to build up a nest egg by leaving too much exposed to risk or using the wrong tools. The retirement phase of your financial life is probably the most difficult to navigate, because it should contain a blend of banks for liquid safe dollars, Wall Street for growth dollars, and insurance companies for safe growth, guaranteed income, and health care costs. Again, the trick is figuring out
from Where I Sit
It’s About the Experience
The magazine by and for the people who call Lake Norman home
Publisher MacAdam Smith Mac@LNCurrents.com
LET THE MAGIC OF DECEMBER GUIDE YOU by Lori K. Tate
8 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
Photo by Glenn Roberson
hen I turn down the road to go to my house, I pass a church that offers a grief support group during the holidays. The sign goes up every year a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, and when I see it I think about my friends who’ve lost someone dear and how hard the holidays must be for them. The holidays can be stressful for a number of reasons. There’s the simple fact that we try to squeeze a year of celebration into 31 days, and then there’s the expectation of a perfect Christmas. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never found a new Lexus topped with a giant red bow in my driveway on Christmas morning. And if anyone around here has experienced that, I can assure you that there was no snow falling blissfully to the ground. We set ourselves up every year for this amazing experience, not realizing that just being here to experience something is amazing. Five years ago, one of my best friends from high school lost her husband in a car accident. One minute he was driving home from work; the next minute he wasn’t. I hadn’t seen her in years, but when I heard about the accident, I gathered my other two girlfriends from home, and we visited her. My heart froze when I looked at what life had dealt her. Not only did she lose her husband, but she also lost the father of her 5-year-old son. I cried the kind of primal cry reserved only for the times
when life hits you so hard you can’t breathe. I wondered how she would get out of bed every day and how she could possibly explain this to her son. I thought about how she would deal with the anger she must have felt. I worried she would fall into a deep depression. While processing all of that, I remembered who she was. Of all of my friends, she’s one of the strongest and smartest. (I never would have passed trigonometry without her.) She grew up with a single dad and worked her way through college and law school. Though she can be fragile, those moments are far outnumbered by her resiliency. As time went on, she began building a new life for her and her son, and she got engaged to a wonderful man a couple of years ago. This past fall I texted her around the anniversary of her husband’s accident. We bantered back and forth just like we always have, and then she asked me to come to the tree lighting in Concord, our hometown. “We can walk from my new house,” she wrote. Turns out she and her fiancé bought a house I’ve
always admired in my favorite neighborhood downtown. When she opened the door, she was glowing. Her happiness was contagious, as we laughed the whole night through. Driving home I thought about what things were like five years ago after the accident and how they are now. My friend has found a wonderfully caring man to share her life with. She has a sweet son who loves his new school. Her job couldn’t be better, and she can walk to the library from her new home. My heart filled with joy as I thought about how far she’d come in such a short amount of time. She arrived at her destination despite the cruel curve that life threw her. It gave me hope for my friends that are at the beginning of their grief journey. After conferring with Santa, my husband and I decided to give our children a trip for Christmas this year instead of toys, as an experience has a much longer shelf life. That’s also what I wish for you. Whether you’re grieving this holiday season or enjoying a state of stability in your life, I hope that you have a holiday experience that will stay with you throughout the year. It doesn’t matter if it’s a concert, a Christmas pageant, reconnecting with an old friend or simply helping someone who needs it. There’s magic in the air during December — let’s hope it lingers.
Sharon Simpson Sharon@LNCurrents.com
Editor Lori K. Tate Lori@LNCurrents.com
Advertising Sales Executives
Carole Lambert Carole@LNCurrents.com
Cindy Gleason Cindy@LNCurrents.com
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Social Media Specialist Michele Chastain email@example.com
Publication Design & Production idesign2, inc Mission Statement: Lake Norman
CURRENTS magazine will embody the character, the voice and the spirit of its readers, its leaders and its advertisers. It will connect the people of Lake Norman through inspiring, entertaining and informative content, photography and design; all of which capture the elements of a well-lived life on and around the community known as Lake Norman. www.facebook.com/LNCurrents www.twitter.com/LNCurrents
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channelMarkers Movers, Shakers, Style, Shopping, Trends, Happenings and More at Lake Norman
From left, Jennie Pauling and Anne Mitchell lead Bags of Hope, which provides food for area students on the weekends and during holidays.
eventy children in the Lake Norman area’s public schools will have food to eat for the weekend thanks to a backpack program called Bags of Hope. Four years ago the idea of providing students with food started in a small community group at Journey Church in Huntersville. Families filled food bags for 10 children at Blythe Elementary, but more bags were needed. The program became a churchwide endeavor and soon grew into the nonprofit HopeLKN. Today, Bags of Hope serves children at Blythe and Torrence Creek Elementary Schools, as well as J.M. Alexander Middle School. Twice a week, Bags of Hope
provides snacks for 50 students at an after-school program at Hopewell High School. Volunteers gather at HopeLKN’s warehouse in Cornelius for packing parties. Each 2.5-gallon Ziploc bag contains two breakfasts, two lunches, three dinners, two
milks, two juices, three fruits, two vegetables and five snacks. Children receive extra food for school holidays. Gift cards are included for winter break. Jennie Pauling and Anne Mitchell, who head up Bags of Hope, say they receive letters from grateful students who have benefited from the
feeding program. “The kids are so innocent and can’t learn if they are hungry. We want to let them know that someone cares,” says Pauling. Many other students in area schools need food, but more donations and volunteers are needed to fill those bags. Bags of Hope wants to involve other churches, civic groups, workplaces, neighborhoods and individuals in the program. “We can do more with combined resources,” says Pauling. — Holly Becker, photography by Allison Hinman
Each backpack contains a 2.5-gallon Ziploc bag with two breakfasts, two lunches, three dinners, two milks, two juices, three fruits, two vegetables and five snacks.
To volunteer or donate to Bags of Hope, visit www. bagsofhopelkn.com or look for Bags of Hope on Facebook.
LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
Packed with Care Bags of Hope fuels students for learning
For the Long Run
14 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
at Helmandollar, owner of Savvy Salon & Day Spa in Cornelius, says part of her success is due to good timing and a bit of luck. “It was a matter of being at the right place at the right time and knowing what to do about it, and I wound up in an area that was beginning to explode,” she explains. In 1995, she bought her salon space in Norman Crossing Shopping Center from another company. Food Lion moved out of the shopping center, and the salon owners wanted out. “I had owned two other salons before, and I knew how to do it,” says Helmandollar. She also had experience as a stylist and trainer, as she’d worked for two multi-unit salon companies and a major manufacturer of hair care products. Savvy Salon & Day Spa started with two full-time and two part-time hairdressers and a nail technician. At that time, the space was only 1,600 square feet. In the early days, she says she and her small staff did everything from answering phones to cleaning. A year later she added a massage therapist and an esthetician and eventually more space. Today, Savvy Salon & Day Spa boasts 43 employees. Helmandollar’s daughter, Lauren Springer, is vice president of the company. The business now occupies 6,400 square feet of space, and it also rents an events room for
Pat Helmandollar knows how to stay ahead of the trends
corporate and group gatherings for up to 45 people. Helmandollar went to cosmetology school in 1967, following in the footsteps of her mother who owned a beauty salon. She thought it would be a temporary job instead of a longterm career. Plans changed after she discovered how much she enjoyed working with people. “I love hair, and I love people. I like being creative with ideas. When you are working on people’s hair, you make them feel so good about themselves,” she says. More salons and spas have entered the market as Lake Norman has developed, and several have come and gone. Helmandollar says the key to longevity for her salon is staying one step ahead of trends. “The fashion industry is constantly changing,” she says, “and you have to constantly be willing to change with it.” – Holly Becker, photography by Brant Waldeck
Savvy Salon & Day Spa 20430 Catawba Avenue, #2 Cornelius www.savvysalonanddayspa.com
Photography courtesy of Pat Helmandollar
Above: Make-up artist Michelle Edwards helps a client at Savvy. Left: Savvy now has 43 employees.
Photography courtesy of Savvy Salon & Day Spa
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LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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17 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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This year, The Mooresville Museum honored Mooresville Ice Cream Company with its 2017 Christmas ornament.
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18 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
Start a holiday tradition by visiting Pete & Pop’s Findery, a new, modern mercantile in Davidson. From hand-poured candles and luxurious soaps, to signature cocktail mixes and precious plush toys, our treasures are sure to please this holiday season!
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If you like the ornaments on your tree to have meaning, then The Mooresville Museum’s 2017 Christmas ornament is for you. For the past six years, the museum has had an ornament created to depict a Mooresville landmark. Last year’s landmark was What-A-Burger Drive In #11. Other landmarks that have been honored include Charles Mack Wholesale, the Train Depot, Turner Hardware, the Mooresville Post Office 1938 and the Mooresville Library. This year’s honoree is the Mooresville Ice Cream Company, which was founded in 1924 and churns out DeLuxe Ice Cream, as well as Front Porch Carolina Churned Ice Cream. Proceeds from the sale of this ornament will help The Mooresville Museum, a nonprofit, fund projects and work toward the goal of remodeling its facility at 132 E. Center Avenue in Downtown Mooresville. This building formerly housed Charles Mack Wholesale. The Mooresville Museum’s purpose is to illuminate the past, interpret the present and envision the future. The Mooresville Museum 2017 Christmas Ornament is $15 and can be purchased at The Mooresville Museum, 132 East Center Avenue, Mooresville, www.themooresvillemuseum.org and other Downtown Mooresville stores.
Photography by Joyce Templeton
The Mooresville Museum’s 2017 Christmas Ornament
19 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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make a Mess
Meaning Through Music Kevin Turner thrives on the constant creativity his career demands
by Rosie Molinary | photography by Lisa Crates
20 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
What is more important to you today than 10 years ago? I used to care more about the end result, and now I care more about the process. Kevin Turner began playing piano at age 5. He’s now the Minister of Music and Worship at Davidson United Methodist Church.
t 4, Kevin Turner conceived a bucket list (before bucket lists were even a thing) that would change his life. “I told my mother that I had three goals in life. I wanted to learn how to tap dance. I wanted to learn how to speak Spanish. I wanted to learn how to play piano,” recalls Turner, now 43. Within months, he was taking piano lessons. At 5, he played at church for the first time. By high school, he was playing at church weekly. When he started college, he pursued music education, thinking he’d work at a high school.
At the end of his first year, a friend suggested he pursue sacred music professionally. Though he hadn’t realized people could make a living doing that, the idea appealed to him. Others, including his father, were more hesitant. Then, in 1999, he graduated from Emory with a master’s degree and was hired by Davidson United Methodist Church, where he now serves as the Minister of Music and Worship. “My dad said to me, ‘I was a fool; you were right. You can do this,’ ” recalls Turner. “I fell into this, not even realizing that I could get paid to do it.”
Since then, Turner has utilized his creative talents to not just perform for his congregation as part of their worship experience but to help others offer their gifts and talents. For example, the church has eight handbell choirs, including one for men called the Manbell Choir. “So many of the participants haven’t done anything musical since high school,” says Turner. “It is so fun to expose them to this creative side that men don’t typically embrace. That is where my creativity comes out.” His creativity also comes out in planning the music for
What has creativity taught you? How to be vulnerable and risk sharing myself with others. What’s a good way to be more creative every day? Journal every day. Read back over it in two to three weeks and see what theme is popping up. What do you wish you had more time for in your life? I wish I had more time to rediscover why I got into this, to sit down and play new music at the piano. What unusual creative recommendation do you have for others? Listen to a different radio station every day for 10 minutes.
“We are created. God created us, and, therefore, being creative is a natural response.” – Kevin Turner 19th year at Davidson [UMC]. What will be different than the first Christmas I was here? We have a rule — don’t mess with Easter or Christmas. We’ll manage traditions well by meeting expectations,” says Turner. “We might have three pieces every Christmas Eve that we sing or ring and one might be new, and two might be familiar or a new setting for something that we all know.” Ultimately, Turner aspires to bring comfort and possibility to his congregation — and himself — as he expands his creative limits. “Why does creativity matter? It matters because it is a full expression of our humanity,” says Turner. “We are created. God created us, and, therefore, being creative is a natural response.”
weekly services and conceiving the musical offerings for each Christmas season. “What is fun about my job is that there is always a Sunday to get ready for. Come Monday morning, we don’t dwell on what happened on Sunday. We look six, eight, twelve weeks out,” he explains. “There is a great sense of constant creativity.” To prepare for the holidays, Turner really does celebrate Christmas in July by spending that month listening to music and considering the possibilities for the upcoming season. He works to balance the traditional songs that parishioners will want to hear with new opportunities for his choirs and musicians to showcase their talents to the congregation. “This Christmas will be my
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thoughts from the Man Cave
For the Love of a Meatball Mike Savicki travels to Troutman to taste a legend
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n the many years I have spent writing about people, places and things around the lake, it is fair to say I’ve written about some interesting people, places and things. From knitting to NASCAR, leaves to lawns, politicians to painters, and running to renovating, I’ve sat with literally hundreds of the story-worthy types who make this area as singularly and amazingly unique as it is. But, until now, never have I been asked to write about a meatball. So what does an always curious (and Italian foodloving) writer do when his editor suggests he head up to a restaurant in Troutman to get the scoop on what is loudly and proudly being touted as the “Biggest Meatball in North Carolina?” He goes. Before I get to the meat of the story, here’s a bit of background about the family who created this meatball. The youngest of the three New York — New Jersey Pellegrino brothers is Roberto, a chemical engineer by training who is perhaps better known for his made-from-scratch desserts that include a nearly 30-pound coconut cake. Along with his wife, Dr. Yvette Pellegrino, Roberto relocated to Mooresville 12 years ago after reading it was one of the best places in the country to raise a family. Family visits ensued, and it didn’t take long for older brothers Giovanni and Salvatore (with his wife, Regina); mother, Lucia; plus sons, daughters, aunts, uncles,
by Mike Savicki | Photography by Ken Noblezada
Giovanni Pellegrino and his masterpiece, the biggest meatball in North Carolina.
cousins, etc. to follow suit. At last count, having uprooted mainly from Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, plus central Jersey, there are now 45 Pellegrinos living between Mooresville and Statesville with a core group near their popular Troutman family restaurant, Pellegrino’s Trattoria, located just off Main Street.
Now to the meatball. You see, middle brother Giovanni loves meatballs. And by loves meatballs, I mean he could and would commonly eat them in increasing quantities throughout the day — every day for as long as he can remember. “First, one then two then three, then who knows how
many meatballs,” Giovanni says. “I’d lose count.” If you think like Giovanni does, whose big appetite for home-cooked Italian food dates back to when he used to get up early and sneak his mom’s lasagna for breakfast before any of the other family awoke, then you might think, why don’t I take all those small little paltry-
Ready to order? There’s a catch. On Pellegrino’s daily menu you’ll find everything from the classic Capellini Puttanesca and Pappardelle Al Funghi Di Bosco to Pollo Alla Pulcinella and Vitello Genovese — mother Lucia’s lasagna is there, too — but you won’t find the meatball listed. Why? Because Giovanni only makes it when he feels so moved. “When I start to hear rumblings, when the customers start missing it, when my anxiety goes up and anticipation rises, that’s when the meatball comes,” Giovanni explains. “Or else if I made it all the time people would only order it tomorrow, meaning they wouldn’t order it at all because they’d know it was always there.” Absence makes the heart grow fonder, correct? The old
adage is absolutely true — even when it comes to meatballs. So how and when do customers know it is coming? “Facebook,” Giovanni tells me with a sly smile. “I’ll put up a video to let customers know when to look out for it, when to come, when it’s time for meatballs. That’s the only way to know.” Sitting adjacent to the restaurant’s open kitchen watching Salvatore finish up after a lunch rush, I press Giovanni to see if there are any insider tips or clues he is willing to share as to when the next batch might arrive. I get nowhere. My photographer, Ken, is no help either because he’s halfway into eating the meatball he is supposed to be shooting. As for officially recognizing Pellegrino’s meatball as the
From left, Giovanni, Lucia and Salvatore Pellegrino.
“Biggest Meatball in North Carolina,” I’ll admit that as of this writing I’m having difficulty finding the official state agency that certifies large meatballs because, truth be told, I’m not looking. Nor should I be. I have witnessed the meatball, and I’m a believer. And you should be, too.
Pellegrino’s Trattoria 275 N. Main Street Troutman www.pelligrinostrattoria.com
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sized meatballs and put them together to create a meatball that looks, tastes, smells and fills the belly to “wow factor” levels. So that’s exactly what he did. Giovanni’s creation is the stuff of legend. Think one huge, round 29- to 33-ounce ball (before cooking) stuffed with mozzarella cheese, containing garlic and parsley, breadcrumbs (soaked to add juiciness), grated cheese, balsamic, Worcestershire sauce, a couple of spices, and, of course, a “secret ingredient.” He makes them in 20-pound batches, with each served at a pound to a pound and a half over a bed of spaghetti. When he’s in full meatball-making mode, Giovanni can easily roll through 100 pounds of chopped meat in less than a week and still not meet demand.
Deck the Halls… Advertising feature that keeps you up on “current” fashion and gifts.
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Local folk artist, Kristen Feighery, creates gorgeous and functional artwork which she prints on vibrant sandstone coasters, canvas and wood lazy susans, coffee mugs, glass cutting boards, keepsake ornaments and more! Perfect for hostess gifts, ornament exchanges, or for the person who has everything. Every piece lovingly created in Davidson, The Modern Folk Art of Kristen Feighery NC. Shop small and support www.kristenfeighery.com email@example.com local art!
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Lake Norman’s elite women’s boutique is carrying Frank Lyman designs. An exclusive Canadian designer that focuses on superb craftsmanship, the finest materials and amazing designs. Visit us to update your holiday look and let our staff design a wardrobe that will be a “Show Stopper” at holiday parties!
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Light it Up
DOWNTOWN MOORESVILLE’S HOLIDAY LIGHT SPECTACULAR IS A LABOR OF LOVE
IT TOGETHER A PEEK AT WHAT IT TAKES TO DECK THE LAKE NORMAN AREA’S HALLS by Lori K. Tate
photography by Brant Waldeck
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e all know how stressful preparing for the holidays in our own lives and homes can be. There’s the scheduling of parties, festivals and tree lightings. There’s food preparation for said parties. (Cheese ball, anyone?) There’s the random string of lights that refuses to work. There’s your favorite wreath you can’t find. There’s helping your kids memorize lines for the Christmas pageant, and the list goes on. Well, imagine having to prepare for the holidays for the public. The Lake Norman area has a history of ushering in the holiday season in grand style, but it doesn’t just happen with a wink from Santa. No, it takes lots of hard work to keep our community’s holiday traditions alive. We took a closer look at what’s involved in decorating the Lake Norman area’s halls. Happy holidays!
n the first Saturday morning in November, about 15 volunteers carefully lay out strings of colorful lights on the lawn of Mooresville Town Hall. Red, green, blue, white, purple and gold bulbs wait for their chance to shine while Wayne James looks them over. James, a Mooresville resident and welding professor at Mitchell Community College, leads the effort to turn the lawn into an illuminated Christmas wonderland, also known as Downtown Mooresville’s Holiday Light Spectacular. It all began when James began decorating his home with an abundance of Christmas lights 11 years ago. “It got very popular, and you know with popularity comes a lot of people, so it kind of overran my deadend street that I live on, so I decided it was probably best to kind of end it,” recalls James. “Word got out that I was doing that, and Downtown [Mooresville] approached me about doing
it up there. After a couple of discussions, we decided to do that. It’s been the best collaboration a person could ask for.” The lights have been displayed in Downtown Mooresville for the past seven holiday seasons, and with 150,000 lights, there’s a lot to do to prepare this orchestrated light show. James and a team of approximately 50 volunteers work every Saturday and Sunday of November until Thanksgiving to get the show ready to run. The lights officially come on the Friday after Thanksgiving. “The week before Thanksgiving, I’m usually there doing the finishing touches,” explains James, adding that there are 1,600 individual circuits that control the show and that the lights operate on 50 millisecond intervals. “The show is completely automated. It runs on its own.” The 24-foot-tall Mega Tree is the star of the show with its 20,000 lights, and all of the lights are synchronized to Christmas music. You can roll down your car windows to
Below, Wayne James of Mooresville donates countless hours making sure the Downtown Mooresville Holiday Light Spectacular shines brightly. Left, teams of volunteers assist James each year.
Make Your List 17 ways to celebrate the holidays at Lake Norman & Check it Twice Downtown Mooresville Holiday Light Spectacular (Through New Year’s Eve)This orchestrated light show includes 150,000 lights set to music. 5:30-10 p.m. Free. Lawn of Mooresville Town Hall, www.downtownmooresville.com. Christmas in Davidson (November 30-December 2) Enjoy this Davidson tradition filled with carolers, a live nativity, food, performances, carriage rides and more. Norman Rockwell’s vision of the holidays comes to life. 6-9 p.m. Free. Downtown Davidson, www. christmasindavidson.com.
North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade (December 2) High school bands, school groups, horses, tractors and civic organizations get you into the holiday spirit.1:30
Vespers: A Service of Lessons and Carols (December 3) Vespers is an annual highlight for the Davidson College community. Davidson College Chorale and campus leaders reflect on the true meaning of the holiday season, featuring Carolina Brass and the Davidson College Presbyterian Church Handbell ensemble. 7:30 p.m. Free. Davidson College Presbyterian Church, www.davidson.edu. Messiah Sing-a-long (December 5) Bring your own score (the college will have a few to share) and join the Davidson College Choirs, family, friends and community members from Statesville to Charlotte to sing the choruses and hear the solos sung from the most popular portions of Handel’s Messiah. Joined by the exquisite North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, this sing-through will take place in the beautiful and resonant sanctuary of Davidson College Presbyterian Church. 7 p.m. Free for Davidson students, $10. Davidson College Presbyterian Church, www.davidson.edu. Stocks for Tots (December 5) Stocks For Tots was created as a way to bring together stock car racing and its fans, while raising awareness of the child abuse problem in
Home for the Holidays Christmas Concert (December 5, 7 and 14) The North Mecklenburg Community Chorus performs holiday favorites. December 5, 7 p.m., Bailey’s Glen; December 7, 7:30 p.m., Huntersville United Methodist Church; December 14, 7:30 p.m., Community in Christ Lutheran Church, Cornelius, www.nmccsings.org. Christmas Spectacular (December 7) Enjoy ice-skating, a laser light show, the S’moresville Peppermint Forest Campground, Santa, hayrides and more. 5-9 p.m. Free. Mooresville Golf Club, W. Wilson Avenue, Mooresville, www. mooresvillegolfclub.com. The 21st Annual Lighted Boat Parade (December 9) Area boats dress up for the holidays. Concessions open at 5 p.m. Santa arrives by fireboat at 6 p.m., and the parade begins at 6:15 p.m. Peninsula Yacht Club, 18501 Harbor Light Boulevard, Cornelius, www.peninsulayacht.com. Mother/Daughter Holiday Tea (December 10) The Mother/Daughter Holiday Tea is the perfect excuse to put on your festive holiday attire while you spend quality time with just the girls. At the event you will make a holiday craft and learn more about the history of the Beaver Dam House. Produced by the Town of Davidson Parks and Recreation Department and Armin’s Catering. Menu includes light fare. Recommended for ages 5 and older.1:30-3 p.m. Registration required (http:// www.townofdavidson.org/ dpr), price TBA. Historic Beaver Dam, 19600 Davidson-Concord Road, Davidson, www.davidsoncommunitycalendar.org.
Private Visits with Santa (December 16) Children can enjoy a private visit with Santa inside a cozy cabin by the fire. Santa spends time with each family and allows time for personal photography. Santa then gives a special gift with the child’s name on it (secretly provided by Mom and Dad). Reservations required. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 per child 18 and under; adults 18 and up are free. Historic Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville, www. lattaplantation.org. Mom’s Gift (Through December 17) Mom has been dead for 11 months, however she shows up at a family gathering as a ghost on a mission. Like Clarence in It’s A Wonderful Life, she has to accomplish a task to earn her wings. The only person who can hear or see Mom is her daughter who is in an anger management program. One by one the family’s secrets are peeled away, revealing a shocking truth that surprises even the ghost. Times vary. Adults, $20; seniors, $18; students, $12. Davidson Community Players, Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour Street, Davidson, www.davidsoncommunityplayers.org. Lake Norman Big Band (December 18) The Lake Norman Big Band plays every third Monday night at The Finish Line Restaurant in Mooresville. The December show features favorite holiday hits from the big band era and more. 7-9 p.m. $20 cover (includes buffet dinner). Call 704.664.2695 for reservations. The Finish Line Restaurant at George Pappas Victory Lanes, 125 Morlake Drive, Mooresville, www.thelakenormanbigband.org. Movies on Main (December 21) Enjoy the classic It’s a Wonderful Life starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. 8 p.m. Free. Charles Mack Citizen Center, 215 North Main Street, Mooresville, www.ci.mooresville.nc.us.
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Christmas Holiday Special with Joshua Carswell, Page Park and The Hall Sisters (December 2) Joshua Carswell is a winner of the American Traditions Competition in Savannah, Georgia, one of the nation’s most prestigious vocal contests, and a graduate of Elon University. The Hall Sisters have always been involved in music, and their performances showcase a variety of sounds and styles. They have performed at the Grand Ole Opry House, the National Quartet Convention and Carnegie Hall. Presented by Performing Arts Live of Iredell. 7:30 p.m. $27.17, students $12.18 plus 6.75 percent sales tax. Mac Gray Auditorium at 474 North Center Street, Statesville, www.PALofIredell.com.
A Candlelight Christmas (December 2) Walk through the candle-lit plantation and see everything alive, as if you’re peeking through the windows of a dollhouse. Live music, refreshments, live nativity and more. 6-9 p.m. $9, $8 students, children 5 and under free. Hourly guided house tours are available during the day only at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Day admission is sold separately. Historic Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville, www. lattaplantation.org.
North Carolina. The idea was to collect toys and raise money during a festive, family-oriented holiday event. Folks get to see many of their favorite NASCAR & NHRA drivers/celebrities, as well as their show cars on display and even a visit from Santa himself. 5-9 p.m. NASCAR Technical Institute, 220 Byers Creek Road, Mooresville, www. stocksfortots.com.
listen to it, or you can tune into 90.5 FM. James does a lot of testing during set up to catch any glitches. “The worst thing that usually gives me issues is rain. If we get heavy rain, then it kind of is detrimental to the circuit protection that we put in it, so it will trip some breakers,” he says. “The following day I’ll go out there and reset everything, so it’s back up and running.” One of the things James enjoys most about the project is meeting new people, as each year brings new volunteers. But the biggest thing for him is the satisfaction of seeing people enjoying it. “When you’re out there opening night and people start showing up, you see all of these little children just running around, and their eyes are as big as saucer cups. They’re dancing, smiling and giggling, having a great time. It just makes it all worth it,” he says. “We need a lot more Christmas in our life.”
Huntersville Christmas and Town Center Tree Lighting (December 1-2) Start off the season by watching Huntersville Town Center’s Christmas tree come to life on Friday evening from 6-9 p.m. Free. On Saturday, enjoy A Huntersville Christmas, complete with rides, holiday performances, carolers, a live nativity, pictures with Santa and horse-drawn carriage rides. 2-8 p.m. Free. Huntersville Town Center, www.huntersville.org.
p.m. The parade starts in Davidson at the intersection of Griffith Street and Highway 115 and goes to Cornelius at the intersection of Highway 115 and Catawba Avenue, www.ci-davidson.nc.us.
THE BIRKDALE BEARS CAN MAKE EVEN THE CRANKIEST SHOPPER SMILE
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Todd Alexander gets Honey the Bear ready to perform at Birkdale Village. DECEMBER 2017
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his past Veterans Day, Todd Alexander sat hunched down in a newly constructed tiny cottage in the middle of Birkdale Village. It seems that Honey the Bear lost a bolt, and he was trying to get her up and running. If you don’t know already, Honey is the female singer in The Bear Quartet at the Huntersville shopping center. The quartet’s cottage sits across from the movie theatre, and these bears perform a 35-minute holiday medley on the hour every hour that Birkdale is open from mid-November through the first week in January. Blu plays guitar, Chuckles sings lead vocals and Grizzly Gus is on bass. “Most of what I do is prevention,” explains Todd, who co-owns Spintastic Sounds in Charlotte with his wife, Jessica. “I make sure all of the cylinders are lubed. …The air goes into the cylinder and opens or closes the motion of the bears.”
The Bear Quartet is one of six sets ever made, and it runs on 20-year-old technology. “It’s controlled by a box six inches square,” says Todd. “It’s one giant computer chip.” It takes a solid week to get the bears, including Beatrice — The Storytelling Bear who resides across from Birkdale’s fountain in her own cottage, secured and running. But once everything is in working order, shoppers flock to see the bears. Bales of hay sit in front of Beatrice’s location, as she constantly talks from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. One of her favorite stories to tell is O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi. “People come out with their kids and watch the bears,” says Pippa Brown, general manager of Birkdale Village. “It’s such a nice break.” Brown has worked at Birkdale for 10 years, and she says the bears were there when she arrived. “They’re [the bears] pretty famous in the area,” she adds. “It’s just so fun for the kids.”
Photography by Lori K. Tate
Where the OLD is the new NEW
I t’s beginning to Singing and Look a Lot Like Storytelling Christmas
The Bear Quartet at Birkdale Village in Huntersville is a must-do during the holidays.
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riving down Highway 115 in Cornelius, it’s hard to miss the town’s Christmas tree. Standing at 25 feet, the tree features more than 10,000 lights and 300 glistening ornaments. Though it might seem as if the tree magically appears during the holiday season, there’s more work to it than that. A team of approximately 10 staff members from the Town of Cornelius begins putting up the tree around the second week in November. “The biggest item needed is a bucket truck. We are fortunate that the Cornelius Police Department now has one, and Corporal Chris King assists us with the tree topper and ornaments at the top of the tree,” explains Jody Clark, special events manager for the Town of Cornelius. “We also use 6- and 10-foot ladders.” A local official traditionally
lights the tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving during Light Up Cornelius, a holiday festival on the grounds of Cornelius Town Hall. “This will be our sixth year for this tree lighting ceremony,” says Clark, adding that festivities typically include holiday songs by local performers, children’s activities, carriage rides, a train display, refreshments and a visit from Santa. This year, a S’mores Station and Christmas Village, featuring an open-air market filled with craft vendors, was added. “This special event has become a holiday tradition for many families in the community,” says Clark. However, if you didn’t make it to Light Up Cornelius this year, you can always drive by town hall and enjoy the tree on your own. The tree stays illuminated through New Year’s Eve, and then Clark says it goes back to Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole.
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Showing Up for the Show
DAVIDSON COMMUNITY PLAYERS WANTS YOU TO HAVE A “CHRISTMAS HANGOVER” Volunteer actors devoted approximately 90 hours rehearsing DCP’s holiday show, Mom’s Gift.
t’s hard to find time to sip a peppermint latte during the holiday season, much less devote approximately 90 hours rehearsing a play with a three-weekend, 16-show run. But that’s exactly what a group of volunteer actors did for Davidson Community Players’ production of Mom’s Gift. “When DCP [Davidson Community Players] moved from a summer season to a full season it made sense to offer a production there at the midpoint in the year before Christmas, and it you’re offering a production before Christmas, it makes a lot of sense for that production to contain a holiday theme,” explains Matt Merrell, executive director of DCP. “A lot of actors will just self select out of that show [slot], which speaks really highly of those
actors who do do it, knowing the sort of commitment the production is going to require of them.” The actors in Mom’s Gift began rehearsals in late October. The show opened on November 30 and runs until December 17, just eight days before Christmas. Director Tim Ross says that scheduling rehearsals during the holiday season can be tricky but that this cast worked as a team to get everything done. “These actors want to free up their time to do this,” he says. DCP began performing a holiday show in 2009 with a production of It’s a Wonderful Life. “The body of Christmas plays is pretty thin, particularly the plays with any kind of name recognition,” explains Merrell, who wrote last year’s Christmas show, Holly and Tinsel.
As for Mom’s Gift, the show is set around Thanksgiving, but there’s nothing in the script specifically referring to Thanksgiving. “We made the decision to move the setting to Christmas,” says Merrell, “and of course, the title Mom’s Gift resonates with Christmas.” “It’s a heartwarming, poignant drama with tons of laughs,” says Ross. “In its roots, it’s a comedy.” Ross and Merrell hope that audiences leave the show thinking about the importance of family. “Maybe you hug your son or daughter or mother or whoever you’ve come with just a little bit tighter because of the themes that resonate with the stories we tell,” says Merrell. “We want there to be this aftermath, this ‘Christmas hangover’ from our shows.”
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by Lori K. Tate photography by Lisa Crates
THESE LOVELY FINDS TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF HOLIDAY SHOPPING
3 DECEMBER 2017
34 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
|1| Plaid Cashmere Scarf d $34.99, Honeysuckle Home, 428-C South Main Street, Davidson, look for Honeysuckle Home on Facebook. |2| Hound for the Holidays by Kim Levin and John O’Neill d $9.99, Sweet Magnolia, Magnolia Plaza, 8301 Magnolia Estates Drive, Cornelius, www.mysweetmagnolia.com.
|3| My Rainbow Brush with Hair Tie d $9, Sweet Magnolia, Magnolia Plaza, 8301 Magnolia Estates Drive, Cornelius, www.mysweetmagnolia.com. |4| Swig Wine Cup d $19.99, Sweet Magnolia, Magnolia Plaza, 8301 Magnolia Estates Drive, Cornelius, www.mysweetmagnolia.com.
|5| Cashmere Plush Rib Beanie d $139 each, Monkee’s of Lake Norman, 624 Jetton Street, Davidson and 106-A South Main Street, Davidson, www.monkeesoflakenorman.com. |6| Star Backpack by Sol and Solene d $100, Well Kept, 624 Jetton Street, Suite 135, Davidson, www.shopwellkept.com. |7| Blue Candle Holders d $12 each, Honeysuckle Home, 428-C South Main Street, Davidson, look for Honeysuckle Home on Facebook.
|10| UNC Nylon Wallet; UNC ID Change Purse d $9.99 each, Rivals Sports & Home, 19420 Jetton Road, Suite 103, Cornelius, look for Rivals Sports & Home on Facebook.
|11| Duke Ornament by Old World Christmas d $14.99, Rivals Sports & Home, 19420 Jetton Road, Suite 103, Cornelius, look for Rivals Sports & Home on Facebook. |12| Capri Blue Candle in Blue Jean d $32, Well Kept, 624 Jetton Street, Suite 135, Davidson, www.shopwellkept.com.
|13| Terez Mom and Daughter Snowman Leggings
d Mom, $78; Daughter, $48, Well Kept, 624 Jetton
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|14| VW Van Picture Holder d $12, Honeysuckle Home, 428-C South Main Street, Davidson, look for Honeysuckle Home on Facebook. |15| Quinn Small Tote by Tory Burch d $258, Monkee’s of Lake Norman, 624 Jetton Street, Davidson and 106-A South Main Street, Davidson, www.monkeesoflakenorman.com. |16| Tassel earrings d $40, Monkee’s of Lake Norman, 624 Jetton Street, Davidson and 106-A South Main Street, Davidson, www.monkeesoflakenorman.com.
35 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
|9| ChirpyTop Wine Pourer d $25, Sweet Magnolia, Magnolia Plaza, 8301 Magnolia Estates Drive, Cornelius, www.mysweetmagnolia.com.
|8| Carolina Panthers Lit Wall Décor d $51.99, Rivals Sports & Home, 19420 Jetton Road, Suite 103, Cornelius, look for Rivals Sports & Home on Facebook.
36 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
SHARE, SHOOT AND STIFLE
by Mike Savicki | photography by Tim Cowie and Ken Noblezada
Photography by Tim Cowie
Photography by Ken Noblezada
Opposite, Coach Gayle Coats Fulks has big plans for the Davidson Wildcats.
37 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
From left, Justine Latt, Coach Coats Fulks and MacKenzie Latt work together to make the Wildcats the best they can be.
t’s not that common that a winter sport makes a splash right in the middle of spring season, but that’s exactly what happened at Davidson last May when Director of Athletics Jim Murphy announced Gayle Coats Fulks would become the next head coach of women’s basketball. Coach Coats Fulks brings a
A new era begins for Davidson Women’s Basketball
GameOn Photography by Ken Noblezada
Coach Coats Fulks brings a different style, spirit and energy to the position, not to mention an impressive coaching background for someone just less than 10 years removed from playing herself. She was a letterwinner at Fairleigh Dickinson and most recently served as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at Wake Forest University. Her staff joins six upperclassmen and welcomes five freshmen for the start of not only a new season, but also a new era of Davidson women’s basketball. “Every single day since I got the job I’ve had a smile on my face,” Coach Gayle Coats Fulks says. “These guys have been absolutely a blast to be around every day, they have a lot of different interests than the people I’ve coached before and they are really interesting people both on and off the court. That’s a testament to a great student athlete and a fantastic college community.”
Emotions in motion
38 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
Last May, Gayle Coats Fulks became the new head coach of women’s basketball at Davidson College.
Coats Fulks’ style of play marks a change from the past. Hers is a motion style offense that allows more people to touch the ball. Moving away from traditional sets, she empowers her players to use their skill, knowledge and basketball IQ to read defenses, make on-court decisions, give up good shots for great ones and play with joy, trust, confidence and fun. With an emphasis on spreading the floor and becoming a better three-point shooting team, she wants to see her players take more responsibility, be more aggressive and play a more fluid game. While Coats Fulks says that the system will take time to fully put into place, her players have already embraced it at the level she had hoped. Veteran players are making the switch, while a core of new players has welcomed the brand. “The brand we play gets people excited; it’s a fun style to play,” Coats Fulks says. “We play with more freedom, and with that freedom comes a lot of responsibility and the need to make good team choices. Over time, once we get the foundation in place, we will become less scoutable, and we will score more than in the past.”
Every fan of the Lady Wildcats already knows the names Mackenzie Latt and Justine Lyon, the senior forward and junior guard who represent Davidson’s latest 1,000 point scorer and the A-10’s Most Improved Player respectively. And while they will again be asked to carry their share, they will not be alone. Coats Fulks expects contributions from both ends of the bench. “It hasn’t been ‘we have a bunch of freshmen and a bunch of returners,’ it is more like we have a bunch of people who want to do the right thing,” explains Coats Fulks. “The players one through thirteen have bought in, and that’s more than you can hope for as a new coach.” Latt is excited to have a core of five freshmen engaging and energizing the veterans. “The freshmen are like a group of gym rats who love to be on the floor. They actually push us to be out there more,” says Latt, who hails from Richland, Michigan. “Seeing their work ethic and
Photography by Tim Cowie
Contributions from both ends of the bench
Coach Coats Fulks expects contributions from both ends of the bench.
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Women’s Basketball Home Games December 6 Elon, 7 p.m. December 15 Gardner-Webb, 11:30 a.m. December 21 UNC Charlotte, 2 p.m. January 4 Duquesne, 7 p.m. January 7 Rhode Island, 2 p.m. January 17 George Washington, 7 p.m. January 24 U Mass, 7 p.m. January 27 Dayton, 2 p.m. February 10 Fordham, 2 p.m. February 14 Saint Joseph’s, 7 p.m. DECEMBER 2017
February 24 VCU, 2 p.m.
not having to teach that competitiveness, it’s so nice to see and super fun to play with.” Lyon sees new opportunity on the court. “This year there is more of an emphasis on the inside outlook. Everyone in the offense has a bigger role from down in the post to those free outside. In this new style, we will set more screens. Sometimes the screener will be the look, or it might be the person coming off the screen, but you never know,” Lyon explains. “Guarding the offense is now all of a sudden more difficult, and we can surprise the defense. They may have known us in the past, but now they won’t know what to expect.” As for competing at a high level both in the A-10 and in non-conference match-ups that include Princeton and North Carolina State, Coats
Photography by Tim Cowie
Lyon goes for a shot with confidence.
Fulks says, “I don’t show up to a game I don’t expect to win and neither do the players. We will ride the roller coaster, get better every day, trust the system and the results will speak for themselves.” And to the fans, Coats Fulks and Latt promise a style that will fill seats. “This is a fun group that plays with a lot of energy,”
says Coats Fulks. “You’ll see high fives, chest bumps and I think you are going to see a group that really cares about each other.” Latt adds, “We as players play with a lot of joy, the coaches coach with a lot of joy and that carries over into the stands. And we feed off the energy in the stands, so come out.”
40 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
Amy Sullivan Weishaar’s decorating approach for the holidays, p. 44
Amy Sullivan Weishaar rescued this mantel from a dumpster. It’s imported from France, and the corbels date back 200 years.
44 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
Have a MINIMALIST Christmas Peacock teal, birch and deer are the three themes Amy Sullivan Weishaar incorporated into her holiday decor this year.
Artist Amy Sullivan Weishaar believes less is more during the holidays — and all through the year.
Artist Amy Sullivan Weishaar takes an elegantly subtle approach to holiday decorating by Lori K. Tate photography by by Ken Noblezada DECEMBER 2017
continued on page 48
LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
hen Amy Sullivan Weishaar greets me at her front door, she’s a little nervous. “I’m a minimalist,” she says before leading me into her renovated 1971 ranch home in Cornelius. Amy and I made plans a couple of weeks ago for me to come see her Christmas decorations, which I’ve heard are spectacular. She immediately told me that she’s not really into red and green, which made me even more excited to see how she trims her tree. As soon as I walk into her living room, I realize that I’ve just won the Christmas Lottery, if there is such a thing. Though Amy is indeed a minimalist, an elegant holiday spirit exudes from all sorts of unexpected places throughout her lakeside home.
continued from page 45
Selecting a theme Amy attributes her minimalist lifestyle to the fact that her parents were collectors. “It was my job to dust all of the figurines in the house,” remembers Amy, who grew up part of a family of five in Columbus, Ohio. “They [her parents] had four sets of china — holiday china, china for family dinner, summer china and then winter china. At Christmastime, my mother had the whole Department 56 village. My brother built her a platform so it looked like it was going up a mountain. The tree had a 1930s train set around it. It would take days to put everything away.” That’s not the case
with Amy’s holiday décor, as she says it took her approximately six hours to decorate this year. One of the most time consuming (and fun) parts for her is selecting a theme because she does something different each year. She looks at catalogs and magazines for inspiration, and when she worked at the now-defunct Bebe Gallini’s, she discovered lots of ideas at market. “Because of the colors that we did at Bebe Gallini’s and because of the colors of my house [grays and whites], I never really gravitated toward reds and greens,” explains Amy, who is a professional artist. This year she selected a theme featuring deer, birch and
Amy Sullivan Weishaar painted a watercolor triptych of deer and bark for her Christmas decor.
LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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49 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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Amy’s husband, Doug, brought these nutcrackers back from a business trip to Germany.
peacock teal. “When I decided I was going to do a deer and birch theme, I did three watercolors for the living room,” says Amy. The three paintings hang elegantly in acrylic frames over a table with small glistening trees, three small nutcrackers her husband (Doug) brought back
from Germany and a fresh bouquet of white roses from Blumengarten. Her tree, which she unashamedly reveals is artificial, tells a story with ornaments from different parts of her family’s life. There are gold spray-painted sand dollars from Doug and Amy’s Hilton Head honeymoon
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dwellings 27 years ago. There are ornaments made by her three children, as well as Waterford crystal decorations from her father’s collection and a small ceramic
Amy and Doug found this sand dollar during their honeymoon at Hilton Head 27 years ago. She spray painted it gold, and over the years, a beautiful patina has developed.
There are ornaments made by her three children, as well as Waterford crystal decorations from her father’s collection and a small ceramic Santa cup from her childhood.
Santa cup from her childhood. “Friends have given me things through the years,” says Amy, who has decorated trees professionally in the past. “Since I do oyster paintings, last
50 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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Amy received china in Lenox’ Holiday pattern for her wedding. She uses it from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.
51 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
year I think the theme to give me was oysters. … The angel [on top] I’ve had since the first year we were married.” Wide gray ribbon coupled with metallic netted burlap connects the tree to the home, as do the packages underneath. “I also feel like the packages are decorations, too,” says Amy, as she picks up a gift to show me it’s wrapped in a silver wood grain print paper. “I buy enough wrapping paper so that my kids can use what my theme is, too. They think I’m a little silly that way.”
Touches here and there On the hearth across from the Christmas tree sits a nativity scene Amy purchased almost 25 years ago at The Village Store. She had her husband make a stable for it this year. The fireplace divides the living room and dining area, where Amy’s holiday china waits in anticipation for a family meal. She selected the Lenox Holiday pattern when she got married. “I bring it out Thanksgiving, and then I keep it out through New Year’s,” says Amy. Gold polka dot paper runners
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52 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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by Hester and Cook serve as the tablecloth because Amy doesn’t like to iron. “I throw pencils on the table, and then we sit and talk and draw and doodle. It keeps people at the table longer,” says Amy. “One of my mom’s pet peeves was that she would spend hours on dinners, and then everybody would be up 10 minutes after we sat down.” The mantel beside the dining room table continues her nature theme with a wreath boasting peacock ribbon and feathers, pinecones, and teal ornaments. Three gold reindeer stand on the mantel surrounded by garland comprised of similar materials. “The greens that I get usually are artificial, but they also have dried or live greens in them,” she says. “I found this ribbon that’s made of moss and twigs that I fell in love with.” When I ask her what she enjoys about decorating for the holidays, she thinks for a moment. “I guess the outcome,” she says. “When you put your decorations up, the house looks different.”
How long have you been in medicine; how long at current practice? I have been practicing medicine for more than 13 years. I am very excited to be the lead physician for Iredell Primary Care for Women in Mooresville. How long have you been in the Lake Norman Area and why practice here? I am new to the Lake Norman area and have fallen in love with it. My children and I enjoy lake activities as well as the numerous parks. I look forward to getting to know the area more and being a part of a wonderful community.
NAME: EDUCATION: SPECIALTY:
EVA IMPERIAL, MD University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine
Accepting New Patients!
Primary Care for Women
Eva Imperial, MD, FAAFP
Eva Imperial is a board-certified family medicine physician with more than ten years’ experience. She provides comprehensive medical services for women of all ages, specializing in women’s health and wellness, helping each of her patients achieve optimal health. Services offered include: • Annual gynecological exams • Age and risk appropriate
Eva Imperial, MD, FAAFP
980-435-0406 114 Gateway Blvd, Suite B, Mooresville, NC IredellPrimaryCare.com
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? I really enjoy getting to know my patients. Not only does it give me insight into their daily routines but I can also understand what barriers are preventing them from being the healthiest they can be. Women are the rock of their family and are busy taking care of everyone around them. My mission is to help women make themselves a priority and live a healthier lifestyle. Quality of life is important, not just how long one lives. Why should a patient visit your practice? We hope patients will feel a renewed sense of trust and confidence in healthcare when they become patients of our practice. What do you believe sets you apart from others in your field? Like most physicians, I want our patients to be treated the way we would want our family or friends to be treated. With the support and encouragement of our caring healthcare team, our goal is to educate our patients on their treatment options and to encourage them to make healthier lifestyle choices.
53 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
What made you decide to go into medicine and choose your specialty? I have always been interested in helping others and helping patients understand their medical conditions. I also enjoy problem solving. In family medicine, it is rewarding to figure out medical issues and see a patient’s health improve with medical treatment.
Briefly describe your practice. Iredell Primary Care for Women is a unique practice focusing on the health and wellness of women, where our patients’ comfort and quality healthcare are a priority. We have a pleasant, caring staff that will guide you through your office visits. We took care to create an inviting atmosphere with features like handpicked artwork and furnishings. We also thought of many small details to help our patients be comfortable during their visit, such as robes and warm blankets. We offer checkups, screenings, sick visits, laboratory services and several procedures, such as colposcopy for further evaluation of abnormal pap smears, removal of skin tags, and endometrial biopsies.
Living Well Your local resource for health and wellness services near you Audiology Piedmont HealthCare Megan Mathis-Webb, AuD Susie Riggs, AuD Del L. Hawk, Au.D
140 Gateway Blvd. Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-9638
Cardiology Piedmont HealthCare Gary K. DeWeese, MD, FACC
359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1829
Dermatology PHC – Mooresville Dermatology Center Naomi Simon, MD Scott Paviol, MD Kristin Prochaska, PA-C Lauren Wilson, PA-C 128 Medical Park Road, Suite 201 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1827
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Ears, Nose and Throat Piedmont HealthCare Keith Meetze, MD Thomas Warren, MD Herb Wettreich, MD Fred New, Jr., ANP
140 Gateway Blvd. Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-9638
Family Medicine Piedmont HealthCare Timothy A. Barker, MD Edward S. Campbell, MD Heather C. Kompanik, MD Bruce L. Seaton, DO Amanda H. Bailey, DO Veronica Bradley, PA Sherard Spangler, PA
357 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-7328
Piedmont HealthCare Tiana Losinski,MD Andora Nicholson, FNP
206 Joe V. Knox Ave. Suite J Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-360-4801
Piedmont HealthCare James W. McNabb, MD Emmett Montgomery, MD
435 East Statesville Avenue Mooresville, NC 28115 • 704-663-5056
Piedmont HealthCare Alisa C. Nance, MD Rebecca Montgomery, MD
150 Fairview Road, Suite 210 Mooresville, NC 28117 •704-235-0300
Iredell Family Medicine Emily Nabors, MD FAAFP Jodi Stutts, MD
544 Brawley School Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-360-5190
Pellegrino Family Medicine Yvette-Marie Pellegrino, MD, FAAFP Lori Sumner, PA-C 544 Brawley School Road Mooresville, NC 28117 •704-360-9299
Gastroenterology Charlotte Gastroenterology and Hepatology John H. Moore, III, MD Steven A. Josephson, MD Scott A. Brotze, MD Michael W. Ryan, MD
Lake Norman Offices 13808 Professional Center Dr. Huntersville, NC 28078 150 Fairview Rd., Ste. 120 Mooresville, NC 28117 Appointment line 704-377-0246 www.charlottegastro.com Locations also in Charlotte, Ballantyne, SouthPark & Matthews
Piedmont HealthCare Carl A. Foulks, Jr., MD Chi Zuo, PA-C
359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-878-2021
Piedmont HealthCare Vivek Trivedi, MD Tiedre Palmer, FNP-C
359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-878-2021
Internal Medicine Piedmont HealthCare Manish G. Patel, MD Julie Abney, PA Andrea Brock, PA-C
128 Medical Park Road, Suite 101 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-658-1001
Piedmont HealthCare John C. Gatlin, MD LuAnne V. Gatlin, MD Ann Cowen, ANP-C
548 Williamson Road, Suite 6 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-660-5520
Stout Internal Medicine & Wellness Dr. Sam Stout 444 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-360-9310
Orthopedic Surgery – Spine
Piedmont HealthCare Dharmen S. Shah, MD
Piedmont HealthCare Alex Seldomridge, III, MD
Piedmont HealthCare Andrew J. Braunstein, DO Ryan Conrad, MD Craig D. DuBois, MD Douglas Jeffery, MD
Physiatry –Interventional Spine Care
359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-873-1100
124 Professional Park Dr, Ste A Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-662-3077
Piedmont HealthCare Andrew J. Braunstein, DO Ryan Conrad, MD Craig D. DuBois, MD Douglas Jeffery, MD
9735 Kincey Avenue, Ste 203 Huntersville, NC 28078 • 704-766-9050
359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1838
Piedmont HealthCare Harsh Govil, MD, MPH Thienkim Walters, PA-C April Hatfield, FNP-C
359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1829
Piedmont HealthCare Jacqueline Zinn, MD
359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1838
Neurosurgery Iredell NeuroSpine Peter Miller, MD, Ph.D.
544 Brawley School Road 28117 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-954-8277 Petermillermd.com
Obstetrics/Gynecology Piedmont HealthCare James Al-Hussaini, MD Laura Arigo, MD Katie Collins, DO Grant Miller, MD James Wilson, MD Nicole S. Wellbaum, MD Coral Bruss, ANP-C
131 Medical Park Road, Suite 102 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-663-1282
Occupational Medicine Iredell Occupational Medicine Joe Wolyniak, DO
128 E. Plaza Dr., Unit 3 Mooresville, NC 28115 • 980-444-2630
Orthopaedic Surgery Piedmont HealthCare Scott Brandon, MD Byron E. Dunaway, MD Brett L. Feldman, MD Alex Seldomridge III, MD Kim Lefreniere, PA-C Sherry Dawn Repass, FNP-BC
359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1829
Iredell Orthopaedic Center Jason Batley, MD
544 Brawley School Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-658-0956
PULMONOLOGY Piedmont HealthCare Enrique Ordaz MD Jose Perez MD Ahmed Elnaggar, MD
125 Days Inn Drive, Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-838-8240
Rheumatology Piedmont HealthCare Sean M. Fahey, MD Dijana Christianson, DO
128 Medical Park Road, Suite 101 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-658-1001
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LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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Dine + Wine Eating, drinking, cooking and fun
Traveling at Bacchus Tapas and Wine, p. 60 Hot Rods and Hops at the holidays, p. 62 Almond or Sunflower Toffee Squares, p. 63 Midwood Smokehouse is smokinâ€™, p. 64
Photography by Allison Hinman
LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
Midwood Smokehouse brings multi-regional barbecue to Birkdale Village.
Dine + Wine
A Taste of Barcelona
by Trevor Burton Photography courtesy of Trevor Burton
Bacchus Tapas and Wine at LangTree Lake Norman takes me on a tasty trip
60 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
y wife, Mary Ellen, and I spend as much time as we can in Barcelona , but it’s never enough. A good bit of our time is spent wandering around and stopping at local tapas joints for a bite and a glass of local wine. More often than not, that turns out to be a dish of paella and a glass, even a bottle, of Priorat. Paella is ubiquitous in Spain, especially in Barcelona (the good stuff is off the beaten track). For me, Priorat might have been created to pair with the dish. The two of us can’t get enough of Barcelona and its food and wine. But let’s switch to a mundane Saturday at Lake Norman, running errands. Our award for this weekly Herculean retail endeavor is stopping for lunch. A few weekends ago, our award took the form of, what turned out to be, a Barcelona fix at Bacchus Wine and Tapas at LangTree Lake Norman. It was the “Wine and Tapas” that drew us in. It was the paella and Priorat that kept us lingering. Paella has to be the ultimate comfort food. It reportedly started as leftovers mixed together and cooked with rice. Today, it’s taken on a degree of elegance. The dish at Bacchus consists of mixed seafood, chorizo sausage and the requisite rice. Peppers in the sausage kick in a little spice, and that’s where Priorat comes into play. Paella is pretty heavy when it comes to character, and it needs a powerful wine to play nicely with it. There are lots of powerful wines, but most of them come with a good dose of
tannins. Tannins and spice don’t get along too well; the tannins tend to amplify spiciness, messing up the whole meal in the process. Priorat, from a region a little due west of Barcelona, is different. Any tannins in the wine are silky and smooth. And it comes by its depth honestly. The soil that the vines are planted in looks like a moonscape, acres of black slate — in fact that’s the name of Bacchus’ wine, “Black Slate.” That’s what gives the wine its body and depth. The wine is, mostly, a blend of Garnacha and Cariñena, along with a few other grapes. Lots of fruit, dense, fullbodied and opulent. Just right for that paella. Saturday errands leading into a Barcelona fix is pretty neat and not by accident. It comes from an atmosphere that Bacchus owners Brittany and Daniel Amodio have created with their food and wine. The food menu is extensive with a wine list to match. A confession; I was impressed with the wine list as I perused it, but it took me quite some time to figure out that there was a back page, too. The list has more than 100 wines from around the globe. Bacchus offers lots of food and wine pairings to try, but it’s going to be tough to pull me away from paella and Priorat. Bacchus Wine and Tapas LangTree Lake Norman 138 Village View, #107 Mooresville Look for Bacchus Wine and Tapas on Facebook.
Top and Above, Priorat might have been created to pair with paella.
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53 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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Dine + Wine
by Mike Savicki
HOT RODS AND HOPS (AND HOT ROD RED) AT THE HOLIDAYS
The third Friday evening of December marks the final Hot Rods and Hops cruise-in of the season and the second holiday toy drive collection for Toys for Tots. Hot Rods and Hops has grown to become the largest and most diverse casual monthly gathering of auto enthusiasts in the area, powered by Innovative Speed Shop and fueled by Eleven Lakes Brewing Company, both in Cornelius. After the first event was held in March, event organizer Neal Asburn of Innovative Speed Shop recalls feeling skeptical about it taking root. “We had 100 people, and it rained and I thought it was bad and we’d go nowhere with it,” he recalls. But as word began to spread, more enthusiasts, spectators and even families began to cruise into Hyde Storage Park on Bailey Road on the third Friday night of each month. Food trucks and live
music rounded out the scene, and by fall more than 300 cars and motorcycles packed the venue. Not only has it become a great venue for car enthusiasts, it has also become an event that brings an entire community together. Hot Rods and Hops now has its own beer, too. Hot Rod Red is Eleven Lakes’ custom spinoff of its River Otter Red, brewed with less than 5 percent alcohol and lighter in color. The slightly bitter Irish Red draws its color and roast character from a touch of barley. “The guys are very particular about the beers they make, and if it doesn’t hit their numbers exactly, they aren’t going to serve it,” says Eleven Lakes’ Teri Lippy. “From when we first opened, we wanted to make a beer for this event — a beer for car lovers, and Hot Rod Red is that lighter beer”. Looking ahead to 2018, Ashburn and Lippy are excited about making the second season bigger
Cornelius’ Hot Rods and Hops gains momentum.
and better. Plans for the 10 monthly events include a kid zone, involvement and sponsorship opportunities for area small businesses, a charitable giving component, plus a few revolving
surprises. “Truth be told, I’m sad that it’s ending [for the winter] but looking forward to what’s to come,” says Lippy. “I never dreamt in a million years it would morph into what it has become.”
62 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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In the Kitchen with Jill Dahan Ingredients 2 tablespoons coconut nectar (Fresh Market carries Big Tree brand.)
A GIFT WITH TASTE
1 ½ cups crushed almonds or sunflower seeds and hemp seeds 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Photography by Glenn Roberson
6 tablespoons coconut sugar
A pinch of Maldon sea salt ¼-teaspoon vanilla bean powder (optional) 4 ounces dark chocolate (70 percent or greater) (I love the Hu brand at Fresh Market.)
ALMOND OR SUNFLOWER TOFFEE SQUARES
ill Dahan lives in Cornelius and is the author of Starting Fresh! J Recipes for Life. You can learn more about her at www.jilldahan.com.
In a small saucepan, heat the coconut sugar over medium heat. Stir in the nectar and butter over low heat until combined and melted. Mix in the nuts or seeds with the vanilla, and stir until combined. Press the mixture while hot into a parchment-lined square container, and set aside while preparing chocolate. Melt chocolate on low in a cast iron or Le Creuset pan until just beginning to melt, then remove and stir until smooth and thoroughly melted. Pour over nut or seed mixture, and set aside until cooled. Cut into squares when set, and serve at room temperature. Makes about 36 small squares, perfect for a 7 x 7-inch gift tin.
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63 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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Homemade gifts can seem like only a dream at this time of year, but this too-good-to-believe, easy peasy, scrumptious toffee can turn those dreams into a reality. This delicious treat requires no candy thermometer or elaborate process, and after you taste it, you won’t believe it is low in sugar and chock full of protein and nutrients, too. It really is an early present from Santa’s elves. The trick is to have enough left over for Santa and his reindeer after your friends and family have nibbled on it.
Dine + Wine
Nibbles & Bites
Smokinâ€™ Flavors by Holly Becker
Photography by Allison Hinman
Midwood Smokehouse comes to Birkdale Village
Price Lunch Dinner DECEMBER 2017
64 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
Energetic and lively
Group Friendly Family Friendly Going Solo
Midwood Smokehouse delivers a hip vibe with its barbecue.
he savory, undeniable smell of barbecue lingers in the air outside Birkdale Villageâ€™s newest restaurant. Huntersville is the fourth location in the Charlotte market for the popular barbecue restaurant called Midwood Smokehouse. Veteran restaurateur Frank Scibelli opened the flagship Midwood Smokehouse in Plaza Midwood in 2011. Other Queen
Lunch Meeting Date Night Wi-Fi
PRICE KEY 15 and under
25 and under
50 and under
75 and under
This includes an entree and a non-alcoholic beverage.
Dine + Wine
Johnson & Wales University in Charleston and has opened other Midwood Smokehouse locations.
Multi-regional barbecue Executive Chef Paul Cruz is excited to have a Midwood Smokehouse location in the Lake Norman area.
Midwood Smokehouse is proud to call Birkdale Village home. “When this location became available, Frank jumped on it,” he says. A Lumberton, North Carolina native, Cruz grew up with parents in the restaurant industry. He graduated from
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65 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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City locations are at Park Road and Ballantyne. Scibelli is the founder of FS Food Group, so in addition to Midwood Smokehouse, his restaurant empire includes Mama Ricotta’s, Yafo Kitchen, and Paco’s Tacos & Tequila. Executive Chef Paul Cruz says
The Midwood Smokehouse menu features multi-regional barbecue (think the Carolinas, Texas, St. Louis and even some international specials). The smoker uses only wood, no gas, sourcing hickory wood from North Carolina. The logs burn 24 hours a day every day of the week. Cruz says the smoker is only cut off twice a year — Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For Carolina natives, barbecue is synonymous with pork. In Texas, brisket reigns as king. “A lot of people may not know if you go to Texas for
barbecue, you’re mainly going to be served brisket,” explains Cruz. Midwood Smokehouse uses USDA prime beef brisket, and brisket is not limited to BBQ plates. It’s also used for making burgers, sandwiches and tacos. Burnt Ends, crispy caramelized cubes of brisket slathered in a house-made Fat Tire BBQ sauce, is also popular with patrons. For North Carolina barbecue traditionalists who can’t imagine anything other than barbecue from a hog, do not fear, as pork is on the menu, too. Hand-pulled pork and chicken, pork ribs, salmon, and salads give diners a variety of options. “We are chef-driven in the restaurant and quality driven,” says Cruz. “We’re going to source out the best quality we can get
Dine + Wine and still stay true to the traditions of barbecue while also putting on our unique twist.”
Midwood Smokehouse uses USDA prime beef brisket in its burgers.
LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
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Preference for barbecue sauce is personal, and people are generally passionate about it in the Carolinas. Midwood Smokehouse offers choices to suit any barbecue lover’s palate. Sauces include South Carolina Mustard, Eastern North Carolina Vinegar, Spicy Habanero and Midwood’s Signature, a tomato-based sweet barbecue sauce. Midwood Smokeshouse also features hearty, Southern sides, such as collard greens, BBQ baked beans, and mac and cheese. Southern Living recently voted Midwood Smokehouse’s mac and cheese the best in North Carolina. Group and bulk orders, as well as catering through Plate
Perfect is available. The holiday menu includes smoked ham, turkey, turkey breasts, and sides and desserts. At peak dining times, the restaurant is high energy, as patrons can view the busyness of the open kitchen. Red paneling on one wall gives the space a punch of vibrant color and a rustic, barn-like feel. Tucked cozily on one side of the restaurant is a full bar with an ample selection of local craft beer. Booth and table seating sprinkle the main open dining area. The space also includes an outdoor patio with a great view for watching the hustle and bustle at Birkdale Village. Midwood Smokehouse Birkdale Village 16710 Birkdale Commons Pkwy. Huntersville www.midwoodsmokehouse.com Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Wishing you a
Wacky, Whimsical & Wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season
From the Crazy Crew of CURRENTS! Team members not pictured include: MacAdam Smith, Holly Becker, Allison Hinman, Bek Mitchell-Kidd, Ken Noblezada, Renee Roberson, Rosie Molinary, Brant Waldeck and Jason Boys.
Special thanks goes out to our playful photographer, Lisa Crates and Dutchmanâ€™s Casual Living for hosting our photo shoot.
Out + About
The 2017 Best of the Lake Design Competition and Awards Gala
Photography by Sharon Simpson
69 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
he 14th Annual Best of the Lake Design Competition and Awards Gala was held on Friday, November 10 at the Peninsula Club in Cornelius. More than 180 guests attended, and there were more than 45 entries in the categories of New Home Construction, Waterfront Home Construction, Remodeling/Renovation Projects (Kitchen, Bath and Existing Home), Special Projects, Outdoor Living Projects, and Interior Design and Staging. Andrew Roby won Best of Show. The Best of the Lake is an annual competition sponsored by the Lake Norman Home Builders Association, the areaâ€™s preeminent professional association dedicated to the enrichment of the Lake Norman Community and its housing industry. The competition affords builders, designers and trade craftsmen the opportunity to showcase their extensive creative talents. Look for more coverage of the winning projects in the January issue of CURRENTS.
at the Lake
a month of things to do at the Lake Date Night KIDS
Cocoa with Santa (December 1) The Cornelius Arts Center hosts a morning with Santa — and cocoa. Santa will pose for photos for free, and activities include holiday crafts and cookies. Remember to bring your camera or smartphone. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Free. Cornelius Arts Center, 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, www.cornelius.org.
Christmas Tea Party (December 3) By reservation only, this mother-daughter tea features refreshments while holiday crafts and history are shared. Limited to reservations only through Event Brite. 1-3 p.m. Price TBA. Historic Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville, www.lattaplantation.org. Rosie and the Force: A Reindeer Tale (December 9 and 16) This audience participation play offers holiday fun for the family. Performed by Activate Community Through Theatre. 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. $10. Warehouse Performing Arts, 9216 Westmoreland Road, Cornelius, www.activatecommunitythroughtheatre.com.
70 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
Private Visits with Santa (December 16) Children can enjoy a private visit with Santa inside a cozy cabin by the fire. Santa spends time with each family and allows time for personal photography. Santa then gives a special gift with the child’s name on it (secretly provided by Mom and Dad). Reservations required. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 per child 18 and under; adults 18 and up are free. Historic Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville, www.lattaplantation.org.
Christmas Holiday Special with Joshua Carswell, Page Park and The Hall Sisters (December 2) Joshua Carswell is a winner of the American Traditions Competition in Savannah, Georgia, one of the nation’s most prestigious vocal contests, and a graduate of Elon University. The Hall Sisters have always been involved in music, and their performances showcase a variety of sounds and styles. They have performed at the Grand Ole Opry House, the National Quartet Convention and Carnegie Hall. Presented by Performing Arts Live of Iredell. 7:30 p.m. $27.17, students $12.18 plus 6.75 percent sales tax. Mac Gray Auditorium at 474 North
Photography courtesy of Historic Latta Plantation
Mother/Daughter Holiday Tea (December 10) The Mother/Daughter Holiday Tea is the perfect excuse to put on your festive holiday attire while you spend quality time with just the girls. At the event you will make a holiday craft and learn more about the history of the Beaver Dam House. Produced by the Town of Davidson Parks and Recreation Department and Armin’s Catering. Menu in-
cludes light fare. Recommended for ages 5 and older. 1:30-3 p.m. Registration required (http://www.townofdavidson. org/dpr), price TBA. Historic Beaver Dam, 19600 Davidson-Concord Road, Davidson, www.davidsoncommunitycalendar.org.
Girls’ Night Out Center Street, Statesville, www.PALofIredell.com. Vespers: A Service of Lessons and Carols (December 3) Vespers is an annual highlight for the Davidson College community. Davidson College Chorale and campus leaders reflect on the true meaning of the holiday season, featuring Carolina Brass and the Davidson College Presbyterian Church Handbell ensemble. 7:30 p.m. Free. Davidson College Presbyterian Church, www.davidson.edu. Messiah Sing-a-long (December 5) Bring your own score (the college will have a few to share) and join the Davidson College Choirs, family, friends and community members from Statesville to Charlotte to sing the choruses and hear the solos sung from the most popular portions of Handel’s Messiah. Joined by the exquisite North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, this singthrough o will take place in the beautiful and resonant sanctuary of Davidson College Presbyterian Church. 7 p.m. Free for Davidson students, $10. Davidson College Presbyterian Church, www.davidson.edu. Home for the Holidays Christmas Concert (December 5, 7 and 14) The North Mecklenburg Community Chorus performs holiday favorites. December 5, 7 p.m., Bailey’s Glen; December 7, 7:30 p.m., Huntersville United Methodist Church; December 14, 7:30 p.m., Community in Christ Lutheran Church - Cornelius, www.nmccsings.org. Lake Norman Big Band (December 18) The Lake Norman Big Band plays every third Monday night at The Finish Line Restaurant in Mooresville. The show features favorite hits from the big band era and more. 7-9 p.m. $20 cover (includes buffet dinner). Call 704.664.2695 for reservations. The Finish Line Restaurant at George Pappas Victory Lanes, 125 Morlake Drive, Mooresville, www. thelakenormanbigband.org.
Private Visits with Santa takes place on December 16 at Historic Latta Plantation.
Downtown Mooresville Holiday Light Spectacular
Family Fun (Through New Year’s Eve) This orchestrated light show includes 150,000 lights set to music. 5:30-10 p.m. Free. Lawn of Mooresville Town Hall, www.downtownmooresville.com. Christmas in Davidson (November 30-December 2) Enjoy this Davidson tradition filled with carolers, a live nativity, food, performances, carriage rides and more. Norman Rockwell’s vision of the holidays comes to life. 6-9 p.m. Free. Downtown Davidson, www. christmasindavidson.com. Huntersville Christmas and Town Center Tree Lighting (December 1-2) Start off the season by watching Huntersville Town Center’s Christmas tree come to life on Friday evening from 6-9 p.m. Free. On Saturday, enjoy A Huntersville Christmas, complete with rides, holiday performances, carolers, a live nativity, pictures with Santa and horse-drawn carriage rides. 2-8 p.m. Free. Huntersville Town Center, www.huntersville.org. North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade (December 2) High school bands, school groups, horses, tractors and civic organizations get you into the holiday spirit. 1:30 p.m. The parade starts in Davidson at the intersection of Griffith Street and Highway 115 and goes in to Cornelius at the intersection of Highway 115 and Catawba Avenue, www.ci-davidson.nc.us. A Candlelight Christmas (December 2) Walk through the candle-lit plantation and see everything alive, as if you’re peeking through the windows of a dollhouse. Live music, refreshments, live Nativity and more. 6-9 p.m. $9, $8 students, children 5 and under free. Hourly Guided House Tours are available during the day only at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Day admission is sold separately. Historic Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville, www.lattaplantation.org. Christmas in Cornelius (December 3) Enjoy a funfilled afternoon of live bands, Christmas carols and choirs,
Me Time food trucks, craft breweries, holiday kids activities, and a visit from Santa. And don’t forget your Christmas shopping list, as Christmas in Cornelius will feature more than 80 local artists and craftspeople. Noon-6 p.m. Oak Street Mill, 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, look for details on Facebook. Stocks for Tots (December 5) Stocks For Tots was created as a way to bring together stock car racing and its fans, while raising awareness of the child abuse problem in North Carolina. The idea was to collect toys and raise money during a festive, family-oriented holiday event. Folks get to see many of their favorite NASCAR & NHRA drivers / celebrities, as well as their show cars on display and even a visit from Santa himself. 5-9 p.m. NASCAR Technical Institute, 220 Byers Creek Road, Mooresville, www.stocksfortots.com. Christmas Spectacular (December 7) Enjoy ice skating, a laser light show, the S’moresville Peppermint Forest Campground, Santa, hayrides and more. 5-9 p.m. Free. Mooresville Golf Club, W. Wilson Avenue, Mooresville, www.mooresvillegolfclub.com. The 21st Annual Lighted Boat Parade (December 9) Area boats dress up for the holidays. Concession open at 5 p.m. Santa arrives by fireboat at 6 p.m., and the parade begins at 6:15 p.m. Peninsula Yacht Club, 18501 Harbor Light Boulevard, Cornelius, www.peninsulayacht.com.
Movies on Main (December 21) Enjoy the classic It’s a Wonderful Life starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. 8 p.m. Free. Charles Mack Citizen Center, 215 North Main Street, Mooresville, www. ci.mooresville.nc.us.
Cornelius Arts Center Various exhibitions. Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri-Sat 9 a.m.-noon. 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, www.cornelius.org. Foster’s Frame and Art Gallery Various exhibitions. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10a.m.-4p.m. 403 N. Old
Photography courtesy of John Gillette
Carolina Raptor Center Live bird presentations, flight shows, behind-the-scenes tours and more take place at Carolina Raptor Center throughout the month. Visit carolinaraptorcenter. org for more details.
Former World Barefoot Champion Rachel George Normand competes in the 40th Annual Lake Norman New Year’s Day Barefoot Tournament. Statesville Road, Huntersville, 704.948.1750. Four Corners Framing and Gallery Various exhibitions. Tue-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 148 N. Main Street, Mooresville, 704.662.7154, www.fcfgframing.com. Lake Country Gallery Various exhibitions. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Exit 36 – Mooresville, between Belk and Kohl’s, 704.664.5022, www.lakecountrygallery.net.
Tropical Connections Various exhibitions. Tue- Fri 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or by appointment. 230 N. Main Street, Mooresville, www.tropicalconnectionslakenorman.com. The Van Every/Smith Galleries Bob Trotman: Business as Usual (Through December 8). Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat-Sun noon-4 p.m. Davidson College, The Van Every/Smith Galleries, 315 N. Main Street, Davidson, www. davidsoncollegeartgalleries.org.
Davidson Farmer’s Market (December 9, 16) Find fresh local produce and flowers and this event. 9 a.m.-noon. Next to Town Hall between Main and Jackson streets in downtown Davidson, www. davidsonfarmersmarket.org.
Davidson College Men’s
Davidson College Women’s Basketball The Wildcats hit the court for a great season. Elon (December 6, 7 p.m.), Gardner-Webb (December 15, 11:30 a.m.), UNC Charlotte (December 21, 2 p.m.), Duquesne (January 4, 7 p.m.). Davidson College, www. davidsonwildcats.com. 40th Annual Lake Norman New Year’s Day Barefoot Tournament (January 1) Hosted by the Carolina Show Ski Team, this is one of the longest-running barefoot skiing tournaments in the world. It combines barefoot starts, tricks and endurance skills in one single ride. Contestants receive points for the degree of difficulty of their starting method (flying dock start, backward dock start, etc.), degree of difficulty of any tricks they perform (one foot, tumble-turns, 180 degree turns, etc.), and one point for every second they remain on their bare feet. “Footers” (barefoot water skiers) are expected to come from as far as Florida and New Jersey to participate. This year former
World Barefoot Champion and 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee Rachel George Normand will be coming out of retirement to compete. Normand retired from competitive barefooting in 2007, married, has two children and lives in Tega Cay, South Carolina. Normand judged the tournament last year, and was co-announcer for the event the previous year. 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Lake Norman Marina, 6965 NC Highway 150 East, Sherrills Ford, www.carolinashowski.org.
Mom’s Gift (Through December 17) Mom has been dead for 11 months, however she shows up at a family gathering as a ghost on a mission. Like Clarence in It’s A Wonderful Life, she has to accomplish a task to earn her wings. The only person who can hear or see Mom is her daughter who is in an Anger Management Program. One by one the family’s secrets are peeled away revealing a shocking truth that surprises even our ghost. Times vary. Adults, $20; seniors, $18; students, $12. Davidson Community Players, Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour Street, Davidson, www.davidsoncommunityplayers.org.
Mooresville Arts Gallery Mooresville Arts hosts the 150th American Watercolor Society’s Travel Exhibit.
(Through December 22) Tue-Fri noon-4 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 103 W. Center Avenue, Mooresville, www.magart.org.
2nd Friday Street Festival (Every second Friday) This event features many of the area’s most talented and innovative artists and craftsmen while showcasing a fabulous lineup of entertainment including local bands, performance groups, live art demonstrations and much more. Area businesses will be out to impress, offering special sales and incentives to event guests, who can also enjoy a variety of food and drinks from local breweries and food. 6-10 p.m. Free. 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, www.oldtowncornelius.com.
Basketball Fingers cross for a trip to the big dance this year. VMI (December 5, 7 p.m.), Saint Louis (January 3, 7 p.m.). Davidson College, www.davidsonwildcats.com.
71 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
Dance Shut Up &
by Lori K. Tate Photography courtesy of Lori K. Tate
Editor Lori K. Tate learns to foxtrot with her husband at Dynamic Ballroom
Editor Lori K. Tate and her husband, John Tate, enjoy an evening on the dance floor. DECEMBER 2017
72 LAKE NORMAN CURRENTS
eing in our mid- to upper-40s, my husband and I aren’t on the wedding circuit anymore. And being the parents of 7-year-old twins, the closest we get to dancing is rocking it out to the Trolls soundtrack in our kids’ playroom. With that in mind, we were delighted at the opportunity to take a dance class at Dynamic Ballroom, which recently relocated to Cornelius. JR and Christine Hipsky opened Dynamic Ballroom in Huntersville in 2014. Last month they moved their business into a building custom built for dancing in Cornelius. The space features chandeliers, high ceilings and, most importantly, a 2,800-squarefoot dance floor made of solid bamboo. The new space is double what they had in Huntersville. “We offer many different dances, but all partner dances. My wife and I specialize in International 10 Dance, but there are dozens of different styles that either we or one of our instructors teach,” explains
JR, adding that samba, rumba, waltz, tango, swing, shag and the cha cha are just some of their offerings. “We have students that do several private lessons a week, and some that do a group class here and there, and attend a social dance once a month.” My husband, John, and I opted for a private foxtrot lesson in the hopes that this would be easier to learn than say, salsa. We showed up on a Thursday evening in jeans and sneakers, as JR instructed us to dress comfortably. The first thing JR taught us was how to create a frame, which means how we hold onto each other while dancing. JR said that the frame creates the topline for the dance, and that it’s also how you communicate. “Dance is an unspoken language,” he explained. “You do it through body contact.” Once we had our frame in place, we began learning steps. The foxtrot is basically three steps. Starting with his left foot, the man steps forward twice and then to his left, while
the woman follows starting backwards on her right foot. Not being able to lead is the part I always struggle with. After a few tries, John and I got the hang of it. One might say we were almost gliding across the dance floor – note the key word almost. Soon JR began teaching us how to turn, which proved more difficult than we imagined. Instead of speaking with body language, my engineer husband would announce that we were about to turn, throwing off any concentration I might have had. It didn’t matter though because JR was wonderful about our mess-ups. With 20 years of dance experience, he knows the mistakes beginners are going to make before they make them. Once we mostly figured out the turn, we began dancing diagonally across the dance floor to a Nat King Cole tune. For a second I forgot that we were two exhausted parents who drove to the studio in a minivan. In my mind, we were Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire taking the dance floor by storm.
John Tate, JR Hipsky (co-owner of Dynamic Ballroom) and Lori K. Tate.
Seriously, by the end of the lesson, John and I felt like we could fake the foxtrot enough to get by at a wedding reception or even a cruise. And it was obvious that JR was having fun sharing his love of dance with us. “I truly enjoy helping people learn, whether it be for competition or for a more social setting. Helping couples with their first dance at their wedding is a lot of fun, and we feel honored to have the opportunity to be a part of their celebration,” says JR. “We truly believe that everyone should be dancing, even just a little bit, and that’s what we are trying to offer.” Dynamic Ballroom 19625 Bethel Church Road Cornelius www.dynamicballroom.com
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