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When he was a teen growing up in Buffalo, Gilbert Neal stayed out of trouble by joining bands and playing music on the weekends, pretending they were the Beatles, Rush, or King Crimson. Neal’s father passed away when he was six-years-old, so it was just he and his mother for much of his youth.

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Josh Cvijanovic, Director of Bands at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, has been chosen by the Central District chapter of the North Carolina Bandmasters Association to receive the 2022 Award of Excellence. The prestigious award, which is given to honor a career of excellence in all a…

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Orange High School’s Theatre and Band Programs, in association with Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble, have announced upcoming performances of “Pop Up: Hillsborough, An Artistic Adventure.” Over the course of May 6 and 7, audiences will discover site-specific performances via clues on a h…

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The Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department in partnership with the Orange County Arts Commission announce the opening of Our Lens, Our Voice, a photography and emotional expression project that reframes and refocuses narratives of justice-impacted youth. The photography exhibit w…

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The Efland Seafood Festival is hoping to make a big splash in its return April 29 and 30. The event raises money for the Hillsborough Sport Fishing Club’s annual fishing trip for veterans, along with other veteran outdoor groups across the state. 

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Last year, when Cedar Ridge High School was doing classes remotely, Evan Mitchell, the school’s drama instructor, approached one of his students with a project that would be both exhilarating and terrifying. Mitchell wanted Quinn Gilbert, then a junior, to write a full-length play.

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Standing in the band room at Cedar Ridge High School while the jazz band is steam rolling through rehearsals for an upcoming performance, one could close their eyes and believe they were taking in the sounds of a talented ensemble in a small, dark club in New Orleans, minus the cigarette smo…

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It’s the middle of the night. You’re awake, you’re hungry. Maybe you’ve had a tough day with the kids, or maybe you have a big presentation to deliver in the morning at work, and you just want to take a spoon and dive into your favorite nut butter. 

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If you watch the trailer for the movie “Unfinished,” a project released this week on the BET+ app, brace yourself for intense images, dramatic dialogue, and nightmarish mystery. Characters appear tortured, confused, and desperate. Some even look dead and ghostly. It has all the makings of an…

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The recent warm temperatures may take off for the weekend, but the crowds are still expected to show up for the spring edition of the Tar Heel Antiques Festival. Last fall, more than 100 vendors filled the grounds at the Barn at Lloyd’s Dairy in Efland. The event has quickly become one of th…

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The building at 212 N. Churton St. in Hillsborough is no stranger to the sound of metal being hammered or the sight of sparks flying from welding torches. Built in 1942, it originally was a gas and service station, and in keeping with the heavy metals theme, was home to Beyond Barriers Perso…

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If Jeffery Beam was writing this, the local poet, who has just published a new collection of works, would probably now be wrapping up this story. Many of the poems in his new book, “Verdant,” are frugal in length, but opulent with sensory triggers. Each word fat, each line unfolding. The col…

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Show your love for Orange County’s waterways during the first-ever Orange County Creek Week, set for March 12-19. The inaugural event is part of the Clean Water and Education Partnership’s  (CWEP) second annual Regional Creek Week. This year’s theme is “Water Connects Us.” The initiative wil…

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Are you light on your feet? Like to strut your stuff? Or, do you have two left feet, and lack rhythm? Well, you too, can learn to dance. It’s as easy as one, two, three; one, two, three; one, two, cha, cha, cha.

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The James Beard Foundation® announced today its 2022 Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists in advance of the returning James Beard Awards® presented by Capital One. Aaron Vandemark, owner and chef at Panciuto in Hillsborough, is again among the nominees for Outstanding Chef in the Southea…

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The theater group from Orange High School, under the direction of Blake Wilson, attended the North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) Festival Nov. 5, 2021. It came away with several group and individual acting awards, among eight other North Carolina schools that participated that day:

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The homes of people’s dreams come in all sorts of sizes and styles. Imagine a modern mountain home, with giant windows and panoramic views. Maybe a fully renovated historic farmhouse, with a wraparound rocking-chair porch. Or, perhaps a hip, industrial-style loft apartment in the downtown of…

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If it’s a Thursday evening, and you find yourself on West King Street within about half a block of Yonder Southern Cocktails & Brew, there’s a good chance the from-another-time sound of Katharine Whalen’s voice and her jazz band will reel you closer to the bar. Her sound is unmistakable,…

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I consider myself a creative type. I believe I’m pretty good with my hands. And, most importantly, I’ve watched quite a few baking shows. Not only do I feel capable of entering the Homes For the Holidays Gingerbread Competition, I’m confident I can participate without embarrassing myself.

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The second-annual Homes For the Holidays Gingerbread Competition kicks off this week, and the entries may be coming to a business near you. Nineteen businesses in downtown Hillsborough have volunteered space in their windows to display 29 sweet creations built by locals. The number of partic…

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For the past year and a half, students in Evan Mitchell’s advanced theater class have been frustrated with not being able to have live audiences for performances because of restrictions put in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Even in the fall, when it looked as though the pandemi…

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Before opening her own dance and yoga studio, Stephanie Woodbeck was in New York working on her associate’s degree in massage therapy. She was struck by a story one of her professors would tell about a butterfly, and how when it comes out of its chrysalis, its wings are wet and droopy, and i…

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Craig Lloyd continues to push the envelop for ways to get the most out of his family’s 800-acre farm. For two centuries, the land was just that: a farm. But over the last few decades, the Lloyd’s have shifted to holding events on the property. Some of them are more traditional, like the Tar …

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WHUP, the Triangle’s premier community radio station, will hold its annual on-air fall fundraiser from Monday, October 25 through Sunday, October 31. Re-dubbed the Fall Fund-a-Thon, the event will include special live music sessions by Asheville’s Anya Hinkle and others as well as guest DJ s…

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Local author Charity Matthews wants parents, grandparents, and guardians to encourage kids to do something that seems to fly in the face of common sense: play with your food. 

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Downtown Hillsborough’s second mural project has passed its final hurdle to becoming a reality. In the coming weeks, one dull, white, stucco side of the News of Orange County building will be transformed into a colorful tribute to Hillsborough.

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Where’s a good place in Chapel Hill to be stuck in traffic during warmer days? If you’re sitting at the light at the intersection of Fordham Boulevard and Eastgate Crossing, there’s a chance you’ll get to hear a live performance of some Led Zeppelin, or The Rolling Stones, Beatles, or maybe …

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Just before the pandemic brought nearly everything to a sudden halt, the Orange County Arts Commission held its grand opening for 11 artist studios at the Eno River Mills. The new space was an instant hit and filled up with local artists, despite the Covid shutdown. 

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The Hillsborough Arts Council’s (HAC) newest creative duo continues to inspire the local art scene. Gift Shop and Gallery Manager Mollie Thomas accepted her new role as Executive Director in early August, while Ivana Beveridge was officially welcomed as Marketing Director and Program Coordin…

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The Town of Carrboro has announced the cancellation of the 2021 Carrboro Music Festival. The festival was scheduled for September 25-26 at venues throughout downtown Carrboro.

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When Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Wallace was a young boy, he would stand between the knees of his brother, Johnny, and watch him try to figure out how to play an acoustic guitar. Jo Jo focused on his brother’s fingers as they were distorted and configured to make chords, paying no mind to the strumming. 

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Hog Day, a festival with a 37-year history in Hillsborough, has been canceled because of concerns over increasing Covid-19 cases. It is the second consecutive year the event has been done in by the pandemic. The festival was scheduled for Sept. 17 and 18.

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If you’re a fan of live and local music, you might want to set aside Aug. 21 for a full day of an eclectic mix of tunes. If you’re a fan of live, local music and authentic Mexican food, you’ll definitely want to set aside Aug. 21, and wear loose-fitting clothes.

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On a football practice field behind Orange High School, during what has been the hottest week of the year, about 60 members of the school’s marching band and color guard are standing, relaxed in casual clothes, distanced from each other, eyes forward, with instruments or flags at their side.

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A dance team from Hillsborough took part in the World Dance Championship in New Jersey in late July, placing in the top 10 of the junior novice-level division. More than 50 teams took part in the contest. 

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“Collective History: Stories of the Colonial Inn” is out and available for purchase. The book, which rolls out, from groundbreaking to grand re-opening, the history of the most recognizable building in Hillsborough, was written and compiled by Amanda Boyd.

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Even John Denver agrees, “Ain’t nothin’ in the world that I like better than bacon & lettuce & homegrown tomatoes.” Tomato connoisseurs gathered on the lawn of the Burwell School Historic Site on Saturday to enjoy the Heirloom Tomato Picnic & Tasting. Whit’s Ice Cream and Colonia…

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“Something to Say,” a new art exhibit at the Margaret Lane Gallery in downtown Hillsborough, features artwork from residents at Orange Correctional Center (OCC) in Hillsborough. Visitors are encouraged to come “hear” their messages, expressed through a range of mediums and styles, by artists…

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For about two years, toward the end of my high school career, I worked at a movie theater in Greensboro that mostly showed foreign, independent and arthouse films. The Janus Theater was owned by a man named Dr. Hammond Bennett, who became something of a pioneer in arthouse cinemas. He was a …

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In cinema, with few exceptions, the sequel is almost never better than the first; the remake is almost never better than the original. Since it reopened weeks ago after the pandemic restrictions on gatherings eased, the Chelsea Theater is proving to be one of the exceptions to the rule.

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Sia Yazdanfar talks like a person running out of time. But he will tell you he’s making up for lost time. A year ago, the Iran-born photographer, who called Hillsborough his second home, was maintaining a high level of frustration with not being able to return to his homeland. 

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A recent incident at a popular downtown Hillsborough hangout raised tensions and concerns about the presence of hate groups in the area, spurring the business owners to implement changes to address the issue.