Monday, September 28, 2009

If Southern Living Says it, it must be true

In August issue of Southern living, Hanging Rock State Park is described as one of four State Parks that doesn't feel like a State Park. What a wonderful asset to have in our community:

4 State Parks That Don't Feel Like State ParksLove the beach? Discover this deal for only $110 a night, year-round, at Grayton Beach State Park. Grayton offers great views and clean, basic accommodations―as do all the other picks below. With beautiful parks like these, you won’t miss room service.
Grayton Beach State Park, Florida The no-frills cabins are about a three- to five-minute walk from the white-sand beach and emerald waters. Cabins come with a queen-size bed and two twin sizes. All have a futon in the living room, a screened back porch, kitchen, gas fireplace, microwave, dishwasher, outdoor grill, and air-conditioning. The rate is $110 every day of the year. 1-800-326-3521
Hanging Rock State Park, North Carolina Stunning views, 18 miles of trails, cascading waterfalls, a spring-fed mountain lake, and great fall color for $100 a night.
Guntersville State Park, Alabama A four-year, $25-million renovation produced a fabulous lodge by one of the South’s largest lakes. Just $100 a night during summer.
Indian Lodge, Texas In the heart of the Davis Mountains, the big-sky country of the South, for less than $100 a night.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Star Catchers Stokes County

If you ever have a question about the good hearts of the people in Stokes County, this video should answer them.

North Stokes Band at 2009 Stokes Stomp

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lions Club Cake Bake off

Bakers get ready...The Lions Club Cake Bake Off for Kingfest 2009 is approaching.

hosted by the King Senior Center

PLEASE contact King Senior Center - Suzan Garner / Virginia Byerly
PO Box 1132
King, NC 27021
Ph: 336-983-0751 / Fax: 336-983-2731 / email
with your registration information

City:______________________________ State:________________ Zip:___________
Home Phone: ______________________ Work Phone: _________________________
Cakes must be on a foil covered disposable plate or form and placed in a disposable covered container which can be purchased at the bakery sections of local grocery stores. Please place your name, address, phone number and the kind of the cake securely on the top and bottom of the cake box. Cakes should be dropped off at King Recreation Acres on Friday, October 2 between 1:30 and 4:00 pm. Judging will begin shortly thereafter.


________ Pound Cakes
________ Chocolate Cakes
________ Fruit/Nut/Vegetable/Spice Cakes
________ Layer Cakes – yellow, white, red velvet, caramel, etc.
Ribbons will be awarded for the first three places in each category and “Best of Show” winner will receive a trophy and a check for $50.00. Ribbon winning cakes will be auctioned immediately following the judging ceremony.
Whole and half cakes may be purchased at completion of the auction. All remaining cakes will be sold whole or by the slice on Saturday, October 3 at KingFest 2009. This year we will host several cake walks during the day of KingFest at Central Park

NEW THIS YEAR! Junior Category - Kindergarten to Middle School Grade 8 may compete in this new category. Any type of cake, except cheesecake, can be entered in this judging category. There will be a first and a second place winner in this category. All of the bakers in this category will also be entered into the lucky drawing of all participants.

________ Junior Category (Kindergarten to Middle School Grade 8)

Each participant will be entered into a drawing for a $25.00 check.
Executive AssistantKing Chamber of Commerce124 South Main StreetPO Box 863 (mail)King, NC 27021Ph: (336) 983-9308Fx: (336) 983-9526

October Music at Priddy's

‘PICKIN’ AT PRIDDY’S Every Saturday in October

October 3……………….Shallowford Crossing

October 10……………..Blue Delivery

October 17……………. Henry Mabe & Friends

October 24…………….Rich ‘n’ Tradition

October 31……………. Zephyr Lightning Bolts

Music is from 3:00 until 5:30 pm. Priddy’s General Store2121 Sheppard Mill RoadDanbury, NC 27016Phone: (336) 593–8786www.priddysgeneralstore.comLive Local Bluegrass Music At It’sFinest !!

Bring a friend and a chair and enjoy bluegrass music the old fashioned way at Priddy’s General Store. We will be firing up the big black pot with something delicious to eat. Enjoy an Old Time Auction during the band’s break at 4pm. (PROCEEDS HELP NEEDY FAMILIES AT CHRISTMAS). This event is great small town fun for the whole family to enjoy and do not forget your dancing shoes

Priddy’s General Store2121 Sheppard Mill RoadDanbury, NC 27016Phone: (336) 593–8786

October 17th Festival with Hare Krishna Temple

Our friends in Sandy Ridge, Stokes County would like to invite all who are interested to attend a festival on Saturday Oct 17th. See details below:

Dear Friends,
I have a festival to announce.This is one of the most festive occasions all over India.It is a multi-festival as there are several events being celebrated simultaneously.It starts at 3:30 and goes into the evening with fireworks at 7PM.Festivities will include: -Games for kids of all ages-Dramatic presentations describing what is being celebrated-Feasting -MusicWe will be focusing on the story of Lord Rama returning to His home after being exiled to live in the forest for 14 years. The exile was an attempt to drive Him from the citizens’ memory so a rival could be put in His place as the King. It was a moonless night when He was scheduled to return.The citizens, confident of His return, all lit lamps to insure His finding His home.The whole town of Ayodhya was lit up like the day.Our temple will be lit by candles that evening which will provide a very warm environment, conducive for the warm feelings one feels at such a festival as this.The general theme is one of good conquering evil and a return of Righteousness into our hearts and our lives.There will be many other places to celebrate Diwali that night. Ours will be very traditional, inspiring and will invoke peace in your heart. There will be no Bollywood music. If you would like something different this year, give us a try.Mark your calendar and plan to attend.I'll send more details as they develop.The next day, Sunday, will also be a big festival called Govardhan Puja which involves building a mountain of food and appreciating the gifts God has given us in the form of Earth and Cows.Warm regards,MitraHare Krishna Temple 1283 Prabhupada RdSandy Ridge NC 27046

Book offering from Stokes County Arts Council

The Stokes County Arts Council will soon have available Trudy J. Smith's new book, "House of Petticoats" - Funny, romantic, uplifting and at times bringing a touch of sadness, "House of Petticoats" is the true story of the life of Greensboro, North Carolina native, Jessie Huffman. Developed from her personal handwritten journals by the author, it floats sweetly through the everyday adventures of a young girl growing up in the Great Depression years to the romantic remembrances of the beautiful young woman she became who finds and loses her only true love during WWII. She subsequently decides she would never marry or even fall in love again. This book will appeal to those who love Southern history, nostalgia and especially North Carolina stories. It is tastefully rendered to appeal to everyone from young girls to grandparents. If you like such classics as Little House on the Prairie or Walton's Mountain, House of Petticoats will be a title you will give or recommend as a gift with confidence. This paperback book is $14.95 plus sales tax and can be purchased at the Stokes County Arts Council. To reserve your copy of this book, please call the Arts Council at 336-593-8159. -->

Leaf Season Approaching

Below you will find a reprint of an article in today's Winston Salem Journal. It talks about the annual changing of the leaves and beautiful spots to view them. I doubt few can compare to the view from my window here in Danbury. I look out on the back side of Hanging Rock State Park and this spring, I was able to watch as each day the mountain turned its different shades of green and I expect that this fall I can watch the color walk back down the hills. The drive from here to the Blue Ridge Parkway, going up Hwy 8 will be a thing of beauty and as Ron Carroll states in the story rivals any vistas you can imagine. I hope you will take some time to visit our roads and stop to hike our trails this fall. It just shows you don't have to go far to find the beauty in the world.

By Lisa O'Donnell Journal Columnist and Reporter
Published: September 24, 2009
Updated: 09/23/2009 06:45 pm

There's an old wives' tale that says rain washes the color out of leaves. If this is true, given how much it rained last week, we might want to prepare ourselves for an array of browns. It's a color I find pleasing in desserts, not so much in leaves.
For you fall-foliage fans, the important thing to remember here is that these are the same old wives who think that if you cross your eyes, they will stick in place. So their track record is pretty spotty.
Even scientists have a hard time predicting fall colors.
Howie Neufeld, a professor of plant physiology at Appalachian State University, is known at The Fall Color Guy. He told me that there are all sorts of notions out there about why the colors can be eye-popping one season and muted the next, but as far as he knows, there has never been a large study that looks at the different variables that could determine color.
"Some people think that what happens at the beginning of the season will affect fall colors," Neufeld said. "And no one knows that."
Expect the color show to begin at elevations of 3,000 and 4,000 feet around Oct. 15. The blaze of glory should trickle down to Winston-Salem by late October, Neufeld said.
Now that we've cleared that up, let's consider some places to see these leaves.
We all know that the Blue Ridge Parkway is as can't miss as LeBron James on a breakaway dunk. What about other parts of the state?
I asked a variety of people who are intimately familiar with their necks of the woods.
Starting off is Ron Carroll, a Stokes County commissioner, who has spent most of his life in the county.
If you are out for a drive or heading up to Hanging Rock, Carroll suggested driving up N.C. 66, turning right on Moore's Spring Road and taking another right on Mickey Road. Carroll will sometimes pull off into a church parking lot on this route and look back over the mountains and the old Nancy Reynolds School.
"In a good year, this place, to me, competes with the Blue Ridge Parkway," he said.

• A bit farther north, Patrick County, Va., also boasts some pretty amazing scenery. Wilma Pendleton, who works in the county's office of economic development and tourism, described some routes near Ararat, Va., that wind past rolling hills and farms.
For folks in our area, the best way to get there is to go up U.S. 52 and take N.C. 104 in Mount Airy. You can make your way up to the Blue Ridge Parkway by following Rabbit Ridge Road to The Hollow Road then heading into Ararat. From there, you can take Squirrel Spur Road up to the parkway. Ararat is about 48 miles from Winston-Salem.
"This is just absolutely gorgeous scenery," Pendleton said.
• I asked Neufeld for some of his favorite places to see leaves in Watauga County outside of the parkway. He mentioned getting on N.C. 194, north of Boone, taking a left on Meat Camp Road and driving on to Elk Knob State Park, one of North Carolina's newest parks. There is an old road that leads to the summit. It's rocky and steep, but the payoff is a 360-degree view that looks over Ashe County and Mount Mitchell to the east.
• In the central part of the state, Don Childrey, who wrote the Uwharrie Lakes Region Trail Guide, recommends taking N.C. 109 south to N.C. 49 west and taking N.C. 740 into Badin. From there, get on Valley Drive to Morrow Mountain State Park, where you can find some easy hiking trails.
The park sits along Lake Tillery, which offers a nice contrast to the Uwharries.
• Burt Kornegay, a guide with Slickrock Expeditions in Cullowhee, suggested a few places in the western corner of the state.
The Cherohala Skyway is a 43-mile scenic road that connects Robbinsville to Tellico Plains, Tenn. This parkway-like road offers beautiful views of the Joyce Kilmer-Slick Rock wilderness areas.
"It's quite a road, with sweeping vistas of the southern mountains," he said.
The road has overlooks and numerous out-and-back hiking trails.
Kornegay also recommends a 75-mile or so loop that starts on N.C. 281 near Lake Toxaway and twists up to Tuckasegee. You can turn around and head back or pick up N.C. 107 and head south to Cashiers. Complete the loop by picking up U.S. 64, which takes you back to Lake Toxaway.
Kornegay said this loop will lead you through the Balsam Mountains where you will find plenty of good trails to stretch your legs.
Kornegay leads fall hiking trips each year in mid-October. This year, he'll take groups on the Bartram National Recreation Trail, through Panthertown Valley and to Bonas Defeat Gorge.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

KingFest Update

As I said yesterday, Kingfest is nigh. On October 3, it sounds like there will be more good food than a person should eat and fun for almost everyone. Listed below is info provided by Deanne Moore, President of the King Chamber. She and her board are hard at work to provide more fun than than you should legally have.

"We have over 50 vendors coming and 10 food vendors. Tell everyone to come hungry as we will have ham biscuits, pizza, pintos and cornbread, barbeque and barbeque chicken, polish sausage, hot dogs, roasted corn, chicken stew, sno-cones, ice cream and funnel cakes for sale along with slices of the cakes from the Cake Bake-Off .

It is a kid friendly festival with the Youth Fishing Tournament beginning at 10:00 am, the BB&T Olympics at 2:00 pm, the NewBridge Express Train rides, Junior Cake Bake-Off division, four huge inflatable attractions, pumpkin decorating, Little Folks (preschool) area and cash prizes at the scarecrow contest
. "

I know the kiddies will have a good time and my mouth is watering just looking at the food listed above. See you there!

Monday, September 21, 2009

KingFest is Nigh

Only 12 days til KingFest 2009. Listed below are details of this annual event. Plan now for a wonderful day of fun, music, food and fellowship. Visit King on Saturday October 3 and be ready to have a good time!

Welcome to KingFest!
KingFest, held annually the first Saturday in October at King Central Park, includes a variety of activities for all ages. Live music performed at the amphitheatre features 50's, oldies, bluegrass and gospel music. Also included in the day's events are arts and crafts, children's activities, a youth fishing tournament, a horseshoe pitching tournament, community-prepared country food, heritage demonstrations, miniature train rides, a classic cruise-in car show, a cake bake-off, contests and prize drawings. Admission and parking are free, and parking is adequate for bus tours.
King Central Park, located on Kirby Road, is a 17-acre municipal park, with paved walking trails; a stocked fish pond; picnic shelters, restored eighteenth century cabins, a veterans' memorial and an amphitheatre.
Directions: From US Hwy 52, take the King exit and go 1/2 mile toward King. Turn right onto Kirby Road and go 1/2 mile, just past P.B. Clark's Restaurant. King Central Park will be on the left. There is a sign and U.S. flag flying at the first entrance to the park. Public parking will be in the amphitheatre lot at the second park entrance.
Click here for a map.
KingFest Forms and Registration Information
2009 Sponsorship Options Listings
2009 Civic and Non-Profit Food Vendor Form
2009 Commercial Food Vendor Form
2009 Non-Food Vendor Form
2009 Sponsorship Designation Form
KingFest Sponsors
2009 Sponsors List 2008 Sponsors List -->

"Hare Krishna" Culture in Stokes County

A very interesting event is set to take place in Stokes County this November, a George Harrison Festival. See the details below. Make plans now to visit with our friends the Prabhupada Village community.

ISKCON North Carolina Throws George Harrison Festival

By Madhava Smullen on 5 Sep 2009
This November 7, ISKCON devotees at the rural Prabhupada Village community in Sandy Ridge, North Carolina will be holding “George Fest,” the latest in a series of innovative festivals designed to attract the general public.
At previous events, devotee and outside professionals spoke on different aspects of sustainability such as transportation, farming, energy production, and solar panels. Another featured a seminar on sustainable relationships, while the most recent event, Krishna Fest, showcased “Hare Krishna” culture through stage performances of traditional music and dance, talks on Krishna conscious philosophy, and even a “Try on a Sari” booth.
“We want to give our neighbors a valid excuse to visit our farm,” says organizer Mitrasena Dasa, an instantly likeable devotee with a lopsided grin and a twinkle in his eye. “As a result of the festivals, our neighbors are seeing the temple as a place to learn things that are relevant to their lives. And as they become accustomed to visiting us, I am gradually presenting Krishna to them.”
George Fest will be the next step in this plan. People are already looking forward to hearing about one of ISKCON founder Srila Prabhupada’s most famous followers, George Harrison, and Mitrasena expects a big crowd.
“I am working with several professional musicians for the event, and they are really looking forward to the devotional atmosphere at our temple,” he says. “One musician claims to be retired, but is willing to suspend his retirement for ‘a project like this one.’”
The musicians are collaborating with Mitrasena on a fully orchestrated version of ‘Within you, without you’ using esraj, tablas, sitar, violin, and more. The song will feature an extended instrumental section before culminating in a traditional kirtan.
Other local musicians will perform a variety of George’s songs, while a sitar performance, more kirtan and lots of prasadam (sanctified food) are all on the menu.
But the highlight will be the speech by Guru Dasa, an early disciple of Srila Prabhupada’s and a close friend of George’s. He was there to greet Prabhupada upon his first visit to San Francisco in 1967, and later started ISKCON in England along with his wife Yamuna and two other couples. He also met the Beatles in 1969 and lived in John Lennon’s estate for some time.
George Fest will end with a group rendition of My Sweet Lord, with Mitrasena gathering “as many acoustic guitarists as possible” to strum and sing George Harrison’s signature tune together.
Devotees who are interested in helping as musicians, preachers, cooks, yoga instructors, book distributors, entertainers, or potato peelers can contact Mitrasena at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stokes Stomp in the Rear View Mirror

Received this email from the Stokes County Arts Council and Eddy McGee yesterday. Word is that the phone lines were smoking with people who had a great time and wanted to share their thoughts.

> Subject: Fw: Stokes Stomp
> Bryan and Alan,
> I received the message below and wanted to forward it to you. We've
> also heard from a couple from Burlington, High Point, Greensboro, and
> Pulaski, Virginia all saying the same thing, that this years Stokes
> Stomp was fantastic. (and the Burlington couple stayed at the Econo
> Lodge) Eddy McGee
> ----- Original Message -----
> From:
> To:
> Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 1:35 PM
> Subject: Stokes Stomp
> I wanted to say Kudos to you and all that were involved in the Stokes
> Stomp,Festival on the Dan. That had to be the best planned festival I
> have ever attended. We are raising our 5 year old grandson and when
> my husband said bluegrass festival I was a bit leary of him getting
> bored, but not so.
> The children's area was wonderful and I do not think I have ever seen
> an area completely devoted to young ones at a festival before. But a
> really big thanks goes to the kayak guides. They were absolutely
> fabulous--tireless and patient--even with the smallest of passengers.
> That was the highlight of Ethan's day and he has talked about it ever
> since. This was our first trip there from Rockingham Co., but I do
> not think it will be our last. I think every festival organizer could
> take a lesson from your layout and organization of your festival,
> simple, but something for everyone.
> Perhaps
> the only dark cloud was the traffic getting to the parking area.
> Thanks again for a very enjoyable day, names witheld for privacy

I thinks this pretty well sums up the event. I will be posting a list of vendors FYI

NC Mountain to the Sea Trail News

Please see below, information on the continuing efforts to build and improve the NC Mountains to Sea Trail. There will be a meeting on Sept 21 in Stokes County. Read below for more details.
NC Mountains to the Sea
See article below for dates in your area: Triad Begins Trail Planning Process

Be a part of the Mountain-To-Sea-Trail Planning Process ---

Trail News: From the NC Mountains to the Sea
September 2009

Celebrate October on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail - where the trail is already built or where it is planned for the future. We've organized guided dayhikes, overnight backpacks, paddles, bike rides, trail workdays, and more to help you get out to explore the trail during a beautiful time of the year. Search our calendar of events to find one that's right for you. You can also help support the trail this October by buying a raffle ticket at any Great Outdoor Provision Co. store, located in seven cities across North Carolina. Prizes include a chance to win a $300 gift certificate from each of the Great Outdoor Provision Co.'s seven stores. A grand prize drawing will also be held for a $500 gift certificate and other prizes from Patagonia and Vasque!

In the last newsletter, we reported that Frank Potter and Jim Walters of Charlotte completed the trail in May.

Now three more hikers -
Charlie Young of Conover, Jonathan Felts of Florida, and Scot Ward of Kentucky - have finished, making 2009 our busiest hiking year to date.

Scot is the first person to hike the trail twice, and when he reached Jockey's Ridge on August 8th, he turned west to hike the trail a third time. He told The Coastland Times: "I don't do trails twice, but this one is different. It's special."
WATAUGA COUNTY TOURISM STEPS UP FOR THE MST The Watauga Task Force of MST trail building volunteers has been working hard for two years to build their 16-mile section of trail near Boone and Blowing Rock. Shelton Wilder's poetic blog tracks their progress and the beauty of the land. If you'd like to help, the Task Force is planning a "Big Dig" weekend of trail work and felllowship from Friday, October 3 to Sunday, October 4.

A particularly dangerous section of steep hillsides and fear of rock falling onto the Blue Ridge Parkway led the Task Force to turn for help to the
Watauga Tourism Development Authority. Thanks to two grants totaling $20,000, FMST has been able to hire professional crews to help build this difficult section and bring the trail closer to completion.

TRIAD BEGINS TRAIL PLANNING PROCESS The Piedmont Triad Council of Governments is starting work on a conceptual trail plan for ten counties in the Triad area. If you'd to get involved, please join them at one of the following public meetings which run from 6 to 8 pm: o Stokes and Surry County; Location: Pilot Mountain, Armfield Center, Sept. 21o Davie and Davidson County; Location: Lexington, DC Government Center, October 8o Forsyth and Yadkin County; Location: Lewisville, TBA, October 27o Guilford and Alamance County; Location: Elon, TBA, October 29o Randolph and Montgomery County; Location: Seagrove Public Library, November 10o Rockingham and Caswell County; Location: TBA, November 19 The goal of the meetings is to revise existing-conditions maps, identify proposed trail locations & uses and garner support from stakeholders & property owners for the plan. Each meeting will focus on two counties, however, maps of the entire region will be available at each meeting. You can also get involved by visiting the website which provides a place where anyone can provide feedback on the planning process, comment on maps and documents and stay up to date with plan developments.

NEW BERN ALDERMEN APPROVE NEW MST ROUTEOn September 8, the New Bern Board of Aldermen approved a pedestrian plan which establishes a beautiful new route for the MST through the City. The route is to include a section of natural-surface trail along the city's reclamation lake near the Neuse River before it heads into historic downtown New Bern. If you'd like to explore the new route, join FMST Board Member John Jaskolka on his MST Month hike on Saturday, October 24th, sponsored by
One World Shoppe. Search our calendar to find details of this hike and other MST Month events.


Financial donations make this trail possible. You can join FMST
online (or print and mail your membership form).

Your donation will leave a legacy for future generations.

Thanks for your support of the trail!

Photo credits: Charlie Young on trail (unknown photographer), writing in snow by Becka Walling. Photos in banner by Becka Walling and Glenn Strouhal.

Contact InfoKate Dixon
Executive Director
Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Walnut Festival, The Stokes Stomp and what is next

This past weekend offered a great time to be outside and view what is best about out local communities in Stokes County. It started with the Walnut Festival on Friday, which I was not able to attend but from several sources was able to learn that it was well received. The comments went from a great time to the best ever. I am very happy for the folks in Walnut Cove.

The Stomp was a great event. In two days, I was able to meet a great many people, eat some really good food, listen to and watch some really fine entertainment and see a lot of people enjoying themselves in a family atmosphere. My hat is off to the organizers and volunteers who pulled this off.

This however, is not the end of activities in Stokes County for the fall, it is really just the beginning. The Stokes County Fair starts today and runs through the 19th. I hope to get there on Thursday to see the exhibits and visit the food vendors. There is something magical about the sites and sounds of a local fair.

There is Music For Mutts on the 19th in King to benefit the Stokes County Humane Society. If just one animal is saved from their efforts, it is worth the cost. I assure you that they save way more than this. If you love your pet, help these folks out.

The first weekend in October brings KingFest too the area. Once again you have a chance for wonderful live entertainment, great food and fun. The Chamber of Commerce host this event and this year appears to have a wonderful lineup of talent.

We also have a Bluegrass festival at Jomeokee and Pickin at Priddy's kicking off in early October. So don't moan about having nothing to do. Get up, get outside and enjoy the wonderful world that is Stokes County.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My First "Stokes Stomp"

by Kelly Wood, special correspondent and photographer for Alan Wood

A bright September morn dawned on Saturday, 9/12/09. We set out to experience our very first Stokes Stomp.

A flood of traffic took over the normally quiet streets of Danbury while the sounds of marching bands, bluegrass and heavy metal music lingered with the smells of Indian vegetables (and delicious tomato chutney), BBQ, Perogies and Funnel Cakes. Everywhere the eye was met by the bright colors of balloons, t-shirts of dance teams, kayaks, flags and Civil War dress. Was this a Fellini Film I had stumbled into? Nope, this sensory delight was my very first "Stokes Stomp"!

What a fantastic day! From the friendly planners and volunteers at the Arts Council to the various vendors and community organizations, this was a delightful day full of sights, sounds and tastes to remember.

This was my 2nd visit to Danbury, but I really feel like I belong here (we need to get our house sold so we can MOVE!). This festival just reinforced that feeling. A diverse, Arts-friendly community is a must for me.

Yes, the traffic was intense, but can you blame the people for wanting to be here? We waited on the road while the volunteers pointed us to a parking spot. There was plenty of room to move about, a fabulous variety of music to listen to, dance teams, kayaking, balloon animals, a fantastic area for the kids! And, the food. So much great food, so little time. Next year I am taking a blanket to nap on after feeding my face! There was plenty of shady spots to rest and relax and as I mentioned before, the friendliest people I have ever met. If you haven't gone to the Stomp before, GO! If you have gone and want to contribute, VOLUNTEER! Festivals like this are what make a community great. Thanks, Stokes Arts Council for such a good time!

(There is an album of photos on the Stokes County NC Travel/Tourism and Development's Facebook page. If you are on Facebook, become a fan!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Good Stokes Stomp Coverage

From the Winston Salem Journal.

By Lisa O'Donnell


Published: September 11, 2009

DANBURY - A few things have changed in the 35 years since some arts-minded folks in Stokes County decided to organize a festival along the banks of the Dan River.

The crowds have swelled, and the festival's name has shrunk, for example.

But for the most part, the Stokes Stomp has remained a community celebration with an emphasis on homegrown music.

And in a county as musically rich as Stokes, that means some fine picking.

The Stomp, as it's called locally, will be Saturday and Sunday at Moratock Park, off N.C. 8 in Danbury.

"It's a celebration of arts and community, and that's what we're best at," said Eddy McGee, the executive director of the Stokes County Arts Council, which puts together the festival.

Worth Hampton was among the founders of the first festival. Hampton had recently moved to Stokes County from Winston-Salem and saw the need for an arts council that would provide programs for schoolchildren and sponsor other activities throughout the county.

He and others decided to have a festival that would provide the seed money for an arts council. The first festival was called the Star Spangled Stokes Stomp. Over the years, the name of the festival was shortened.

A local trucking company brought in a flat-bed trailer that was used as a stage; some carpenters built wooden steps to the stage; and a Winston-Salem awning company donated a pink-and-white striped awning.

About 500 people came to the festival, which raised $1,400 for the newly formed arts council.

"We were just ecstatic to be able to make that kind of money," Hampton said.

In the last few years, the festival has grown, thanks in part to more advertising on country-music and old-time radio stations in Mount Airy and Galax, Va. About 15,000 people attended the festival last year, McGee said.

This year's activities include a guided trip down the Dan River, a rubber-duck race on the river and a parade.

For music lovers, one of the highlights will be the all-star jam featuring some of the county's best musicians at 5 p.m. on Sunday, McGee said.

As with past festivals, there will also be barbecue, bluegrass and marching bands from the local high schools.

"It is light years beyond what we had imagined," Hampton said.

"It's quite something to be proud of."

■ Lisa O'Donnell can be reached at 727-7420 or at

Festival Time

Festival time is here! Starting with the Walnut Festival today and running throught the King Fest in October it will be a fun time in Stokes County. Below is a story about the first three of the events. More on King Fest as it gets closer. In addition there are two benefit golf tournaments that I am aware of: Communities in Schools on Sept 25 and Habitat for Humanities. Let me know if you would like more details.

Festival flurry: Three county festivals run back-to-back
by Leslie Bray Evans1 day 9 hrs ago | 87 views | 0 | 2 | | This coming weekend will find Stokes County in a blaze of festival activity, moreso than normal in early September. This year, the Walnut Festival, Stokes Stomp and Stokes County Agricultural Fair will be held back-to-back for the first time ever. The three events are expected to bring large numbers of visitors to Stokes County for the nine-day duration.


The fourth annual Walnut Festival—revamped and renamed “Walnut Cove After Dark”—will be held in downtown Walnut Cove on Friday, September 11, from 6-10 p.m. This is a week later than last year’s event which was held the first weekend in September. In past years, the festival has been a two-day event—Friday and Saturday. This year, the actual festival has been cut to one day and will take place entirely in Jack Fowler Park and the Walnut Cove Public Library parking lot.

Music and dancing will be the order of the evening with rock and roll by the Promise Breakers, bluegrass by the Grassifieds, Texas rockabilly by the Brealcreams, and square dancing from the dancers at Walnut Cove Senior Center. There will also be a Zumba demonstration and an appearance by 2009 Junior Miss North Carolina Tara Lynne Schiphof.

“We are excited about the new format of the Walnut Festival and hope that lots of people will come out to see what we are doing,” said Commissioner Debbie Cowan, Events Committee Chairperson. “We hope the new format will bring people out to enjoy Walnut Cove after dark, mingle with friends and neighbors, and enjoy good food and music.”

An added event on Friday is the 6-8 p.m. open house for Hospice and Palliative Care at the corner of Main Street and Brook Cove Road.

Although the festival officially ends on Friday night, the next day will bring yet another event to Walnut Cove—the second annual Walnut Cove Criterium Bicycle Race, promoted by the Stokes County Arts Council, StokesCORE, and Ken’s Bike Shop of Winston-Salem. Organizers have stated that they “expect lots of ‘tourists on two wheels’ to converge on Walnut Cove.”

Race registration commences at 7:30 a.m. across from Sam’s Pizza on Main Street with an expected attendance of approximately 200 racers—double the numbers from last year.

This year’s race features a different race route—seven-tenths of a mile, designed to be “better for riders and for businesses on Main Street hoping to attract business from riders and their families,” according to Walnut Cove Town Manager Homer Dearmin.

Race Organizer Ken Putnam noted, “Riders will be able to see one of Walnut Cove’s best residential neighborhoods and also the downtown district.” He added that there would be diversity in terrain for riders and no large hindrances for vehicles which will be routed around the race.

Streets will close at 7:30 a.m. and reopen at 3 p.m. Letters were sent to residents and businesses in late August to inform them of the rerouting of traffic and race routes. Dearmin says he “hopes that residents will organize race-watching parties on their lawns or take the opportunity to walk down to Main Street and see what is going on.”

Added to the attractions on Saturday is the grand opening for the new expansion at Just Plain Country at 405 North Main Street.

Also, at noon on Saturday, there will be a free “Kids’ Fun Ride” for children ages 5-12, with registration across from Sam’s Pizza from 11-11:45 a.m. A release form must be filled out for each child. Dearmin explained the rules, “Riders will need to supply their own bicycle in good working order, as well as a bicycle helmet. Riders must also wear a sleeved shirt and closed toe shoes.”

Dearmin also notes that race organizers have been meeting weekly for several weeks with local law enforcement and emergency personnel to plan for event safety and proper orchestration.

“I am hopeful that we can build this event over the next several years to attract hundreds of participants and spectators to Walnut Cove,” Dearmin outlined his vision for the future. “If they visit our businesses and restaurants, and encourage their friends to visit as well, this event could be huge for Walnut Cove and Stokes County.”


One reason the county festivals are being held in close proximity this year is that the Stokes Stomp is a bit earlier than usual. Last year it was September 20-21; this year it is slated for Saturday and Sunday, September 12-13.

The 35th annual Stokes Stomp Festival on the Dan will take place at Moratock Park in Danbury. It is billed as “Stokes County’s oldest and largest arts and music celebration” and is a free event.

The festival will include musical entertainment, a variety of food vendors, art/craft demonstrations, farm-grown produce for sale, the Dan River Duck Race, and a guided trip down the Dan River with Steve Shelton.

For more information, call the Stokes County Arts Council at 593-8159 or visit the website at The entertainment schedule is posted on the website. The SCAC, premier organizer of the Stomp, says that volunteers are still needed and can contact them for more information.

The SCAC is also asking for donations of gently used or new children’s books, craft items that are arts-based and linked to creativity. Donations can be dropped off at the SCAC in Danbury. They will be used in a new addition to the Stokes Stomp—Stokes Partnership for Children’s “Little Folks Tent.” The theme is Green Earth, and there will be an educational and recycling component to the Children’s Area.

The Arts Council will also be accepting donations of canned food for the East Stokes Outreach Ministry and the King Outreach Ministry. These donations can be dropped off at the SCAC booth at the Stomp.


Wrapping up the spate of festival activity is the 59th annual Stokes County Agricultural Fair, held at the American Legion in King. The fair will run Monday, September 14, through Saturday, September 20.

Midway rides and games will be provided by Smokey Mountain Amusements with camel rides for an extra fee. Additions to the fair this year include a celebration of 100 years of 4-H, with a stage for entertainment and a talent show on Thursday night.

Fair officials encourage the public to enter exhibits in agriculture, industry, arts, commerce and entertainment. Premiums will be paid for the top entries.

General admission for the fair is $10 which includes unlimited rides, with children ages two and under and senior citizens admitted for free. School days, with $8 admission for children through high school age, are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Parking costs $2 per vehicle, collected by and contributed to the King Fire Department.

The gates and midway open at 6 p.m. on Monday, but the exhibit hall will not open until 8 p.m. The fair opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 2 p.m. on Saturday. Exhibits can be collected on Sunday from 1:30-4 p.m.

Senior citizens ages 60 and over are invited to meet on the front porch at 10 a.m. on Friday for the Senior Citizens’ Fun Festival. The Senior Citizens’ Band will entertain, and contests will be held for seniors.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Starting A Business

Everyone that I speak with about starting a business will know what is coming next. The first words out of my mouth are: Have you created a business plan? Without this plan your chances of failure go up dramatically. I found a very intersting and helpful article on the internet today from the New York Times. It goes into detail on creating a business plan and has several sources that will be of value. They don't include as much finacial detail as I would like to see but this is a good start. If all of this sounds like a lot of work, you are right, it is. On the flip side, just think what doing this work up-front can save you in the future in lost time and money if your business fails!

LinkedinDiggFacebookMixxMySpaceYahoo! BuzzPermalinkBy TOM TAULLI
Published: September 2, 2009
You’ve made the huge decision to start a business. As you probably know, most efforts to start a business end in failure. Fortunately, there are things you can do to guard against wasting time and money and improve your odds. While every business is unique and comes with its own set of problems and opportunities, there are some basic steps — writing a business plan, proving the concept, raising capital, choosing a legal structure — to consider when getting started. Let’s take a look:

Skip to next paragraph
Quick Tips:

Test your business idea by creating a list of potential customers -- and then call them. Will they buy what you want to sell?

Get a handle on your start-up costs and then find ways to lower them, as you can with online services like VistaPrint, craigslist, and Skype.

Prove your concept by trying it out before you launch.

Suggested Reading:

Zoomerang: Do a quick survey to see if your business idea has promise.

SCORE: Get free business plan templates and worksheets for start-up expenses. and Find qualified attorneys or even use online services to incorporate and get trademarks.

Virgin Money: On this online service you can find documents to help you set up loans with family and friends.

LogoWorks: This service provides quality logos at affordable prices.

"3 Weeks to Startup” by Tim Berry and Sabrina Parsons (Entrepreneur Press, 2008). This book goes through the main ingredients of starting a business, with helpful online resources, charts and checklists.
The Business Plan

Writing a business plan seems like a chore, but it’s critical. It doesn’t have to be formal or long — just a few pages is fine. But try to cover the basic sections, especially if you expect to make a pitch to investors or lenders. These sections should include an overview of the business, industry background, the product or service, the business model (how will you make money?), the strategy and the team. For guidance, take a look at Score’s business plan template.

Think of the process as a way to better understand the opportunity and the risks. It may even show you that the business is too tough. If that’s the case, you want to know it as soon as possible.

Try to answer the following in the business plan:

1) Who is the customer?

Try to focus on a defined market segment. In some cases, it should be easy. Perhaps you are aiming at lawyers. But if your product applies to virtually anybody, you need to narrow things. Look at Amazon. At first, the Web company focused on books. Once it built a strong business there, it moved into other categories.

So, where to start? Try to find the customer segment that is experiencing the most pain or is willing to bet on new ideas.

2) What’s happening with your market?

Immerse yourself in the market. What are the major trends? How will they help or hurt your venture? Along with doing Google searches, you should also check out trade publications and association Web sites.

If your business is in retail, look at ZoomProspector, which provides helpful information on local economic trends (population, income and demographics). Visit and see how many competing retail outlets you’ll be facing. Is the market too crowded?

Finally, make a list of your competitors and update it regularly.

3) What are the start-up costs?

Be realistic. Entrepreneurs often underestimate the time and expense of starting and operating a company. Put together a detailed start-up budget as well as a forecast (Score’s template offers a worksheet).

As you put things together, look for ways to minimize costs. Some ideas: shopping for used equipment on Craigslist, bartering your services, using free or inexpensive online applications like Skype (for free calling), (to setup a Web site) and VistaPrint (for printing business cards and brochures). Always ask for discounts.

At the same time, think of creative ways to increase revenue. Maybe you can mount an online marketing campaign through Google Adwords or use VerticalResponse for an e-mail newsletter.

O.K., you’ve got a plan.

Prove the Concept

Once you’re satisfied with the business plan, the next step is to test it. This means answering the question: Do customers really want to buy what you intend to sell?

It’s a brutal question, but you need to be realistic.

One idea is to talk to potential customers, but avoid your friends; instead, identify a list of likely customers and call them. The good news is that there are many free lists on the Internet. They include sites like,, and so on.

While the calling is not glamorous, you’ll eventually get a sense of whether there’s demand. You will also get new ideas to refine your product, and you will build valuable sales skills, which is critical for anyone starting a business.

Next, you can conduct a survey using an online service like Zoomerang, which has a panel of about two million people. You can designate groups with up to 500 attributes (industry, age, gender, income and so on). This is a quick way to get feedback on your business idea.

Or, you can set up a free Web site and try selling your product. This was the approach for Sneaky’s BBQ, which set up a blog at Believing that there were few good places for authentic barbecue in San Francisco, Patrick Wachter started to cook up his recipes in his backyard and put out free ads on Craigslist. It was a hit as word-of-mouth spread, helped along by review sites like Yelp. “We can’t even eat our own barbecue anymore,” Mr. Wachter said. “It’s already spoken for by the time we pull it off the smoker.”

Here’s another example: Megan Calhoun saw that it was difficult to use online services to find other mothers. Deciding she wanted to “be fast, be cheap and see where it takes you,” she registered, and instead of building a Web site, she used the free service, which allows you to build your own social network. On the first night, four mothers joined, and from there, it grew and grew. Now she has 15,000 members and has attracted advertisers like Lands’ End, Children’s Place and even José Cuervo. The total cost to launch? Only $50.

Raising Capital

This is time-consuming and can distract your attention from the business. It can easily take six months to get your first investment. Investors are naturally hesitant and want to see proof that the business is viable.

That means you will probably need to bootstrap. This is not easy but it does have the advantage of allowing you to keep more control and a larger equity stake.

You can do things like: borrow against your 401(k), life insurance and house; use credit cards; and even do consulting projects.

Next, you can reach out to your friends, family and colleagues. Even though they may trust you, it’s important that you have a convincing business plan and investor contracts. To this end, check out Virgin Money. This online service provides the necessary legal documents, administers the loan payments and makes reports to credit agencies (which will help build a credit history for the business).

It’s tempting to seek financing from banks, angel groups and venture capitalists, but those sources usually look at more established businesses.

Choosing a Legal Structure

If you are bringing on investors or partners or signing contracts, it’s a good idea to set up a legal structure for your venture. Here are the main alternatives:

Sole Proprietorship: You are the sole owner. There is little red tape or expense. But there is a big downside: unlimited liability. If the business is the target of a lawsuit or owes a large debt, the owner’s personal assets are exposed to seizure.

A sole proprietorship is known as a “pass through” entity. This means that the income is taxed on your personal return.

Partnership: There is more than one owner. And as with the sole proprietorship, there is little paperwork involved and it is a pass-through entity for tax purposes. Unfortunately, partnerships also have unlimited liability exposure.

Corporation: The fees can easily range from $200 to $1,000. Even though you can use cost-effective online services to help out, such as LegalZoom, it’s still a good idea to have a lawyer review the documents and filings. You can find a qualified attorney by visiting sites like Avvo.

The main benefit is limited liability protection. This means that the business owner risks only the investment in the company.

Keep in mind that there are different flavors of corporations, which are often based on how taxes are paid. For example, a limited liability company (L.L.C.) and S-Corp are pass-through entities. On the other hand, a C-Corp is taxed — and so are the dividends. Before making a decision, consult a certified public accountant. It can be a big money saver.

Regardless of the legal structure, business owners should also think about the legal issues of the company name. It’s a good idea to find a name that is memorable and distinctive, but that is no easy task. Anders Heie, the founder of KaDonk said: “When thinking of a name, I hit my head against the wall and the sound it made was kadonk, kadonk, kadonk. Our lawyers loved it. It was unique, and had nothing to do with our product, so we grabbed all the domains and went with it.”

A lawyer can help with the process.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Progress in Stokes County

You will find below, a copy of an article from today's Winston Salem Journal. It concerns Camp Sertoma and some very interesting and dynamic programs that are taking place there. I applaud the partners that are working to improve the lives of Stokes County residents and look forward to their continued success. If we can harness our energies and assets to work towards a common goal, much can be accomplished.

Camp Commotion: 4-H center viewed as way to boost Stokes' economy
By Lisa O'Donnell


The cabins are quiet, the trails are empty and the archery supplies have been packed up, but the Sertoma 4-H Educational Center, a place that most people call Camp Sertoma, continues to buzz with activity.

People with hand tools are building mountain-bike trails in the woods across the road; students are learning about air conditioners in former cabins; and inside the hundred-year-old lodge, members of the camp's staff and others are looking at how the camp can give the Stokes County economy a boost.

In years past, when the school year began, the camp would essentially close down. Keith Russell, the camp's director, wants to change that.

"We want this to be a conference retreat and training center," he said. "That's the end result we're looking for."

When Russell arrived two years ago, the camp was booked for two or three weekend retreats a year. He said he expects about 20 conferences this year and would like to double that number within the next few years. The summer programs will remain the camp's focus.

The folks at StokesCORE, a nonprofit community group devoted to revitalizing the local economy, share that goal. They see the camp as an untapped resource that has the potential to bring in money and put people to work.

"Very few people in the community are involved with Sertoma," said Tony McGee, the executive director of StokesCORE. "We see this as a valuable way of kick-starting the economy."

The camp sits on 900 wooded acres not far from Hanging Rock State Park. More than 100 years ago, tourists flocked here to soak in the mineral springs and kick back at a grand three-story hotel. The hotel still stands and now serves as the camp staff's office. StokesCORE also operates out of the old hotel, though it is independent of the camp.

The property belongs to N.C. State University, which also owns the state's four other 4-H camps. Facilities at Camp Sertoma include 10 cabins, a chapel, recreation hall, computer lab and swimming pool.

In October, the camp will close for several months while $1.6 million in upgrades are made to the kitchen, cabins and other facilities. The state is paying for the project, which is expected to be finished in April.

With the help of StokesCORE, Forsyth Technical Community College recently began offering classes at the camp. Classes, which include HVAC and electrical, are held in old cabins converted into classrooms. In return for using the space, students in those classes will put their new skills to work when renovations begin.

Russell said that the camp will serve as a "hands-on laboratory" for the students.

About 60 people are now taking college classes at the camp.

Sue Marion, the vice president of corporate and community education at Forsyth Tech, said that the classes were chosen with the Stokes County work force in mind.

"We saw this as a great opportunity for us to offer programs, especially the technical skills and trade program, to individuals who want to seek a new career or have been displaced and trying to upgrade their job," Marion said.

Stokes County is in Forsyth Tech's service area, so the college is always looking at ways to better serve the community. More classes are planned at the camp including welding, computer basics, masonry, carpentry and landscaping. Enrichment classes, such as nature photography, are also planned.

"I see a lot of possibilities for Sertoma, which I think is evident by the number of people who have enrolled," Marion said.

Another project involves building single-track mountain-bike trails on some of the property across the road from the main lodge. Workforce Development, a branch of the Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments, is using federal stimulus money to buy equipment and hire people to build the trails.

The trails will be professionally designed using standards set up by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, McGee said.

A crew has been building about 200 yards of trail a day. Eventually, the trail will be between 10 to 12 miles and include old farm roads. In conjunction with the trail building, the camp plans to make improvements to the Moore's Spring campground so that mountain bikers can set up a tent or park a camper.

"That's a regional draw," McGee said about the bike trails. "We see keeping that campground full."

■ Lisa O'Donnell can be reached at 727-7420 or at

Weekend Activities

As I am sure you are aware by now, the Stokes Stomp is scheduled this weekend. In addition, I was notified that there will be a yard sale held in the parking lot of Stokes-Reynolds Hospital Saturday morning. The proceeds of the sale will be used to improve the facility and benefit the activities of the nursing home residents.

For more info or to make a donation, please contact: Carol tilley, Activites Coordinator at 336-593-2831 ext. 242

Domestic Violence Workshop

Wanted to take a moment and pass on this information:

Referals for Stokes Parents Domestic Violence Victims Workshop. It is scheduled for Saturday September 26, 2009. It will be held at the Walnut Cove Library on Main Street from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Attendees will be assisted in safety planning for themselves and their children and discussing the impact of domestic violence on children, as well as identifying some formal and informal supports that may be available to the families.

Please call to register yourself or your client for this workshop at 336-406-4467 .

Lunch and an activity will be provided by Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Belews Creek.

Please note:

If your church or civic group would be interested in providing helping us with future workshops, please contact me via return email.

We are also looking for survivors who have lived free from domestic violence at least one year, who may be interested in volunteering. Prospective volunteers will be trained in protocol and safety by Family Services in Forsyth County at no cost to the volunteer.

If your church or civic group would be interested in providing helping us with future workshops, please contact me via return email.


Sharon Conrad

Stokes Parents Director

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Stokes Stomp Calendar

I had posted this earlier but thougt that it might be helpful to show it again. Below is the performance schedule for the 2009 Stokes Stomp:

The 35th Annual
Stokes Stomp
Festival On The Dan
Entertainment Schedule
10:30 -11:30 AM
Stokes Stomp Parade
11:30 AM-12:15 PM
North, South, West Stokes Bands
12:15 PM-12:30 PM
Stokes Opportunity Center Singers
12:30-1:30 PM
Black Diamond
1:30-1:45 PM
North Stokes Cheerleaders
1:45-2:45 PM
Zephyr Lightning Bolts
2:45-3:00 PM
CC Dance Company
3:00-4:15 PM
Wood and Steel
4:15-4:30 PM
CC Dance Company
4:30-5:15 PM Holly Creek Girls
5:30-7:00 PM Blues Creek

Entertainment Schedule
9:00 AM
Stomp Canoe & Kayak Demonstration
12:30-1:30 PM
The Ramshackles
1:30 PM-1:45 PM
West Stokes
1:45-3:00 PM
Flat Out Bluegrass
3:00-3:15 PM
Miss Joyce’s Dance Studio
3:15-4:45 PM
Kopper Kanyon
4:45 PM
Duck Race
4:45 PM-5:00 PM
Miss Joyce’s Dance Studio
5:00-5:30 PM
Stokes All Star Jam

Major Sponsors:

North Carolina Arts Council
Ben and Lemma Apple Foundation
RJ Reynolds American Foundation
Town of Danbury
Pepsi Bottling Ventures
NewBridge Bank
Artists Way Creations
Danbury General Store
Grady Burgin & Charlotte Offerdahl
King Music Center
King’s Cabin Salon & Day Spa
Dan River Company
Rainbow Print and Copy
Republic Waste

Special thanks to all the volunteers and the Stokes County Arts Council

H1N1 update

This information is passed on from the office of the Stokes County Health Director:

Two Forms of Flu

“Bird flu, swine flu, H1N1 flu, pandemic flu, seasonal flu?”
It seems every time you open the newspaper or turn on the television there is news about the flu. As the Director of Economic Development, I wanted to pass on this information from the Stokes County Health Director and to inform our business leaders of the two forms of flu we are facing this fall and how to prepare your organization.

Seasonal Flu:
The first form of flu is the seasonal flu that we are faced with every fall and winter. Unfortunately seasonal flu kills approximately 36,000 US citizens each year and hospitalizes over 200,000 persons. One out of five persons gets the flu each year, so this is not uncommon. The best defense against the seasonal flu is to take 3 steps:
1. Get the Seasonal flu vaccine (list of clinics at
a. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the 3 main seasonal flu viruses, and can make your illness milder if you get another seasonal flu strain.
2. Practice good health habits
a. Wash hands often
b. Use hand sanitizers
c. Cover your cough or sneeze
d. Stay away from sick people
e. Stay home when you are sick
f. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of exercise, and 7-8 hours of sleep
3. If you get the flu, take antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends.

H1N1 (Swine) Flu:
First detected in the US this past April, this flu strain has lead to the development of a H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine that is available by mid to late October. The symptoms of H1N1 (swine) flu are similar to the seasonal flu: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. The best defense against H1N1 (swine) flu are also similar to the seasonal flu:
1. Get a seasonal flu vaccine.
2. Practice good health habits (listed above)
3. Get a H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine - available later this fall.
a. Priority groups – pregnant women, children age 6 months to 24 years, those with compromised immune systems, and those who care for children less than 6 months of age.
4. If you get the flu, take antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends.

As employers I encourage you to allow sick employees to stay home until that get well. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that sick persons with flu-like illness should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc). Sick employees in the work place will infect others in the work place, and lead to increased absenteeism and decreased productivity. Better to have 3 employees home sick than have them work while sick and infect 30 employees!

If you have questions regarding Seasonal Flu or H1N1 (swine) flu contact your local health department at 336-593-2400 and for a list of clinics in Stokes go to

Cleaning and cooperating on the Dan River

I found a great article on local college students that teamed with the Tar Heel Paddlers to have a clean-up day along the Dan River:

HPU Students Participate In Dan River Cleanup
HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 7, 2009 - High Point University students involved in the Outdoor Activities Club and a kayaking class recently cleaned a 12-mile section of the Dan River in Stokes County.

This cleanup, part of the Big Sweep North Carolina initiative, marks the 12th cleanup in which these two groups have participated since 2003. The HPU groups typically help clean up the Dan River twice a year.

Clay Stradley, a senior biology major at HPU, has participated in the event previously.

"When I look at the current state of the environment, I am looking for any opportunity to make an improvement," Stradley says. "So that is why I opted to go on the Dan River cleanup again. It's also just fun to be outdoors enjoying nature."

The groups couldn't have done it without local partners that supplied them with the items needed to help clean up such a large area.

Kelly Norton, director of Experiential Learning, says HPU partners with the Tarheel Paddlers Association, a group of local paddlers who cleaned a section of the river at the same time; the Dan River Company, which donated the canoes that were used as trash barges; Hanging Rock State Park rangers, who arranged pickup of the trash that was unloaded at the Hanging Rock access on the Dan River; and the National Association Conservation District of Stokes County, which provided trash bags and gloves, helped advertise the event and arranged trash pickup at Moratock Park.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in a fun environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 countries and 44 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among "America's Best Colleges." HPU was included in The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Great Colleges to Work For" 2009 listings. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at

This is a great program and shows how much we can accomplish when we work together. In the same frame of thought, The Dan River Basin Association will soon have an office in Stokes County. This group is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the river and will be a welcome partner to us. Glad to have you on board. Here is a link to their web site:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Falcons at Hanging Rock State Park

Below is another reason that the park is such a special place. From the Winston Salem Journal:

Philip Dickinson


Published: September 4, 2009

Hanging Rock State Park is one of the most beautiful parks in North Carolina. It has rocky peaks, panoramic views, five waterfalls, a lake for swimming, a river for canoeing and miles of hiking trails. Covering nearly 7,000 unspoiled acres, it also is a great place to see birds. And it's just 45 minutes north of downtown Winston-Salem in Stokes County.

And the world's fastest creature lives at the park.

Peregrine falcons have been clocked at speeds approaching 275 miles an hour when they dive after prey. Forty years ago, these magnificent birds were almost extinct in the United States because of DDT poisoning. Like the bald eagle, they have rebounded and are no longer considered endangered. Hanging Rock is one of the few known breeding sites in North Carolina. For this reason, the park has been nominated as an Audubon Important Bird Area (IBA).

A favorite place to nest

Falcons have been nesting on Moore's Wall at Hanging Rock since 2000. Toby Gordon helps monitor activity at the cliff. He said that inaccessibility makes it impossible to know how many young have successfully fledged over the years, but nestlings were heard in 2008. This year the male arrived in the spring without a female. The life of a bird, even a falcon, is a perilous one. Maybe next year our resident male will return with a new mate.

Seeing a falcon takes luck and some work. You can scan the skies around Moore's Knob, perhaps from the Tory's Den section of the park. Alternatively, you can hike the strenuous 4.2-mile Moore's Wall Loop Trail up to the knob and back. Even though chances of a falcon sighting are slim, the knob offers a spectacular view of the countryside and a likely encounter with resident ravens. Ranger Jamie Anderson said, "this is one of my favorite areas to go birding because of the variety of habitats." In September, look for migrating, broad-winged hawks and other raptors.

Hanging Rock is also home to some of our most colorful birds, like the crimson-and-black scarlet tanager, the deep-blue indigo bunting and an assortment of wood warblers. Walk along any of the wooded trails in the park in May and you can hear the "teacher-teacher" of the ovenbird, the rising trill of the northern parula and the loud weet-weeteo of the hooded warbler. Black-and-white warblers creep along tree limbs, and American redstarts fan their orange-and-black tails. In the summer, you can even find species that escape the heat of Forsyth County, like black-throated blue, black-throated green and worm-eating warbler.

When you get to the park, stop at the visitor's center for a trail map and a bird checklist. About 165 species have been documented at the park, and that number will likely grow. The Audubon Society of Forsyth County has adopted the park under the IBA program and has started conducting Christmas and spring counts. The park also has binoculars and basic field guides for children to borrow.

The Hanging Rock Trail is the most popular walk at the park. Hooded warblers and ovenbirds frequent the lower section. As you climb steadily, listen for the wood thrush's flute-like song and watch for woodpeckers, chickadees -- perhaps even an Acadian flycatcher or tanager. Near the summit, look for more warblers, vultures and ravens. Jaye McClure, another park ranger, echoes my enjoyment of watching ravens perform their aerial acrobatics.

If you have more time, explore Indian Creek as it winds down the mountain past Window Falls all the way to the Dan River. The lush habitat probably offers the greatest variety of birds in the park, including common yellowthroats, water thrushes, gnatcatchers and vireos.

Warning: The entire trail is 3.7 miles one way. For shorter excursions, try the lake area or Lower Cascades Falls, another of Anderson's favorite bird spots.

■ The annual Pilot Mountain Hawk Watch is from Sept. 12 to 30. Come look for migrating, broad-winged hawks and maybe even an eagle. To enlist as a counter, contact me at 659-2464 or Also, on September 12 the Audubon Saturday bird walk is at Historic Bethabara Park. Meet behind the Visitor's Center at 8 a.m. For more information, contact Susan Jones, 768-9151 or

■ The Bird's-Eye View column will be published on the first and third Saturday of each month beginning Sept. 19.

■ Bird's-Eye View is a joint column by Ron Morris and Phil Dickinson. Today's column was written by Dickinson. Dickinson is a legal writer. He has been an active birder for 15 years and is a past president of the Audubon Society of Forsyth County and chairs the conservation committee. Morris retired after 24 years as curator at the N.C. Zoo. He has studied birds around the world and is the vice president of the Audubon Society of Forsyth County. If you have a birding question or story idea, write to Bird's-Eye View in care of Features, Winston-Salem Journal, P.O. Box 3159, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27101-3159, or send an e-mail to Please type "birds" in the subject line.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

8 Days

Til the Stomp kicks off in Stokes County. Volunteers are still needed. Please see information below if you are interested.

September 2, 2009

Volunteer Name: __________________________ e-mail address:___________________________

The 35th Annual Stokes Stomp, Festival on the Dan, is scheduled for Saturday, September 12th (10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) and Sunday, September 13th (12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.) and will be held at Moratock Park in Danbury, North Carolina.

The Stokes Stomp is a free event to the public in that the Arts Council’s does not charge for admission or parking. We ask for volunteers each year to assist with baked good sales, beverage sales, raffle and duck and cd sales, costume characters, etc. We would like to encourage you to volunteer this year at one of the following areas. Please list the date and time and booth location with which you are willing to assist.

______Prepackaged and Canned Food Donation Booth
______Lower Beverages Booth (Main Stage Area)
______Baked Goods Booth (Pavilion)
______Costume Character
______Arts Council Tent – Ticket Sales (Duck, Raffle, CDs, Etc.)

Date: Saturday, September 12th Yes, I am available_____________

Time: Please choose one timeframe
(or as many as you would like) 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. _______________
1 p.m. – 4 p.m. ________________
4 p.m. – 7 p.m. ________________

Date: Sunday, September 13th Yes, I am available ______________

Time: Please choose one timeframe
(or as many as you would like) 12:00 - 3 p.m. _________________
3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. ______________

Please complete this information sheet and return to the Stokes County Arts Council in the self-addressed, stamped envelope as soon as possible. Please keep a copy for your records. Upon arrival at the Stokes Stomp, please report to the Stokes County Arts Council Tent to check in with Mr. Alan Wood or Mr. Eddy McGee.

Thanking you in advance for prompt attention to this matter and support the ARTS in Stokes County.
Best Regards,
Sharon M. Williams Stokes Stomp Committee

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Local Business

I had a conversation with a local business owner today and he mentioned a program called 3:50. The idea is to imagine 3 businesses that you can't imagine doing without in our community and think what would happen if they are no longer here. The next step is to spend $50 a month in those three businesses. Purchasing goods and services that you were already going to buy but might not think about doing from a local source. This keeps money in our community,if fosters a sense of community and it keeps the local businesses open.

We have a huge amount of leakage in our retail sales. This is cause by many factors, not the least of which is we have so many people that work outside of the county. It is convenient to stop on the way home from work and buy what we need. Think about the ramifications of this. The sales tax dollars that we are spending are being left in Forsyth, Guilford, Surry, etc. Now these are nice folks and they have to survive as well but there is the old saying that charity begins at home.

Many of the projects we are working on in Economic Development are devoted to the idea of helping local businesses grow and prosper. We will be talking about this a great deal more in the days and weeks to come, in the mean time, give some serious thought to buying local made, grown, developed or at least sold goods. It will make a difference. The link to the web site is:

Stokes Stomp 10 days and Counting

Look for daily updates from now until Sept 11:

Stokes Partnership for Children will be hosting the "Little Folks Tent" at this year's Stokes Stomp. The theme is Green Earth and there will be an educational and recycling component to the Children's Area. We are asking for a donation of gently used or new children's books, craft items that are arts based and linked to creativity. Please stop by the Stokes County Arts Council with your donation of these items for the Children's Area of the Stokes Stomp or you may contact the Stokes Partnership for Children at 336-985-2676 for more information.