You’ll want to get your taxes done and your schedule freed up for the myriad of events and activities in and around Downtown New Bern the weekend of April 12-14. The weekend is packed with home tours, a concert, art gallery tours, a 5K run, and wine, beer and spirits tastings.
“What’s nice about it is that it brings all kinds of elements together,” said Lynne Harakal, director of Swiss Bear Inc., the Main Street organization for Downtown New Bern.
Whether you’re a local or coming in town for the weekend, there are opportunities for a lot of different activities, she said.
New to Downtown New Bern are Saturday arts and music events that use Bear Plaza as their venue. Starting in April and continuing through MumFest in October, music and arts events will be held in Bear Plaza.
Saturday Sessions, a music event, will be held on the first and third Saturdays. Art-themed events will be held on second and fourth Saturdays. Rare fifth Saturdays will alternate between music and the arts. All events will include arts and story-time activities for children.
“Overdue for a community like ours is to have something like this,” Harakal said. “We should be having regularly scheduled music and arts downtown.”
Event hours are 1-5 p.m. Saturdays at Bear Plaza, which intersects with Middle Street between South Front and Pollock streets.
Early risers can start at Farmers Market, have lunch and then catch music or arts. Late risers can start at Bear Plaza, have dinner downtown, and then catch a play at New Bern Civic Theatre or enjoy cocktails, beer and wine at Downtown New Bern’s numerous night spots.
Coming from out of town and want to stay for the weekend? Not a problem. New Bern has a wealth of hotels, motels, and bed & breakfasts that will suit all tastes. Go to https://www.visitnewbern.com/where-to-stay-new-bern-nc/ for more information.
The popular Harry Goodman Battlefield Adventure Day for families isSaturday, March 23, at the New Bern Battlefield Park.
A day full of learning activities, period games and living history,it is held annually at the Park, which has been extensively upgraded by the New Bern Historical Society. This year the event is open to guests of all ages, with special activities for children 6-12 years old. Check-inbegins at 11:30 a.m.with activitiesfrom noon to 4 p.m.
Guests will be greeted by re-enactorsfrom the 5th and 7th North Carolina Regiments.The event kicks off with a commissary lunch for all guests, provided by Moore’s Bar-B-Que.
There will be Civil War era games, crafts, and hands-on displays for the entire family. Children will participate in practice drills and Civil War period activities and crafts. Historical Society battlefield guides will provide an informative and entertaining walking tour of the battlefield.
The day’s activities will conclude with an exciting artillery live fire demonstration by McCullough Living History.
Cost is $10 for the first family member, plus $5 for each additional adult or child, with a $20 maximum for a family.Special price for active duty military and families qualifying for free/reduced school lunch program. For more information or to register: New Bern Historical Society,252-638-8558 and www.newbernhistorical.org
At the end of the day they will take part in the American Battlefield Trust’s Park Day, an opportunity for the public to lend a hand at battlefields and parks across the country. Participants will help rake out the redans. Park Day will begin after the Adventure Day activities are completeat 4 p.m.
T-shirts will be given to the first 45 participants.
New Bern Battlefield Park is located off U.S. 70 at the entrance to the Taberna subdivision at 300 Battlefield Trail. This program is supported through the generosity of the family of Harry K. Goodman, who was key to the preservation and restoration of the Battlefield Park.
Colorfest will hold its annual event, Night Out With The Arts (NOWTA), on May 10 at the New Bern Golf & Country Club.
Attendees will be introduced to the Colorfest Team, sponsors, and learn more about the things that Colorfest aspires to do in the community. The event will also feature live music by Songstress Rasheeda Waddell and Band, comedy, art exhibition from local artist, live painting and an art auction. All proceeds raised go towards paints, supplies, art scholarships and to the community Colorfest serves. Dinner will also be served.
Those who wish to become a sponsor can call 404-725-3053 or email email@example.com by March 20.
Night Out With The Arts
Date: May 10, 2019
Time: Doors open at 7 p.m. Show is 8-11 p.m.
Location: New Bern Golf & Country Club, 4301 Country Club Road, New Bern
Cost: $30 General Admission (include entertainment, meal and one complementary raffle ticket)
On the web: www.colorfestinc.org
Since 2011, founder, Derrick Bryant has come back to his hometown and helped beautify the area by painting murals downtown on Queen Street in 2011 and 2016. He’s developed an event/program for youth to tackle problems and have fun at the same time.
Colorfest is an event for youth of all ages to come out and take part in helping to beautify the city of New Bern. Future Colorfest projects are being planned to reach the communities in Eastern North Carolina and Georgia.
A main focus of the Colorfest Team is to break chains in impoverished communities. It sees the arts as a way to give young artist positive ways to channel their creative energy and talents.
“For many years we have seen the decline of funding in schools for art based programs, causing children to lose access to curriculum that would otherwise enhance and nurture the creative process,” Bryant said in a news release.
Colorfest Inc. active sponsors 2018-19 include Walmart, American Airlines, Kiss 102, Baker’s Kitchen, Bern Investment Group,The Tiny Tornado, and B.L.U.U.
Eastern North Carolina’s most popular band for all ages will perform for the fourth time at ShamRockin’ 2019, a St Patrick’s Celebration Friday night, March 15th in New Bern. The annual dinner and party will be held at New Bern’s History Center starting at 6PM with traditional Irish dinner while being entertained by Tom & Dahlin’ with Celtic songs and music…. cash bar with beer, wine and popcorn ..and then dance to the high energy sounds of TrainWreck playing hits like Play That Funky Music, Stayin’ alive, Billie Jean, That’s What I Like, Proud Mary, Keep Your Hands to Yourself….Motown, Rock ,Disco, R&B music from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today…for all ages 18 an over. Tickets available now at Mitchell’s in New Bern and on-line at newbernrotaryclub.org or $25 at the door. Order now, limited seating. Sham-Rockin’2019 is a trademark fund raising event of the Rotary Club of New Bern.
“Miss Evers’ Boys,” a dramatic play highlighting the Tuskegee medical study performed on African American men from 1932-1972, will premiere on the New Bern Civic Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, and run for two weekends in celebration of Black History Month.
Set in Tuskegee, Alabama, “Miss Evers’ Boys” follows the story of four African American men who unknowingly become part of a medical study that is denying them treatment for syphilis, also known as “bad blood.” Nurse Evers helps lead the men through the treatment program, which is being driven by the Federal government and managed by an African American doctor living in Alabama and a white doctor from Washington, D.C. As the study continues, patients all over the country are cured with the discovery of penicillin, while the men in the Tuskegee Study turn to Nurse Evers for help in understanding why their health continues to decline.
The play stars a cast of several faces that are familiar to New Bern Civic Theatre audiences. The titular role of Miss Evers will be played by Chameshia Coplon, who most recently performed in “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Sweeney Todd.” The cast also includes D’Nadre Bell (“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”), Keith Davis (“Gem of the Ocean”), Duan Higgins (“Alice in Wonderland”), Alan Hopson (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”), Craig Ramey (“Peter and the Starcatcher”) and Herb Robertson (“Much Ado About Nothing”).
“Miss Evers’ Boys” is produced by Meredith McKee and directed by Neil Oliver, star of 2018’s “Sweeney Todd” and director of “My Fair Lady.” It is sponsored by CRNAs of CarolinaEast Medical Center.
This play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 15-16 and 22-23, as well as 2 p.m. matinees on Feb. 17 and 24. Tickets prices range from $17-18 in advance, $19-20 at the door and $10-12 for students and active duty military. New Bern Civic Theatre is required by the State of North Carolina to charge an additional sales tax of 6.75% on all ticket sales.
The Rotary Club of New Bern’s Sham-Rockin’ 2019, A St. Patrick’s Celebration, is coming Friday, March 15. The event will be held again at the North Carolina History Center, overlooking the Trent River.
Doors open at 6 p.m and the Sham-Rockin’ will continue until 10 p.m. The Chelsea Restaurant will serve up corned beef and cabbage from 6:00 – 8:30 pm. During dinner, Tom & Dahlin’ of Tom’s Tunes will play and sing Irish & Celtic songs. After dinner, dance to the popular band, Trainwreck! Cash bar of beer, wine and soda and popcorn available all night.
Tickets include dinner and admission and are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Mitchell Hardware and online at www.NewBernRotaryClub.org with a link to the EventBrite page.
Sponsorship for this event is available. Contact Nancy Houyoux at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit The Rotary Club of New Bern website at www.newbernrotaryclub.org/
Sham-Rockin’ is the club’s annual fundraiser to support local projects and programs like The Boys and Girls Club of New Bern, Backpack Blessings, and Craven County Partners in Education, MERCI Clinic, New Bern Marching Band and so much more.
For more information on Sham-Rockin’ 2019, A St. Patrick’s Celebration, go to www.NewBernRotaryClub.org or visit them on Facebook.
Craven Community College will host Willie E. Atkinson and the Transitional Jazz Quintet for “The Poetry of Jazz” on Friday, Feb. 15. This show begins at 7:30 p.m. and will take place in Orringer Auditorium, located on the New Bern campus.
Atkinson uses his talents as a jazz vocalist to provide audiences with a fluid interpretation of jazz and blues standards. Whether exploring the syncopated rhythms of a swinging tune or telling the story of a lonesome, wanting heart, Atkinson offers a fresh approach and seizes every moment to make the songs his own.
Members of the Transitional Jazz Quintet include Stephen Anderson (piano), Phil Owens (guitar), Doug Trammel (bass), Michael Hanson (percussion), Jeff Bair (saxophone) and guest vocalist Liz Pina.
“Poetry of Jazz” is part of the Exploration in the ARTS series presented by the Craven CC Foundation’s Lifetime Learning Center.
This program is made possible in part by a grant from corporate sponsors Jon Tait, CFP and Ashely Martin, Financial Advisor with securities offered by Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., New Bern.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $12 for students and available by phone at 252-633-2618 or online at
Did you go by the new Harris Teeter since it opened on Wednesday? Odds are pretty good that you did.
In a small town like New Bern, folks here can be relied on to try something new. Remember when Cook Out opened?
On opening day, I saw city officials including Jeff Odham, in whose ward the new Harris Teeter is located, and City Manager Mark Stephens proudly roaming the vast floor space of the gleaming new store.
Coke Mann, a partner with Columbia Development Group, developer of the shopping center, was quoted in the Sun Journal crediting Odham and Mayor Dana Outlaw for their bringing the super-expanded HT to New Bern.
I saw lots of regular people combing through the almost 100,000-foot feet of shopping space, which is more than just a simple supermarket. (Some say the store actually has 105,000 square feet of floor space.)
We are not wedded to a particular grocery store. We shop at Publix most often, but not exclusively, and mainly due to its modern and wide selection coupled with its less crowded aisles.
With the opening of the new Harris Teeter, that may change.
The store replaces a 55,000-square-foot store on South Glenburnie Road, which closed the day before the new store opened.
It is claimed to be the largest Harris Teeter out of the chain’s 246 stores. Some media outlets have called it the largest in the world, but since its world is pretty much contained within Southern states, that’s a somewhat pretentious claim.
Still, it’s plenty big, and within it are sections that by themselves are impressively large.
There is a Starbucks inside the Harris Teeter, just as there was at the old location, but this one has a dining area that has to make this particular Starbucks one of the largest in the world, and that’s saying something.
Then there is the food court, contained within an area that could be a nice-size grocery store all by itself.
There is a bakery, fresh produce and meats, a deli, a sushi bar, a buffet, a burger bar, a specialty bar with changing themes, and a bar-bar. Yes, a bar … where you can get beer and wine by the glass.
As for the grocery aisles, they are so long they are subdivided, with a third row intersecting at the middle. Looking from one end toward the other, the aisles extend almost as far as the eye can see.
Filling all those aisles with merchandise must be a challenge by itself. I have not looked deeply into it, but the few places I did look showed a much-expanded variety of brands and varieties.
Staffing this store must be equally challenging. I counted six people working at the Starbucks counter, four at the burger bar, three at the beer and wine bar, and so on.
I am not sure if they staffed up for opening week or if they plan to maintain that staffing level.
Sarah, Mark and I went there on opening day and had dinner. We bought a couple of items from the grocery aisles before going home.
We returned on Saturday to find the same buzz one encounters when surrounded by hundreds of happy people. The store is large enough to accommodate a thousand customers without feeling overly crowded.
Sarah got several selections from the sushi train and described the quality as good as any restaurant in New Bern. I went for simple–a burger and fries. The way I figure it, if you can’t do a burger and fries right, then what can you do right?
And boy, did they do it right. It paired nicely with the glass of Mother Earth pale ale that I got at the bar.
While waiting for my order, I ran into four people I knew, and that’s the great thing about a venue like this. It’s a magnet that draws people together, and for more than one purpose.
Before, you would go to Harris Teeter for groceries. Maybe you might grab something from the salad bar or deli or the Starbucks counter, but there was really nothing that set it apart from any other modern grocery store.
This Harris Teeter is not just a retailer, it is a community amenity. You can literally spend the day there, enjoying a fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a couple of glasses of beer or wine later in the day before actually doing any grocery shopping.
Note: the beer and wine bar opens at 10 a.m. daily except Sundays, when it opens at 11 a.m. But who’s judging?
The parking lot is large and full but sufficient and well laid out. Other stores in the shopping center, which is called New Bern Marketplace, round out the remaining two-thirds of retail floor space at the 34-acre, 325,000-square-food retail venue.
One thing it has over Downtown New Bern: parking is not limited to two hours.
So what can you expect at the Teeter?
Greeting you as you arrive at one of the entrances is the floral counter managed by Mary Gierie-Merrell, who Mayor Outlaw has described as New Bern’s unofficial mayor.
At that same entrance, off to the right, is the Starbucks counter with its spacious and open dining area. It is equipped with tables and booths and two big-screen TVs. The window-wall is lined with a long counter with tall chairs for computer users and enough USB ports and electric sockets for every two chairs.
Beyond is the amazing food court, and to its left, the expansive grocery aisles.
One glitch was WiFi. Though it is provided, I was unable to connect to the internet using it. Another quibble is that if you want to sit at a table and plug in your device or computer to a power source, there are just two tables within range of just one wall socket, and they are right underneath a big-screen TV. That may be by design. It is understandable why a store would not want its tables taken up by people using computers all day.
The impacts of the new Harris Teeter on New Bern will be interesting to see.
It will undoubtedly cut into business of other existing grocery stores. But being so large, it will draw shoppers from outside New Bern and maybe from outside Craven County.
When the N.C. 43 connector is extended from U.S. 70 to U.S. 17 in the next few years, it will make access to New Bern Marketplace easier to reach from Pitt and Lenoir residents. It’s already the easiest retail center to reach in New Bern from Jones and Onslow counties.
As I said, this Harris Teeter is not just a store, it is a community amenity.
Harris Teeter’s previous largest stores, measuring at 80,000 square feet of store space, are located in Pinehurst and Charlotte.
The New Bern store is only the second location to have a juice bar.
It is the first to have a build-your-own burger bar.
New Bernwas selected as one of the nation’s top retirement destinations and one of its best small retirement towns byWhereToRetire.comin its sixth edition of “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire,” a guidebook of the country’s most appealing retirement towns.
WhereToRetire.comspent 11 months researching more than 800 cities. The chosen cities vary in size, climate, amenities and lifestyle, and each falls into one of 10 categories that focuses on the city’s defining feature, such as beaches, mountains, low costs, four seasons and appealing downtowns. Each city profile combines extensive research, local knowledge and in-depth interviews with retirees who made the move.
New Bern is a certified retirement community. The Certified Retirement Community designation means a city has completed a comprehensive evaluation process with requirements outlined by the North Carolina General Assembly.Certified Retirement Communities are recognized for providing the amenities, services and opportunities retirees need to enjoy active and productive lives.
New Bern was recognized in April 2015 as one of the “10 Most Beautiful Towns in North Carolina,” and one of the “Top 10 Coastal Towns Where You Can Afford to Retire.”
Founded in 1710, New Bern it is the second oldest city in the state. It was the last colonial capital of North Carolina and its first state capital. “The City is a grand mix of carefully restored and maintained historical homes with old growth trees, a historic downtown, and contemporary houses ranging from condos to mansions, many with riverfront locations,” according to the website,Visit New Bern.
“New Bern’s character is palpable, and the people you meet are as vibrant as their surroundings. In addition to its beauty, New Bern is well-situated at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers, and only 35 miles from the Crystal Coast. The Atlantic Ocean is accessible by boat from New Bern, and New Bern’s rivers and creeks make a perfect playground for sailing, yachting, kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and fishing. New Bern has direct access to rivers and beaches without the high costs associated with beachfront living.”
Eight North Carolina cities were selected as top retirement destinations in “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire.” Other North Carolina towns are Boone/Blowing Rock, Charlotte, Durham, Hendersonville, Sylva, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem.
North Carolina had the second highest number of towns on the list, behind only Florida. In addition, Winston-Salem was among the Best Four-Season Towns; Charlotte and Durham were among the Best Low-Cost Towns; and Boone/Blowing Rock, Hendersonville and Sylva were among the Best Mountain Towns.
While Hurricane Florence has meant minor changes in the Ghostwalk line-up, the New Bern Historical Society is finding that when a ghost site has had to step out, others step in. This includes the William B. Blades house on the corner of Johnson and Middle streets.
Historical Society Executive Director Mickey Miller said, “What a generous offer from the owners of the Blades House. How wonderful it is that they want to help make Ghostwalk successful. This is yet another great example of New Bernians working together to make our town so successful.”
Ghostwalk is an annual event presented by the New Bern Historical Society, this year held Oct. 25-27. Each Ghostwalk brings a whole new batch of historical characters from New Bern’s colorful and varied past to tell you their stories. This year’s theme: Graves’ Anatomy, brings tales ofMedicine, Mystery and Mayhem. That would leave the ghostly field open to everyone from well-respected surgeons to snake oil salesmen.
The current line-up of Ghostwalk sites and an online map are available at www.GhostwalkNewBern.com.
Ghostwalk is a family-friendly event with entertaining stories from our history, tempting dinners available at historic churches, and this year something new. At the historic Judge Gaston Law office, each Ghostwalk ticket-holder can have their picture taken at the professional Tap Snap photo booth. They will go home with a free photo souvenir as well as a digital image, all as part of their Ghostwalk ticket.
Tickets are available at www.GhostwalkNewBern.com or by calling 252-638-8558, and at the following outlets: The New Bern Historical Society, Mitchell’s Hardware, Bank of the Arts, Harris Teeter on Glenburnie and in Carolina Colours, ITT Office aboard Cherry Point Marine Air Station, and ASAP Photo in Greenville.
The mission of the New Bern Historical Society is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education. Offices are located in the historic Attmore-Oliver House at 511 Broad St. in New Bern. For more information, call 252-638-8558 or go www.NewBernHistorical.org or www.facebook.com/NewBernHistoricalSociety.