Travel

Wow ! Newcomers make another impact

See The Spectacular 33 N. Main Renovation Thursday

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What a difference in the building at 33 N. Main in Belmont from August to March!

And here’s your chance to see the renovation that owner Richard LaVecchia has achieved as the new Designing Brides and the relocated Peppermint Shoestring hold an open house and grand opening Thursday, March 13, from 10 AM until 7 PM.

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Nancy Lepore, owner of Designing Brides, and Lynnelle Dobbins, owner of the Peppermint Shoestring Children’s Boutique, extend a special invitation to Chamber members and friends to come by between 5 p.m and 7 p.m. for tours and refreshments.

The building, which was once used as a funeral home, a clothing store, and most recently, a gift basket shop, will be a fine addition to the thriving downtown community.

Several neighbors and friends met Nancy Lepore and her husband, Patrick, last summer during the Friday Night Alive activities.  

Dole and Myrick distancing themselves from Lame Duck President

Senator Elizabeth Dole and US Representative Sue Myrick both appear to be distancing themselves from President Bush and his hum-hum final year agenda for the nation.

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Ms. Myrick decided to “…stay home and watch the president’s address on television…” on Monday evening, while Mrs. Dole had a previous engagement to speak in front of a constituent group in NC.

On Thursday morning, both skipped out on Vice President Dick Cheney’s address to a select crowd at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Myrick begging off due the the impending birth of a grandchild, and VP Cheney acknowledging her “priorities”.  Kinda gives new meaning to, “I think I have to wash my hair”.

Still trying to curry favor with the administration, boy-politician, Patrick McHenry of the 10th district in NC, commented to the Observer, “the president missed the opportunity to push to make the middle-class tax cuts permanent. It was a good speech — but not bold enough”.

Mr. McHenry surely must realize that the tax cuts were not for the so-called middle class but the top 10% of incomes.

Creating permanence of these cuts, which are not set to expire until the fiscal year of 2010, would further drive a stake into the heart of the true middle class. The rich will not invest in new plants in Cherryville, Hickory, or Shelby. They will continue to buy their carsremodel their kitchens, and go out to dinner — but not build factories, invest in their stateside employees, or contribute money to the United Way.

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Orchid Conservatory at DSBG opens Saturday

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Observer Article

Charlotte Trip Magazine Article

The Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens (DSBG) are by far the coolest piece of the Gaston County sites to visit. Over time, the Gardens will be larger and more complete — there is a 40-year Master Plan for the site — world class by anyone’s standards. This was a privately funded project without government “partnership”. The late Daniel Stowe kick started and endowed the development of the Gardens with a donation of land and $14 million in the early 1990’s. All other development has been through private contributions and sponsorship.  

The unique destination sites that now border the City of Belmont are the US National Whitewater Center to the east (just over the river north of the I-85 weigh station) and the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. Along with historical sites located throughout the county, Gaston is blessed with tourism resources that can rival many pleaces.

Good luck to the folks of the community who develop and market these facilities. Belmont certainly has taken a lead when it comes to developing intriquing places to visit.

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(Red Imperial Bromliad – one of 2,000 rare and exotic plant at DSBG)

Orchid links

 

The Little Train That Could

Belmont’s train got an locomotive yesterday, replacing the engine that was removed a couple of years ago.

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The placement of the engine drew a crowd to an already vibrant downtown, right at the same time as the middle school dismissal.

Dozens of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders already regularly mingle in the downtown area at the Belmont General Store and Caravan Coffee, waiting for their parents to pick them up.

This event, however, brought out city staffers, employees of the busy downtown merchants, and the chamber of commerce. Train enthusiasts, passersby, and curiousity seekers all stopped to watch the placement

Everyone was busily snapping pictures of the two large cranes that lifted the axles onto the track next to the already placed caboose and dining car. Shortly thereafter, the body of the locomotive was raised and set into place.

This should complete the little train, bringing back some interest in the train-related heritage that Garibaldi Station/Belmont holds within its history. The train station was a museum until just a few years ago. It sat empty until the upscale clothing store, Jolie, began operating.  The volunteers who ran the Train Museum had decided to close because they struggled getting volunteers to staff the facility on a regular basis.

According to the now local entreprenuer, Richard LaVecchia  — owner of several downtown properties, including Piccolo, OldStone Steakhouse, and the old Leader building (now being called, “the Rose Building” — ’cause it was owned and sold by Art Rose) — “…several projects…” are planned, “…where people can get into the locomotive and take pictures”.  

Does the completion of the little train mean the return of a destination place in downtown Belmont?

Things to know about visiting the McAdenville lights

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(Christmas Town USA photos from website)

Some of the nicer things about Gaston County are the “good traditions”, such as the McAdenville Lights. “Christmastown” has been a joyful tradition for 52 years in McAdenville, drawing people from all over the world.

A few years ago, Steve Rankin developed a website, Christmas Town USA, that has promoted vistor participation. This website has driving directions and walking directions that will make the experience a lot of fun and minimize the hassles.

With the redevelopment of the old mill town, worries circulated that Pharr Yarns would discontinue the tradition. That worry was put to rest as the new houses have been built and new residents have embraced the slight inconveniences presented by millions of visitors each December.

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(Christmas Town USA website photo)

Paving Project in Heart of Town

Wow, the paving is now in the heart of Central Avenue in Belmont this week.

If at all possible, try to avoid Central between the Point and Keener.

It is amazing that the road crews ground the asphalt all the way down to the first level of concrete. Several areas are showing brick pavers in some sections.

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A Little late, but Necessary – Road Closures !

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That paving project we talked about a few weeks ago has now moved over to Central Avenue/South Point Road from Main Street at Nichols to Nixon Road by South Point HS. Sorry we, didn’t post this sooner — like Saturday morning — there was havoc down there this AM.

People can use Julia St, Stowe Road (Hwy 273), and the various side streets to cut through and get around the traffic.

If you live in the neighborhoods, you know which streets to use.   

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