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The “Dream” Lives On through Martin Luther King Day Events in Rocky Mount

On their official website, the City of Rocky Mount explains in a recent posting that the municipality has long been linked to the inspirational and world- changing words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as one of his speeches immediately prior to the famous “I have a dream” address he gave was right in the city, and the pride in the Doctor’s strong words is still as evident as ever at any of the Martin Luther King Day Events in Rocky Mount celebrating MLK’s legacy.

The City of Rocky Mount piece went on to explain that “the upcoming events and those partnering with them for the Martin Luther King Day Events in Rocky Mount, saying, “The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, in conjunction with the city of Rocky Mount, will host several events honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The overall theme for this year’s events is “Unfinished Work of a Dreamer.”’

Continuing to speak of each of these Martin Luther King Day Events in Rocky Mount, the city website went on to tell that,”The theater at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences will be the location for the MLK Oratorical Competition on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2017 beginning at 9 am. Students in grades sixth through eighth will speak to the theme “Building Bridges,” while speeches for contestants in grades ninth through 12th will speak around the “Unfinished Work of a Dreamer” theme.”

The main event will as always be the annual Unity Breakfast, to take place this year on Monday, January 15 at 7:00 am, and will take place just a few steps away from your new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community at the Dunn Center on the campus of NC Wesleyan College.

Detailing the annual breakfast, the site said, “Keynote speaker, Synthia Saint James, will be on the dais during the 8 a.m. program, following the 7 a.m. breakfast. James, an artist, author, educator and architectural designer, has garnered numerous awards, including the prestigious Trumpet Award, a Coretta Scott King Award and an honorary doctorate from Saint Augustine’s University. James’ artwork can be found in hospitals, universities and embassies all over the world. Known for being a multicultural artist, James’ designs include the first Kwanzaa Commemorative Stamp in 1997 and the 2016 Forever Kwanzaa Stamp celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kwanzaa holiday.”

Following the 30th Annual Unity Breakfast, volunteers will team together for the annual Day of Service projects. All events are free and open to the public.

Events honoring King will continue on Saturday, Mar. 3, 2018, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., at Nash Community College’s Brown Auditorium. The International Festival of Cultures showcases Rocky Mount’s cultural diversity! Admission is free.

For more information on any of these events, please contact the city of Rocky Mount’s Human Relations Department at 252-972-1181.

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Braswell Memorial Library Offers Up Rocky Mount Youth Activities to Build Stronger Skills

Rocky Mount Youth Activities

Located just a few minutes away from your spectacular new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community, Braswell Memorial Library offers up several great Rocky Mount Youth Activities and even some for the adults that can help to build stronger literacy skills, while giving youngsters a safe and productive way to interact socially and have some fun with teens and young adults of the same age.

Through the array of Library Clubs that are offered at Braswell, there are Rocky Mount Youth Activities that will appeal to any and all tastes and allow the kids to interact among their peers in doing so. The following Rocky Mount Youth Activities and clubs are being offered currently at the library and are always accepting new members.

  • Coloring Club – Taking place on the fourth Saturday afternoon of every month from 3:15-4:30, and open to teenagers and adults, this is considered a great way to enjoy a stress free atmosphere and the company of others, while you color on materials provided by the library.
  • Good Read Book Club- On every fourth Monday of the month, the library’s Wiley Room is host to this club for adults. A book is selected and read at home by the members, who then come into their meetings for in depth conversation and discussion on what has been read from 10:30 am-12:00pm.
  • Teen Advisory Board- From 5:30-7:00 pm on the second Tuesday of each month, this may be the most popular among the library’s Rocky Mount Youth Activities, and is a wonderful way for teenagers in the area to become more actively involved in the on-goings of the local community. New ideas are discussed and suggestions and thoughts can be offered here by teenagers regarding possible new teen programs, services, and materials.
  • 1st Tuesdays for Business- For the aspiring entrepreneur, this is the one club that stands out among these Rocky Mount Youth Activities. Open for all ages teenage and above, this club is offered through a partnership with the Rocky Mount Chapter of S.C.O.R.E. The library hosts monthly workshops for members covering all facets of business operation, ownership, and management.
  • Teen Minecraft Club- This club allows for teens to get together every second Thursday of the month and create different structures in the world of the popular game, Minecraft. Teens can design and build their own structures, or jump in and lend a hand to others while taking part in some fun, yet thought provoking design challenges.

These Rocky Mount Youth Activities are just a small sampling of the great things going on regularly at Braswell Memorial Library. The library is located at 727 North Grace Street in Rocky Mount and for details on all the upcoming events and great things going on in the upcoming weeks and months, visit braswell-library.libguides.com.

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Art Classes in Rocky Mount : “Sculpting” a Family Friendly Community at the Imperial Center

Art Classes in Rocky Mount

Moving from the winter moths and into the Spring, the temperature is not the only thing seeing an increase here locally, as in this first of a three part series, we will look at all the influx of activities being offered in Downtown Rocky Mount, heading into the month of February and beyond. Whether you are a toddler or a senior citizen, if your preference is science, art, or theatre, just a few minutes up the road from your new home at the premier North Carolina golf community, Belmont Lake Preserve, the Imperial Centre for the Arts open up their schedule with numerous options for Art Classes in Rocky Mount for all ages.

This first part in our three part series will look specifically at the Art Classes in Rocky Mount this month at the Imperial Centre, which is located at Gay Street in the heart of downtown. For starters, those ages 12 and up that wish to catch the “acting bug,” this Spring can partake in “Intro to Acting: Auditions and Scene Study.” Described at the official site of the Imperial Centre as “the perfect class for the beginning actor or for experienced actors who want to sharpen their skills. This class will focus on how to prepare cold scenes at auditions as well as how to dissect scenes into beats and make strong choices in the audition, rehearsal, and performance process.” This class begins this upcoming Thursday, February 9 and runs each Thursday night from 6:00-7:30 pm until March 16.

Whether acting and performance art is your thing, or whether your preference is to express your creativity on canvas, the Imperial Centre has you covered with Art Classes in Rocky Mount for all. “Intro to Painting,” also starts this Thursday, February 9 and ends on March 16, running from 6:00-9:00 pm weekly. In this class, anyone age 13 and older can learn to “Study the language of painting.” Technique, materials, and elements of art are all topics focused on in this course, as you learn to build a better understanding of different mediums.

For those looking for some fun activities that the whole family can partake in, look no further than the Art Classes in Rocky Mount and the “Paint Together: Family Workshop.” This will take place this Saturday, February 11 from 1:00-4:00 pm at the Imperial Centre, and up to 3 family members ages five and up can “explore the basics of painting as a family” at this workshop. Working with acrylic paints, family members will work together on a project and leave with a beautiful piece of art to hang at home as a memory of what is certain to be a fantastic day of fun together.

Yet another genre of art will be focused on at another of the Art Classes in Rocky Mount offered at the Centre, as on consecutive Saturday’s, February 11 and 18, the sculptor under your roof can come out and “use their hands” as part of “Intro to Clay: Functional Wares.” A variety of items will be created at this truly, “hands-on” two session workshop and it is open to anyone age 14 and up.

The Art Classes in Rocky Mount offered up during the upcoming month are just a few of the fantastic things that everyone in the house hold can enjoy. For further information, ioncluding special lower rates on these courses for Rocky Mount residents, visit the Imperial Centre website here.

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Football, Family, Friends, and Fun: Rocky Mount is Ready for the 19th Annual Down East Viking Football Classic

Down East Viking Football Classic

Down East Viking Football ClassicThe Rocky Mount Sports Complex, located just up the road from your new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve NC Golf Community, will play host to one of the most anticipated sporting events, and fun-filled community based weekends of the entire year in Rocky Mount, as on Saturday, September 17th the Elizabeth City State University Vikings take on the Morehouse College Maroon Tigers in the 19th Annual Down East Viking Football Classic with a 4:00 p.m. opening kickoff.

While the actual Down East Viking Football Classic game itself is the centerpiece of the weekend, starting on Thursday, September 15, and continuing after the ball game until about 10:00 p.m., the Rocky Mount community comes together for a fun filled weekend of activities. In actuality, Friday morning’s Down East Viking Football Classic Golf Challenge will take place right outside your front door at Belmont Lake Preserve, at 10:00 a.m. at the award winning Belmont Lake Golf Club.

The economical impact of the Down East Viking Football Classic for the Rocky Mount community is very significant, with an estimated 8,000-10,000 visitors expected to descend upon the city for the festivities. Rocky Mount Mayor, David Combs recently spoke with the Rocky Mount Telegram on the all around positive impact the Down East Viking Football Classic has on the community.

“It’s a wonderful event and it brings people to Rocky Mount that might not come here,” Mayor Combs enthusiastically said. “It’s sort of like a homecoming for people that haven’t seen someone they’ve known in a while. You have people coming from out of town not just for the weekend, but some are staying two or three nights.” He continued, “They help our community because they’re staying in our hotels, going out and shopping in our stores and dining in our restaurants. They’re spending money in our community and it’s bringing in a lot of revenue into our community.”

The full schedule of events for the Down East Viking Football Classic weekend festivities that are open to the public with the location of each event is as follows:

Thursday, September 15 

  • 6:30 P.M.

Fantastic Viking Voyage Enrollment Tour Event
Holiday Inn-Rocky Mount
200 Enterprise Drive

Friday, September 16, 2016

  • 10:00 A.M.

Down East Football Classic Golf Challenge
Belmont Lake Golf Club
210 Belmont Club Way

  • 9:00 P.M.

Down East Viking Mixer
Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences
270 Gay Street

Saturday, September 17

  • 7:00 A.M.

Tailgating Party
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 3:00 P.M.

Down East Viking Football Classic Pre-Game Ceremony
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 4:00 P.M.

19th Annual Down East Viking Football Classic
Morehouse College vs. Elizabeth City State
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 6:30 P.M.

High School Band Showcase
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 8:00 P.M.

Down East Step Show
Dunn Center for the Performing Arts
3400 North Wesleyan Boulevard

For more details on all scheduled events, a full history of the Down East Viking Football Classic, ticket sales, and much more, visit the page dedicated to the weekend on the Elizabeth City State University website at ecsu.edu.

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Cummins Planetarium is an “Out of This World” Fun and Educational Experience

Cummins Planetarium

Cummins PlanetariumLocated just minutes from the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, at 270 Gay Street in Rocky Mount, Cummins Planetarium offers an array of fun-filled, educational special events that children of all ages and adults likewise have been enjoying since they first opened their doors in the Spring of 2006.

Upon its opening, Cummins Planetarium, which is housed inside the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences building, became the very first planetarium in North Carolina to feature a full-dome video projection system. In addition to this, the incredible 30-foot dome at Cummins Planetarium sets tilted slightly forward to allow for a maximum viewing audience of up to 50 people per show.Cummins Planetarium

Giving visitors both young and old a consistent and divers variety of shows, Cummins Planetarium runs four different shows monthly, with each being having a showing once daily every Tuesday-Saturday. Through the month of December, one of the featured shows at Cummins Planetarium is called “Solar Superstorms,” which takes a dramatic look at the sun and the solar system. “The Amazing Telescope,” is also running at Cummins Planetarium throughout September and will take detail how observatories use telescopes to bring you on an exploration of some of the universe’s great mysteries including the ring’s of Saturn, the spiral structures of the galaxies, and the Galilean moons.Cummins Planetarium

The two other September show at Cummins Planetarium are more specifically aimed at different age groups, with one that is sure to have the youngsters smiling from ear to ear and a second that will get the parents in the family tapping their toes and maybe even reminiscing of some great music from the past.

A can’t miss showing for the young ones this month at Cummins Planetarium is , “One World, One Sky,” is advertised as “a magical musical journey into space for families with kids ages 3-6 years old. Featuring all your children’s favorite characters from the show “Sesame Street,” this is “Big Bird’s Adventure,” and he and many of his pals take you and the kids on a fun-filled journey to the moon and back. For the older generation, “Laser Classic Rock” will bring them back to the days of stadium-sized rock and roll from the late 1960’s and 70’s as this show is set to the tunes of some of the greatest classic rockers of all time, including, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, and many more.

The weekly schedule for the month of September at Cummins Planetarium runs Tuesday-Sunday as follows:

Tuesdays-Fridays

  • 1:00 p.m.- The Amazing Telescope
  • 2:00 p.m.- Solar Superstorms
  • 3:00 p.m.- Laser Classic Rock
  • 4:00 p.m. – Solar Superstorms

Saturdays

  • 11:00 a.m.- One World, One Sky : Big Bird’s Adventure
  • 1:00 p.m.- The Amazing Telescope
  • 2:00 p.m.- Solar Superstorms
  • 3:00 p.m.- Laser Classic Rock
  • 4:00 p.m.- Solar Superstorms

Sundays

  • 2:00 p.m.- Solar Superstorms
  • 3:00 p.m.- Laser Classic Rock
  • 4:00 p.m-  Solar Superstorms

For more information on the other upcoming shows and special events at Cummins Planetarium for this month and the remainder of 2016, visit their website at museum.imperialcentre.org.

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Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle Options Could Increase with Upgrades to Battle Park

Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle

With the Rocky Mount city council recently discussing possible upgrades to one of the city’s beautiful outdoor spaces that sits only minutes from your new home in Belmont Lake Preserve, the already plentiful options for Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle activities could increase with the proposed changes at Battle Park.

Although the upgrades that would include these Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle options at Battle Park are not likely to occur immediately, the interest from the city officials was genuine. The upgrades that were spoken of at the meeting would see a new “spray ground,” a butterfly garden, a zip line, widened walking paths, and a BMX track.

These proposed items were noted to be in the concept stage still, however, several other short-term efforts that also would offer some new Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle options were also brought up at the August 10 council meeting. An outdoor outfitter, environmental education, and educational hiking trails were the short term Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle ideas tossed around, and Assistant City Manager, Thomas Moton, Jr. explained that many residents have been behind this project because they’d like to see Battle Park made a focal point of Rocky Mount’s tourism industry and economy.

“With ideas for improvements we hope to make this area a destination location,” Moton, Jr. went on to explain. “With possible bike trails and other activities, we hope to attract more travelers and to maximize opportunities for people to enjoy the water.” He added, “Battle Park is also the hub to connect our assets from MLK Park to City Lake, so visitors can use the greenway to enjoy all seven miles of greenway trails that Rocky Mount has to offer.”

Being in such early stages of development, the cost of the Battle Park project that would see the addition of these great Rocky Mount Active Living options was not brought to the table. However, there has been some interest shown by Rocky Mount Mills (which is owned by Capitol Broadcasting Company) in a possible lease or purchase of Panther Island,  which is part of Battle Park. If this were the case, that company would implement improvements by itself and allow the city to focus on the remainder of the park.

Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Department Director, Kelvin Yarrell addressed the possibility of the Battle Park upgrades, voicing the following conclusion.  “The true plan would come from working with our citizens, elected officials and the business community, such as Capitol Broadcasting, to look at the entire scope of the project once funding becomes available.”

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Braswell Memorial Library to Kick off Summer with Rocky Mount Children’s Event

Rocky Mount Children's event

Ringing in the new season, this Friday, June 17, Braswell Memorial Library will host its Summer Reading Kick-Off Party, marking the start of their a Summer Reading Club with the annual Rocky Mount Children’s Event taking place just minutes from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve.

The Rocky Mount Children’s Event, which is held every June, will start at 10:00 a.m. and run until 1:00 p.m. on the back lawn and pavilion area of the library located at 727 North Grace Street. The “Summer Reading Kick Off Party is aimed at encouraging the children to sign up for the Reading Club, which this Summer is following the theme of “On Your Mark, Get Set…READ!”

This Friday’s Rocky Mount Children’s Event will feature much more than just sign-ups, however, with games, snacks, and fun activities for the kids throughout the day. Several special guests will also be on hand to greet the kids, including, the Chik-Fil-A Cow, Sparky the Firedog, McGruff the Crime Dog, the “Balloon Lady, a stilt walker, and a magician.

The Summer Reading Club at Braswell Memorial Library kicks into full gear immediately following the Kick Off Party on this upcoming Tueday, June 21 and will run throughout the remainder of the month and for the entire month of July as well. For those who sign up for the club, there are prize giveaways for five different age groups ranging from toddlers to adults, where each member and age group has goals set for them to reach, goals earns the prizes once they have reached their different goal throughout the program. A full schedule for the Summer Reading Club can be seen here.

The five different groups for the Summer Reading Club are:

  • Read-to-Me Group– This group consist of toddlers and preschool age children whose parents, older brothers or sisters, or caregiver reads to them. Once they have had 30 books read to them this Summer, they receive a prize book of their choosing.
  • Elementary Reader Group– This is the first age group that reads by themselves. They get to choose their prize book once they have finished 15 books this summer.
  • Young Adult Group– This group gets into reader longer and more advanced books and once they have finished seven of these, they get to select their prize.
  • Adult Group– Adults are encouraged to get in on the reading club as well. By turning in their “Reading Record Sheets” weekly, they earn a small prize and are entered into the grand prizes drawing to be held on the club’s final day, July 30.
  • Genealogy/History Group– Another group for the adults, this one focuses on those readers interested in their family lineage and history. These members will also earn a small prize for turning in “Reading Record Sheets” each week and in doing so will be entered in the grand prizes drawing as well.