The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

November 17, 2011

This Weekend In Stanly County November 17

By Bridget Huckabee For the CVB
Staff and wire reports

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 — The languorous days of summer are behind us, crisp autumn weather is upon us and Stanly County is cranking up the pace. An economic summit meeting hopefully predicts good news, a craft show offers a chance to begin our Christ-mas shopping, a chorale lifts our spirits and a pre-holiday party at a local vineyard puts us in the holiday mood.

On Thursday, let’s begin with a visit to the Falling Rivers Gallery in downtown Albemarle. The Saggy Frog Holiday Craft Show runs through Dec. 24, giving you plenty of time to browse and shop right up until the last minute. The show features crafts by local artists. This is where you’ll find one-of-a-kind gifts unavailable anywhere else.

On Friday, the Stanly County Chamber of Com-merce hosts its annual Economic Summit at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center. Speakers include the North Carolina Secretary of Commerce and Stanly County native Keith Crisco.

The place to be on Friday evening is downtown Albemarle for their annual Downtown Christmas. From 6-9 p.m. the town comes alive as families stroll the closed-to-traffic streets to enjoy music and entertainment. There’ll be children’s crafts, a food court, Winter Wonderland, face painting, Santa and Mrs. Claus and the tree lighting ceremony. All the shops are open and feature special entertainment. This is a wonderful way to begin the holiday season.

On Saturday, to keep that spirit going, drive out to Uwharrie Vineyards on Austin Road for their Pre-Holiday Season Party from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The day-long celebration features a private book signing, Lantern Hill Pottery, guitar artist Jeff Brown and fresh Sangria wine. During the event the vineyard showcases holiday specials on wines, gifts, pottery and more.

Later on Saturday evening the Stanly County Chorale presents “A Day for Dancing.” The event takes place at First Presbyterian Church in Albemarle on Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. The concert features the complete title work by Lloyd Pfautsch with orchestra and dancer, and a section of other choral works. Admission is free and non-perishable foods will be collected for Stanly Community Christian Ministry.

If you’re thinking about Christmas shopping already, think about a gift of a locally produced bottle of wine and give yourself the gift of a visit to the vineyards to choose it. Stanly County is proud of its viniculture, a relatively new form of farming for our county. There are four vineyards in our area, Stony Mountain Vineyards, Rocky River Vineyards, Uwharrie Vineyards and Dennis Vineyards. All are open to the public and each well worth a visit.

Dennis Vineyards, on Endy Road, began operations in 1996 and has grown by leaps and bounds ever since. It’s specialty of Muscadine and fruit wines has proven highly popular here and in the surrounding areas. From a beginning as a 2500 bottle winery, the vineyard currently produces 275,000 bottles a year. Wine tastings, tours and a large venue for parties and weddings completes the picture of this unique Stanly County facility. Stay tuned for information on the vineyards Winter Wine Weekend.    

This weekly column is provided as a service through the Stanly County Convention and Visitors Bureau.