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Summer fun in and around downtown Albemarle

As school winds down and the heat turns up, summer excitement is in the air. While many of us plan getaways, don’t forget that there’s plenty to do here in your own backyard.

Downtown Albemarle caught the fever last month with the return of the Beach Blast. We enjoyed entertainment by two great regional bands, Cassette Rewind and The Tonez, with lots of kids’ activities and fun for the whole family.

We also enjoyed working with Albemarle Parks and Recreation, the ADDC Promotions Committee and Stanly County Partnership for Children to make the Beach Blast happen.

Downtown has a lot to offer for your out-of-schoolers this summer. The Stanly County Public Library kicks off its summer reading program, Libraries Rock! The main branch downtown and its satellite branches are offering lots of fun activities and incentives to keep children reading and learning throughout the summer. For a list of events for all ages, visit their website at stanlycountylibrary.org.

Our downtown churches offer vacation Bible schools, summer camps and other programs to keep kids busy and help them grow in their faith. Be sure to visit our downtown churches’ websites and social media outlets to get more information on these.

For kids with more of a dramatic flair, The Talent Company is offering summer camps at the new Central Apartments auditorium. Registration information can be found online at thetalentcompany.org.

There are also many opportunities to keep our youth healthy and fit throughout the summer.

The Stanly County Family YMCA offers a fantastic summer day camp each year. Campers are exposed to multiple activities including swimming, field trips, literacy, gardening, crafts, devotions and much more. More information about the Summer Day Camp can be found at stanlyymca.org.

The Yoga Pilates Barre on North First Street also offers a Kindness Rocks kids’ camp for ages 3-12; register at www.mindbodyonline.com.

For healthy eating options, the Stanly County Farmers Market is in full swing with a bevy of fresh produce. Be sure and visit the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-noon at Market Station.

Also, Hilltop Seafood just reopened in its new location at 128 S. First St., offering fresh fish, shrimp and other oceanic delights that are sure to please your taste buds as well as your waistline.

Albemarle Parks and Recreation continues its free concert series, Thursdays at the Station, through July 12. Shows start at 7:30 under the covered farmers market area; bring a chair and enjoy live music downtown.

During the last weekend of July, Parks and Recreation will also host the annual Tour de Elvis 5K and Cycle Tour. A 5K run takes place in downtown Albemarle on July 27, followed by a block party on North Second Street. You can register for the 5K and/or the cycle tour by logging on to Vac & Dash’s website at vacanddash.com; click on the race calendar link.

As you shop for products to beat the heat this summer, please remember that our downtown stores have a lot to offer.

Visit our retailers for summer apparel, patio furnishings, pool accessories and many other great items to make your summer special.

Joy Almond is main street manager for the city of Albemarle and director of Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation.