Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

Visitors Bureau Monthly e-Newsletter: Read It!


Travel and tourism news briefs about Orange County, North Carolina,
including the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough
Volume XI, Number 3——March 2012 
Come Celebrate Groundbreaking for Carrboro's First Hotel on March 28

Work is beginning this month on the first phase of the 300 East Main development in Carrboro.  This phase includes a 142-room Hampton Inn & Suites with 18,100 square feet of retail/restaurant space on the ground floor facing East Main Street. A 500-space parking deck will sit behind the Hotel. Construction of this phase will take about 13 months. The first work includes the demolition of existing buildings at 304 and 404 E. Main St. and two empty houses on Padgett Lane and Boyd Street. Developers have a formal groundbreaking ceremony planned for 11 am on March 28.

Main Street Properties of Chapel Hill LLC is the developer of 300 East Main and will own and manage the six to nine retail/restaurant spaces in the new building. The Atma Hotel Group out of Chapel Hill is a partner in the first phase and will own and operate the Hampton Inn & Suites. “We’re excited to get started,” said Laura Van Sant, a partner in Main Street Properties and a Carrboro resident. “This project will provide more space for the great types of businesses that already make downtown such a vibrant place. The hotel will be a great addition to that mix, providing a place for Orange County residents’ friends and family to stay but also putting more people downtown to eat and shop at 300 East Main and beyond.”

Future phases of 300 East Main will bring additional retail, restaurant, office and cultural space. The site is home to the non-profit ArtsCenter and the Cat’s Cradle nightclub, which are both working on expansion plans. Other existing tenants that will remain are Amante Pizza, Ba Da Wings, Fleet Feet, TJ’s Beverage and Tobacco and WCOM. The Town of Carrboro has a five-year lease on public parking spaces in the new deck. Main Street Properties has owned the 300 East Main site since the mid-1980s

(Photo - Rendering of the Hampton Inn & Suites)  
Hillsborough Chef is James Beard Award Nominee Once Again

Congratulations to Hillsborough chef, Aaron Vandemark for making the short list on the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards. Vandemark, chef of Panciuto restaurant in downtown Hillsborough is a semi-finalist for the 2012 Best Chef in the Southeast United States.  In mid-March, each award category will be narrowed down to five finalists, and then winners will be announced at the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception on Monday, May 7, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.

Deemed “the Oscars of the food world,” by Time magazine, The James Beard Foundation Awards are the country’s most coveted honor for chefs; food and beverage professionals; broadcast media, journalists, and authors working on food; and restaurant architects and designers.

In 2011, Vandemark was named a semi-finalist for the Beard Award.  Of course, Lantern chef Andrea Reusing was named the Best Chef in the Southeast in 2011 and Crook's Corner was named an American Classic in May 2011.  Good luck Aaron! 

(Photo - Aaron Vandemark by John F. Blair Publishing)
The Carolina Inn Welcomes Spring with Birdhouses on Parade

The 2012 Birdhouses on Parade, The Carolina Inn’s 11th annual celebration of spring taking place from March 21-April 8, features one-of-a-kind birdhouses and feeders crafted by North Carolina artists and traditional culinary treats.  Drop by anytime to enjoy birdhouse artist creations from Art Lituchy, Bosetti Art Tile, Branching Out, Briarwood Studios, Jack Riehl, Lilly’s Home and Garden, Nest Dwellings, Old South BirdHouse Company, RSS Woodworks, Silver Palate Feeders and The Tin Heart. 
An Easter Bunny Brunch is April 7 from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm and has been designed for young and old alike. A magician and face painter will be on hand to entertain everyone. Each child is welcome to sit on the bunny's lap and receive a "sweet" treat. All children must be accompanied by an adult patron. An Easter Day Brunch Eggtravaganza as only Executive Chef Jimmy Reale could prepare is April 8, 11:00 am - 2:30 pm
Spring Afternoon Tea will be served Thursday through Sunday during the Birdhouses on Parade event and features The Carolina Inn’s floral teas with special highlights on Southern Pecan, Green Chai and Moroccan Mint. Accompaniments include an array of savory tea sandwiches, assorted sweets, and fresh baked scones served with fresh lemon curd, English Devonshire cream and jams and preserves.
Make your reservations for the events by calling (919) 918-2735.  

(Photo - Birdhouses on Parade)
Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour is April 14-15

To celebrate the unique diversity of gardens in greater Chapel Hill, the Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour will feature both the breadth and depth of eight remarkable gardens. Ranging from hidden bungalow gardens to majestic landscapes, spacious rural wooded gardens to urban design, the tour will showcase the “miracles of spring” in both elegant and whimsical presentations. Many of the gardens are located in homes near Battle Park and the UNC campus.

As a bonus, visits to the North Carolina Botanical Garden and the Mary Scroggs Elementary School Student Garden in Southern Village are included. The Botanical Garden features native plants and was 2011’s “Best Park/Greenway” in Chapel Hill. Local artists will be painting in the Botanical Garden with one of the paintings being offered as a raffle item. The student garden at Scroggs Elementary enhances learning about sustainable gardening through a seed-to-sow experience.

A Sense of Place: The Southern Gardens of Chapel Hill Garden Tour is presented by the Chapel Hill Garden Club on Saturday, April 14 from 10 am - 4 pm and Sunday, April 15 from 11 am - 4 pm.  Tickets are on sale March 15.  Ticket vouchers may be purchased at Chapel Hill Garden Tour or at Ticket Outlets: Wild Bird Center, A Southern Season, Southern States, and the North Carolina Botanical Garden.  Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of tour at all tour gardens.  Children under 16 accompanied by ticketed adult are admitted free.  For information, call (919) 962-0522.

You can also find special garden tour hotel packages on the tour website.

(Photo - Springtime Flowers by Anne Humphries)

Mystery Brewing Company is Open in Hillsborough
Mystery Brewing Company, an artisan craft brewery that will rotate beer options seasonally, is open at 437 Dimmocks Mill Road, Suite 41 in West Hillsborough.  Founder and brewmaster, Eric Lars Myers, says he initially chose Hillsborough because of its proximity to multiple major highways, which allows for easy distribution but has been “overwhelmed with the exuberance displayed by townspeople for the brewery.”   According to their website, the company's name is a bit of a throwback. “Mystery” in its original definition meant the “art and craft of a trade.”  Brewers were among the first organized trade groups; there is evidence of a guild of brewers as early as 12th Century London.  So, it’s a tribute, it’s recognition that there is just as much art to brewing as there is science, and it’s a gentle reminder that to move forward and create a truly excellent future, sometimes you have to look at the past.

The first beers produced are Gentlemen's Preference: Blond Ale, Mousqueton: Belgian-Style Tripel, Queen Anne's Revenge: Carolinian Dark and Six Impossible Things: Chocolate Breakfast Stout.  You can find the beers also at The Depot at Hillsborough Station on S. Nash Street, just around the corner from Mystery Brewing Company and the Wooden Nickel Pub on Churton Street in downtown Hillsborough.  Myers hopes to have both tours and tastings with about 20 seats.   Call (919)-MYSTERY.

(Photo - Mystery Brewing Company by Rose Laudicina/The Carrboro Citizen)
FRANK Birthday Celebration is Off the Wall

FRANK Art Gallery will host its 2nd Birthday party and fundraiser, OFF THE WALL, at the gallery at 109 E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill on Saturday, April 21 at 6 pm.   Last year’s gala was sold-out. 100 pieces of art will be donated by FRANK artists and other artists. Only 100 tickets are available for purchase, the same as the number of works of art, ensuring that every ticket holder will be taking a piece of fine art home.  Tickets are $225 each.

When you enter the event with an art ticket, your name will be dropped in FRANK’s “hat.”  After enjoying delightful food and drinks donated by generous area restaurants and chefs, the guest host WUNC's Frank Stasio will draw names, one by one, from the hat.  When your name is called, you’ll choose your new piece of original fine art, valued from over $300 to $2000!  Take it home right OFF THE WALL!  There will be a few surprise silent auction items, too.

A companion ticket is available for $75 with the purchase of a $225 art ticket.  Your companion will enjoy the festivities, but only you choose a piece of art!  The art pieces will be on display beginning April 10.  Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit FRANK and its educational programming, exhibits, and community outreach programs.

Please contact Barbara Rich, Gallery Director at (919) 636-4135 for more information. 

(Photo - Judith Ernst, Flight 3, Glazed Stoneware)
Orange County Cultural Center Has New Director

Orange County native Elizabeth Waugh-Stewart (photo) has been hired as the Orange County Cultural Center's inaugural executive director and first paid staff member.  The OCCC is a nonprofit organization, centered in Hillsborough, that will serve all of Orange County by providing performance, exhibition, and classroom space for cultural events and arts education. The Center’s board of directors is negotiating with the county to share the Richard E. Whitted Center, the former Hillsboro High School on South Tryon Street, for this purpose.  The center's board of directors hopes to secure the Whitted Building, 300 West Tryon Street but that process is still underway.

In addition to securing a permanent physical location for the cultural center, Waugh-Stewart will also focus on setting up the non-profit, working with county staff and reaching out to the community. Waugh-Stewart will work part-time in the Hillsborough Arts Council building, 220 South Churton Street.

Ms. Waugh-Stewart grew up in Chapel Hill, and attended Williams College in Massachusetts. She received her Master’s in Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2001. She has nearly 10 years of experience in the nonprofit field, including serving as interim executive director at The Women’s Center in Chapel Hill; deputy director at Democracy North Carolina in Durham; and, most recently, as board president at the Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County.

“I am thrilled to join the dedicated volunteers of the OCCC, and to promote their vision of a cultural center that truly serves the whole county. My background is in social work, so I’m particularly passionate about reaching out to underserved communities in rural areas of Orange County, children and adults, who may not have had much exposure to the arts,” Ms. Waugh-Stewart said.

The mission of the Orange County Cultural Center is to promote the public understanding and appreciation of the creative arts and cultural history of Orange County, and to stimulate the interest and participation of members and the community by providing affordable space for exhibitions, education, and professional endeavors.
4th Annual Chili and Salsa Cookoff in Hillsborough
The Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce and the Hillsborough Farmers Market are teaming up for the 4th Annual Chili and Salsa Cookoff on Saturday April 14.

Look for the big tent in the parking lot of Home Depot, next to the Hillsborough Farmers Market, at 625 Hampton Pointe Blvd, off of Hwy 86 from 11 am - 3 pm.  Home Depot is off of I-85 exit 165.  If you would like to enter the chili or salsa cookoff or for more information, click the link above.

On April 2, the Hillsborough Farmers Market returns to its regular Saturday hours from 8 am - 12 pm.  So kick off the morning at the market for your vegetables, eggs, meat and more.


Juried Arts & Crafts Show in Downtown Hillsborough on April 14

The Fourth Annual Hillsborough Arts & Crafts Show is a juried show offering original art and quality handcrafted items of 40 NC artisans.  The show is Saturday, April 14 from 10 am - 4 pm on the lawn of the historic Alexander Dickson House (Orange County Visitors Center) at 150 E. King Street. 

Organized by the Hillsborough Arts Council, the juried show also features entertainment by professional musicians throughout the day. Rain date is Sunday, April 15. 

(Photo - Hillsborough Arts & Crafts Show by Hillsborough Arts Council)

5k Run Part of 2012 Earth Action Day

On Saturday, April 14, the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club and Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation present the first annual 5k at Earth Action Day lifestyle race and one-mile family fun run from 10 am until noon at Southern Community Park. 

Prizes will be awarded for First, Second and Third Place in both men's and women's categories of the 5k. Additional prizes will be given for Best Green Costume. Runners are encouraged to dress up in sustainable themed costumes to celebrate sustainable living in Chapel Hill. To register and for more more information visit Earth Action Day.  Fees are $30 for single participants and $70 for families of three or more. For an additional $5, on-site registration is also available. This event will benefit the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club's Teacher Supply Store, Bike Night and Dental Mission Trip to Honduras.

Kid's entertainment will be featured prior to the Family Fun Run. The 5th Annual Earth Action Day will take place immediately following the 5k and 1 mile races from Noon - 5 pm, with a full day of music, entertainment, art, food and celebration of sustainable living. Earth Action Day is a local event that encourages visitors to learn about the earth's bounty and how our daily choices affect our environment.

For the first time, Earth Action Day is participating as an official site of the North Carolina Science Festival (NCSF) promotions. The NCSF spans two weeks, from April 13-29, and features science events across the state. The NCSF was founded by Morehead Planetarium and Science Center (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) in 2010.

(Photo - Earth Action Day from Town of Chapel Hill website)
Orange County Farming Community Featured in Upcoming Chapel Hill Magazine

The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau is teaming up with Chapel Hill Magazine for a special 8-page Orange County Farm and Agriculture section which will appear in the March-April issue of the magazine on shelves this week.

Five farms are featured which highlight animals, cheese, vegetables, fruits, flowers, eggs, meats and more.  You also find farm facts and figures, farming events, farm stay accommodations and background on the Piedmont Grown program, Maple View Agricultural Center and the Piedmont Food & Agricultural Processing  Center.  Of course, our wonderful farmers markets are highlighted.
For more information on farms and agritourism in Orange County, Visit Chapel Hill or Orange County Farms

(Photo - From the Chapel Hill Magazine Farm Section)
17th Annual Piedmont Farm Tour is April 28-29

Join Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market for the nation’s largest sustainable farm tour April 28-29, from 1 – 5 pm each day. The Piedmont Farm Tour is rain or shine.

This self-guided tour will feature 40 small farms in Orange, Chatham, Alamance, Durham and Person counties. Come learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm and food scene. Meet local farmers and tour their beautiful farms. It’s great for the whole family.

Advanced tickets are $25 per carload. You are encouraged to bring a cooler to purchase items from the farms. Please leave your pets at home.

 (Photo - Farm Tour stop at Captain J.S. Pope Farm in Cedar Grove)
 NCAA Women's Basketball First and Second Round Games in Carmichael Arena

The University of North Carolina will host NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship first and second round tournament games on March 18 and 20 at Carmichael Arena. Capacity is just 6,822.  First round games are March 18 at Noon and 2:30 pm, and the winners of those games will play March 20 at 7 pm for a spot in the Sweet 16.

All-session tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for students. Individual session tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. For more information and tickets, go to or call (800) 722-HEEL (4335).

The selection show for the 2012 NCAA Tournament is Monday, March 12 at 7 pm.  Teams for the Chapel Hill Regional will be selected at that time.

(Photo - Carmichael Arena from the website Tar Heel Team Tempo)

 UNC Spring Football Game is April 14: Season Football Tickets are on Sale

Make plans to be in Kenan Stadium to see the North Carolina Football Tar Heels in 2012.  North Carolina's first Spring Game with Larry Fedora as head coach will take place on Saturday, April 14 at 3 pm. Admission is free. Stay tuned to for more details.

This Fall, the Tar Heels will play a seven-game home schedule that includes games against in-state opponents East Carolina (Sept. 22) and NC State (Oct. 27). The home slate also features games against ACC opponents Virginia Tech (Oct. 6), Georgia Tech (Nov. 10) and Maryland (Nov. 24) and non-conference games vs. Elon (Sept. 1) and Idaho (Sept. 29). Special dates for the 2012 football season include: Football Lettermen and Varsity Monogram Day on Sept. 22; Family Weekend & Military Appreciation Day on Sept. 29; and Rams Club Day on Oct. 27. Homecoming is Nov. 10. 

Carolina returns eight starters on offense, including quarterback Bryn Renner, who threw for a school-record 26 touchdowns last season, and tailback Giovani Bernard, the first Tar Heel to rush for 1,000 yards since 1997. UNC also returns four of its five starters on the offensive line. On defense, Carolina welcomes back five starters, including standout linebacker Kevin Reddick and defensive tackle Sylvester Williams.

Season tickets are on sale at TarHeelBlue.  New this year will be special 3-game packages as well.  

(Photo - Bryn Renner by Andrew Dye for Reesenews)
What's Up in Restaurant and Retail News 

Matt Mehok and Bennett Roberts are the new owners of the bar He’s Not Here in downtown Chapel Hill,  David Kitzmiller owned the bar, which is located at 112 W. Franklin Street, for more than 40 years. 

After spending 18 years at 163 E. Franklin St. as a Chapel Hill staple, Craig Samuels has sold Franklin Street Pizza & Pasta to Glenn Gordon and Christopher Mann.  The restaurant is now Tomato Jake’s Pizzeria.

Later this month, Camos Brothers Pizza serving authentic New York pizzawill reopen in Chapel Hill at 1704 E. Franklin Street, in what used to be an AT&T store.  This location is near Staples in the Gateway Center.  Camos Brothers Pizza closed last year after a short stint at The Courtyard at 431 W. Franklin Street.

Flying Burrito has closed  in the Midtown Market on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.  This Mexican restaurant plans to reopen in Raleigh.

Scout & Molly's has closed it's Meadowmont Store and reopened last month at University Mall at 201 S. Estes Drive.  The women's clothing and accessories shop sliced off a bit of Spice Street to obtain an entrance outside the mall as well as inside.

Speaking of Spice Street, after 10 years this restaurant run by Giorgios Bakastais restaurant group at University Mall is closing the middle of March.  City Kitchen, will open in its place and feature "familiar American brasserie fare with locally-grown ingredients in a sophisticated, urbane setting." The new restaurant will have a large, full-service bar, an intimate patio area, as well as a main dining room.  After renovations, City Kitchen will open in early April. 

Also University Mall welcomes Joe Van Gogh, Artisan coffee roasters serving North Carolina coffee lovers since 1991.  The shop is now open near Dillard's. 

In the mood for a burger? Village Burger is now open next to Scout & Molly's just inside the Main Mall Entrance. They use only freshly ground angus chuck from domestic ranches that is humanely raised, antibiotic and growth hormone free. Burgers are char-grilled and served on a buttered brioche bun. In addition to burgers, the restaurant serves soups, salads and sides.
 Local Tourism Industry News Briefs & Updates

As the season eagerly changes into spring, West Franklin Street has become bathed in the big, bold, colors of the latest art venture of nationally-known artist Charles Chace. The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership engaged Chace to create the second West Franklin Art Installation at 419 West Franklin Street; formerly known as the Yates Motor Company or University Chrysler.  The Downtown Partnership began the West Franklin Art Installation project this past October with the property owner's permission to use the long-empty storefront for short-term (or pop-up) art projects.  Charles Chace's work titled "ENEMY AMPLIFIED PROOF" (Razor, Paint, Tape) is a mixed media work that is constructed of recycled cardboard boxes, tape, and paint. The boxes were razored into over one thousand book-like shapes, then painted a rainbow of colors.  Local businesses contributed to the art project as well. The Orange County Social Club donated all the cardboard boxes, and Fitch Lumber Company donated paint.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Basketball Championships return to the Dean Smith Center on the UNC Campus on March 10.   Tickets are $9 in advance and $10 at the gate. The schedule is Class 1-A women - Noon, Southside High School Seahawks (29-3) VS. Bishop McGuinness High School Lady Villains (26-5); Class 1-A Men – 2:30 pm, Plymouth High School Vikings (23-4) VS. Winston-Salem Preparatory Phoenix (30-1); Class 3-A Women – 5 pm, Walter Williams High School Bulldogs (27-4) VS. Harding University High School Lady Rams (25-3); and Class 3-A Men - 7:30 pm, Rocky Mount High School Gryphons (26-3) VS. Hickory High School Red Tornadoes (28-3).  The following hotels are offering special rates for the event: Aloft Chapel Hill, The Carolina Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Days Inn, Hampton Inn, University Inn Chapel Hill, Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel and The Siena Hotel. Details are on the website above.

LEGO-palooza returns to Morehead Planetarium and Science Center for its eighth year on March 10, 11 am - 4 pm and March 11, 1 pm - 4 pm.   And there's something new this year: You can watch "brickfilms" (stop-motion animated videos created with LEGO figures) on the big screen all day in Morehead's Science Stage!  This amazing exhibit features hundreds of LEGO models created by the NC LEGO User Group. The exhibit is free and is appropriate for ages 6 and older. LEGO-palooza is in a new location this year, because the banquet hall facility has been converted into space for other campus programs. Please enter the building through the west entrance (UNC Visitor Center). You'll find exhibits in the Rotunda (main floor), "brickfilms" in the Science Stage (main floor, adjacent to the Rotunda) and exhibits in the State Dining Room (third floor).

Poetry on the Hill will be held on Saturday, March 24, 10 am - 9 pm in downtown Chapel Hill. Created by members of the Sacrificial Poets , the one-day festival will offer poetry and spoken word workshops and performances to participants. Workshops will take place during the day in Franklin Street businesses and organizations that are lending their space. The festival culminates on Wallace Plaza (on top of the parking deck) with an open mic and youth slam performance for festival participants – granting them the opportunity to perform using the skills they’ve learned that day.  For a complete schedule, click Downtown Partnership

Easter Egg Hunts
Orange County's Annual Community Egg Hunt
this year is at River Park off of E. Margaret Lane in Hillsborough on March 31 with entertainment at 9:30 am and the Egg Hunt begins at 10:30 am. Katharine Whalen on the electric tenor guitar and William Dawson on the baritone guitar kick off the morning.  There will be over 25,000 eggs containing prizes and candy hidden across three locations for the following age groups; 2-4, 5-7, and 8-10. For all those crafty, creative folks, there will be A 'Build a Birdhouse' art project to celebrate Spring. More fun includes a Bounce House ($2/unlimited wrist band).  The rain date for this event will be 2 pm - 4 pm, Sunday, April 1.  For more information, call the hotline at (919) 932-0408.

Just make a day of it in Hillsborough and drop by The Burwell School Historic Site at 319 N. Churton Street, for their Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 31 at 1 pm.  Search for over 3,000 eggs hidden across the grounds of this Antebellum historic site. There will be two hunts; one for children under 6, and a second for children ages 7-12. Please bring your own basket for gathering eggs. The Easter Bunny is going to be busy as he plans to make an appearance here as well, so don’t forget your cameras!  Call (919) 732-7451 for more information.
Preservation Society of Chapel Hill Egg Hunt is Saturday April 7 on the lawn of the Horace Williams House at 610 E. Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill.  The event is for 8 years old and younger and starts at 10 am sharp.

Free tours of the North Carolina Botanical Garden Display Gardens are offered every Saturday morning (March - November). This 60-minute guided walk takes you through their habitat gardens and other displays that showcase the beauty of plants native to North Carolina. The Tour starts inside the Education Center exhibits & information building at 10 am at 100 Old Mason Farm Road.  Also free tours of Coker Arboretum are given the third Saturday of the month (March - November), at 11 am. The Arboretum is located on the UNC-Chapel Hill Campus, at the corner of Cameron Ave. and Raleigh St. Meet at the stone circle just inside the arboretum from the arbor.

Enjoy a free spring wildflower hike at 9 am on Saturday, April 14 at Moorefields. The hike, which will explore the ridges and bottomlands near Seven Mile Creek, will be led by Milo Pyne, an N.C. State-trained botanist, senior regional ecologist for NatureServe, president of the Eno River Association, and an expert on Piedmont wildflowers. Moorefields, located at 2201 Moorefields Road in Hillsborough was built in 1785 as a summer home by Alfred Moore, a military and educational leader and prominent jurist who ultimately served as the second and last North Carolinian on the United States Supreme Court.  The entire property is maintained as a wildlife refuge and abuts Orange County's current 250-acre Seven Mile Creek Nature Preserve.  For more information about the hike, call (919) 732-4384 or write to

The Durham Symphony is dedicated to making classical music relevant and accessible to all members of our community.  Hillsborough's Cameron Park is host to a Free “Pops in the Park” concert on April 15 at 3 pm.  Cameron Park is located off of Cameron Street across the street from the Alexander Dickson House.  Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the music. 

Nearly 2,900 people have registered to date for the Saturday, April 21 Wells Fargo Tar Heel 10 Miler presented by CEP and the Fleet Feet Sports 4+ Mile Run. The race begins at 7:30 am showcasing UNC's Kenan Stadium, the UNC campus, Downtown, Chapel Hill, and the most beautiful neighborhoods in North Carolina!  Click on the website to register.

The Downtown Merchants of Historic Hillsborough [DTMHH] are pleased to announce their new Spring Event - Downtown Hillsborough’s Fresh Roots Festival and the accompanying FRESH ROOTS FEAST the following afternoon on April 21 & 22.  The Fresh Roots Festival is an integral celebration of all things that make up and accentuate the Downtown Hillsborough experience:  Shopping, Dining, Art, Music and more!  Fresh Roots Festival brings together every aspect of basic joys, pleasures and excitement then wraps them into a lovely gift to the community.  Join the festivities in Downtown Hillsborough on Saturday April 21st all day, into the evening!  This fantastic event is free to the public!  Look out for more information in the April Newsletter. 

Visit for information on Farmers Markets, Pick Your Own’s, Farm Stands, and Agriculture Tourism venues.

Be the Visitors Bureau Friend on Facebook. 

For the latest information on Franklin Street visit

With her extensive knowledge of the hospitality industry, new Director of Sales, Erin Dale (photo) brings more than 10 years of sales and catering experience to the Chapel Hill Courtyard by Marriott.

After graduating from the East Carolina University with a degree in hospitality management, Erin rooted her interests in the hospitality industry at well-known Triangle hotels. With her stellar understanding of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill market and awareness of corporate and affinity trends, Erin finds great joy in building relationships with various organizations and is looking forward to being an active part of the Tar Heel Nation.

Media Mentions

Ladies' Home Journal plans to feature the Triangle as a destination for families and couples in their May 2012 issue. 

Carrboro's Glasshalfull and Open Eye Cafe were featured in the February 16 North Carolina Weekend program on WUNC-TV. 

Chapel Hill is Named one of the "Ten Best Underrated College Towns" by NextGen Journal

Trilussa La Trattoria on West Franklin Street was Named One of the Top 15 Romantic Restaurants in the Country by Gourmet Live on February 8.

Chapel Hill’s Caffe Driade Named One of America’s Top Coffee Bars by Food and Wine Magazine in February.

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