The Focus 2021 Summer Guide Features Local Events & Live Music! The events are sorted by community and date, and we have only included information that we could confirm. We hope that you enjoy your summer!


Claremont’s Summer Concert Series 6/4, 7/29, 8/27, 9/10 The Summer Concert Series is a wonderful community event enjoyed by all ages as is a great way to engage with other community members! Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy on our spacious area at the pavilion. Food & Beverages available at 5:30. Bands to start at 7:00pm. Bands & Dates: June 4 – Bad Romeo; July 29 – Off The Wagon Dueling Piano Band; August 27 – Evenflow; September 10 – Extraordinaires. Pavilion is located at City Hall. 3288 E Main St., Claremont, NC 28610.


Sipe’s Orchard Home Car & Truck Show, 6/5, 9AM – 3PM, Mt. Zion Lutheran Church 4420 County Home Rd, Conover, NC 28613. Registration: 9AM – 12PM. Registration Fees: $20. Event includes food & music. For More Information, please contact DeLane Bowman at 828-312-2014.


Spring Into Summer 5/27, 5-7pm, Taft Broome Park, 115 7th Ave SW in Hickory. Looking for activities, camps, entertainment, and educational opportunities for children over the summer? The City of Hickory and the Catawba County Partnership for Children will host Spring into Summer on Thursday, May 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Taft Broome Park. This summer kick-off event will bring together informational booths to address that question for families. Entertainment and free hot dogs will be provided. COVID-19 vaccinations will also be available from StarMed.

Swingin’ Under The Stars 5/30, 6 PM, Union Square, Hickory, NC. Dance the night away as the Hickory Jazz Orchestra performs classic 1940s era big band arrangements from the great American songbook. For more information about Hickory’s history and 150th events, please visit

Side/Show 6/3 5:30 PM, Downtown Hickory, NC. Presented by the Western Piedmont Symphony and sponsored by the City of Hickory. Experience live music in a unique performance format that features live musicians in non-traditional settings scattered throughout downtown. For more information about Hickory’s history and 150th events, please visit

Seth Walker

Seth Walker

Sails Original Music Series 6/4, 6:30PM, The Sails on the Square, Hickory, NC. Enjoy live, original music in the heart of Downtown Hickory. Stay tuned to the Sails Original Music Series Facebook page for band and event information. Hosted by the City of Hickory and coordinated by Bob Sinclair Music. For more information about Hickory’s history and 150th events, please visit

SALT Block Bash at the Crawdads Stadium 6/5, 6:30 PM, L.P. Frans Stadium, 2500 Clement Blvd NW, Hickory, NC 28601. We’re celebrating the City of Hickory’s 150th anniversary! Come out for a night of fun, music and fireworks. Rock the stadium with a free outdoor concert by The Extraordinaires! from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. SALT Block partners and 150th sponsors will be on-site starting at 5:30 p.m. Concessions will be available. Fireworks at 9:30 pm. For more information about Hickory’s history and 150th events, please

Stanford Park Skateboard Competition 6/12, 10AM – 5PM, Stanford Skate Park, 1451 8th Street Drive NE, Hickory, NC 28601. In partnership with First in Flight Skateshop, the Hickory Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism Department is excited to announce the Stanford Park Skateboard Competition. The event will consist of a Best Run competition as well as a game of SKATE. The competition is open to skateboarders ages 10 and up. Participants can register online at for one or both portions of the event. Other sponsors of the event include Local Government Federal Credit Union, Jay Brown Realtors, Fastop, and ES Footwear. For more information, please contact Recreation Programmer Lance Riddile at 828-261-2254 or [email protected].

fireworksIndependence Day Extravaganza at Crawdads 7/4 7:00 PM, L.P. Frans Stadium, 2500 Clement Blvd NW, Hickory, NC 28601. Crawdads VS. Asheville Tourists! Bring your family and friends to celebrate our country’s independence by spending the night watching America’s past-time. Post-game we’ll have the largest fireworks show of the year!

Post-Game Christian Concert ft. the Rhett Walker Band at Crawdads 7/31, 5:00 PM, L.P. Frans Stadium, 2500 Clement Blvd NW, Hickory, NC 28601. The Rhett Walker Band will be taking the stage following the ‘Dads game, Crawdads VS. Greenville Drive!

Bases and Brews at Crawdads 8/21, Call for time (828) 322-3000, L.P. Frans Stadium, 2500 Clement Blvd NW, Hickory, NC 28601.Who doesn’t love beer and baseball? The Hickory Jaycees are partnering with the Hickory Crawdads to bring you Bases & Brews! A beer festival at the ball park. DD tickets are available too! Your ticket for Bases & Brews allows you to stay in the park for the Crawdads baseball game at 7pm with Crawdads VS. Winston-Salem Dash!


Memorial Day Veterans Ceremony 5/31, 2PM - 3PM, Lincoln County Veterans Memorial at the East side of the Lincoln County Courthouse, 1 Court Square, Lincolnton, NC 28093. A short program and wreath-laying ceremony at the Lincoln County Veterans Memorial. More than just bbq, family time, & the kick-off to summer, Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. The purpose of Memorial Day is to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. In 1950 Congress agreed upon a resolution asking the president to “issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe…Memorial Day, by praying, each in accordance with his religious faith, for permanent peace.” 20 years later in 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was finally passed, which declared that Memorial Day would take place on the last Monday in May and required that federal employees be granted a day off. In 1971, Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday intended to observe and honor the people who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. military.

Lincolnton Alive After Five, 6/24, 7/29, 8/26, 9/16, 6PM - 10PM, Downtown Lincolnton – East Main Street from the Courthouse to Poplar St., Lincolnton, NC 28093. Free summer outdoor concert series and car show in Historic Downtown Lincolnton, NC. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the music and community! Shops open late, food & beverages available for purchase at the event. Music Lineup for the 2021 Alive After Five Concert Series: Thursday, June 24 – The Embers; Thursday, July 29 – Too Much Sylvia, with special guest Bo Schronce; Thursday, August 26 – Black Water; Thursday, September 16 – Cat5.


Morganton FestivalThe Miss Morganton Pageant 8/22, The Morganton Community House, 120 N King St, Morganton, NC 28655. The Miss Morganton Pageant is open to young ladies, ages 7-24, who reside in North Carolina. The pageant takes place prior to the Historic Morganton Festival in August, the queens are offically crowned at the festival. For more information, please visit:

Historic Morganton Festival 8/27- 8/28 and 9/3 -9/4, 9/10 – 9/11, Fridays: 6-9PM, Saturdays: 10AM -7PM. You’re invited to come play in the streets (and on the square) of downtown Morganton for the Morganton Festival Weekends set for August 27-28 and September 3-4, 10-11, 2021. Friday evenings from 6:00-9:00pm, enjoy a socially distanced concert on the square. Then on Saturdays from 10:00am-7:00pm stroll and shop with food and craft vendors. 50 new vendors are featured each weekend! For more information, please visit:

Sunrise Run on the Greenway 8/28, Catawba River Greenway, Morganton, NC. The Sunrise Run on the Greenway is part of The Historic Morganton Festival and Hosted by the Historic Morganton Festival, Inc. and presented by Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge! It takes place on the morning of Saturday, August 28, along a beautiful stretch of the Catawba River Greenway. Pre-registration and packet pickup will occur at the race site between 5:00pm and 7:00pm at Catawba Meadows on Friday, August 27th. Follow the signs! For more information, please visit:

Morganton Arts Design and Engineering (MADE) Competition 9/10 – 9/11, Downtown Morganton, NC. After two successful fall team competitions and one spring individual competition, MADE is coming back to downtown Morganton during the final weekend of the Morganton Festival Weekends. Area Middle and High School students will compete over the two days in the “Rescue Robot Challenge”, an on site engineering and design challenge. MADE is one of the most successful collaborations between education and industry partners and it gives Burke County students a chance to experience STEAM-based activities that build skills relevant to many of the area industries. MADE encourages students to think outside of the box and engages participants in critical thinking, design, engineering and innovation. The Fall 2021 Rescue Robot Challenge is now taking entry forms with a total of 15 school team spots available (4 students max per team). In order to reserve your space, please contact Abby Nelson at [email protected] or 828-438-5280. Spaces are limited and are first come, first serve. Prize packages for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams in both middle and high school divisions will be awarded including over $3,000 going directly to technology education. In addition to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes, each school that signs up will receive a $250 stipend to go toward their competition entries. The Fall 2021 competition is generously supported by Work in Burke, City of Morganton, Burke County Public Schools, and TOSS. Now’s the time to join the challenge!


Nightmove Band

Nightmove Band

Summer on the Square Free Concert Series 6/18, 7/16, 8/13, 6PM, Alexander County Courthouse Lawn, located at 29 West Main Avenue, Taylorsville. In case of rain, concerts will be moved to The Center’s Educational Complex (70 Hiddenite Church Road) with announcement on B86 radio and facebook notification. The Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center is excited to present their annual Summer on the Square Free Concert Series this year. These FREE outdoor music events are presented in partnership with the Town of Taylorsville and the Alexander County Government. Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets for their convenience. Lineup: June 18 – Cosmic Cowboys of Catawba County. The Cozmic Cowboys, based in Newton, entertain their audiences with traditional and outlaw country music ranging from Elvis to Southern Rock; July 16 – The Nightmove Band’s performance of R & B, Beach, Classic Rock, and Funk music. The 5 piece band features 4 vocalists that each take a turn at singing lead. The band consists of guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, drums, saxophone, and percussion; August 13 – Shakedown’s will round out the 2021 Summer on the Square series. Known for their unique blend of beach music, rock ‘n roll, Motown, and Top 40, Shake Down is a variety band that provides a mixture of both past and present. Shake Down entertains audiences with energetic music that appeals to all ages. To learn more about the Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center call (828) 632-6966, email [email protected] or visit

Vertical Mile Trail Race

Vertical Mile Challenge Trail Race

The 7th Annual Vertical Mile Challenge Trail Race 6/19, 8AM, Rocky Face Park., 3451 Rocky Face Church Rd, Hiddenite, NC 28636. There will be two race distances: a Vertical Mile (8 loops, approximately 16 miles) and a Half-Vertical Mile (4 loops, approximately 8 miles). Both races will begin at 8:00 a.m. Online registration is available at The entry fee for either race is $35. Online registration ends at 11:59 p.m. on June 18. There is no race day registration. Packet pick-up is race morning starting at 6:30 a.m. until the race begins at 8:00 a.m. at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area (3451 Rocky Face Church Road in Hiddenite, NC). At the base of the mountain, the start/finish line will feature an aid station with water, Gatorade, soft drinks, and salty and sweet snacks. Pickles and pickle juice will also be available. For more information, please visit:


Shake Down Band

Shake Down Band

Valdese Family Friday Nights Summer Concert Series, 5/28, 6/4, 6/11, 6/18, 6/25, 7/2, 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30, 8/6, 8/20, 8/27, 9/3, 7PM, Downtown Valdese, 100 Main Street West, Valdese, NC 28690. During the FFN Summer Concert Series, concessions will be for sale and different civic groups will offer 50/50 raffles every Friday. Season lineup cards will be available for pick up at the concession stand. Myra’s classic and antique car show will be held at 6pm each Friday. The Valdese Summer Concert Series is proudly supported by presenting sponsor Farris Insurance Agency, Inc., partner sponsors Los Compadres Mexican Restaurant and Settlemyre Nursery! 2021 Season Lineup: May 28, 2021 Featuring Music by: CAT 5 BAND- Beach; June 4: THE SHAKE DOWN BAND – Beach & Variety; June 11: FRACXURED – Rock, Beach, & Country; June 18: WHITEWATER BLUEGRASS COMPANY- Bluegrass; June 25: SKATERINK JUKEBOX- Variety;July 2: Valdese Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks Display – July 3, 2020 – Featuring Music By: SOUTHSIDE STATION – Variety; July 9: FOX AND COMPANY – Variety & Dance; July 16: THE SUPER 60’S – 60’S Variety; July 23: RATED PG- Variety, Classic Rock; July 30: LITTLE JOHNNY TRAILER TRASH – Country & Variety; August 6: 28690 & FRIENDS – Americana & Variety; August 20: THE NIGHT MOVE BAND –Beach & Variety; August 27: TBA ; September 3 – Featuring Music by: TOO MUCH SYLVIA – Variety. For further information about events in Valdese and the full Family Friday Nights Concert Schedule go to

Valdese Independence Day Celebration 7/2, 5PM, Old Rock School, 400 Main Street West, Valdese, NC 28690. Independence Day Celebration with Southside Station who delivers a unique song list of legendary dance hits, rock, country, yacht rock and singer/songwriter hits. The group consists of veteran musicians that have played with Charlie Daniels, ZZ Top, Styx, Foreigner, Jimmy Buffett, Sara Evans, Sheryl Crow and many more. The evening’s entertainment will begin at 7pm and will continue until 11pm. Fireworks will be launched from the football field behind the Old Rock School at approximately 9:30pm. Main Street will close at 5pm to allow cars for the Classic & Antique Car Cruise In fill the downtown area. Amusement Rides for all ages & plenty of great eats! Event Schedule: 5pm – Main Street Closes; 6:45pm – Opening Announcements; 7pm – SOUTHSIDE STATION; Dusk – FIREWORKS! – Shot from behind the Old Rock School. Event Parking: Faet Street Parking Lot, Bobo Street Parking Lot, Italy Street Parking Lot, Town Hall Parking Lot, Secondary Streets. Handicap Parking: Located on Rodoret Street near the Dry Cleaners. Restrooms: Public Restrooms are located at Faet Street Parking Lot, Old Rock School Front Parking Lot, Town Parking Lot at Wells Fargo. Food: Concessions provided by Old Colony Players & Check out our downtown restaurants!

2021 Historic Valdese Waldensian Festival will be held 8/13 & 8/14, Please visit for times and details. Saturday Music Featuring: THE TONEZ from 3-5:30pm – Beach & Variety & BLACKWATER BAND from 7-10pm – Beach & Variety. The Waldensian Festival held annually in August, began as the “Festival of the Glorious Return” to commemorate one of the most important dates in Waldensian history. In the late 17th century King Louis XIV of France, attempted to destroy the Waldensian people. At his command, thousands were killed and those who survived were thrown into prison. After other European protestants protested against the persecution, those men who survived prison were released and forced into exile in Geneva, Switzerland. They were commanded to leave their valleys, and traverse the bitter cold Alps during the dead of winter. Many deaths occurred during the journey, but when the survivors reached Geneva, they were treated with generous hospitality. But they were still determined to return to their homeland. In August 1689, led by Henry Arnaud, 800 men fought their way back through a French force of 2,500. Because of the unconquerable spirit which led them home, the celebration of the glorious return of the Waldenses to their valleys has been celebrated each August for more than 300 years. For many years a community picnic and worship service on August 15th commemorated the date in Valdese. In 1976, the first festival of the Glorious Return was held in Valdese on the second Saturday in August. The event is presented by the Town of Valdese each year to commemorate the heroic Waldensian people who founded Valdese in 1893. Honoring the Town’s unique heritage with a variety of events that fills the quaint downtown with over 15,000 visitors and residents during the 2 day festival celebration. The Friday night kickoff features live music, classic car show, amusement rides and a special presentation of the outdoor drama “From This Day Forward”. The weekend continues on Saturday when Main Street is lined with over 170 food/art/craft vendors, amusement rides, bocce tournament, church service, traditional Waldensian meal, open art competition, attraction tours, street dances and live music throughout the day. The Valdese community looks forward to sharing the celebration with you!


Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge

MerleFest 9/16 – 9/19, Wilkes Community College, 1328 S Collegiate Dr, Wilkesboro, NC 28697.
MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, serves as an annual homecoming for musicians and music fans. Held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of American music legend Doc Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of ‘traditional plus’ music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts numerous artists, performing on 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs. Music Lineup (as of now): Tedeschi Trucks (Friday), Melissa Etheridge (Sunday), Mavis Staples (Sunday), LeAnn Rimes (Friday), Sam Bush (Saturday), Donna The Buffalo (all 4 days), Scythian (Thurs., Fri., and Sat. performances), and The Waybacks (Fri. and Sat.) will be joining the annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Additional artists scheduled to perform will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets will go on sale June 10 and Chris Austin Songwriting Contest accepting entries through June 15th. Tickets can be purchased online at