Hickory – Celebrating 40 years in print this year, FOCUS announces its annual Swimsuit & Summer Guide issue, on the stands Thursday, May 24!

The deadline to submit a photo to be a swimsuit model in FOCUS’ 2018 Swimsuit & Summer Guide Issue is Thursday, April 12th, at midnight.

The contest is presented by Michelob Ultra.

Again this year, women and men of all types, sizes and ages over 18 are encouraged to submit a photograph and try for a chance to be a part of this famous issue of FOCUS.

Email your photo—it can be just a clear cell phone photo, waist up, with a big smile on your face—to [email protected]. Include your home, business and or cell phone number as well as your address. You will receive a response from FOCUS to confirm your entry. If you don’t receive a response within a day or two, please call the FOCUS office to let us know.

All FOCUS models chosen to appear in the issue will be notified via email or telephone by the end of the day Monday, April 16th. Call FOCUS at 828-322-1036 for more information. See the ads on page 15 and 11 this week.

If you were chosen to model for FOCUS in 2016 or before, feel free to enter again! Models chosen for 2017’s issue will have to wait a year to re-enter the contest.

Up to four men & four women will win free swimwear & lots of goodies from our sponsors, The Olde Hickory Taproom and The Hickory Community Theatre.

Feeling a little shy about posing in a swimsuit, but really want to enter? No worries, Hickory area professional photographer & Sponsor Spencer Huffman of Pixelated Perceptions will photograph our models for the Swimsuit/Summer Guide, and he’s a great man to work with. The models always say they have so much fun!

The 16th Annual Hickory Hops beer festival will be held on April 21, 2018, from 1 till 6pm. The festival is organized by Hickory Downtown Development Association and hosted by Olde Hickory Brewery at 232 Government Ave. SW, Hickory, NC 28602.

It offers plenty for everyone, from inexperienced beer novices to hardened beer fest veterans anxious for something unusual. The festival will feature live music and will take place rain or shine. No one under 21 will be allowed to enter, including non-drinkers/designated drivers; no coolers, no children, and no pets please. Tickets to sample beers are $30 in advance and $40 the day of the festival.

Tickets are on sale at Amos Howards Restaurant & Brew Pub and online at www.hickoryhops.com. Designated driver tickets are $10. Hickory Hops is sponsored by R.H. Barringer, United Beverages, Focus Newspaper and First Security Insurance. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone!

Hickory Community Theatre’s next production is True West, by Sam Shepard. It opens in the Firemen’s Kitchen April 13, playing through April 29. This dark comedy is the story of two brothers, Austin and Lee. When Austin is house sitting for their mom, Lee shows up and bullies his way into staying, too. Meanwhile, Austin’s trying to finish a screenplay, and before long, Lee is trying to take that over too, resulting in a showdown that changes both their lives. This play is rated R for adult language.

Ticket prices are Adults, $16, Seniors/Students $14. For tickets go to www.hickorytheatre.org or call 828.328.2283.

Photographs may also be mailed to Focus Contest, P.O. Box 1721, Hickory, NC, 28603.

Models will also be featured at www.focusnewspaper.com through the summer as part of our Summer Guide online and on our mobile app.

FOCUS’ Summer Guide is a handy reference for things to do & see – festivals, historic sites, amusement parks, conventions, all within a day’s drive of Western North Carolina. Be sure to pick up this issue on May 24th to plan a great summer!

Photo by Spencer Huffman