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Charlotte cultural and historical sites kick off 2nd Saturday programs this weekend

The Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance is a consortium of local media dedicated to writing about the arts.

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  • 2nd Saturday highlights

    Alamance Battleground

    10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 8, July 13 and Aug. 10. 5803 S. N.C. 62, Burlington . Free, but donations are appreciated.

    During “Summer Fun at the Battleground,” artists and craftsmen will display and sell their handicraft. Food and souvenirs will be sold by the Alamance Battleground Friends. Special music and living history demonstrations can be enjoyed by all.

    Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum

    “An Etiquette Event,” 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 8; “African American Heritage Day” on July 13; “Palmer Farm Day” on Aug. 10. 6136 Burlington Road, Gibsonville.

    Etiquette classes will be held 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in Kimball Dining Hall. Cost is $10 per person, must register in advance. Free etiquette activities also will be held. Free lunch will be offered in Kimball Dining Hall for kids 1-18. Lunch sponsored by Race Against Child Hunger NC.

    Reed Gold Mine

    “Open Panning Competition,” 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 8; “Gem and Mineral Show” on July 13; “The Art of Gold” on Aug. 10. 9621 Reed Mine Road, Midland.

    Adult and junior panning competition designed to test skill at speed panning; open to the public. Trophies and prizes will be awarded to the top three winners. Fee and registration required.

    North Carolina Transportation Museum

    “The Art of Storytelling,” 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 8; “Art by Design” on July 13; “The Art of Modeling Trains” on Aug. 10. 411 S. Salisbury Ave., Spencer. $4-$6; free for ages 2 and younger.

    Stories about some of transportation’s legends and myths.

    For a full listing of 2nd Saturday events, visit

North Carolina boasts a rich history and culture, and this weekend, historical and cultural sites all over the state will display what they have to offer.

In the first of three 2nd Saturday programs, 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums and a history center will open to share arts, crafts, music and food. Almost all events are free and family friendly.

2nd Saturday, programming organized by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, began in 2010 to provide the state’s families with fun summer activities that wouldn’t break the bank. Simultaneously, 2nd Saturday programs educate attendees about their heritage.

“It gives us a great understanding of the character of our state,” said Fay Mitchell, the department of cultural resources’ public relations specialist. “We cover wars and great accomplishments. We cover what’s real. That’s attractive more and more in the virtual world. This really shows the great passions of our people.”

The President James K. Polk State Historic Site, just south of Charlotte in Pineville, will host “One Hearth, One Pot,” a period cooking demonstration by food historian Clarissa Clifton. Weather permitting, Clifton will cook a meal outside from 18th- and 19th-century recipes, including cakes baked on the blade of a hoe.

“When we have these artisans and folks who have a specific skill set,” said Scott Warren, a historic site manager at President Polk’s family land, “it helps show what life would have been like in the late 1700s and early 1800s in Mecklenburg County. They help bring the history to life.”

An etiquette day will be held at the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum in Gibsonville in conjunction with Durham’s A Cultured Alliance. Participants will learn about manners and graces recommended by North Carolinian Charlotte Hawkins Brown in her 1941 book, “The Correct Thing To Do, To Say, To Wear.”

In addition to table manners, polite conversation and grooming, the art of proper dancing and letter writing as Brown outlined it will be taught.

“I think that even if the medium is outdated – even if they don’t physically write letters – the message is timeless,” said Kara Deadmon, the museum’s historic interpreter. “You try to be graceful in your interactions with people.”

Participants will learn the box step involved in a waltz, as well as hear what Brown had to say about it in her book: “Excessive movements of the body are very ungraceful. Remember that dancing should be done with the feet and not the torso. Petting on the dance floor is very much out of order.”

“Some of the tips are applicable to today,” Deadmon says, “but some are hilariously misguided, strictly for the ’40s.”

This article is part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance, a consortium of local media dedicated to writing about the arts.
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