Is it just me, or is October becoming as busy as the Thanksgiving and Christmas season?
Autumn brings plenty to do in Belmont, from football games to fall festivals. Here's a look at ways to fill up your calendar:
South Point High School will hold its 34th Annual Barbecue on Oct. 24. It's the school's only fundraiser of the year. Students sell tickets and have a lot of fun dressing teachers up like swine to create a festive vibe throughout the school.
Get your 'cue from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the school, 906 South Point Road. Plates are $6 and include slaw, rolls, chips and dessert. Deliveries available with a five-plate minimum.
Details: 704-825-3351 or visit www.gaston.k12.nc.us/ schools /southpoint/.
If you want to learn more about plans for the new String Bean Market & Deli on Main Street in downtown Belmont, make plans to attend the next Chamber of Commerce networking reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday.
Sunbelt Rentals will co-host the reception in the parking lot at 106 N. Main St., the former Emporium on Main. The building is under renovation to house The String Bean and Just Hardwoods Flooring.
There's no charge, but registration is requested by contacting the chamber at email@example.com.
On Oct. 23, the chamber will host “50 Great Tips for Marketing in a Shaky Economy” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 115 of the Classroom Building at the Gaston College East Campus, 7239 Wilkinson Blvd. The workshop will be presented by Mike Sumner, president of The Sumner Group in Gastonia, and will cover ways to cope with the current economic downturn.
Admission is free for members of any chamber in Gaston County. Others may attend for $25. To register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-825-5307.
The Chamber also will host a special Halloween Networking Reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at Belmont's McKenney Dealerships and Community One Bank.
Families are welcome. Pumpkin painting and other fun activities for children are planned.
Carnival games, a moon bounce, super slide, cupcake walks, costume contest, food, candy and prizes will draw lots of little ghouls and goblins to downtown Belmont on Oct. 25.
Belmont Parks & Recreation offers a Halloween Bash from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 25 in downtown. Judging for the costume contest begins at 7 p.m. Details: www.belmontparksandrec.com.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden continues to draw big crowds with its “Something's A-Flutter” exhibit running through Nov. 9.
On Saturday, two workshops are planned in conjunction with the live butterfly exhibit.
In “Butterfly Gardening,” participants can learn how to attract the dainty insects to their shrubs and flowers. A tour of the garden is included, and everyone will receive a plant to take home to start their own butterfly garden. The workshop runs from 10 a.m. to noon and costs $15 for members, $18 for nonmembers.
Youngsters can sign up for “Beginning Composition for Budding Photographers” from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. Haley Glatzer, principal photographer of Capture the Light photography workshops for kids, will lead the program. The event is open to children ages 10-14. Cost is $20 members, $24 nonmembers.
Friday Night Live and Belmont's Summer Concert Series may have wrapped up, but outdoor concerts are still going on at the nearby U.S. National Whitewater Center. Upcoming shows include reggae by Dub Axxess on Thursday, alternative '80s and '90s tunes by Orange Crush on Oct. 23 and bluegrass by the Moonshine Racers on Oct. 30. For details, visit www.usnwc.org.
If you really want to start planning ahead, the Belmont Chamber of Commerce is already taking applications for the annual Belmont Christmas Parade.
This year's parade will be at 4 p.m. Dec. 2. More than 100 floats, cars, bands and other participants are expected this year. To learn more about the parade, visit www.montcrossareachamber.com