NASCAR drivers to sign autographs at FanFest

HUNTERSVILLE – Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth will sign autographs for the first 300 attendees of the 2013 Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest on Oct. 11.

The three Sprint Cup Series drivers, along with Brian Vickers and Elliott Sadler, Nationwide Series drivers, will sign autographs 10 a.m.-noon. Michael McDowell and Drew Herring, both Nationwide Series drivers, and Darrell Wallace, Jr., Camping World Truck Series driver, will sign autographs  9-11 a.m. 

The drivers will host a 15-minute question-and-answer session prior to signing.

To receive an autograph, participants must receive a wristband, good for one autograph from each driver. Wristband distribution begins at 8 a.m.

The Fall FanFest includes a fan-judged car and motorcycle show. Mark Cronquist, head engine builder, will present the trophy for best engine. Joe Gibbs will present the trophy for best in show.

Participants can also enjoy the Home Depot Kids Workshop, a raffle, live music, giveaways, M&M’s race simulator and an appearance by Miss Sprint Cup.

The free event runs 9 a.m.-1 p.m., with food and drinks available to buy. Joe Gibbs Racing will donate funds from the event to the Charlotte chapter of Susan G. Komen.



Concert series to include Grammy Award nominee

CORNELIUS – The Cornelius Concert Series presents two concerts in October.

Singer Tom Fisch will perform on the front lawn of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 19600 Zion St., at 5 p.m. Oct. 12. This concert is part of the Mt. Zion country fair, which will run 3-7 p.m. and will include a bounce house, games, a pie contest, cornhole and food.

The Triumphant Quartet will perform in the Mt. Zion UMC sanctuary at 7 p.m. Oct. 16. The group formed in 2003 under the name Integrity Quartet. Their release of “Everday” earned them a Grammy Award nomination for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Album in 2009. Heavens Reign, a Southern gospel quartet from Mt. Zion UMC, will also perform.



Children can explore the outdoors at nuclear station

HUNTERSVILLE – Children will have the chance to go fishing, rock climbing, geocaching and encounter wildlife at Duke Energy’s second annual “Explore the Outdoors.”

The event will also include a 25-foot rock climbing wall, disc golf, a guided nature trail walk, a live worm bin and live animal races and fishing on the lake. Children can learn about different casting techniques in fishing, learn about soil and bugs, and how they work together to grow plants and how to use a GPS.

More than 20 organizations across Mecklenburg, Lincoln, Iredell, Catawba and Cabarrus counties will join to offer children and families a chance to experience traditional and non-traditional outdoor activities. 

The free event takes place noon-4 p.m. Oct. 26 at the EnergyExplorium, 13339 Hagers Ferry Road, at the McGuire Nuclear Station.



Tickets available for independent film screenings

CORNELIUS – The Cornelius Arts Center, 19725 Oak St., has tickets available for two upcoming indie film screenings.

Screenings feature free wine, beer and food tastings, as well as occasional live music and visits from filmmakers.

“Searching for Sugarman” on Oct. 12 takes place in South Africa in the late 1990s and follows the search for an American musician, Sixto Rodriguez, whose music was banned by the South African government for its opposition to apartheid.

“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” on Oct. 19 is a love story set in 1970s Texas Hill Country involving an outlaw, his wife and the local sheriff. The film received the U.S. Dramatic Cinematography Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Screenings begin at 7 p.m., followed by informal discussions. Tickets must be bought in advance and cost $7.50 for Cornelius residents and $8.50 for others.


Stargazing held at Fisher Farm Park

DAVIDSON – WOW - World of Wonder will hold a free night of stargazing for people of all ages 8-10 p.m. Oct. 25 at Fisher Farm Park, 21215 Shearer Road.

The physics department from Davidson College and the Charlotte Astronomy Club will provide equipment and expertise, but participants can bring their own telescopes.

Participants should bring a flashlight with red cellophane wrapped around the light to enable a better view of the sky. When arriving, participants should dim car lights and keep speed slow to avoid kicking up dust that would interfere with the view.
Dogs are welcome as long as they are on leashes and under good control.

WOW - World of Wonder, a nature discovery program for children with their families, is sponsoring the event, along with Davidson Lands Conservancy and Woodlands Discovery.



Amazing Maize Maze goes mobile

HUNTERSVILLE – Visitors to Rural Hill’s Amazing Maize Maze do not need to silence their cell phones. On the contrary, a new Maze App Experience allows participants to earn points with their Smartphones by completing team-building, trivia, trust actions and “ice breaker” activities throughout the maze.

The app costs $100 and can be downloaded on an unlimited number of devices for one-time use. The seven-acre maze provides a team-building experience with more than two-miles of interconnecting paths. Corporate groups and organizations can receive special rates and weekday reservations. 

The maze is open 10 a.m.- 5p.m. Fridays-Sundays with Flashlight Maze sales from 6-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Flashlight Maze tickets cost $15 for ages 13 and higher, $10 for ages 5-12 and free for ages 4 and under.

Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road off Beatties Ford Road, is part of the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Program.