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Cabarrus Magazine

Episode 31: 'Up From' Podcast Looks At Fun Things to Do in Cabarrus This Season

Oct 11, 2019 02:16PM ● By Jason Huddle

Episode 31: Things to Do This Fall in Cabarrus

Huddle: (00:00)
A chill is in the air. The leaves have finally begun to change color and fall to the ground. Autumn has finally arrived and we have all the details on what to do this season in Cabarrus County. Welcome to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine, sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, CERTEC Automotive, Code Ninjas, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, Merle Norman Cosmetics and Edie's Salon and Your CBD Store of Concord. I'm your host Jason huddle.

Huddle: (00:34)
Welcome once again to another edition of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. So pleased you've chosen to join us yet again and we have so much to talk about today. As I just said, autumn has finally arrived in Cabarrus County. Believe it or not, we thought it would never get here, but it is and there are lots of things to do throughout the season, both with your family and with your significant others. And we wanted to sit down today with the great folks from Cabarrus Convention and Visitors Bureau and talk with them through some great ideas for what to do throughout the season as we head through the fall and into the Holidays. So it's going to be a great show. If you are looking for ideas on what to do this weekend or in the coming weeks, you want to stick around for this one. But before we get into all that, of course you know what time it is it shameless plug time

Huddle: (01:31)
I am not so modest that I am afraid to mention that we just signed our ninth sponsor to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. Our ninth sponsor is Cabarrus Eye Center. Their sponsorship will begin in November, so look for their spot to start then. But we are very excited to be partnering with them. And just so you know, if you are interested in sponsoring this program and becoming a community sponsor of Cabarrus, then you want to check us out and give us a call at (704) 782-2353 and talk to somebody about that because we only have 12 sponsorships available and we just sold number nine so there's only three left and when they're gone, they're gone. So make sure to give us a call and let us know if you are interested in sponsoring this program. It's very inexpensive and we'd be happy to have you as a partner. But we are thrilled to have Cabarrus Eye Center if you don't know where they are. They are on LePhillip Court right there in Concord in near Branchview. It is an awesome staff over there. They have state of the art facilities they can get all your eye care needs taken care of. So make sure you go and see them and we'll be talking with them here on the program in the coming weeks and months. So look forward to that. I also want to mention that you can still win Carolina Renaissance Festival tickets. Just go onto our Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine podcast page and interact in any way that you can. Comment, share, post a story, do, whatever on the page, and any interaction on the page automatically enters you for two tickets to the Carolina Renaissance Festival. And that's today's shameless plug time.

Huddle: (03:11)
When we come back, we're going to be talking with Julie Hinson from the Cabarrus Convention and Visitors Bureau on location at the Visitors Center. Stay tuned. 

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Speaker 5: (05:04)

Huddle: (05:04)
Welcome once again to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. I am sitting here with Julie Hinson from the Cabarrus Convention and Visitors Bureau and uh, she has graciously agreed to pinch hit for Ms. Donna Carpenter, the Grand Poobah and CEO. But, uh, Donna is traveling this week and so Julie has agreed to come in and speak with us about all things Fall going on in Cabarrus County. That's what we're talking about in the magazine this week, or this month rather. And, uh, I wanted to come in and talk to you guys, because if there's anybody that has the, is the authority on everything that's going on in Cabarrus County, it's the CVB.

Hinson: (05:44)
Absolutely. Thank you so much, Jason, for having us. And, um, I'm so happy to be here to talk about the Fall season. There is so much, like you said, going on in Cabarrus County and, um, we will hopefully add to all of the great things that you've mentioned in the magazine and the latest issue and some of the things you've talked about recently on the podcast, but, um, there is a lot to cover, so thanks for having us.

Huddle: (06:10)
Absolutely. My pleasure. So let's get into it. What are some things that are coming up here, uh, that we can get ready for it? There's even some things this weekend, correct?

Hinson: (06:19)
Absolutely. Yes. So we are speeding, uh, right into the fall season with the NTK at NHRA Carolina Nationals this weekend as Zmax Dragway. So it's going to be a great weekend. I think the weather is supposed to be wonderful. And the cool thing about, uh, NHRA Zmax Dragway is that every ticket has a pit pass. So you get to, uh, wander down into the pit area, check out your favorite drivers, and then you know, grab a seat and watch all the action on the track. And it's just such a fun time out at Zmax Dragway.

Huddle: (06:53)
Now, if you've never seen this, this is really astounding because pretty much they blow out the engine every race, right? So you can go down into the, onto the track, onto the pit and watch these guys actually rebuild an engine and get ready for the next race with within minutes, right?

Hinson: (07:09)
They do so much work down in the pits and it is really impressive to see and you have a front row seat for that with your ticket. So we definitely encourage fans to go down there and wander around the CVB. We'll also have our mobile visitors center out there. We've got the fan van packed with visitor information and things to do in the area as well. We've got some cool games and giveaways, so definitely come down and see our team. Uh, while you're taking in the event and pick up some other cool ideas for things to do over the weekend.

Huddle: (07:42)
Now is there a difference between this event and the one in the spring that happens?

Hinson: (07:46)
Yes. So the fall event is two wide, so they're going to be racing side by side and the event in the Spring is four wide, so you get side by side by side, by side in the, in the spring. So, so we're excited for the two wide to come back. And um, additionally, this weekend is the Oktoberfest at Cabarrus Brewing Company. So it's their fourth annual Oktoberfest. I know you recently chatted with Steve (Steinbacher).

Huddle: (08:13)
We did. He talked about that last week.

Hinson: (08:14)
He covered everything there. So they've got some really great new seasonal flavors and there are so many things happening with our area craft breweries. Um, all of them just have packed event calendars and fun new flavors. So when the seasons change and it really is a great time to stop in the breweries if you haven't, because there are so many cool events going on and there are so many new flavors to try.

Huddle: (08:37)
Yeah, absolutely. Uh, if you didn't catch last week's podcast, we talked all about Oktoberfest. We had Ford Craven from Southern Ctrain and Steve Steinbacher from Cabarrus Brewing and talked about everything that they've got going on and they're just two of many breweries that have popped up over the last few years that have really changed the face of what people are doing on a Friday night or a Saturday night in Cabarrus County. Right?

Hinson: (09:00)
Absolutely. The, the craft beverage scene, uh, we like to say the craft beverage scene that goes beyond beer as well, but, um, it continues to grow here in Cabarrus County. So, uh, we've put together a program called race to taste and that is a really neat coaster set with each of our craft beverage partners in Cabarrus County listed in there. So you can pick those up for free in the visitor center and sort of use that as your little guide to navigate to all those spots, whether it's a winery, a brewery, or uh, the distillery in Mount Pleasant.

Huddle: (09:29)
So I know obviously the drag race, the big draw this weekend, but if that's not your thing, what's something else that's going on this weekend?

Hinson: (09:38)
Yeah, so there are a lot of things that are going on all October long to check out. So some essential fall events, uh, Riverbend Farm out in Midland, they have a pumpkin patch. You can go in and bring your family and take a tractor ride out to the pumpkin field, pick a pumpkin to carve and take some really cool, you know, Fall family photos out there. Of course, the Carolina Renaissance Festival that you mentioned is, is going on, um, on weekends, Saturdays and Sundays through November 24th. Yes. Yep. So that's always a good time as well. And then at Great Wolf Lodge, they're celebrating Howl-oween all October long as well. 

Huddle: (10:17)
Oh I get it. 

Yes. Howl-oween. So it's a really cool way to celebrate the season. You can take your family out there, plan a staycation, and come into the visitor center. There are so many ideas of things to do, like the ones that we're going to cover today. Um, our travel counselors are here and can help you, you know, sort of plan your own little getaway for your family and Great Wolf Lodge is a, um, is the perfect place to do that this season.

Huddle: (10:42)
I want to talk about travel counselors when we get back from break. Is that cool? I got to throw it to break. Uh, we have our sponsors to pay homage to and then when we get back, I want to talk about what this service is and if it's available to people that live in Cabarrus.

Hinson: (10:56)

Huddle: (10:56)
All right, we'll be back right after these messages

Huddle: (10:58)
WeIcome back. I'm sitting here with Julie Hinson, of the Cabarrus Convention and Visitor's Bureau, and she's been very gracious enough to spend our entire time with us today. So thank you Julie. 

Hinson: (12:52)

Huddle: (12:53)
Uh, so right before the break we were talking about travel counselors. You guys have travel counselors. What, what is that and is that something that's available to people that live here as well?

Hinson: (13:01)
It definitely is available to folks who live here in Cabarrus County and our travel counselors are our visitor services team are, um, the folks who are greeting everyone who comes into the visitor center. And, uh, just providing all of the information and inspiration that you need for spending your time in Cabarrus County. So you don't have to be a visitor to come to the visitor center. And in fact, we offer a destination guide, the Cabarrus County, uh, Destination Motorsports Guide, and we call it that for that very reason, is it's not just for visitors, it's for everyone to, um, to use to just plan out a really fun time in Cabarrus County.

Huddle: (13:42)
So if I call up there and say, look, I just need something, I need to know what to do this weekend or I'm bringing my family in for a reunion, you guys can help them with planning that whole thing?

Hinson: (13:52)
That's right. Yes. And in fact, you know, with the holidays approaching, a lot of folks do have family coming into town and you know, it's so wonderful to be able to spend quality time with family, but also do something that they may have not seen or done before or something that you may not have done, um, as a resident and just explore like a visitor, um, in your own backyard. So the visitor center is the perfect place to find that information. Um, the destination guide is a great resource to start with. And then of course,, you can access the destination guide digitally. Um, there's even a feature in there on seasonal itineraries, so it breaks it down by seasons. So take a look at the, the seasonal itineraries feature, um, and check out the fall section for a lot of the things that we're talking about today.

Huddle: (14:39)
All right, cool. So let's get into it a little bit more about some things that are coming up and things to do this Fall with the fam, with the dates, whatever. Tell us some more.

Hinson: (14:49)
Yeah, so we briefly touched on the Southern Grace Distilleries. So they have their after dark tours, which are a cool way for the adult crowd to enjoy Halloween.

Huddle: (15:02)
We talked abotu that inthe magazine this month.

Hinson: (15:02)
Yes, absolutely. So they were actually just named, uh, North Carolina visitor attraction of the year by the North Carolina travel industry association. So, um, you know, we're so excited about that and the experience that is out at Southern Grace Distilleries. You can, um, head over to 73 and Maine, right around the corner and have a cocktail, have dinner afterwards. So that's a great one. If you're are headed out with that friends and then if you're with your family, don't forget about Spooky Seas over at Concord Mills. They've got all kinds of events for kids and, um, also an underwater pumpkin carving dive show. So how cool is that?

Huddle: (15:41)
So is that, is that at sea Life? Is that where that - 

Hinson: (15:43)
That is at sea Life aquarium, yes. So inside Concord mills at Sea Life, um, they have a schedule of events, um, for Spooky Seas throughout October. So definitely check out their website and find those times for the dive show and other events. And then, you know, shopping at Concord Mills, you can't beat it if you're working on your Fall, Fall wardrobe, you need a, a couple new sweaters or anything like that. Concord Mills is the place to be. They've also got a Boo Bash going on. Um, they've got trick or treating and some fun things for Halloween as well. So their event calendar is, is packed as well. So they're a good one to check out.

Huddle: (16:17)
How is it that Cabarrus County continues to have all these events? Well, I've grown up here. Okay. And there was nothing to do on a Friday or Saturday night when I was a teenager. How is it that we've continued to grow and, and now we're spawning all these events and things to do. I mean, there's a plethora of things.

Hinson: (16:35)
Yeah, there, there are. And we are so grateful for the amazing hospitality partners and the amazing community that we're in. Uh, because we could not share these stories without the folks who are behind everything at our attractions that are small businesses and, um, who are just continuously telling travelers and encouraging people to visit Cabarrus County. So, um, we're, we're so thankful for them and you know, compares County has so much to offer, whether it's, um, motorsports and shopping and so many other things that we've talked about. But also, you know, music history, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony is coming up in October, and that's a huge event, um, in the city of Kannapolis. And then you've got beautiful, beautiful natural areas. So, um, Midland Farms is having their first Fall Festival. We mentioned Riverbend, Rocky River Vineyards is having a Fall festival. So there's just such a variety of things to do here in Cabarrus County that it makes it a great spot for family, fun of all kinds and just a great spot for, um, everybody to enjoy together. Whether it's, um, you know, craft beverages and local food to, um, major attractions and races.

Huddle: (17:47)
Can I ask you some of your favorites?

Hinson: (17:49)
Some of my favorites. Oh, that is so tough. That is so tough. I think, I mean, everything on the list here is something that I would love to enjoy with my family. Um, so it's just a matter of getting everybody together and getting out to do things. But, um, you know, downtown Concord, we haven't mentioned yet with the Candy Crawl on, uh, you know, Halloween for sure, but family days at Cabarrus Arts Council, and all of the new businesses that are, you know, down that way, including Southern Strain and a great new coffee shop in Press and Porter. So, there's just so much to explore that you can carve out your own itinerary or really make time to sort of jump around and hit several things, um, and, and try to do it all in one day. But, and that's the great thing too, is as much outdoor, um, activities that there are, there are so many great indoor activities. So as the weather cools off too, you have so many options. 

Huddle: (18:44)
That was a nice question evade. 

Hinson: (18:46)
(Laughs) It's really hard for me to choose. It really is.

Huddle: (18:50)
When we come back, we're gonna wrap it up with Julie Hinson from the Cabarrus Convention and Visitors Bureau. Stay tuned.

Commercials: (18:57)

Huddle: (18:57)
Welcome back. We are so pleased you've stuck with us as we've been talking about things to do in Cabarrus this Fall. And one of the things that we were talking about before I turned the mic on is the fact that Fall does not stop on October 31st just because it's the - Thanksgiving and Christmas time, doesn't mean it's not still Fall. So let's get a little bit deeper into the Holiday season, uh, what are some things coming up?

Hinson: (20:37)
That's right. Um, I think the last day of fall is December 21st. So, you know, if we look out into the calendar we well, we have AutoFair in October. And then we moved to the, um, Can-Am World Fnals at the dirt track. That's always a great event in November. And then, um, you know, as the leaves start to fall from the trees and we move into the Holiday season, um, Speedway Christmas comes back, starting on November 22nd and that runs through January 5th this year. Um, along with all of the amazing parades, um, tree lighting ceremonies and um, just so many fun festive things to do in the area. The Holidays are really spectacular in Cabarrus County. 

Huddle: (21:19)
What's your favorite time of year? 

Hinson: (21:20)
Um, you know, I love Fall because I love the weather change. I love the change in seasons and I'm someone who wears sweaters year round. So to be able to go from indoors to out and be able to keep my sweater on, I love that. So, um, Fall is definitely a great time of year, Winter as well. I love the Holiday seasons because I love spending time with my family. But it's awesome to live in a community where you don't have to go far to find some really fantastic things to do with your family too.

Huddle: (21:48)
Absolutely. I, um, I personally like - everybody thinks I'm crazy, but I love it when we get to the short days and it's dark at like five o'clock. I don't know why, but I've always loved that time of year.

Hinson: (22:00)
Yeah. Yeah. It's just that change in season and you just, uh, you know, something fresh and new and um, you know, to find some of those things as the seasons change, um, we want to make sure to mention, um, the blog on because they, that is the spot where we'll post a lot of seasonal information. So, um, you know, roundups of Halloween events or indoor fun things to do as the weather cools off. So be sure to check out the blog on in addition to the events calendar because those are um, two really great spots to look for.

Huddle: (22:38)
Good to know. Anything else we need to know before I let you go today?

Hinson: (22:41)
Um, ah, let's see. I just want to definitely encourage everybody to come into the visitor center and um, you know, check with the folks here and find some great new things to do. Pick up a destination guide and um, yeah, just plan a staycation as we move into the Holiday season and the in the Fall season and um, enjoy Cabarrus County!

Huddle: (23:03)
Julie Hinson with the Cabarrus Convention and Visitors Bureau, thanks for hanging out with us today.

Hinson: (23:07)
Thanks so much for having me, Jason. It was fun.

Huddle: (23:13)
Again, I want to thank Julie for spending time with us today and doing this show today really makes me reminisce about growing up in this area. As I mentioned before, there was nothing to do and when I say there was nothing to do, I mean there was nothing to do. I remember in high school and those of you that grew up here in the eighties and nineties and even before, you know what I'm talking about. The thing that everybody did, and I say this with quotation marks, is they rode up and down highway 29 in front of Carolina Mall and we would find some vacant parking lot to park in and chat and talk and play music loud and, let's just say it wasn't my thing. Okay. If, if it was your thing, I'm sorry, I don't mean to offend, but looking back on it, it's kind of a dumb way to spend your time.

Huddle: (24:05)
There are much better ways to spend your time now on the weekend or even a weeknight here in Cabarrus County and I have said this on the program before. It is so important that we get back to spending quality time with each other. Our noses are buried in our phones or our computers or our work and we're not seeing each other. We're not communicating with each other. Our friends, our family, we've lost touch. That's what this show is about today, is finding ways to get back in touch with each other so that we can rekindle that deep relationship with each other that we so desperately need. So I encourage you, look on our community calendar. Go to, check out their calendar as well. There are tons of things to do. There is something for everybody's liking. So make sure that you go check that out. Find something to do this weekend and go have a good time. Get out of the house. It's going to be a beautiful weekend, little bit warmer than we would like it probably. And then it's going to get cold again. So it's going to be nice weather. Go out, go to the Renaissance Festival, go to the drag races, go do something. All right, next week we're going to be talking with several local artisans in different fields, talking about lost crafts. Uh, there are some people in this area that are doing things that just aren't done on a large scale anymore, but they are a lost art and one that does not need to be lost. So, uh, I'm looking forward to having some very special guests on next week. I'm not going to tell you who they are. You'll just have to tune in next week and find out. Once again, I want to thank our sponsors, Atlantic Bay Mortgage, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, CERTEC Automotive, Code Ninjas, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, Merle Norman Cosmetics and Edie's Salon and Your CBD Store of Concord. Always remember to support those who support us. I've been your host Jason Huddle. Until next week, get out of the house! 

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