July is a month of celebration beginning with America commemorating its birth as a nation. In this month’s issue we continue the expression of celebration with reflections of our past and reverence for accomplishments that have brought us to the present.

Our feature story captures the successful undertaking between Thalian Association Community Theatre and the USS Carolina Battleship, a partnership two years in the making, resulting in live performances of Mr. Roberts on the fantail of the battleship.  In “The Showboat Earns its Name Again” we glean a bit about the show, the battleship, and behind the scenes insights. Mr. Roberts is set for 13 performances in July with the first show commencing on July 4th – complete with a fireworks display. This will be a thrilling way to observe our nation’s Day of Independence, and a grand start to a long-awaited collaboration sure to captivate audiences.

We’d also like to celebrate our complex, local history with an enriching story about the travails surrounding the tobacco industry, in and around the Cape Fear region. “Tobacco Farming in the Cape Fear: A Look Back” is the first installment of a two-part article that depicts the significance that tobacco farming has played in our local heritage, both economically and socially.

In “Memory Over Matter: Local Comic Book Store Continues Spreading the Word”, a local shop expands its horizons as an outlet for pop culture while also becoming a motivating catalyst for young readers.

In these balmy days of summer, we celebrate our coastal surroundings by bringing you fresh and flirty fashions in, “The Joy of Shopping at Lula Balou”, this month’s beach-friendly fashion spread. If the mercury in your thermometer reaches unbearable heights, cool off with, “What’s SUP?” an enticing look into local water sports offered by Wrightsville SUP.

The month of July is prime for outdoor adventures and in “A Splendid Jaunt on the Appalachian Trail: Carver’s Gap to Grassy Ridge Bald” we share a glimpse of what to expect on an invigorating hike along a portion of the  Appalachian Trail, accessible here in North Carolina.

Summer is a time for celebration and a time for appreciation. Take time this month to value the strides we’ve made as a nation and as a community, and then find inner solace as you bask in the divinity of nature, whether it be amid the lushness of our scenic forests or at the edge of our shimmering shores.

Until next month –

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