Wednesday, December 23, 2009

GOOD NEWS from Kate McCall

Kate McCall is celebrating its 8th Anniversary today! Stop by today for 8% off of your total in celebration of this milestone. Congratulations! We look forward to many more years of shopping at Kate McCall in downtown Lincolnton!
If you have any GOOD NEWS that you would like to share with the downtown community, just email it to

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Go Local: Give Jingle Bucks

Having a hard time finding the perfect Christmas gift for that person who has everything? The Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton (DDA) may have the answer.

The DDA is offering Jingle Bucks for sale from now through Christmas. Jingle Bucks are gift certificates that can be spent with any participating business in downtown Lincolnton. The certificates are available in $5, $10, and $20 denominations.

The Jingle Bucks further promote the “Go Local Lincolnton” campaign that the DDA initiated this year.

“When you shop at locally owned businesses, you are ensuring that more of your money stays right here in Lincolnton and Lincoln County,” said Stephen Starnes, DDA Chair. “And by giving Jingle Bucks, you are opening the doors to downtown Lincolnton’s unique independent and locally owned businesses for your recipient.”

Jingle Bucks are available for purchase from the Business & Community Development office, 114 East Main Street, downtown Lincolnton. For more information, call (704) 736-8915.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2009 Lincolnton Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting a Huge Success

The streets of downtown Lincolnton were lined with kids young and old this Sunday - all anxious for the 2009 Lincolnton Christmas Parade. This year's parade featured entries from scout troupes, local businesses, dance teams, churches, pageant queens and more - each sporting its own creative flair.

Some of the highlights of the parade included Parade Grand Marshals (and Man and Woman of the Year) Jim and Teresa Watson, Lincolnton Mayor and City Council, the bands of North Lincoln, East Lincoln, and Lincolnton High Schools, and everyone's favorite jolly ol elf - Santa Claus.

The Arts Council of Lincoln County judged parade entries and awarded the following entries with honors:

Best of Show: Boger City United Methodist Church - "Whoville"
1st Place: St. Dorothy's Catholic Church Youth Group - "The Nativity"
2nd Place: Glamorous Productions - "Glamorous Christmas"
3rd Place: Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln County - "Building Homes for Our Community"

Hundreds stuck around after the parade for the 51st Annual Lincolnton Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. After a brief welcome by Mayor Pro Tem, Dr. Les Cloninger, Eric Reel, Pastor of Freedom Church, gave an invocation. Teresa Watson led the crowd in singing a couple of Christmas carols, which was followed by the lighting of the community Christmas Tree by Barbara Dudley, President of the Pilot Club. Musical performances by the Kiser Intermediate School Chorus and St. Dorothy's Catholic Church Spanish Youth Choir rounded out the evening.

Be sure to check out the photos of the event from The Carolina Scoop and the Lincoln Tribune.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spend With Those You Know

This holiday season, please spread your cheer where it counts, at home. Convenience may dictate online shopping or the mall, but think about making the holidays brighter for your friends and neighbors. Money spent on Main Street stays within the community and sustains those who need it most. When you shop with local business owners, the money you spend re-circulates in your community. Local business owners employ local workers, pay local taxes, give to local charities, and buy goods and services from other local businesses. Money spent with out of town business owners leaves Lincolnton and has relatively little impact in our town.

Times are tight and not everyone has money to give this season, but we can all choose where to do our holiday shopping. The dollars you spend have a real impact on the health of your city and by spending on Main Street you create jobs on Main Street. Local business owners have supported our hometown by choosing to operate in Lincolnton; please support them this year when you do your holiday shopping and spend with those you know.

Main Streets aren't magical places just during the holidays; they are centers for community gathering and unique shopping and dining experiences throughout the year. Nothing sends this message better than this video. It celebrates all the aspects that make Lincolnton a great place to live, work, and play.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Holiday Events in Downtown Announced

The 2009 Holiday Season is upon us and downtown Lincolnton is gearing up for a calendar full of Holiday events sure to get everyone in the spirit.

Lincolnton Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting Ceremony

Sunday, November 29th
4:00 p.m.
Downtown Lincolnton

Call 704-736-8915 for more information

Court Street Grille Downtown Carriage Rides

Every Friday & Saturday in December, including December 25th & 26th
6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Court Street Grille

Call 704-736-8915 for more information

The Nutcracker

Friday, December 11th - Sunday, December 13th

7:00 p.m.

James W. Warren Citizens Center

Call 704-732-9055 for more information

3rd Annual Jingle Bell 5K Run
Saturday, December 19th

9:00 a.m.

Gaston College - Lincoln Campus

Call 704-716-4595 for more information

Visit with Santa Downtown

Friday, November 27th 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 28th 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 3rd 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday, December 4th 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 5th 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 10th 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday, December 11th 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 12th 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 17th 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday, December 18th 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 19th 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ghouls and Goblins Spotted on Main Street

Downtown businesses welcomed children and parents from A Place To Grow as they trick-or-treated along Main Street this morning. This year, we saw everything from a giant banana to Frankenstein -- not to mention a few Jack-O-Lanterns and princesses too.

GOOD NEWS from Treasures on Main:

We have been open since March 2009 and having a great time with the shop. We would like announce our Holiday Open House on December 4 & 5 from 10 AM - 9 PM. Treasures on Main is a 'charming destination' that has something for everyone. Please stop by during our Holiday Open House for some holiday fun, a chance to win a free gift and a unique shopping experience. Treasures on Main has lots of local by Kae Wright and Gail Little, wood bowls by Sam Ledbetter, and local made pottery, jewelry, purses and bags....just to name a few!

Regular Shop Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10AM - 6 PM

If you have any GOOD NEWS that you would like to share with the downtown community, just email it to

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

DDA Board of Directors Call for Nominations

The Downtown Development Association is a volunteer driven organization that relies on the wealth, wisdom and work of volunteers to ensure that its mission is accomplished.

If you would like to volunteer, DDA has a wide range of volunteer jobs available to suit your interest from festival & event planning to business recruitment and retention to beautification and streetscape & storefront design.

No matter what your interest-throwing parties, design or crunching numbers DDA has a volunteer job for you.

Volunteer opportunites can be for a limited one time occurance or an ongoing engagement

We are accepting nominations to serve on the Board of Directors. If you would like to nominate someone to serve please complete the nomination form at return it to us by Wednesday, November 11th

Downtown Development Assocaition of Lincolnton, Inc.
Board of Directors

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Veterans Appreciation Cruise-In November 8th

If you're a fan of classic cars - or if you own a classic car - whether it be American muscle, hot-rods, or classic cruisers - downtown Lincolnton is the place to be on Sunday, November 8, 2009 for the semi-annual Downtown Lincolnton Veterans Appreciation Cruise-In. The event, hosted by the Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton and Holy Cross Lutheran Church is open to all cars and trucks manufactured in or before 1974.

Special guests Hillbilly Hot-Rodders will make an appearance with their Radical Rat Rods.

The event will be held from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on East Main Street in downtown Lincolnton. Organizers request a $2 flag donation, and that no cars arrive before 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Downtown Business Owners Featured in Lincoln Times-News "Women in Business" Section

Amy Brown, owner of Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio and Studio 220 Salon & Spa, and Kim Noles and Erin Lockman, owners of The Dancer's Edge Dance Studio were featured in the special "Women in Business" section of October 19, 2009 edition of the Lincoln Times-News.

For the full articles, visit, or click here for the feature on Amy Brown, or here for the feature on Kim Noles and Erin Lockman.

Congratulations to these women for their accomplishments as business owners in downtown Lincolnton!

Friday, October 16, 2009

36th Street Bakery Cafe, Inc. Receives 2009 Best of Lincolnton Award

WASHINGTON D.C. -- 36th Street Bakery Cafe, Inc. has been selected for the 2009 Best of Lincolnton Award in the Cafe category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2009 USCA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. The USCA's mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

36th Street Bakery, Cafe & Catering operates a bakery on Westview Drive, and a cafe at 101 North Court Square. The cafe offers a full menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and sides, along with an espresso bar, popular items from the bakery, wine, and beer. Visit to stay up-to-date on the cafe's latest offerings and events.

Congratulations to Rick and all of the staff at 36th Street Bakery, Cafe & Catering!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Return to the period of 1841-1886 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church

1886 OCTOBER 25 5:00 -7:00 PM

For One Magical Evening……
Return to the period of 1841-1886 and join St. Luke's Episcopal Church in celebrating its historic past with:
  • Plans for St. Luke’s historic preservation
  • Tours of the church and graveyard with Linda Hoyle, Jason Harpe and others
  • Re-enactors in period dress
  • Dan Barefoot as Maj. General Stephen Dodson Ramseur
  • Rick Owens, preservation consultant
  • Reception based on the crops of the period
  • Archives and historic photos of St. Luke’s
  • Live music with Rick and Myra Ramseur
Free event. Reserve your space for the tour time at either 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 6:30. Please call to reserve a space at 704-732-9179 or email your requested time and number of guests to

Friday, October 9, 2009

Arts on the Run Postponed

The Arts Council of Lincoln County's Arts on the Run 5K has been postponed. Stay tuned to for the reschedule date.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two Downtown Businesses Partner to Offer a Special Treat for Your Furry Friend

Heavenly Paws Grooming and Tindall's Professional Photography are partnering to offer a special day of photography for pets. On November 7, 2009, you can take your furry friend to Heavenly Paws for portraits by J.J. Tindall of Tindall's Professional Photography. This will mark the third time the two businesses have paired for this special promotion.

Photos will be taken using a generic background; however, Christmas cards featuring the photos will be available to order. For more information or to make an appointment, call Heavenly Paws at (704) 732-8000.

Heavenly Paws is also accepting donations of food, supplies, toys, and even money to benefit needy animals. If you would like to make a donation, supplies can be dropped off at the shop, located at 213 North Aspen Street in downtown Lincolnton, from now through the Holidays.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Strange Change Featured on WLON's Friday Profile

If you missed Events & Marketing Specialist Julie Sipe talking about the Strange Change promotion on WLON's Friday Profile this morning, don't worry, you can hear it here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Strange Change" Initiative to be Featured on WLON

So by now you've probably heard the term "Strange Change" used a few times, and you know it involves using $2 bills and $1 coins when shopping at local businesses as a way of showing your support for those businesses, but you're still asking "why?"

Tune in to WLON 1050-AM at 10:00 a.m. Friday, October 2, 2009 to find out. DDA Events & Marketing Specialist Julie Sipe will be on-air to explain the project and what we hope to accomplish through it. In the meantime, if you haven't already, read up on the "Strange Change" initiative so that you will have an even better understanding of the project and the impact that it can make.

Arts on the Run Slated for October 10

The Arts Council of Lincoln County presents Arts on the Run, the organization's first annual 5K run/walk for the arts. The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 10, 2009 at the Lincoln Cultural Center, 403 East Main Street, Downtown Lincolnton. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the race will start at 9:00 a.m.

"Early bird" registration (for those who register before October 6) is $20; those who register after October 6 or at the event will pay a $25 registration fee. The first 25 runners who register will receive a free T-shirt and race medallion.
For more information, visit or call (704) 732-9044.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

21st Century Farmers Market Brings Electronic Payment Options for Consumers

The Lincoln County Farmers Market in Downtown Lincolnton is moving into the 21st Century - the 21st Century Farmers Market Program that is. Beginning Saturday, October 3, 2009, the downtown market will accept EBT, debit and credit cards to purchase local farm products.

A partnership between NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and Leaflight Inc., a Chapel Hill non-profit agency promoting community development, is making this possible. NC Cooperative Extension is the local partner that submitted the successful application on behalf of the Lincolnton market location. The Lincoln County Farmers Market - Downtown Lincolnton location was among twelve markets chosen across the state to implement this new program.

"Because of this partnership, it will be easy and convenient for customers and farmers to use electronic payments," said Extension agent Leigh Guth. "So many people don't carry cash - electronic payment should be a win-win for customers and farmers."

To use electronic payment, customers will swipe their cards at a central terminal operated by the market manager and purchase market tokens worth $5.00. The $5 tokens will work like cash with any vendor accepting tokens. Customers can purchase vegetables, plants, art, meat or bakery goods and will receive change from purchases. Customers using EBT cards (which replaced food stamps in 2002) will receive tokens worth $1.00 each and can use their tokens to purchase food and plants that produce food. Customers cannot receive change from EBT tokens. Participating farmers include Wanda Avery, Loyd Lewis, Mary Deal and Art Duckworth.

The statewide goal is to make fresh local produce at farmers markets accessible to customers using EBT cards. Leaflight provides the market with a wireless card processing terminal, bookkeeping and accounting services for the electronic purchases. By using one processing terminal and tokens, fees are kept at a minimum for farmers and new customers are able to shop at the farmers market.

For more information, contact Leigh Guth, North Carolina Cooperative Extension family and consumer sciences agent, at (704) 736-8462.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Travis Powell to Headline Last Concert of 2009 Alive After Five Season

The Alive After Five Summer Concert Series is slated to conclude its 2009 season Thursday, September 24 with the music of Travis Powell, presented by Tindall's Professional Photography.

Powell has spent the last six years playing music and entertaining crowds all over the Southeast, including shows at Nashville's own Cadillac Ranch. Covering music from a variety of artists, Powell says those attending will hear country songs from popular artists such as Keith Urban and Jason Aldean, southern rock by Bob Seger and the Marshall Tucker Band, and pop-rock hits from bands like Nickelback. Powell has also written many original songs, some of which will debut on his self-titled CD to be released in late October. His single, One Step Ahead of a Heartache, has aired on country radio station WSOC 103.7 FM.

Powell's band members include three of the most talented musicians in the region who have played in the area's hottest nightclubs and shared the stage with such artists as Brooks N Dunn. Jim Lincomfelt plays lead guitar with Rick Tackett on bass guitar; rounding out the band is Tracy Scism on drums.

"Expect a high energy show for crowds of all ages that will bring you to your feet and keep you dancing all night long," said Powell.

The show, which is free and open to the public, begins at 6:00 p.m. and will be held at East Main Street and Court Square in downtown Lincolnton. Lawn chairs are encouraged, but no coolers will be allowed. For more information about the show, call the Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton at (704) 736-8915. For more information about Travis Powell, visit

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Apple Festival This Saturday

It is time once again for the largest annual gathering of people in downtown Lincolnton - the Lincoln County Apple Festival. This year's festival will be held Saturday, September 19 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. As always, the Apple Festival promises an abundance of crafts, food, fun....and of course....apples.

While making your way through the event, be sure to stop by the Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton's stage, located at East Main and South Academy Streets. There, DDA volunteers will be handing out free balloons and holding limbo and hula-hoop contests for the little ones. In addition, the organization will be conducting a "Strange Change Exchange" in coordination with its "Strange Change" initiative which encourages everyone to make purchases from local businesses with $2 bills as a way of showing their support for local businesses. Bring your ones, fives, tens, and twenties by the DDA stage to exchange them for crisp, new $2 bills; then make your statement by spending those $2 bills with locally owned businesses in Lincolnton.

Whether you are a seasoned Apple Festival veteran, or this is your first time attending the event, the Apple Festival Committee has a few tidbits of advice: wear comfortable shoes, drink plenty of water, do not bring your furry friend as law enforcement will be on hand to enforce the "no pets" policy, and do not park in areas where parking is not allowed (ample parking will be available around the perimeter of the event, and at the Lincolnton High School where the Kiwanis Club of Lincolnton will be offering round-trip shuttle service for $2 per person).

For more information on the Lincoln County Apple Festival, visit

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Strange Change: Dollar Coins and $2 Bills the New Symbols of Going Local

If the Downtown Development Association’s newest Go Local Lincolnton effort “Strange Change” catches on there will be a lot more dollar coins and $2 bills in circulation locally. DDA wants Lincolnton residents to show their support of locally owned businesses by using dollar coins and $2 bills.

“The dollar coin and $2 bill are perfect for this gesture of support,” said Brad Guth, DDA Director. “They are not in wide circulation so they are special when you get them. And now in Lincolnton they will come to symbolize support for local business.”

The ultimate purpose of this effort, as well as a series of other Go Local Lincolnton events, is to educate the community on the importance of not only shopping local but at locally owned businesses.

In recent years, groups like Civic Economics, the Institute for Local Self Reliance and others have studied the effects of doing business with locally owned businesses versus a chain store or big box retailer. Going local always makes a bigger economic impact in the local economy.

In an often quoted study, Civic Economics found that for every $100 of local spending $68 stays local as compared to just $42 when you shop at a chain store or big box retailer.

“That money goes right back into buying a house here,” said Guth, “And into supporting local schools, local sports leagues, local churches and charities and so forth.”

Locally-owned businesses have been a primary element in Lincolnton’s success throughout its history. First established in the 1780s, downtown began as trading post for area farmers. In the mid 1980s downtown experienced disinvestment. Local business owners banded together to form the Downtown Development Association to promote the protection and use of downtown.
Today downtown Lincolnton has the highest concentration of independently owned business in Lincoln County and boasts a 90% occupancy rate.

The Strange Change effort kicks off tonight at the Go Local Lincolnton Alive After Five concert. Customers purchasing beer and soft drinks from DDA will receive strange change. Soon many participating downtown businesses will be providing change in dollar coins and $2 bills. DDA encourages citizens to participate too by requesting their own dollar coins and $2 bills at local banks and spending them at locally owned businesses.

“Now, if you have a $2 bill in your wallet and dollar coins in your pocket, everyone will know you support locally owned businesses in Lincolnton,” said Guth.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School "Splash Bash" August 27

The Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton, the City of Lincolnton, Lincolnton Fire Department, and I-Care, Inc. of Lincolnton are partnering to organize a Back to School "Splash Bash" in coordination with the August 27 Alive After Five concert featuring Papa Mojo.

Firefighters from the Lincolnton Fire Department will use low-pressure hoses to create a designated "splash zone" at the intersection of East Main Street and North Academy Street from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. All kids are asked to come to the event prepared to get wet, as the Fire Department has assured us that no one will leave the splash zone dry! All participants are strongly encouraged to wear shoes, as the event will be held on a paved surface. For more information, call (704) 736-8915.

Papa Mojo to Headline Alive After Five Aug. 27

Since bursting onto the scene last summer, local rock band Papa Mojo has taken the Lincolnton area by storm. With its lineup of highly skilled musicians and Rock & Roll flare, the band has developed a solid fan base who come out again and again to hear the best Rock & Roll, Country, and Southern Rock of the last 40 years.

"We keep our audience constantly guessing by throwing together medleys of Theory of a Deadman, Nickelback, Metallica, Johnny Cash and even Kool and the Gang," said Rob Elmore, one-sixth of Papa Mojo.

The band is composed of a cross-section of musicians representing a variety of musical backgrounds, including Metal, Country, R&B, and Jazz.

Papa Mojo will headline the fourth installment of the 2009 Alive After Five Summer Concert Series on August 27th, where it plans to debut its new original, "A Fist Full of DY-NO-MITE." The band will take the stage at 6:00 p.m. on the Court Square in downtown Lincolnton. The show is free and open to the public. Lawn chairs are encouraged, but no coolers will be allowed. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event.

To learn more about Papa Mojo, visit the band's Web site at For more information about the Alive After Five Concert Series, call (704) 736-8915.

Papa Mojo:

Mark Angel: Bass, Guitars, Vocals
Heath Boyles: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Kendall Davis: Drums, Vocals
Chad Duncan: Lead Vocals
Rob Elmore: Keys, Bass, Guitars, Drums, Vocals
Brad Michol; Lead Guitar

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tres Chic & The Shoppes on Main is Now Lizzie Lu's

After nearly a year in downtown Lincolnton, Tres Chic & The Shoppes on Main has changed names - and owners. The consignment shop, located at 113 East Main Street, is now home to Lizzie Lu's. After struggling to balance the demands of the thriving retail business with their love of restoring old furniture, Tres Chic owners Laura and Bill LeFevre decided to focus their energies on the latter, selling the consignment shop to three friends - and former school teachers - Whitney King, Libba Thompson, and Beth Wiseman.

For a closer look into the transformation of Tres Chic into Lizzie Lu's, click here for an article from the Lincoln Times-News.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

36th Street Bakery, Cafe & Catering Now Offering Weekend Brunch

Whether you're looking for casual start to your lazy weekend, fuel to kick-start a busy Saturday, or a nice after-church meal on Sunday, 36th Street Bakery, Cafe & Catering in downtown Lincolnton has just the ticket with its new brunch menu.

"The Cafe," located at 101 North Court Square, is offering a special brunch menu including omelets, quiche, waffles, pancakes, and more from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

While the Cafe offers casual dining daily, Saturday and Sunday brunches offer a more elegant setting, with colorful stoneware on white linen-clad tables.

No reservations are required for the weekend brunches, and 36th Street Bakery, Cafe & Catering's regular menu is also available during brunch hours. For more information, visit or call (704) 735-1117.

Southern Charm Wines Celebrates 1st Anniversary

Last summer, Southern Charm Wines took downtown Lincolnton by storm as it opened the doors to Main Street's first winery, offering fine wines hand crafted in the very building in which they are sold. This summer Southern Charm Wines is celebrating its first anniversary, and owners Kim and Kirk Leonard, and Carolyn and Dwight Ramseur would like for you to share in the celebration which runs through August 22nd.

Stop by Southern Charm Wines, conveniently located in downtown Lincolnton's Anderson Building (235-D East Main Street), for gift shop specials and free tastings from Southern Charm's special Summer Wine Bundle.

For more information on Southern Charm Wines, visit or call the shop at (704) 240-9899.

Help United Way "Stuff the Bus"

The United Way of Lincoln County is asking residents to help "stuff the school bus" with school supplies for kids in the Lincoln County School System. The following sites will be accepting donations through August 7th:

5th/3rd Bank - Downtown Lincolnton
Carolina Trust Bank - Main Street Lincolnton, Boger City, and Denver
CMC - Lincoln
A2Z Promotions - Denver
Caremore Pharmacy - Denver
Jersey Mike's Subs - Denver
United Way of Lincoln County - Downtown Lincolnton

School buses will also be parked at Wal-Mart stores in Lincolnton and Denver on Saturday, August 8th from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. to collect donations.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Thunder Brothers Roll Into Lincolnton for Alive After Five

The Alive After Five Summer Concert Series continues this Thursday, July 30, on the Court Square in downtown Lincolnton with music from The Thunder Brothers.

The band, established in 1999, has been featured at a variety of events across the region including NASCAR race events, Hog Happenin', and the Thunder Road Marathon in uptown Charlotte. Expect a wide range of musical genres to be represented as Keny Poovey, Kevin Schronce, Bobby Blackwelder, and Ace Philbeck take the stage -- the band is known for its mix of dance, classic rock, "spiced up" oldies, popular ballads, and originals. The Thunder Brothers are sure to offer something for everyone.

The show will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the 100 block of East Main Street in downtown Lincolnton. The event is free and open to the public. Lawn chairs are encouraged, but no coolers will be allowed. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event. For more information on the event, call (704) 736-8915, and for more information on the Thunder Brothers, visit

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Find Your Independents Scavenger Hunt Winner Announced

Independents Days, downtown Lincolnton's celebration of locally owned independent businesses, has wound down for the second year. Held July 1 - 14, the event is intended to motivate consumers to support their community by shopping locally. As part of the promotion, the "Find Your Independents Scavenger Hunt" encouraged people to visit participating locally owned businesses in downtown Lincolnton to find unique items, and then to turn in their game cards for a chance at winning a fantastic prize package.

This year's winner, Jennifer Sinclair, was randomly selected from all completed game cards that were turned in to the Business & Community Development office.

Sinclair received a prize pack of items from 36th Street Bakery, Cafe & Catering; Clark Tire & Auto Supply; Color Me Pretty; Fausto Coffee; Heavenly Paws Grooming; Kate McCall; King's Office Supply; Lighthouse Christian Book Store; Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio; Southern Charm Wines; Stroup's Jewelers; Studio 220 Salon & Spa; Touch of Class; and Tres Chic & The Shoppes on Main.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Greenway Master Plan Open House July 7th

A drop-in public open house for the Lincoln County Greenway Master Plan will be held Tuesday, July 7th, from 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Lincoln County Family YMCA, 1402 East Gaston Street.

Drop in anytime during the workshop to talk with your neighbors, county staff, and project consultants about how to best connect people and places with trails in Lincoln County. Provide input and learn about the draft routes proposed for the Lincoln County Greenway Master Plan and the Carolina Thread Trail.

For more information, contact:
R.S. Williams, AICP, Principal Planner
Lincoln County Building and Land Development

4th of July Storefront Decorating Contest Winners Announced

Downtown Lincolnton was full of patriotic spirit last week as many businesses decorated their storefronts for the 4th of July Downtown Storefront Decorating Contest. The contest, which is sponsored by the DDA, was judged on the afternoon of July 4th. The winners of this year's contest are listed below:

1st Place - King's Office Supply

2nd Place - Miller Sherrill Blake Eagle CPA

3rd Place - Estate Jewelers

4th Place - Ledford's Upholstery & Fabric

Thursday, July 2, 2009

4th of July Celebration this Saturday

The annual Lincolnton 4th of July Celebration will be held this Saturday, July 4. Events will begin with free children's activities and contests from 5:00 p.m - 7:30 p.m. at 100 North Academy Street. Activities will include a bean bag toss, bubble blowing, face painting, tattoos, a hula hoop contest, inflatable games, and more.

Line-up for the parade will begin at 6:30 and the parade will start at 8:00. Ceremonies will begin at 9:15 at the Lincolnton High School Stadium, and will be followed by fireworks at approximately 9:35. Lt. Col. Robert Chad Boyles will be this year's Grand Marshal and Guest Speaker.

Radios may be tuned to WLON 1050 for patriotic music prior to and during the parade, and for live coverage from the LHS Stadium. All of this year's events are made possible by the City of Lincolnton and Lincoln County.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Find Your Independents Scavenger Hunt Game Cards Now Available

Game cards for the Find Your Independents Scavenger Hunt are now available at the following participating businesses:

36th Street Bakery & Cafe
101 N. Court Square

A Touch of Class
317 E. Main St.

Clark Tire & Auto Supply
609 E. Main St.

Color Me Pretty
109 E. Main St.

Fausto Coffee Shop
116 NE. Court Square

Heavenly Paws Grooming
213 N. Aspen St.

Kate McCall
317 E. Pine St.

King's Office Supply
227 E. Main St.

Lighthouse Christian Bookstore
210 N. Aspen St.

Lincolnton Business & Community Development
114 E. Main St.

Lincolnton Farmers Market
225 W. Water St.

Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio
224 E. Main St.

Southern Charm Wines
235-D E. Main St.

Studio 220 Salon & Spa
220 E. Main St.

Stroup's Jewelers
315 E. Main St.

Tres Chic & The Shoppes on Main
113 E. Main St.

Game cards must be returned to the Lincolnton Business & Community Development office, 114 E. Main St., by Tuesday, July 14 to be entered in the grand prize drawing to be held on July 15.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Independents Days To Be Celebrated Downtown July 1 -14

Independents Days will once again be celebrated in downtown Lincolnton July 1 - 14. Hot on the heels of being named "Best Downtown Special Event 2008" by the North Carolina Main Street Center, this year's Independents Days will include the Shop Local Challenge, the Find Your Independents scavenger hunt, a 4th of July window decorating contest, and the 3/50 project.

The initiative was begun by the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) as "Independents Week," but the Downtown Development Association's Promotions Work Group put its own spin on the event by starting Independents Days, a two week long celebration of downtown Lincolnton's locally owned independent businesses, in 2008.

The Shop Local Challenge encourages the public to shop locally owned businesses first, and to keep track of items that are not available from such establishments. Lists of those items may be turned in to the DDA at the Business & Community Development office, 114 East Main Street, to help the organization in identifying products and services that could benefit the downtown community. Similarly, the 3/50 Project asks citizens to identify the three independently owned businesses that they would miss most if they were to close. Citizens are then encouraged to stop by those businesses - to pick up a small gift for a friend or even just to say hello - as a way of showing their support. The project also encourages people to spend $50 each month at an independent business. If half of the employed population of the U.S. did this, their purchases would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. For more information on the 3/50 Project, visit

Perhaps one of the more unique activities of Independents Days is the Find Your Independents scavenger hunt. To play the game, participants will pick up game cards at the Business & Community Development Office or other participating businesses. They will then scour locally owned businesses in the downtown area in search of the unique items listed on the game cards. Clerks in each business will mark the card with a special sticker acknowledging that the items have been found. Once participants find all of the items, they will then turn their game cards in to the Business & Community Development office where one will be randomly drawn on July15 for a prize package filled with goodies from each of the participating businesses.

The DDA is also sponsoring a window decorating contest for downtown Lincolnton businesses. Windows will be judged on Saturday, July 4th. Winners will be announced on The Inside Wire Monday, July 6th.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 Alive After Five Concert Series Continues!

The 2009 Concert Series has gotten off to a great start and will continue to bring music and fun to the last Thursday of each month for the rest of the summer. There will be more variety in the music this year, and the bands are all local. After the Marty Paris Band, Paris Keeling, and The Mason Dixon Band this week, the lineup for upcoming concerts includes:

The Thunder Brothers - July 30: Three locals who mix southern rock, classic rock, and country
Papa Mojo - August 27: A Rock and Roll band from Vale who covers rock from the 70's to today, southern rock, and country
VanWaylon - September 24: A local band that describes its sound as "'Supertonk': Country with rock glued together with a good dose of party"

find out more at their myspace pages:

See you in Downtown Lincolnton!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

National Band Paris Keeling to Headline June 25 Alive After Five

Paris Keeling, the nationally acclaimed rock band featuring Marty Paris and Keely Keeling, will take the stage at 7:00 p.m. on June 25, 2009 on the Courthouse Square in downtown Lincolnton as part of the 2009 Alive After Five Concert Series. The event is being sponsored by the Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton and will run from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Food and beverages will be available at the event for purchase. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs; however, no coolers will be allowed.

While Paris Keeling is planning a Fall 2009 west coast tour and having recently performed at the Winchester in Cleveland, Ohio, the band did not hesitate when asked to headline a local show. According to Paris, who calls Lincolnton home, "I was thrilled when the DDA asked us to headline one of this summer's Alive After Five concerts. It's always great to play to your hometown crowd." Paris Keeling's performance is timed in conjunction with the upcoming July re-release of their well received End of Ride album. The re-release features five new bonus tracks in addition to all tracks of the original recording.

In addition to his work with Paris Keeling, Paris runs a recording studio in Lincolnton and frequently works with many musicians in a number of different areas including songwriting, recording and production. Knowing that one of the goals of the concert series is to feature and promote local talent, local acts will also be performing in addition to Paris Keeling on June 25. Paris will perform a solo set featuring vocal and musical accompaniment from local musician Beth Bailey (whose country album Marty is producing). In addition, The Mason Dixon Band will take the stage to perform a mixed set including country and rock favorites with a little beach music thrown in for good measure.

To visit the entertainers online, visit:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Using Downtown Events to Market Your Business

Turn the ‘disruption’ from local downtown events like Alive After Five, Hog
Happenin and Apple Festival to your advantage by using these tips to increase
your customer base
Encourage customers to enter a drawing for a door prize.
Once customers have filled out the entry card, you can use the information to send out promotional mailings

Give out “bounce back” coupons.
These coupons have an expiration date within a short time frame allowing you to determine the success of the event.

Wash windows and open doors; sweep the curb and walkways directly in front of your building

Dress up window displays and merchandising with the events theme

Create a fun atmosphere in your store by creating activity. Event patrons are more likely to visit a busy store.

Offer to hold customers’ purchases so they will not have to carry the bags around all day.

Have a sidewalk sale

Giveaway samples or promotional items

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Fantastic Shakers Help Lincolnton Welcome the Summertime

The 2009 Alive After Five Summer Concert Series will kick off Thursday, May 28 with the music of Lincolnton's own Fantastic Shakers! Presented by First Federal Bank, the Fantastic Shakers are guaranteed to put on a great show, offering entertainment and beach music on East Main Street. The show is free and will keep you dancing from 6 to 9 PM. There will be food vendors, open local restaurants, and a beer garden, so coolers are not allowed, but lawn chairs are encouraged. For furhter information, contact Lincolnton Business and Community Development at 704-736-8915.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Veterans Appreciation Cruise-In May 3

The semi-annual Veterans Appreciation Cruise-In, hosted by the Lincolnton Lions Club and the Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton, will be held on Sunday, May 3, 2009, from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Cars and trucks produced in or before 1974 are welcome. Special guest "Radical Ronnie" Proctor will have his 1967 Super Chevy II at the event.

A $2 flag donation is requested. Please, no cars before 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

United Way & DDA Launch Volunteer Lincolnton

The Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton (DDA) and United Way of Lincoln County have joined forces in launching Volunteer Lincolnton, a community-wide volunteer center, in coordination with National Volunteer Week.

The center will have two distinct presences - one in the offices of United Way of Lincoln County, located at 206 East Main Street in downtown Lincolnton, the other online at Positions will be posted on the Web site with information for interested volunteers to contact the non-profit groups directly; however, potential volunteers may also complete an application in-person at the volunteer center to be matched with organizations whose needs most directly correlate with the applicants' skills and interests.

Positions are available with a variety of organizations, including Helping Hands Health Clinic, Girl Scouts of the Piedmont Council, and A Place to Grow, and range from clerical work to yard work.

If you are interested in volunteering or having your volunteer opportunities listed, visit

Hog Happenin' Featured in Every Day with Rachael Ray

Lincolnton's own Hog Happenin' BBQ & Bike Fest is featured in the May edition of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Turn to the "Festivals" feature toward the back to see what Every Day with Rachael Ray editors chose to highlight about Hog Happenin' and several businesses in Lincolnton.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Farmers Market Opening Day April 18

The downtown Lincolnton location of the Lincoln County Farmers Market is set to open Saturday, April 18th, at 7:00 a.m. The NC Cooperative Extension expects to see onions, lettuce, sweet potatoes, eggs, bedding plants, baked goods, goat's milk products, and more on Opening Day.

The Farmers Market is located at 225 West Water Street, in downtown Lincolnton. For more information, visit Lincoln Fresh Finds or call the Cooperative Extension at (704) 736-8452.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gala Photos Now Online

Photos from the Main Street Gala & Better Downtown Awards at Wampum Landmark Tavern are now available online. To access the photos click here, or visit and click on "view your photos now." The event is labeled as "Wampum Landmark Tavern DDA Gala 2009."

DDA would like to thank Tindall's Professional Photography for documenting the event. If you are interested in obtaining a photo from the event, please contact the studio directly at (704) 748-1998.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

1st Annual Assault on Hog Hill Bicycle Ride

The inaugural Assault on Hog Hill Bicycle Ride is slated for April 25, 2009. The event, to benefit Hesed House of Hope, will include activities for the entire family.

The 10-mile Family Fun Ride, and 25- and 50-mile Assault Rides will begin at Betty Ross Park, 800 Madison Street, at 9:00 a.m. Routes can be viewed here. Helmets are required to ride. The $25 entry fee includes a Hog Hill T-shirt, post-ride picnic, and opportunities to win door prizes.

For the little ones, organizers will hold a Hog Hill Tot Ride from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon at the Assault Ride Start/Finish line. The entry fee is $10 and includes a free prize. The tots will ride a course around Betty Ross Park parking lot in a stroller, wagon, tricycle, or bicycle with training wheels. Helmets are required. All tots registered for the ride will be eligible to win a kid's bike.

All rides will start and finish at Betty Ross Park. For more information, visit or To register online visit, or to register in person stop by Ride A Bike Bicycle Shop, 116 NE Court Square, downtown Lincolnton. Packet pick-up and on-site registration will begin at 7:30 a.m., Saturday, April 25th, at Betty Ross Park.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Heafner/Williams Vocal Competition March 28-29

The Lincoln Cultural Center presents the 2009 Heafner/Williams Vocal Competition, to be held in the Timken Performance Hall in the Lincoln Cultural Center. Semifinals for the competition begin Saturday, March 28th at 2pm.

On Sunday, March 29th, the final round begins at 3 pm. This will be followed immediately (approximately 4 pm) by a mini – concert presenting the 2008 winner, Marvin Kehler. Mr. Kehler will perform while the judges deliberate. Immediately following the concert, the 2009 prizes will be announced and awarded.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 704-732-9055.

12th Annual Mugathon to Benefit Humane Society

Join Rising Sun Pottery as it celebrates its 12th Annual Mugathon to benefit the Humane Society of Lincoln County.

"Mugs for Mutts" and "Cups for Cats" will be held on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 5pm at Rising Sun Pottery, 209 South Academy Street in downtown Lincolnton. The event will feature more than 200 dishwasher and microwave safe mugs and cups of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Mug/cup cost is $10 and includes your choice of beverage and homemade dessert. The Humane Society of Lincoln County will receive 50% of gross proceeds from the event.

Downtown Celebrates at Wampum Landmark Tavern

Wampum Landmark Tavern, formerly Lincoln Drugs, was the place to be last Friday night as it hosted the Downtown Development Association's 2009 Main Street Gala & Better Downtown Awards.

When DDA found that its annual gala was scheduled in conflict with the 2009 ACC basketball tournament, it seized the opportunity to combine the two occasions into one event. The organization staged 132 East Main Street as a sports bar for the one-night-only event, transforming the once vacant building into Wampum's - a classic tavern located in the heart of downtown Lincolnton. The facility was staged in accordance with architectural plans developed for reconstructing the space as a restaurant and bar.

The festivities began at 10:00 Friday morning with a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting hosted by the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce. The doors to Wampum's officially opened at 6:00 Friday evening for the Main Street Gala & Better Downtown Awards.

Stephen Starnes, Chair of the DDA Board of Directors, presented the following awards on behalf of the organization:

Civic Leadership Award - Freedom Church
Business Leadership Award - Griffin Insurance Agency
Volunteer Leadership Award - Pete DeGregory
Downtown Cityscape Award - David and Carol Self
Downtown Renaissance Award - 36th Street Bakery, Cafe & Catering
DDA Advocate Award - Lincolnton Mayor & City Council
Main Street Champion - Buddy Collins
Pass the Torch Award - Stacy Bryant
Pass the Torch Award - John Dancoff
Pass the Torch Award - Barry Matherly
Pass the Torch Award - Alex Patton
Outgoing DDA Board Chair - Buddy Collins

Starnes also presented the following Milestone Awards, honoring significant periods of entrepreneurial success in downtown Lincolnton:

B&L Formal Wear - 5 years
Allstate Insurance - 10 years
CitiFinancial - 10 years
Eddie Sigmon & Associates, Inc. - 10 years
Raymond James Financial Services - 10 years
ABC Tax Services - 20 years
North State Books - 20 years
Techniques Styling Salon - 20 years
House of Trophies & Engraving/Classic Art & Framing - 25 years
Lighthouse Christian Book Store - 35 years
Ledford Upholstery - 40 years
Leonard Wealth Planning - 50 years

Karen Cook, Cathy Davis, and Mike Milholland were also present on behalf of the Lincoln County Coalition Against Child Abuse to accept a donation of $1,111, which was collected in coordination with the 2008 Hog Happenin' Poker Run.

After the presentation of the awards, attendees enjoyed dinner, catered by Court Street Grille, and then all eyes turned to the six big-screens to watch Wake Forest take on Maryland.

DDA would like to thank its partners for helping to make the event possible: Aaron's Rents, First Federal Savings Bank, Tindall's Professional Photography, Lowe's, Servpro of Lincoln & North Gaston, Charter Communications, Court Street Grille, Hoke Signs & Graphic Design, Wal-Mart of Lincolnton, and - of course - the DDA volunteers who contributed many unique talents and countless hours to the transformation of Wampum's: Buddy Collins, Emma Engster, Susan Flynn, Crystal Gettys, Marsha Jordan, Max Jordan, Tammy Konrad, Vera Lanier, Wanda Milholland, Ken Morris, Brad Rivers, Shirley Smith, and Brad Whitley.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Art Saturdays at the Lincoln Cultural Center

The Arts Council of Lincoln County will be offering art classes on Saturdays at the Lincoln Cultural Center. Classes will be approximately two hours in length and topics will include basic sketching, basic beading, art tag-making, intro to watercolors, ear-ring making and much more. For more information or if you would like to teach a class, please contact the Arts Council of Lincoln County at (704) 732-9044.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Main Street Gala & Better Downtown Awards SOLD OUT

Spaces are sold out for the Downtown Development Association's Main Street Gala & Better Downtown Awards at Wampum Landmark Tavern this Friday night. If you can't make the gala, the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a grand opening and ribbon cutting at 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 13th. Please RSVP to the Chamber for the grand opening.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"What's going on at the old Lincoln Drug building?"

....A question that we have heard quite a bit in the past couple of weeks. It is now time to end the suspense....the Downtown Development Association is staging 132 East Main Street (formerly Lincoln Drugs) as a sports bar for the 2009 Main Street Gala & Better Downtown Awards.

DDA is working around the clock to transform the space into Wampum Landmark Tavern for the one-night-only event that is scheduled for March 13th to coincide with the ACC Basketball Tournament. Everyone is invited to attend; however, you must RSVP to DDA to reserve your spot on the guest list. Casual attire is suggested - ACC team colors optional.

A $25 per person cover charge will include admittance to the gala and awards ceremony, dinner catered by Court Street Grille, and alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Six large screen TVs will broadcast the ACC tournament so you don't miss any of the action! Doors will open at 6:00 p.m.

This year's gala would not be possible without help from: Aaron's; Charter Communications; Court Street Grille; First Federal Savings Bank; Hoke Signs; Lowe's; SERVPRO of Lincoln/N. Gaston; and - of course - a group of dedicated DDA Volunteers.

If you are interested in attending the gala or learning more about Wampum's, call (704) 736-8915 or visit

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Treasures on Main Set to Open Thursday

Downtown Lincolnton's newest addition, Treasures on Main, is scheduled to officially open its doors this Thursday, February 26, at 10:00 a.m.

Located at 119 East Main Street, Treasures on Main is a unique shopping experience offering home accessories, depression glass, antiques, antique furniture, local arts and crafts, and pottery, to name a few.

Booth rental and consignment spaces are still available; if interested see Paul or Jennifer Byrd at the shop.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Financial Fitness Fair Brings Options for Consumers

Local financial experts will be fielding questions at the Financial Fitness Fair on March 5th. In response to economic uncertainty, NC Cooperative Extension Service is organizing this event to connect the public with financial service providers and agencies that provide support during challenging economic times.

“Anyone who wants to do more with their money should come,” says Leigh Guth, Cooperative Extension agent. “Many people are rethinking their investment and savings strategies, while others are trying to prepare for unemployment.”

Experts will also be talking about foreclosure prevention and how to get youth started on a healthy financial path in addition to investment strategies in today’s market.

Financial information booths will be open from 2:00pm until 8:00pm at the James Warren Citizen Center, 115 West Main Street in downtown Lincolnton. Exhibitors include banks, investment advisors, insurance companies, mortgage brokers, county agencies, and financial and family counselors.

Educational seminars will occur hourly and include:
3pm Energy Conservation for the Home Jim Burke, Extension
Stress Management Vickie Johnson, Pathways
4pm Small Business Survival Brad Rivers, Gaston College
Reverse Mortgage Jeff Creed, Wells Fargo
5pm Pulse of the Market Jody Rhyne, Rhyne Financial
6pm Savvy Shopping Melinda Houser, Extension
Building a Financial Home Chris Rhyne, Rhyne Financial
Insurance Basics Neil Rhyne, Watson Insurance
7pm Money Matters for Youth Tammy Scruggs, 5/3 Bank
Foreclosure Prevention Cher Lineberger – mortgage broker
Scott Schneider – Consumer Credit Counseling

The Financial Fitness Fair is free and open to the public and sponsored by NC Cooperative Extension, Lincoln County Partnership for Health, and Senior Health Information Program (SHIIP). For an updated schedule or more information check . For more information, contact Leigh Guth, North Carolina Cooperative Extension family and consumer sciences agent, at (704) 736-8461.

"The Price is Right for Fighting Child Abuse" This Friday

The Lincoln County Coalition Against Child Abuse (LCCACA) will be holding its 3rd Annual "The Price is Right for Fighting Child Abuse" at the James W. Warren Citizens Center, 115 West Main Street, on Saturday February 28.

Mike Milholland's alter-ego, Mob Marker, will host the event. In addition to classic The Price is Right games, fabulous prizes and the Showcase Showdown, the event will also feature a 50/50 drawing and other entertainment. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. but doors open at 5:30 p.m. Come early for dinner in the upstairs cafe, pre-show entertainment and a silent auction and stay late for a live auction after the show.

Tickes are $10 and can be purchased from Nationwide Insurance, Caremor Family Pharmacy, WoodMill Winery, Carolina Furniture Mart, Miller Sherrill Blake Eagle CPA PA, or by calling Kathy Davis at (704) 740-8313 or Karen Cook at (704) 736-1155.

Proceeds from the event will benefit LCCACA. For more information, call (704) 736-8456 or email