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 GoLocalLincolnton.org Alive After Five Season

The GoLocalLincolnton.org 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 www.myspace.com/travispowellmusic.

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 http://lincoln.ces.ncsu.edu/content/lincolncountyapplefestival.