BY Marimar McNaughton

Rest and Rewind

An octagonal wooden gazebo on Wrightsville Sound marks the waterside terminus of the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail at the Intracoastal Waterway on the New Hanover County mainland across from Wrightsville Beach. The trail is a 15-mile off-road multi-use pathway that meanders from Wade Park through the Pine Valley neighborhood via South 17th Street to Halyburton Park and continues along Independence Boulevard to Empie Park and McCrary Park along Randall Parkway. Travelers may skirt the west and southwest perimeters of the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus and Autumn Hall to Eastwood Road to the trail’s end which via wooden walkway runs beneath the Heide Trask Drawbridge and rises back up to street level on Airlie Road.

The illuminated trail provides public parking bus stops restrooms and FIXIT stations equipped with small tools for gear repairs. The City of Wilmington initiated the Cross-City Trail under the leadership of the late Gary Shell former director of parks and recreation and later deputy director of community services with a joint city/county $35.5 million parks and green space bond in 2006.

Power of Love

Volunteer chaperones and supporters join guests each year in February for Wilmington’s Night to Shine a prom for special needs people ages 14 and older.

This free Valentine’s Day weekend event was created by the Tim Tebow Foundation in 2014 to positively impact the value of life for special needs people and their families worldwide. In 2018 537 host churches and 175 000 volunteers hosted 90 000 prom guests around the world simultaneously. Two area churches Global River and Lifepoint team up to host the event.

In Wilmington guests are invited to participate in pre-prom activities — hairstyling makeup and shoeshine stations early on event night at Global River Church. Immediately following chauffeured limousines escort guests to the gala at Lifepoint Church on College Road to enjoy karaoke and dancing after a walk down the red carpet. Promgoers receive complimentary tiaras and crowns and photo booth pics.

Dancing Through Barriers

Celebrating its 50th anniversary the Dance Theatre of Harlem is renowned for forming the nation’s first all-black classically trained ballet company. Now its internationally celebrated ensemble of 14 racially diverse dance artists will perform an eclectic program drawn from a repertoire of historic and new works at Kenan Auditorium on the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus Saturday February 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Founded in 1969 by the late Arthur Mitchell the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s mission is empowerment through the arts. In addition to its professional resident and touring ensembles the company supports a New York City-based arts education center and a community-based international outreach program Dancing Through Barriers.

The performance is co-presented by the UNCW Office of the Arts with the Countywide Community Development Corporation. Tickets may be reserved in person by calling the Kenan Auditorium Box Office or online by following this link: