BY Staff


Wilmington Coffee Crawl becomes the Wilmington Coffee Fest

By Melissa Sutton-Seng

In 2018 local coffee shop operators Krysta Kearney and Will Chacon founded the Wilmington Coffee Crawl. Participants walked or drove from location to location sampling some of the finest java Wilmington had to offer. After selling out of tickets in the first two years Kearney and Chacon decided it was time for the crawl to evolve and the Wilmington Coffee Fest was born.

The first Wilmington Coffee Fest will be held February 1 at two downtown locations the Hannah Block Historic USO Building and Waterline Brewing Company. The event will highlight the local artisan coffee culture. For those with espresso in their veins obsessed with all things coffee there will be lectures demonstrations and a latte art competition. The family-friendly event will include plenty of fun for non-caffeine drinkers and children with food trucks bakeries breweries artists and artisans among the participants.

In keeping with the community focus the 2020 Wilmington Coffee Fest will benefit two local charities. A dollar from every ticket sold will be contributed to the Hannah Block Center and all raffle proceeds will be donated to the Plastic Ocean Project a nonprofit exploring innovative ways to rid the ocean of plastics. The festival also aims to be eco-friendly. Composting will be available on site and each ticket will include a ceramic espresso cup and reusable tote to reduce waste.

There’s already plenty of buzz (pun intended) around the Wilmington Coffee Fest. It’s been named one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 10 festivals to attend inFebruary 2020.

New Year New You

Five Tips to Decluttering the News in Your Life

By Jen MacLean

Getting organized and decluttering is consistently among the top three New Year’s resolutions. In addition to the physical clutter in one’s life there is another culprit vying for attention and mental space: the constant call of news and media.

Mobile devices — our phones and tablets — have become the primary ways to get the news and updates on current events. The desire to be informed and the ability to instantly access news regardless of location or the time of day has a serious downside.News outlets are constantly competing for attention producing content that has become more visual and shocking.This can cause a serious stress response affecting mental and physical health.

If consumption of news is negatively affecting your relationships or well-being use the occasion of the New Year to make some positive changes.

Make 2020 the year of reclaiming your time and decluttering from excess news and the stress it causes. It will be difficult at first but I guarantee that like that weird spatula no one actually uses once it’s gone you won’t even miss it.

These five tips will help declutter the news in your life:

1 Limit news consumption to one block of time per day and avoid watching news before bed.

2 Turn off sound notifications for news updates on your phone and tablet.

3 Get back into things you used to enjoy like reading knitting sports leagues creating art or hiking.

4 Go into your social media accounts and unfollow or un-like your least favorite news accounts. An even better option: take news out of your feed altogether.

5 Unsubscribe from news and current event emails or have them filtered into separate folders or labels that can be read during your news block time.

Jen MacLean is a professional organizer and the owner of JAM Organizing a Wilmington-based company helping clients declutter and live a more organized life. “Your environment affects your mind. Your stuff matters. Clear the clutter and clear the way for the life you want and deserve ” she says.

Stretching Out the Tent Stakes

A Two-Story Fort Fisher Welcome Center

By Edward Wills

The rapid growth in numbers of visitors to the Fort Fisher State Historic Site has triggered plans for a new $23 million welcome center and other renovation projects at the Civil War battleground on the southern tip of New Hanover County.

Construction of the 220 000-square-foot two-story welcome center could begin as early as 2020 depending on state funding. About $3 million is expected to be raised by the Friends of Fort Fisher a nonprofit group that supports the site.The North Carolina General Assembly is considering funding for the lion’s share of the project.

More than 150 years after the end of the Civil War the state’s first historic site has seen tremendous growth in popularity. When the museum opened in 1961 it had capacity of 25 000 visits per year. Traffic has grown to 949 000 to become North Carolina’s second- most-visited historic site.

“Tourists school children military groups and history buffs are all drawn to the attraction with many spending money at area hotels restaurants and gas stations ” says Christine Divoky executive director of the Friends group.

The new center would include extra classrooms exhibits storage space for buses to offload passengers and exhibits to help visitors understand the fort’s history. The funding also would be used to re-create three earthworks that were originally at the site but have been lost to erosion and damage when the site was used as a World War II training facility.The re-created mounds will feature gun placements with a walk-through tunnel. Visitors will be able to walk on these new mounds which they cannot do on the legally protected surviving earthworks.

An additional $500 000 is earmarked to construct a new center for the Underwater Archaeology Branch also on the site. The UAB’s mission is to explore protect and recover shipwrecks and other underwater treasures.