Places To Go, Things To Do In Union County, NC
There’s always something fun to do in Union County; arts groups, civic clubs and other organizations keep the schedule full of interesting and lively activities. We’ve listed a few highlights here. For a comprehensive community calendar that lists festivals, fund-raisers and other special events in Union County, contact the Union County Chamber of Commerce, 704-289-4567 or check out our Calendar of Community Events.
Places to Go
Arts Education Entertainment Company
This non-profit organization offers performing, fine and grassroots arts for all ages and levels. Classes, performances, teachers, consultation and services available in all art-oriented genres. 204 N. Main Street, Monroe. 704-282-1400 http://www.jmetelli.org/
Local vendors offer homegrown produce, plants, baked goods and more. Open Tues.- Sat. 805 Skyway Drive, Monroe; 704-283-3625.
Historic Union County Courthouse/Heritage Room
This 1888 Victorian Italianate building, featured in motion pictures, now houses county offices and the Heritage Room. If you are interested in county history or genealogical work, this is it. Heritage Room open 10-3, Mon.–Wed., 1-4 Thurs. Old Courthouse, Monroe; 704-289-6737.
Jesse Helms Center
The center highlights the life of retired Sen. Jesse Helms, a native of Monroe. Education, citizen awareness and historical documents await you. Mon.-Fri. 9-5. U.S. 74, Wingate; 704-233-1776; http://www.jessehelmscenter.org/.
Located on the campus of JAARS, this museum celebrates the people of Mexico and Wycliffe Bible Translators, of which JAARS is the technical service arm. Open 9-noon and 1:00 - 1:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat. Davis Road, Waxhaw; 704-843-6066; http://www.jaars.org/.
Museum of the Alphabet
A great educational experience for all ages, this museum focuses on the many human languages and dialects, with emphasis on ancient alphabets and the Wycliffe Bible Translators. Open 9-noon, 1:00 -1:30 p.m., Mon.-Sat. Davis Road, Waxhaw; 704-843-6066; http://www.jaars.org/.
Museum of the Waxhaws
Experience regional history from 1650 to 1900, including Andrew Jackson’s life. Open Friday/Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 1-5; Open by appointment for school and community groups; admission charge, picnic area. Waxhaw Amphitheater is the site for the annual summer performances of the outdoor drama “Listen and Remember”. Hwy NC 75, Waxhaw; 704-843-1832; http://www.waxhaw.com/.
Union County Community Arts Council Gallery
Downtown Monroe is enhanced by this gallery, which features exhibits/open houses of artists and their various mediums and entertainment. 120 N. Main St., Monroe; 704-283-2784; http://www.unionarts.org/.
Union County Players
Dramas and special shows highlight this nonprofit community theater, which performs at various sites. A youth theater performs several shows a year. 704-289-7000; http://www.unioncountyplayers.org/.
Union County Writers Club
This club meets monthly to present programs by area writers and sponsors an annual Literary Arts Festival to recognize area talent. 704-289-7000; http://www.unionarts.org/.
Union County Symphony
This society consists of the Union Symphony, a 25-member orchestra that plays through the year, and the Union Singers, a 35-member auditioned chorus that performs with the symphony. 704-282-0028.
The University and its Batte Fine Arts Center present arts exhibits, theatrical performances, concerts and recitals by students, faculty and visiting artists. Open to the public. 704-233-8300, http://www.wingate.edu/.
Things to Do
Celebrate Sweet Union – Always Something to See & Do; Learn about our roots through a variety of agri-tourism activities.
Queen’s Cup Steeplechase
The annual Queen’s Cup steeple-chasing event includes plenty of races, parties and people-watching. Admission fee (profits go to charity). Last Saturday in April; Charlotte Steeplechase Association track off N.C. 75 in Mineral Springs; 704-423-3400; http://www.queenscup.org/.
Community Arts Days
In cooperation with the Union County Community Arts Council, five Union County municipalities hold daylong celebrations of the arts: Weddington Fall Festival (fall), Indian Trail and Waxhaw July 4 festivities, Stallings Family Night (summer) and Celebrate Wingate (fall). 704-283-2784; http://www.unionarts.org/.
Downtown Monroe, Inc., Events
Throughout the year, DMI sponsors a number of events, including Main Street Live, Steel on Wheels Car Show, Main Street Mile & Lamplighter 5K, Independence in the Park, Those Were the Days Antique & Collectible Fair, Halloween Happenings, Veteran’s Day Ceremony, Holiday Open House, Celebration of Trees Silent Auction, Tour of Homes, Christmas Parade and Old Fashioned Tree Lighting. 704-292-1705. http://www.monroenc.org/.
Indian Pow Wow
Learn more about Native American arts and culture at this event, sponsored by the Metrolina Native American Association. Activities include crafts, foods, exhibitions, dance competition and trading booths. Last weekend in September. Indian Trail Elementary School, Indian Trail; 704-821-7614.
The technical service for Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics opens its facility to visitors monthly. Activities include a tour of the facilities, visits to two museums, and plane and helicopter rides. Lunch is available. Reservations required for dining room. One Saturday of the month, except January. JAARS Center, Davis Road, Waxhaw; 704-843-6000; http://www.jaars.org/.
“Listen and Remember”
This musical drama tells the history of the old Waxhaws district. Produced by the Waxhaws Historical Festival and Drama Association. Performances Fridays and Saturdays in June; Waxhaw Amphitheater; Waxhaw; 704-843-2300; http://www.waxhaw.com/.
Lake Park Festival
Celebrating its l4th year in 2004, this festival, hosted by the residents of Lake Park, welcomes visitors. Features crafts, food, clothing and jewelry vendors, children’s activities, hayrides, and more. Second Saturday in October. Village of Lake Park; 704-882-9616.
Fox hunting without the kill, plus horse shows and hunter paces. Various times. 704-843-3846.
Monroe Historic Home Tour
See the splendor of yesteryear decorated for the holiday season. Residents open their homes to the public each November. 704-283-4621.
N.C./S.C. District Agricultural Fair
Celebrate Union County’s agricultural heritage and have some old-fashioned fun at the fair. The fair accepts entries from Union and Anson counties, N.C., and Lancaster and Chesterfield counties, S.C. The Chamber’s annual Farm-City Banquet opens the extravaganza with Union County Agriculture Hall of Fame induction and Farm Family of the Year recognition. Mid-October. Located in the spacious new Jessie Helms Park in Wingate the fair presents a friendly, family atmosphere.
Marshville Boll Weevil Jamboree
Spend the day enjoying vendors, music, amusement rides, food and games, then hit the evening street dance at this annual event, sponsored by Marshville Chamber of Commerce. Third Saturday in September; downtown Marshville.704-624-3183.
Rusty Piston Antique Tractor and Power Show
Enjoy exhibits of over 400 antique tractors and new farm equipment, bluegrass music, bands and lots more. Attended by local and state beauty queens. Weekend prior to Mothers Day. Admission fee. Intersection of Tarlton Mill and Olive Branch roads, Marshville. 704-624-6105
Stallings Family Night in the Park
Join over 1,000 parents and children for music, food, children’s rides and games. Sponsored by the Town of Stallings. First Saturday in August. 704-821-8557; http://www.stallingsnc.org/.
Union County Barn Tour
See the latest in equestrian facilities – simple to grandiose. Held each spring. 704-283-3801.
Waxhaw Antique and Craft Show
The Waxhaw Village Association sponsors antique shows in May. 704-843-1400 or 704-243-0055; http://www.waxhaw.com/.
Waxhaw Fall Arts and Crafts Festival
The town of Waxhaw sponsors this annual craft show featuring over 80 exhibitors displaying and selling their works. View artists and craftsmen creating their works at the Women’s Club. Second Saturday in October. 704-843-2195 http://www.waxhaw.com/.
Waxhaw Scottish Fair and Games
As many as 18 clans get together for music, games and fun at this annual event, which includes bagpipes competition, Scottish games, country dancing, music and booths. Annual attendance is about 1,500. Last Saturday in October; admission charge; Cane Creek Park, Harkey Road, Waxhaw. 704-843-3288 or 803-548-0615; http://www.waxhaw.com/.
Weddington Fall Festival
Join neighbors and visitors at this community celebration of the arts. The festival is coordinated by the Union County Community Arts Council and is held in early October each year at Weddington Comers Shopping Center. 704-283-2784; http://www.unionarts.org/.
Weddington Strawberry Festival
Each Saturday prior to Mother’s Day, surprise her with food, music, pony and wagon rides, and of course, strawberry picking. Contest for best homemade ice cream. Providence Road, Weddington. 704-846-7975.