The North Carolina Visitor Center




Welcome to the North Carolina Visitor Center

From the mountains to the coast and all points in between

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La Patronal

March 30, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

La Patronal is a unique brass band from Lima, Peru.  Rooted in the tradition of ‘fiestas populares’ or town fairs common in rural villages across Latin America, La Patronal honors these gatherings, which celebrate tradition through fireworks, dancing and religious images.  Their lively performances encourage audience participation and dancing with contagious percussion and vibrant brass and wind instruments.  This performance is partially underwritten by grants from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Federation and Robeson County Arts Council and includes a free community dance workshop at the theater on Saturday afternoon.  Tickets are $15 each or $10 for students with current ID.  Tickets are available for purchase on the Carolina Civic Center’s website or at the theater.

Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater

315 North Chestnut Street
Lumberton, NC 28358


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Some of North Carolina’s greatest treasures can be found off the beaten path. You never know what you might find... an old-time general store, local artisan, or simply a picturesque view that takes your breath away. You’ll be swept away by the untouched natural landscape found on the backroads of this rural county.

In Anson County, you can discover all that and more. Come. Visit. Surround yourself with the beauty of North Carolina’s best kept secret.




FAYETTEVILLE (MAR 18, 2019) – The President’s Budget proposal for FY2020 includes $464.9 million in Department of Defense major military construction at installations in North Carolina.  This budget would fund projects at the following bases, in the amounts indicated: 

  • Fort Bragg: $12.5 million
  •  Camp Lejeune: $229.0 million
  • MCAS Cherry Point: $114.6 million
  • MCAS New River: $11.3 million
  • US Special Operations Command – Camp Lejeune: $13.4 million
  • US Special Operations Command – Fort Bragg: $84.1 million


“This military construction budget is great news for North Carolina,” said Scott Dorney, Executive Director of the North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC).  “In addition to this major construction, North Carolina businesses can anticipate another $100 million in sustainment, restoration and modernization (SRM) construction and facility services contracts, and potentially an additional $1 billion for Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael infrastructure recovery.  Military construction is big business in North Carolina – including for small businesses.” 


The FY2020 budget figure represents an increase from $315.7 million in major military construction in North Carolina bases in FY2019.  At $464.9 million, DoD construction in North Carolina will be the third highest in the country, trailing only California ($585.7 million) and Virginia ($572.3 million).   With hurricane-related infrastructure repairs, total construction at bases in North Carolina should lead the nation.  Also not included in the $464.9 million in new construction projects will be the re-authorization of an additional $151.5 million, for continuation of projects at North Carolina bases included in the FY2019 program.    


The FY2020 program includes 12 new projects, including a dining facility and three Special Operations facilities at Fort Bragg, three airfield and training facilities at MCAS Cherry Point and MCAS New River, and five command, operations and maintenance facilities at Camp Lejeune.  Three FY20 19 carryover projects include a battalion complex at Camp Lejeune and flight line utility and hangar facilities for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter at MCAS Cherry Point.   


For more information and to receive detailed data from the President’s budget for North Carolina bases, contact Courtney Smedick at 



On April 3, 1865, Union Col. Isaac M. Kirby left East Tenn. with 1100 men on a raid against Asheville. On April 6, Kirby's force was defeated by local militia under Col. G. W. Clayton. Earthworks remain 100 yds. N.

On April 3, 1865, Colonel Isaac M. Kirby of the 101st Ohio Infantry was ordered to “scout in the direction of Asheville.” He set out from Greeneville, Tennessee, with 900 troops and an estimated 200 partisans and Confederate deserters who had taken an oath of allegiance to the United States. After camping at Warm Springs on the first night, Kirby decided to leave the cannons and wagons there under heavy guard and proceed toward Asheville with only the infantry. His men burned two bridges on the approach.

     With word of their approach, Colonel George W. Clayton, Asheville’s highest-ranking officer at the time, called upon the Home Guard to defend the city. The forty-four member “Silver Grays,” who counted among their ranks a 14 year old boy and a 60 year old Baptist minister, were bolstered by about 250 more men that Clayton “bullied, argued, or shamed” into taking up arms to defend Asheville. Clayton gathered the men and two small brass Napoleon cannons and marched them to rough earthworks that overlooked the French Broad route being used by Kirby’s men. When the two forces met at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, they simply lined up and began firing. There was no maneuvering, but gunfire, peppered with a few cannon blasts, continued for about five hours.

     Kirby’s men retreated recklessly along the same route they had used for the approach, leaving items such as rifles, canteens, and haversacks in their wake. Kirby’s accounts of the events demonstrate that he was ill-informed as to the strength and numbers of his opponents. Reports of casualties vary from zero to three, but it is said that the following morning the Confederates inspected Kirby’s abandoned position and found one Union soldier’s leg in a boot. Aside from a few entries in the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, the only details that have survived were related by Forster A. Sondley, who wrote a history of Buncombe County and who also had his Shetland pony stolen and later shot by Kirby’s troops on the way to the engagement.

     The site of the breastworks is now part of the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. A controversy still teems in and around Asheville—was the encounter of April 3, 1865, a battle, a skirmish, or an engagement? Placed in context, and with what little is known about the event, the best evidence (contrary to the wording at the head of the marker) would indicate that it fell well short of a battle but is rather more properly seen as an engagement.


Record Visitation in 2018 Thanks to New Foothills Parkway Section

Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomed a record 11,421,203 visitors in 2018. The 0.7% increase over 2017 is due to the opening of the new section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley in November. In just two months, nearly 200,000 visitors experienced this new park opportunity which resulted in record-setting visitation in both November and December.

Park visitation across the park remained relatively stable as compared to 2017 with the highest visitation in July, followed by June and then October. Monthly visitation records were set during June, September, November, and December. Visitors spent nearly 400,000 nights camping in the park which was down 3% from 2017, but within the 5-year average. The park offers 9 front country campgrounds and 100 backcountry campsites for visitors to enjoy across the park.

Park visitation is calculated with in-road traffic counters multiplied by an average occupancy that changes based on season. Great Smoky Mountains National Park remains the most-visited national park in the country.

Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
800-845-5665 |

PO Box 1660
Kodak, TN 37764
PO Box 3179
Asheville, NC 28802