Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Buying Local: The Common Thread

Durham-based apparel companies are growing in numbers. Aside from a dedicated emphasis placed on quality and design, these companies share a common passion: Durham, the place where great things happen.

Runaway Clothing is a southern lifestyle brand that aims to connect with those who run from convention and confinement. Founder and designer Garbriel Eng-Goetz chose Durham as the brand's home base and the ideal place to launch Runaway's effort to answer the call for Southern style with urban appeal.

Durham City Goods, makers of the ever present Dur-Ham t-shirt, began as a love letter to Durham in 2008. Longtime  resident, owner and designer, Marika Wendelken, pays tribute to the Bull City and its colorful history and gritty undertones.

Duke University graduate, Rachel Weeks chose Durham as the home for her sustainable collegiate apparel line, School House. As a Fulbright scholar, Weeks traveled to Sri Lanka on a mission to bring ethical fashion to her alma mater. Her mission began in Durham and has since grown in Durham - while her product is manufactured at a living wage facility in Sri Lanka, School House is headquartered downtown in the Bull City.

Look for these companies and many more Durham-based products on Durham Stuff and throughout Shop Independent Durham Week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

12 Imperatives for a Museum of Durham History!

Durham blogger and President Emeritus of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau shares his thoughts on the proposed Museum of Durham History...

12 Imperatives for a Museum of Durham History!

Bull City Mutterings
Reyn Bowman

Long before officials leapfrogged it to build the spectacular Durham Performing Arts Center, a local history museum had long been the top cultural priority of Durham residents across every socio-ethnic group as evidenced by both scientific public opinion polls and master plans.

While Durham’s 12th and largest performance theater, not counting those in high schools such as the excellent 1,000-seat GSK Theater at Riverside, is a huge success, the only gapping hole in Durham’s cultural fabric remains the need for a local history museum.

Unfortunately, as often happens, advocates seeking to justify the theater a decade ago as a means to augment an economic development project felt the need to trash the idea of a local history museum as a threat, even going far as to bully a consultant to stop him from raising concerns.

It always takes time for the effects of propaganda like that to wash away.  Unfortunately, it isn’t new nor exclusive to Durham to see cultural facilities such as convention centers, ballparks, museums and theaters, often to their detriment, strapped like hostages to the front bumper of economic development projects.  People in my former career field are too often complicit.

All the while, however, Durham residents have continued to soldier-on as evidenced by a number of fundraisers including a benefit concert by volunteers from Durham Tech called “History Rocks” that will be held on July 16th to raise funds for a store-front precursor to a full-fledged Museum of Durham History.  Check out another prelude-project by Museum called History Beneath Our Feet, an online guide to Durham street and school names.

Fittingly, the event will be held in the 500+ capacity Motorco, an old mid-century showroom where 1960s Lincolns and Mercurys were sold which has been adaptively restored as a live music venue in Downtown’s unofficial but organically emergent NoCo District (NOrth of COrporation.)

Local history museums are vital to a community’s sense of uniqueness beyond their significance as a tool for both traditional and visitor-centric economic and cultural development.

Along with one of my own near the end, here are eleven long-term-trend-based observations noted in a 2008 study conducted by Reach Advisors on behalf of The Center For The Future Of Museums, “a think-tank and research and design lab,” about the continued relevance of museums in the future (download the full report by clicking here):

•    Far into the future, “museums will be places of cultural exchange in their communities…They will be one of the most powerful agents in helping all children understand the future and ensuring they are prepared to take leadership roles.”

•    “With educational attainment becoming a more visible tool of social mobility than ever, museums provide more opportunities than ever for [those] from less-educated families to gain exposure to topics that drive academic interest…As important players in the formal and informal education system, museums will…meet the rising expectations highly educated moms have for their children.”

•    In a world undergoing incredible change, “museums will educate the public on how past societies coped and adapted to tectonic shifts in their resources.  They will help society learn from history as we cope with a new era of expensive energy, lower consumptions, carbon constraint and climate change.”

•    “Museums are stable oases in the mist of turmoil…museums play an even greater role in sustaining the well-being of their communities during a prolonged downturn. Whether for the retiree managing lower post-retirement income than anticipated, or for schools with fewer enrichment opportunities for students, museums are there for their communities.”

•    “Museums play an important role in helping communities…reinvent themselves in the new knowledge-based economy. Responding to society's need for greater global awareness…promote dialog and understanding about other cultures and our place…”

•    “Museums are among the few institutions that bring together people of all economic classes…valued for their ability to redistribute wealth in the form of access to scientific, cultural and artistic resources, mitigating the cultural gap that arises from income disparities.”

•    “the fundamental human condition responds to a variant of Newton’s Third Law of Motion: The prevalence of the digital, virtual world raises public awareness of the increasingly rare world of non-digital assets that help tell the story of how humans got where we are.  Museums play  a more critical role than ever as purveyors of the authentic, addressing a human desire for the real as the wonders of technology march us towards the opposite path.”

•    “…Museums provide common experiences for diverse audiences, serving as safe public spaces for civic dialogue. As one of the most trusted sources of information, museums help people navigate the vast new world of information by filtering and validating credible content.”

•    “Museums…play a vital role in nurturing, documenting, organizing, interpreting and making accessible…creative output…They are repositories of knowledge about traditional craft, sources of inspiration for new designs and processes, and through their collections and exhibitions” they are “validators of new.”

•    “museums provide unique opportunities for today’s youth to exercise their gaming skills and satisfy their expectations for immersive narrative.  This increases their engagement with museums but also the community and the world, providing levels of social and global awareness they might not otherwise absorb while sitting in front of a screen.”

•    “Museums will be oases of the real in an increasingly virtual world.  Along with the outdoors and places of worship, museums represent the best opportunity for getting away from it all.”

It was clear to me from a now concluded four-decade career focused on marketing communities to visitors, including newcomers and relocating or start-up executives, that local history museums uniquely provide a place where existing residents, visitors and newcomers can explore the soul of a community and appreciate and perpetuate the temporal values and traits that make a community unique and distinct.

They are essential to place-making.  They engage all five modes of cultural involvement including inventive participation, interpretive participation, curatorial participation, observational participation and ambient participation.

For anyone prone to be list checkers with little patience for the future or the past, the report begins with an insightful quote from futurist Paul Saffo:

“The goal of forecasting is not to predict the future but to tell you what you need to know to take meaningful action in the present.”

Ironic for a community with a history arguably deeper and more significant than most, Durham has waited too long for a Museum of Durham History.

Proponents must remember another quote I like by Saffo, “never mistake a clear view for a short distance.”  Keep the faith!.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Buy It to Eat t!...In Durham.

Even those with little social interaction or minimal consumption of media know that Durham is one of the nation's most vibrant food communities.  With dozens of chef/owner-driven restaurants from mobile operators to classic interpretations to concept properties, there's a whole lot going here.  Durham is not a place of hubris, but suffice it to say that there really is a little bit of most every kind of food available here.  Diversity is a well-earned local brand value, and with 77 different countries represented in the public school system it is not undeserved.

A natural pattern of market growth is playing out here, as the population is demanding more of retailers to provide them more of the ingredients they seek to create the dishes they are having in great local restaurants and about which they read in some of Durham's exciting food blogs.  After all, Durham's Farmers' Market is competing to be labeled America's favorite, The New York Times listed Durham as one of 41 places in the world to visit in 2011 largely on account of the local food scene, and chef's move here to open restaurants.  So naturally, retail was bound to follow.

Enter Reliable Cheese Company, the newest food retailer in Durham.  In case it's unclear, this place is largely a cheese shop.  Owner operator Patrick Coleff was attracted to Durham precisely because of the large and growing base of educated food consumers who either live or work here.  To shop in his store, that is filled both with product and the whispers of what more is to come soon as additional goods fill the shelves, cases and walls, is to feel that he is in this place deliberately.  He knows his product, loves what he does and is rather well, it seems, enamored of the people for whom he has opened his store.

Durham is also home other great specialty food retailers.  The list is considerable, but would be incomplete without mentioning the following:

Foster's Market - Formerly a chef for Martha Stewart, owner Sara Foster opened this landmark specialty food store with prepared foods, baked goods, gourmet grocery, wine, beer and candy.  It remains a staple for Durham visitors and locals alike.

Li Ming's Global Mart - A mecca for Asian specialty foods including live fish, an enormous produce section, significant groceries and housewares, as well as some typical domestic goods commonly found in regular grocery stores.

Tienda La Superior - The Latin American equivalent to Li Ming's with butchers, freshly made tortillas and grocery shelves stocked to the hilt with all manner of traditional south of the border specialty items.

Parker and Otis - Epic selection of candy, some specialty non-perishable grocery, beer, wine, prepared food, cheeses, housewares, coffee and tea.  That, and it's named in part for a dog, so how can that be bad?

Wine Authorities - largely a wine shop, this store also stocks bacon, bread, cheese, chocolates, coffee, olives, and sausages. They source locally that which they can.

Durham vehemently supports local business as a means to strengthen the local economy and keep Durham's celebrated independent businesses thriving. Local business advocacy organization Sustain-a-Bull hosts a bi-yearly event to promote the value and importance of supporting independent local business. Shop Independent Durham Week is coming up on July 3-10. For information on Shop Independent Durham Week, visit Sustain-a-Bull's website.

The Carrack Opens Tonight

Durham artist John Wendelbo is opening his fund-raising headquarters/art gallery, The Carrack, tonight at 111 Parrish Street for the Durham Sculpture Project.  From this space, Wendelbo intends to further his public sculpture project to build Dionysys, a 35 foot-tall publicly-funded sculpture that will be donated to the city for installation upon completion, as well as establish Durham as a large-scale sculpture construction and viewing destination.  The project will create permanent jobs and materials from this project will also generate other pieces, as well.  There is a larger social narrative to his project that is detailed here.

Tonight's event is not open to the public, but the gallery will be open this weekend from 1 to 4 PM each weekend day.  The opening exhibition will feature works by many local artists presenting work in a variety of formats from two dimensional to digital projection.  For the culturally inclined, this is not a show to miss.

Wendelbo, a French ex-patriot who came to the US to build Frank Stella's landmark sculpture The Prince of Hamburg, came here after years in New York because Durham is the sort of open and artistic community where he and his wife could raise a family.  He works at Carolina Bronze in Seagroves, NC, a nationally recognized foundry whose statue of Ronald Reagan is to be unveiled at the US Embassy in London on July Fourth.

The gallery name is a reference to the type of sailing ship used by the Portuguese and Spanish for exploration voyages. Wendelbo considers his project in a similar light.

Normal hours for the gallery are 4 to 8 PM Tuesday to Friday.  Art is for sale and the general public is encouraged to visit after tonight's opening event. According to Wendelbo, the space will be available to rent for private events, as well.

Pollinator Day at Durham Farmers' Market

Pollinator Day at the Market 
Saturday June 25th
Join the Durham County Master Gardener Volunteers and their friends the Master Beekeepers to learn how honey is made. The Master Gardeners will have information about attracting pollinators to your garden.  Look for them under the White tent on the Central Lawn.
Chef in the Market, Andy Magowan, Geer Street Garden
June 25th, 10am
Andy Magowan, formerly from Piedmont is now chef and owner of the new restaurant, Geer Street Garden.  Andy will join us on June 25th with a taste of his Geer Street Garden.

Free Yoga in the Park
For more info about Yoga in the Park, check out their blog.

The 2011 America's Favorite Farmers' Market Contest sponsored by the American Farmland Trust has started. Show your support and vote here.

Fresh this Week
Fruit:  Melons, Cantaloupe, Peaches, Blueberries, Dewberries, Blackberries, Loganberries, Black Raspberries and Strawberries
Vegetables:  Corn, Arugula, Beets, Braising Greens, Chinese Cabbage, Cabbage, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards,  Cucumbers,  Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Fava Beans, Fennel, Garlic, Green Beans, Green Onions, Herbs (Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Dill, Chives, Mint),  Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Radishes, Okra, Onions, Pea Shoots, Peppers, Potatoes, Roma Beans, Salad Mix, Swiss Chard,  Summer Squash, Greenhouse Tomatoes,  Turnip Greens, Zucchini
Flowers:  Agrostemma, Asiatic Lillies, Campanula, Dahlia, Delphiniums, Larkspur, Lisianthus, Snap Dragon, Sunflowers, Zinnia
Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Lamb, Pork
And: Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Handmade Chocolates, Wool, Landscaping Plants and Vegetable Transplants
Crafts: Handmade Clothes & Jewelery, Baskets, Pottery, Photographs and Soaps

Weekend Closures for Northbound Durham Freeway

Northbound lanes of the Durham Freeway will be closed overnight tonight, and there will also be lane closures in both the north and southbound lanes through the weekend as work continues on a N.C. Department of Transportation project to improve the highway between Swift Avenue (Exit 14) and T.W. Alexander Drive (Exit 7).

Crews will be milling off the top layer of asphalt on the inside shoulder of the northbound lanes between Briggs Avenue (Exit 10) and Fayetteville Road (Exit 12), and then re-paving the shoulder.

All northbound lanes will be closed between Ellis Road (Exit 8) and Fayetteville Road (Exit 12) from 11 p.m. on Friday, June 24, until 5 a.m. on Saturday, June 25. One lane will remain closed through the weekend between north of Ellis Road and Fayetteville Road to allow for the repaving of the inside shoulder and bridge painting. During the complete closure of the northbound lanes, there will be a
two-phased detour in place:

Friday night – Phase I - Northbound Durham Freeway closed from Briggs Avenue to south of Duke Street:
•    Exit at Briggs Avenue (Exit 10) ;
•    Turn right onto Briggs Avenue;
•    Turn left onto Pettigrew Street;
•    Turn left onto Fayetteville Road;
•    Turn right onto Jackie Robinson Drive; and
•    Use Durham Freeway northbound ramp.

Motorists who want to access Alston Avenue should turn left from Pettigrew Street onto Chatham Street. Turn left onto Gann Street, then onto Alston Avenue.  

Friday night – Phase II
– Northbound Durham Freeway closed from Ellis Road to Briggs Avenue:
•    Exit at Ellis Road (Exit 8);
•    Turn left onto Ellis Road;
•    Ellis Road will turn to the right at the intersection with Northeast Creek Parkway;
•    Follow Ellis Road for approximately 2.5 miles;
•    Turn left onto Pettigrew Street;
•    Turn left on Chatham Street;
•    Turn left on Gann Street;
•    Turn right on Alston Avenue; and
•    Turn right onto Durham Freeway northbound.

In addition, northbound left lane closures can be expected between 5 a.m. on Saturday, June 25 and 6 a.m. on Monday, June 27 from north of Ellis Road to north of Alston Avenue. On the southbound side, right lane closures will be in place from 7 p.m. on Friday until 6 a.m. on Monday from Swift Avenue to Roxboro Street.  The southbound work will also require the closure of the Parker Road ramp to the southbound Freeway.  The detour will be as follows:

Parker Road Ramp to Durham Freeway Southbound

•    Continue on Vickers Road
•    Turn left on Morehead Drive
•    Continue on Morehead Drive to Durham Freeway Southbound

NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.

This is a $4.2 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project to create a smoother roadway surface, and in turn a better ride for motorists. It will also extend the life of the roadway surface, helping avoid more costly replacement work in the future. The project is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 1.

Updated travel information is available by calling 511 or online at In addition, NCDOT now offers travel information on Twitter (for more information, go to Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Woman's Legacy: Senator Jeanne Hopkins Lucas

A true leader embodies the spirits of compassion and activism while capturing the hearts and minds of their constituents.  Senator Jeanne Hopkins Lucas of Durham was just such a leader, and is, for that reason, being honored at the second annual Senator Jeanne Hopkins Lucas Luncheon in Research Triangle Park on Saturday, June 25.

In 1993, Lucas became the first African American woman to serve in the North Carolina Senate. She was elected to seven terms of office and rose to become the first African American woman to serve as Senate Majority Whip and Senior Chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee on Public Instruction. progress in education. 

Prior to holding elected office, Senator Lucas was a classroom teacher in the Durham Public School system and later became the personnel director and public relations director. She served as the state president of the Association of Classroom Teachers and was inducted into the North Carolina Education Hall of Fame.

“She believed that each of us has something special to offer and that the role of education is the big difference maker in the life of a child, as they prepare for a successful adulthood and career,” North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue said. “I share her belief, and that is why I am fighting so hard to continue North Carolina’s progress in education."

A one-time scholarship worth $500 in the name of Senator Lucas will be awarded at the luncheon to a female African American high school senior to further her own education. This year’s theme is “A Woman’s Legacy."

For tickets or additional information on the annual Jeanne Hopkins Lucas Luncheon including sponsorship opportunities, go here.

Bulls' Solondz to Call Triple-A All-Star Game

Just seems like great things keep happening in Durham, and to the folks who live and work here.  Today Triple-A Baseball today announced that Durham’s Neil Solondz will call the action from this year’s Triple-A All-Star Game live on the Triple-A All-Star Game Radio Network.  Solondz is in his eighth season as the radio announcer for the Bulls.  It is the first time he has called the Triple-A All-Star Game and the second such honor for a Bulls Broadcaster (Steve Barnes 2003).

Solondz is in his eighth season with the Bulls after working for the Lakewood BlueClaws and Quad City River Bandits. Along with minor league baseball, Solondz worked six years on the Rutgers Radio Network, and has been part of NC State football and basketball broadcasts the past three seasons. Neil has also done several broadcasts of Durham Bulls and USA Baseball games for MLB Network.

The Bulls are the most famous team in Triple A baseball and were the subject of the most famous sports movie of all time, Bull Durham which was filmed in Durham and at the Durham Athletic Park which is ranks 35th of the top 100 sports venues of all time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Durham Wins "Bring Back the 4th" Contest with Liberty Mutual

Durham has won Liberty Mutual Insurance's Bring Back the 4th™ contest, an online competition encouraging people across America to rally together and earn $10,000 grants to support their cities' and towns' official Fourth of July celebrations.  Durham won in the Large City/Town category for communities over 100,001 residents. 

The funds must be used for a community's Fourth of July celebrations.  Durham Parks and Recreation department and the city's human resources department worked together to sponsor this contest locally. 
"Outpourings of local support for community initiatives is one of many great things about Durham," said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.  "We pride ourselves largely on the make up of our community, its diversity and its engagement.  Acknowledgment like this makes it all worth while," she added.

People earned credits for their local traditions by taking our "Responsible Moments in U.S. History" quiz at BringBackThe4th website, and encouraging friends, family and neighbors to do the same. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate, in an inspiring display of community teamwork and patriotism. 

The following are the 10 U.S. cities and towns earned enough quiz credits to win:

Small City/Town Category:
• Brockport Village, New York
• Chester, California
• Dahlonega, Georgia
• Springfield, Georgia

Medium City/Town Category:
• Bozeman, Montana
• New Britain, Connecticut.
• Wilmington, Massachusetts

Large City/Town Category:
• Durham, North Carolina
• Rockford, Illinois
• Springfield, Illinois

 Durham is a great place to spend with 4th of July holiday.  See the Community Event Calendar for a list of all that is happening in the place where great things happen.

Great Minds Get Back to Work

Durham is home to one of the country's fastest growing creative class workforces, and this community is determined to keep them coming.  

As the country looks for opportunities to stimulate job growth, all eyes are on Durham after President Obama's recent visit. Jeff Immelt, the head of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and CEO of GE, said Durham was selected because "it's got a lot of interesting businesses, and it's pretty much a cross-section of America in many ways." The President spoke at Cree and the rest of the Council went on to tour American Underground and McKinney. In Durham, President Obama pledged to focus on job creation and encouraged businesses to have the confidence in the investment environment and to put money to work by hiring more people.

Well, great minds think alike. The month of May saw non-traditional recruitment events from two of Durham's start-up heavy hitters. Bull City Forward presented their Social Venture and Start-Up Job Fair while Chris Heivley of LaunchBox Digital organized Tech Jobs Under the Big Top. The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham also put on a job fair geared toward connecting recent grads with creative jobs. Fox 50 and the Durham JobLink also recently partnered to host the 2011 Career Expo, a free event designed to boost professional development and recruitment.

Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau has also launched a tool to support the growing hiring needs of the hospitality industry. not only serves lodging and food service, but all businesses related to hospitality, visitation and tourism.
These Durham-wide efforts to boost hiring are just the latest sign of a recovering economy, and further proof that Durham is creative, entrepreneurial, and where great things happen.

Duke MBA Students Offer Consulting Services to Small Businesses

MBA students at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business want to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Durham and the surrounding area that need consulting help but cannot afford to pay the typical fees of consulting agencies.

Through the Fuqua Small Business Consulting Program, MBA students get course credit for helping companies solve their business problems, and companies benefit from the students’ analyses and recommendations related to their business challenges.

Over the past 28 years, Fuqua students have assisted more than 300 local companies, nonprofits and municipal agencies through this consulting program. Past activities have included improving accounting systems; financial analysis; diagnosing management problems; inventory control; operations; information technology; improving company web pages and utilizing social media; marketing strategies; human resources; manufacturing; and raising money for nonprofits. In addition, the students have helped some small businesses expand their business overseas.

To be considered for the program, businesses must meet the following criteria:
  • Be in business for at least one year;
  • Be within a one-hour drive of Duke;
  • Have revenues exceeding $100,000 for the past business year; there may be some exceptions for nonprofits.
  • Management must be willing to provide financial data (two-year minimum) and operational data to the student consultants.
  • Management must be available to meet with the student team a minimum of five times during the course of the consulting engagement (October 2011 through April 2012);
  • Management will pay a $200 administrative fee if accepted into the consulting program.
Organizations that have participated recently include Raw Choice (health foods); Cameron & Cameron (moving and logistics); DynPro, Inc. (contract research);  Lulu Enterprises (publishing); PharmaDirections (drug development consulting);  Virtual Heroes (video game producer for Department of Defense training); Muddy Dog Roasting Company (coffee wholesaler); Progressive Business Solutions (printing); Dain’s Place Pub; and The King’s Daughters Inn (Bed and Breakfast).

“During this very challenging economic period, the insights of Fuqua’s students are particularly valuable to small businesses,” said Bill Sax, who begins his 25th year of teaching at Fuqua this fall. “Our students are eager to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world situations. Organizations benefit from the practical advice they receive from our students, who average five years’ business experience before entering The Duke MBA program.”

Nonprofit organizations are welcome in the program. Past participating nonprofits have included the Affordable Housing Coalition; the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science; the Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abuse (TROSA); Futures 4 Kids; North Carolina Justice and Community Development Center; Diabetes Management Solutions; Methodist Home for Children; Passage Home, and NC Biotech Center (supports entrepreneurial biotech firms).

The students select those clients that best match their experience, interests and abilities of the consulting teams. Once selected, business owners meet with the student team to discuss the problems to be addressed.

The students begin the consulting project in October and hold five or six meetings with the client through April.

Students must have access to the financial data of the company, regardless of the problems to be studied, Sax said. “Without complete financial information, it is like trying to decorate a house in the dark,” he said.

Sax regularly reviews the students’ progress until they successfully complete the project with a formal oral and written presentation for the client. Every student signs a letter of confidentiality before the consulting engagement begins.
Fuqua is now accepting applications for the fall 2011 consulting program. The application deadline is Aug. 31.

Information about the program is available by emailing here, and the application, brochure and overview are available online .

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Opportunities to Tour Durham Abound

As Durham continues to grow as a visitor’s destination so has the demand for an insider’s view of the place where great things happen. Fortunately, the response to this growing demand has been overwhelming. The tours available are nearly as diverse as Durham itself, and tour topics include food, beer, nature and history.  Below is a list of operators offering a closer look at the wide array of Durham's diverse cultural offerings.

Heritage Tours - These tours highlight the city's downtown architecture and explore the historical significance of Durham, NC as a tobacco town and a civil rights center.

Durham Features Tour - Durham County has 58 locations on the National Register of Historic Places, from the Durham Athletic Park to Duke Chapel and three Civil War-era sites, the following tours go beyond downtown.

Walking Food Tours - Bon Appetit named Durham one of "America's Foodiest Small Towns," these tours capture the flavor of the culinary scene by highlighting Durham's celebrated restaurants and local favorites.

Nature Tour - Durham's outdoor offerings are easily explored on a scenic guided tour.

Brewery Tour - With the addition of two new breweries in the past year, Durham is fast emerging as a destination on the brewpub map.

Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau and Downtown Durham, Inc also co-produce the Downtown Durham Guide & Walking Tour. The 2011 version is hot off the presses....

Friday, June 17, 2011

Festival Season Is Just Beginning

Any other community having just hosted the Bennett Place Civil War Surrender Commemoration, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and the Doughman might look forward to taking the summer off, but not Durham. In Durham, the summer months are just as prolific with the Juneteenth Celebration, American Dance Festival, Festival for the Eno, the Bull Durham Blues Festival and the NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

Durham's festivals are unique; they don't just fill the calendar, many have earned global reputations and continue to put Durham in the national spotlight. These signature festivals are a part of Durham's story. They are a part of Durham's incredible quality of life.

The New York Times recently called Durham a "major summer dance destination." The American Dance Festival, which runs throughout the months of June and July, is one of Durham's great cultural assets. Tickets for the 2011 season are available here.  For more events, visit the Official Durham Community Calendar, Durham's most comprehensive event calendar, a service of Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

McKinney Invites the Triangle to a Pre-Battle of the Bands: The Glamabellum Ball

With the fifth Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands marching to the American Tobacco Campus this fall, McKinney announces the inaugural Glamabellum Ball. This magical summer event will be held in Durham on the American Tobacco Campus lawn Saturday, June 18, from 7–10 p.m. and is free to the public. Not just a pre-Battle of the Bands party, the Glamabellum Ball will be a fun, funky, faux-formal event with a masquerade theme, which means guests are invited to wear top hats and bloomers, but shorts and T-shirts are welcome. Come ready to decorate your own mask to wear during the evening, take a photo at the Glamabellum photo booth, compete in the sack race and dance as the sun sets over the Bull City.

The Glamabellum Ball features musical guests The Bibis Ellison Band. The band covers artists from Pat Benatar to Lady Gaga to Michael Jackson and, as reported by The Wilmington Star, is led by the “deeply soulful, powerhouse voice” of Bibis Ellison. Ellison, who was named “2010 Performer of the Year” by Encore Magazine, comes to the Triangle after years of dominating the music scene in Wilmington, NC. Her performance at the Downtown Sundown Concert Series kept the audience of thousands on their feet during a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Sign, Sealed, Delivered.” Expect nothing less from The Bibis Ellison Band on the night of the Glamabellum Ball.

“We wanted to start the countdown to the Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands in a fun, creative and musical way,” said Joni Madison, McKinney COO. “Our theme, Glamabellum, is a mashup of antebellum-era attire and glam rock style. We invite everyone to interpret that by making a fabulous fashion statement and enjoy dancing under the ATC water tower for a fun and memorable summer evening.”

"I'm really excited to be a part of the Glamabellum Ball. Before I started singing professionally, I taught music to young kids,” said Bibis Ellison. “I was fortunate to grow up with a fantastic music and arts education. It's something I believe in strongly and something I want to see thrive and grow. We couldn’t be happier to support a cause so close to our hearts by doing what we love most."

The beneficiary of the 2011 Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands, North Carolina Arts in Action (NC AIA), will also make a special appearance at the Glamabellum Ball. The kids of NC AIA have capitalized on a recent YouTube trend and will teach a Glamabellum group dance to the audience — flash mob style.

Throughout the night, a representative from each of the nine companies that have signed up for the Battle will take center stage to announce their band’s name. On September 24, these bands will take to the American Tobacco Campus stage for the fifth Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands. For more details about the charity event including information on sponsors, NC AIA and tickets, visit

Friday, June 10, 2011

Durham Farmers' Market Welcomes First Corn of the Season

Walking around the Market on Wednesday, market goers were met with big piles of green beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, melons, and lots of summer berries.  With every coming week, there are more and more tomatoes as well.  Most are still coming out of greenhouses and high tunnels but it won't be long until there are lots varieties of tomatoes - big ones, small ones, in all shades of reds, oranges, yellows and greens all over the Market. And it won't be long until the annual tomato tasting.    

But, the most exciting thing that will be happening thing in store for Durham Farmers' Market this weekend is the FIRST CORN of the season.  Two farmers have confirmed that their corn is almost ready.  Both said to expect some on Saturday with more to come next Wednesday.

The 2011 America's Favorite Farmers' Market Contest sponsored by the American Farmland Trust has started!  Show your Durham love and vote for the Market HERE.

Fresh this Week....
Fruit:  MELONS, CANTELOPE, Peaches, Blueberries, Dewberries, Blackberries, Loganberries, Black Raspberries and  Strawberries
Vegetables:  PEPPERS! Artichokes, Arugula, Bok Choy,  Beets, Braising Greens, Chinese Cabbage, Cabbage, Cherry Tomatoes, Collards,  Cucumbers,  Fava Beans, Fennel, Garlic, Green Beans, Green Onions, Herbs (Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Dill, Chives, Mint),  Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Radishes, Okra, Onions, Pea Shoots, Potatoes, Roma Beans, Salad Mix,  Shiitake Mushrooms, Swiss Chard,  Summer Squash, Sugar Snap Peas, Tat Soi,  Greenhouse Tomatoes,  Turnips - white and purple,  Turnip Greens, Zucchini
Flowers:  Agrostemma, Asiatic Lillies, Campanula, Dahlia, Delphiniums, Larkspur, Lisianthus, Snap Dragon, Sunflowers, Zinnia
Meats: Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon, Lamb, Pork
And: Honey, Chicken and Duck Eggs, Flour, Yellow & White Cornmeal, Grits, Pecans, Wines, Fresh and Aged Goats and Cows Milk Cheeses, Baked Goods, Pasta, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Handmade Chocolates, Wool, Landscaping Plants and Vegetable Transplants
Crafts: Handmade Clothes & Jewelery, Baskets, Pottery, Photographs, Soaps and much more...

The Independent Weekly's 2011 Best of the Triangle Party Moves to Durham Central Park, Includes More Family Fun

The Independent Weekly's 2011 Best of the Triangle Party, a celebration of the Triangle’s favorite places and things is tomorrow. Coincident with the annual Best of the Triangle which is on stands now, this year’s party will take place on Saturday, June 11, 2011, in Durham Central Park, one of Downtown Durham's most notable public spaces. Best of the Triangle winners are determined by reader vote, and with a record number of ballots tallied again this year, the friendly community competition continues to grow along with the region the Independent—or the Indy, as it’s often called—has covered for the past 28 years.

The 2011 party will feature live music from Floating Action, American Aquarium and more, as well as a special performance by the locally based and internationally recognized Bouncing Bulldogs rope skipping team. Highlighted by food, drinks, products and services from Best of the Triangle finalists, the party will also incorporate more family oriented activities, including a fire truck, clown, bouncy castle, caricature drawing and face painting.

Lenovo, the Morrisville-based computer maker, has enthusiastically and generously taken on the role of Title Partner for this year’s Best of the Triangle Party. Their donation of two laptops will be added to many other items—earrings from Jewelsmith, Hopscotch Music Festival VIP tickets, gift certificates and giveaways—for the charity raffle benefiting Durham Central Park. All of the proceeds from this raffle will go toward building a permanent stage in the park.

As seen in the logo above, acclaimed artist Paul Friedrich has used his beloved character Onion Head Monster to create the Best of the Triangle winner’s plaques, volunteer t-shirts and other graphic imagery. Paul will be on hand during the party exhibiting and selling his work.

Steve Schewel and David Birkhead, both longtime Durham, N.C., residents, dreamt of founding an alternative newspaper in the South during the early ’80s. In 1982, they hired their first editor and did just that, publishing the first issue in April 1983. In the years since, the Independent has helped change the state’s press coverage and political culture by influencing the mainstream media, pressuring political leaders and moving its readers to positive action.

The Independent has served as a consistent and strident cultural critic in North Carolina for decades, regularly winning awards for its arts and music writing, not to mention its long legacy of award-winning news coverage. With the support of its readers, advertisers, people like Paul Friedrich and organizations like Lenovo, the Independent is proud to exemplify its commitment to community with the 2011 Best of the Triangle Party.

NCCU School of Education Offers Summer Technology Institute

Durham is home to two universities, and NCCU is attracting significant nation attention with forward thinking programs and excellence in the classroom.  The upcoming Third Annual Summer Technology institute is a great example.

The North Carolina Central University School of Education will hold its third annual Summer Technology Institute, “Preparing 21st Century Educators as Technology Leaders to Teach Millennial Students,” on June 23 and 24. The Institute will take place in the H.M. Michaux Jr. School of Education from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days.

Anthony Tata, superintendent of the Wake County Public School System, and Bruce Friend, director of SAS Curriculum Pathways, will offer keynote addresses.

Tata served as chief operating officer of the District of Columbia Public Schools before joining the Wake County school system in January. A retired brigadier general, Tata served 28 years in the U.S. Army.  For the past decade, Friend has been working in online education as the chief administrator for two virtual schools, one in Florida and one in Raleigh.  Most recently he guided the creation of online programs in South Carolina and North Carolina. Before SAS, Friend served as the vice president for the North American Council of Online Learning, a nonprofit organization providing support to students, parents and online learning programs.

The two-day event at NCCU will offer a variety of workshops, including:

 *   Using Smartboards to teach mathematics, science, social studies and language arts;
 *   Google apps in the classroom;
 *   Using Hyperstudio 5 to create digital content;
 *   Using iPads and and smartphones to enhance instruction;
 *   Using social networks to support instruction and teaching with Elluminate.

Registration for the Summer Technology Institute continues until June 15. Lunch will be provided both days.  See the event website for more information and registration. 

Founded in 1910, North Carolina Central University was the first publicly supported liberal arts college for African-Americans.  Today, this dynamic campus has a diverse student body of 8,600 enrolled in academic programs including law, biotechnology, library science, business, nursing, education and the arts.  For two years in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked NCCU as the best public historically black college or university in the nation.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Durham Wins Big

Durham is fortunate to have many great features that excite, entice and satisfy visitors and residents alike...turns out that folks across the Research Triangle Region think so.

Image reprinted with permission of the Independent Weekly.
According to the Independent Weekly's Best of the Triangle 2011: Readers Choice Poll, Durham businesses, or those with locations in Durham, fared pretty well (read as: INCREDIBLY WELL).  In total, Durham businesses won 91 spots on the list out of 237 total; just about 40% - a strong showing of which Durham can be proud.

Durham fared well in the food arena - the food scene here is one of the country's most celebrated.  The New York Times cited the food in Durham as one of the reasons for naming Durham to a global list of the Top 41 Places to Visit in 2011.

Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau engages a similar ranking process annually and will lanuch their survey in late summer.  Lists like these are powerful visitor marketing tools because those looking to learn about a destination are interested in what those who live there think is the best, where they go and what they do for fun. 

Stay tuned for DCVB's Local Favorites survey in a few months.  For now, get out and show these Durham busiensses some love.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Correcting Conan...Only the Proud Dare Do So

Durham has a cadre of caring folks who are passionate about their community.  In fact, for every resident who is negative about Durham there are 17 others who are positive or very positive about their city (Most places have about a one-to-one positive-to-negative pride ratio with a lot being ambivalent). 

In 2007, DCVB harnessed the energy of some of these folks, gave them their own identity (Durham ImageWatchers), and put them to work helping to identify, address, and reverse misperceptions about Durham. 

Although DeaconGuy08, seen in this video of the Conan O’Brian show, isn’t on the ImageWatcher roster, DCVB is making him honorary chairman for the day.

Sign up to be an ImageWatcher here. Participants get weekly emails about all the great things happening in Durham and are called on occasionally to assist DCVB in protecting Durham’s identity and brand.  

U.S. ARMY Selects Durham Bulls Athletic Park for Birthday Celebration

The Durham Bulls in conjunction with the 82nd Airborne today announced plans for the 236th birthday of the United States Army to be celebrated at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Tuesday, June 14th at the Bulls game against the Norfolk Tides at 7:05 PM.
Major Jason Brown from the 82nd Airborne's Public Affairs office determined the Durham Bulls game to be an ideal fit for the celebration when he began planning earlier this year.
"We wanted to celebrate the birthday of America's Finest Institution with America's Favorite Pastime," Major Brown said, "We're looking forward to a great night and a fantastic celebration."
Beginning at around 5:30 PM, fans will have the opportunity to explore high tech army equipment positioned on Blackwell St. in front of the team's box office including:
  • An un-manned Arial Vehicle (Shadow) - The Shadow will be set up on a launcher and fans can look through the camera and see what soldiers see when they are flying it.
  • A 105 MM Howitzer
  • An Armored Humvee with a guided missile launcher (TOW) that fans will be able to climb in and look through the sites.
  • A Front Line Ambulance that fans can climb in and check out the medical training equipment
  • A fully-armed Infantry squad complete with body armor, night vision and real military weaponry. Fans will be able to try on all the equipment.
During the game, fans will have the opportunity to recognize all active and retired military during a special between-inning ceremony followed by the singing of Happy Birthday. Then during the 7th Inning Stretch, the All-American Chorus from Ft. Bragg will perform God Bless America.
"We are honored that our friends at Ft. Bragg selected us for this event," Durham Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said, "This will be a wonderful night to celebrate with our heroes."
Active military wishing to attend the game may come for free courtesy of SofSole by showing their active military ID at the box office. Any fan can take advantage of a "Two Tickets for $9" deal courtesy of Whole Foods Market that night at well. For more information, contact the Durham Bulls PR office at (919) 687-6516.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Corey D. Bizzell Recognized by Meeting Professionals International Carolinas Chapter as 2011 Supplier of the Year and for Long-Term Industry Impact

Meeting Professionals International Carolinas Chapter (MPI-CC) recently announced Corey Bizzell, Director of Group Sales and Services at DCVB, was named Supplier of the Year by his peers at the MPICC annual awards banquet. He was lauded for his outstanding achievements and exemplary service to the hospitality industry not only during the course of the year but throughout his service to the chapter.
A 17-year Hospitality Industry veteran, Bizzell has held positions as both a supplier and planner.  Coupling skills used while planning meetings for clients and back of the house knowledge gained while working in lodging facilities Bizzell has been able to provide the highest quality of service to Groups and Conventions during his nine year tenure at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB).  Karen Knox, CMP of Blue Cross Blue Shield, NC says of Bizzell, “Always accessible and responsive, Corey conducts himself with poise, professionalism and confidence, and doesn’t hesitate to raise his hand to assist in any way possible.”

Shelly Green, President and CEO of the DCVB, has supervised Bizzell for 8 years.  “Corey cares deeply about the clients he works with on behalf of our community.  I’ve heard him say many times, his job isn’t to sell someone on Durham.  His job is to understand what his clients need for a successful meeting.  Sometimes Durham is the answer to those needs; other times, it is not.  If not, he tells them so, knowing that the relationship is always more important than the sale.”

Bizzell has served MPI-CC in a variety of different volunteer leadership positions including in the past including chair and director positions.  MPI-CC is dedicated to the professional and personal growth of its members and the meeting industry through education, networking, and communications and is part of a larger organization of over 23,000 members.

DCVB is Durham’s official marketing agency and works through various channels to enhance both business and leisure visitation, sustain place-based assets and support the local economy.  Durham is within an hour flight or a day’s drive for more than half the US population and can accommodate more than 85% of the meetings held in the US annually.

Durham Bike Co-op to Benefit from the Tour de Fat's not gross, although it is a bit funky, just how Durham likes it.

In its 12th season, New Belgium Brewing’s traveling celebration of all things bicycle will make its first mark on Durham, NC on Saturday, June 25 in the Diamond View Park at the American Tobacco Campus when the tour kicks off in the Bull City.  Tour de Fat is more than an event; it’s a rite of passage that includes a costumed bicycle parade, beer, eye-popping entertainment, local food, crazy bike contests and much more.

A highlight of Tour de Fat is the annual car-for-bike swap where one person hands over his or her car keys and commits to one year of living car-free. Each car-for-bike swapper will receive a hand-built Black Sheep commuter bike in return for their car. A swapper to represent Durham in this challenge is still being sought, those interested can visit the Tour de Fat Facebook page.

“We can’t wait to bring our unique style of bike advocacy to Durham,” said Bryan Simpson, spokesman for New Belgium.  “People who haven’t witnessed Tour de Fat don’t quite know what to expect, but that’s what we love.  It’s an uninhibited day of quirky costumes, bikes and entertainment while supporting our non-profit friends.”  However, since Durham is home to the Doughman, it's unlikely that there will be any shocks delivered to Durham's system. 

A few tidbits about Tour de Fat:
  • Tour de Fat encourages everybody to team up and present each city with the most colorful, respectful and creative bike parade ever witnessed. (Hint: No one stands out like the guy who was too cool for a costume!)
  • Tour de Fat seeks to leave as small an environmental imprint as possible and composts and recycles waste.  The waste diversion rate for 2010 was 91 percent.
  • Tour de Fat is free to attend, but beer and merchandise proceeds go to local cycling non-profits. During its lifespan, Tour de Fat events have raised more than $1.75 million for philanthropy.  Last year Tour de Fat raised $331,428.
  • All musical acts perform on a solar-powered stage decorated with recycled materials; trucks and transport use biofuel sourced from recycled waste oils; and all vendors operate off the grid.
  • This is a pro-bike celebration, not an anti-car rally…non-cyclists are more than welcome to join the festivities. 
The Durham Bike Coop will be a recipient of proceeds from this event, as will the North Carolina Active Transportation Alliance and the Triangle Spokes Group.

Bennett Place Explores 'Carolina Culture' of 1800s As Part Of Free 2nd Saturdays Program On June 11

The largest troop surrender, and the effective end of the Civil War took place in Durham at Bennett Place.  The site is the focus of much interest as the commemoration of 150th anniversary of the Civil war is underway, and Durham's three state historic sites are involved in various ways. 

The joy of raising and cooking food, making clothing and candles, and the artistry of homemade quilts will be shared at Bennett Place State Historic Site at the “Carolina Culture” program, a free 2nd Saturdays presentation on June 11. Other 2nd Saturdays dates are July 9 and Aug. 13.

Enjoy demonstrations of 19th-century gardening, cooking and quilting, in the style much as yeomen farmers James and Nancy Bennett would have done. Visitors will learn about soaking and “carding” to clean wool, in preparation for making clothes for the family.  Visitors also can participate in boiling wax and dipping candles. The strains of Appalachian folk music by Mark and Julee Weems will add to the day’s fun.

The farm of James and Nancy Bennitt (or Bennett) was the site of the largest troop surrender of   the Civil War on April 26, 1865. Bennett Place State Historic Site interprets the lives of the Bennett Family and Civil War era soldiers. It is located at 4409 Bennett Memorial Road in Durham, N.C.

Bennett Place is within the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available on their site.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Durham Schools Awarded School Improvement Grants

Durham's Hillside High and Y.E. Smith Elementary have been awarded School Improvement Grants by the North Carolina State Board of Education. They were two of only 17 schools in the state to receive the three-year grants.

Hillside will receive a total of $4,724,648 and Y.E. Smith will receive a total of $2,766,148. The funds will be used to support sustained, systematic academic improvement during school years 2011-2014.

The goal of the School Improvement Grants is not only to raise student achievement, but also to establish models for school improvement that may be replicated. Each school applying for the grant was required to select one of four federally-defined models, and both Durham schools selected the Transformation Intervention Model. This model will enhance student learning and achievement, provide job-embedded professional development for staff, increase learning time, provide an ongoing mechanism for community and family engagement, ensure ongoing technical assistance, and rigorously evaluate and reward all staff.

“We are excited to enhance the academic programs at these two schools,” said Superintendent Eric J. Becoats. “Hillside and Y.E. Smith have devised models to help students and now they will have the funding needed to move forward.”

As part of the Transformation Intervention Model, Hillside High is planning to implement a freshman academy, business and finance academy, International Baccalaureate Programme, engineering and technology pathway, visual and performing arts pathway and advanced curriculum studies.

Y.E. Smith will use the funds to continue the extended school day program which allows for additional instructional minutes per day totaling the equivalent of approximately 42 additional days per year. Y.E. Smith will also add two high-quality pre-Kindergarten classes and significant technology upgrades including digitized classrooms equipped with whiteboards, projectors and laptops for teachers along with increased computer access for students.

Fresh from Durham Farmers' Market

When it is stiflingly hot outside, look to Durham Farmers' Markets farmers for the best tricks for staying cool.  In the heat of Wednesday Market, Renee Clayton of Wild Scallions Farm and Judy Lessler of Harland's Creek Farm shared their favorite cold, refreshing salads. 

Cold Cucumber Salad

Slice the cucumbers very thinly.  Sprinkle them with some salt and some sugar.  Mix it around and let it sit in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes to let the cucumbers start to sweat.  Optional: chop up a a few mint leaves and sprinkled them on top.

Crunchy Kohlrabi Salad
Red Wine Vinegar

Peel the kohlrabi and slice it up.  Sprinkle with a little bit of salt, enough to let it start to sweat.  Shake some red wine vinegar onto it and enjoy!

The warm days (and warm nights) mean summer crops are kicking into high gear. New fruits and vegetables include: Loganberries, Black Raspberries, Blackberries, Dewberries, Blueberries, Cherry Tomatoes, Okra, Basil,  Bell Peppers, and every type of summer squash imaginable.

Remember to show your Durham love and VOTE for Durham Farmers' Market for the 2011 America's Favorite Farmers' Market Contest sponsored by the American Farmland Trust.

Vote the Durham Bulls Into the Triple-A All-Star Game

Triple-A Baseball and MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) announced today that online voting is now underway for the 24th annual Triple-A All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah. The online fan balloting, in its sixth consecutive year of a partnership between Triple-A Baseball and MLBAM, continues through Friday, June 24. This year's contest will take place at Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake City, home of the Pacific Coast League's Salt Lake Bees, on Wednesday, July 13 at 7 p.m. MST. VOTE NOW

Online Triple-A All-Star Balloting is proudly sponsored by Pert Plus, Official Shampoo Partner of the Triple-A All-Star Game. Pert Plus 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner is known for helping users get great, healthy looking hair without the hassle, and can be found in locker rooms of select MiLB teams across the country. For more information about Pert Plus, visit and Fan balloting will help determine the starting lineups for both All-Star teams, accounting for one-third of the total vote. Ballots cast by members of the media and each club's field manager, coaches and general manager will account for the other two-thirds.

Fans can register for a chance to win various prizes when they cast their ballots online at the official websites of Minor League Baseball (, the Pacific Coast League (, the International League ( and the websites of all 30 Triple-A teams. The online sweepstakes, which is presented by Pert Plus, includes special Triple-A prize packages and MiLB.TV subscriptions.

All fans who participate in the online balloting will be able to vote for players on both the PCL and IL rosters. Fans can select one player for each of the infield positions, three outfielders, a designated hitter and four pitchers - two starters and two relievers. Write-in votes for players not listed on the ballot also will be accepted. Up-to-date statistics and position-by-position comparisons will be available at the click of a mouse to help fans make their selections.

As a new feature this year, fans will also be able to share links to their online ballots through Facebook and Twitter to encourage friends and followers to cast votes for their favorite Triple-A players. Voting updates will be made available weekly for both leagues. Once the balloting period is over, fans can check the aforementioned websites for additional updates and features leading up to the All-Star Game.

The 24th annual Triple-A All-Star Game presented by Zions Bank and Workers Compensation Fund will be broadcast live from Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 13 on MLB Network as well as streamed online at MiLB.TV. On Monday, July 11, the Triple-A Home Run Derby presented by Papa John's will showcase sluggers from the PCL and IL, as well as two Utah high school baseball players.