Things to do this week

From the plates to the polls, from the schools to the sky and everywhere in between, the following list provides a sampling of events happening this week in Catawba County. For more, check back throughout the week at, and pick up a copy of The Observer News Enterprise at news stands each day.

Claremont will host its annual Halloween Spooktacular from 5-8 p.m. Monday. There will be goodies for children from 3-5 p.m. and free games and entertainment from 4-7 p.m.

Catawba County Library invites children to wear their costumes for trick-or-treating at the Newton, St. Stephens and Southwest branches from 3-8 p.m. Monday. Children attending story hours will also hear tales about pumpkins, goblins and more.

Beginning Tuesday
A Newton Parks and Recreation Department-sponsored canned food drive to benefit the Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry (ECCCM) Hunger Prevention Program begins Tuesday and runs through Dec. 16. Non-perishable food items will be collected for local residents who may be disabled or handicapped, and those in need in the community.
Donation locations include Newton City Hall, the Newton Recreation Department and the Central Recreation Department. For more information, contact the Newton Recreation Center at 828-695-4317 or the Central Recreation Center at 828-465-7477.

The League of Women Voters of Catawba Valley will sponsor a candidate forum for school board hopefuls Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church family life center in Hickory. Carolyn Jones Connor, league president, will be the moderator.

N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis will interact with Catawba County residents Tuesday during a town hall meeting in Hickory.
Tillis will visit the auditorium at Catawba Valley Community College at 5 p.m. "The speaker will get up and talk for about five minutes about what was accomplished in the last legislative session, likely about jobs and the economy," said Jordan Shaw, a spokesman for the Tillis office. "Then he'll open it up for questions. You ask what you want to talk about, and we'll talk about what you ask."

Bandys High School will host a Financial Aid Night on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the school’s media center. Skip Watts from the College Foundation of North Carolina will provide important information about resources available to help defray college expenses. Parents and students are encouraged to attend.

Sherrills Ford Lions Club will hold a barbecue chicken dinner Friday to raise money for services that benefit the blind and benefit the new local hospice facility.
Plates with half a barbecue chicken, red slaw, roll and dessert will be $8. They will be sold at the Sherrills Ford Lions Den on Sherrills Ford Road.
Eat-in dining and takeout will be available after 4 p.m.

Lucille Miller Observatory at Maiden Middle School will open for its monthly free observing beginning at 7 p.m. Friday.Weather permitting, the moon, Jupiter and the fall sky will be observed.

Through Saturday
Early voting continues in municipal elections in Catawba County. Voters can visit the Newton Main Library or Highland Recreation Center in Hickory to vote from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. All voters in line at closing time each day will be allowed to vote.

Catawba Valley Astronomy Club will be at Barnes and Noble Booksellers on U.S. 70 SE in Hickory from 3-11 p.m. Saturday for the club's free Fall Astronomy Day. Weather permitting, there will be telescopes for observing the sun, Jupiter and the evening sky.

To submit your events to The O-N-E and Outlook, Catawba County's good news publication, e-mail or