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North Carolina Travel Guide
Pittsboro

Introduction

Hillsboro Street in PittsboroThe town of Pittsboro, county seat of Chatham County, is named after William Pitt the Younger and was established in 1771. No town is a better example of the changes that are overtaking the state of North Carolina than this one. A walk down Hillsboro Street is like a visit to Mayberry and there are a number of historic houses and buildings to see and at least fourteen interesting antique and old-clothing shops. Yet it's facing major changes and decisions on growth. Pittsboro was the scene of a political struggle that pitted out-of-state developers against anti-growth locals. County commissioner Gary Phillips, a progressive Democrat, was ousted in the primary by Republican-turned-Democrat used-car-salesman Bunky Morgan, who was backed by a California real estate developing company that pumped a small fortune into this local election in the hopes of clearing the way for their building plans. After beating Phillips in the primary, the Republican candidates obligingly stepped aside to allow Morgan easy access to the seat on the board. So you can't say that Republicans and "Democrats" can't work together when it's in their best interests (or somebody's best interest). Anyway in a happy ending to the story (so far) Bunky Morgan got a whoopin in the next election and the town is now taking more careful steps in its development, though you would never know it by looking at the road between Pittsboro and Chapel Hill where the new Wallmart is being built.

Haw River near PittsboroThere are several things that make Pittsboro attractive to developers and the people who will soon fill these homes should the recession ever end and they actually get built. The town is less than an hour from Raleigh and thirty minutes from Chapel Hill or Durham. Nearby Jordan Lake , a huge man-made body of water built by the Army Corp of Engineers, provides all sorts of resources for summer activity, including swimming, boating, fishing, waterskiing, hiking on the nature trails and picnic areas. The Haw River is a couple miles from downtown Pittsboro, where you can fish, kayak and some people even swim in its waters, which have been gradually getting cleaner. There is a 198-mile system of bicycle trails that covers lightly-traveled country roads to connect the towns, crossroad communities and points of interest in Chatham County. But what makes Pittsboro the most attractive to developers is that there is so much to develop. The town is surrounded by farms, forests, fields and hills, and some envision it as a bedroom community for Raleigh and Research Triangle Park.

Downtown Pittsboro

Pittsboro Chatham County CourthouseThe Chatham County Courthouse was built in 1881, designed by a local lawyer after the roof blew off an earlier building. It is the fourth courthouse built in the county since 1771. The building (listed on the National Historic Register) caught fire in March of 2010 and was mostly destroyed and rebuilt again in 2013. Of interest to conspiracy buffs is the fact that at the time of the fire, the courthouse had been in the news because it was where United States presidential candidate and former US Senator John Edwards, was on trial for his affair and the cover-up that followed. The famous sex tape, which was the primary focus of the media, and the whole country actually, was rumoured to have been destroyed in the fire. As it turned out that particular piece of evidence was not in the courthouse at the time. But that did not stop the fire from becoming a national news story which it probably would not have been if it was merely a one hundred year old historical building burning down. So why even mention it in a guide to Pittsboro? Mostly because it is the most interesting thing I could find about the courthouse. In fact the fire and the John Edwards trial were the two biggest things to ever happen at the Chatham Country Courthouse and they happened at the same time. Coincidence? Maybe.

The Chatham Historical Museum, whose collection was miraculously spared by the fire is currently located nearby but should be back in the restored courthouse by the time you read this. A Confederate monument (erected in 1907) is on the grounds. Old-timers say that as children, they tossed bottle caps from the balcony of the courthouse, competing to get the caps to stay in the brim of the soldier's hat.

Blair Hotel, Pittsboro, North CarolinaThe Pittsboro Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and stretches beyond the original four-block center of the town. It includes Chatham Mills, the Patrick St. Lawrence House, the Pittsboro Community House, the County Courthouse and other places erected between the 1780s and 1949. The fomer Blair Hotel, constructed in 1917, now contains shops and offices on the first floor and offices on the second floor. The building was originally built with four storefront areas and a lobby (foyer) access to the hotel on the first floor and rooms along a central hallway on the second floor. The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association was located in the old hotel before moving to new digs down the street. The CFSA educates communities about local, organic agriculture by increasing knowledge of and commitment to organic, local, and sustainable food and agricultural systems – among farmers, the general public, and others, through workshops, conventions and their popular Farm Tour.

Old Pittsboro General StoreThe center of Pittsboro was probably the Pittsboro General Store, a converted car dealership on West Street right across from the Chatham County Courthouse. Home of the Haw River Festival as well as a fine collection of Bynum's Clyde Jones paintings and a full calendar of live music, the store was best known for its Green Chili Burrito, of which it had sold over 18,000 at last count, rapidly closing in on McDonalds, almost every one of them made by artist and local hero Doug Lorie. (To learn the incredible story of the Green Chili Burrito, sold exclusively at the Pittsboro General Store, click here.) In 2012 the General Store went out of business and shortly thereafter reopened as the Pittsboro Roadhouse and General Store which serves lunch and dinner and has live entertainment and special events and as its predecessor was, is the unofficial cultural center of Pittsboro. They also have special discount days. On Military Mondays 20% off food and non-alcoholic drinks, all day, for Military with a valid ID while on First Responder Tuesdays the same deal for all Police, Sheriff, EMS and Firefighters, with a valid ID.

Virlie's Grill, Pittsboro, NCVirlie's Grill gets its name from Virlie Pickel, the great-grandmother of the owner who was born in Tennessee in 1898 and raised nine children in her mountain home. Virlie's features delicious homemade soups, salads, great food at affordable prices,a kid's menu, free Wi-Fi and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you are looking for the iconic Southern diner this is it. The people are friendly and if you go there enough you will meet everyone in Chatham County. Just down the street, 3 short blocks west of the traffic circle, is Angelina's Kitchen which specializes in Greek and New Mexican inspired dishes using LOCAL farm produce and meats, cooked and often served by Greek owner Angelina. Amazingly Pittsboro has a second Greek restaurant, Greek Kouzina at 964 East Street, which is more of your standard Greek/Middle Eastern souvlaki shop. Their mission is to serve healthy, fresh, and light Greek and Mediterranean food with fast and friendly service in a casual atmosphere. Take it a step further and go to Captain John's Dockside and you have your third Greek restaurant, though this one is a seafood place on the road to Chapel Hill. Still, three Greek restaurants in a town the size of Pittsboro is pretty surprising. For Italian there is Bella Donna at 440 East Street, owned by Donna and Bob Bianco, which features interesting Italian food from chef Joj Kowal, as well as pizza, (for people who don't know any other kind of Italian food). They also serve drive-through breakfast.

City tap, PittsboroThe City Tap is a bar/restaurant located upstairs at 89 Hillsboro Street. They also have live music most nights and open mic on Wednesdays. With a great selection of local, state and national craft beers and great bar food like hot cherry peppers stuffed with prosciutto and provolone, Guglhupf's soft pretzel-bread topped with swiss cheese, ham, sweet red peppers and spices served hot, and Veggie Lover's Quesadilla:a large flour tortilla stuffed with red onion, green pepper, black olives, vegetarian black beans, cheddar and feta cheeses, salsa, and grilled to perfection and several daily specials listed on their blackboard, this is the kind of place you could spend much of your life in. Plus Chapel Hill blues/jazz singer Taz Halloween is the bartender here so there is always someone to talk music with. Come in on Mondays for $1.00 off bottled beer, Tuesday is $1.00 off glasses of wine, save a buck on drafts every Wednesday, and come after church on Sunday for $4.00 Bloody Marys. On top of all that, the chalkboard has more specials every day.

Or you can go next door and up the stairs to Vino Wine Shop which specializes in high quality, unique, eminently drinkable yet affordable wines, that they have personally selected. Come every Saturday afternoon  from 1-3pm for wine tastings. Not bad for a county that was dry less than 25 years ago, meaning you could not buy alcohol. And they ain't just selling beer. They are makin' it too! Carolina Brewery is an actual beer brewery located in the Lowe's shopping center near the intersection of highway 15/501 and Highway 64. Like its sister location in Chapel Hill the brewery serves their own craft beer to go along with an extensive menu. Recently they added an over 21 bar lounge with dart boards and flat screen TV. Brewery tours are every Saturday starting at 5pm. You can make reservations by calling 919-545-2330.

S&T Soda Shoppe Pittsboro, NCS&T's Soda Shop 85 Hillsboro Street is like taking a trip back in time to the 1940's or maybe the 30's or the 20's. The shop is full of the kinds of stuff you would find in a luncheonette from a bygone era. Why this place is not used regularly as a set for movies is beyond me because it has everything you would need to make an authentic looking period film. Ask the owner and he will happily take you upstairs to yet another replica of an old luncheonette/diner with old Wurlitzer music machines, vintage Coca-Cola signs and machines, antique bottles, glasses, advertisements, an historical wooden bar and even the remnants of an old post office. And before I forget it is an old fashioned ice-cream parlor where you can still get a hot fudge sundae or a banana split the way you remember them. Their food menu includes hot-dogs, hamburgers, tuna melts, quesadilla and even dishes like lasagna and chicken parmesan, salads, fries, onion rings and slaw and of course the Haw River Mud Desert which is made up of a fudge-nut brownie, ice-cream, whipped-cream, hot fudge and sprinkles. They are open 11-7:30 Tuesday-Saturday. Come in, say hi, have a bite to eat and then look around. And if you are looking for a place to make a movie that takes place anytime before say, 1970, come in and check it out.

Woodwrights School, PittsboroIt is only fitting that right next door to S&T's is The Woodwrights School, which looks like a shop but is actually a school run by none other than Roy Underhill, former master craftsman at Colonial Williamsburg,  host of the PBS series The Woodwright's Shop, the longest-running PBS "how-to" show. Roy and his associates, Bill Anderson, Elia Bizzarri, and an assortment of talented craftsmen offer classes in the art of woodworking, from one day to six day workshops where you will learn anything from using hand tools, hand cut moldings, dovetails, mortise & tenon (the joints that keep your drawers together), forging hinges and handles,  to making a ship in a bottle. The school is on the corner of Hillsboro and Salisbury streets, one block up from the courthouse circle. Upstairs is the The Woodwright's School Tool Store where Ed Lebetkin has stocked woodworking hand tools from the golden age, by the thousands. The store is open when classes are in session, and by special arrangement. You may reach Ed at edlebetkin@gmail.com to make an appointment or ask what he has in stock.

French Connection PittsboroIf you don't know it is there you will probably miss Davenport & Winkleperry Coffeehouse at 18A East Salisburry Street. This combination coffee shop and lounge features art, books, coffee, tea, wine, live music, dancing and also providing stimulating and thought-provoking entertainment with the addition of their wonderful late night lounge, Davenport's. Yes it is a coffee shop but could also pass for a museum or art gallery. You need to stop here on your next visit to Pittsboro. For antique lovers you have a number of shops right on Hillsboro Street but the one you will be most impressed with, especially if you are coming up 15/501 from Durham or Chapel Hill, is French Connections, located at 178 Hillsboro Street, and offering an eclectic variety of French antique furniture and items for the home, African art and crafts, plus a large selection of French and African fabrics. Jacques is French, born in South Africa, and Wendy is a native North Carolinian. They met in Cape Town, South Africa and spent their married life in France and Senegal before moving to Pittsboro. Their store which is in an historic house has a front lawn which they use as a display for what's inside. It is effective advertising and what is inside is just as interesting as what you will see on the lawn which practically begs you to come in.

Pittsboro ToysKeep wandering around downtown Pittsboro and you will stumble upon Reclamation Home Furnishings which specializes in used and redesigned furniture and home accessories, both vintage and current as well as handmade items by N.C. craftspeople. It is just one of the many antique stores in Pittsboro. Sullivan Music sells, builds and repairs guitars and other stringed instruments and is located just across from the courthouse at 11 Hillsboro Street. Right across the street on the opposite side is Beggars and Choosers, a thrift shop with an interesting selection of used clothing that has been around for at least the last 25 years. Pittsboro Toys sells eco-friendly, organic, well-made and safe toys, locally handmade toys as well as brands. They also have children's books.

Antique and vintage clothing shops, a toy store and even a wood-working school, what more could one small North Carolina town have. How about what may be the best guitar amplifiers in America? Perhaps the most important business in Pittsboro, at least by Chapel Hill standards is Carr Amps. Owned by guitar wizard Steve Carr who in his youth came down to Chapel Hill from Indiana to play in an assortment of bands, Carr Amps are to amplifiers as Terry McIntuff’s Guitars are to guitars. Handmade amps with amazing sound, made by people who play guitar and know what amazing sound is supposed to sound like. Who uses Carr Amps? Nils Lofgren, Joe Walsh, Billy Gibbons, Rick Miller of SCOTS, Mitch Easter, Jorma Kaukonen, Will McFarlane and should I go on? Needless to say these are great amps. A lot of famous people use them including famous people I have never heard of and I am hoping that Steve will be so happy with all the business he gets from my website that one day I will find a brand new Carr Amp sitting on my front porch. I may even start playing guitar again after I get tired of just admiring it for the way it looks. You can find Carr Amps at 23 Rectory St., Suite E which is behind Angelina's Kitchen. But you may want to e-mail them or call them before you show up expecting a tour cuz they are kinda busy.

Circle City Books, MylesOne new shop that will appeal to anyone who reads is Circle City Books & Music at 121 Hillsboro Street, right at the beginning of downtown when you come up from Chapel Hill/Carrboro. Circle City Books and Music is a close descendant of the old Fair Exchange from Carrboro, and the recently departed Skylight Exchange from Chapel Hill. Thirty years ago Dennis Gavin opened the Fair Exchange and brought in Myles Friedman to help run the business. When the Fair Exchange closed Dennis moved the store to Chapel Hill where it thrived for 20 years. Several years after Skylight closed, Myles, with Dennis at his side, brought their love of literature and music to downtown Pittsboro with the largest selection of used books south of Chapel Hill. The mural on the south side of the building has become a Pittsboro landmark and looks like a giant bookshelf filled with the works of North Carolina writers. The mural was done by well known painter Michael Brown and his students and has already caused a number of North Carolina writers to ask why they were not included. (Well, one anyway. Me.) Myles is the co-creator of several educational wall charts which are for sale in the store, including The History of Baseball which is a sort of team by team time-line that every baseball fan needs to have. Soccer fans should buy the indispensable History of the World Cup poster, while fans of war will love the World War Two and Civil War posters. But for the rest of you, Myles will be buying, selling and trading all types of books, records, CDs and DVDs for the indeterminate future and if you are lucky you may even have a Dennis Gavin sighting.

Piedmont Biofuels, PittsboroThe Pittsboro Farmer's Market begins in April and lasts well into the fall and is held at the Chatham County Fairgrounds with local farmers selling the best local fruits, vegetables, cheese, wine, eggs, poultry, beef, pork, baked goods, jams, jellies and so much more, on Saturdays. And on these same fairgrounds the Chatham County Agricultural Fair has been held every year since 1950. Well, almost every year. They missed 2012 but returned in 2013 in late August. Also based in a small industrial park on the outskirts of town is Piedmont Bio-fuels, a small renewable energy company that produces biodiesel, whose mission is to lead the sustainability effort in North Carolina through the development and production of clean, renewable fuels. They collect used cooking oil from food service establishments throughout the region, bring it to their plant in Pittsboro, and turn it into a clean burning fuel. They are also involved in other areas of renewable fuels and educating the public about its potential. Another local group called RAFI-USA cultivates markets, policies and communities that support thriving, socially-just, and environmentally-sound family farms. RAFI-USA is a private non-profit organization that traces its heritage to the National Sharecroppers’ Fund, which was founded in the 1930s by a group of bi-racial tenant farmers organizing for fair treatment and led by Dr. Frank Porter Graham, Eleanor Roosevelt, and other distinguished individuals.

Chatham Mills

Chatham Market, PittsboroChatham Mills was constructed in the mid 1920s and operated as a woven silk label mill for 70 years and was once the largest silk label mill in the world. It was the main industry in Pittsboro and operated until 1996. Many of its former employees still live in Pittsboro. The mill has now been rennovated and hosts a number of shops, restaurants and interesting businesses. The Mills Performing Arts Center hosts weddings, receptions, reunions, theater, music acts, and other special events. The old mill also hosts the Chatham Mills Farmer's Market on the lawn, on Saturdays from April 13 to November 23. The Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market was founded in 2010 by a group of Chatham County area farmers whose goal is to provide high quality local food to the Pittsboro area, to support small farmers, support the local economy, and to provide an enjoyable open space for the community to gather. Chatham Marketplace is a local co-op grocery store that opened in May 2006 in part of the renovated woven label mill. They are like a smaller, more intimate version of Whole Foods with a deli and hot bar, a cafe and beautiful local produce selection, among other things. They have events and music and other stuff going on, and are a co-op... owned by the community. Just behind the market is Starlight Mead which is a meadery, sort of like a winery, except they make mead which is an ancient wine made from honey. Oakleaf is a new restaurant owned by Brendan and Leslie Cox, serving seasonal, progressive cuisine with French and Italian influences and small production wines in an historic, stylish setting, in the old mill.

Around Pittsboro

Carnivore Preservation TrustPittsboro is home to the Carnivore Preservation Trust, a 55-acre compound that houses approximately 140 animals representing 11 species of threatened and endangered carnivores from around the world, including tigers, spotted leopards, snow leopards, jaguars, ocelots, servals, caracals, binturongs and more. The large cats were mainly rescues, while most of the small carnivores were previously part of a selective breeding program designed to preserve and diversify the gene pools of these threatened and endangered species. CPT houses the largest captive population binturongs (Asian bearcats) in the United States. I took this photo during a visit to the CPT; it gives you an idea of how close you can get to a real live tiger. The tour of the facility takes you on a half-mile walk outdoors on grass and gravel to meet some of the world's most endangered species. Your guide will recount the rescue stories that brought them to Carolina Tiger Rescue and the issues that their kind face in the wild. The tour lasts approximately 1 1/2 - 2 hours, depending on the group's involvement and can be booked through their website.

Bynum storeUp Hwy. 15/501 past the Haw River, in the direction of Chapel Hill, is the small community of Bynum, home to folk artist Clyde Jones and the Haw River Assembly, a 1,500-member coalition with the goal of cleaning up the river and educating people to keep it clean. They host the yearly Haw River Festival. The old one-lane bridge across the river has been closed to cars and is now just for pedestrians. The whole river area is a beautiful place for walking and the town of Bynum is an adventure, since every house seems to have a Clyde Jones sculpture on display. To find Clyde's house is not very difficult; you'll know it when you see it. For more on Clyde, see his exhibit at Captain John's Dry Dock Restaurant. Bynum was originally a cotton mill village set along the banks of the Haw River with the first mill built around 1872.  In 1936, the Bynum General Store opened and was one of five stores in town. There was also a movie theater and a school. The mill closed in the 1970’s. To keep the community gathering place alive, Bynum neighbors banded together and created a non-profit organization called Bynum Front Porch. The organization creates family-friendly events and programs that celebrate the community’s rich history and bright future. The Bynum Front Porch Music Series that takes place at the Bynum General Store every Friday night from May to August. It is open to the public and features a variety of bands spanning multiple musical genres including gospel, folk, blues, rockabilly and bluegrass.

Fearrington Farther up 15/501, Fearrington Village is home to the famous black-and-white Belted Galloway cows that look like a cross between a panda and an Oreo cookie. Fearrington is open seven days a week, year round, and visitors are welcome to stroll through the many gardens at any time. Formal tours, including lunch at highly acclaimed 4-star Fearrington House Restaurant, are conducted by a horticulturist. Dozens of varieties of unusual, old-fashioned, hardy and beautiful herbs, trees, vines and flowering perennials are available for sale. The Fearrington Village Center is a collection of high-quality shops, including a bookstore, plant nursery, home and garden shop and more. The Village Center also boasts the Fearrington Spa, a European style health-spa in the heart of North Carolina. Fearrington Community is considered one of the best places to retire in the South. It is also the home of one of the Triangle's best independent book shops, McIntyres Books, which also presents readings by writers and poets and other interesting events.

Captain John and Clyde Jones ArtIf you keep heading north toward Chapel Hill, you'll get to Cole Park Plaza, where you can have seafood and Greek specials and visit Clyde Jones' fish at Captain John's Drydock Restaurant. It wasn't that long ago that Pittsboro and Chatham County were "dry," meaning no alcohol was sold but that has changed in a big way. Evidence of this is provided near the border of Chatham County and Carrboro where you can find the popular Starpoint Brewery. Well I say popular because it is probably the best local beer in the area and is sold in many of the good beer stores and restaurants. And though it is called Starpoint and the brewery is supposedly located at Starpoint, nobody really knows where it is and you may not actually be able to find it. Some say brewmaster Tim Harper makes his beer in a converted storage facility, the kind where UNC students leave stuff from their dorms for the summer. Other's say he has a small hut in the woods like the old moonshiners, or he produced his beer from a Winnegago parked in a friend's driveway or the parking lot behind the gas station, hooking up to their water supply after the owners have gone to bed. It all adds to the Starpoint Beer mythology and the Surfing Buddah IPA is one of the best tasting IPAs in America.

unWined, MoncureThere are not that many reasons to visit Moncure which is south of Pittsboro on 15/501. But unWined is reason enough to visit this small community. Built in 1920, on what was then the main highway between New York and Florida, the grocery store and gas station served travelers and locals for thirty plus years until the interstate system pretty much cut Moncure off from the rest of the world. The store was empty until November 2011 when unWINEd opened as a retail wine shop serving and selling exclusively North Carolina wines by the bottle or the glass, cheese, crackers, salami, and chocolates. All products sold at unWINEd are from North Carolina except French olives. They are located at 237 Center Grove Church Rd.

Celebrity Dairy GoatWest of Pittsboro is the Celebrity Dairy and the historic The Inn at Celebrity Dairy from the 1820s, where you can stay in one of the rooms and take part in the many activities that go along with raising goats and making cheese. The dairy makes amazing cheese and you can find it in many of the more healthy grocery stores around the Triangle and also at the Carrboro Farmer's Market.

South of Pittsboro lies a barren circle in the middle of the forest, home to one of North Carolina's oldest legends. For hundreds of years, nothing has grown in the eerie 40-ft spot known as The Devil's Tramping Grounds. Locals claim that things left in the ring at night are gone by dawn. Explanations of the strange place include Indian folklore, Druid priests, extraterrestrial visits and a bizarre satanic tale. The story is told that the devil himself makes nightly walks here, keeping the ground sterile and charred as he plots his evil plans. Changing very little since it was discovered long ago (except for the garbage), even scientists from the Department of Agriculture can't explain it. Because it's such a popular place, there are a lot of beer cans and other remnants of redneck entertainment; but if there is a devil, he's probably pleased. Click for directions. Also south of Pittsboro, near Siler City, is the Silk Hope Winery, which gives wine tours by appointment.

Pittsboro and Chatham County are home to a large number of pottery studios and galleries as well as a number of painters, weavers, glassblowers, furniture craftsmen and jewelers. Among the more well-known and easy-to-find pottery studios are Cooper-Mays, Stone Crow and Haw River Pottery on 15/501 between Pittsboro and the Haw River. The open studio tour is held the first weekend of December every year and features more than 50 artists. You can get more information on studios, galleries, artists and events at www.chathamarts.org.

Lake Jordon, PittsboroI remember when I first moved to Chapel Hill and I heard about the US Army Corp of Engineers who were clearing land between Pittsboro, Chapel Hill and Raleigh for a lake. This sounds quaint I thought and it is a really good purpose for the military, doing things that make our lives better. Then I sort of forgot about it until years later, I guess around 1983 when they compleyed the project and I went to see this nice little lake. What I found was an inland sea, with beaches and harbors and bridges and islands and miles and miles of coastline. Jordan Lake is one of the most amazing man-made things ever. The lake was created by damming the Haw River and actually besides being a recreational area and a water supply it also serves to cool the nearby Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant which is a few miles south of Pittsboro. OK so we are stuck with a Nuclear plant but we got a lake out of it. It's not the Mediterranean or the Atlantic but on a hot summer day it is an awful nice place to go. There is plenty of fish, all sorts of boats, hiking trails, picnic areas and tons of wildlife and believe it or not when there are storms there are waves. Big ones.

Shakori Hills

Shakori HillsThe biggest event for Pittsboro is actually held between here and Siler City and that is the Shakori Hills Music Festival. Twice a year, in the fall and spring, thousands of people come to a beautiful area of fields and farms for a four day festival that features dozens of bands on several different stages, artists, great food, and lots and lots of partying. Imagine a smaller version of Woodstock and you get the idea and some years they even have rain and mud. Past performers have included hosts Donna the Buffalo, and their musical friends such as The Wailers, Steep Canyon Rangers, Fatoumata Diawara, Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys, Joe Bell & The Stinging Blades, Leftover Salmon, The Red Clay Ramblers, Greg Humphreys & The Hobex All Stars, Midtown Dickens, Big Fat Gap, Randy Dean Whitt, New Town Drunks, Sarah Shook & The Devil, Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Arrested Development, Umalali, Tift Merritt, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Bluegrass Experience, The Marshall Tucker Band, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Chatham County Line, Mandolin Orange, Lightnin’ Wells, The Duhks, The Gourds, Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey, Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Nnenna Freelon, Richie Havens, Cool John Ferguson, and hundreds of others.

Pittsboro isn't going to challenge Wilmington in tourism or Carrboro in "coolness." But it is a nice place to spend the day. And if you're looking for a place to live where everyone still knows their neighbor's name, quiet fishing spots are still quiet fishing spots and the place for live music is the "General Store," then check it out. You can even get an espresso without driving all the way to Chapel Hill.

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