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N.C. A&T's annual homecoming parade will have shorter route this year

Elzonra Grave waves at a float in one of the previous N.C. A&T homecoming parades in Greensboro. This year’s parade will take place Oct. 26, with 86 entries and as many as 4,000 participants. Road projects along the usual route mean the parade will cover a much shorter distance this year.

Parade floats make their way down the street while a crowd watches at N.C. A&T’s annual homecoming parade in Greensboro, N.C. on Nov. 3, 2018.

Diane Orrell has her photo made with one of the N.C. A&T mascots in 2018.

GREENSBORO — N.C. A&T’s homecoming parade will be a little shorter this year.

The university made a slight change to the route of the annual parade, scheduled for Oct. 26. The parade will run only along East Lindsay Street.

The reason: Road improvements and construction of a new section of the Downtown Greenway have torn up and narrowed lanes along Gate City and Murrow boulevards, the usual lineup spot for the bands, floats, vehicles and drum lines.

The parade traditionally starts at Murrow and East Friendly Avenue and hangs a right onto Lindsay. Because of construction, parade organizers cut out the Murrow Boulevard stretch of the route.

Participants will line up north and west of the parade’s starting point at Murrow and Lindsay. The parade will cover about seven-tenths of a mile up Lindsay toward campus, about a quarter-mile shorter than usual.

Otherwise, much of the parade will look the same.

It will still kick off at 8 a.m. and wrap up about 11:30 a.m. A&T’s chancellor, Harold Martin, will lead the parade, and A&T’s band, the Blue & Gold Marching Machine, will be right behind him. The reviewing stand will be in its usual space at the Yanceyville Street intersection. And the parade will end at Laurel Street, about a block from A&T’s football stadium.

This year’s parade will have 86 entries and between 3,500 and 4,000 participants, said Lt. Col. Joshua Jones, a retired U.S. Army officer who is a co-chairman of A&T’s homecoming parade committee.

Jones, the director of A&T’s Office of Veterans & Military Affairs, said the route change should be temporary. The city says the Downtown Greenway is scheduled to be finished in about a year, and A&T plans to return its homecoming parade to its former — and slightly longer — route when that work is done.

“Hopefully next year we’ll be back to our usual course,” Jones said.

An interesting article in today's paper

Musical mark: Two Winston-Salem artists are among the latest inductees into N.C. Music Hall of Fame. Page A4

Hilary Farr of TV show 'Love It or List It' debuts home accessories at High Point market

HIGH POINT — Hilary Farr didn’t start out wanting to be an interior designer.

“That wasn’t an ambition of mine,” Farr admitted in an interview earlier this week.

Instead, she wanted to be an actor.

“I was always in arts and theater,” she said.

But Farr ended up working in both worlds.

You might know her as a co-host on the HGTV show “Love It or List It.”

Now, Farr has taken her career as an interior designer a step further by creating a line of furniture and home accessories she will debut as the High Point Market begins today.

“It just evolved and became a passion of mine,” she said in her smooth British accent as she spoke by phone from Raleigh where “Love It or List It” is filmed.

In the TV program, Farr and real estate agent David Visentin work with homeowners who want to upgrade. Farr tries to fulfill a wish list of remodeling ideas in their current home while Visentin tries to find them another one to buy that meets their desires.

In the end, the homeowners must decide to love their remodeled house or list it for sale.

The show is in its 15th season and has inspired several spinoffs.

Farr is a native of Toronto but spent her formative years in London where she grew up in the changing times of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

She was an aspiring actress living downstairs from actor Tim Curry, who became a good friend. Farr played a bride in the opening scene of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” movie — Curry helped her get the role.

“I don’t know if I even got paid, but it was great fun,” Farr recalled.

She eventually moved to Los Angeles, where she developed scripts for the film and television industry, working with the likes of actor Ted Danson on “Cheers” and Oscar-winning film producer Arthur Cohn.

She brought with her a sense of interior design derived from her mother’s savvy style, who was a buyer for a London department store, and her father’s collection of African art, which Farr still has in her home.

“I’d never lived in a country where it is always sunny and that completely flipped my way of living and my way of designing,” Farr said. “I still had my Oriental rugs mixed with what was then called shabby chic.”

Her distinctive approach got the attention of friends and acquaintances who started asking her to help decorate their houses.

She returned to Toronto, graduated from college and started her own design company. It became successful and eventually led her to audition for “Love It or List It.”

“When I look back on it, it seems completely natural and normal that I am where I am today,” Farr said.

At the High Point Market, Hilary Farr Designs will be introduced for the first time — a line of furniture at Braxton Culler, lighting at Grandview Gallery and rugs at Kaleen Rugs.

Farr’s designs tend to focus on nature. Images of elephants, tigers and glaciers as seen from 30,000 feet are staples.

“It incorporates animal motifs and insects that I love so much,” she said. “And it also brings in abstract florals and some wonderful abstracts ... inspired by photos I’ve taken over the years as I fly over this planet.”

Farr is an advocate for environmental issues and partners with companies that share her concern.

Last month, she made her move into product design with a line of bed linens that debuted at the New York Textiles Market. Some of those can be seen at Braxton Culler. “I love fabrics. It’s my favorite part of the design,” Farr said.

She’s looking forward to her time at the market.

“High Point is always so invigorating,” she said. “Everyone’s energy is so great there. I’m buoyed up by all the enthusiasm and creativity.”

Farr will be busy — a cocktail reception at Braxton, a tea event at Kaleen, a meet-and-greet at Grandview, a panel discussion. And she’ll also be one of the presenters for Monday night’s Pinnacle Awards, which recognize designers.

“If I can still stand, I’m going to be filming again the next day.”