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Sword fighting, quick costume changes and breakneck-speed jokes are in store for audiences of Gilbert Theater’s production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).”

Coming out of the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are looking for a chance to socialize again. The Cumberland County Public Library offers programs that allow people with a common “thread” to hang out and do something they all enjoy. Both Bordeaux Branch Library and Hope Mills Branch Library provide monthly opportunities for social activities with just a needle and thread.

The county library will hold a book sale on Feb. 20 and Feb. 24-26. Friends of the Cumberland County Public Library will host a sale for library members only on Feb. 20. On Feb. 24-26, sales will be open to the public, according to a news release.

St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church is the subject of a Black History Month exhibit at the Fayetteville History Museum for the month of February. St. Joseph’s is the oldest African American Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, according to the museum.

St. Ann Catholic Church in downtown Fayetteville will host a blood drive Saturday. The drive will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the church, 357 N. Cool Spring St.

This spring, Cumberland County Public Library will take part in North Carolina Reads. This annual series features five books that explore issues of racial, social and gender equality as well as the history and culture of North Carolina.

“Direct From Sweden: The Music of ABBA” will bring “Mama Mia” to the Crown Theatre on Saturday night. The show, part of the 87th season of the Community Concerts series, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the theater at 1960 Coliseum Drive. Tickets range from $38 to $78, according to the Crown Complex website.

Valentine’s Day is coming quickly. Here are some ways to treat your sweetheart:

The past few years have been difficult for everyone, including the young children in our communities. Children who have just entered formal education or are about to begin school face unprecedented obstacles in socializing and structure because of recent global events that made social distancing the norm.

“Matilda the Musical,” which has been growing in fame and popularity since it debuted in London’s Cambridge Theatre in 2010, has come to Fayetteville. Matilda and her powerful intellect …

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