Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Eve in the Mountains

CHEROKEE:  New Year's Eve Fireworks Cherokee's traditional fireworks display brings in the New Year with an explosion of sky-flung beauty, fading to the silence of the night and the grandeur of the stars among the mountains.

BLOWING ROCK:  New Year's Eve Extravaganza at Appalachian Ski Mountain Fireworks, torchlight skiing and more. Moonlight ice skating from 10 pm to midnight. Breakfast available from 9pm to midnight.

 "Fire & Ice" Dinner Party & Nightclub at The Meadowbrook Inn.
Ring in the New Year at Meadowbrook's Fire and Ice Dinner Party and Nightclub. Dinner starts at 9:00pm, come enjoy a romantic evening or have some fun with some friends

ASHEVILLE:  Lindy Focus 2010 Spend your New Year's Eve at the Crowne Plaza Resort where you can be taken back to the 1930's with live big band music, beginner swing dance lesson and performances by international dance champions. The headlining musical act for the evening will be a local favorite, the Nouveau Passe Orchestra showcasing it's 1930's style classy big band sounds. 

The Avett Brothers The Avett Brothers are a non-traditional bluegrass band that originated in Concord, North Carolina. Their live performances, generally at smaller venues, showcase their use of three-part harmony and southern rock feel, and are admired for being intense, energetic, and soulful.

New Year's Celebration Grove Park Style Celebrate a New Year as package holders enjoy a dinner designed by our resident Executive Chef, an open bar, lavish decorations, a midnight New Year's toast and party favors. You’ll start the year off right with our Brand New Year's Day Breakfast Buffet and a late checkout.

New Years Eve at Hotel Indigo's oneFIFTYone Boutique Bar & Kitchen
Looking for a cool place to spend New Year's eve? Join us for an evening of entertainment by Ben Hovey and enjoy drink specials all night long. The fun takes place at the OneFIFTYone Boutique Bar & Kitchen located in the Hotel Indigo in downtown Asheville. $2 glasses of champagne, 3 course prix fixe menu for $50, music until 1am.

CHIMNEY ROCK: New Year's Eve at the Esmeralda Inn and Restaurant Four Course Dinner and Comedy Night! Dinner 7:30pm - Comedy 9:30pm $85 per person - Reservations Required

HIGHLANDS:  New Year's Eve Celebration at Madisons Live entertainment, a champagne toast at midnight, hors d'oeuvres in Hummingbird from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. complimentary and "12 Grapes at Midnight" for guests

BRYSON CITY:  Great Smoky Mountains Railroad New Years Eve Train Ring in the New Year with an evening of gourmet dining and dancing to live music by Alias Jones & Smith, party favors and a midnight toast! Call 1-800-872-4681 to book your reservation!

LAKE LURE:   New Year's Eve Celebration a New Year's Eve filled with all the extras! Begin the night with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and then enjoy a four course dinner  followed by dancing and cocktails.

SALUDA:  New Years Eve at the Purple Onion The Purple Onion will be offering two seatings this year for New Year's Eve. For those who prefer an earlier, quiet dinner, join us at 5:30 for a special New Years Eve al a carte menu and Fred Whiskin on piano. The second seating will begin at 8 PM and will feature a four course dinner and music by The Scoot Pitman Trio. The trio will play 8:30 - 12:30 with champagne toasts at midnight. The price for the evening is $65 and includes dinner, music, party favors and a champagne toast.

SPRUCE PINE:  New Year's Eve at Knife & Fork Say good-bye to 2010 and welcome 2011 with a delicious four-course dinner and four-piece band at Knife & Fork! Early seating at six o'clock and a late seating that will start at nine o'clock. Music is provided by "He said, She Said" (Pete & Kim McWhirter and friends). Pricing for the early seating is $45 per person, the late seating is $50 per person and includes a champagne toast at midnight 

FONTANA DAM:  New Year's Eve at Fontana Village Resort Special New Year's Eve Package includes Lodge Room, Fireworks at midnight, Live music and dinner for two at the Mountain View Bistro. $195 per couple - add Saturday night for $89 including Sunday breakfast.

New Year's Dinner Party at Mountain View Bistro A feast from soup to nuts with live music - $45 per person. 

MARION:   Downtown New Year's Eve Celebration Ring in the New year with music, food, carriage rides and more! Downtown businesses will be open with their own form of entertainment including the McDowell Arts Council at 50 S. Main Street. where you can enjoy "the oldies" and a dance floor for a little toe tapping! FREE

FLAT ROCK:   New Year's Eve Bash Highland Lakes Inn dinner-dance at Season's Restaurant. Bring in the New year at his annual event 6:00pm to 1:00am. Live Music. Reservations are required.

SUGAR MOUNTIAN:  New Year's Eve Celebration The romantic and beautiful torch light parade at 11:45pm, an extravagant fireworks display at 11:55pm, and live entertainment provided by: "The Johnson Brothers" from 9pm - 1am

BALSAM:   New Year's Buffet and Show at The Balsam Mountain Inn Show; a 2011 Champagne flute, a split of Champagne, Party favors, Buffet Dinner, beverage, tax, tip ALL Included. Wine, beer, and ABC drinks may be purchased at table. Buffet starts at 8pm, show 9 till midnight- Seating every 15 minutes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

RiverLink kicks off 2011 with a variety of volunteer opportunities

submitted by  Dave Russell, RiverLink Director of Volunteer Services

We hope you all are having great holidays and enjoyed our white Christmas. As we start the new year, RiverLink has several volunteer opportunities coming up.

Special Events Committee - We need some help organizing our big events for 2011. We have a donor party coming up in February, so we're a little behind. I'll be working with several RiverLink boardmembers on this one, but we want some community input and help. If you enjoy or have experience in planning, this would be a good opportunity to help out. We'll have a meeting sometime in early January to talk about what we will do in 2011.

Painting - Our information kiosks at the Labyrinth site and the Sculpture Plaza need a coat of paint. We're still having some ongoing discussions about what color, whether to brush or spray it on, etc., but we should have that worked out soon. A volunteer would be working with me to remove the glass and our informational sign and paint the wood. We'd like to get this done after a series of dry, warm days (wishful thinking?) sometime in January.

Stone totin' - Now that the Labyrinth is complete, we have some leftover stones on the property that we want to move over to the Sculpture Plaza. We have my Subaru to do the heavy lifting, but I'd love some well-muscled company to help. Rocks are heavy. There's also some brush over at the Sculpture Plaza that we might dispose of.

Lockwashers - As part of the OIA workday back in October, we bought 6 wheelbarrows. Much to our surprise, they didn't have lockwashers on the bolts and the nuts are dropping like wasps in a pyrethrum storm. I hope to rig up a cordless drill or two to make nut removal fast and easy, so hopefully it won't be an afternoon of loosening and tightening with a wrench. No specific date on this, just sometime before the Spring thaw.

Office help - We still have our scanning project going on, though thanks to some dedicated volunteers we have made real progress. We could still use some help with that. Also, we are taking an inventory of files in our offices to get better organized. Both of these tasks call for some basic computer skills, and in the case of the file organization, some knowledge of Microsoft Excel. It's pretty simple and we can train.

Thanks for the time and talent you all donated to us in 2010, and we look forward to an awesome 2011. Let me know if you have the time and inclination to take on any one (or two!) of these tasks, and we'll work out some dates. I can be reached at (828) 252-8474, ext. 11 or

Have a happy New Year and stay safe!
Dave Russell
RiverLink Director of Volunteer Services
(828) 252-8474, ext. 11

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Eve Fireworks in Cherokee NC

On Dec 31  Cherokee NC offers the annual  New Year's Eve Fireworks.  Cherokee's traditional fireworks display brings in the New Year with an explosion of sky-flung beauty, fading to the silence of the night and the grandeur of the stars among the mountains. Get details or other New Year's Eve Events in the Mountains...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Join Appalachian Voices and get free coffee

Stand with us this holiday season to protect the land, air and water of Appalachia and receive a FREE 1 pound bag of Appalachia blend coffee from Blue Smoke Coffee.
Become a member of Appalachian Voices before midnight on December 31 to receive your bag of organic, fair-trade Tanzanian / Sumatran blend coffee from a local roaster. Or give a gift membership with coffee to that special mountain lover in your family.
Help us brew up support for the mountains this holiday season—become part of the Appalachian Voices family!
Best wishes,
Willa Mays
Executive Director

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fourth Annual Winter Warmer Beer Festival Tickets now on sale

Tickets are on sale now for the Fourth Annual Winter Warmer Beer Festival on Saturday, January 22, 2011, from 3 PM to 7 PM at the Asheville Civic Center. Tickets are $38 per person and will include a souvenir mug, samples during the event, live music, and food provided by a local caterer. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to RiverLink, a local non-profit working to revitalize the French Broad River as a place for everyone to live, work and play.

The Winter Warmer was started in 2008 by Mark and Trish Lyons of Asheville Brews Cruise in an effort to help the Asheville community "shake off the winter blahs." Every year the event has sold out and grown -- so much so that this year's event has moved from the Haywood Park Hotel to the Civic Center.

Brushfire Stankgrass returns as the headlining band with the Leigh Glass Band opening. Brewing participants from Asheville and WNC include French Broad Brewing Co., Highland Brewing Co., Green Man Ales, Wedge and Craggie. Visitors from other areas include Catawba Valley Brewing Co., Foothills
Duck-Rabbit, Triangle and Big Boss from North Carolina; Yazoo from Tennessee and SweetWater from Atlanta.

Tickets are available for online purchase now. Tickets purchased prior to January 14 will be mailed, with any tickets purchased online from January 16-22 available at will call.

All funds donated to RiverLink from this event will be used to build more greenways and open space. Last year RiverLink received $1,500 from this event, which it added to funds from their deed of support sale toward the purchase of the Waller Tract, a future greenway in West Asheville.

E-mail requests for more information can be sent to

Fifth Annual Shepherd's Feast in Tryon NC

Fifth Annual Shepherd's Feast
submitted by "This Week in Tryon"

December 25th 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Where: Polk County Middle School, 321 Wolverine Trail, Mill Spring, NC 28756
When: Christmas Day, 1pm to 4pmThis Christmas Day will be the 5th year for the Shepherds Feast, an annual dinner and celebration of Christmas free to the public. The dinner is provided on this very important day to provide fellowship and community to those in the area that wish to share with others in a festive atmosphere. Santa Claus will be present the entire time with gifts for the children!

Coordinated by Ross Fox, a long-time Tryon resident, with the help of the volunteer efforts of many. Volunteers are needed to help coordinate, serve meals, help in the kitchen with food preparation, cooking, dishwashing and clean-up. A giftwrapper is also needed on Thursday, December 23 from 1pm to 4pm. If you would like to volunteer please call Ross Fox at 828-859-9979. Donations are also being accepted to purchase food including over 20 turkeys.

If you would like to donate, make your check payable to The Shepherds Feast and mail to P.O. Box 1481, Tryon, NC 28782. Also, toy donations are needed (new and unwrapped). Please bring toy donations to the Polk County Middle School on Thursday, December 23 from 1pm to 4pm.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Wishes from Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Wishing you and your family the Christmas season's joys and wonders.
Do you have all of your shopping done? (I don't!) We'd love to help you check everyone off your list, especially friends, co-workers, family members & those special people who love the Smokies just like you do.

You can give a gift this holiday season that makes a real difference for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

On our secure website, you can put a membership in your shopping basket; in the comments field let us know if it's for someone special. We'll mail their membership card along with a beautiful greeting card. You can support hemlock preservation in honor of your favorite tree-hugger. Give an honorarium or memorial gift that shows your thoughtfulness this holiday season. Giving to the Trails Forever program in honor of a friend or loved one makes your donation go TWICE AS FAR. $25 becomes $50; $50 becomes $100...because every dollar is matched by the Aslan Foundation of Knoxville! Plus, your gift will help maintain All the Trails in the Smokies for All Time. Preserve. Protect. Provide. Wherever It's Needed Most. Environmental education for schoolchildren; preservation of historic cabins, churches, barns & fences; protection for black bears, elk & brook trout; improvements in air & water quality; trail maintenance; visitor safety & enjoyment...this is what being a Friend of the Smokies is all about.

A "Welcome and Thank You" letter from Friends of the Smokies makes a great stocking stuffer!

Oh, and I should probably mention one more thing that I think is really great about Friends of the Smokies. We never sell, rent, or exchange your (or your loved ones') personal information with any third parties for any reason. This means a lot to me, and I hope it does to you as well. 

Thank you again for helping to preserve and protect the special places in the Smokies and the life within them. Have a joyous holiday season, and we hope your 2011 is filled with many chances to enjoy Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Additional 5% discount at the Sylva Inn

Mention this ad and receive at least 5% off your room at the Sylva Inn. Standard rates start at $49 per night and $289 per week!  Wine tastings every Friday and Saturday night, WCU football games, and free downtown concerts. Rate includes continental breakfast, cable, HBO and WIFI.  We are pet, smoker, and green friendly with a free access outdoor pool and meeting spaces available for rent. Discounts for AAA, AARP, State, Military, WCU parents. Newly renovated Sylva Inn - grab a taste of local Smoky Mountain flavor!     Call 828-586-3315( no website - just friendly folks to talk to)

Last Minute Christmas Gifts: Heinzelmannchen Brewery in Sylva NC

Happy Holidays from Heinzelmannchen Brewery! Join us, at the brewery, Friday, December 24 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. for food and Holiday Cheer! Pick up last minute stocking stuffers and gifts. We'll be glad to wrap them for you!

Save money and help a Neighbor! Buy Your Gnometown Cookbook for $18 (you save $3) and we'll donate $5 to The Community Table! Great recipes to make with beer. If you can't get to Heinzelmannchen beers we give you descriptions of our beers in the cookbook so you can find one that is similar and is in your area.

Great Gift Ideas:   We have baskets of gifts, wrapped and ready to go! Items such as dips, wickles, mustard's, pint glasses and Papa Joe's Salt for your stocking needs and of course Soda Jugs with Root Beer or Birch Beer and Growlers for Heinzelmannchen beers!

Merry Gnome to be released!  On Monday, December 20 our latest addition to our holiday line up will be released. It's a limited supply. This will be available at the brewery only and for growler fills. We've taken our Chocolate Covered Gnome Porter and laced it with marinated cherries - which made this chocolaty gnome very Merry!

Holiday Specials:
  • Through Saturday, December 18 buy one soda jug and/or fill and get second one 1/2 price
  • Stocking Stuffer Saturday - All marked stocking stuffers 10% off
  • Monday, December 20 - 24 - Heinzelmannchen Pint Glasses - 2 for $6
Winter Weather and Brewery Hours: This past week the weather has created varying hours due to road conditions. We do our best to stay open the hours we have announced, however changes may occur based on weather conditions. When the weather outside is frightful call the brewery or check twitter or facebook. As long as we have electricity we'll leave messages in all of these places. We appreciate your support!

Heinzelmannchen Brewery is located at 545 Mill Street, Sylva, North Carolina

Friday, December 17, 2010

NC Mountain Christmas Events this Weekend

The "Hills" are alive with the twinkling of lights, fresh falling snow and good old-fashioned Christmas Spirit. In Bryson City NC  'The Polar Express'  comes to life when the train departs Bryson City for a journey to our North Pole. Read along with the magical story and meet Santa. Enjoy holiday caroling, hot cocoa, a special treat and a memento for the children.
Home for the Holidays at FENCE  will  get you in the Christmas spirit with a  celebration the season in Tryon. There will be caroling and special musical programs for your enjoyment, plus wonderful refreshments to add to the holiday cheer. Boone NC is having its annual  Downtown Boone Christmas Parade   parade starting at 11am Saturday.

The ski Town of  Beech Mountain 
Tree Lighting with Visit from Santa  is fun for kids of all ages. Santa will visit Fred's Gazebo for picture taking, 4-5 PM, followed by the Christmas tree lighting at the Chamber office, from 5-6 PM with hot cocoa, cider, and cookies served.

For those looking for more "hands-on"  and outdoor experiences, head for Chimney Rock Park and
Handmade Holidays  on Saturday. Taking cues from the natural world, participants will make a beautiful handmade craft just in time for the holiday season.  Or experience  Winter Solstice Celebration   at Lake James State Park where you can Join Park Ranger Nora Coffey for a fun filled afternoon learning about and celebrating the winter solstice. There will be activities, treats, and a short hike. Great for families with young children! Meet at the office of the Catawba River Area (old Lake James State Park) at 2:00 P.M. Register by calling the park office at (828) 652-5047.

On Sunday the Flat Rock Playhouse Family Christmas  offers an evening of entertainment with the resident Flat Rock Playhouse vagabonds and their families. Or kick-back with Informal Jam on the Porch in Old Fort. Bring an instrument or bring an ear! Happening each Sunday on the porch of Mountain Gateway Museum from 2-4pm. For more information, call 828-668-9259

For addition NC Mountain Events visit our Events Calendar

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last Minute Christmas Gifts: Riverlink Support

RiverLink Offers Gifts that Last a Lifetime
submitted by Bunny Clarke, Riverlink Office Manager
What do you buy someone who already has all knickknacks, outfits, and sweets they can use in this lifetime? A gift that last forever and improves the quality of life for people throughout the watershed ; purchase a Riverlink deed of support! A $50 Deed of Support is your ticket to owning one linear foot of the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan, a 17-mile greenway along the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers.

To go along with your Deed of Support consider passing on the gift of knowledge by giving an informative historical account of this region written by none other than Wilma Dykeman. The French Broad book is on sale for $15.00.

For those who like to show their support: how about a RiverLink hat - 100% cotton baseball cap for $12 or a cool patch for $3?

And the person who appreciates art will adore a signed print by Judith Cheney, a well-loved local folk artist who painted the "The French Broad in Asheville, NC: Past, Present, & Future." These limited edition, signed prints are a steal at $25 and are a history lesson for the whole family that can be framed and hung on your wall.

If you spend $15 or more you will receive a complementary "Get in Touch with your Inner Tube" French Broad River Yacht Club license plate. This will bring a smile to everyone's face as you induct them into the Yacht Club. You can just buy the license plates for $5 each and give one to everyone on your list.

The best part of these gift ideas is that the proceeds help RiverLink continue their mission to make the river a place to live, work and play. RiverLink is a regional organization dedicated to the rebirth of the French Broad River and its watershed so that our waters are swimmable, drinkable and fishable.

To acquire these items please stop by RiverLink offices at 170 Lyman Rd. Asheville, NC 28801 or visit our Web site at:

RiverLink is a regional non-profit organization spearheading the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River and its tributaries as a place to live, work and play. Since 1987 we have engaged in simultaneous efforts to address water quality concerns throughout the French Broad River basin, expand public opportunities for access and recreation, and spearhead the economic revitalization of Asheville's dilapidated riverfront district.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wildflour brings Christmas Joy to the tastebuds

If you haven't yet sampled the incredible baked goods from Wildflour Bake Shop you are missing one of the mountains' favorite treats! Their breads and scones are simply the best - period. The Bake Shop is offering several Holiday specials:

Festive Holiday Bag -A trio of sweet treats: one mini loaf each of our Cranberry Orange, Oatmeal Raisin & Cinnamon Swirl breads. A hand-blown glass ornament comes nestled with gift tag and bow. $17.00 each,
3 or more $14.00

Wildflour's 2011 Mug
- Artisans Extraordinaire Jason and Jennifer Serres created these beautiful hand-carved, wood fired mugs. $16.00

Wildflour Mug & Leopard Forest Coffee
- A perfect pair and a perfect gift. Our beautiful mug with our favorite locally roasted Leopard Forest coffee blend. $20.00

Christmas Cookie Assortment
- An elegant assortment of Baby Brownies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Christmas Specials, Pecan Pie Bites, Bourbon Balls, Fruitcake Cookies, Snickerdoodles and Lemon Drops. 1/2 lb. $8.50, Party Tray $20.00

- A Scandinavian yeasted holiday bread - glazed on the outside & with apricots, cranberries, pineapple, papaya & raisins on the inside. $8.50, 3 or more $7.00

Flourless Chocolate Torte
- Rich, serious chocolate for everyone! (gluten free) $8.00 Christmas Morning Quiche - Festive and fabulous, Wildflour's famous spinach quiche is sure to become a favorite holiday tradition. $16.00

*All orders must be in by Sat. Dec. 18th   -  Last pickup is at 11:00 Fri. Dec. 24th
*Please call the Bakery Elves at (828) 749-9224 to order Wildflour Bake Shop Hours
Thursday and Friday 8am to 4pm, Saturday 8am to 3pm, Sunday 9am to 2pm

The Wildflour Bake Shop is located at 19 Pearson Falls Road, Saluda NC - just under The Gardner's Cottage. (look for the blue striped umbrellas on the deck area).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lake Lure Golf Resort Home for Sale - $299,000!

Beautiful mountain view 3 BD / 3.5 BA 2000+ sq ft Resort home on Golf Course that has just been remodeled and is waiting for you! Located on .93 acres at Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure you will have access to all the amenities and 2-18 hole Golf Courses. 3 pools, rec center, tennis courts, putt putt golf, basketball, volleyball, beach on Lake Lure and much more to offer. Don't wait too long.  Dreamfinders Realty and Vacation Rentals

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Gift Package from the Asheville Tourists Baseball Team

Are you looking for the perfect gift for your baseball enthusiast friend? Take advantage of the Holiday Gift package from the Asheville Tourists taking place now until 12pm, December 22nd, 2010. The Asheville Tourists offer their Holiday Package  For only $39.00. The 2011 Holiday Pack gives you 5 Box Flex Vouchers good for 68 games of the 2011 season of Asheville Tourists Baseball AND a long sleeve Tourists T-Shirt all for just $39!

All T-Shirts are 100% pre-shrunk heavy cotton featuring our new script Tourists logo in Blue Ridge Blue. T-Shirt sizes available Adult S through XL. Box Flex Vouchers are not valid for the July 4th or July 5th Fireworks Extravaganzas. Box flex vouchers must be redeemed at the Asheville Tourists Box Office for an actual ticket. Seating subject to availability.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Can you hear me now??? Riverlink Cell Phone Recycling Program

Asheville NC nonprofit conservation organization RiverLink is calling for used, unwanted cell phones for their ongoing recycling and fund raising program. The public may bring phones to the RiverLink office at 170 Lyman Street in the River Arts District of Asheville.  The office is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

The Cell Phone Recycling Program, which began in September, allows RiverLink to provide a recycling service for the community while raising money for educational and outreach programs.

RiverLink has teamed with GRC Wireless Recycling (, a Miramar, Florida company that specializes in cell phone recycling & fundraising programs. GRC works with over thousands of organizations in 50 states and has contributed over $5,000,000 to participating organizations.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Sing-A-Long at the Hayes Center this Saturday

Dec 11, The Hayes Performing Arts Center, 152 Jamie Fort Road (off Hwy 321) in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The Hayes Center will host a FREE family-style celebration called Holiday Sing-A-Long at the Hayes Center. The celebration is open FREE to the public and donations are appreciated to help sustain our operations until our grand reopening in Summer 2011.

We are also asking those who attend to bring a canned good to donate to the Hunger and Health Coalition in Boone. The sing-a-long will be led by radio personality Steve Frank, who is also one of the directors of the Watauga Concert Band. There will be many groups joining Steve and maybe a few surprise guests. Come join us for a festive family-style evening to celebrate the Yuletide season.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chimney Rock Park Begins Capital Improvents

Submitted by your Friends at Chimney Rock Park
You may have already heard that Chimney Rock Park is undergoing capital improvements to preserve and improve guest accessibility. There's never a good time, but these projects need to be done and we're excited our State Park partners are committed to making them happen.

Current construction began by replacing a section of the Outcroppings trail leading to the Chimney. During this project, the upper mountain, including the Chimney, Sky Lounge, elevator and Skyline trail will be closed. However, the rest of the Park remains open. Once this project is completed in late March 2011, walking to the top of the mountain will be restored.

Areas of the Park that remain accessible, weather permitting, include Hickory Nut Falls trail, Cliff Dwellers Gifts and the Meadows area including the Great Woodland Adventure, Four Seasons trail, Grady's Animal Discovery Den, the Classroom on the Meadows and the covered picnic pavilion.

Read more about capital improvements or check on our progress. Chimney Rock State Park is located at Highway 64/74A, Chimney Rock, NC 28720     1-800-277-9611

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NC Wine Events and Tastings

Dec 9 from 7 PM - 9 PM Table Wine is holding Holiday Wine Bash, its first annual holiday tasting. 30 or so wines will be open for you to try before you buy. For that night only, all wines in the tasting will be 10% off by the bottle or 20% off in mixed cases. There will also be a nice spread of food out for you to cleanse your palates. Regular wine tastings are offered every Saturday from 2 PM - 5 PM. Table Wine is located at 1550 Hendersonville Road, Suite 102 in the Fugazy Center Asheville, NC


Dec 15 from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM The Classic Wine Seller hosts WOW, Wine on Wednesdays, with proceeds for the event benefiting Friends of the Smokies. In addition to the tasting, hordourv'es will be provided by Kanini's. Donation $10 per 5 wine flight. The Clissic Wine Seller is located at 20 Church Street, Waynesville, NC.

  Dec 11 from noon to 6 PM come help welcome another new face in the RagApple Lassie Vineyard lineup of visiting musicians.
Andy Coats possesses a voice that's rich, dark, and mellifluous. Paired with smooth guitar picking, he has created a blues feel that is close to perfect. Sample new wine releases, gift someone with an elegant chocolate dipped bottle of wine and listen to Andy.

And, if you still have a few gifts to buy, we have just the thing! Frank's favorite candy, Peanut Brittle made with RagApple Lassie Chardonnay, new tote bags with our signature embroidered logo, new handcrafted bottle toppers, AND our new signature logo pewter Christmas ornaments make great gifts and or stocking stuffers!! (And wine club members, don't forget the special opportunities for stocking your cellar.)

Plus, the Yadkin River Wineries Holiday Wine Tour is in full swing. Come, join the fun of tasting five wines at five wineries, receiving a free ornament at each winery to place on the handmade grapevine wreath received when you purchase your ticket. Tickets will be good through December 31st and make great Christmas presents! Check the website: for more details.

RagApple Lassie Vineyards is located at 3724 RagApple Lassie Lane, Boonville, NC - in the heart of the Yadkin Valley.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates Christmas in the mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park shares the spirit of an old fashioned Christmas with its visitors and friends on Dec 11 from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Sugarlands Visitor Center and Dec 18 from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

Celebrate 35th annual Festival of Christmas Past at Sugarland with old-time music, harp singing, storytelling and reminiscing, craft demonstrations such as weaving, spinning, quilting, oak splint and bark berry basket making, and corn shuck doll making, historic toys and games, and children's activites. At the Oconaluftee Visitor Center you may  enjoy an old-fashioned, mountain Christmas celebration at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center featuring craft demonstrations, hot cider and cookies.The events, sponsored in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains Association, are free to the public

The Oconaluftee Visitor Center is located inside the park, 2 miles north of Cherokee, NC, on US-441. Sugarlands Visitor Center is located inside the park, 2 miles south of Gatlinburg on US-441.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Choose or cut your own NC Christmas Tree

Choose or cut your own NC Christmas Tree. North Carolina has 1,600 growers producing an estimated 50 million Fraser fir Christmas trees growing on over 25,000 acres. Fraser Fir trees represent over 90% of all species grown in North Carolina. North Carolina produces over 19% of the Real Christmas Trees in the U.S. The North Carolina Christmas Tree Industry is ranked second in the nation in number of trees harvested. 25% of all Christmas trees sold in NC are Choose and cut.

North Carolina Fraser fir, Balsam fir, Scotch pine and Douglas-fir are among the longest lasting Christmas trees remaining fresh much longer than others. Lodging and cabin rental specials are available for NC visitors to choose and cut their own Christmas tree. Get a complete list of NC Christmas Tree Farms with website links and locations HERE.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

WNC Nature Center News and Holiday Hours

submitted by Kimberly Brewster, Executive Director, Friends of the WNC Nature Center

We hope you are enjoying the holiday season and staying warm.  Did you know the Center is open year round for you to visit and explore?  Even though the black bears Uno and Ursa and many of
our native water turtles begin their cold weather rituals, visitors can enjoy the other animals and exhibits.

The Center's winter schedule beginning on January 5, 2011 will be from 10am - 5pm daily, but closed on Wednesdays as well as closed December 24th, 25th, January 1st and 17th.

Support the WNC Nature Center and do some holiday shopping at the same time! Make someone a Wild Parent by purchasing an Adopt An Animal package or purchase a Brick to honor a loved one. Gift Memberships are also available and provide a full year of benefits to the Center and hundreds of other zoos, aquariums and science centers.  Consider making a donation directly to the Food Chain as part of your end-of-year giving. Your support provides for not only the animals but also improvements that enhance the Center for all to enjoy!
Extended hours in December! Relax in the spirit of giving and joy with our extended holiday hours Friday December 10 and 17, 2010 until 7:00pm. The WNC Nature Center will remain open for an additional two hours for guests to enjoy the holiday lights on grounds.  Refreshments will be served.  Regular admissions apply and members of the Friends will be admitted free.Wishing you happy holidays and a wonderful New Year!  Thank you for your support of the Center!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Asheville's Santa Claus brings a new twist to Christmas

Those of us who had the privilege and great good luck to grown up in Asheville NC are never surprised by the creative spirit nurtured by the City in the Sky. On a recent visit to Asheville Santa put a new twist on Christmas merriment at many of the city's notable lacations. The Pritchard Park Drum Circle, Pack Square, Asheville Visitors Center, Lexington Avenue Brewery, The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, National Gingerbread House Competition, The Orange Peel and America’s Largest Home, Biltmore were all treated to a special Santa visit:

For more information about Asheville's dancing Santa and how to win an Asheville Vacation, visit the Buncombe County Tourist Development site,

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sad News - the Loss of a Friend

David J. Brannock, 1957-2010

Many of you have heard the sad news that David Brannock passed away in his sleep on Tuesday, November 30, 2010. Along with his wife Lee, David was the co-owner and founder of the Back Room, the Blue Note Grille, and the Flat Rock Wine Shoppe. David loved the wine shop and his new restaurant, and from the outpouring of affection we have received, we know that you loved him too.

Two gatherings are planned in his honor. The first, a gathering of all of David's friends and family, will be held on Saturday, December 4 at 4:00 pm at the Trinity Presbyterian Church fellowship hall in Hendersonville . The second, a party in his honor, will be held at the Blue Note Grille on Sunday evening from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Join us for either or both of these informal and causal celebrations as we laugh and cry together in David's memory.

In the meantime, the Wine Shoppe and Blue Note Grille are opened for business as usual. Would David want it any other way? Please join us for lunch or dinner or stop by to buy your favorite bottle of wine. Many of David's friends and long time regular customers have been gathering to raise a glass, have a meal, or listen to their favorite band, in his honor. There is no better tribute to David than to continue to enjoy the wonderful hospitality that the wine shop and restaurant were famous for.  828-697-6828 The Blue Note Grille is located at 114 N. Main Street in downtown Hendersonville NC.

Dave Brannock was a special friend to We will miss his gentle spirit and good humor. We are privileged to have known him and will always remember him fondly.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Christmas Elves at Sears Hometown Store are at it Again!

Tammie and Paul (AKA the Christmas Elves) of Sears Hometown Store invite you to a 1-day only "Give With Your Heart" Event on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 8am-6pm where you can SAVE with low sale prices plus Sears will GIVE 2% of the entire day's proceeds to Ashe County Habitat for Humanity. Also, this weekend get 20% off all Kenmore appliances PLUS and extra 10% off Kenmore brand when you use your Sears card. Receive 25% off all Craftsman Lawn and Garden and outdoor storage. It's all happening at both their locations in West Jefferson and Lenoir.