Sunday, July 31, 2011

August Music Schedule at the Purple Onion

August 4 - Markley & Balmer -  making their debut at the café with voices that blend together like rich honey

August 6 - Bucktown Kickback - hot bluegrass/honky tonk band returns

August 11 - One Leg Up - our favorite Gypsy-style band is back

August 13 - Aaron Burdett - no further words necessary for this home-grown troubadour

August 14 - Sol Driven Train - POSEM Concert Series.  Details below.

August 18 - Red Hot Sugar Babies - these women will knock your socks off with their energy and harmonies

August 20 - Uptown Jazz Quartet - straight-ahead jazz from these old but still hot musicians and friends

August 25 - Rod Picott - making his annual visit with a newrecording "Welding Burns"

August 27 - Gigi Dover and; The Big Love - a good time is had by all when Gigi is in the house

Every Friday Night - Fred Whiskin at the Piano

The Purple Onion Sunday Evening Music (POSEM) series
continues with the energetic 
Sol Driven Train on August 14 at 7 o'clock.  There will also be a free children's concert that afternoon at 4:30 to commemorate Saluda's 130 Year Anniversary.

Sol Driven Train is a band in motion. At shows, the band members bounce to the pulse of the music along with the crowd. Stylistically the band "seamlessly mixes Allmanesque Southern rock, languid world-beat, swampy funk and downright catchy melodies as they swap lead singers and instruments. A punchy horn section adds an extra dimension of sweaty soul to the genre-blurring jam party" (Atlanta Creative Loafing).

Sol Driven Train's music weaves through genres like images in a Tom Robbins paragraph. The band's sonic schizophrenia absorbs songwriting influences like Jon Prine and Paul Simon, and afro-caribbean rhythmic explorations, into honest songs of life, love, loss, and long johns. The 5-piece band, based in Charleston, SC, features rotating lead vocalists, and multi-instrumental talent spread across horns, strings, and percussion. The band members share a musical history dating back to childhood, and their music and live shows are filled with a spirit of positivity and joy, even while traversing subjects of suffering and death.

Admission to the 7 o'clock show is $20 per person and seating will be limited. The doors open at 6 PM and light fare will be available on the patio prior to the concert.  Reservations
can be made by calling the Purple Onion Café at 828-749-1179.
The Purple Onion is located at  16 Main Street in Saluda NC.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Christmas in July at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Plan now for your trip on the Polar Express with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and SAVE. The Polar Express runs November through December on various dates.
MENTION THE CODE: WMPEX11 when booking

Christmas in July 2011 Coupon

THE POLAR EXPRESS isThe Great Smoky Mountains Railroad's Seasonal Service to the North Pole.  In 1985, Chris Van Allsburg wrote The Polar Express, a story of a magical train ride on Christmas Eve. The train takes a young boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus. "The Polar Express," will be departing from the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad once again this November and Decmeber.

The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children's faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the "North Pole" to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board The Polar Express, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot. The Polar Express begins November 5th and operates through December 24th.

Ticket prices begin at $39 for adults and $26 for children ages 2-12. Children under two years old ride complimentary. For more information and reservations please call 800-872-4681 or visit us online at

Crown Class ticket prices are $49 for Adults, $36 for children 2-12 and $10 for under two years. First Class seating upgrades are available. Each guest will receive a deluxe serving of warm cocoa in a souvenir Polar Express™ mug and other treats in addition to the standard offerings. Ticket prices for First Class are $59 for adults and $41 for children. Children under two years old are $15.

Ride the Polar Express™ Christmas Eve Limited for an evening you will never forget! Each guest will receive a special Christmas souvenir. Adult ticket prices are $51 and children 2-12 are $37. First class seating upgrades are also available. Adult ticket prices are $72, children 2-12 are $50 and $20 for under two years. Guests will receive a special limited edition golden ticket lanyard!

*All ticket fares subject to 4% Historic Preservation Fee. Premium Rates for Dates apply

Friday, July 29, 2011

Great Smoky Mountain News and Events: July 28 - Aug 4

New  Swain County Chamber Members:
Boundary Lock & Safe
90 Jacob Farris Road
Cherokee, NC 28719
828-497-4662 or 828-736-3485
Most anything opened. Keys generated of everything from airplanes to a Zamboni. Master systems created and installed.
D&M Home Improvements
Po Box 1232
Whittier, NC 28789
828-788-5452 or 828-736-7842
Wide variety of home improvements and repair services; ranging from Carpentry, electrical, roofing, painting to yard cleanup and care. Free estimates, fair rates and reliable service. References available.
Great Smoky mountains TV
Po Box 689
Bryson City, NC 28713
Online internet tv station streaming live and pre-recorded videos of the Great Smoky Mountains and the surrounding areas. Come take a look and enjoy the show!
Mickeys Pub
25 Everett Street
Bryson City, Nc 28713
Friendly pub thats a little bit Irish and a little bit Rock-N-Roll. Billiards and other bar games as well as entertainment on the weekends.
Innsights Internet Marketing & Social Media Management
354 Ivy Ridge Circle
Sylva, NC 28779
Helping small business owners promotetheir business through internet marketing, email marketing and social media (facebook, Twitter, youTube, LinkedIn, etc.), along with directory submission and local search.
Weekly Events Update - Events and happenings July 28 - August 4
(Clink here for a printable flyer)
News from the Marianna Black Library - The Summer Music Series is still in progress for a few more weeks! Music tonight by Ron & Julia Thompson starting at 7:00 PM. Click here for more information
Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts - Lots of events are coming to the smoky Mountain Center for the Arts. Click here for a listing of events
Folkmoot - Folkmoot is in its final days. Don't miss a stunning performance from the ten countries represented this year; including Trinidad, Nepal, Guadeloupe, Finland, Croatia, Burundi, Italy (Sardinia), Turkey, China and the USA.  For a listing of the remaining performance schedule, please click here
2013 Freestyle Kayaking Championship - 2013 will be here soon! For more information on the upcoming 2013 World Freestyle Kayaking Championships to be held in the Nantahala Gorge - Bryson City in 2013 visit these links or!/pages/Nantahala-Gorge-2013/109006639136875
For more Smoky Mountain information and events visit the 
Swain County Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mountain Spirits: Wine and Beer this week, July 28

July 29, Table Wine, 1550 Hendersonville Road in Asheville NC - A Pacific/Northwest Winedown 4 to 7 PM. Join Tom Leiner of Grapevine Distributing for a fun, educational and delicious tasting of the wines of Oregon and Washington. From Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris to Washington Merlot and Syrah, you'll have the opportunity to taste and understand why certain grapes thrive in these states while others don't. $5 per person - free for Grape Nuts.
July 30, Appalachian Vintner, 2-B Huntsman Place in Asheville NC - Asheville's "Best Beer Tasting" - 3 PM - 7 PM. 
Do you love Belle Chere but prefer to avoid the large crowds and heat?  This Saturday AV will be offering an air conditioned refuge for the locals with a huge store wide SALE and free food. We'll be grilling' turkey burgers, kosher franks and serving ice cold beverages including root beer and sun tea for the nondrinkers. Bring your family and friends and make it a neighborhood affair! Food will be available while it lasts and is free, beverages are not. The normal tasting will begin at 3PM.

July 29  Classic Wine Seller, 20 Church Street in Waynesville NC - Friday Night LIVE! form 7PM - 10 PM under the new Bandstand, Waynesville's new outdoor venue. Live music, food wine and beer. Enjoy the musical stylings of Chris Minick, Lorraine Conard, Greg Kidd.

July 29  Hops and Vines, 797 Haywood Rd, Ste 100 in Asheville NC  -
Free beer tasting from 5 - 7 PM -  Oskar Blues Brewing - Get a taste of three of Oskar Blues "Big Beers"  all over eight percent, all in small cans!  July 30th, 3-6pm - FREE wine tasting:  Nugan Estate Wines from Australia. 

Asheville's Bele Chere begins tomorrow

July 29-31   Bele Chere Festival  is the largest FREE street festival in the Southeast. Held in downtown Asheville each July., the Festival includes arts & crafts, food, entertainment, interactive events, and a children’s activity area. The event draws about 300,000 visitors each year.

This year the event includes more music with bands performing at Bele Chere playing extended 90 minute sets. Festival-goers will be able to catch multiple acts performing at the same time on different stages.  Friday night's performance is headlined by the up and coming Mark Broussard. Touted as the next "big thing" in the music biz, you can see him for free at Bele Chere! Be sure to check out some of the great local bands including, Balsam Range, Skinny Legs & All, Vertigo Jazz Project, Paper Tiger and the Secret B-Sides.

The Festival food offerings will be more diverse this year combining the Pritchard Park food court for traditional festival fair such as gyro's, funnel cakes, hot dogs and snowballs,  with local flavor from the Taste of Asheville section located at Pack Square Park. A number of renowned restaurants will be on hand including Mela, Corner Kitchen and Vincenzo's.

The Festival always provides fun for the youngsters and this year there will be a kid zone in the Asheville Civic Center for crafts, ticketed rides and exhibits, all in a secure (and air-conditioned) arena. Catch the hula hoop demonstration, sing-a-longs and cool wildlife demonstrations courtesy of the WNC Nature Center. Another fun activity for the family is Airdogs! Watch a variety of pooches try to capture the title of top dog in this dock jumping competition. This popular Bele Chere event offers audience members a chance to win prizes as well (no jumping required).

The Bele Chere mural returns this year encouraging creativity by all ages. Leave your mark on the multi-panel display. New for 2011 - a mobile art lab will be on hand complete with a photo booth. The photos will be projected onto the BB&T building throughout the festival.

If you've always wanted to learn a special dance step there will be interactive performances on Lexington Avenue: enjoy a zumba lesson, learn a new dance routine and perform it live at the festival or participate in the community drum circle. Ball room, Two step, and clogging are also planned.

Beat the heat with two mist tents located at Pritchard Park on College St. and outside of Blue Spiral Gallery on Broadway Ave. For more than mist head over to Pack Square Park and Splasheville, a "come-on-in" water feature that provides instant relief from July temps.

Late Night: Bele Chere winds down around 10 PM on both Friday and Saturday nights, but that doesn't mean the party has to end. Many restaurants surrounding the downtown area will be running Bele Chere specials. Enjoy a great late-night dinner or snack at popular eateries including Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro, Rosetta's Kitchen and MoDaddy's.

Park and Ride Shuttle Service for Bele Chere

The City of Asheville will provide continuous express shuttle service and free parking for Bele Chere, July 29-31. Beat the traffic in and  around the downtown area for this year's Bele Chere Festival with multiple shuttles available.

To use the service, festival attendees should park at one of two designated locations and look for the Bele Chere booth selling shuttle tickets. The shuttle will transport people downtown, eliminating the need to find parking during the popular festival. The cost for the shuttle is $2 round trip.

Park-and-ride locations:
West Asheville Shuttle:
K-Mart on Patton Avenue, northeast corner of Patton Avenue (US-19/US-23/US-74) and Louisiana Avenue.

Downtown pick-up/drop-off location: At the Civic Center, the corner of Haywood Street and Flint Street.

East Asheville Shuttle: Asheville Mall, Sears Department Store, Asheville Mall parking area near White Pine Drive in the back, near the Sears department store.
Downtown pick-up/drop-off location: At the corner of Market Street and College Street in City/County Plaza.

Shuttle schedules: Shuttles will run about every 20 minutes:

Friday, noon – 11 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday, noon – 7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Is Your Raft Ready, Registered and Rocking?

August 13 and Riverfest 2011 are rapidly approaching. It's time to get your RiverFest rafts ready to race. Entries are coming in for "Anything that Floats Parade" happening at RiverFest 2011, taking place at French Broad River Park on Saturday, August 13 from 1 PM to 7 PM, sponsored by Prestige Subaru and Southeastern Sports Medicine. Teams currently registered include The Blackbeard Buddies,Happy Holidaze and non-profits like The French Broad Fall Fest.
"We expect about 50 more, and it's not too early to register your team," said Dave Russell of RiverLink, "So gather your co-workers, family, friends, etc., get out the glue guns and duct tape, and be creative in crafting your floating work of art."

Winners are declared in categories including most creative, best use of recycled materials, ugliest, best theme, funniest, and people's choice. With a prize for the overall best float as determined by our panel of judges.

The registration form is available by clicking here. The only rules are that the vessels must float and be powered by wind, muscle, sun or other non-motorized activity and removed from the festival grounds upon completion of the race. The deadline for registering "yachts" for the "Anything That Floats Parade" is Wednesday, August 10. There is no better way to advertise your cause and your creativity and have so much fun in the sun!

Located in Asheville's River Arts District, RiverLink is a regional organization spearheading the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River watershed as a destination where everyone can work, live and play.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Macon County Gemboree this Weekend in Franklin

Ruby display at Franklin Museum
July 28-31  Franklin hosts the  46th Annual Macon County GemboreeThis is the second oldest gem and mineral show in the Southeast and features dealers from across the United States. Rough and cut gemstones, minerals, lapidary equipment and more.  The event is sponsored by the Franklin Chamber of Commerce and the Gem and Mineral Society of Franklin.

In 1974 The Gem and Mineral Society of Franklin, NC opened it up to the the public as the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum. The "Old Jail House Museum" now imprisons thousands of specimens on display in 8 rooms. Displays include specimens of local minerals and gem stones as well as minerals and artifacts from around the world.  Hosted by volunteers from the Gem and Mineral Society of Franklin, NC the Museum depends on donations, purchases from the gift shop, the Gemboree shows, and a yearly gemstone raffle.

Franklin North Carolina is a center of history, heritage and the mountain way of life. Franklin celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2005 and continues to hold true to it's heritage while embracing the future. Nestled in North Carolina’s southern mountains, in the foothills of the Great Smokies, the Franklin area offers a unique change of pace and a never-ending supply of things to do.

Monday, July 25, 2011

BRAHM Art & Antiques this Weekend

July 28 - 31   BRAHM Art & Antiques Weekend Event   View hundreds of beautiful antiques and art pieces at this annual exhibition and sale presented by the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum.   
Gallery Talks   ($5 each) - Enjoy coffee and croissants at the gallery talks on Friday and Saturday. The speakers will begin their programs at 9 AM:

Friday: Graham Holiday, a fifth-generation antique furniture dealer who has been in the business for 50 years,  will discuss how English furniture complements – and has heavily influenced – the American furniture industry and how to care for antique furniture so that it retains its value.

Saturday:  Prominent Blowing Rock antiques dealer and cut glass expert Bill Brooks will be back by popular demand to educate attendees on the beauty and variety of exquisite glass.

Early Bird Sale & Preview Party Thursday: 4-6 PM.  $30 includes refreshments & weekend admission Gallery Talks: Friday & Saturday at 9 AM $5  includes Coffee & Croissants.

Funds from ticket and café sales benefit BRAHM. Tickets can be purchased at BRAHM, Finley House Antiques, Carriage Trade Antiques or at the door.

Stories of Mountain Folk keeps Heritage Alive and Available

Start your week off on a positive note by listening to the Podcast from Saturday's Stories of Mountain Folk. Through modern technology the Show keeps the past, and mountain heritage, alive and well - and in the here and now. The 30 minute broadcasts cover all things mountain from music to gardening to storytelling. The radio show began in September 2008, the product of the ever-creative minds of  the Ammons Sisters, cofounders of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia.

The weekly shows are available anytime by going to the Stories of Mountain Folk Website, one of the many projects of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia. On the podcast from the July 23 show you can listen to The Butterpats introduce the show with "For the Beauty of the Earth," followed by Doreyl's interview with Peggy Dawson of Tuckasegee about gardening. Host Amy then talks with Bill Crawford from Franklin about how his parents met in Nantahala, and the show concludes with the Cockman Family and "Old Time Religion."

The shows have been archived on the website and are there waiting for you whenever you need a little lift or a few minutes of sanity and spiritual sustenance.  Click here to listen now.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Southern Mountain Fire Cloggers in Hendersonville this week

July 25  -  Historic downtown Hendersonville  Street Dances  features some favorites this week: the band is Bobby and Blue Ridge Tradition. The Dancers are the popular  Southern Mountain Fire Cloggers.

The Street Dances have been a tradition in Hendersonville NC for 92 years and  feature mountain heritage music and dance every Monday evening from July 11 through August 15, 7 PM - 9 PM.. Bring a chair, admission is free. No Pets, Alcohol or Coolers Allowed.

Update from Appalachian Voices

Submitted by Willa Mayes, Appalachian Voices

I grew up with the privilege and right to use Appalachia’s rivers and streams. Now, being a grandmother, it is important to me that my grandchildren can be safe while enjoying the same privilege.
Riverkeepers testing dirty water
Our Appalachia Water Watch team fights for clean water through community education, water testing
and litigation.

But across the country, our water is under attack. The threat is not from a complex environmental phenomenon, nor from groups outside our own country. The threat comes from our own politicians and polluting industries in our own backyards.
Current federal regulation already provides loopholes that allow coal companies to pollute our water causing real risk to human health. New legislation, such as the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act, will only make it easier for these companies to damage our environment and put our families at risk.
Appalachian Voices is defending water through multiple avenues, including Clean Water Act lawsuits and community-based water testing. The polluting violations identified in our lawsuits against three Kentucky coal companies show that mountaintop removal results in very real damage to our health.
We need your help to defend clean water.
House Moves to Gut Clean Water Act
Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill strip 40 years of baseline protections for our nation's waters- and would spell disaster for our country, especially in states where mountaintop removal coal mining is practiced. While we are hopeful that the bill won't pass when it gets to the Senate, we will need your help to make sure it doesn't.  [ Get more info on our Front Porch Blog. ]
The Last MountainCOMING TO A THEATER NEAR YOU: The issue of mountaintop removal coal mining has already hit national theaters and moved audiences nationwide since The Last Mountain--an Official Sundance Festival Selection--was released in June. Appalachian Voices will be at select screenings to encourage movie-goers to join the movement to save our mountains. [Find a screening in your area]

Tickets are now on sale for the fourth annual Music on the Mountaintop festival a two-day musical extravaganza near Boone, NC on August 26-27 featuring Sam Bush, Acoustic Syndicate, Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, among many others. Appalachian Voices receives a portion of the proceeds from this festival, so come enjoy great tunes and help save mountains.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Slow Food - the Best Idea Since Sliced Bread

Submitted by Tia Maria Bednar, Asheville Chapter Leader
Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment….food that is good for those who eat it, for the planet, and for the people that grow it.

Here in Asheville, our local Slow Food Convivium is blessed with an abundance of tailgate markets, organic growers, food artisans, and incredible restaurants. We use tastings, field trips, and various kinds of food-centered celebrations to explore authentic flavors… and to slow down and enjoy a world of good food and good company.

Slow Food Asheville is a local chapter, or “convivium,” of the international Slow Food movement. The local groups are called “convivia” because they bring together, in a convivial and enjoyable way, people who love food and traditions. Our convivium was founded in March, 2003.

Asheville City Market
Sat 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, April 18 - December 19
Public Works Building lot - S. Charlotte St.  Asheville, NC
Big Ivy Tailgate Market
Sat 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, May 5 - October 24
At the Old Fire Station, center of town  Barnardsville, NC
Black Mountain Tailgate Market
Sat 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, May 9 - October 31
First Baptist Church, 130 Montreat Rd  Black Mountain, NC
French Broad Food Coop
Sat 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM- April 12 - October 25
76 Biltmore Ave.   Asheville, NC
Greenlife Tailgate Market
Sun 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM- May 3 - October 25
At Greenlife Grocery, N. Merrimon Ave.   Asheville, NC
North Asheville Tailgate Market
Sat 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM- April 18 - December 20
UNCA, take Weaver Blvd., follow signs    Asheville, NC
Riceville Tailgate Market
Sat 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM- May 23 - September 19
parking lot of the Riceville Community Center  Asheville NC
Weaverville Tailgate Market
Wed 2:30 PM - 6:30 PM, April 29 - late October
Behind the community center at Lake Louise   Weaverville, NC
Wed PM Downtown Tailgate Market
Wed 2:00 PM - 6:30 PM- April 29 - December 23
76 Biltmore Avenue, in the parking lot next to the French Broad Food Coop  Asheville, NC
West Asheville Tailgate Market
Wed 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM - April 15 - October 28
grassy area at rear of parking lot for West End Bakery and Haywood Road Market.  Asheville, NC

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Brevard Music Center "Variations": The SInatra Project

Variations concerts at the Brevard Music Center present diversions from our all-classical programs. They are variations of our core mission to "...teach gifted young musicians to prepare and perform great musical works at a high artistic level." These Variations concerts not only provide the opportunity for the BMC to present popular songs that have influenced the musical world in their own right, but the proceeds also support the educational programs of Brevard Music Center. This summer, classic romantic songs of the legendary Frank Sinatra will be performed by the Master of the American Songbook himself, Michael Feinstein.

Start spreading the news about this performance on Monday, August 1, at 7:30 PM. Tickets are still available but are going fast. Purchase tickets online or call the box office at (828) 862-2105.  Tickets: $50, $40, $30; Lawn: $25.

Presenting Sponsor:  Carol Hall and Leonard Majzlin. Signature Sponsors: The Jerome Family and The Herndon Family

Mountain Spirits: Wine and Beer this week, July 21

July 22, Appalachian Vintner, 2-B Huntsman Place in Asheville NC - Shoe Drive Wine & beer tasting benefiting Kinder Soles, a socially conscious flip flop manufacture from the Triangle. Every pair of Kinder Soles is made from recycled bottles and each sale provides funds to send footwear to those in need through SoleMates Foundation. The evening will have delicious food, great music with local wine & beer samples. Evening brought to you by: Sour Grapes Wine, Green Planet Catering & Pisgah Brewing Company with live music by DEP. $10 at the door. If you bring a gently worn pair of shoes to donate the entry fee is $5 & you also get $10 off a new pair of Kinder Soles, proceeds to benefit SoleMates.

July 21  Brusin'Ales 66 Broadway Street in Downtown Asheville NC - Epic Brewing WNC Launch. Join Brusin' Ales tonight with Michael Malachowski of Epic Brewing (Utah) for the launch of another craft brewery in WNC! 5:00-7:00 PM.

July 23   RagApple Lassie, 3724 Ragapple Lassie Lane Boonville NC   - Nita B and Bill Buck, Jazzy Blues duo,  will take you musically from the Blues of Mississippi's earliest juke joints to New Orleans, where blues and jazz mixed, then up to Memphis' Beale Street, over to Harlem's Cotton Club and beyond. Lunch is available from the The Back Door Café.  Eat in or take outside for picnicking.

July 22 Hops and Vines, 797 Haywood Rd, Ste 100 in AshevilleNC  - Brooklyn Brewing: taste some of the Brooklyn Reserve "big beers" this Friday and get a big mouthful of flavor. There will be some labels you probably haven't tried but should. July 23 FREE wine tasting: Joseph Drouhin Wines from France. With close to 90 appellations, Joesph Drouhin offers a fascinating and quality array of Burgundy terroirs. This family run winery, four generations deep, is fully committed to Biodynamic farming and wine-making
practices. "The style of Joseph Drouhin is an alliance between character, balance, and harmony."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blue Ridge Mountain Fair Includes Crafts Fair, Quilt Show and Classic Cars

July 22-23   Blue Ridge Mountain Fair   Discover the handiwork of local artisans at this arts and crafts fair, held in the heart of Sparta NC at Crouse Park. The event also features local entertainment and food vendors.

Fairgoers also have a chance to visit the Alleghany Quilter’s Guild Show at the Black Exhibition Building at the Alleghany County Fairgrounds on US 21, 1.5 miles north of Sparta. Come see the creativity of local quilters and vote on your favorite for the People’s Choice Award.

Classic car enthusiasts will also enjoy the VFW Car Show on Saturday, July 23, located at 120 Trojan Avenue, in the NAPCO parking lot.

Directions: From I-77, take exit 83 (northbound traffic only) or exit 85 and follow US 21 North 28 miles up the Blue Ridge Mountains to Sparta.
To reach the Blue Ridge Mountain Fair follow US 21 (Main Street) to the second traffic light at the Courthouse. Turn right (north) onto NC 18. Crouse Park begins at the second left (Grayson Street).
To reach the VFW Car Show, continue through town to the third traffic light and turn right onto Trojan Avenue. Go 1 1/2 blocks. The entrance in on the right.
To reach the Quilters Guild Show, continue past the third traffic light 1.5 miles. The show is in the Black Building at the corner of the County Fairgrounds on the left.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chimney Rock Park Hosts Rally Appalachia 2011

July 20, 2011 Chimney Rock State Park is hosting Rally North America's Rally Appalachia 2011 as a cruise-in to the Park’s top parking lot between about 2:30 and 4 PM. Chimney Rock is one of the Rally’s 37 checkpoints at historic or scenic locations in the Appalachian region from Virginia to South Carolina. Rally North America Charities’ Rally 2011 will benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a national leader in supporting the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

is Rally Appalachia 2011? Rally North America organizes the high-speed scavenger hunt which includes 80-plus muscle and sports cars touring 1,300 miles of some of the nation’s most scenic roads. Rally drivers are given clues each day and challenged to outsmart and outrace their opponents through a series of secret checkpoints and awe-inspiring destinations to the finish line while obeying all rules of the road.

The Rally includes 80 teams of two or more people; three racing venues (Shenandoah Speedway, Motor Mile Drag way, and Darlington Speedway); 37 stops at historical or scenic locations; two police escorted parades (including one in Greenville, SC, on July 20);  and one great end-of-rally party in Charleston, South Carolina.
Established in the winter of 2009, Rally North America Charities is a not-for-profit organization, aimed at bringing automotive enthusiasts from all over the United States and Canada, together for the purpose of Auto rallying. Each rally organized by Rally North America carries a common idea: driving for a cause. RNA believes that by combining the love of the automotive lifestyle and a worthy charity organization, it is possible to do something good through the automotive hobby.
Rally North America participants are required to provide a professional and respectful representation of our community to all. The participants are required to follow the laws of the road and are expected to be courteous to the drivers with whom they are sharing the road at all times.
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has been chosen as this year’s Rally North America (RNA) charity benefactor. The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a national leader in supporting the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families, has provided over $120 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans. The Fund most recently opened the National Intrepid Center of Excellence to support the research, diagnosis, and treatment of military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury. Learn more at
Sponsorship of a RNA event only requires a direct donation to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund in the name of the sponsor and RNA. The 2011 Rally sponsors include CJ Pony Parts,, Brewmeisters Sports Tavern, Penn Tech Deployments Inc. and Hagerty Collector Car Insurance.

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor destination located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It is recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic sites and popular travel destinations. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the state’s most significant centers of biodiversity, is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species, as well as the second highest waterfall of its kind in the eastern United States. A popular destination for travel groups, weddings, special events and field trips, the Park is also known for its innovative hands-on educational programs for K-12 schools. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Saluda's Purple Onion hosts Fundraiser for ECO

July 24 the Purple Onion, located at 16 E Main Street in Saluda NC, will host a Funsraiser for Eco featuring the music of Scott Ainslie. The Purple Onion Sunday Evening Music (POSEM) concert this month is more special than usual as the Purple Onion joins forces with ECO, a non-profit organization with a mission of preserving the natural heritage and environment of Henderson County and the mountain region. The purpose of the evening is to raise money for ECO's work in the area and also represents the café's interest in supporting their efforts.

The highlight of the evening will be a concert by Scott Ainslie ( ) , a master guitarist/historian of blues music of all kinds. Scott heard Virginia Bluesman and grave digger, John Jackson (1924-2002) play a couple of songs in the middle of a Mike Seeger concert just outside of Washington, DC, back in 1967.

Scott started playing guitar a month later and has now spent nearly forty years studying and playing traditional music, visiting and documenting senior musicians in America's old-time banjo and fiddle music, Blues and gospel traditions. With four CDs, a teaching DVD on the guitar techniques of Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson, he continues as a performer and a teacher presenting programs that are vital and entertaining.

ECO staff and volunteers work continually to keep the environment healthy in our community. They need your help. In these tough economic times your financial support is even more critical than ever. $30 VIP passes get you in the door early (5:30) to claim the best seats, and enjoy a supper buffet on the deck before the 7:00 concert. Concert-only tickets are $15..

Reservations are required: online at or by calling the ECO office at 692-0385. Contributions and/or purchases made through ECO are tax-deductible. You may also make them by contacting the Purple Onion Café at 828-749-1179.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The 12th Annual Mountain Dulcimer Week Begins this Week

July 17 - 22   12th Annual Mountain Dulcimer Week  Western Carolina University (WCU) - the "Harvard" of Dulcimers - hosts one of the premier dulcimer events in the country with a 1st class instructional staff.  Beginers as well as lifelong players will find what they need from more than 30 classes. WCU is located at 1 University Drive in Cullowhee NC, 5 miles south of Sylva on Highway 107.
New Showcase Concert Venue for 2011 -  The Thursday evening, July 21,  public concert will feature our core instructors on-stage at the same time performing some of their most popular arrangements “in-the-round.” This format will allow for more music to be heard and less time in setting the stage between performers. This year’s performance will be held in the new state-of-the-art Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus. Experience outstanding art in an unforgettable location.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Candle Light Ghost Tour Tonight

July 16   Candle Light Ghost Tours  An evening of tales, mystery and haunts. Learn about the ghosts that haunt the old buildings of downtown Wilkesboro NC. Visit a cemetery where Civil War Soldiers are buried, stand in the jail cell where Tom Dooley spent his last days and listen to the stories of the haunted Smithey Hotel. Tours start at 7:30pm.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mountain Spirits: Wine and Beer this week, July 15

July 15 Hops and Vines, 797 Haywood Rd, Ste 100in AshevilleNC Free Crispin Cider Tasting  Try the new line of Ciders from Crispin, these ciders are not your average dull tasting commercial ciders. They are crisp and refereshing with no additives or preservatives. We now carry three of their products, each cider is unique, we're sure you'll find one you like. 4 PM - 7 PM.  July 16  Free Wine Tasting - Wines that beat the heat   Broadbent Vinho Verde 2010- Light, fresh, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde from Portugal, Trimbach, Riesling 2007- Awarded 91 points, and Top 100 Wines of the Year by Wine Spectator Magazine. 3 PM - 6 PM.  July 17   Beer and Barbecue Potluck   Bring a friend and some BBQ and/or a side dish to share. This is a Fun and Free event and beer and wine will be available for purchase. You MUST RSVP (only 30 available spots) to

July 15  Brusin'Ales 66 Broadway Street in Downtown Asheville NC   B. Nektar Tasting: No structured line-up! Who knows what they'll bring. B. Nektar is known for it's wild and crazy mead concoctions, i.e. Margarita-style Melomel, Pineapple Coconut Mead, Wildberry Mead, Vanilla Cinnamon Mead, and others.

July 15   The Classic WineSeller, 20 Church Street in Waynesville n NC  Friday Night Live: Singer-songwriter Lorraine Conrad live from 7 Pm - 10 PM at the WineSeller's new outdoor music venue. Music, food, wine, beer - what could be better? Also featuring Chris Minick, Waynesville's trubadour-in-residence.

July 16   RagApple Lassie, 3724 Ragapple Lassie Lane Boonville NC     Smooth Jazz from the saxophones of Bill Mann returns this Saturday, so come, unwind from the week's stresses, enjoy lunch in The Back Door Café, taste our awesome wines, sample our newest drink sensation, the RagApple Lassie version of a Peach Belini, linger on the patio, and savor life in the Yadkin Valley!

July 16   River House Inn, 1896 Old Field Creek Road, Grassy Creek NC  Annual Winefest at River House Inn  Wine tasting, food and live music on the river at River House Inn. Reservations, 336-982-2109. $50 - includes wine tasting glass and buffet.
July 16   Echoview Farm, 534 Old Mars Hill Hwy in Weaverville,  NC   Echoview 2nd Annual Hops Festival   2nd Annual Hops Festival at Echoview Farm. During this event  visitors taste locally brewed beers crafted from Echoview hops, relax to award-winning bluegrass tunes of High Windy and tour the farm's acres of hops yards.

July 16, Appalachian Vintner, 2-B Huntsman Place in Asheville NC  Ahseville's Best Wine and Beer Tasting:  Blind Tasting -that’s right its back by popular demand, for the second time in three years there will be a selection of wine from around the world neatly wrapped in fashionable brown paper bags. Completely concealing all label information and price, leaving only the wine in the glass for your review. Think of it like the wine lovers Olympics, except if you win this competition you won’t get a medal. Prizes will be given however to anyone that can guess the country of origin AND the varietal. No pressure of course we want this to be as fun as possible, which is what wine tasting should be. 4 PM - 8 PM 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tweetsie Railroad last Cool Summer Night and Barney Performance this Weekend

Everyone's favorite purple dinosaur will be performing for all his friends at Tweetsie Railroad, North Carolina's first theme park.Barney's performances will be on July 15-17 at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM and he will be available to pose with Tweetsie guests for photos at 11:45 AM and 2:45 PM.  Barney's special Sing-Along will feature 12 of Barney's beloved tunes, including If All The Raindrops, Mr. Knickerbocker, and more!

It Will Be A Cool Summer Night This Saturday!

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It's summertime at Tweetsie Railroad, and the park is celebrating this Saturday, July 16, with our last Cool Summer Night of the season!

Live music will be performed by Creekside Grass, a traditional Bluegrass Band from Boone, N.C
. and an all-you-can-eat Chuck Wagon dinner featuring "Sunday Dinner on Saturday Night" will be available from 6:00-8:30 for $14.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 3 -12.
Tickets for Cool Summer Nights can be purchased at Tweetsie’s ticket office on Saturday. These evening-only tickets (6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.) are $15 for adults and $12 for children ages 3 through 12.
Admission to Cool Summer Nights is included in a regular Tweetsie ticket bought on July 16, and guests that purchase full admission tickets after 3:00 p.m. can return to the park for more Wild West fun the next day at no additional charge.

Last minute Specials on Asheville Cabins

Stay 3 nights get the 4th FREE!
on last minute reservations secured and departed between July 15-31

Mountain Sunshine Red Wolf Black Bear
Mountain Sunshine Red Wolf Black Bear
Buck Horn Hidden Pond Among the Clouds
Buck Horn Hidden Pond Among The Clouds
Pumpkin Patch Blitmore Villa Hideaway Eagles Landing
Pumpkin Patch Biltmore Villa Hideaway Eagles Landing
Flying Fish Pond Cove Sunrise
Flying Fish Pond Cove Sunrise

Call 855.398.0712 to book or search our rental options.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tell me a Story - at the 13th Annual Toe RIver Story Telling Festival

Storytelling is an integral part of North Carolina culture and heritage. There were times when the tradition of elders telling stories was the only way to preserve the memories of the native mountain peoples as well as the immigrants who followed. Storytelling was both history and art because a combination of the two was necessary to fully express the events experienced in the drama of real life.

Today, Storytelling is NOT a lost art - at least not in the mountains of North Carolina. Could there be a better place than in the world's oldest mountains to enjoy the tales of life and love and heritage?

For 13 years storyteller and listeners have been congregating in the Riverside Park in Downtown Spruce Pine, NC. This July 16th will be like years past. On the banks of the beautiful Toe River across from the railroad lines that make their way through downtown Spruce Pine visitors and tellers will come together and enjoy the warm southern mountain July air and share the stories of yesterday and today.

The tellers for the Toe River Storytelling Festival will bring to life centuries of mountain lore, enriching the listeners’ understanding of the unique history and heritage of this region.
The event takes place from 9 Am to 4 PM at Riverside in downtown Spruce Pine NC.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Update from I Love - Contact Congress information

Submitted by  Matt Wasson,
Time and time again in the 112th Congress, we have seen attacks on federal regulations of mountaintop removal coal mining through our clean water laws. This week, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (HR 2018) will come to a vote in the US House of Representatives. Tell your congressperson that HR 2018 is an attack on Appalachia, the environment, and human health:

This bill would essentially roll back 40 years of protection established by the Clean Water Act, including provisions that grant the EPA the authority to regulate mountaintop removal coal mining. It would turn all of that power over to state agencies that are beholden to the powerful coal industry. We cannot stand by and let this attack on your clean water go unnoticed. Contact your member of Congress today:

While we realize we face an up hill battle in the House, we need to let it be known that we will not stand aside and allow continued destruction of the communities, land and water of Appalachia. This is a fight we can absolutely win, and we expect this bill to be defeated in the Senate. But in order to do so, we need to demonstrate our opposition to this bill in the House.

Please take action today and ask your friends and family to do the same.
For the mountains,
Matt Wasson

Monday, July 11, 2011

Asheville's Carrier Park potential Coca-Cola Grant recipient

Through its Live Positively initiative, Coca-Cola will award grants totaling $175,000 to the three U.S. parks. The public can vote for their favorite park at, and while only one park will receive the title of "America's Favorite Park," grants will be given to the three parks that receive the most votes by September 6, 2011. These grants of $100,000, $50,000 and $25,000 can be used to restore, rebuild or enhance places within the park to play or be active.

RiverLink, the local non-profit working to revitalize the French Broad River and environs as a place for everyone to live, work and play, has nominated Asheville's Carrier Park.  
"Just think of the amenities that could be added to Carrier with $100,000 or even $25,000," said RiverLink's Dave Russell. "We could build more trails, another fishing platform, a canoe launch ... we'd let the public weigh in on how to spend the grant and follow their lead. So please vote often, as you can vote as many time as you like."

According to Karen Cragnolin, executive director of RiverLink, "We are so proud of Carrier Park,. In 1999 when RiverLink bought the old speedway and eventually turned it into carrier park we had no idea, although we were very hopeful, that it would become the number one park destination in the city wide system. Carrier Park really does offer something for everyone - so we hope that everyone will vote often!."

To vote, visit, and put the word "Carrier" in the window beside the words "Search for a park." When the little orange balloon comes up, click on it and vote.

Master Gardeners of Buncombe County offer FREE Lecture Series

Gardening in the Mountains - Extension Master Gardeners of Buncombe County are again offering their monthly lecture series. Programs will be at 10 AM the 3rd Wednesday each month at the Buncombe County Extension Center. The Center is located at 94 Coxe Avenue in Asheville NC. The lectures are free and no pre-registration is required.
July 20 - Caring for Your Trees and Shrubs
August 17 - Food and Color in the Fall Garden
September 21 - Growing Shiitakes and other Edible Mushrooms
October 19 - Backyard Bullies—Dealing with Invasive Plants