Friday, September 30, 2011

Bryson City hosts the USA Canoe/Kayak Nationals

October 1-2  USA Canoe / Kayak Nationals -  The national champion-crowning races for 2011. The country's best whitewater slalom racers will compete for the national championship in their divisions: Kayak (K1), Single Canoe (C1), Double Canoe (C2) and Women's Kayak (K1W). Get a link for this event,  information and lodging here.

Slalom is the only Olympic whitewater discipline, and the eventual 2012 Olympians should be competing at these championships, so don't miss the chance to see the 2012 Olympic paddlers here in North Carolina before they head to London in 2012.

March's Bank of America US Open whitewater slalom race on the Nantahala:

Reading and Wreath-Making at City Lights Bookstore

Oct 1,  2 PM at City Lights Bookstore, 3 E. Jackson St.Sylva, NC -   a story and wreath making with author and culture historian Julia Taylor Ebel. Julia will be reading from newest book, Mama's Wreaths. A series of narrative poems tell the story of Joanie, a young mountain girl who wishes to learn to make wreaths as lovely as Mama's. Joanie learns not only about the process of wreath making but also of the importance of passing on one's heritage. Just in time for the fall season, Mama's Wreaths is sure to warm up to readers of all ages.

Mama's Wreaths is available in paperback for $10.95 and in stock at City Lights Bookstore.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

NC Leaf Report: Chimney Rock Prediction

"The Blue Ridge Mountain range features one of most colorful and longest leaf color displays in the US, attracting visitors from around the world. Many areas in the Western North Carolina Mountains have experienced a cool spring and ample moisture through July.  Throughout August and September there was a fairly dry pattern that, if continued, will be beneficial for good fall colors," said Ron Lance, Naturalist, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.

While it's beautiful year-round in Chimney Rock and the Hickory Nut Gorge, if you are planning a trip around the Fall leaf season.  Park officials predict peak colors to occur between late October and the first week of November. It's important to note that there are many factors that influence when leaves change color and any prediction is nothing more than a best guess. Please check back often--as the weather changes our forecast may change as well.

Chimney Rock Park offers one of the nations most unique natural wonders
. Standing atop the Chimney Rock, a 500 million-year-old giant granite monolith overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge, visitors are awed by the breathtaking view that spreads 1200 vertical feet beneath them and 75 miles across the Carolinas. The state-owned park, located in Chimney Rock North Carolina, encompasses 1,000 acres, including the Chimney itself and the beautiful Hickory Nut Falls.  Chimney Rock Park is a "must see" for  any trip to the mountains.  Get information about Chimney Rock NC and cabin rentals and lodging here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

October is Mountains to Sea Trail Month

Our Interactive MapNC Governor Bev Perdue has once again declared October Mountains-to-Sea Trail Month. Join the celebration by taking a hike on the Trail AND volunteering for a Trail workday (s)

Month-Long Activities
  • Submit a photograph into our 1st Annual MST Photo Contest sponsored by Great Outdoor Provision Co. Deadline: October 31st.
  • Check out the photos that have already been entered on our Photo Contest Flickr site.
  • Buy a raffle ticket to support the MST and gain a chance to win 18 great prizes of gift cards and gear donated by Great Outdoor Provision Co., Jesse Brown's Outdoors, and Mast General Stores. Tickets cost $5 or $20 for five. E-mail Kate Dixon, FMST Executive Director, at to place an order.
  • Test your knowledge of the MST in the Trivia Contest sponsored by Great Outdoor Provision Co. Each day, from October 1 to November 7, they'll post a new question about the MST. The first person to answer the question correctly that day will win a raffle ticket. Anyone who answers all 38 questions correctly will win five raffle tickets and fame as an "MST Trivia Whiz - 2011!" Thanks to Danny Bernstein, the 21st person to complete the MST, for writing the questions.
  • Take the Backpacking NC Challenge and win great prizes by completing at least two of the trips in Joe Miller's recent book Backpacking North Carolina. Deadline: October 31.

    Special Events
  • Tuesday, October 4 - World class ultrarunner Diane Van Deren will present an exciting program in downtown Raleigh. Proceeds from VIP ticket sales will be donated to FMST. Sponsored by The North Face and Great Outdoor Provision Co.
  • Friday-Sunday, October 7-9 - Campout! Carolina. Pitch a tent over the weekend to show your support for North Carolina's environment. Campout! Carolina is hosted each year by Earth Share, a partnership of environmental groups including FMST that participate in workplace giving. Last year, more than 8400 people camped out during Campout! Carolina. Register to let Earth Share know you plan to participate this year.
  • Sunday, October 9 - Clues on the Neuse. Join us for a family-friendly scavenger hunt along the MST in dowtown Smithfield.
  • Thursday, October 13 - Trail Grand Opening in Raleigh of the first eight miles of the Neuse River Greenway/MST. 10:00 am at the Falls Lake Dam canoe launch, 12098 Falls of the Neuse Road.
  • Saturday, November 5 - Benefit dinner and concert for the MST at Galileo's in Boone.
  • Tuesday, November 8 - MST Month Closing Celebration when we'll announce the winners of the Backpacking Challenge, the Raffle, and the MST Trivia Whizes. Join us @ 6 pm at the Cameron Village Great Outdoor Provision Co. store, 2017 Cameron Street, Raleigh for fun, fellowship and refreshments.

    Trail Workdays

NC Leaf Report: September 27

It's officially fall and time to follow the progress of the incredible NC mountains leaf color. There are already noticeable changes in a variety of areas while green still dominates at 80% - 90%. in most lower elevations.

According to
Howie Neufeld, Ph.D., Professor of Plant Physiology at Appalachian State University, "If I had to make a guess right now, I would predict a slightly earlier peak to the fall foliage colors this year in the mountains, with perhaps the weekend of October 7-9 being the peak in the Boone/Grandfather area, and maybe the next weekend further south around Asheville. In the Highlands/Cashiers area, you can often expect colors to peak at around the same time as in Boone, or just slightly afterwards. In the Smokies, colors will peak in early October at the higher elevations, and then work their way downslope, with a delay of about 5 days for every 1,000’ drop in elevation."
Newfound Gap Photo courtesy of NPS
The official website for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park provides updates along with photos of the color progress in a variety of Park areas. " Fall Color Report, September 26, 2011 - There is just a hint of color in the earliest changing trees at this time. A few sourwoods, dogwoods, maples, and birches are showing a little color along roadways, but the mountains are still predominantly green at all elevations. Fall wildflowers such as cardinal flower, black-eyed Susan... read more...

The leaf reports
will help you determine where to go in the NC Mountains whether you are already in the mountains or just planning your trip. Western North Carolina has one of the longest leaf seasons in the country thanks to varying elevations and climate conditions.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Flat Rock Cinema Coupons


Flat Rock Cinema is located at 2700 Greenville Highway in Flat Rock NC. Now playing: "One Day" with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, Sept 23 - 29. Show times 4:00, 7:00 (no 7:00 on Monday, 9/26). Tickets are $7.00 for all shows.
Click HERE to join the FREE Email Club and receive
a schedule and coupons each week.
Get a FREE small popcorn for signing up!

"Your affordable neighborhood clean and friendly bistro cinema,
featuring great food, cocktails and local brews."

Reservations are encouraged but not required for most calling (828) 697-2463. Doors open 40 minutes prior to show time.

We recommend arriving at least 20 to 30 minutes prior to show time if you plan to eat with us or if you have a group of four or more.  We are a licensed restaurant with full ABC permits and do not permit food or drink to be brought in from outside. Anyone caught bringing in alcohol will be ejected and arrested..
Click HERE to view our food and beverage menu.
Click HERE for a map and driving directions.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Penland Offers Historic Preservation Classes

Penland School of Crafts has announced its partnership with the North Carolina State Office of Historic Preservation and Preservation North Carolina to offer two special workshops this fall in the craft of renovation and historic preservation.

October 14 - 15: Historic Preservation Workshop with preservation architect Joe Oppermann.   This workshop covers historic designation on the National Register and in your local community, the use of tax credits for individuals and communities as they restore and rehabilitate historic architecture, and special breakout sessions for historic preservation commissioners. Preservation architect Joe Oppermann will explain the restoration and rehabilitation process by leading a discussion on two preservation projects on Penland’s campus: an 1860 log farm house with German siding and a 1916 Craftsman style dorm.This workshop is designed for the general preservation audience but also qualifies for historic preservation commission education credits. The workshop will also include a special presentation on saved historic architecture in North Carolina by Myrick Howard, President of Preservation North Carolina. 

October 21 - 22: Window Restoration Workshop with specialist David Hoggard. This is a window restoration workshop with specialist David Hoggard, owner of Double Hung, a window restoration company. Students will learn the mechanics of traditional windows and participate in a hands-on session of basic window repair and materials using mid-19th and early-20th century buildings on Penland’s campus. There will be technical tips and a presentation on more complicated window repair. This workshop is designed for homeowners, do-it-yourselfers, general contractors, and carpenters.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pisgah Brewing Company hosts Gaelic Storm's Shamboozle Fest

September 24 - Gaelic Storm has  announced its first music and food festival, Shamboozle Fest 2011 at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain NC.

Imagine the greatest house party you have ever been to, add Pisgah Brewing Company's outdoor stage in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, and then throw in four phenomenal live acts - THAT'S Shamboozle.


$22 in Advance, $25 Day of Show
Hopster & Brewmaster VIP Packages Available

3:00pm – Doors

3:30pm – Scott Munns – Taproom Stage (playing all night!)
5:30pm – Big Daddy Bluegrass – Outdoor Stage
7:00pm – The Movement – Outdoor Stage
8:30pm – GAELIC STORM – Outdoor Stage

Friday, September 23, 2011

Music in the Mountains this Weekend - September 23-25

Sept 23 WEST JEFFERSON Back Street Park Summer Concerts  Free summer concert series held every 3rd & 4th Friday nights May - September, 5:30pm - 7:30pm. Bring your chair, blanket or picnic and enjoy the sounds of traditional local bluegrass, folk and country music. Rain location is the Farmer's Market or the Arts Center.

Sept 24 BRYSON CITY Music in the Mountains - Free Concerts  Rye Holler Boys Every Saturday night from June through Oct, enjoy a FREE concert in Bryson City at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Train Depot from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Sit in one of the old church pews on the covered depot deck or bring a lawn chair to enjoy the show.

Sept 25 OLD FORT Informal Jam on the Porch  Bring an instrument or bring an ear! Happening each Sunday on the porch of Mountain Gateway Museum from 2-4pm.

Sept 25 BLOWING ROCK Balsam Range Concert at Grandfather Mountain 
  The award-winning bluegrass band Balsam Range will appear at the Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum in a rare acoustic performance on Sunday, September 25 at 2 p.m.

Balsam Range, named after the Haywood County, NC mountains where the members of the group call home, have been nominated for Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Emerging Artist awards by the International Bluegrass Music Association. This “up close and personal” concert by the Western North Carolina tradition-bearers at Grandfather Mountain is a can’t-miss opportunity.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Buy Tickets NOW for Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train Halloween Festival

Sept 30 - Oct 1; Oct 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29. All Aboard for the Annual Ghost Train Halloween Festival at Tweetsie Railroad.
One of the most popular NC Mountains events, the Ghost Train offers saf and scarey fun for the entire family.



Check out the ghastly attractions:

Ghost Train Rides

Haunted House
Halloween Shows
3-D Maze
Black Hole
Trick or Treating
Freaky Forest

Advance tickets are recommended and are available for sale online now. $28 per person, children under 2 are free. A limited number of guest are admitted each night.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Asheville hosts Wings Over the Smokies - Honda Goldwing Rally

September 22-24   Wings Over the Smokies - Honda Goldwing Rally   The North Carolina District Gold Wing Riders Association's renowned "Wings Over the Smokies - Honda Gold Wing Rally draws over 5,000 people and more than 100 vendors that cater to motorcyclists.

Riders thunder in from all across the country to share the Gold Wing fellowship and  experience some of the best and most beautiful scenic rides in the world. Events include the Light Show Competition, Ice Cream Social, All-bike Parade, Couple of the Year selection, Team Challenge, Top Gun, NC Drill Team Performance, Inside Bike Show and Entertainment.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

North Carolina Big Sweep on October 1

North Carolina Big Sweep, the annual statewide cleanup of waterways around North Carolina, takes place on Saturday, October 1, from 9 AM to1 PM this year. Cleanup efforts will take place on the French Broad River using canoes from the Asheville Outdoor Center to Jean Webb Park in the River Arts District. Other groups will clean trash from Carrier Park and along the roadways in the area.

Two local environmental non-profits are spearheading the cleanup efforts. RiverLink is organizing the floating cleanup, while Asheville Greenworks will lead groups on area roadsides. Dave Donnell of the Asheville Outdoor Center has graciously offered to host the cleanup orientation and lend canoes for volunteers to use to pick up trash in the water, and 1-800-Got-Junk is picking up collected trash.

North Carolina Big Sweep, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that plans and coordinates the statewide Big Sweep. North Carolina Big Sweep was founded as Beach Sweep in 1987 by Dr. Lundie Spence of the North Carolina Sea Grant College Program. In 1989, the public-private partnership officially became Big Sweep, the nation's first statewide waterway cleanup. Since its founding, North Carolina Big Sweep has had almost 290,000 volunteers and collected over 9.8 million pounds of trash from our environment in North Carolina.

"This cleanup is really important in North Carolina, because litter hurts our local economies, especially tourism and new business recruitment," said Chip Dodd, Big Sweep NC chairman. "Litter also contaminates our water supply and endangers people and wildlife."

Volunteers will meet at 9:00 AM at the Asheville Outdoor Center located at 521 Amboy Rd for cleanup orientation, receive cleanup supplies and then divide into teams to clean up the French Broad River.

"Big Sweep a great chance to get out on the river, meet some like minded folks and help improve our most valuable resource - so come and help," requests Karen Cragnolin, executive director of RiverLink.

For more information, contact Dave Russell at RiverLink by phone at 252-8474, ext. 11, or e-mail

Monday, September 19, 2011

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Special Offer

Special offer for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad: Available for Pumpkin Patch reservations booked prior to September 23, 2011.

Purchase 4 Pumpkin Patch tickets for any date during the month of October 2011 and receive 2 FREE excursion ticket vouchers for the Nantahala Gorge Excursion valid January 14, 2012 to March 31, 2012.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mac Arnold Performs ro day at the Purple Onion in Saluda

The Purple Onion welcomes national blues treasure, Mac Arnold and his smoking' Plate Full O' Blues to the Purple Onion stage this Sunday, September 18 at 7 o'clock as part of the POSEM concert series.

  Mac Arnold's first band included James Brown on piano. Mac moved to Chicago and Muddy Waters hired him on the spot. He toured and recorded with the Muddy Waters Band and recorded LPs with Otis Spann and John Lee Hooker. Mac moved to Los Angeles and produced Soul Train with his friend Don Cornelius. He even played bass on the Sanford & Son television show when he wasn't playing bass for Otis Redding and B.B. King. He retired from show business to be an organic farmer.  Mac is back with his own band and now a third CD, building a new foundation in blues, soul and funk.

 Admission is $15 per person and seating is limited. The performance starts at 7 PM.  The doors open at 6 PM and a light supper as well as beverages and desserts will be available on the patio prior to the concert.  Reservations can be made by calling the Purple Onion at 828-749-1179. The Purple Onion is located at 16 Main Street in Saluda NC.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Non-stop fight between Orlando and Asheville Announced

Florida's Carolina Connection just got a little easier with the announcement by Allegiant Air of a new, nonstop flight between Asheville NC  (AVL) and Orlando FL (SFB).  Flights begin on November 18, just in time for Floridians to shop for handmade in the mountains holiday gifts and Tar Heels to enjoy Orlando attractions with moderate temperatures and lessor crowds.

The low-cost service begins with an introductory rate of $48.98*, one way.
  The new flights will operate two times weekly between Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) with service Monday and Friday. Flights will depart Asheville at 8:20 p.m. arriving in Orlando-Sanford at 9:50 p.m. Flights leaving Orlando-Sanford will depart at 6:10 p.m. arriving in Asheville at 7:40 p.m. . The carrier will utilize a full-size, 150-seat MD-80 jet aircraft for the route.

*Allegiant’s $49.98 one-way introductory fare is limited, must be purchased by Oct. 3, 2011, and is valid for travel between Nov. 29, 2011, and Feb. 14, 2012. Introductory fares are not available on all flights.

Reservations can be made on the airline’s website at or by calling the company’s travel experts at 702-505-8888.

Friday, September 16, 2011

National Public Lands Day in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

On Saturday, September 24, Great Smoky Mountains National Park will celebrate National Public Lands Day by hosting several volunteer projects in a unified effort with many public lands across the country. National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands that Americans enjoy. Those interested in participating at the Smokies will have a chance sign up for either a trail rehabilitation or a native meadows restoration project.

The Trails Forever program - a partnership between the national park and Friends of the Smokies - will be hosting a Forney Ridge Trail project.Adult volunteers (18 years old or older) can work with the park trail crew to reconstruct a section of this popular trail. The work will include collecting, moving, breaking and setting rock as well as naturalizing some sections where work as already been completed. To RSVP to participate in this opportunity or for more information, contact Trails & Facilities Volunteer Coordinator, Christine Hoyer at 828/497-1949 or

Park resource managers are recruiting for volunteers to help restore native meadows in Cades Cove. Remnant stands of our native Indian Grass remain scattered throughout the Cove. Volunteers can help the park collect seed from this native grass that provides outstanding wildlife cover and nourishment for a variety of wildlife including ground nesting birds, small mammals, turkeys, and deer. To RSVP to participate in this opportunity or for more information, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Dana Soehn at 865/436-1265 or

Also occurring on the same day, the long-time B and W Y-12 Help to the Smokies Volunteer Team plans to participate by working at the popular Chimney's Picnic Area to improve a majority of the picnic sites with replacement of new and improved stand up grills. Over the years, these grills have developed rusted holes and corroded walls due to the extreme weathering conditions at the 3,000 foot elevation site. The volunteer crew will install 68 new grills with a cement foundation anchored in gravel picnic pads. These pads were also rebuilt with the help of B&W Y-12 during previous rehabilitation of the Chimney's Picnic Area. This year, B&W Y-12 is celebrating its 15 year partnership with the Park in providing annual volunteer support and corporate funding to accomplish visitor facility improvements.

In addition, several volunteers trained in the teaching of Leave No Trace principals will be stationed at popular visitor areas at Clingmans Dome, Sugarlands Visitor Center, and Oconaluftee Visitor Center. They will reach out to the public to discuss and promote responsible recreational practices. The Smokies' Leave No Trace program strives to educate all those who enjoy the outdoors about the nature of their recreational impacts as well as techniques to prevent and minimize such impacts that are created by combined effects of millions of outdoor enthusiasts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

City Lights Bookstore Welcomes Ballad of Tom Dooley Author

September 20th, 7 PM at City Lights Bookstore , 3 East Jackson Street, Sylva NC.   Sharyn McCrumb Returns to City Lights with a New Novel   Sharyn McCrumb will be at City Lights to read from and sign her new novel, The Ballad of Tom Dooley.  Laura Foster, a simple country girl, was murdered and her lover Tom Dula was hanged for the crime. With the help of historians, lawyers, and researchers, McCrumb visited the actual sites, studied the legal evidence, and uncovered a missing piece of the story that will shock those who think they already know what happened. The book is due to be released September 13th so if you would like to reserve copies call us at 828-586-9499. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Car Shows this weekend

September 17   Autumn Colors Autorama   Car show held on Main Street in historic downtown Hendersonville NC from 9:00AM-4:00PM. The show features antique cars, street rods & custom cars. Sponsored by the Great Smoky Mountain Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America. 828-681-8867
September 18   OLD FORT   Classic Car Show   Bring your car, truck, or motorcycle. Downtown Old Fort, 1-5 p.m.; free. Sponsored by Route 70 Cruisers. For more information, call 828-442-5135

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Slow Food Asheville hosts F.E.A.S.T

September 22 from 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM at 21 N Market Street in Asheville NC - Enjoy Asheville’s finest restaurant fare at F.E.A.S.T. Asheville Affiliates and Slow Foods Asheville are excited to host this special culinary event including live entertainment, silent auction, raffle, local cuisine, and refreshments.

The Event offers a bounty of local food generously donated by The Marketplace, Curate, Fiore, Roots, Cucina 24,Solace, Cafe Ello, The Southern, Earth Fare, West End Bakery, Corner Kitchen, Greenlife, and Table. Beer will be provided by Catawba Valley Brewing Company.

Buy your tickets now by clicking HERE. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

FEAST is a program of Slow Food Asheville,  providing a hands on, group cooking experience focusing on locally grown fruits and vegetables. Slow Foods Asheville seeks to advance the benefits of locally produced food and healthy eating by working with educators, farmers, restaurants, professional organizations and advocacy groups. The Asheville Affiliates is a community network that hosts “Parties with a Purpose” to support Asheville area non-profit organizations.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Have the Time of Your Life in Lake Lure at the Dirty Dancing Festival

Sept 15-18  Dirty Dancing Festival at Lake Lure   The 2nd annual Dirty Dancing Festival at Lake Lure, this year featuring:  Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers; Lakeside screening of "Dirty Dancing"; Daytime Dance & Music Festival; Lakeside concert & VIP Dinner at Rumbling Bald Resort; Charity Golf Tournament, Brunch & Silent Auction.

Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers performs on Thursday, September 15, 7:30 PM at The Foundation Performing Arts Center in Spindale, NC. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bill Medley is a seminal figure in the history of American music. Best known as half of the unmistakable duo, The Righteous Brothers, Medley's 1987 duet with Jennifer Warnes - (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life - was an integral part of the film “Dirty Dancing."

This year's Lakeside Screening of Dirty Dancing will be at picturesque Morse Park Meadows. Bring a picnic dinner, some blankets and chairs and cuddle up to watch Dirty Dancing alongside the famous Lake Lure. There will be food and beverages for sale onsite, please do not bring alcohol. This event is FREE but donations are appreciated. Come around 5:00 PM to park and find a spot for the movie which will start around 7:00 PM.

The Daytime Dance Festival will include a main stage with live entertainment, along with a Dance Lessons Tent and dance lessons all day. The National Watermelon Association will be onsite running a seed-spit competition and there will be a lake lift competition in the afternoon. There will also be food and craft vendors alongside a beer and wine garden

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sow, Grow it and Show it at the Macon County Fair in Franklin

Septembet 14-17   56th Annual Macon County Fair  57 years of authentic agricultural fair featuring crafts, farm animals and festival foods. Held at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center on the Macon County Fairgrounds
US Franklin NC

Education Booths and Individual Exhibits will be open daily 9 AM - 9 PM. Enjoy a variety of shows including horsemanship, dairy, pet, rabbit, goat, lamb and hog shows. There's a Kids Fun Day, Pedal Tractor Pull, BBQ Supper. Enjoy entertainment at the Pavilion and Family Activities every day. Find out who wins the "Best Cake in the County" Contest and the Tractor Driving Contest. Entries for the Annual Scarecrow Contest will be on display throughout the Fairgrounds.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mountain State Fair begins today in Asheville

September 10 - 18, WNC Agricultural Center,1301 Fanning Bridge Rd. in Fletcher NC (Asheville Suburb) - 2011 Mountain State Fair.  Fairgoers will find new and exciting events and performtnces at this year's WNC Mountain Fair.

The Zerbini Family Circus offers up family-friendly fun under the big top with an array of acrobats, trapeze artists, daredevils, circus clowns, dancers, jugglers and animals.

The Kenya Safari Acrobats will amaze with their high-energy show. End-over-end flips, spectacular displays of balance and strength, and choreographed jump roping are all signatures of this troupe, whose members serve as artistic ambassadors for Kenya. The chow will be presented daily near the newly renovated Davis Event Center.

Sept. 9-13, Josh Knotts & Lea will perform extreme illusions and escapes on the Got to Be NC Stage. The unique magic show features a mix of illusions, theater and comedy that will have the audience asking, “How’d they do that?”

Sept. 14-18, Mike Bishop, a comedy hypnotist, will entertain fairgoers on the Got to Be NC Stage. Bishop encourages audience participation and through the power of hypnotic suggestions he will have people impersonating Elvis and doing other entertaining skits.

Drew Exposition returns this year to provide  thrilling midway rides and games for kids of all ages. The Bojangles Music Stage will host local and regional bands and performers for daily shows. In addition, the Mountain Music Competition that runs Sept. 8-17 offers more great entertainment.

 Adult admission is $6 in advance versus $7 at the gate. Child and senior admission is $2 in advance compared to $3 at the gate. Fairgoer may also want to take advantage of a new special discount offer, the Family Fun Pack, for $30. The pack includes five admission tickets, four coupons good for one ride each and 10 vendor coupons good for discounts on fair foods and at the Airport Road McDonalds.  Special promotions include:
  • Monday, Sept. 12: Wristband Day – Ride all day for $18 plus admission.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 14: Ingles Day – Free gate admission with five cans of Laura Lynn brand food from Ingles Supermarket.
  • Thursday Sept. 15: Wristband Day – Ride all day for $18 plus admission.
  • Friday Sept. 16: Senior Citizen Day – Free gate admission for seniors 65 and older, and the Friday Night Stampede from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. Offers admission and ride wristband for $18.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What to do this Weekend: NC Mountain Events September 9-11-2011

Sept 8- 10 BURNSVILLE Carolina Mountain Literary Fest - The festival is aimed at readers more than writers. Readers get the chance to interact with writers, and writers have a chance to see the impact of their work on the general readership. Most sessions are free. The slate of events begins Get details and links...

Sept 9 WEST JEFFERSON  West Jefferson Gallery Crawl - Stroll the streets of a historic mountain town, enjoy the cool mountain breeze while listening to the comforting sounds of street musicians and "popping" in and out of West Jefferson's many galleries. Open House in more than Get details and links...

Sept 9 WEST JEFFERSON Ashe Arts Council Opening Reception: "Trees" - Paintings, photography, mixed media, fibers, clay, wood - an exhibit of all things related to trees. Each month a new exhibit is housed in the Gallery of the Ashe Arts Center including paintings, sculptures, mixed media, Get details and links...

Sept 9 WEST JEFFERSON Blue Ridge Relay - The 208 Mile Blue Ridge Relay (BRR208), which is one of the longest running relay races in the United States, takes place in the picturesque Blue Ridge and Black Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. The BRR208 consists of maximum 12 person (4 person minimum) teams that rotate through 36 transition areas as they cover the 208-mile distance of the race. Each relay team member runs 3 legs of varying lengths and difficulty and Get details and links...

Sept 9 - 11 MAGGIE VALLEY Thunder in the Smokies Fall Rally - Come ride the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Enjoy Tour Rides, Music Concerts, Bike Builders, Bike Games, Bike Show, Prizes, Vendors and much more during our three-day rally! All bikes and ages welcomed. Gates open at Get details and links...

Sept 10 BREVARD  2nd Saturday Program at the Heritage Museum - The History of Transylvania - Wood-Carving Demonstration: Walter Kluge Get details and links...

Sept 10 BRYSON CITY  Music in the Mountains - Free Concerts - The Heaven Seekers Every Saturday night from June through Oct, enjoy a FREE concert in Bryson City at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Train Depot from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Sit in one of the old church pews on the covered depot deck or Get details and links...

Sept 10 WILKESBORO  Candle Light Ghost Tours   An evening of tales, mystery and haunts. Learn about the ghosts that haunt the old buildings of downtown Wilkesboro. Visit a cemetery where Civil War Soldiers are buried, stand in the jail cell where Tom Dooley Get details and links...

Sept 10 COLUMBUS  13th Annual Green Creek Heritage Festival - One of Polk County's biggest events celebrating its rural heritage. Antique car and truck show. Crafters and artisans. Bluegrass, country and gospel music all day long. Storytellers. Festival parade at 9:30 am. Door prizes all day. Farm animals for the kids to enjoy. Wagon rides. Award-winning BBQ. Fireman's barrel roll competition. Farmer's Market for fresh fruit and Get details and links...

Sept 10 NEBO Wilderness Survival  Ever been lost in the woods? Join Park Ranger Clay Veasey and find out how to keep from getting lost and how to survive if you do. Discuss survival kits, finding shelter, fire-building, and much more. Meet at  Get details and links...

Sept 10   NORTH WILKESBORO  Black Cat Station Open House Black Cat Station is home of a large "H.O." Scale Model Railroad operating many trains at one time. They can host many cultural events and is even a great place to Get details and links...

Sept 10 BLOWING ROCK Art in the Park Begun in 1962 Art in the Park now includes over 90 artisans at each juried show. Art in the Park’s high standards and professional jury attract artisans from all over the Southeast to exhibit in a series of  Get details and links...

Sept 10-12  SPARTA  Fodder Trot Trail Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch A 7-acre corn maze laid out in the design of the New River. With 4 different puzzles to solve within the maze, this is a family-fun adventure. Bring your flashlights and find your way through the maze in the dark! There is also a pumpkin patch on-site for pumpkin picking beginning in October. Hayrides, picnic areas, corn hole games, fire pits, a giant slide, concessions and much more are Get details and links...

Sept 11  NEBO Animal Track and Signs Hike Join Park Ranger Clay Veasey on a hike exploring different signs animals leave behind. Easy level hike of about 1 mile at the new Paddy’s Creek Area of Lake James State Park. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Bridge Trailhead at Get details and links...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Asheville Cinema Society begins 2nd Season with a Riverlink Fund Raiser

Sept 23  - The Asheville Cinema Society (ACS) kicks off its second season with "The River Why," the story of 20-year-old fly fisherman Gus Orviston, who leaves his big city home to live in a secluded cabin on the banks of a wild river and do nothing but fish. Instead of finding fishing bliss, his desolation drives him on a reluctant quest for self-discovery.

The event will be a fundraiser for RiverLink and a membership drive for ACS, taking place at the Diana Wortham Theater in Downtown Asheville on Friday, Sept. 23. The Asheville Cinema Society (ACS) will be giving 20 percent of the ticket price of $25 to help RiverLink protect North Carolina's rivers and streams. In addition, ACS is extending a discounted membership offer of $250 per person (a $50 savings) and $400 per couple (a $100 savings) for its 2011-2012 Season (September 2011 - April 2012).

The Asheville Cinema Society was founded in 2010 to bring highly entertaining independent feature films, foreign films and documentaries to Western North Carolina. ACS is showing 15 films this year; two Tuesday nights per month at Asheville's  Biltmore Regal in Biltmore Park. Following the screening, the filmmaker or someone associated with the film or an expert versed in the subject matter of the film will participate in a Q&A.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September Sweepstakes offered by NC Department of Tourism

Discover the timeless beauty of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, from the serenity of our wilderness to the tranquility of our rivers to the magic of our small mountain towns. From Asheville and the Biltmore Estate, to the Blue Ridge Parkway, to Chimney Rock State Park and Grandfather Mountain, we're confident you'll be charmed by the heritage, hospitality and history of this extraordinary place.
In September, enter to win your own Blue Ridge Mountains journey, complete with outdoor adventure, scenic accommodations and breathtaking natural beauty. This sweepstakes includes:
  • A three-night stay for two at Saluda's Orchard Inn OR a one-night stay for four at the Inn's cottage
  • Go Blue Ridge Cards for up to four guests, offering free admission to more than 30 attractions for any two days during a two-week period
  • Complimentary admission to Grandfather Mountain and a behind-the-scenes tour of the wildlife habitat area for four guests
  • Four Canopy Ridge Farm zip line passes
  • Four annual passes to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, plus an Old Rock Café voucher
  • A one-room, two-night stay for two or four at Asheville's new Brookstone Lodge
  • Family Fun Pack passes to Asheville's Fun Depot: four two-hour play cards to four attractions, one large topping pizza and four drinks. Attractions include: laser tag, indoor and outdoor go-carts, bowling and bumper cars
  • A canoe trip for up to four from Headwaters Outfitters
  • $300 gift certificate for the Lodge on Lake Lure
  • Plus a $500 Visa gift card to help you get here!
Enter To Win!
Entry deadline September 30, 2011.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Get on the Bus - with Asheville's Riverlink

RiverLink's Bus Tours begin again this month. The RiverLink Bus Tour offers answers about Asheville's past, present and future: What is the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan and what does it hold for Asheville's future? What are the plans for the old Cotton Mill down on Riverside Drive? How did the Flood of 1916 change the river area landscape?

The next tour will be Thursday, Sept. 15, when the public is invited to tour the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers with RiverLink. The tour departs from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce parking area. Participants should arrive at about 11:45 so that the tour may start promptly at noon.

This is an opportunity to see the improvements that have occurred recently and hear what will be coming over the next several months and years to make our rivers better places to work, live and play. You will learn some local history and visit some streets and neighborhoods you have never seen before.

The tour begins and ends at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, 36 Montford Avenue, and is free for RiverLink members. Non-members cost $15 per person. Lunch is not provided but you may bring your own. Reservations are required online or call 828-252-8474 ext. 11.

Starlight Night on the Farm Fundraiser for Full Spectrum Farms

September 17 from 5 PM - 9 PM - the  4th annual Starlight Night: A Night on the Farm. This is an exciting event for the whole family and  includes a Southern-style meal, silent auction, wagon rides, fun activities for the young and young at heart, and live music. Dance under the stars and enjoy a great night in support of Full Spectrum Farms, located at 3101 Old Cullowhee Road Cullowhee, NC
Tickets for Starlight Night are $45.00 for adults and $10.00 for children ages 4-14. Children under 4 may attend free of charge. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Full Spectrum Farms' office at 828-293-2521 or e-mailing at Starlight Night 2011 is sponsored by Aramark, Stanberry Insurance, Cullowhee Real Estate, WCU Campus Dining Services, F. Patrick McGuire, DDS, Andy Shaw Ford and Budweiser.

Auction Items and Donors:
Annie’s Bakery: Gift Basket WCU- PAC Center: 2 Tickets Art
Work, Hand Made Dolls Balsam Mountain Preserve: Golf for 4
Backgammon Set Catamountsports: 2 Tickets
Chad Hallyburton: Guitar Lessons Dollywood: 2 Tickets
Golden Carp: Gift Certificate Grove Park Arcade: Dinner for 2
Hairport: Free Haircut Heinzelmannchen: Growler of Beer
Highlands Brewery: Gift Basket Jarrett House: Dinner For 2
Lulu’s:$20.00 Gift Certificate Mountain Diva: Hand Bag
Oaks Gallery: Fine Art Phoumala Salon: Cut and Color
Queens Junque: Decoupage Stained Glass Piece
Tree House Pottery: Vase Tuckaseegee Outfitters: Raft Trips
Chinese Calligraphy Drawing Handmade Necklace & Earrings
Hand-Quilted Lap-robe Scott Hotaling - Framed Photo
Gourd Bird Feeder Wal-Mart: $25.00 Gift Card
West Carolina Internet Café: Gift Basket
Kel Save: Tin Ornamental Hanging
Kris Mart: Bracelet and Earrings Set
Ear rings and Necklace sets made with FSF pottery
Fusions Day Spa: 2 Gift Certificates
Lydia Aydlett: A Dozen Fresh Eggs each Month for 6 Months
Lynn Dillard: 2 Silk Flower Arrangements
Smoky Mountain Country Club: 1 Round of Golf
Smoky Mountain Pet Services: $40.00 Grooming
Special Bottle of Wine Valued over $100
Donations and sponsors are still being accepted

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Lday - A Celebration of the American Worker

Labor Day, always celebrated on the first Monday in September,  is dedicated to the achievements of the American Worker and the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City through the Central labor Union. In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country. Over the years, more than 20 states passed legislation honoring workers and on June 28 of 1894, the US Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

The original legislation set forth the outline of how to observe the holiday:
a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. Today's celebrations tend to be much less formal and, unfortunately, with little acknowledgment of the American Worker's contribution to the nation's development as a world economic power.

"The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker." -the US Department of Labor.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Free Labor Day Concerts

MARION - Marion Labor Day Concert  Annual Concert at the Historic Marion Depot on the lawn. Bring chair or a blanket and enjoy. In case of rain, the concert will be inside the depot.

FREE Labor Day Concert in Pack Square - Asheville Symphony Orchestra performs a fee concert from 7 PM - 10 PM. Bring a lawn chair for free lawn seating or VIP and reserved seating available for purchase. Pack Square is in the center of downtown Asheville.

Four AIR restaurants will be preparing gourmet fare available to purchase in the park, as well as wine and Highland Brewery beer after 5:00 PM.
Asheville NC.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Labor Day Weekend event: Mountian Home Music Series Special Labor Day Celebration

Seltember 4 -  Mountain Home Music Series: A Labor Day Celebration: The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys - Now in its 18th year, this music series is dedicated to the proposition that, in the words of founder Joe Shannon, o"our local music here is as good as any in the world."

Mountain Home Music ends its summer season with a tribute, through story and song, to those who labor, such as, construction workers, clerks, waitresses, truck drivers, railroad men, miners, factory workers, and farmers. This annual concert is a blend of country songs, folksongs, and old-hymns.

Performance will be
gin at 8:00 PM  at the  First Baptist Church
in Boone NC

Labor Day Weekend Event: Fodder Trot Trail Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch Opens ofr the season

September 3-5 in Sparta NC -  Fodder Trot Trail Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch A 7-acre corn maze laid out in the design of the New River. With 4 different puzzles to solve within the maze, this is a family-fun adventure. Bring your flashlights and find your way through the maze in the dark! There is also a pumpkin patch on-site for pumpkin picking beginning in October. Hayrides, picnic areas, corn hole games, fire pits, a giant slide, concessions and much more are a part of the fun. Open Saturdays in Sept until 7PM, in Oct until 9PM. Open Sundays 2 PM to 6 PM.
Fodder Trot Trail Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch is located at 1730 NC Highway 18 North in Sparta, NC

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labor Day Event: Free Meal for Pregnant Women

There's Labor day...the there's LABOR DAY. Most women know the difference. And this year, the two come together in a unique and fun way.

Jack of Hearts in Weaverville is celebrating both Labor Days at once this year. They are inviting pregnant women who are about to go into labor to their restaurant for a free meal. On top of that you could win free food for a year, but the rules on that contest are pretty nuts. Check out this piece from local news source, The Mountain Xpress:

How about this for a quirky and unique holiday event? On Sunday, Sept. 4, Jack of Hearts is taking Labor Day in a whole new direction, inviting all expecting mothers in their third trimester to eat for free at the Weaverville pub. From noon until 10 PM, moms-to-be receive a lunch or dinner entree on the house, while their kids (those not still in utero) eat for half price.

Live music will be provided, and door prizes will be offered from local businesses like Sensibilities Day Spa, Nest Organics, Dancing Bear Toys and more.

Very funny — and slightly disturbing — is the offer of a year's worth of meals at Jack of Hearts, should you have your baby at the event and then name it either Jack or Jackie. We wonder if there's anyone out there crazy enough to consider it. "We will have a live doctor on staff just in case, as well as some nurses. I think there will be some midwives there, as well. It could get wild," says Jack of Hearts publicist Bob Collins.
The owner of both Jack of Hearts and Jack of the Wood, Joe Eckert, says that a couple of the women that work for him are either expecting or have just given birth — to this he credits his inspiration for the event. “When I think of Labor Day — I have kids — I think of labor,” Eckert says. It’s a tough time. So let’s get them all together and let them have a good time. It’s meant for the women to chill and have a little contact with each other while they’re going through this.”

Jack of Hearts is located at 10 South Main St. in Weaverville NC. For more information call 828-645-2700

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Labor Day Weekend Event: New River Blues Festival

September 4    Annual New River Blues Festival    A legendary day of music on the banks of the pristine New River, there is a day devoted to world-class blues. The setting is wonderfully scenic and hundreds of blues fans dance in the green grass to the music of living legends. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, the kids, umbrellas (rain or shine). Food, mixed & soft drinks, beer and wine available for purchase. West Jefferson NC.

Labor Day Weekend Event: Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival

September 4    Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival (LAAFF)   LAAFF is an experience for the whole family. Kids will love making art, dancing, getting their faces painted and activities throughout the day. Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville is shut down for the day and filled with the largest independent street fair in the southeast.

Kids are also in on the act showing off their breakdancing, parading, and making music. The big “kids” will enjoy the ever popular bicycle jousting, local brews, an eclectic culinary and artistic experience, as well as the new big people game, Big Wheels for Big Kids.

Arts 2 People has been presenting LAAFF for 10 years with the support of the Asheville Community. Arts 2 People offers classes to the general public on a sliding scale, and provides arts-in-education opportunities to underprivileged populations. The organization is committed to strengthening the reputation Asheville has as a haven for the arts, continuing in importance with future growth.