Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Riverlink holds Art and Poetry Contest

RiverLink is now accepting submissions for the 5th annual Voices of the River: Art and Poetry Contest--a celebration of WNC's natural resources through art and writing.
Julia Krebs-Moberg; Asheville High

Categories include 2D art, 3D art, and poetry. All entries must be original work. Entries will be judged by local artists, RiverLink staff, and volunteers. This contest is open for all students Pre-K through 12th grade in the French Broad Watershed in NC (Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe, Madison, Haywood, Mitchell, Yancey and Avery counties.)

To submit work: Mail to RiverLink PO Box 15488 Asheville, NC 28813. Or drop off between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday at the RiverLink office, located at 170 Lyman Street. Submission forms must be fully completed and attached.

Art and poetry will be displayed in March at AB Tech's Holly Library, with an awards ceremony and reception honoring the participants.

For more information, please visit or contact Nikki Bauman at 828-252-8474 x18.

Located in the River Arts District in Asheville NC, 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, November 29, 2011

Santa's Secret Revealed at Chimney Rock Park

How is Santa able to climb down millions of chimneys around the world in a single night? How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice Practice! For Carnegie Hall you head to the Big Apple, but for the biggest, baddest Chimney, the NC mountains are the obvious choice - at least that's what Santa thinks.
December 3 and 10 from 11 AM to 2 PM visit Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park to see Santa practice climbing on one of the world’s largest chimneys at 315 feet tall. Guests also have an opportunity to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy live holiday music, complimentary hot cocoa, cookies and kids’ activities and see the Park's live critters.

Annual Passholders are invited to a special holiday sale with 25% off their total retail purchase both days at Cliff Dwellers Gifts which will be providing entertainment, artist demonstrations and refreshments. There is no additional cost with paid Park admission. Guests who upgrade their admissions to Annual Passes are also eligible. In case of inclement weather, check for the event’s status.
“Santa has a challenging job climbing down millions of chimneys Christmas Eve, so he practices to be ready for it,” said Matt Popowski, PR and Events Coordinator, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. “It’s just as entertaining as it sounds and a fun way to kick off your holiday traditions for kids and adults!”
Details of Santa's Climb:  Mr. Claus will rappel from the top of Chimney Rock about every 30-45 minutes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. while spectators gather in front of Cliff Dwellers Gifts for live holiday music, refreshments and kids’ activities. Between noon and 1:30 p.m., Santa will be available in front of Cliff Dwellers Gifts for photo opportunities and to meet the children. Mrs. Claus will be present also, serving delicious cookies and hot cocoa while visiting with children. Park mascot Grady the Groundhog or other live critters will make an appearance for kids, and an educational display of animal skins and skulls will be on display by a State Park Ranger.

On December 3, live music will be provided by Joe Collins, award-winning vocalist, songwriter and national champion mountain dulcimer performer. John Mason, who has toured the Southeast for 30 years playing the hammered dulcimer and is the Park’s featured musician, will be performing on December 10. The event is being co-sponsored by Coffee on the Rocks in Chimney Rock Village.
Hours, Admission & Trail Changes: Current seasonal hours are daily 8:30 AM to 6 PM. with the Ticket Plaza closing at 4:30 PM. Park admission is $12 for adults, $5 for youth ages 6-15 and free for ages 5 and under. On December 5, winter hours go into effect. The Park will be open Thursday – Monday, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the Ticket Plaza closing at 4:30 p.m. Winter admission, effective Dec. 5, will be $9 for adults and $4 for youth ages six through 15. Children under six are admitted free.

Starting Dec. 5, due to winter capital improvements, the Outcroppings and Skyline trails, Chimney and points of interest above, such as the Opera Box, Devil’s Head and Exclamation Point, will be closed to the public.
Adult Annual Passes, a great stocking stuffer for family and friends, will be available for $20 during a holiday special November 25 to December 24, 2011. Guests who visit the Park during discounted winter admission rates can save money by upgrading their admission tickets to Annual Passes for only $11 for adults and $4 for youth (ages 6-15) within 30 days of purchase. Buy your upgrade online, call 800-277-9611 or show your receipt at the Ticket Plaza on your next visit within 30 days.
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, and the second highest waterfall of its kind in the eastern United States. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at More information on current Capital Improvement projects at or by calling 800-277-9611.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Polar Express Special Offer from The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Nov 4- December 24: The Polar Express comes to life on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. This year's event is proving to be so popular it's almost sold out. To make sure everyone who wants to share the experience will have the opportunity, the schedule has been enhanced with addition dates: December 4 at 8 PM and December 11 at 8PM.   Get a link to reserve your seat HERE.

SPECIAL - If you book now you will receive 2 FREE TICKETS to ride the Nantahala Gorge Excursion next Spring! Use the PROMO code  POLAR1

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad operates year-around and departs with a variety of excursion and special events from Bryson City NC

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Music in the Mountains: Christmas Concerts from The Flat Rock Playhouse

November 30 - Dec 22    "Plaid Tidings" at the Flat Rock Playhouse   Flat Rock Playhouse season finale "Plaid Tidings. In this " The "Forever Plaid" sequel, the boys are back to do their Christmas special for the whole family. With heavenly voices and harmonies blending seamless from Pop to Christmas Standards, this performance will be one of your favorite Christmas presents. Wed, Thurs Sat.& Sun 2PM; Wed-Sat 8PM on the Mainstage at 2661 Greenville Highway  Flat Rock, NC

Holiday Special Deal: Purchase a ticket for Plaid Tidings and get 20% off your Home for the Holidays ticket

December 5 - 22   "Home for the Holidays
" is presented in a Two-act concert with humor, warmth and
high-spirited yuletide excitement. You can expect a new look at old holiday standards sprinkled with a handpicked selection of new material by contemporary composers and lyricists. An audience participation number, a few historical carols with a twist and a novelty number or two reflecting current views of the holiday will add variety and freshness to the traditional favorites.

Home for the Holiday is performed by a quartet of multi-talented and well-seasoned performers comprised of Broadway veterans and new Flat Rock Favorites.  Conceived and co-written and by director Michael Marotta and Musical Director Edward Reichert, this concert is the result of years of collaboration by two old college chums who have spent many happy holidays celebrating this most wonderful time of the year on concert stages. 8 PM performance times with matinees at 2 PM wed and Sat.   Performed at the NEW DOWNTOWN VENUE, 125 South Main Street in Hendersonville NC.

Get a link for the Flat Rock Playhouse and other Flat Rock NC attractions here. Find information about Hendersonville NC HERE 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Asheville Tourists Baseball Cyber Monday and Holiday Sale

Asheville Toursits Baseball is offering 30% off on Cyber Monday.  Are you looking for the perfect gift for your baseball fan this holiday season? The Asheville Tourists have great merchandise options to choose from with 30% off all online store items on Monday, November 28th. From 5AM to 11:59PM.  You can take 30% your entire order from The Tourists' Trap by entering promo code CYBER at check out. 30% savings with promo code is valid for online purchases only.

Holiday Gift package taking place now until December 23rd, 2011.  The 2012 Holiday Pack gives you 5 Box Flex Vouchers good for 69 games of the 2012 season of Asheville Tourists Baseball AND a long sleeve Tourists T-Shirt all for just $39!

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

Friday, November 25, 2011

New i-Tune App for Asheville

A new interactive app for touring Asheville NC is now available at the iTunes store. The Asheville App named  AVL ART ADV is designed to give Asheville travelers a unique experience. The acronym stands for Asheville Art Adventure, a program to guide you along Asheville's Urban Trail, offering unique insight into the area's history, architecture and art.
The app also featured an adventure passport program in which you can earn points and badges. These translate into special deals at area merchants offering a second level of benefits to the user. Currently the Asheville App is available at no cost. Get a link for it here.

Black FridayMountain Specials: FREE Night Stay PLUS Two Ski Tickets

An Unbeatable Black Friday Deal: Pay for two nights, stay for three - PLUS free skiing at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort!

Carolina Mornings is offering an unbeatable deal this Black Friday: Make a reservation for 2 nights at a luxury vacation rental by November 30th and get a free bonus night. Plus, you'll also get 2 free lift tickets at Wolf Ridge Resort.

Vacation Planners are ready to assist you in finding the perfect vacation rental home for your  NC mountain getaway. Reserve any of our properties for at least two nights anytime between Black Friday (November 25th, 2011) and February 29th, 2012, and you'll receive a free extra night at your vacation rental home. Plus, you'll want to get out and enjoy all the fun that the mountains have to offer, so two complimentary ski lift passes at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort are included, a $108.00 value.
Make your Reservations by NOVEMBER 30 to participate

Call the Vacation Planners toll free at (877) 882-8310 to experience a winter-time getaway at one of Carolina Mornings' premiere luxury vacation rentals.

Simplify: Experience the Luxury of the Mountains! Disclaimers:
  • Only for new reservations made on or after November 25th
  • Prohibited for use on properties requiring 3 + night minimum stays
  • Not applicable during the Christmas or New Year Holiday period

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gift Giving Ideas: Mainstage Series at the Diana Wortham Theatre

If you are looking for a great gift idea for the holidays, Diana Wotrtham Theatre has just the ticket. Give the joy of live performance to your family and friends this season - and let them choose from one of the amazing upcoming performances, such as:

• Selected Shorts with host Isaiah Sheffer featuring "L.A. Law's" Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker

• Susan Werner & David Wilcox

• Aquila Theatre Company in The Important of Being Earnest and Shakespeare's Macbeth

• Irish-American supergroup Solas

• Hip Hop dance sensation Rennie Harris Puremovement

• NPR's "From the Top" host, pianist Christopher O'Riley

• Dramatic and daring Diavolo Dance Theater ... and more!

Call 828.257.4530 or come by the Pack Place Box Office to order yours today.  For a complete schedule of upcoming performances visit

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Last, Last minute Thanksgiving Getaways in the NC Mountains

Beautiful mountain view and only 1 mile to Sugar Mountain Slopes Sugar Mountain Cabin with beautiful views - 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, sleeps up to 6. Views of Beech and Sugar Mountains, open deck with rockers, covered deck with swing, fireplace, WIFI, 2-car garage.

smoky mountains cabin with hot tub Smokies cabin with hot tub - 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps 4. Covered porch with rockers and swing, hot tub, charcoal grill,  fireplace, WIFI. Cozy and charming cabin in a peaceful wooded setting.  $99 - $159 night.  
Confirm cabin availability

  Lake Lure rental offers Summer Special                 Fall and Winter Special - $540 per week*
2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, sleeps up to 6. Community amenities include lake, canoe, picnic area. Screened porch, fireplace, gas grill.  *see restrictions and details of special offer. 
Confirm availability and see more photos

walk to the slopes for this condo with viewCozy Condo a short walk to the Sugar Ski slopes - 1 bedroom, 1 bath, sleeps up to 4. Fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, cable TV and DVD, deck with ski slope view. $135 - $150 night, $570 week, $1000 month. Located in Sugar Mountain NC.
Confirm availability and see pictures

Winners in the National Gingerbread House Competition

Grand Prize WInner
The results of the 2011 National Gingerbread House competition are in for all categories. The 19th Annual Competition is held at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville NC and will continue on display through January 2, 2012.  Hundreds of entries frommore than 20 states were evaluated by  11  judges, with winners in four categories. Non-resort guests are welcome to view the display from Sunday to Thursday each week.

Winners in the 2011 National Gingerbread House Competition are:

Grand Prize Winner: Ashley Howard – Winter Springs, Florida;
Adult (18 years and older):
Second Place: Heather Lewis – Austell, Georgia;
Third Place: Barbara Evans & Mary Jo Dowling – Edlestein, Illinois.
Teen First Place

Teen (13-17 years old):
First Place: Carly Owens – Swannanoa, North Carolina;
Second Place: Julia Navin – Franklin, Tennessee;
Third Place: Laura Malanowski – Newton, North Carolina.

Youth First Place

Youth (9-12 years old):
First Place: Lydia Gentry – Hendersonville, North Carolina;
Second Place: Carley Cantrell – Cookeville, Tennessee;
Third Place: Gabriella Arthur – Easley, South Carolina.

Child First Place

Child (5-8 years old):
First Place: Abby Adkins – Kodak, Tennessee;
Second Place: Kristen Dodd – Arden, North Carolina;
Third Place: Lydia Koenig – Mathews, North Carolina.

Monday, November 21, 2011

City Lights Bookstore Offers Holiday Catalog Sale

City Lights Bookstore, 3 East Jackson Street in Sylva NC -  great in-store sale: buy a book featured in the Holiday Catalog and get 40 percent off any second book of equal or lesser value that is currently in stock.
Books featured in the catalog are marked with a bookmark and curly ribbon.  Be sure to ask for a copy of the catalog and for help finding anything you are looking for.

Also available are signed copies of Nightwoods, by North Carolina  author Charles Frazier who sprang to international fame with his bestselling and critically acclaimed debut novel, Cold Mountain. Mr. Frazier came over from his home in Buncombe County and signed several cartons of books.  The Bookstore has autographed first editions of Nightwoods as well as later printings of Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas Lights Sparkle for Thanksgiving Weekend

Most Mountain cities will light up for the holidays this week as visitors gather in Western North Carolina to enjoy the festivities of the Thanksgiving weekend. You'll find tree lighting ceremonies, lively window displays and arts and crafts for gift giving and Christmas decorating:

Nov 24 - Jan 1 ENNICE (6374 Glade Valley Road) High Country Lights -  Come see the huge holiday lights display synchronized to your favorite holiday music. Be sure to turn your radio to 96.5 FM and listen to the music as the lights dance to the beat. The lights will be on display from Thanksgiving to New Year's, Sunday through Thursday from 6pm until 10pm and Friday and Saturday 6pm until 11pm. Santa will be there every Saturday before Christmas and on Christmas Eve.

Nov 25 BLOWING ROCK Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town
 -  Santa, hot chocolate and the ceremonial Lighting of the Town in Memorial Park.

Nov 25 FRANKLIN Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony and Candlelight  - Service on the Square in Downtown Franklin - 7pm - Free cider, cookies and music.

Nov 25-26 CULLOWHEE 24th Annual Hard Candy Christmas  - Annual art and craft show held in the Ramsey Center at Western Carolina University. The event includes all varieties of media for show and sale along with demonstrations in blacksmithing, chain saw carving, pastel painting and more.

Nov 25-26 FRANKLIN Mistletoe Magic Holiday Arts and Crafts Show  - Explore booth after booth of authentic mountain crafts.

Nov 25 - 26 Stecoah Valley Area Annual Artisans Drive-About Tour in Stecoah - Visitlocal artists' studios and galleries and see pottery, original art, a working candle making studio and the Stecoah Gallery featuring a variety of local artisans. Great holiday gift ideas!

Nov 25 - Dec 17 WEST JEFFERSON 5th Annual Hometown Christmas A holiday celebration period unlike any other! Choose and cut your own Christmas tree during an old-fashioned family outing, enjoy our Festival of Trees at the Ashe Arts Center, participate in our handmade and home-grown Holiday Market and stroll the streets and galleries of our quaint downtown area, all dressed up for the Christmas season. Finally, join us for the lighting of our Community Christmas Tree when Santa arrives in a an old-fashioned fire engine and hands out treats for all the children. Free hot chocolate!

Nov 26 BLOWING ROCK Christmas Parade  - Blowing Rock's annual holiday celebration on Main Street

Nov 26 LAKE LURE The Lake Lure Artists present "Christmas at the Inn"  - 10 AM - 4 PM, The "Gardens" Building at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn, 64-74A, across from the beach in Lake Lure NC. Shop for Christmas by browsing through a selection of Original Paintings, Drawings, Photography, Prints, Fine Crafts, Jewelry, Pottery and Sculpture. Each artist is donating an item to be raffled."

Nov 26 BLOWING ROCK Mountain Home Music Series:   A Celtic Christmas: Little Windows & Anne Lough - Now in its 18p>th year, this music series is dedicated to the proposition that, in the words of founder Joe Shannon, "our local music here is as good as any in the world."

Nov 26 SPARTA Sparta Christmas Parade  -  Homemade floats, marching band, old cars, Boy and Girl scouts, fire trucks, horseback riders and others parade down Main Street behind the parade marshal in this traditional small-town event.

Nov 26 HIGHLANDS Highlands Annual Christmas Tree Lighting  - Caroling, hot chocolate, cookies, and Santa!

Nov 26 HENDERSONVILLE Curb Market Old Timey Christmas -  includes refreshments, music, carriage rides, holiday gifts and arts & crafts. Come visit the South's most unique Curb Market. All items sold at the market must be either handmade or locally grown.

Nov 27 FRANKLIN The Nutcracker performed at the Smoky Mountain Center for the performing Arts More than 40 beautiful Russian dancers perform to Tchaikovsky's famous music, in this holiday favorite. 200 lavish costumes, larger-than-life puppets and nine hand painted backdrops with 3D effects add to the exciting experience.

Nov 3 - Dec 24   BRYSON CITY    The Polar Express comes to life  when the train departs Bryson City for a journey to the "North Pole".

Nov 4 - Jan 1  ASHEVILLE   Christmas at Biltmore  - Enjoy the magic of Christmas at Biltmore. America's largest home is decorated with dozens of Christmas trees, hundreds of wreaths, bows, and poinsettias

Nov 11 - Dec 31  ASHEVILLE  Biltmore Candlelight Christmas  - Discover the enchantment of a candlelight visit of Biltmore House, complete with roaring fireplaces, live music, storytellers, and thousands of delicate ornaments.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NC Parks are a Resource for Nature Education

There's nothing like hands-on experience to enhance learning and understanding. That hands-on experience is available on a regular basis at NC state and national Parks. Education Centers, field trips and special events provide people of all ages direct access to expert instruction and life-changing experiences.

Nov 21   Nature Nuts Turkeys - Activities and topics that focus on specific wildlife species or related topics by incorporating an informational presentation with a children's book, craft project and a hands-on activity. For children ages 4 to 7.

Nov 22    Waterfowl Workshop What kind of ducks are those? Join Park Ranger Jamie Cameron in a quest to identify the ducks and geese using Lake James. The weather may be chilly, so dress appropriately and be prepared to both drive and hike between looking spots. Binoculars and spotting scopes will be especially helpful for this program, but are not necessary. Meet at the Lake James State Park campground parking area (Catawba River Area) at 10 A.M.

Nov 23   Wednesdays at PARI The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute offers an unparalleled opportunity for people of all ages to experience the wonders of scientific research first hand. .PARI volunteers share the history and future of the site. They emphasize the opportunities to explore the universe available through PARI to all ages.

Friday, November 18, 2011

City Lights Celebrates the New Edition of Camping and Woodcraft

November 19,  2 PM at City Lights Bookstore, 3 E. Jackson St., Sylva, NC  - Join the celebration for the new edition of Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart. Included in the new edition are over 40 historic photographs taken by Kephart and George Masa.  Many of these images were recently discovered and never before published.

Also included is a wonderful new cover image featuring the work of Elizabeth Ellison and a 80-page introduction by Kephart scholars George Ellison and Janet McCue.  Local historian George Frizzell will join George and Elizabeth Ellison for the celebration at City Lights.
Get a link for City Lights Boostore and other
Sylva NC events, lodging and information HERE

Thursday, November 17, 2011

History Comes to Life in Old Fort

November 19   Militia Day at Davidson Fort   Davidson's Fort volunteers come out in period clothing to learn and practice eighteenth-century lifeways skills and demonstrate them to visitors. Most of these days have a central theme, but any and all skills are welcome and could be demonstrated any day

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I think that I shall never see anything lovlier than a RiverLink Tree

Got Tree?  Autumn is the best time to plant trees and RiverLink has FREE TREES for Western North Carolina. In what has become an annual event, RiverLink is the lucky recipient of a donation of trees at this time of the year. Most of them are in one-gallon containers, and include Silver Maple and Poplar. Our anonymous donor grows them simply to make our area greener, and all he asks is that if folks take them, they plant them, and return the empty containers to him so he can grow more for next year.

While the trees are free, RiverLink is accepting donations if recipients are interested.

Trees save energy and money by shading your house in summer, then dropping leaves and letting the sunshine in during Winter. Trees in a city slow stormwater runoff, cool our city and clean our water and air. And trees are just plain beautiful.

Contact RiverLink's Dave Russell at (828) 252-8474, ext. 11, or to arrange pick up of  trees for your yard or neighborhood.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Direct Flights between Orlando and Asheville

The Asheville Regional Airport and Allegiant Air are celebrating the inaugural direct flight from Asheville to Orlando by giving away a free vacation!
Those who plan to enter the contest must arrive at Asheville Regional Airport on Friday, November 18 by 3pm to register.  The winner of the three-day trip will be able to bring up to three friends or family members with them for the long-weekend getaway, and all must arrive together at the airport, packed and ready to board a plane for a three night stay in the sunshine state.

The inaugural flight will depart at 6:45pm on Friday, November 18, and the winner of the “Pack Your Bags” trip will receive round-trip airline tickets for four, a three-night stay at the World Center Marriott, Orlando (one room), as well as four tickets to LEGOLAND®.  The return flight will arrive in Asheville on Monday, November 21 at 7:40pm.

Double you chances to win: Iarrive wearing your best tacky tourist attire ann get a second registration.

Entries into the contest will be accepted between 3pm and 4:30pm on Friday, November 18 at Asheville Regional Airport’s main lobby near the art gallery.  Those entering the contest must be at least 21 years old (travel guests of the winner may be under 21 years old).  The winner will be drawn at 4:45pm, following a brief inaugural flight celebration, and then the winner and travel guests will immediately check-in to board the plane bound for sunny Orlando. Get additional details HERE.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Asheville Theatre Presents a Classic Story in New Adaptation

November 16-27   Live From WVL Radio Theatre: It's a Wonderful Life   It’s Christmas Eve, 1945, and only a handful of radio actors have braved the blizzard to perform that evening’s broadcast of It’s a Wonderful Life and keep the radio station afloat. This clever stage adaptation breathes new life into the poignant story of George Bailey and Bedford Falls.

Live from WVL Radio Theatre: It’s a Wonderful Life is co-produced by two local, professional theatre companies: North Carolina Stage Company and Immediate Theatre Project.
Get a link for the Wonderful Life Production and other
Asheville NC events, Lodging and information HERE

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November is Safe Pet Travel Awareness Month

NC Governor Bev Purdue has declared November 2011 " Safe Pet travel Awareness Month". Nearly 90 percent of pet owners travel with their pets, many without properly restraining their pets, according to the ASPCA and AAA. With greater awareness the pets, their owners and the people they meet along the way will have safer, happier travels. The proclamation reads as follows:

WHEREAS, nearly 90 percent of pet owners travel with their pets; and
WHEREAS, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as well as AAA Auto Club, recommends that pet owners use restraints on dogs and cats to prevent harm to animals, drivers, passengers, other vehicles and pedestrians; and

 WHEREAS, pets should not ride in the front passenger seat because of the risk of injury from a deploying air bag; and
WHEREAS, in the event of a crash, restraining a pet prevents the pet from running off and possibly getting hit by another vehicle, causing another crash or causing distraction to first responders; and
 WHEREAS, pet restraints include readily available harnesses, animal seat belts, travel crates and vehicle seats; and

WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina recognizes the importance of restraining animals in vehicles to ensure safety on our roads;
 NOW, THEREFORE, I, BEVERLY EAVES PERDUE, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim November 2011, as "SAFE PET TRAVEL AWARENESS MONTH" in North Carolina and urge our citizens to commend this observance.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina at the Capitol in Raleigh this twenty-seventh day of October in the year of our Lord two thousand and eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cataloochee Ski Area the first NC Ski Slopes to open for the 2011-2012 Season

Cataloochee Ski Area opens today and tomorrow, November 12-13 for the first NC Skiing in the 2011-2012 Season. Thanks to a cold snap this week and the hard work of the Cataloochee staff, the popular NC Ski Area will open for the weekend to begin their 51st season.

Cataloochee is offering special $25 lift tickets, with regular rental rates. Midweek season passes are also valid this weekend!

Hours: Saturday & Sunday 8:30AM-4:30PM, Closed for the week.
Runs: Lower Omigosh, Easy Way, Rabbit Hill, Beginners Luck
Lifts: Easy Way, Omigosh to Mid-Station

Overnight snowmaking has allowed 4 trails to open serviced by 2 lifts.
The slopes will be closed Monday-Friday, and reopen Saturday Nov. 19th with the early season schedule.
Get a link for Cataloochee Ski Area and ALL other NC Ski Resorts and Areas here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The History of Veterans Day

World War I
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the
World War II
country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business
Korean War
beginning at 11:00 AM. The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926.   An Act  approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I.

In 1954, after World War II
had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history and after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress
Viet Nam War
amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of
Afghanistan War
the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

* reference source: Department of Veterans Affairs,

Have an ART-Full weekend

Kick-start your holiday gift shopping or just enjoy immersing yourself in the wonderful world of art and craft. Nothing is appreciated more or cherished longer than a hand made gift!

Nov 11-12   The Patchwork Craft Group's  29th Annual Show  9:00 AM - 5:00 PM both days. Juried quality arts and crafts. Located at the Masonic Lodge located at 174 East Main Street, Brevard NC. (across from the Chamber of Commerce).

Nov 12    2nd Saturday Program at the Heritage Museum
   The History of Transylvania -  Crafts for Kids presented by Rebecca Suddeth.  Located at the Transylvania Heritage Museum, 189 West Main Street in Brevard NC.

Nov 12    ArtMart   It's time to start your holiday shopping at this one-day blowout sale by local Western North Carolina artists at the Transylvania Community Arts Council. The art sale will last from 9 AM- 4 PM. The Transylvania Community Arts Council is located at 349 South Caldwell Street in Brevard NC.

Nov 12    Mountain Shapes and Color  
Indoor art and craft show. Mini workshops, door prizes, food. Located at the Swain Center in Southwestern Community College, off US 19 W. in  Bryson City NC.

12    Historic Carson House Holiday Bazaar  9:00AM -4:00 PM. Purchase unusual, and sometimes rare, handmade gifts. Items include baked goods, gift bags and boxes, decorated trees and wreaths, ornaments, gift tags, gift items for the "special men" in your life, home decorations and jewelry.  Located at St. John’s Episcopal Church Parish House,  289 S. Main Street in Marion NC.
12-13     River Arts District Studio Stroll   During the Studio Stroll, artists of the River Arts District welcome you into their studios to talk with them, see their latest artwork, watch demonstrations, and experience for yourself the magic hidden inside the old factories and warehouses along the French Broad River. Asheville NC

Thursday, November 10, 2011

5 NC Mountain Inns and Resorts now Top--ranked by Condé Nast Traveler

Five Inns and resorts in the NC mountains have made the 2011 Top-ranked list for Conde Nast Traveler. The annual Reader's Choice Awards Poll, published in the November issue, is considered the  ultimate barometer in travel.

The Readers' Choice surveys began in 1988 with this year's tabulations including 28,876 travelers rating the cities, islands, and hotels they visited in the past year. The questionnaire used for the survey included lists of cities and categories with a minimum number of responses required to achieve a Readers Choice award. The scores represent the percentage of "excellent" or "very good".  For its range and depth, the Readers’ Choice Awards are a unique and trusted source of advice globally.

Resorts were rated for 6 components: rooms, service, food, location, design, activities.
Coming in at #5 for ALL US small hotels  is the Swag in Waynesville NC with a rating of 94.5% including 96.6 % for location, design and service.  Typical traveler comments:
"Just like having your own vacation home in the Great Smokey mountains. The owners are delightful and engaging; staff friendly and efficient."
"This inn is at the top of the world. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, the views can't be beat!"

Two Asheville hotels also made the 2011 list.
The Inn on Biltmore Estate achieved a 92.3%  with service receiving the highest rating at 93.9%.  A composite of traveler comments:  “The top reason to pick the inn is the location.” Rooms face the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and are “tastefully decorated and spacious” with sensibilities skewing toward English and French manor houses. The new spa offers treatments like a rose-petal facial. Staff at the Dining Room, which serves beef and lamb raised on the estate, “go out of their way to ensure that your needs are met.”

The Grand Bohemian was rated 87.8% with ratings over 90% for rooms, location and service. Customer comments:
"Great artsy hotel. Lovely room and very comfortable bed! Loved the oversized tub and separate shower. Lots of art work throughout hotel and rooms, as well as an art gallery. Great location in Biltmore Village with shopping and restaurants."

"Everyone is so nice and attentive. Rustic yet elegant entrance, bar is cozy with fireplace and big comfortable furniture. The rooms and baths are fabulous. Bottles of wine in the rooms. It's convenient to downtown Asheville and right in front of the gate to the Biltmore."

In the Resorts catagory the Asheville's Grove Park Inn rankesd an 85.8 % readers choice rating
with a high of 90.8 for location and a low of 80.1 for rooms.Customer comments:
"The Grove is the best place on earth. You arrive and you step back in time. The hotel is amazing, the food is great, and the history is awesome. Five star spa that you will never see anywhere else on this earth."

"A wonderful place for a romantic vacation. Be sure to stay in the charming, 'old' portion of the resort. There is so much interesting history surrounding Grove Park, a lot of which is documented and displayed around the resort. The staff could not be more accommodating."

Also on the Resorts List this year is Lake Toxaway's Greystone Inn with an overal average of 80.9% with highs of 86.1% for activities and 84.2% for service. Customer comments:
"A wonderful place to stay and the innkeepers are great. Lots to do even though it is not near a big city."
Click here to read the entire list from the November issue of Conde Nast Traveler

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wolf Howl at the Nature Center

November 8 and 17 ,  6PM - 8 PM, The Western North Carolina Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville NC - Wolf Howl: learn more about the WNC native wolf species and have the chance to hear them howl!
Photo courtesy of Tony Dills

Centuries ago, the howl of the wolf was as much a part of the environment of Western North Carolina as the drum of the woodpecker and the yap of the coyote. These days, however, both the red and gray wolf are extinct from the wilds of southeast Appalachia. This is a rare opportunity to experience seeing and hearing this apex predator.!

Tickets are $10.00 per person. Tickets are sold in advance only. Refreshments will be served after the program. Come with questions, flashlights, and warm clothing as a portion of our program is outdoors.  Please call (828) 298-5600, ext. 305 for details and reservations.

Get a link for the WNC Nature Center and other
Asheville NC Attractions HERE

Monday, November 7, 2011

New Handcrafted Holiday Market offered by H.A.R.P,

November 15 - December 24, 91 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville NC: The Handcrafted Holiday Market opens for the first time. The Market has been created by H.A.R.P. (Handcrafted Artisan Revitalization Program) a new program by Arts 2 People to provide local artists an additional opportunity to market their works and the public access to the amazing art and crafts produced in the area. 10% of each purchase will benefit the non profit, helping to create more great vending opportunities through the HARP.

The Market will be open Thursdays 10am - 4 pm; Fridays and  Saturdays 10 AM- 8 PM, with extended hours to coincide with specific Orange Peel (next door) performances.
Gift wrapping will be available to complete this uniquely Asheville holiday shopping experience.
HARP members wishing to participate in this Holiday Market should submit one booth shot and two product images of work you plan on selling to: Application for space will be open until the space is gone so act now as space is filling fast! The Jury is free for HARPmembers upon receiving membership dues. The Jury will be selecting a broad range of work focused on multiple medias that are geared toward gift giving.  Load in and set up will start on November 12th. Get additional vender details here.
Get a link for the Handcrafted Holiday Market and other 

Foodie Alert - 5th Annual Highlands Culinary Weekend

November 10-12  5th Annual Highlands Culinary Weekend  is a Foodie's dream come true with the backdrop of  Highlands’ majestic mountain location, appealing accommodations, unique retail shops, and extraordinary cuisine. Thanks to creativity and community support, Culinary Weekend has blossomed and become a popular destination on many social calendars. This year, look forward to an array of exciting new events and special guests chefs to keep the momentum strong.

Friday begins the weekend with "Sip and Stroll" encompassing over a dozen venues and events and including activities such as
a Creole, Cajun themed dinner complete with a live band at on the Veranda; a Vive la France wine dinner at Inn at Half Mile Farm; the absolute best and hard to find in American Craft beers at Ruka’s Table; Lambert Bridge wine and food tasting at Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Bistro; a Late Night Hang Out at The Ugly Dog Pub.

Saturday's events continue with cookbook signings, An exploration of traditional Sicilian seafood dishes, Champagne with The Saucy Sisters,  An American Craft Beer Pig picking & Music Festival, An Eggnog Reception, Silver Oak Cellars & Twomey Wine Dinner, Cellar Gems Dinner and more.

Get a link for Highlands Culinary Weekend and other

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cullowhee Baptist Church Celebrates 90 Years

Submitted by Amy Ammons Garza, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia

Early pioneers to Western North Carolina traveled by foot, by horse, by wagon, looking for a new home in the wilderness of the mountains. Once the pioneers established homes, the spirit of the Christian yearned for a place of worship. Thus, in 1821, began the foundation of Cullowhee Baptist Church in Jackson County.

The first church meeting was held in a log structure near the confluence of Love's Branch and the Tuckaseigee River at Webster, NC. The church moved in 1830 to a hewn-log building near the mouth of Cullowhee Creek.  E. H. Stillwell's “Historical Sketch of Tuckaseegee Baptist Association (1829-1929)” states:   “. . .the church was moved to a site near the mouth of Cullowhee Creek where a small log house served as a place of worship. This log structure stood directly in front of where R. V. Brown now has a stock of goods at Cullowhee.”  (The store known as Brown's Store was located where Kindermusik is today.) 

The Tuckaseigee's periodic flooding chased the people to higher ground, and in 1856, a church building was constructed on property adjacent to the present church cemetery. Other structures–frame buildings–were constructed on the periphery of the cemetery in 1885 and then again in 1918. The present brick building was completed in 1929.

During the early years, new churches spawned from Cullowhee Baptist Church included Oconaluftee Baptist (circa 1828); Webster Back Baptist (no longer standing);  Scotts Creek Baptist (circa 1830);  Old Savannah Baptist (circa 1836); Caney Fork Baptist  (circa 1836, and eventually became Tuckasegee Baptist);  Speedwell Baptist (circa 1902); Little Savannah Baptist (circa 1914);  and Black Mountain Baptist (circa 1919).

Since 1830, Cullowhee Baptist Church has grown up almost like a sister to Western Carolina University, its solidarity providing a constant beacon while progress evolved. Many members of the current congregation are descendants of the original founders of the church.

Co-pastors, the Reverend Dr. Jeffrey and the Reverend Tonya Vickery, will soon be celebrating 10 years as pastors for Cullowhee Baptist Church. With a heart for “missions,” these pastors are aware of needs in the community and lead the church to respond to them as best they can.

The church is intergenerational. “On a typical Sunday in worship, we have 90-years-olds worshiping alongside preschoolers and university students,” says Pastor Jeffrey. “The sanctuary choir includes retired adults, working adults, and an entire front row of middle-school and high-school girls.  We share meals together on Wednesday nights.  And most mission trips have included a wide spectrum of ages.  Our children are known to members of this church by name, and the children can tell you the names of our older “living saints” in the church.  What a blessing to have such a diverse mix of ages, all helping one another as we worship and serve together and grow in faith with one another.

On Sunday, November 20, 2011, the church (now a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship congregation) will host a celebration to honor the church’s longevity, its pastors, its music, and its members. Many of the former pastors, missionaries, members, and current dignitaries will be on hand to help in the celebration and join in the Southern tradition of a wonderful pot-luck meal, open to all who attend. A program will follow, with short talks on the historic church and special music by the children, led by Paula Fox. A new 162-page book commemorating the history of Cullowhee Baptist Church, compiled by the History Committee—Barbara Dooley, Etheree Chancellor, John Bell, Amy Ammons Garza, Dianne Yount, Mary Lou Millwood, Pam Hill,  and other members of the church, with special assistance from WCU graduate student Nicole Jarosinski—and published by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, will also be available on this date.

The church invites one and all to join in the celebration on November 20 at 11am. For directions to the church or further information, call 828-293-9024, or go to their website at

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Brevard Music Center First Monday Concert Series - Nov 7

November 7, 1:30 PM, First United Methodist Church of Brevard, 325 Broad Street, Brevard NC. To share music with the community throughout the year, the Brevard Music Center presents free concerts to the public on the first Mondays of each month, October through May (except January). The Music Center's partners in this activity are sponsor, First Citizens Bank, and host, the First United Methodist Church of Brevard.

November's event: The Low Tech Gamelan Ensemble of Western Carolina University
Program:  Repertory will include customary Javanese and Malaysian melodies, in addition to contemporary compositions and arrangements of popular Western tunes.

Gamelan Kyai Tatit Ratri - A gamelan is an orchestra of tuned metal percussion instruments characteristic of Java, Bali, Malaysia and other island cultures off the coast of Southeast Asia. Each gamelan has its own name, its own tuning system, and its own distinctive "personality." Our gamelan's name means "Venerable Night Lightning," reflecting its original purpose: it was built in 1984 for use at KUSC, the campus radio station of the University of Santa Cruz in California. The gongs and keys were made in Yogyakarta (Central Java) but the stands and resonators were made by its California owner. It is not as decorative as traditional gamelans, since radio is an aural rather than a visual medium. In residence at WCU since March 1999, Gamelan Kyai Tatit Ratri is one of about 150 gamelans in active performance in the United States. There are fewer than a dozen in the Southeast (in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia).

Gamelan Kyai Tatit Ratri reflects the Central Javanese court tradition. It is tuned to the traditional slendro (equidistant 5-tone) scale—roughly corresponding to the Western pitches "do re mi sol la." The repertory ranges from short repetitive compositions to very long and complex works that may take hours to perform. Our repertory includes traditional Javanese and Malaysian tunes, along with contemporary compositions.

The Ensemble will also be playing on a set of tuned bamboo rattles known as angklung, popular throughout Indonesia, but particularly so in Western Java (Sunda). The tuning is related to the Javanese pelog (seven-tone) scale, but has been modernized to correspond more closely to the Western European diatonic scale. In addition to traditional tunes, angklung ensembles often perform arrangements of Asian and Western popular tunes.
Get a link for Brevard Music Center's First Monday Concert Series and other
Brevard NC events, Lodging and information HERE

Friday, November 4, 2011

What to do this Weekend: NC Mountain Events Novmeber 4-6-2011

Nov 4   PISGAH FOREST   Nature Nuts   Turkeys -  Activities and topics that focus on specific wildlife species or related topics by incorporating an informational presentation with a children's book, craft project and  - read more...

Nov 4   TRYON   Kruger Brothers  at the Tryon Art Center  The Kruger Brothers are nothing short of magnificent, the classiest of acts as can be found on today’s bluegrass and acoustic scene. Their music defies description. Especially when one considers it’s made by a trio. The Krugers’ sound is  - read more...

Nov 4-6    CHEROKEE       Cruise the Smokies Fall Cherokee Rod Run   A combination of the most scenic drive in North Carolina and more than 800 of the nation's hottest looking classic cars. More than 3,000 car enthusiasts will turn out for the Southeast's premiere Rod Run - read more...

Nov 4-6   ASHEVILLE   65th Annual Asheville Antiques Fair   One of the oldest antiques fairs in the Southeast. Thirty-plus antique dealers from all over the country participate in the Fair. The Fair also host an "Heirloom Road Show" with expert evaluations of your  - read more...

Nov 4-6   BRYSON CITY    The Polar Express comes to life when the train departs Bryson City for a journey to the "North Pole". Read along with the magical story and meet Santa. Enjoy holiday caroling, hot cocoa and a special treat and  memento for the children. Daily departure times vary. Ticket price includes admission to the   - read more... .

Nov 4-13   ASHEVILLE   Asheville International Children's  Film Festival The AICFF is a family film festival with value affirming culturally diverse cinema. By using media as a tool to stimulate critical thinking, our goal is to promote intelligent dialogue through the introduction of inspiring stories, exhilarating adventures and pure cinematic joy. Festival events will include: An opening night gala, pancake breakfast - read more...

Nov 4 - Jan 1     ASHEVILLE   Christmas at Biltmore   Enjoy the magic of Christmas at Biltmore. America's largest home is decorated with dozens of Christmas trees, hundreds of wreaths, bows, and poinsettias; miles of evergreen garland; thousands of  - read more...

Nov 4   WAYNESVILLE   Art After Dark  Stroll downtown Waynesville's many galleries and art studios the first Friday of each month from May through December. Watch demonstrations and enjoy artist receptions, music and  - read more...

Nov 5   DILLSBORO    Western North Carolina Pottery Festival   A juried fall festival features the work of 42 clay artists, with sales and demonstrations of their craft throughout the day. Roughly half the potters hail from the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, while the  - read more...

Nov 5   SYLVA   Fourth annual Chilly Fest   12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Bridge Park in historic downtown Sylva.  Live music and han crafted goods along with the Chili cooking competition. The event is open to the public - a $5.00 donation is suggested for those interested in - read more...

Nov 5   BRASSTOWN   Annual Blacksmith Auction  - held at the John C. Campbell Folk School from 2-5pm. Features some of the finest artist-blacksmith work as well as other  - read more...

Nov 5   WEST JEFFERSON   The Adam Growe Quiz Show   Win money right out of Adam Growe's pocket in a unique and uproarious stand-up comedy quiz show, where the audience will participate as contestants for cash prizes live on stage! For almost 20 years Adam has  - read more...

Nov 5   MARSHALL   Kruger Brothers Concert   The Arts Center's intimate setting is the perfect place to listen to amazing Kruger Brothers. The Kruger Brothers personify the spirit of exploration and innovation that forms the core of the American musical tradition. Their original music, composed by  - read more...

Nov 6   PISGAH FOREST   The Swank 65 Mountain Bike Journey    is mountain bike racing at its most primeval, far removed from civilization and polluted air. The race begins at 2500 feet, and consists of a triad of cloverleaf shaped loops winding around Gloucester Gap in Pisgah National Forest. Rolling over rugged mining roads, fun single track, and - read more...