Monday, April 30, 2012

Asheville area Vacation Rental - avalable for Mother's Day

Beautiful mountain views - 3 bedrooms, 3 baths sleeps up to 8.  Covered and open decks, gas grill, hot tub, fire pit, game room with pool table, WIFI. Rcently remodeled for comfort and convenience. 15 minutes to Asheville or Chimney Rock. $225 - $275 night, $1500 week.  See rental photos and check availability

Asheville Herb Fest Now in its 23rd Year

May 4-6    23rd Annual Asheville Herb Festival   The WNC Chapter of the NC Herb Association represents the incredibly wide variety of herbalists and herb businesses in North Carolina: herb growers and vendors, natural gardening and landscaping specialists, and makers of herbal ointments, balms, soaps, teas, medicines, and other products. Join more than 25,000 other herb lovers celebrating the 23rd annual Asheville Herb Festival.
The event is held at WNC Farmers Market in Asheville and will include the best selection of herb plants in the southeast. Nearly 60 herb businesses from WNC and Tennessee will participate with the largest selection of herb plants and products anywhere including herbs for cooking, gardening, and medicinal use; herbal soaps, lotions, tinctures, teas, & herbal baked goods, dried herbs & flowers, and herb-related crafts, gifts & books.

There will be an information booth staffed by Buncombe County Master Gardeners and a free shuttle service for transportation  between all parking areas and the festival grounds throughout the day. The event is totally free. The WNC Farmers Market is located at 570 Brevard Road in Asheville, NC,  adjacent to I-40 at Exit 47.

Get a link for the Herb Festival and the WNC Farmers Market on the Asheville Visitor Guide.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vote for Asheville in the Rand McNally 2012 Best of the Road Poll

For those of us who think Asheville NC is surely the most beautiful and magically place to be, there is now an opportunity to let the rest of the the world know by voting in Rand McNally and USA Today's Best of the Road Poll.

Asheville NC is situated on a plateau in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Resting at an altitude of 2300' feet, Asheville is nestled between more than 100 mountain peaks above 5,000' feet. Within view from Asheville is Mt. Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi River. Asheville ranks 13th in the nation for art galleries and the influence of so much creative spirit is felt throughout this remarkable "city in the sky". More than 100 years ago George Vanderbilt chose Asheville NC as the location for his "American Castle", believing it was the ideal place.

If you have a special place in your heart for Asheville's purple mountains majesty, then cast your review in the 2012 Best of the Road poll hosted by Rand McNally and USA Today.  CLICK HERE TO VOTE.

Photo of Asheville NC by Derek Olson, courtesy of

Saturday, April 28, 2012

CAKE WALK Fundraiser for the Appalachian Food Storybank

April 29, 1-5 PM - Slow Food Asheville has announced CAKE WALK! Fundraiser for the Appalachian Food Storybank. The free event will be held on  at Carrier Park Picnic Pavilion, 220 Amboy Rd. in Asheville. A traditional Appalachian cake walk, set to live music, will be one feature of the event. Cake walk tickets are $2 a round and in each round, someone wins a cake! Cakes come from local bakeries and individuals, some using heirloom ingredients or recipes.

The fundraiser will also feature heirloom plant vendors, food vendors, demonstrations of traditional Appalachian tools and methods, and a phenomenal raffle. Prizes include gift certificates to local restaurants, a class at John C. Campbell Folk School, gift baskets, and more. Zach Phillips of Cultured Foods will give a Kraut making demo, and Jean Benfield will be present to sign her book, Mountain Born. Most of all, attendees will enjoy an afternoon in the park with good food and friends.

The Appalachian Food Storybank is an oral history initiative centered on southern Appalachian heritage foods and foodways. The project works to preserve and collect precious stories of heritage foods and traditional foodways in Appalachia. A “storybooth” will be in place at the CAKE WALK! event, presenting an opportunity for attendees to record their stories of history, culture, and heritage.

Sponsors, Vendors, and Raffle Donors include: ASAP, John C. Campbell Folk School, Imladris Farm, Reems Creek Nursery, Sow True Seed, Tupelo Honey Cafe, Bill Whipple, Buchi, Barbara Swell’s Log Cabin Cooking, Spinning Spider Creamery, Earth and Spirit Designs, Red Stag Grille, Wildwood Herbal, Rise Up Rooted Farms, Fifth Season, Eagledove Greenhouses, Gypsy Queen Cuisine, Southern Fryz, the Potters of Madison County.

Bakeries represented include: Short Street Cakes, West End Bakery, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Farm and Sparrow, and the Montford Walk-in Bakery.

Stories of Mountain Folk - 4-28-12

April 28, 2012:
Storytelling: "Traveling On"--Amy's story of graduation and joining the US Air Force. 
Music -  "Traveling On" by young Cockman Family.
Creative Corner: Doreyl's guest is Dora Reynolds, local Sylva crafter
Music -  "Sister" by J. Robin Whitley.
Stories of Mountain Folk: 85-year old Aileen Crisp talks with Amy about going to a one-room school in Swain County 
Music -  "Golden Memories" by Clover.
Black Roots of Appalachia: Victoria talks with Evelyn Bryson Austin about growing up in Webster
Music -  "Crying Holy" by the Hominy Valley Boys.
Down Another Road: Judy's guest is Francis Corn Briggs who talks about history and life in Arden/Skyland/Avery's Creek 
Music -  "Don't Be Ashamed of Your Age" by Red Foley, Ernest Tubb & Woody Rhodes (lead guitar), Judy's dad.
Closing Song: ("June Apple" by Henry Queen)

Click HERE Listen to Stories of Mountain Folk now

Friday, April 27, 2012

Stecoah Ramp Festival, Dinner and Concert

April 28   Stecoah Ramp Festival, Dinner and Concert   Browse locally made artisan craft booths on the lawn beginning at 11 AM. Free Cherokee finger-weaving class with Shirley Welch, 1-3 PM. Paula Nelson entertains with Cherokee stories and songs 6:15 - 7:15 pm (free). Dinner seatings at 5:30 PM or 6:30 PM -. Dinner price is $15.95 for adults, $9.95 for children 12 and under.

Complete dinners are served family style at two seatings - 5:30 and 6:30 PM - in the Stecoah dining room. Dinner features the down-home goodness of Southern Appalachian mountain cuisine, using the freshest local produce available. Reservations required for dinner. At 7:30 enjoy local favorite My Highway in concert in the Lynn L. Shields Auditorium - Tickets are $10 Adults; $5 Students (K-12); Children under 5 are Free.

Get a link for the Ramp Festival and other local events on the Robbinsville NC Visitor Guide

Thursday, April 26, 2012

USDAA Dog Agility Trials at FENCE in Tryon

April 27-28   USDAA Dog Agility Trials at FENCE - The Blue Ridge Agility Club (BRAC) hosts four agility trials a year. Spectators are welcome and admission is free. Competition begins each day at 8:00 AM. and continues throughout the day until approximately 5:00 PM. 
Plenty of seating will be available to watch the action in both rings, held in covered arenas. There is no set time table and individual dog breeds do not run at a particular time, they run by dog height.

FENCE (Foothills Equestrian Nature Center)  offers 384 acres of hardwood forest, meadow, and wetland for hikers, birdwatchers, gardeners and astronomers. The entire property is protected by a conservation easement, so it will always be available for future generations. During the school year, over eight thousand elementary and junior high school students participate in Project FENCE natural history curriculum.

Get a link for the USDAA Dog Agility Trials at FENCE and more local information on the Tryon NC Visitor Guide.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The North Carolina Symphony Performs at Mars Hill College

April 25  - North Carolina Symphony in Concert in Mars Hill  For the first time in more than 30 years the North Carolina Symphony, founded in 1932 by Mars Hill College alumnus Lamar Stringfield, will perform at the college. The concert is a fund raiser for the college’s fine arts programs.

N.C. Symphony Music Director Grant Llewellyn
, often praised for his “graceful and expressive direction,” will lead the Mars Hill event. Among the pieces to be included in the concert will be Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 and Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. $25 for General Admission and $100 for Patron Ticket which includes a concert reception with maestro & soloists and Reserved Patron parking

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mountain view guest cottage available for MerleFest

Beautiful mountain views - 2 bedrooms 2 baths, sleeps 4.  Guest cottage on 22 acre retreat. 2 king suites, porch and deck, gas grill, HDTV, WIFI, pool table, swing, horseshoes, nearby stream. $200 - $275 night, $1400 - $1925 week.  Located between Boone and Wilkesboro,    See rental photos and check availability

MerleFest 25 This Weekend in Wilkesboro

April 26-29   MerleFest 25 Celebrate spring and help kick off festival season at MerleFest 25, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country. MerleFest is held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro NC. The four-day festival features over 90 artists performing on 14 stages, including Doc & Richard Watson, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives and the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

MerleFest  began in 1988 and is the primary fundraiser for Wilkes Community College.   The Music of MerleFest is "traditional plus" as Doc Watson best describes it.  Traditional   plus means the traditional music of the Appalachian region plus whatever other stylesthe musicians are  in the mood to play.

The Fest includes  unique shopping experiences. The Shoppes at MerleFest,  a centrally located shopping village, features  commercial vendors, official MerleFest memorabilia, and services such as first aid, lost and found, overnight storage and internet access. The Heritage Crafts Tent offers some of the region's finest  artisans  selling and demonstrating  handicrafts.

Get more local information on the Wilkesboro NC Visitor Guide.

Monday, April 23, 2012

RiverLink Hosts River Symposium in Asheville and Online Webinar

RiverLink and RMS Present River Symposium - History of Whitewater Paddling in WNC, French Broad Camping Water Trail, and Thinking and Linking Outside the Box.  RiverLink is delighted to be hosting and sponsoring the 2012 River Management Society Symposium here is Asheville with River Management experts from across the USA sharing their river stories.

RiverLink has received funding from the federal and state agencies as well as private foundations to create a world class - free and open to the public overnight camping trail that will extend from the French Broad's headwater in Rosman to Knoxville, TN. "The economic impact of this newest RiverLink initiative is in the millions" according to RiverLink Executive Director, Karen Cragnolin.

For those who cannot attend the conference you can join the webinar on the RiverLink Paddle Trail as presented by RiverLink Executive Director, Karen Cragnolin, RiverLink Watershed Manager Nancy Hodges, RiverLink Paddle Trail Advisory Committee member and author Will Leverette and Tennessee partner Jane Polansky on Thursday, April 26, 2012 from 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM EDT

The  Webinar includes:
- History of Whitewater Paddling in Western NC: Will Leverette
- Karen Cragnolin, Executive Director RiverLink - River Access history in French Broad River watershed
- French Broad Camping Water Trail: Nancy Hodges, Presenter.
- Thinking and Linking Outside the Box: Jane Polansky, Presenter

Webinar System Requirements:
PC-based attendees - Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Macintosh®-based attendees - Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stories of Mountain Folknow archived at WCU

Stories of Mountain Folk is now being archived by the prestigious Western Carolina University’s (WCU) Hunter Digital Library, Cullowhee, North Carolina. Over 150 half-hour and hour-long programs (more to come as they add the more current ones), capturing “local memory” detailing traditions, events, and life stories of mountain people, will be available to people all over the world for all time. Tagged with Library of Congress labels, the site is set up to easily search for those interviews and stories you wish to hear. Stories of Mountain Folk is the first voice archival series for WCU.

This Week's "Stories of Mountain Folk",  April 21, 2012:
Storytelling:  Amy remembers "Walking Up the Mountain with Grandpa." Music: "Grandpa" by Mountain Faith.
Creative Corner: Doreyl's guest is artist Jane McClure, local Sylva  painter. Music: "Hometown Blues" by the Blue Ridge Rounders.
Stories of Mountain Folk:  Dianne Ellis, traditional rug braider, talks with Amy. Music: Raymond's Repeating Banjo" by the Frosty Mountain Boys.
Apple Butter: Nicole speaks with Heather Gordon, 4-H director about the Give Change Get Change program of Jackson County. Music: "House of the Rising Sun/Ghost Riders" by the Ross Brothers.
Down Another Road: Judy reads a "panther" story by her Aunt Francis from Arden. Music: "When I Die I'll Live Again" by Dick Powell & Tim O'Brien.
Closing Song: "Cumberland Gap" by J.E. Mainer

Saturday, April 21, 2012

NASCAR History Author Dan Pierce today in Andrews

April 21, 2 PM at the  Valleytown Cultural Arts Center,  Andrews NC - Daniel S. (Dan) Pierce is the author of the first truly comprehensive history of early NASCAR, Real NASCAR: White Lightning, Red Clay, and Big Bill France (UNC Press, 2010) and writes a monthly column for NASCAR Illustrated magazine on the history of the sport. He is Professor of History, Chair of the department, and resident professional cracker at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee where he worked with distinguished southern historian James C. Cobb.

He is also the author of the The Great Smokies: From Natural Habitat to National Park (UT Press, 2000) and has had his work published in The New York Times, Southern Cultures, Smokies Life magazine, numerous encyclopedias including the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, and has appeared on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, The History Channel, North Carolina People with William Friday, North Carolina Bookwatch, and the South Carolina ETV Emmy Award winning program Take on the South.

At 7 PM this evening LoBrake perfroms live at the Cente
r. Thge local band plays music from the mountains as well as rock'n'roll, grunge, reggae, alternative, country, classic-rock and funk in our arsenal.

Friday, April 20, 2012

What to do this weekend in the mountains, 4-20-12

April 18-22

Event: 2012 Cherokee Thunder Motorcycle Rally Live music, games, prizes, contests, tattoos, a swap meet, burn out pit, bike show and much, much more. Just $25 will get you in for the entire weekend. Enjoy Foghat and Artimus Pyle. Held at the Acquoni Expo Center    Read more...

April 20
NC City: Wilkesboro
Event: Wilkesboro Open Air Market
Historic Downtown Wilkesboro's popular Open Air Market events series returns in 2012 starting on April 20 and continues the through August. Events will feature downtown merchants, food vendors, local wineries, musicians, regional farms and produce, arts and crafts, demonstrators, as well as non-profit and civic organizations   Read more...

April 21
Event: The 5th annual Asheville Earth Day Festival
returns to downtown Asheville in a new location on Lexington Avenue. Set in the exquisite Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, this FREE family friendly festival features musicians from various genres, eco-friendly speakers, a Kids Village, Eco Village, poetry contest and photo contest.   Read more...

April 21

Event: Classic Car Cruise-in Held the 3rd Saturday of every month. Bring your car, truck or motorcycle to downtown Old Fort from 3-5 PM. Free event sponsored by Route 70 Cruisers.   Read more...

April 21

Event: Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra Presents "Romantic Rhapsodies" Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra features a 70-piece professional orchestra. Guest artist James Dick performs the beloved Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninoff.   Read more...

April 21

Event: Candle Light Ghost Tours Come out for an evening of tales, mystery and haunts at the Candle Light Ghost Tours. Learn about the ghosts that haunt the old buildings that make up downtown Wilkesboro. Visit a cemetery where Civil War Soldiers are buried, stand in the jail cell Tom Dooley spent his last days, and listen to the stories of the haunted Smithey Hotel.   Read more...

April 21
NC City: Maggie Valley

Event: 23rd Annual Great Smoky Mountain Trout & Heritage Festival The Town of Maggie Valley partners with the Haywood Community College Natural Resources Division and Haywood Waterways to offer: FREE Catch Clinics for kids and FREE Timber Sports Demonstrations   Read more...
April 21
Event: 8th Annual Nantahala Open
The Nantahala Open, dedicated to Team River Runner, is an all day event that begins (10am-3pm) at the staging beach just above Nantahala Falls. At 4-8 PM enjoy The Open House Party at Endless River Adventures featuring The Filling Station Deli, live local music, and Higlands Brew on tap.
April 21

Event: 66th Annual Steeplechase Race at FENCE The Steeplechase is the area's biggest and most exciting equestrian event of the year. Join the crowds that come for the thundering of hooves as they navigate a challenging course over several races. Contestants for best tailgate show off their best country, most unusual and most elegant.  Read more...

April 21
Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra presents "Romantic Rhapsodies" The Orchestra features a 70-piece professional orchestra. Guest artist James Dick performs the beloved Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninoff. The HSO offers Hugo Alfven’s Swedish Rhapsody Midsommvarka and Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 Hafner.   Read more...
April 21
Event: Wilkes River Run 5K / 8 K
The Wilkes River Run 5K/8K route will incorporate the Greenway from Brushy Mountain Dental to the Reddies River trail.   Read more...

April 21
Event: The Plot Fest
A celebration of WNC heritage and the state dog that originated in Haywood County. Bluegrass & local artisans along with Haywood Community College Natural Resources Division and Haywood Waterways offer: FREE Catch Clinics for kids.  Read more...

April 21
Event: Cruise In at South Creek Vineyards
Do you own a classic car or just like to look at them? The British Car Club of Western North Carolina will participate, but we’re open to all Sports Car Enthusiasts. Cruise on over to the vineyard in your classic or just come and see them!  Read more...

April 21
Event: Henderson County Barbeque Expo
A family festival with vendors, BBQ cooking competitions, children's activities, arts & crafts, and entertainment.  Read more...

April 21-22
Event: Spring Homeschool Campout
Enjoy a field day then camp out under the stars, share stories and s’mores ‘round the campfire and learn about critters that come out at night. Join education specialists for fun, interactive programs in a 1000-acre classroom where learning comes alive.  Read more...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chimney Rock Park Spring Homeschool Campout

April 21-22   Spring Homeschool Campout  Enjoy a field day then camp out under the stars, share stories and s’mores ‘round the campfire and learn about critters that come out at night. Join education specialists for fun, interactive programs in a 1000-acre classroom where learning comes alive. All programs are designed to meet NC and SC curriculum standards.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

10th annual Dining Out For Life® in Asheville

April 26 - 10th annual Dining Out For Life®  in Asheville NC. You are cordially invited to join the Asheville Downtown Association for the 10th annual Dining Out For Life® benefit to support the mission of the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP).
This year's event is well under way and needs support more than ever this year with a reduction in federal funding, and an increasing number of clients who need help. Over 100 of the finest restaurants in WNC will  donate 20% of their gross sales occuring on April 26th.  You can do your part by simply dining out for breakfast, lunch or dinner or all three. And don't forget to visit the DOFL restaurants all year round and thank them for their kind support.

Last year's Dining Out For Life® benefit raised over $138,000
to support the mission of WNCAP and thanks to the generous sponsors, only 5.1% of that total went to cover expenses. Through the efforts of so many giving individuals and businesses, much needed AIDS awareness and education has been provided throughout WNC, while providing case-managed care to those whose lives have already been affected by HIV/AIDS.
If you would like to be a part of this year's benefit as an Ambassador, please check the Volunteer section of the menu. Volunteering has never been so much fun!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Support HandMade in America with a Cup of Coffee

Buy HandMade in America a cup of coffee for $5, enter to win a piece of WNC craft, and get HandMade $35,000.

Starbucks is giving $4 million to non-profits all over the country and you get to chose where it goes. HandMade in America is one of 124 non-profits chosen nationwide and one of the smallest of the non-profits chosen in North Carolina. HandMade serves over four thousand craft artists in the 25 county region of Western North Carolina, working within the state of North Carolina. Turn your $5 into at least $50 back to HandMade in America.
For the month of April 2012, Community Card: Vote.Give.Grow. will give Starbucks customers, for the first time ever, the ability to direct a $4 million investment from the Starbucks Foundation to local non-profits across the U.S. providing innovative community revitalization and needed services for the underserved.
HandMade in America was selected to participate based on its belief in the power of the handmade object to transform both individuals and communities through education, entrepreneurship and economic development. HandMade in America has an 18-year tradition for pioneering innovative ways to empower the people and towns of Western North Carolina through programs that educate and facilitate the needs of creative entrepreneurs and communities.
The easy way to help:
Donate $5 by clicking this paypal button, and HandMade will buy your community card and vote for you and register you to win a piece of WNC craft.
The more involved way to help:
To participate, customers will choose to make their registered Starbucks Cards a “Community Card” by opting in online. Customers can cast votes once per week throughout the month of April. 
Either way, be sure to enter our drawing for free WNC craft items (9 worth at least $20) if you register and vote for HandMade by emailing today.

How to cast your vote:

1.    Go to:
2.    Click Get Started You can either:
•    create an account with a card you have bought at any Starbucks or Gift Card Mall
•    login to your existing account
•    Send an eGift to yourself, register it and start voting all within a few minutes.
3.     Find HandMade in America by searching community or by organization name (zip code 28801)
4.     Vote HandMade in America!
5.     Sign in each week in the month of April to cast your vote for HandMade in America. You have a total of four votes.

Monday, April 16, 2012

WNC Chefs Challenge for 4-17-12

April 17    WNC Chefs Challenge The Magnetic Field Café & Bar vs. Lexington Avenue Brewery Food and sport combine for the ultimate food fight. The Challenge brings together 14 leading chefs from the region and one secret ingredient in weekly battles each Tuesday from March 20 - May 22.

Diners enjoy six plated culinary creations (three from each team) that incorporate the secret ingredient and score each dish. The votes from the audience and a panel of professional chefs, journalists, and culinary experts are tallied. A winner is announced at the end of the night and continues to the next round of competition.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ron Rash Reads from "The Cove" Today in Sylva

April 15, 2 PM at the Jackson County Public Library Community Room, 310 Keener Street in
Sylva NC  in Sylva NC - Ron Rash will read from his new novel  The Cove.   City Lights Bookstore will be on hand to sell The Cove and his other best-selling books.   

Eon Alden, City Lights publicist says of The Cove, "Laurel Shelton and her brother live in a cove considered by many to be cursed.  Crops fail, untimely deaths occur and little light ever trickles down into their plot of land. Their lives are largely isolated until Laurel discovers a mysterious and mute stranger playing the flute in the nearby woods. 

Set during the final months of WWI in the Appalachians of North Carolina, The Cove is a book that reveals the nature of humans to quickly ostracize those not like themselves and how easily people will demonize a group of people amid the fever of war. Like all of his work it is beautifully written but it is these themes that, for me, set it above his other novels."    

Getting to the library early is recommended to get a seat.  To reserve a copy of The Cove  call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499.  The Jackson County Public Library and City Lights Bookstore are proud to co-sponsor this event.  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stories of Mountain Folk Podcast 4-14--12

April 14 -   Storytelling: In the story "The Wayward Wind," Amy goes back in time to talk about a talent contest at Tuckasegee School  - Music: "The Wayward Wind" by Gogi Grant.
Creative Corner: Doreyl's guest is wood turner Robert Woods from Stecoah  - Music: "Smoky Mountain Days" by Keith Shuler from Sylva).
Stories of Mountain Folk: Linda Owen Vinson, Amy's cousin, joins Amy to recall growing up on Cullowhee - Mountain Music: "Chickens" by C.W. Colt.
Apple Butter: Krista Robb from Bryson City, talks about her family's historyMusic: "Flop Eared Mule" by Raymond Fairchild from Maggie Valley.
Down Another Road: Judy welcomes her Uncle Martin Cook from Caney Fork once more talking about music -  Music: "She'll Be Coming Around The Mountain" by Judy and family
Closing Song: "The Promise" by the Cockman Family from Sherrill's Ford.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Chimney Rock Park Announces Get Elevated (again) Contest

Win a "first ride" on the elevator, Annual Passes for your family and $200 in gift certificates!
1940s postcard

Is your love for Chimney Rock genetic? Have your grandparents or great-grandparents been bringing your family to Chimney Rock for 40, 50 or even 60 years? Have a historical photo to prove it? Then Chimney Rock Park wants to hear from you! The incredible rock formations in Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park have been in existence 535 million years and families have been visiting the natural wonder for generations. The Park is looking for a family with a generational connection to Chimney Rock to be among the first folks to ride the chimney elevator when it reopens.
"Opera Box" 40s postcard

A child, parent, grandparent – and even great-grandparent – from the winning family will be invited to ride the elevator at the grand reopening ceremony later this spring. The lucky family will also receive a $100 gift certificate for retail in the Sky Lounge or Cliff Dwellers Gift Shops, a $100 gift certificate for the Old Rock Café and a free Annual Pass or one-year renewal for each immediate family member.

Get a link for contest details and submission requirements on the Chimney Rock NC Visitor Guide.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mountain Movies: Hunger Games at the Flat Rock Cinema

April 13 - 19, 2:30 PM and 7 PM at The Flat Rock Cinema, 2700 Greenville Highway, Flat Rock NC. Hunger Games is set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match. The movie is rated PG-13 and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.

Hunger Games was filmed entirely in North Carolina with key scenes featuring several falls and forests in Dupont State Forest. Read more about the NC Hunger Games Tour HERE

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

5th Annual Asheville Earth Day Festival

April 21, noon - 10 PM    The 5th annual Asheville Earth Day Festival   returns to downtown Asheville in a new location on Lexington Avenue. Set in the exquisite Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, this FREE family friendly festival features musicians from various genres, eco-friendly speakers, a Kids Village, Eco Village, poetry contest and photo contest.

The Eco Village features 10 of Asheville's leading nonprofit organizations offering the community ways to participate in environmental change. The Kids Village encourages environmental awareness in our youth through  fun activities and entertainment for the entire family. The focus is to teach children how to live "green" by providing tools and ideas to help create healthy habits at home that will remain healthy habits for life. There will also be a drawing station where each child can decorate a small flag to represent Earth Day. The flags  will be on display during the festival and after the festival, all the flags will be combined to create Asheville Earth Day's first flag.

Musicians for this year's festival include Mark Farina Mushroom Jazz, New Orleans Suspects, Floodwood (members of Moe), The Fritz, Underhill Rose and a Leaf in Schools and Streets Performance.

Find more Asheville NC Events and Festivals on the Asheville Visitors Guide

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

RiverLink Calls for Volunteers

RiverLink is looking for someone to assist in constructing two kiosks for the French Broad River Paddle Trail.
cotton mill poster

The kiosk to the right shows the kind of roof structure to be built and then transpored with the other materials to the site to be completed at a later date.  RiverLink has all the materials but needs  help with power tools and construction ability.

Current planning is to have the kiosks completed by April 20 or the following weekend. I you are able to assist, let RiverLink know ASAP with the tight timeline.

Please contact RiverLink's Watershed Resources Manager  at 252-8474, ext. 14 or if you can help  out.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Curious Collections Exhibit Opens this Week at The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum

April 10, 6:30 to 8 PM at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) , 159 Chestnut Street, Blowing Rock NC - Exhibit preview reception for Curious Collections. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served. Cost for the reception will be $30 payable at the door.
What do quizzical face jugs, G-scale model trains, colorful tobacco tags, wooden outsider folk art, a Remington bronze and handmade pieced quilts have in common? They will all be a part of the upcoming exhibit, Curious Collections, which will open to the public on Wednesday, April 11.
The exhibit includes a wide variety of fascinating objects from nearly 30 collectors from across North Carolina, exploring not only the rich histories of the objects but also delving into the psychology of collecting, which is deeply entrenched in human nature. In the process, exhibit guests will be encouraged to uncover the collector in each of us.
The exhibit, chosen because of its wide-ranging appeal and lighthearted nature, will run from April 11 through the first of August.
Find information about Blowing Rock events and attractions on the
Blowing Rock Visitor Guide.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Stories of Mountain Folk Podcast 4-7--12

April 7, 2012   Storytelling—Apple Blossom Time in the Mountains with Amy telling the story of how her parents met. Music: "Apple Blossom Time"  by Rio Clemente and "First Impressions" by Dave Magill from Webster.

Creative Corner—Doreyl's guest is Beth Fields from Stecoah Valley, talking about the Stecoah Valley Center and their new cafe.  Music: "Hot Cabbage" by Vance Trull, also from Stecoah.

Stories of Mountain Folk: Paige Roberson is Amy's guest, who talks about growing up in Sylva in Jackson County and what she hopes for the future.  Music: "Mountain Town" by Paul Cataldo from Black Mountain.

Black Roots of Appalachia:  Victoria and Minnie Jo Jackson talk about older times in the Black community of Jackson County.  Music: "Standing on the Solid Rock" by Vocal Union Accappella Traditional.

Down Another Road: Featuring breakfast with Martin Cook from Caney Fork, Judy's uncle, who is the founder of the award-winning southern gospel group known as "The Inspirations."   Music: "Jesus is Coming Soon" by the Inspirations.

Closing Song:  "Old Time Religion" by Mountain Faith from Sylva. Click HERE to listen to the entire Podcast 

New Belgium Brewing Company Opens in Asheville's River Arts District

April 5, Asheville NC -  In conjunction with the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC), New Belgium Brewing Company announced the selection of Asheville, North Carolina to build its first expansion brewery outside of Fort Collins, Colorado.

The nation’s third-largest craft brewer plans to invest $175 million over seven years to build a state-of-the-art brewery on Craven Street in Asheville’s historic River Arts District. The expansion will strengthen the company’s capacity to serve new markets and reduce the cost and environmental impact of cross-country distribution. The brewery will create over 154 new jobs by 2020 and is expected to launch production in the first quarter of 2015. The average annual wage for jobs created will exceed $50,000, plus benefits, exceeding the county's average wage by 43 percent.

The site selection process was driven by factors including proximity to Eastern markets, water quality and a shared community commitment to sustainable practices. The nearly 20-acre development at the gateway to the River Arts District and downtown Asheville will revitalize a former hub of commerce and agriculture for the greater Western North Carolina region. The current uses of the site,  a stockyard, auto repair and mini-storage facility will be replaced as  New Belgium invests in new brewery operations, a distribution center and a hospitality tasting room on the banks of the French Broad River.

The company’s investment in stream restoration, storm water improvements, environmental remediation and green building technologies will serve as a model for riverfront renaissance long envisioned by leaders of RiverLink and the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission.

“After several years of searching we are incredibly excited to have landed in Asheville,” said Kim Jordan, CEO and co-founder of New Belgium. “From the deep sense of community to the rich natural environment and the opportunity to revitalize a brownfield site near a vibrant downtown, Asheville has everything we’ve been looking for in a location for our second brewery.”

Asheville Mayor, Terry Bellamy, commented, “For decades, the City of Asheville has worked to build consensus for the responsible redevelopment of our River District. These efforts are rewarded today with the arrival of New Belgium, a world-class employer that shares our vision for community development and our values of corporate social responsibility.” The investments made by the company will catalyze public infrastructure improvements in nearby roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, water service, greenway and way finding consistent with the Wilma Dykeman Riverway Plan. The infrastructure improvements will be funded in part by a grant from the North Carolina GoldenLeaf Foundation.

“This pioneering development will do more than grow our tax base and create quality manufacturing jobs. The company will transform a vital stretch of riverfront, add a brand-name destination for visitors and strengthen our well-known craft-brewing community,” said Chairman of the Buncombe County Commission, David Gantt. “We foresee a long and successful future for New Belgium in Buncombe County.”

“This is a major milestone for our riverfront and our region. New Belgium shares our values of creativity and innovation, and our history of craftsmanship and industry. As we toured our River Arts District together last year, it was clear they want to contribute to what makes the river a special place.”
Karen Cragnolin, Executive Director, RIVERLINK:  “It is a dream come true for RiverLink, our volunteers, our members and our donors to welcome an anchor project to our urban riverfront that is attracted by the clean, abundant water in the French Broad. That New Belgium chose Asheville is further proof that our economic future and our environmental stewardship are intertwined and on the same page.”

Since its founding in 1991, New Belgium Brewing Company has released 25 award-winning Belgian-Style beers, including its best-selling Fat-Tire Amber Ale. By 2011, the employee-owned company was producing over 700,000 barrels annually and distributing New Belgium products to 28 states and the District of Columbia. The company has grown to over 400 employees while earning a reputation with consumers and corporate America as an environmentally, socially and economically conscious employer. The brewer operates the largest private photo-voltaic solar array in Colorado and has donated over $5 million to community non-profits in areas of environmental education and stewardship since 1995.

The company plans to break ground in the first quarter 2013 and commence hiring in the fourth quarter of 2014. For additional information on New Belgium Brewing Company, visit For more detail on the project plans, community reaction, maps etc.  visit

Friday, April 6, 2012

New Display at Biltmore Begins this Weekend

April 7 - Dec 31   The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad -  A new display focusing on the lives and personalities of George, Edith and Cornelia Vanderbilt, takes center stage in Biltmore's Antler Hill Village Legacy building. The exhibit offers a close-up look at exotic and rare items they collected throughout their lives, including an extraordinary collection of Samurai armor and an intricate Cartier vanity and lipstick case encrusted with diamonds and jade.

An early Harley-Davidson motorcycle representing the Vanderbilt’s love of motorized transportation will be displayed. The fascinating story of the fateful decision that saved the Vanderbilts from perishing on Titanic will also be told.

Get a link for Biltmore and other Asheville NC Attractions
on the
Asheville Visitor Guide

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Events: Easter Egg Hunts this Weekend

Easter NC vacation rentalsFor links and more Easter Events information visit the NC Events Calendar

April 7   Fletcher Easter Egg Hunt
Fletcher Easter Egg Hunt, Fletcher Community Park, for children ages walker to 11. Kids can hunt for over 8,000 eggs full of prizes and candy, meet the Easter Bunny and enjoy the "Parade of Hats" at 11:45AM The event is sponsored by Fletcher Parks & Recreation in Fletcher, NC 828- 687-0751.

April 7  
Hendersonville Easter Egg Hunt An Easter Egg Hunt in Jackson Park for ages walkers 2-10, including music, prizes, the Easter Bunny, inflatables, and food.

April 7 
4th Annual Grovewood Easter Egg Hunt  This year’s hunt will benefit MANNA Packs for Kids, a nonprofit organization that reaches out to at-risk elementary school children in Western North Carolina.  The hunt begins promptly at 11AM in Grovewood's sculpture garden. Arrive a few minutes early and BYOB (bring your own basket) for your goodies. Children ages 2-9 may participate with cookies and lemonade provided. The Easter Bunny will be stopping by for photo ops so don't forget your camera.

April 7    Easter on the Green   A family-friendly celebration of Easter traditions including a large scale Easter egg hunt for kids, races, games and creative activities in the Earth Fare tent. Various downtown businesses have added a little fun to the egg hunt by providing gift certificates and freebies that will be placed in eggs. Kids can meet the Easter Bunny and pose for family photographs. There will also be kid-friendly music and entertainment. FREE event.

April 7    1st Annual Easter Egg Hunt   Held at the Snow Hill Inn in Franklin NC  -  Bring Your Basket. The hunt is divided into Groups 0 to 3 years, 4 to 6 yrs, and 7 to 12 years old. Activities include "Best Dressed Easter Outfit" Contest,  photos with the Easter Bunny, games,  crafts and prizes. For more information 828-349-9009

April 7   EGG-Stravaganza  at the First Christian Church of Franklin (156 Bellview Park Road). Events include Games, Face Painting and plenty of eggs.  Hunts will be in separated age groups for safety of younger children.  Everyone is welcome! 

April 7  
Community Egg Hunt   Free to the public. Held from 10 AM-noon at Black Mountain Primary School. Toddlers at 10:30, K-5 at 11AM. Activities include: Bouncy House, slide, music, crafts. Please bring a can of food for donation. Sponsored by the Montreat Presdbyterian Church EPC.

April 7  
Highlands Community Egg Hunt   Community Easter Egg Hunt at the Recreation Park. Call 828-526-3556 for more information.

April 8  
Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Biltmore The Easter Rabbit makes his annual appearance on Biltmore’s Front Lawn, along with special children’s entertainment including magic shows, music and storytelling. Highlighting the day are the grand Easter Egg Hunts at 11 AM., 1 and 3 PM. Children from ages 2 to 9 may attend the hunt for free when accompanied by an estate pass holder or a ticketed adult. Day-of registration is required. Bring your own basket or bag to collect eggs.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Grab your Easter Bonnet and head for the Dillsboro Easter Parade

April 7   Annual Dillsboro Easter Hat Parade - Arrive at 10 AM to make a hat, or bring your own pre-made version. Registration for parade participation starts at 11AM. The parade starts from Dillsboro Town Hall at 2:00 PM and is open to all ladies, gentlemen, children and dogs.

Grab your hat and join in the fun during Dillsboro’s delightfully unpretentious annual Easter Hat Parade! Enter the ugliest, biggest or best hat contest, with plenty of prizes. Antique cars will lead the parade and all will have the opportunity to meet the Easter Bunny.

Get  more local information on the Dillsboro NC Visitor Guide

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Asheville Chamber releases behind the scenes Hunger Games Video

As the craze over any and all information related to the recently released Hunger Games movie continues, the Asheville Chamber of Commerce and Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority are providing  a "behind-the-scenes look at one of the most important settings featured in the film.

Dupont State Forest and its remarkable waterfalls are the backdrop for some of the movies most exciting and pivotal moments:
And there's more: Watch the video, share it with your friends and enter for a chance to win  a deluxe survival getaway to District 12. The package includes
  • Overnight accommodations in the “Capitol City Wing” of Doubletree Biltmore Hotel.
  • Hunger Games knapsack with ample supplies for your outdoor adventure.
  • Navitat Canopy Adventures zip lining tour vouchers—Who will survive?

    Get contest details and entry form HERE

Monday, April 2, 2012

Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center Announces 2012 Appalachian Evening Concert Scheduloe

2012 Appalachian Evening Tickets are now available for individual shows and season tickets. Family style dinner is available before the show for $15.95 for adults or $9.95 age 12 and under. Dinner reservations can be made at time of ticket purchase.
Bluegrass says a lot of what this band is about, but equally important are the aspects of Gospel and Country Music. All the fellows in the band grew up in the rich musical heritage of the Appalachian South, surrounded by culture and heritage steeped in traditions of The Grand Ole Opry…as well as the important influences of the Scotch-Irish settlers of the Southern Mountains, English ballads, Western songs…and tunes written by the band members themselves.
The Steel Wheels are truly an Americana band, rooted in musical styles that explore the territories between blues and bluegrass, old-time sing-alongs and foot-stompin’ fiddle tunes. They are subtle innovators who respect the past but whistle their own tunes, layering in rich textures and decidedly modern energy to forge a new sound.

The Boxcars.  Adam Steffey, Ron Stewart, John R. Bowman, Keith Garrett and Harold Nixon make up what will surely soon be one of the top headliners in bluegrass and beyond.  2011 IBMA Awards - Instrumental Group of the Year; Emerging Artist of the Year; Mandolin Player of the Year; Banjo Player of the Year.

The Kruger Brothers personify the spirit of exploration and innovation that forms the core of the American musical tradition. Their original music, composed by Jens Kruger, is crafted around their discerning taste, and the result is unpretentious, cultivated, and delightfully fresh. 

Song of the Mountains, also known as The VW Boys, show is a unique blend of talent consisting of music, magic and comedy, a complete variety show. Audiences of all ages enjoy their show. 

The Weeping Willows is the exciting coalescence of three young women whose roots sink deep into traditional music and dance. Their high-energy dance numbers, sweet Appalachian vocal arrangements, and old-time rhythmic flair draw from the music passed down to them from their families.
The Kickin Grass Band takes the stage, and suddenly you’re captivated by pure, strong voices telling true‐to‐life stories spiced with innovative bluegrass instrumentation. You fall in love with the rootsy, Americana style, and can’t wait for more.
With few exceptions, the piano does not play a prominent part in Appalachian music, and is rarely the lead instrument. But Jeff Little is an exception – and a remarkable one. His distinctive two-handed style, much influenced by the mountain flatpicked guitar tradition, is breathtaking in its speed, precision and clarity.

The Snyder Family Band features the talents of siblings Zeb and Samantha Snyder from Lexington, NC.  Backed by their dad, Bud, on upright bass, this band has delighted and surprised audiences at venues including Merlefest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots, the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree, the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Festival in Columbus, OH, and the Red White and Bluegrass Festival in Morganton, NC.

The Stecoah  Valley Cultural Arts Center is located at 121 Schoolhouse Road in Robbinsville NC. Get a link for the Arts Center and more information on the Robbinsville Visitor Guide


Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Live Music at The Purple Onion

April 5 - Jimmy Landry   You can't help but feel better when this singer/songwriter is in the house.

April 7 - Overmountain Men   Whenever David Childers is here, the energy is palpable and the music powerful.

April 12 - Michael Reno Harrell   Fabulous singer/songwriter/storyteller and old friend of the café.

April 14 - The Stray Birds   "Super-talented acoustic trio whose virtuosity doesn't get in the way of their soul."

April 19 - Greg Klyma   "Greg Klyma is a home-cooked meal and a vaudeville show in a fast food karaoke world."

April 21 - Barbed Wires   "Music from the roots of American musical style. Blues, country, bluegrass, and rock-and-roll."

April 26 - Shane Pruitt Band
   We feel certain that their many fans here will mark their calendars now.

April 28 - Shana Burke & Pivotal Soul  While new to us, their repertoire covers the gamut from emotionally-charged ballads to energetic, danceable grooves.

Every Friday Night - Fred Whiskin at the piano. Music at the Purple Onion is scheduled by Robert Seiler.
The Purple Onion is located at 16 Main Street, Saluda, NC.  Get a link for The Purple Onion and other Slauda NC information on the Saluda NC Visitor Guide.