Friday, August 31, 2012

Last Minute Labor Day Cabin in the Mountains

It's NOT too late for a Labor Day Getaway in the mountains! There are dozens of mountain cabins and vacation rental still available for a Labor Day Weekend holiday:

Lake Junaluska vacation home rentalVacation rental only 2 blocks to Stuart Auditorium - 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps 6. Covered porch, partial lake view, charcoal grill, central heat and air, WIFI. Fully equipped. $199 night, $770 week.   Lake Junaluska NC
                   Get a link for this rental and a cabin availability list


beautiful mountain view rental  Large Cabin with mountain views - 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, sleeps up to 10. Deck with swing, gas fireplace, central heat & air, pet friendly. $145-$185  night, $870 - $1110 week.   Bryson City NC

Cabin rental near Dillsboro Labor Day Weekend Special stay 3 nights get the 4th free 8/30 - 9/6.  2 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps up to 6. Large porch, gas fireplace, full kitchen, AC, motorcycle Friendly. Minutes to Cherokee or Dillsboro. $100 - $140 night, $600 - $840 week.   Between Cherokee NC and Dillsboro NC.

Hayesville rental with incredible mountain views Beautiful Mountain Views - 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps 6. Decks with incredible long range views, gas grill, fireplace, central heat and air. Located only 5 miles to downtown Hayesville. $85 night, $550 week.   Hayesville NC

enjoy the views of Maggie Valley  Vacation Rental with mountain views - 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps up to 10. Deck to enjoy the valley to mountains view, gas grill, 2 fireplaces, pool table and games, WIFI. Great location for Maggie Valley, Waynesville and all Smoky Mountains attractions. $175 night, $1250 week.    Maggie Valley NC

mountain view rental only 2 miles from Boone 2 miles to downtown Boone 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps 6. Great mountain views, wrap-around covered porch with hot tub and gas grill, gas fireplace. 4X4 needed in winter.  $225 - $300 night, $1170 - $1325 week.  Boone NC

Get a list of more NC cabins and vacation rentals 
available for Labor Day Weekend HERE

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Smoky Mountain Folk Festival

August 31 - September 1:   Annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center offers two nights of the finest traditional music and dance of the Southern Appalachian Region. The main shows begin at 6:00 PM, both Friday and Saturday, on the grand stage of the Stuart Auditorium overlooking beautiful Lake Junaluska.

Both nights will include a rich variety of the region's finest fiddlers, banjo players, string bands, ballad singers, buck dancers, and square dance teams as well as the marvelous sounds of dulcimer, harmonica, juice harp, bagpipes, spoons, saws, and folk ensembles.

Smoky Mountain Folk Festival Tickets are available at the door for $12 per night. Advanced sale tickets are $10 per night, and can be purchased at the Haywood County Arts Council office at 86 N. Main Street in Waynesville, or at the front desk of the Administration Building at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center The special children's tent performances are free.

Get a link for details about the Smoky Mountain Folk Festival on the Lake Junaluska NC Visitor Guide

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Event: CLAP! in Asheville

August 31 - September 3     CLAP! Asheville   A Labor Day Weekend event celebrating Live Arts Performances in Asheville with some of the city's best arts group. This inaugural event includes The Monford Park Players, the Lexington Avenue arts and Fun Festival, Shindig on the Green, Symphony in the Park with the Asheville Symphony .

August 31   Richard II   Presented by The Monford Players 
The renowned  Asheville thesbians present for the first time in their history Shakespeare's tragic history of Richard II. The FREE summer productions are performed at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre  and DONATIONS ARE WELCOME. Bring a lawn chair or blanket; if you’d rather not carry a lawn chair you can call the box office at 828-254-5146 at least 24 hours in advance to reserve  chairs in the best seating area for only $2.00 per person.

September 1  
Shindig on the Green   
Held outdoors at Pack Square Park in the heart of downtown Asheville, this FREE event  was voted the #1 Local Outdoor Concert in the Mountain Xpress "Best of WNC" survey for four years. Bring your instruments, your lawn chair or blanket, family and friends and join the fun eight summer Saturdays.

September 1-2    LAAFF 
(Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival)   Once a year Lexington Ave in downtown Asheville is shut down for this all day, all local, all original street fair that has grown to be the largest independent street fest in the southeast. This jam-packed day is filled with wild street performers, unique artwork, a wide variety of music, and just about everyone who wants to have some fun and celebrate in the streets of Asheville.

September 3   Symphony in the Park  
The Asheville-Buncombe Youth Orchestra performs a FREE outdoor concert at Pack Square Park on Labor Day at 5:30 PM. The ABYO is a thirty-five year-old organization with 60+ musicians from five counties in Western North Carolina and includes public, private and home-schooled students.

Get links and details for all the CLAP! events on the Asheville NC Visitor Guide.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NC Apple Festival a Labor Day Weekend Tradition

August 31 - September 3  66th Annual NC Apple Festival features a street fair on Historic Main Street in downtown Hendersonville NC, a favorite Labor Day Weekend destination. The Festival is the unofficial kick-off for the NC apple season with lots of fresh picked apples and locally made apple products.

Some of the Apple Festival activities include: live entertainment and music, arts and crafts, apple products, children and youth activities, special exhibits, food and the King Apple Parade on Labor Day. Some of the special events include pancake breakfasts, car shows, apple recipe contests and a gem and mineral spectacular.

The King Apple Parade is a highlight of the Festival and a fitting conclusion on Labor DayAt the parade there will be professional floats, bands, youth groups, antique cars, fire trucks and many others participating in this event that will draw over 60,000 individuals.

Find specific hours and a schedule of events on the website, including a downloadable brochure with event details. The Street Fair hours are - Fri-Sun 10:00 AM-8:00 PM from 6th Ave-Caswell St; mini-festival on Mon. 10:00 AM-5:00 PM from 2nd Ave-Caswell St., King Apple Parade on Labor Day at  2:30 P.

Get a link for the NC Apple Festival and other Hendersonville information including restaurants attractions and lodging on the Hendersonville NC Visitor Guide.

Monday, August 27, 2012

NC Brewery: Heinzelmannchen Brewery Releases Roktoberfest

August 29, 5 PM - 8 PM Heinzelmannchen Brewery will release its new ale, Roktoberfest. Be the first to taste  Roktoberfest, the Oktoberfest that Rocks -  an amber ale malty and sweet with a slightly hoppy finish.  

Enjoy a traditional flavor pint and keep the Pint Glass for $6;  Roktoberfest pint and keep the Pint Glass for  $8.  Roktoberfest  is available for fills, pints and samples beginning at 5 PM. on Wednesday, August 29 (and NOT a minute earlier).

Heinzelmannchen Brewery is located at 545 Mill Street in downtown Sylva NC.

Stories of Mountain Folk for 8/25/12

Sotries of Mountain Folk is a weekly podcast is produced by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia and archived at Western Carolina University.

Storytelling: Amy shares her story about a sad day in train history, "Cowee Tunnel," that took place in 1883. The story is accented by the song "Cowee Tunnel" by Milan Miller.

Creative Corner: Doreyl's guest is Sharon Petersen whose grandmother was from Wolf Mountain. Sharon creates creative colorful fabric dolls. Music: "Coat of Many Colors" by the Heltons.

Stories of Mountain Folk: Amy's guest is Betty Barnes from Alarka, who tells stories about growing up in the mountains.  Music: "He Is Here" by Barnes Family.

Apple Butter: Nicole's guest is Curtis Sikes, a teacher from Swain Middle School, who has published a new book, "The Heart of a King."  Music: "Children Sing" by the Butterpats.

Down Another Road: Judy's guest is Henry Watts from Asheville; they discuss his childhood at his grandparent's home in Madison County.  Music: "Hometown Blues" by the Blue Ridge Rounders.

Closing song: "Mule Skinner Blues" by Ernie & Mac.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Old Time and Bluegrass at The Blue Ridge Music Center

September 1 at the Blue Ridge Music Center the Old-Time & Bluegrass Breakdowns concert features two great bands. It will be a memorable night of bluegrass hot picking and powerful old-time music that will make you want to dance. Come on out and support local music and musicians at one of BRMC's last mainstage concerts of the season. So this holiday weekend bring your family to the Blue Ridge Music center and enjoy local BBQ while you hear the best, traditional music at sunset!
Travers Chandler has been turning heads with his singing and mandolin playing in the bands of James King, Dan Paisley and his own band Avery County. Travers Chandler and Avery County came together in 2009 with the intent of preserving the legacies of bluegrass music's lost heroes, while bringing these sounds to new audiences. They have played on the WPAQ Merry-Go-Round, PBS' Song of the Mountains and festivals throughout the Blue Ridge. These hot pickers will prove their merit on the mainstage Saturday night.

The Dry Hill Draggers of Franklin County started with banjo player Jimmy Boyd and his brother Billy Boyd in 1981. Their uncles all played old-time music, including Uncle Charlie Boyd, who was buried with his fiddle. With a solid reputation for hard-driving, flatfooting music, today the band consist of the 2nd generation players who carry on in the unique stringband tradition of the Blue Ridge. In Jimmy's own words:"The old-time music drew me in to play it. Music like that is in your genes. You are what your genes are." To this day, Dry Hill Draggers are widely regarded as Franklin County's best old-time band.

The Old-Time & Bluegrass Breakdowns Concert starts at 7 PM. Concert seating opens at 5:30 PM. Admission $10/$8 students & seniors. Children 12 and under are free. As always, there will be free Mid Day Mountain Music in the BRMC breezeway from 12-4pm and the free Roots of American Music museum will be open 9am-8pm on this concert night. Bring lawn chairs and the whole family. Picnics welcome. Smokehouse BBQ available. No pets or alcohol. For info call (276) 236-5309 x112.

Tickets are available at the Galax Visitor Center, Barr's Fiddle Shop, online and at the gate. The Blue Ridge Music Center is located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The summer-evening concert series occurs every weekend through mid-September in the outdoor amphitheater at the foot of beautiful Fisher Peak.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Goombay Festival in Asheville this Weekend

August 24-26   31st Annual Goombay Festival   A three day African-Caribbean festival, located in downtown Asheville, that lives up to its West African name, meaning rhythm or drum, with rhythmic sounds and colorful sights.

The Goombay dancers wear colorful costumes and high headdresses topped with feathers. Located on Eagle Street in downtown Asheville.

Get a link for details about the Goombay Festival and other Asheville events and festival on the Asheville NC Visitor Guide.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What to do this weekend in Asheville

August 23-25    Asheville Wine and Food Festival   The festival features a mixologist contest, a wine competition, culinary demonstrations, countless opportunities to meet, greet, and learn from area culinary experts, and plenty of tasty products to purchase and take home – plus, a fashion show of designer culinary and dinner apparel. Sample craft brews that have earned Asheville its status as Beer City USA. Or discover spirits from the region’s newest distilleries Get a link for more information

August 24     Sweet  
The Asheville Wine and Food Festival's most decadent event is an after-dinner fête in the historic Grove Arcade featuring locally-sourced desserts, specialty cocktails, champagne, and elegant live music. Many of the Arcade shops stay open for some after-hours shopping. 
Get a link for more information

August 24     River Music Concert Series   Dance under the stars next to the beautiful French Broad River at Asheville's new summer concert series hosted by New Belgium Brewing and RiverLink.  There will be New Belgium beer, a variety of good eats provided by your favorite Asheville food trucks and the waters of the beautiful French Broad flowing right by the stage. Best of all, these events are FREE to the public. Bring your lawn chair  and enjoy the view of the French Broad River. 
Get a link for more information

August 24      Biltmore Concert Series   Award-winning musicians perform on the South Terrace and on Biltmore's newest event venue - Diana at Biltmore, an intimate setting on the vista overlooking Biltmore House. This Concert: Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas  
Get a link for more information

August 25    Biltmore Concert Series   Award-winning musicians perform on the South Terrace and on Biltmore's newest event venue - Diana at Biltmore, an intimate setting on the vista overlooking Biltmore House. This Concert: Chris Tomlin   
Get a link for more information

August 25:    Shindig on the Green    
Held outdoors at Pack Square Park in the heart of downtown Asheville, this FREE event  was voted the #1 Local Outdoor Concert in the Mountain Xpress "Best of WNC" survey for four years. Bring your instruments, your lawn chair or blanket, family and friends and join the fun eight summer Saturdays.    Get a link for more information 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mountain Spirits: Wine and Beer Tastings for the week of 8-23-12

August 24, 7 PM until,  Classic Wine Cellar, 20 Church Street, Waynesville NC -  NEW -  Friday Night Live - Ancient Sounds of Ireland with Karyn Lyle and John Page playing Celtic harp and fiddle.  Enjoy music, wine, beer and food including Angelino's small plate menu and flatbreads. August 29 - WOW (Wine on Wednesday)  FIVE wines for $5. Enjoy a light meal or cheese plate and get $2 off all WOW wines.

August 24,  5 - 7 PM   Hops and Vines,
797 Haywood Rd, Ste 100 in Asheville NC.  FREE beer tasting:    The Bruery, Orange County, CA.  A small craft brewery located in Orange County, California.
Saison De Lente - Light blonde in color with a fresh hoppiness and a wild and rustic Brettanomyces character.  Saison Rue - Belgian Style Ale Brewed With Rye and Brettanomyces, a rustic, deep golden farmhouse ale is brewed just a few times a year to celebrate the change of the seasonnal brewery! 8.5%   Mischief- Belgian-style ale, golden and hoppy. Not quite evil, yet not to be trusted, this Golden Ale is effervescent, dry, hoppy and crisp-you’ll want to keep an eye out. 8.5%
August 25 , 3-6 PM - FREE Wine Tasting -  Allan Scott Wines from New Zealand:  Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc 2011: The aromatics in this 2011 Sauvignon are distinctly tropical. Indulging the nose the initial sweet passion fruit then gives way to hints of lime, classic gooseberry, and dried herbs.   Allan Scott Pinot Noir 2009:   Fruit driven, this wine is rich and dark with red cherries, raspberries and violets on the nose, along with well integrated French oak and creaminess from the malolactic fermention.

August 24, 5-7 PM at  Table Wine, 1550 Hendersonville Road, Suite 102, Asheville NC - Warm Reds for Cool Nights.  2010 Talbott Pinot Noir "Sleepy Hollow Vineyard"; 2006 Beronia Rioja Reserva;   2008 Domaine les Ondines Vacqueyras;   2009 Baptiste Cuvelier "Cuvée del Maule";  2010 Twenty Bench Cabernet Sauvignon
August 25  , 2-5 PM   FREE Saturday Wine Tasting - free tastes of four wines. This Saturday's lineup will include: 2011 Conde Villars Vinho Verde,  2010 Schloss Muhlenhof Dornfelder Trocken, 2011Palama Primitivo "Arcangelo", 2006 Montecastillo Priorat Crianza, 

August 24,  4 PM - 7 PM  LaBouteille, 10 N Trade St, Suite A Tyon NC - Complimentary Wine Tastings every Friday.  - The last Saturday of each month 3-5 pm is a 10 beers for $10 beer tasting. Bring a dish of food to share.

August 25, noon - 6 PM  
RagApple Lassie, 3724 Ragapple Lassie Lane Boonville NC  . Frank and troops will be pouring tastings of RagApple Lassie's newly release 2009 Merlot, and the Back Door Café will have lots of choices for hungry tummies. All this, plus the promise of a good time in the relaxing atmosphere of RagApple Lassie.

August 25,   2 - 5 PM  The Wine Guy, 555 Merimon Ave and 1200 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville NC. FREE Saturday tastings are a great way to sample new favorites in a casual setting. A local distributor will pour a few new wines from their portfolio. No reservations required and there will be special pricing on the wines sampled.

August 25
, 12 PM - 5 PM at Vino Vino Wine Market,
178 Weaverville Rd., Asheville NC. Every Saturday anytime between 12:00 and 5:00pm enjoy a sampling of wines from around the world. A 10% discount on each of the wines we are featuring.


Tasting Rooms:

Biltmore Winery, located on the Biltmore Estate, Asheville NC. Daily tasting and tours with Estate admission. Special events and tastings throughout the year.

Old North State Winery, 308 North Main Street, Mount Airy NC. Hours of operation are: Monday-Wednesday 11am-6pm, Thursday-Saturday 11am-9pm, and Sunday 12pm-6pm. Sample wines and browse the gift shop featuring wine related and gourmet gift items.

RagApple Lassie, 3724 Ragapple Lassie Lane Boonville NC Tours are "on demand" noon to six PM daily. Tastings are available noon to six PM daily and include up to 11 varieties of wine.

Calaboose Cellars, 565 Aquone Road, Andrews NC. Closed for the winter - re-open March 22, 2012Tasting room summer hours: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from Noon to 5:00. This week check out the "Warden's White".

South Creek Vineyard and Winery, 2240 South Creek Road, Nebo, NC

Daily Tastings at Wedge Brewing Company, 125 B Roberts St. Asheville NC. Micro-brewery regular Tasting room hours: Monday - Thursday 4 PM - 10+ PM; Friday 3 PM - 10+ PM; Saturday and Sunday 2 PM - 10+ PM.

Daily Tastings at Greenman Brewery, 23 Buxton Ave., Asheville NC. The tasting room is open seven days a week at 4 o'clock, or maybe earlier

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lake Lure Olympiad in its 8th Year

July 24-26    8th Annual Lake Lure Olympiad   is a sport and community festival featuring dozens of events and activities for people of all athletic abilities. The festival kicks off with a golf tournament, beach BBQ, free water ski show, ice cream sundaes and fireworks show.

For the hardcore athlete, there’s the sprint triathlon, junior Olympiad, Race to the Rock and 10K Dam run. Or challenge yourself to the 3 Races in 3 Days. There’s also a basketball shoot, obstacle course, family games and lenty to do for families, non-athletes and kids.

The Annual Race to the Rock is a challenging 900-foot climb over the last 3 miles of a 5K run or 25-mile bike race. This is the ONLY TIME you can run or bike up the Chimney Rock Park road. Medals are awarded in age groups.

Get a link for details about the Lake Lure Olympiad and other events on the Lake Lure NC Visitor Guide.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Franklin hosts Motorcycle Rally this Weekend

August 24-25   4th Annual Ruby Bash Rally   Held at the Rose Creek Campground and Rose Creek mine in Franklin NC. Food and Merchandise vendors will be on site throughout the event. Enjoy a variety of activities all  weekend such as Ruby Mining, Horseshoes, Corn hole and fun adult games.

Live music concerts both evenings will include
The Hoss Howard Band on Saturday from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM. Bring your cooler, blanket or chairs

The Bike Show on Saturday is open to all with a $10 entry fee and a trophy for the winner.
Find more information and a link for the Ruby Bash Rally on the Franklin NC Visitor Guide.

Monday, August 20, 2012

WNC Chefs Challenge Finals this week in Asheville

August 23   WNC Chef Challenge Finals   The grand finale will kick off the WNC Magazine Asheville Wine & Food Festival. Chefs battle for the championship and dinner guests will receive six courses (3 from each team) and will participate in scoring the dishes to determine the winner of the Chef Challenge Semifinals.

The final two competitors are
Lexington Avenue Brewery's team of chefs and  the Inn at Biltmore Estate's group.

Special wines are selected based on the "Secret" ingredient and are available for purchase along with beers and cocktails. Tickets for the Grand Finale are $99 and include the six plated culinary creations from the chefs and two complimentary drinks (wine or beer.)

Get a link for the Chefs Challenge and other Asheville dining and restaurants on the Asheville NC Visitor Guide.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Blue Ridge Music Center presents Bluegrass and old time Pickers

August 25 at the Blue Ridge Music: Center Hot Pickers, New Bands in Concert.  Two great bands for a memorable night of bluegrass hot picking and spirited, old-time music that will make you want to dance. Come on out and support local music and musicians at one of BRMC's last mainstage concerts of the season. Bring a picnic and enjoy beautiful, traditional music at sunset!

Jus' Cauz is a popular bluegrass band that hails from Danville, Virginia that formed three years ago. Mark Hudson is the lead singer and guitar player for the group. David Lewis plays mandolin, Larry Hall - bluegrass banjo and Jerry Steinberg will play the low tones on the doghouse bass. Tim Smith, formerly of the Bluegrass Cardinals, will be fiddling in place of regular fiddler, Tim Martin, who is on medical leave. Jus' Cauz performs regularly all over the Blue Ridge and their concert on Song of the Mountains will be airing soon on PBS. The band scored big at the Virginia Folk Music Association festival in Chesterfield, VA. Recent awards there include: first place lead vocals, first-place fiddle, banjo and guitar ribbons as well as second place bluegrass band. Expect to hear the best in traditional bluegrass from this new band of seasoned players.

The Old-Time Pals are a hard-driving, traditional, old-time band from Grayson and Carroll counties in Virginia. The group includes Tim Donley on fiddle, Trish Kilby-Fore on banjo, Steve Kilby on guitar and Erin Creed on bass. Influences for the group include: Harold B. Hausenfluck, the Spencer and Birchfield Families, Enoch Rutherford, Larry Pennington, Barbara Poole and others. All members of the band have won top honors at fiddlers' conventions and contests across the country. The Old-Time Pals are, as their name suggests, good friends who play fine music together. You won't want to miss hearing them perform!

The Hot Pickers, New Bands Concert starts at 7 PM. Concert seating opens at 5:30 PM. Admission $8/$5 students and seniors. Children 12 and under are free.

As always, there will be free Mid Day Mountain Music in the BRMC breezeway from 12-4pm and the free Roots of American Music museum will be open 9am-8pm on this concert night. Bring lawn chairs and the whole family. Picnics welcome. Smokehouse BBQ available. No pets or alcohol. For info call (276) 236-5309 x112.

Tickets are available at the Galax Visitor Center, Barr's Fiddle Shop, online and at the gate. The Blue Ridge Music Center is located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The summer-evening concert series occurs every weekend through mid-September in the outdoor amphitheater at the foot of beautiful Fisher Peak.

Find more NC music events and concerts on the NC Event Calendar.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Marion Hosts NC State Bluegrass Festival this weekend

August 16-18    38th Annual NC State Bluegrass Festival   Featuring Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, The Primitive Quartet, Bobby Osborne & the Rocky Top X-press, Rye Holler Boys, The Troubadours and dozens more. 

Tickets are available at the gate. The event is held "rain or shine" with performances under covered pavilion. The cafe will be serving breakfast and lunch, with hot food and other concessions also available. Bring your lawn chairs - no alcohol, smoking or pets in the performance area.
Get a link for the NC State Bluegrass Festival and other local events on the Marion NC Visitor Guide

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friends of Panthertown Volunteer Opportunity

Summer is almost over and students are heading back to school. Your next volunteer opportunity with Friends of Panthertown will be on Saturday, August 25. Volunteers will come in from the western entrance to Panthertown Valley at the Salt Rock Gap trail-head at the end of Breedlove Road in Cashiers. Volunteering is a lot of fun and all are welcome to participate. The day will  be spent maintaining the Blackrock Trail (#447) and Overlook Trail (#491). The group will hike down Carlton's Way, North Road Trail (#453), and Panthertown Valley Trail (#474) with a stop at the Salt Rock Gap overlook. 

Overlook Trail Volunteers
Volunteers enjoying lunch on the Overlook Trail.
Volunteers come from throughout the region to enjoy a day in the backcountry working with other hikers, mountain bikers, rock climbers, scouts, equestrians, and nature lovers. New volunteers are always welcome. Tools are provided and the trail days are a great way to give back to Panthertown. REI Asheville is providing store discount coupons for those who show up, plus each volunteer gets entered into a drawing to win some awesome REI gear!
Friends of Panthertown volunteers will meet at the Salt Rock Gap trail-head at 9:30 AM. and the group will then hike in to help maintain and prune nearby trails on the eastern side of Panthertown Valley.  There will be plenty of summer wildflowers in bloom and this will be a great opportunity to enjoy Panthertown with other Friends. Trail volunteers are asked to pack a lunch, bring plenty of water, wear good shoes, and bring a pair of work gloves and pruners if you have them (we’ll also have some to loan out). The hike will be less than 5 miles on easy to moderate trails and will conclude by 3 PM.

The Friends of Panthertown is  an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to work in partnership with the USDA Forest Service to conserve this outstanding natural resource while improving the quality and experience of recreational opportunities in Panthertown Valley.

Panthertown Valley is one of the most spectacular areas in the southeast with cascading waterfalls, trout streams, panoramic views, sheer granite cliffs, the headwaters of the Tuckaseegee River and the east fork of Little Tennessee River. This 6,300 acre backcountry area in Nantahala National Forest offers visitors a wide variety of places to explore and has become a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, rock climbers, anglers, school groups, summer camps, scout troops, ornithologists, etc.

Get a link for more details about Panthertown Valley on the Sapphire Valley NC Visitor Guide.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nantahala Outdoor Center Hosts Canoe Challenge

August 17  GalasportUSA Canoe Club Challenge at NOC   Come by yourself, with your club, or with a couple of friends. The Canoe Club Challenge is open to everyone, and you'll have so much fun, you won't even notice all the new skills you're learning. Enjoy a challenging course set on un-intimidating whitewater and a fun, social atmosphere.

 Get local information about Bryson City and the Nantahala Outdoor Center on the Bryson City NC Visitor Guide.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Appalachian Trail marks 75 Years

On August 16, 1937 the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp P-66 sent a letter to Myron Avery, chairman of the Appalachian Trail Conference, confirming completion on August 14 of a two-mile stretch on Sugarloaf Mountain in central Maine, the final stretch of the Appalachian Trail.  After more than 15 years of construction, the Trail was finally finished.

The concept of the Appalachian Trail began in 1921 with an idea promoted by Benton MacKaye, a regional planner and forester for the U.S. Forest Service, to fill the need for preserving a connection with natural settings during the rapidly increasing industrialization of American society. In 1923 construction of the Trail began with a 45 mile section built by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference just north of New York City.

In 1925 the Appalachian Trail Conference , now the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, became the coordinating agency for the volunteers who were essential to the completion of the Trail. Under the National Trails System Act, The Appalachian Trail was named a National Scenic Trail in 1968 and today is a national park managed through a on-of-a-kind  partnership between the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, 31 trail-maintaining clubs and assorted state and local agencies.

The Appalachian Trail covers approximately 2,180 miles between Springer Mountain in north Georgia and Mount Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine traversing 14 states, 8 national forests, 6 national parks and numerous state forests.  Elevations ranging from 6,644 feet atop Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to 124 feet at the Bear Mountain Bridge across New York's Hudson River.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy estimates that 2-3 million people hike the Trail each year, with 1800-2000 attempting a “thru-hike”. 1 in 4 who attempt a thru-hike successfully completes the journey.  The A.T. has hundreds of access points and is within a few hours drive of millions of Americans, making it a popular destination for day-hikers. Mapping and GIS data is available from the Conservancy with online links.

A.T. at Max Patch near Hot Springs
The Appalachian Trail travels along 300 miles of beautiful North Carolina mountains. Well known by the locals as offering some of the most dramatic views, here are some top hikes to get you back in touch with mother nature. Roan Mountain: Known for it's expansive grassy balds and flowering rhododendrons this area of the AT offers gorgeous panoramic views. Visit the Roan Mountain recreation area to find restrooms, picnic tables and a paved half-mile trail. Or park at Carver's Gap for a longer seven-mile hike. Clingman’s Dome: At 6,643 feet, this is the highest point along the AT. From here you can hike on a number of different trails that provide stunning mountain vistas. Max Patch: Located near Hot Springs, Max Patch offers 360 degree views atop 350 acres of open grassy field. The AT passes right through the middle and is a popular place especially during leaf season.

Learn more about the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina on the NC Parks Guide.

Lake Lure Endless Summer Continues with Dirty Dancing Festival

August 17-18  Dirty Dancing Festival   A dance and music festival for all ages celebrating the classic American movie filmed in Lake Lure, NC. Fans can relive their favorite "Dirty Dancing" moments with a film screening, live music, dance performances and lessons, special guests, games and more. Fans from more than 24 states and two foreign countries have attended previous festivals.
The 3rd annual Dirty Dancing Festival is is an all-day affair with live bands and dance performances, a beer and wine garden, a kidz zone, a dance lessons tent, food and craft vendors and, of course, the infamous Lake Lift competition! With admission all games and lessons are free, and you can come and go throughout the day with your admission wristband!

On Friday there will be a FREE screening of the movie Dirty Dancing
. Bring a picnic dinner, some blankets and chairs and cuddle up to watch Dirty Dancing alongside the famous Lake Lure.  There will be food and beverages for sale onsite - please do not bring alcohol. This event is FREE but donations are appreciated. Come around 7:00 PM to park and find a spot for the movie which will start around 8:30 PM.

The Festival is held in Morse Park Meadows from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PMAdmission: Adults, $20 at the door OR $15 in advance online. Children: $8 at the door OR $5 in advance online

Get a link for the Dirty Dancing Festival and other Lake Lure events and attractions on the Lake Lure NC Visitor Festival

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Marvelous Wonderettes perform at the Flat Rock Playhouse's Hendersonville Theatre

August 16- September 9:   Flat Rock Playhouse presents "The Marvelous Wonderettes"  A new musical celebrating the greatest hits of the 50's and 60's. The 1958 Springfield High School prom is where we meet the Wonderettes - Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy – four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts and voices to match. As we learn about their lives and loves, we are treated to the girls performing beautifully arranged renditions of classic ‘50s songs.

Later in the show we visit their ten-year reunion where they perform high-octane, soulful renditions of classic ‘60s tunes. We see how their friendships have changed and endured in this captivating new show fresh off its New York run. Evenings Wed-Sat 8:00PM, Matinees Wed, Thurs, Sat & Sun 2:00PM

The Marvelous Wonderettes is presented at the Playhouse Downtown, a venue for the Flat Rock Playhouse with live performances of staged productions and music revues. The Playhouse is located at 125 South Main Street in historic downtown Hendersonville NC. Get a link for the Wonderettes and other Flat Rock Playhouse performances on the Hendersonville NC Visitor Guide.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Blue Ridge Music Center hosts Blues Masters

August 18 -  Blues masters will converge at the Blue Ridge Music Center and explore the blues of the Piedmont, the mountains and beyond at the Country Blues & Songsters concert. Performers include three top bluesmen: Dom Flemmons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, 84-year-old blues songster Boo Hanks of Virgilina, VA, and North Carolina ace guitarist/singer Lightnin' Wells. There will also be a pre-concert performance talk called, "Talkin' About the Blues," led by folklorist, Gregg Kimball.

 Boo Hanks grew up sharecropping tobacco in Vance County, N.C. His father played blues guitar in the style of Blind Boy Fuller and would entertain those in his small community at local events and all-night tobacco curings. Boo Hanks grew up hearing this music and listened to blues records. He bought his first guitar from Sears-Roebuck for $2 and entertained his local community much like his dad did. In recent years, Boo has gained national recognition and started performing further afield from his home. Boo released a new album this June with Dom Flemons called "Buffalo Junction," named after Boo's hometown. Tim Duffy, Music Maker founder, says, "Boo Hanks is the last remaining beacon of pure Piedmont blues."

Dom Flemons is a grammy award winning artist who has played all over the country with his band the Carolina Chocolate Drops. On stage, Dom, rolls from one instrument to another, (guitar, harmonica, banjo, bones), with a fearless attitude toward tradition and repertoire. He is also a great singer and a deep well of information on all aspects of the tradition of black stringband music in America.

Lightnin' Wells breathes new life into the vintage tunes of the 1920s and depression era America and has been performing for over thirty years at almost every festival, camp and blues venue in the country. He is an avid researcher and accomplished guitar, harmonica, uke and banjo player. With his experience, knowledge and well-honed performance skills, Lightnin' Wells has established himself at the forefront of the traditional blues revival.

The Country Blues & Songsters concert starts at 7pm on Saturday, Aug 18th. Concert seating opens at 5:30pm. Admission $10/ $8 students & seniors. Children 12 and under are free.

A"Talkin' About the Blues" performance-talk will take place in the small theater at 5 PM. Free. Reservations for the talk recommended. As always, there will be free Mid Day Mountain Music in the BRMC breezeway from 12-4pm and the free Roots of American Music museum will be open 9am-8pm on this concert night. Bring lawn chairs and the whole family. Picnics welcome. Smokehouse BBQ available. No pets or alcohol.

For info call (276) 236-5309 x112. Tickets are available at the Galax Visitor Center, Barr's Fiddle Shop, online at and at the gate. The Blue Ridge Music Center is located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The summer-evening concert series occurs every weekend through mid-September in the outdoor amphitheater at the foot of beautiful Fisher Peak. Sponsors for this concert include: NCTA, ArtWorks, NPS, BRPF and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chefs Challenge Semi-finals begin this week in Asheville

August 14  WNC Chef Challenge Semi-finals: Knife and Fork VS L.A.B. (Lexington Avenue Brewery) Chefs battle for the championship and dinner guests will receive six courses (3 from each team) and will participate in scoring the dishes to determine the winner of the Chef Challenge Semifinals. Special wines are selected based on the "Secret" ingredient and are available for purchase along with beers and cocktails. 

August 16   WNC Chef Challenge Semi-finals: Stewart Lyon (Boca), David Ryba (Inn on Biltmore Estate) 

With 10 teams  eliminated in previous competitions, The final 4 teams and competitors are: Returning 2011 Champion Nate Allen (Knife & Fork), Stewart Lyon (Boca), David Ryba (Inn on Biltmore Estate) and Jason Roy (Lexington Avenue Brewery.) The Century Room on the Park, located above Pack’s Tavern on 20 South Spruce Street in Asheville, will serve as host for the dinners on August 14 and 16. Tickets for the Semi-Finals are $49 and include the six plated culinary creations from the chefs, but not  alcohol, tax or gratuities.

Get a link for the WNC Chefs Challenge and other Asheville events on the Asheville NC Visitor Guide.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Wolf Days of Summer" at the WNC Nature Center

Western North Carolina may be deep in the "dog days" of summer,  but  at the WNC Nature Center, it's more like wolf days. Once again, the red wolf pups are making headlines as they and their parents, Phoenix and Mayo, move to the on-exhibit habitat. Their grandfather, Rufus, has moved off-exhibit.

Just like human kids getting ready to go back to school, these pups are in a crucial learning stage of life. They're old enough now that in the wild, they might start play-hunting with small animals or wind-blown leaves, learning the techniques that will someday make them apex predators. They wander a little further from their parents, learning through experience.

As summer draws to a close, make use of these beautiful sunny days for a visit to the WNC Nature Center and some of the most endangered canines in the world.

Adopt a Red Wolf Puppy!  Give the red wolf pups a special welcome by becoming their Wild Parent!  Adoption levels start at $25. 

All adopters will receive an adoption certificate, a special red wolf pup photo, a fact sheet, a Zoobook, and an invitation to the annual Wild Parents Day event at the Nature Center.  Click here to adopt a red wolf today


The Western North Carolina Nature Center
  is a living museum of plants and animals native to the Appalachian region.  Its mission is to increase public awareness and understanding of all aspects of the natural environment of Western North Carolina through hands-on and sensory experiences. The Center is located at 75 Gashes Creek Road in Asheville NC.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain this Weekend

August 11 - 12   35th Annual Sourwood Festival   Great music and lots of fun for all ages fills downtown Black Mountain. Held each year in August, it's a time for good food, good fun and good friends. Music, dancing, arts & crafts, super food, kid's rides and games, face painting and more in a no alcohol environment make it the perfect event for you and your entire family. 
The Sourwood Idol Contest is an amateur singing competition that was added to the festivities in 2005. It opens the annual festival on Friday, August 10, at 7:00 PM.  The contest is free to enter and offers cash prizes
Get more local information on the Black Mountain NC Visitor Guide.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Riders in the Sky, a favorite western quartet, Returns to Tweetsie Railroad

Inline Image SmallFamed Cowboy Quartet Visits Tweetsie  For a true Wild West experience, join America’s favorite cowboys, Riders In The Sky, during their upcoming visit to Tweetsie Railroad. The cowboy quartet will be at the park August 18-19  to perform their Grammy-winning song from the movie Toy Story 2, as well as traditional Western favorites. The spectacular group brings a wide repertoire of music and outrageous comedy to Tweetsie during their daily noon and 3 PM performances.

Get a link for Riders in the Sky at Tweetsie Railroad and other local attractions on the Blowing Rock NC Visitor Guide.

NC Hikes: Off the Beaten Path in Chimney Rock Park

August 11 - Chimney Rock Park  Off the Beaten Path Guided Hike: Big Basswood Adventure Hike up and down a bit of slope, between a few boulders and shrubs and weaving beneath tall trees, hikers will be led into a hidden cove where the state’s largest basswood tree lives. Several other large trees are its neighbors, and wildflowers carpet the forest floor. This is a 2-hour+ moderately-strenuous hike. Meet at the rest rooms in the Meadows at 11AM.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gingerbread House Demonstrations at Asheville's Grove Park Inn

August 11   Gingerbread House Demonstrations at The Grove Park Inn   Get ready for the annual gingerbread house competition with a day of demonstrations designed to position you for success at the popular event. From design skills and scoring to baking secrets and transportation tips, the experts will with recipes, entry forms and other useful information available at the demonstration. There will also be special Gingerbread door prizes for some lucky attendees.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Learn About Hummingbirds at Blue Ridge Parkway Family Night

August 9   Blue Ridge Parkway Family Night    "Hungry, Hungry Hummingbirds" - Ruby-throated hummingbirds are currently in the midst of their annual migration south, and they are hungry! Join Rangers at the Parkway Visitor Center, MP 384, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm on Thursday, August 9, to learn about the feeding habits of these tiny birds, and then make your own hummingbird feeder. The program is free, but each family is asked to bring a small, clean soda bottle. Registration is required. Call 298-5330, ext. 304.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Last Swannanoa Gathering Public Concerts Feature Banjos, Mandolins and Fiddles

During the final week of the 2012 The Swannanoa Gathering there will be 3 public concerts:
Monday, August 6, 2012: Fiddle/Mando & Banjo Concert I:

Featuring Seamus Egan, Winifred Horan, David Surette, Ryan McKasson, Duncan Wickel, Marla Fibish, Tristan & Tashina Clarridge, Caterina Lichtenberg, Radim Zenkl, in concert at Kittredge Theatre at Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, NC. Showtime: 7:30 pm.  General admission tickets: $18, under 12 $9. Box Office: (828) 771-3024.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012: Fiddle/Mando & Banjo Concert II:
Featuring Michael Doucet, Joe Craven, David Holt, Adam Tanner, Kevin Kehrberg, Josh Goforth, Lissa Schneckenburger, Rayna Gellert, Emily Schaad, Ken Perlman, Julia Weatherford, in concert at Kittredge Theatre at Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, NC. Showtime: 7:30 pm.  General admission tickets: $18, under 12 $9. Box Office: (828) 771-3024.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012: Fiddle/Mando & Banjo Concert III:
Featuring Mike Marshall, Tony Trischka, Mike Compton, Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Pete Wernick, Joan Wernick, Jason Anick, Roger Bellow, Don Stiernberg, Jack Lawrence in concert at Kittredge Theatre at Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, NC. Showtime: 7:30 pm.  General admission tickets: $18, under 12 $9. Box Office: (828) 771-3024.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Music on the Rock Series Continues with Simon and Garfunkel

August 7-9    Music on the Rock Series: Homeward Bound - The Songs of Simon and Garfunkel The 10 concert 2012 series produced by The Flat Rock Theatre offers a celebration of music form country to pop to Sinatra.

The Music on the Rocks Series is held at The Playhouse Downtown A venue for the Flat Rock Playhouse with live performances of staged productions and music revues. Located at 125 South Main Street in historic downtown Hendersonville NC.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hop Aboard the Dinosaur Train this Weekend

August 4-5   Dinosaur Train™  This event is based on the popular PBS-Kid television series, created by Jim Henson. This adventure filled train ride is packed full with music, stories, entertainment, and activities. PLUS all children will receive their very own Nature Trackers Club guidebook and membership card. 

Kids will have the opportunity to meet the popular T.rex, Buddy.The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is located in downtown Bryson City NC. Get more information and links for local attractions on the Bryson City NC Visitor Guide.

Friday, August 3, 2012

New York Times Bestselling Author Kay Hooper Visits City Lights Bookstore

August 4, 4 PM at City Lights Bookstore, 3 East Jackson Street in Sylva NC - Rutherford County resident and New York Times Bestselling author, Kay Hooper will visit City Lights Bookstore to read from her new book, Haven. Haven is a breathtaking new thriller of a young woman's homecoming to a town of menacing whispers, bad dreams, and dangerous secrets.

Hooper attended East Rutherford High School before enrolling in Isothermal Community College where she realized quickly that business classes were not her forte. She switched her course of study to literature and history and began indulging her longtime interest in writing. She requested a typewriter for Christmas, and after receiving it began her novel in earnest. This first novel, the Regency romance Lady Thief, was bought by Dell Publishing in 1980, when Hooper was only twenty-two. Since then she has had more than 60 novels published.

Get more local information on the Sylva NC Visitor Guide

Flat Rock Cinema Celebrates 6th Anniversary

Celebrate the Flat Rock Cinema 6th Anniversary with $5 movie tickets and $2.50 Bud Light pints.  From Friday 8-3-12 through Tuesday come see PEOPLE LIKE US at 4:00 PM and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES at 7:00 for just $5.

Doors open 40 minutes before show time. Arriving at least 20 to 30 minutes prior to show time is recommended if you plan to eat  or if you have a group of three or more and want to sit together. The Flat Rock Cinema is located at 2700 Greenville Hwy in Flat Rock NC.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Fresh Preserves" - an Original Play Special Event atThe Folk Art Center

August 3-5  at The Folk Art Center, Milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville NC   Fresh Preserves,  an original play by Tom Godleski,  was the 2009 winner of Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre's Annual Scriptfest Playwright Competition. The work is a wonderful blend of mountain storytelling and songwriting,  a true expression of southern Appalachian culture. Godleski is a native of western North Carolina and well-known for his bluegrass band Buncombe Turnpike.  As a songwriter, Godleski has been inspired by the area's history and by his own family's stories.  In 2008, he produced a CD called Fresh Preserves  based on stories handed down to him from his grandfather, mother and uncle. Writing the play in 2009 completed the process of honoring  those people in his life.  

All the songs from the CD are woven into the production of the play with actors and musicians sharing roles, making the play a multimedia experience for the audience.  Fresh Preserves also features visual art with original paintings by Asheville artist Scott Allred  brought onstage spotlighting characters and scenes.

Show times are: Friday, Aug. 3, 7:30 PM;  Saturday, Aug. 4, 2:30 PM. and 7:30 PM;  Sunday, Aug. 5, 2:30 PM. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students.  Tickets available at the door or call 828-252-9534 to reserve them in advance.

Get more information about The Folk Art Center and other Asheville Attractions on The Asheville NC Visitor Guide

Asheville Galleries Open for Friday Night Art Walk

August 3  Asheville Downtown Gallery Association Art Walk Enjoy the fine art and craft of the Asheville Downtown Gallery Association and see on of the reasons Asheville has been voted #1 small city in the country by the readers of American Style Magazine 2 years running.

25 downtown venues participate with a complete Downtown Gallery Guide and a map available at any participating downtown gallery, the Chamber of Commerce, or Pack Place.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Brevard Music Center Final Weekend for 2012 Season

The Brevard Music Center Festival closes the 2012 season with a full weekend of special programs. On Thursday, August 2 at 7:30 PM and Saturday, August 4 at 2:00 PM the Janiec Opera Company closes its 2012 season with two performances of Puccini’s classic La bohème. One of the most frequently performed operas worldwide, this tale of life, young love, and loss in Paris’s Latin Quarter has become not only a beloved opera, but serves as the basis for the hit Broadway musical Rent.

Friday at 7:30 PM BMC Artistic Director Keith Lockhart leads the Transylvania Symphony Orchestra in a rare performance of the complete incidental music from Grieg’s Peer Gynt. Friday’s concert will be the largest performance of the 2012 season with 300 performers on stage as the TSO is joined by the Brevard Festival Chorus and narrator Ray Dooley.

Saturday at 7:30 PM the powerhouse comedy duo Igudesman & Joo present their over-the-top orchestral show BIG Nightmare Music. Appearing on stages and televisions across Europe, the pair has become a YouTube sensation with their unique blend of Classical technique and comedic presentation. This tour stop in Brevard will be Igudesman & Joo’s only appearance in the Southeastern US this year.

Sunday at 3:00 PM BMC Artistic Director Keith Lockhart will conduct the Brevard Music Center Orchestra in the festival’s Season Finale concert featuring Dzubay’s Shadow Dance, Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, and Berlioz’s spectacular Symphonie fantastique. Soloist on the Grieg will be celebrated pianist André Watts. A world-renowned artist, Watts has played before royalty in Europe and heads of government in nations all over the world throughout his over 45 year long career.