Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Halloween , a contraction of "All Hallows' Eve",  is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints). According to many scholars, it was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain.  Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has Christian roots.


Today's typical and festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Purple Onion Live Music and November Events

November marks the 14th anniversary of the birth of The Purple Onion. If you haven't yet taken advantage of the opportunity to enjoy one of WNC's favorite restaurants, what better time than their anniversary month to stop by and congratulate the owner and her staff while enjoying regionally inspired dishes with an emphasis on Mediterranean and healthful cuisine.  The Purple Onion is located at 16 Main Street in Historic Downtown Saluda NC.

Holiday Wine Tasting  
The Purple Onion will host a wine tasting on Monday, November 12 at 6:30. Taste wines that pair well with many of the foods traditionally served at Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. The price for the tasting will be $40 and includes a taste of seven wines and several hors d'oeuvres and small plates to complement them. For reservations call the Purple Onion at 828-749-1179 - call early as seating is limited.

Monday and Tuesday Nights at the Onion Daylight Savings ends on November 4 for 2012 and the restaurant will begin closing on Monday and Tuesday evenings at 8:00 PM until next April. Go early and take advantage of one of the weekday specials:    Oysters and Pints on Mondays, 25% Off All Wines on Tuesdays

Friday Night Flights
-  While the Monday night wine tastings offer an excellent opportunity to taste new wines and stock up on some of your favorite selections, Monday may not be a convenient evening for out-of-town visitors. . With this in mind, the Purple Onion will be trying out "Friday night flights" of wine during November. Guests may try three different wines for the price of one glass with the option of purchasing your favorites to take home at a reduced price.

Fresh Baked Desserts for Thanksgiving

Take home one of the Onion's delicious cakes or pies for your thanksgiving table. Visit the website for a complete listing of desserts. Order by Monday, November 19th to ensure availability, Pick up is Wednesday from 9 AM - 1 PM.

Purple Onion Live Music Calendar for November:

November 1 - Nikki Talley & Friends  -  high-energy singer/songwriter with a big voice


November 3 - South Carolina Broadcasters - old time music from a trio new to us

November 8 - Michael Reno Harrell - more great songs and stories from a long-time friend

November 10 - Gigi Dover & The Big Love   - she and her band just get better and better

November 15 - Jay Brown  - multi-talented singer/songwriter returns

November 17 - Erin McDermott Band   - "a songwriter to watch" Tim O'Brien

November 22 - THANKSGIVING - NO MUSIC

November 24 - Ragged Orchids  - Americana folk-rock from South Carolina

November 29 - Mare Wakefield  - singer/songwriter from Nashville makes her debut here

Hurricane Sandy leaves Appalachian Snowfall in its Wake

Hurricane Sandy leaves behind seasonally unusual weather with a prediction of significant accumulations of snow expected for the southern Appalachians in North Carolina, all the way down to Asheville. Some 15” of snow may fall at the highest elevations, with 6” expected for Boone coupled with high winds gusting over 60 mph.

As the Hurricane turned Cyclone / storm worked its way up the east coast the mountains of North Carolina were not left unscathed.  High winds took what was left of the fall color in mid and upper elevations with only the lower elevations and foothills areas still showing a few remnants of leaf color.

Snowfall may continue through Wednesday with clearing and sunny skies returning Thursday. Get a link for current  mountain weather and predictions on the NC Mountain News Guide.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Asheville's Compleat Naturalist Announces Holiday Preview Party

November 16, 6:30 - 8:30 PM at the Compleat Naturalist, 2 Brook Street, Historic Biltmore Village in Asheville NC - Open House Holiday Preview Party, a Biodiversity Celebration.

Mark your calendar for a fun, FREE event at Asheville's favorite shop for all things natural.  The celebration is a  thank-you for their 20th year in business, and all their  special customers are invited to a holiday preview party and benefit for Discover Life in America (DLIA). 

The store is stocked with lots of goodies for holiday shopping and gift giving, and there will be special sale prices on selected items for this event only.

There will also be an auction for a beautiful framed DLIA print, and you also can win a chance at a shopping spree at The Compleat Naturalist!  Everyone who makes a donation to DLIA at the party will be entered to win a Gift Certificate equal to the amount of their donation, up to $250!  The more you donate, the more you can win.  Help support this fascinating project that helps us understand the Biodiversity of the Smokies and beyond.

Refreshments will be served, a brief talk about the exciting discoveries of DLIA, and an exhibit of the work of a DLIA artist who is working on illustrations of species found only in the Smokies.

To RSVP, give us a call 828-274-5430, or email info@compleatnaturalist.com .

Learn more about Asheville's Biltmore Village Shops HERE.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Trick or Treat in NC Mountain Cities

Most of the NC mountain cities offer downtown trick or treating of special Halloween events at local city parks.
Here are a few examples for October 31. Get a link for more details on the NC Mountain Events Calendar:

Chimney Rock NC:   5 PM - 7 PM on Main Street in Chimney Rock Village. Annual Trick or Treat Street plus the Scarecrow Contest final voting and winner awards. Traditional, creative and funny scarecrows line the sidewalks, shops fronts and restaurants.

HENDERSONVILLE    Trick-or-Treat Street in Historic Downtown Hendersonville. Halloween costume contest for children and pets and the Monster Mash entertainment.  


WAYNESVILLE    Treats on the Street   Downtown Waynesville merchants will open their doors for trick-or-treaters on Wednesday evening. This is a safe and fun adventure for costumed children and their parents to stroll the streets in search of delicious candy and special treats offered by participating Main Street businesses and the Waynesville Fire and Police Departments.

DILLSBORO
    Halloween Day Celebration    A family-oriented costume parade starts at 6 PM at Town Hall on Front Street. Kids, parents and friends are encouraged to enter the costume contest – there will be prizes for several categories.  Trick or Treat around downtown from 4 - 7 PM. Free movies, music and more. Vote for the spookiest shop. 

BOONE      Boone Boo   Ghosts, ghouls and goblins hit the streets of Downtown Boone for the 12th Annual Downtown Boo!!  The fun begins at 4:00 pm at the Watauga County Library with crafts and activities for the kids. At 4:30 pm there will be a parade to the Jones House Community Center followed by Trick or Treating with the Merchants in Downtown Boone until 6:00 PM.

BRYSON CITY 
   Downtown Trick or Treating   All are welcome to dress up in costume, and safely enjoy getting treats from merchants in Bryson City. Prizes will be awarded for costumes in several age groups. Free event.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Event: Black Mountain's Haunted Historic Homes Walking Tours

October 26-27  Haunted Historic Homes Walking Tours   In conjunction with the Swannanoa Valley Museum, six property owners on and around the Dougherty Heights Historic District will open their homes and host a ghoulish walking tour to share the intriguing histories (and resident ghost stories) associated with each property. Tours will last approximately 1.5 hours and groups of 10-15 will leave every half hour, 6:00pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm, 7:30pm, or 8:00pm. 

Meet your tour guide at the Swannanoa Valley Museum at 223 West State Street in Black Mountain at least 10 minutes before your scheduled departure time. Refreshments will be provided about halfway through the tour and at the end of the tour. House historians and guides will be in costume. Feel free to wear your costume as well.

Learn more about Black Mountain lodging, events and attractions on the Black Mountain NC Visitor Guide.

Transylvania County Halloweenfest in Brevard this Saturday

Date: October 27   Halloweenfest in Transylvania County Now in its 39th year this spooktacular is held in Downtown Brevard, beginning at 10:00AM. Activities include tiny tot pumpkin bowling, cookie decorating, inflatables, costume parade, little spooky hay maze, costume parade, Downtown trick-or-treat, pumpkin patch. Preceding the StreetFest the Annual “Flight of the Vampire” 5/10K Run & Walk begins at 8 AM.

Halloweenfest also hosts, the 17th Annual Old Time Music Competition. Musicians can compete in: Junior Fiddle, Folk Song, Lap Dulcimer, Old Time: Banjo, Fiddle, & String Band, Mandolin, and Guitar. The Old Time String Band Competition takes place in the County Courthouse, beginning at 8:00pm

Learn more about Brevard lodging, events and attractions on the Brevard NC Visitor Guide.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NC Fall Event: Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair

October 26-28   Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair    This event includes 100’s of animals, crafters, workshops and demonstrations. You can see spinning, knitting, weaving, felting and much more in fiber crafting.  Join a workshop class to improve your skills or just enjoy browsing and shopping the beautiful and unique apparel and wearable art at SAFF.


Hours are Friday and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Sunday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Admission is  $3 per person with Youth under 13 yrs. old free.  The Fair is located at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd., Fletcher (Asheville Suburb) in the McGough Arena.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Support your Local Greenways Sunday October 28th!

Wilma Dykeman RiverWay RiverLink photo
RiverLink is working to support greenways along tributaries to the French Broad River, as part of the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan to connect neighborhoods, downtown Asheville and the river to area assets and attractions, from the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC Arboretum, River Arts District, UNC-Asheville, Appalachian and Mountains to Sea Trails, Biltmore Village, and more. 

Currently, RiverLink is supporting greenway efforts through a variety ways, and you too can help support this local greenway initiative through Deeds of Support and local fundraising events.  Currently there are three greenway initiatives: the Broadway Greenway Link,  the Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway and the sustaining support for the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay which helps make all the connections. 
Get more information about Greenway Development HERE.


On Sunday October 28th, RiverLink is co-hosting fundraising events for local greenways:

The Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway (FOHCG) will host the second annual Greenway Gathering at the Altamont Brewing Company from 3:00 - 6:00 PM. The event will launch the FOHCG's membership drive and will include activities for children, guest speakers, and a cycling ride. The family friendly cycling ride through the greenway will leave the brewery at 2:00 and return at 3:00.  Get ride details HERE. In addition to hosting the gathering, the Altamont Brewing Company will recognize the FOHCG as the "non-profit of the month" by donating a portion of beer sales from the event and throughout November to the organization.

FOHCG have partnered with Blue Ridge Bicycling Club, Asheville Greenworks, and RiverLink to support the ongoing maintenance, clean-ups, invasive species removal, and park water quality improvements. RiverLink serves as fiscal agent for the FOHCG, you can purchase deeds of support and Riverlink items through RiverLink's website HERE. 

Broadway Greenway Benefit Party
  - starting at 4 PM, Jo and Kevin Hogan are opening their home at 273 Pearson Drive, Montford to help raise funds for the Broadway Greenway, aka the former Health Adventure site. Sponsors include RiverLink, The Montford Neighborhood Association, the Nine Mile vegetarian-friendly restaurant, ModestoWood Fire Kitchen, the WedgeBrewery, Clayworks and HossHaley.

The Hogans will prepare Spit Roast Turkey as the main course for a wonderful feast. Your ticket will also enter you into a raffle for a Hoss Haley bronze candelabra, a JoshCopus ceramic platter and a silkscreen print by Kevin Hogan. Tickets are $20 per person and additional raffle tickets may be purchased at $10 each. You do not have to be present to win. Call 254-4055 or e-mail scouser415@aol.com for tickets. Make checks out to the Montford Neighborhood Association and mail to 273 Pearson Dr. Asheville NC 28801, by October 21. If you wish to pay by credit card contact RiverLink at www.riverlink.org or information@riverlink.org and note that this is for the Hogan House Party Benefit.

Halloween Event: Haunted Indian Village in Cherokee

October 26-31   Haunted Indian Village  Zombies, ghosts and goblins visit Cherokee's Indian Village. Evenings beginning at 7 PM, and guests are invited - if they dare - to walk the haunted trail. After a thrilling exploration of the mysteries and tricks that await you on the trail, the survivors will be treated to Cherokee storytellers sharing actually Cherokee legends as everyone gathers around the bonfire.

Oconaluftee Indian Village The wood smoke drifting on the breeze isn't like any you've smelled before. It's not the pure tang of hardwood burned for heat. Nor is it the aroma of a cooking fire, fragrant with baking bread or bubbling broth or roasting meat. There's something earthy about this fire, because it's smoldering pitch pine, firing local Cherokee clay into gleaming blackware pottery. Then again, all the sights, sounds, and scents surrounding you today are novel. In the Oconaluftee Indian Village, it's 1750.


Get a link for the Haunted Indian Village, the Oconaluftee Indian Village and other Cherokee events and attractions on the Cherokee NC Visitor Guide.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chimney Rock Park Offers Photography Workshop

October 27-28   Shutterbugs Photography Workshop  Vibrant fall leaf colors, 75-mile views and a 404-foot waterfall are waiting to be captured with your camera at Chimney Rock. Jeff Miller, an award-winning photographer published in regional, state and national publications with work exhibited throughout NC, leads both of these one-day, comprehensive workshops tailored to individual levels of experience.

Thoroughly learn the basics
on day 1 or explore more advanced concepts on day 2—or join us for both to make large strides in your photography skills! Learn or refine your techniques to best shoot scenes from wide-angle to telephoto, including traditional flower portraits, intimate landscapes and vistas. Registration fees include all instruction, an Annual Pass and lunch for one or both days.

Monday, October 22, 2012

NC Fall Color Leaf Report for the Week of 10-21-12

Looking for the 2014 NC Fall Color Leaf Report? CLICK HERE

October 21, 2012 - The High Country is still full of fall color with an increase in the intensity of  the brilliant reds from the red maples and oaks, contrasting against the bright yellows of late turning sugar maples. This combination brought out the colors all along the eastern flank of the mountains, from Ashe County down to Linville Falls.

With predicted sunny and calm for the upcoming week these bright color will probably continue through the coming weekend. The best color viewing is either early in the morning when the sun is at a low angle, or just before dusk, for the same reason. Those are also the best times to take photos of the leaves. There is good color all the way down into the foothills and even as far as Wilkesboro and beyond, but the intensity of colors is much better closer to the mountains at elevations between 1,500' and 3,000'.

Many trees above 3,000' have lost leaves, especially the tulip poplars and some of the early turning maples and birches, but enough trees remain with leaves to make a trip to the higher elevations worthwhile. You will especially like the views off the Parkway of the leaves at lower elevations, where the colors are reaching their peak now.
Farther south and west colors are good from Maggie Valley and Waynesville, on into the Smokies. In Highlands many places are now at their peak. Karen Kandl, Associate Director of the Highlands Biological Station, writes that between Cullowhee and Cashiers and over to Highlands "many of the small oaks along the road are deep dark reds. Tulip poplars and beeches are yellow. Sassafras is yellow, orange and red. When the sun hits these leaves in the early morning, it is absolutely beautiful." This past weekend was good, and colors should hold to the coming weekend also.


Chimney Rock Park reports that in the past couple days some nice yellows and oranges have appeared on the tops of mountain peaks around Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. Bright, colorful foliage is visible along major driving routes, offering a stunning drive to Chimney Rock. The poplars are a vibrant gold now and the sourwoods, dogwoods and sassafras have turned red in the Park.  Although there is still a lot of green, Chimney Rock's fall colors should continue to brighten dramatically over the next couple weeks.


Pilot Mountain State Park is coloring up nicely now and according to the rangers, will peak this week and the coming weekend. From now until early November, if you go up there on a weekend, note that parking could be tight, so either go early, or be prepared to wait for a space.

This Leaf Color information is provided by Howie Neufeld, Ph.D., Professor of Plant Physiology at Appalachian State University in Boone NC. Dr. Neufeld writes a first-hand Leaf Report throughout the NC fall color season, as well as a Facebook Page, Fall Color Guy

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Last Weekend for the Halloween Ghost Train at Tweetsie Railroad

September 28 - October 27  Tweetsie Railroad Ghost Train  finishes its 23rd spooktacular season this weekend.  Tweetsie Railroad's Ghost Train® Halloween Festival is the High Country's most popular Halloween celebration takes place every Friday and Saturday night through October 27.

Enjoy a variety of special  frighteningly fun activities and spooktacular experiences including the Boneyard, 3-D maze, Black Hole, a stroll through the Freaky Forest and the spine-chilling Haunted House

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chimney Rock Park Homeschool Day

October 24   Fall Homeschool Day  at Chimney Rock Park is the favorite Homeschool event of the year and includes education specialists for fun, interactive programs in a 1000-acre outdoor classroom where learning comes alive. The entire family will enjoy the events and programs.

Arrive by 9:30 AM for the 10 AM-12:15 PM programs, which include Skins, Skulls, Tracks and Traces; Basically Bat; and Radical Raptors. 
There are plenty of areas where you can plan to picnic directly after programs conclude. Participants may also  leave for lunch and return to explore the Park in the afternoon - jjust check back in with the Ticket Plaza staff. 

This year free guided hikes are offered to folks who attend the morning programs. Be sure to sign up for the hikes during registration. Hikes will begin at 2 PM. The hikes will take place on the moderate Hickory Nut Falls trail.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall Art and Crafts Festival and Events this weekend in the NC Mountains

Date: October 18-21
NC City: ASHEVILLE
Event: Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
This 65th annual event includes over 200 exhibitors, craft demonstrations, and live regional music and entertainment. Both levels of the Civic Center are filled with artisans selling their works of clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, mixed media, natural materials, paper, wood and jewelry. The Fair showcases the work of members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and includes craft demonstrations and, beginning on Friday, local musicians performing traditional and bluegrass mountain music live on the arena stage.


Date: October 18-21
NC City: BLACK MOUNTAIN
Event: Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF)
Camp Rockmont hosts a weekend of art, music, and outdoor fun. The annual event offers music and art shows, Kids Village, healing workshops, and lots of food and local beer. Enjoy dancing (Contra, Salsa, Swing, Waltz), poetry & puppetry slams, folk art & craft exhibitions, outdoor adventure, and the LEAFlet Kid’s Village, a festival in and of itself, LEAF never ceases to offer new and exciting cultural connections. Tickets start at $25


Date: October 19
NC City: FLAT ROCK
Event:
Fall Harvest of Quilts A Quilt Show featuring more than 150 quilts. There will be award-winning quilts, a raffle quilt, vendors, and a quilters shoppe. The events is held at the Blue Ridge Community College Conference Hall.



Date: October 19-20
NC City: FRANKLIN
Event:
20th Annual Smoky Mountain Fall Art and Craft Fest 100 of the most unique, skilled artisans in Western North Carolina. Enjoy great good and the opportunity to win100 free hand-crafted door prizes. There will also be alpacas and an animal rescue petting zoo. Also held on Oct 25-26.


October 19-20
NC City: ROBBINSVILLE
Event:
Annual Harvest Festival Mountain traditions come alive at the annual Harvest Festival in beautiful Stecoah Valley at the Cultural Arts Center on the grounds of the historic Stecoah School. The former community school was built in 1926, and today is the home of the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, an organization dedicated to preserving Southern Appalachian mountain culture. Tickets for evening concert are on sale now. Admission-adults $15.00 Students k-12 $5.00 Performing this year will be the Dismembered Tennesseans.



Date: October 19-20
NC City: HENDERSONVILLE
Event:
Henderson County Crafters Association Craft Show The Henderson County Crafters Association will host a juried arts & craft show at the Blue Ridge Mall. The show features a wide variety of crafts and art forms. Henderson County Crafters Association. Fri and Sat 10 AM-9 PM.


Date: October 20
NC City: WAYNESVILLE
Event:
Apple Harvest Festival Savor the sights, sounds and food sensations of the 24th Annual Celebration of the Apple Harvest in Haywood County. Downtown Waynesville's Main Street is lined with Arts, Crafts and Food booths, complete with authentic mountain music and dance to delight you on a crisp fall day.
October 20
NC City: BRYSON CITY
Event:
22nd Annual Chili Cookoff The Bryson City Chamber Chili Cook Off is in its 22nd year and is a favorite of both locals and visitors alike. This festival environment includes craft booths, live music and family fun. From 11 AM - 3 PM sample chili from some of the best cooks in the area and enjoy local musicians, arts and crafts. Cast your vote for the People's Choice Award.
Date: October 20
NC City: ASHEVILLE
Event: Art in the Park
Artisans working in Glass, Ceramics, Wood, Jewelry, and metal show and sell in a public market setting in the center of Asheville in Pack Square Park. The event takes place on three consecutive Saturdays each June and October. Nationally known artists exhibit at this event and the best part is- they are local. 10% of the proceeds from the event will be donated to a local art non-profit organization.

Date: October 20
NC City: BLOWING ROCK
Event: Art in the Park
A juried arts & craft show featuring 90 artists held in the picturesque downtown park once a month from May to October. Some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography, painting and more. Prices for objects, from a handmade postcard to a large piece of furniture, range from $5 to $5,000. The event takes place on three consecutive Saturdays each June and October. Nationally known artists exhibit at this event and the best part is- they are local.


Date: October 20
NC City: BANNER ELK
Event:
Wooly Worm Festival The 35th Annual Festival includes the infamous worm races along with live entertainment, arts and crafts, food vendors and amusement rides. A family-oriented weekend and one of the most popular NC mountain annual events.
Date: October 20
NC City: BANNER ELK
Event:
Valle Country Fair The Fair is an overgrown church bazaar set in the center of one of the most picturesque valleys in the North Carolina Mountains at the peak of the fall color season. The tents of 150 juried craft exhibitors line wide lanes that meander back and forth across the grounds. Local mountain musicians perform throughout the day on the main stage while square dancers and cloggers entertain on the youth stage. The church members serve up Brunswick stew, barbecue, baked goods, homemade jams and jellies, fresh-pressed apple cider, and hot-out-of-the kettle apple butter - with 100 percent of the proceeds going to charity. Come enjoy the best of harvest season food and entertainment while shopping for the finest variety of quality handmade crafts in the High Country.
Date: October 20
NC City: WAYNESVILLE
Event: Apple Harvest Festival
Savor the sights, sounds and food sensations of the 24th Annual Celebration of the Apple Harvest in Haywood County. Downtown Waynesville's Main Street is lined with Arts, Crafts and Food booths, complete with authentic mountain music and dance to delight you on a crisp fall day.

Date: October 20 - 21
NC City: MAGGIE VALLEY
Event: Maggie Valley Annual Fall Arts and Crafts Show An annual seasonal show always popular with
the leaf peepers. Crafters from all over the southeast gather at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds to sell their unique wares. A wide selection of seasonal items, yard art, woodwork, paintings and much more. Chainsaw art demonstrations, raffle to benefit local charity and a variety of food.
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NC Fall Color Leaf Report for the week of 10/14/12

October 14, 2012 -  This was the peak fall color weekend for the Blowing Rock to Grandfather Mountain region, and fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway was brilliant and awe inspiring. The leaf color will last through this week to the upcoming weekend. If you are planning to come up this week or next weekend, there should still be plenty of color in  the High Country, even though it may be slightly past peak.  There are still many green trees starting to turn, so colors should persist for a while. Oaks are just now starting to turn, and they bring nice deep rust red colors to the landscape.

A weekend drive from Boone all the way down to Asheville revealed plenty of green there which will turn in the next 10 days, and Asheville is not yet at peak. Proceeding north on the Parkway from Asheville, colors become more vibrant as elevation increases, peaking around 4,000'. Craggy Gardens offers some great views and easy hiking, but note that at this elevation (over 5,700') the colors are past their peak. But with the colors coming out in lower locations, the views from there are tremendous, and  the drive up to this spot is highly recommended.

The photo at the left was taken by the "Fall Leaf"Guy", Dr. Howie Neufeld at the Chestoa View Overlook at Milepost 320 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. See more of Dr Neufeld's photos at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fall-Color-Guy/222437294470967

The Brevard/Pisgah Forest area, including the Cradle of Forestry, are at peak color now.  Recent winds  took some leaves down, but Pisgah Forest Rangers report the rate the colors about a 7 out of 10 right now, making  this week and next weekend the best for maximum color in this area.

The Leaf Color information above is provided by Howie Neufeld, Ph.D., Professor of Plant Physiology at Appalachian State University in Boone NC. Dr. Neufeld writes a first-hand Leaf Report throughout the NC fall color season, as well as a Facebook Page, Fall Color Guy.  

photo courtesy Chimney Rock Park

October 17 - Chimney Rock: Just in the past couple days some nice yellows and oranges have appeared on the tops of mountain peaks around Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. Bright, colorful foliage is visible along major driving routes, offering a stunning drive to Chimney Rock.

The poplars are a vibrant gold now and the sourwoods, dogwoods and sassafras have turned red in the Park. Leaves around the bottom of the 404-foot waterfall are displaying beautiful yellows, with a few magnolias turning their chocolate brown. The buckeyes, birch, beech and walnut trees should continue to show more color over the next week. Several fall wildflowers are still in bloom, including goldenrod, turtlehead, snakeroot and a variety of asters. While autumn foliage looks good at the highest elevations, there is still  a fair amount of green in the area. The sunny days and cool nights forecast for the next 10 days indicate Chimney Rock’s fall color should continue to brighten dramatically over the next couple weeks. Read more at http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/new.php#N284.

photo by Darlene Leach
October 17, 2012  - Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Color is at peak now in many middle elevations areas in the park. At lower elevation, color is developing rapidly but it is still a bit of a patchwork; some areas are at peak, while in other areas up to half of the trees are still green.

High elevation areas are now past peak.
  Fall wildflowers continue to bloom along park roadways. Look for goldenrod, asters, snakeweed, and jewelweed.

The photo at the left was taken by Darlene Leach of the Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains Nations Park.

Get links for NC leaf Reports on all areas in the mountains on the NC Mountain News Guide. 




Stories of Mountain Folk for 10/13/12

October 13,  2012 -  Stories of Mountain Folk is produced by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia
Storytelling:  This week Amy shares her memories of the song "Wildwood Flower."  Music: "Wildwood Flower" by Ron Smith from Sylva, and the Queen Family from John's Creek.
 
Creative Corner:  Doreyl's guest is Mary Hartbarger of the Jarrett House in Dillsboro. They talk about the history of this wonderful inn.  Music: “The Jarrett House Blues”by Mark Winchester
 
Stories of Mountain Folk:  Amy's guest is 90 year old Lloyd Cowan, who talks about his life in Jackson County. Music:  "Holding Up the Ladder" by the Inspirations
 
Black Roots of Appalachia:  Victoria's guest is 90 year old Louise Rogers Allen, who also talks about growing up in Jackson County.  Music: "Rock My Soul" by Golden Gate Quartet.
 
Down Another Road:  Judy's guest is T.J. Holland, who shares the roots of the Qualla Boundary.  Music: ”Cherokee” by Native American Nature.
 
Closing song:  "Lonesome John" by Dirk Powell)

Listen to the Podcast HERE

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NC Fall Leaf Color Event: Annual Harvest Festival

October 19-20   Annual Harvest Festival    Mountain traditions come alive at the annual Harvest Festival in beautiful Stecoah Valley at the Cultural Arts Center on the grounds of the historic Stecoah School.

The former community school was built in 1926, and today is the home of the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, an organization dedicated to preserving Southern Appalachian mountain culture. Tickets for evening concert are on sale now. Admission-adults $15.00 Students k-12 $5.00 Performing this year will be the Dismembered Tennesseans.

Learn more about local events and attractions on the Robbinsville NC Visitor Guide.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Zombies invade Asheville for a Pub Crawl

October 14    Zombie Pub Crawl   Beginning at 7 PM at ZaPow Gallery and continuing on to various bars around downtown Asheville.  The evening starts out with a Pre-Party courtesy of the amazing people at ZaPow from 7pm to 9pm. This party is all ages. 


The Zombie Pub crawl also, of course,  involves beer - FREE beer. If you are considering bringing the kids, just keep in mind that there will be drinking, and that it's also in an art gallery, so be sure you can be responsible and respectful with the space ZaPow has generously donated.  There will also be face painting, palm reading, live music, art viewing, zombie makeup, a raffle, and as much fun as possible..


Get a link for the Zombie Pub Crawl and other Asheville events and attractions on the Asheville NC Visitor Guide.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Brushy Mountain Winery Sold

The owners of the Brushy Mountain Winery, Matthew, Ann, Richard & Ted Mayberry,  are pleased to announce  the sale of the Winery to Andy Duncan and his daughter, Beth Duncan.

To mark the event there will be a celebration on October 13 from noon to 6 PM in appreciate the  Winery's 6th year of operation and introduce the Duncans. The Brushy Mountain Winery is located at 125 West Main Street in Elkin NC . Read more about the history of the Winery HERE.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Last minute Boone area Cabin available week nights

Fall leaf color is peaking this week - there's still time to enjoy the beauty of the mountains.

Enjoy the long range mountain views
- 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps 6. Open and covered decks with hot tub and gas grill, fireplace, WIFI. Community amenities including horseback riding, hiking trails and fishing. $207 - $257 night, $1242 - $1542 week.   See cabin photos, details and rental available

Find more cabins and vacation rentals available for October leaf season HERE

Boone Heritage Festival this weekend

October 13   Boone Heritage Festival   Celebrate Appalachian heritage and Daniel Boone's legacy with 18th century living history demonstrations, craft and food vendors, music jam sessions (bring your instrument and play along), a liar's bench, children's make-and-take crafts, and live music and storytelling by some of the region's best in old-time traditions.

The Festival takes place at the 35-acre Daniel Boone Park, home of Hickory Ridge Living History Museum and "Horn in the West" as well as the Jaycees Park playground, Daniel Boone Native Gardens and Watauga County Farmers' Market.

Get a link for the Boone Heritage Festival and other local events and attractions on the Boone NC Visitor Guide.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Leaf Season Cabin Special

Save $50 - $75 per night in October. Scenic Wolf Resort cabin rentals still have availability to enjoy the fall leaf season color. Choose from a variety of rentals with only a 2 night minimum stay. Cabin features include mountain view decks, fireplaces, hot tubs, WIFI and more.

Resort amenities include long range mountain views and an  indoor pool open April-October. Scenic Wolf Resort is located in Mars Hill NC, about 30 miles north of Asheville.   CLICK HERE to get more details

Fall Leaf Season Event: Art and Crafts during American Craft Week

The changing leafs aren't  the only surge of color in the mountains this month. Art and crafts events abound throughout Western North Carolina in October and in conjunction with American crafts week. Visitors have a great opportunity to see and purchase the remarkable works of mountain artisans.

October 12 - November 15    WEST JEFFERSON
Event: Best of the Blue Ridge
Annual juried exhibit including artists from six counties. The exhibit is held at the Ashe Arts Center.   The opening reception for the exhibit will be Friday, October 12 from 5-8 pm during Gallery Crawl. Awards for the show are provided by corporate sponsor Cheap Joe's Art Stuff. A People's Choice award will be added this year. Visitors to the exhibit will have an opportunity to vote on their favorite piece of art.  Get a link and details on the West Jefferson NC Visitor Guide

October 12    WEST JEFFERSON
Event:
West Jefferson Gallery Crawl Stroll the streets of an historic mountain town, enjoy the cool mountain breeze while listening to the sounds of street musicians and "popping" in and out of West Jefferson's many galleries. Open House in more than 15 art galleries and studios. Get a link and details on the West Jefferson NC Visitor Guide

October 13   ASHEVILLE
Event: River Arts District Second Saturday
Asheville’s River Arts District Artists open their studios for a day of family friendly fun, educational experiences, live demonstrations and to share their creations. Visit dozens of artists working in all types of media, available for viewing or purchase.  Get a link and details on the Asheville NC Visitor Guide

October 13   BLOWING ROCK
Event: Art in the Park
A juried arts & craft show featuring 90 artists held in the picturesque downtown park once a month from May to October. Some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography, painting and more. Prices for objects, from a handmade postcard to a large piece of furniture, range from $5 to $5,000. The event takes place on three consecutive Saturdays each June and October. Nationally known artists exhibit at this event and the best part is- they are local.  Get a link and details on the Blowing Rock NC Visitor Guide


October 13   GLENDALE (near West Jefferson)
Event: Festival of the Frescoes
Holy Trinity Church in Glendale is home to the famous "Last Supper" fresco while St. Mary's Church in West Jefferson is home to the famous "Mary Great with Child," "The Mystery of Faith" and "John the Baptist" frescoes. This festival has everything one could look for... live music, artisans, craftsmen, homemade baked goods and so much more.  Get a link and details on the West Jefferson NC Visitor Guide

October 13    MURPHY
Event: 11th Annual Heritage Walk and Festival
Enjoy a step back in time with this celebration of Cherokee County. Enjoy all-day historic walking tours and a heritage festival celebrating area artists, crafters, growers, food, live state entertainment and more. All events are free and open to the public.  Get a link and details on the Murphy NC Visitor Guide

October 13     HENDERSONVILLE
Event: 5th Annual 7th Avenue Bazaar at the Historic Depot Plaza
A street festival with a variety of art and crafts, music, food and more; 10:00 AM-5:00 PM in downtown Hendersonville NC.  Get a link and details on the Hendersonville NC Visitor Guide

October 13    WAYNESVILLE
Event: 29th Annual Church Street Art and Craft Show
Main Street is transformed into an art and craft market place for this one day event. Now in its 29th year, the show is widely known as one of the finest juried art shows in the region. You will discover a variety of art and crafts including pottery, jewelry, woodworking, watercolors, photography, fiber art, candles, quilts, and more. Live entertainment includes traditional mountain music, clogging, and Scottish pipes. Downtown shops and restaurants are open along with festival food vendors on the street.  Get a link and details on the Waynesville NC Visitor Guide

October 13    TRYON
Event: 38th Annual Kiln Opening Festival 11 AM -
Come to the studios of Claude Graves at Little Mountain Pottery for the 38th annual Holiday open house. Join the regulars who come year after year to be delighted at this annual tradition when Claude reveals a new batch of his fine pottery. Little Mountain’s Holiday Kiln openings are festival style with activities all day long, great food and music, plus demonstrations by Guest Craftsmen.  Get a link and details on the Tryon NC Visitor Guide


October 13    HENDERSONVILLE
Event: Historic 7th Avenue Bazaar
features music, antiques, crafts and food. The Bazaar is located at the Historic Train Depot on Maple Street off 7th Avenue. The Apple Valley Model Railroad Club's HO scale railroad layout will be open in the Depot. The layout extends 100 feet along the length of the Depot and has over 2,000 feet of track and more than 250 switches and turnouts.  Get a link and details on the Hendersonville NC Visitor Guide


October 13-14    TRYON
Event: 5th Annual Tryon Arts and Crafts Fall Festival
Celebrate the artists of the region at an annual event better than ever in 2012. Explore and enjoy juried arts and crafts, craft demonstrations, silent auction, food vendors and a children's craft corner. The festival is free and open to the public. Saturday, 10/13 10am-5pm, Sunday, 10/14 11am-5pm.  
Get a link and details on the Tryon NC Visitor Guide

Monday, October 8, 2012

NC Fall Leaf Color in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park


New Found Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
October 2, 2012:   Fall colors are nearing peak at high elevations in the park. Some trees are still green, but yellow and golds are becoming predominant along roadways above 4,000 feet elevation. Newfound Gap Road near the crest of the mountains and Clingmans Road are particularly nice at this week. At lower elevations, early trees are turning now, but these are scattered patches of color with the majority of trees at low elevation are still green. Dogwood, black gum, sourwood, sumac and Virginia Creeper are among the species showing red color at lower elevations now.
Fall wildflowers are blooming in abundance along park roadways. Look for goldenrod, asters, snakeweed, and jewelweed.
View more  images of the park this week or check the Park webcams to see how fall colors are developing:
Look Rock - located at mid elevation on the western end of the park
Purchase Knob - located at high elevation on the eastern end of the park

NC Fall Leaf Color: Report for 10/7/12

October 7 -  Saturday was beautiful with lots of fall colors in the High Country,  Sunday turned cloudy, rainy and cool. Monday is predicted to be partially dreary also, but the weather reports look very promising for a sunny end to the week and cool, clear days on the weekend  from the Smokies to the Virginia border.

fall color in Cashiers
The colors in the Highlands/Cashiers and Boone areas should be  peaking by mid-week, with the intense colors continuing through the weekend. So, for the higher elevations, the upcoming week and weekend should offer a terrific display of colors.
The birches have really come on this past week, providing a yellow highlight to the forests and the tulip poplars are starting to yellow up also, but usually lag behind the birches. Beeches have also started yellowing, but they soon turn to brown, as do the magnolias and chestnut sprouts. Sugar Maples continue their progression toward orange and yellow, turning first on the outside of the crown, with the colors then working their way inward with time. 

Red maples, red oaks, sourwoods, dogwoods, Virginia Creeper and blueberries are all giving the forests the red accents which add the dimension  for a great fall color season. If the maples and oaks do well this year, there should be an exceptional fall color season. 

Colors have peaked at highest elevations, such as Grandfather Mountain, Mt. Mitchell and Roan Mountain, and the quality looks  good. Around Blowing Rock at Bass and Price Lakes, colors are also very vibrant now, and perhaps among the best along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Craggy Gardens, Mt. Pisgah, and Graveyard Fields are reported to be at their peak color, and should be excellent viewing for the upcoming week. 

Linn Cove Viaduct
The southern end of the Parkway though, has not yet peaked, so a trip to that area would be better for later in the month..  This is the week to take in the foliage at high elevations, so try a scenic drives such as:
- The Cherohala Skyway in Robbinsville is a good bet
- The Blue Ridge Parkway, from Cherokee, past Maggie Valley, and then on to Graveyard Fields at milepost 418
- Craggy Gardens is a favorite spot between Asheville and Little Switzerland
- The Linn Cove Viaduct just north of Grandfather Mountain
-  Doughton Park at milepost 340 should be looking good this week and is a great place for hikes as is Mt. Mitchell State Park.

This Leaf Color information is provided by Howie Neufeld, Ph.D., Professor of Plant Physiology at Appalachian State University in Boone NC. Dr. Neufeld writes a first-hand Leaf Report throughout the NC fall color season, as well as a Facebook Page, Fall Color Guy. Get links for both on the NC Mountain News Guide.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Farm to Fork Supper Benefits Local Polk County Farm Fresh Foods

October 13, 5:30 - 9:30 PM - Farm to Fork Supper and Open House, a benefit for the Mill Spring Agricultural Development Center. The Open House is 5:30 - 6:30 PM with Dinner from 6:30 - 8 PM.  Live entertainment, a Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle follows from 8 - 9:30 PM.

Celebrate an evening of local, farm-fresh food at the 3rd Annual Farm to Fork Dinner. Enjoy artisanal beverages grown and made in and around Polk County. Join local farmers, area chefs, bakers, caterers, winemakers and “foodies” as they prepare a gourmet, buffet style community Feast using local, seasonal ingredients.

Dine by candlelight outdoors under a giant, century old magnolia tree. Listen to live music and shop the Silent Auction.  Relax with friends and neighbors and Support the  Mill Spring Agricultural Center while experiencing a true sense of community and the deep agricultural roots of the area.

Admission for the event is $25 for adults, $15 for children 13 and under.  Purchase tickets ONLINE HERE.

Help even more:  bring your own patterned, cloth napkin and a pint size Ball jar and leave it behind for future events.

The Mill Spring Agricultural Development Center, locally known as the "Ag Center",  is  156 School Rd., Mill Spring, NC. Learn more about Polk County Farms and fresh food events HERE.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Grandfather Mountain offers rare opportunity for after-dark Nature Program

October 6   Creatures of the Night and Bonfire Delight at Grandfather Mountain   Families will enjoy this rare opportunity to visit Grandfather Mountain after dark. Get your Halloween juices flowing while listening to scary stories told by firelight and keep a tight hold on your loved ones' hand as you set off on a rare after-dark tour of the Mountain that includes a nocturnal animal prowl.  Must be age 8 or older. There will be a  cost in addition to regular admission. Reservations required: 828-733-8715.

Friday, October 5, 2012

We're off to see the wizard this weekend with Autumn at OZ

October 6-7  Autumn at OZ   Follow the yellow brick road to the annual Autumn at Oz party. Be sure to dress warm, you never know when a twister will come through. Visitors can tour Dorothy's House, Uncle Henry's Barn, and a mini Oz museum. There will be food, crafters and games, plus chairlift rides up to Oz for those who prefer not to go by shuttle. Enjoy a hayride, the petting zoo, a bonfire and a full weekend of entertainment.

The Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce is proud to present "Autumn at Oz" for 2012, now larger than ever. Travel back in time to 1939 to the enchanted world of the "Oz", high atop
Beech Mountain at the Land of Oz park. This year the 19th annual "Autumn at Oz" Festival is returning with an expanded venue providing visitors with more activities, food, drink, and sights to behold while maintaining the same nostalgic feeling from the Land of Oz.

Theme park entrance times are also expanded for 2012. The purchase of your ticket designates the time that you will be transported to the Land of OZ from the Resort. The park opens at 9:30AM and tickets are available for entrance to the Land of OZ every hour until 5:30PM. The last bus leaves at 4:30PM. Come early and stay late, enjoy the shows and entertainment at the Resort prior to and after leaving the Land of OZ. Purchase tickets online.

Get more local information on the Beech Mountain NC Visitor Guide.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

NC Corn Maze: Taylor Ranch Pink Corn Maze bebefits cancer care

October 5-28  Taylor RanchFest and Pink Cornmaze   to partner with Mission Hospital and raise funds for local cancer care. Every weekend in October family, fundraising and fall themed fun come together for North Carolina's first ever 6-acre Pink Cornmaze/ The maze is open until dusk with the Haunted Mountain Trail opening as night falls.

Additional activities include an old fashioned game field with corn jumps, sack races, a kids maze, music by the lake, games, food and themed weekends. There will also be a wide range of entertainment combining "green" education, outdoor recreation, farm conservation and down home fun.

 
The first corn maze grown with ‘pink’ corn, which represents the ‘pink ribbon’ of Breast Cancer Research, is actually Indian corn developed in the American South West mixed with regional varieties to ensure health and height. Created by Billy Taylor, the maze stands on a 6-acre plot adjacent to Cane Creek Rd.  Open daytime, evenings by flashlight (bring one or buy one) ‘til 10 p.m.-Admission for RanchFest and Corn Maze: $12 at the gate, $10 on the web in advance, kids (10 & under) $8 at the gate, $6 on the web, kids two and under free.

The Taylor Ranch is located at 1005 Cane Creek Road in Fletcher NC, a suburb of Asheville. Get a link for more information about the Pink Corn Maze on the Asheville NC Visitor Guide.