Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fireworks Display Returns to Downtown Sylva NC

After a seven year hiatus the 4th of July fireworks display will again light up the skies over downtown Sylva NC.

Sylva's  4th of July Events  will include a fireworks display released from Sunrise Park and visible throughout downtown Sylva along with two FREE concerts at Bridge Park. 

From 4 PM to 6 PM hear bluegrass/country/folk/Americana music by Darren Nicholson with special guest David Holt and Friends.  Soul/funk/rhythm and blues band, The Business, will perform from 6:30-9:30 PM.   

Local microbrewery Heinzelmannchen Brewery will be open normal hours 11 AM - 9 PM for Pints, Flights, Floats and Fills. There will also be children’s activities and family friendly food and drinks available. The Fireworks begin at dark. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

This Week at the Brevard Music Center Festival

July 1, 2015    Brevard Music Center Performance: Student Piano Recital. 12:30 PM - a FREE event. 

July 1, 2015    Brevard Music Center Performance:   Bill Preucil and Friends. 7:30 PM  DVOŘÁK Terzetto in C major for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 74 ; MOSZKOWSKI Suite for Two Violins and Piano, Op. 71; MENDELSSOHN Octet in E flat major, Op. 20  

July 3, 2015  Brevard Music Center Performance:  Program of Song.  Brevard Music Center presents their talented high school voice students in recital.  This is a FREE event.  

July 3, 2015   Brevard Music Center Performance:  6:30 PM Pre-concert Talk;  7:30 PM Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Arnaud Sussmann, violin. SALONEN Helix; TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35; NIELSEN Symphony No. 4, Op. 29, "The Inextinguishable"  

July 4, 2015   Brevard Music Center Performance: Pendergrast Family Patriotic Pops. 2 PM. A beloved Brevard tradition, Maestro Kraig Alan Williams will lead the Brevard Symphonic Winds in marches, patriotic songs, and other favorites. The concert's exciting finale will be a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, complete with live cannons. Tickets from $15 - $45.  

July 5, 2015    Brevard Music Center Performances:  Sleeping Beauty.  2 PM pre-performance talk, 3 PM Concert begins. Ken Lam, conductor Xavier Foley, double bass.  BACH/SCHOENBERG Prelude & Fugue in E flat, BMV 552; ROTA Divertimento Concertante; SMETANA The Moldau; TCHAIKOVSKY Suite from Sleeping Beauty. Tickets $15 - $45.  

The Brevard Music Center Festival is held each summer with more than 400 students, ages 14 through post-college, joining professional musicians to eat, breathe and sleep music for seven weeks. In addition to a rigorous schedule of instruction, students collaborate with faculty and guest artists in more than eighty public performances.  The Center is located on a 180 acre campus at 400 North Broad Street in Brevard NC.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Grandfather Mountain hosts the 91st Annual Singing on the Mountain

June 28, 2015    91st Annual Singing on the Mountain  at Grandfather Mountain.  Thousands gather annually for this all-day outdoor gospel sing and fellowship opportunity. 

Music from top gospel groups begins at 8:30 AM, and many families bring lawn chairs and picnics to enjoy the event. Camping (without RV hookups) is available on the field on a first come, first served basis. The event is free according to the longstanding motto: "Whosoever will may come." 

Learn more about Grandfather Mountain on the NC Parks Guide

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Carolina Press Webinar Last Chance Registration

Last chance to register for Friday's 'Behind the Door' webinar 
from Carolina Public Press

Registration is still open for a free Carolina Public Press training webinar to help journalists, public officials and community members understand when, according to North Carolina state laws and guidelines, government agencies and officials may close public meetings.

Behind the Door: Understanding NC's open, closed meetings law
12-1 PM, Friday, June 26 2015
Free and online only
Pre-registration required; space is limited

During the training session and conversation led by Carolina Public Press Investigations and Open Government Editor Jon Elliston, participants will have the opportunity to:

  • learn the definition of a public meeting;
  • learn the lawful reasons for which public agencies and public officials may enter into a closed meeting;
  • discuss best practices for local governments in both following open meetings law and being transparent about closed sessions;
  • discuss strategies for challenging what appear to be violations of open meetings law;
  • learn the methodology behind Carolina Public Press’s investigation into the closed sessions held by boards of commissioners in Western North Carolina, a reporting project that could be replicated by other North Carolina news organizations; and
  • discuss how to obtain records of discussion items and details from closed meetings.
Elliston was the lead reporter for a recent month-long Carolina Public Press investigation into the frequency and causes of board of commissioners in Western North Carolina to go into closed meetings to conduct public business. The investigation revealed that, in the 17 counties where closed session numbers were made available, WNC boards of commissioners held a total of 303 closed sessions. It also found that only fragments of these back-room conversations ultimately go public, in procedures that seem arbitrary at times. For 75 percent of the closed meetings, minutes remain sealed and away from public scrutiny.

READ: Govt. behind closed doors: Investigation shows hundreds of secretive WNC county meetings, with few details released

The reporting resulted in several counties adopting new disclosure policies and others releasing previously closed records. The investigation was cited in a roundup of North Carolina’s top open government stories for Sunshine Week 2015, and it was shared and/or co-published by the (Asheville) Citizen-Times and The Charlotte Observer.

Carolina Public Press’s lead investigative reporter, Elliston is also a frequent trainer for Carolina Public Press about accessing public records at the state and federal level. He has also written for The Nation, Popular Communications, U.S. News & World Report and WNC Magazine, among other publications. His reporting has garnered awards from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the Society of Professional Journalists and the North Carolina Press Association. His book-in-progress, about an integrated summer camp in Western North Carolina that was attacked by a local mob and run out of the state in July 1963, was supported by a research fellowship from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation.

PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. For more information, please call Carolina Public Press at 828-774-5290. 

The Carolina Public Press Mission:
Carolina Public Press is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit online news organization providing unbiased, in-depth and investigative reporting as well as educational opportunities to journalists, students and others in the 18 westernmost counties of North Carolina. Our vision is to promote an informed, engaged electorate to ensure government accountability by building the region's most reputable public interest news source.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Valle Crucis NC Hosts Blood, Sweat and Gears Bicycle Ride

June 27, 2015   Blood, Sweat & Gears   This ride is a challenging to strenuous 100 mile bicycle ride, starting and ending at the Valle Crucis Elementary School, approximately 5 miles south of Boone, NC. The route roughly circles Boone through the outskirts of Watauga County, the heart of North Carolina's High Country. 

The terrain is constantly changing with hills of all lengths and curves too numerous to count. Highlight of the route include 21 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a strenuous climb over the 4500 foot gap at Snake Mountain and a 10 mile "flat" on old U.S. 421.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Annual Spring Art and Artisans Tour in Stecoah Valley

June 26 - 27, 2015    Stecoah Valley Spring Artisans Drive About   Visit the artisans' studios and galleries during the open house drive-about studio tour. Get up close and person with the artist and see numerous live demonstrations. The hours will be 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM both days. Get a map and list for the Artisans participating in the drive about.

The Schoolhouse Cafe at The Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Robbinsville NC will also be open.
Galleries and studios offer a variety of media including pottery, jewelry, woodworking, basketry, watercolors, mixed media, oil paintings, photography,  handmade candles, artisan cheeses and honey, fruits, vegetables and plants.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) Adventures for Fathers Day Weekend


  • Kayaking at the Nantahala River
  • Rafting the Class IV Chattooga River
  • Tubing Atlanta's Chattahoochee River
  • Choose from 5 other Rivers

Nantahala Outdoor Center 13077 Highway 19 West 
in Bryson City NC

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Special Thursday Concert at the Blue Ridge Music Center

June 18, 2015   Blue Ridge Music Center Concert - This concert is a presentation of The Crooked Road's Mountains of Music Homecoming and features Còig and The Whitop Mountain Band The Blue Ridge Music Center Summer Concert Series is performed rain or shine. You are welcome to bring your own picnic basket (NO ALCOHOL please) and encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

CÒIG ("Ko-ig". Gaelic for '5') is an exciting ensemble consisting of five solo acts, and is one of Cape Breton’s most captivating young bands. Originally coming together for a promotional tour for the Celtic Colours International Festival, the formation proved to be something special, and the group decided to continue to tour together as a band. With a combined total of over 30 nominations and awards, each of Còig’s talented musicians have released their own successful solo albums, and have toured both at home and abroad before coming together as this exciting super group. Their much anticipated debut album "Five" was released in June, 2014 to rave reviews, and has earned the band the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Traditional Album of the Year, and the Music Nova Scotia award for Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year.

The Whitetop Mountain Band is a family-based band from the highest mountains of Virginia. Whitetop, Virginia is an area rich in the old time music tradition; this band has deep roots in mountain music. The members have done much to preserve the Whitetop region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style. At the same time, Whitetop Mountain Band shows are very versatile and entertaining containing everything from fiddle/banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers, old timey ballads, originals, and four part mountain gospel songs. Shows also include flat foot dancing. The band is well known for their high energy and charisma on stage. 

Phone ticket sales through BRPF Office end at Noon on Friday and are available online up to 12 hours before the concert. The Galax Smokehouse serves BBQ, sides and drinks at each concert. Check the website for details about the performers and concerts. The Blue Ridge Music Center is located north of Boone NC in Galax VA.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center Plans Future Expansion

The Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center,  located at 121 School House Road in Robbinsville NC, is a regional facility popular with locals and visitors alike. The Center is a non-profit organization formed by a group of local citizens dedicated to the preservation of mountain culture, the community and the old Stecoah School. Built about 1927, the rock school buildings and grounds have been restored to their original role as the center of the community. The Center includes performing arts, dining, an art and crafts gallery, classes and workshops and a variety of community and arts events.

The Master Plan and Site Design for The Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center was made possible through a grant to the Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team (GREAT) from the NCFS Urban and Community Forest Program through the Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) located at Virginia Tech.

CDAC worked with a stakeholders committee and the community, through community workshops, to develop an overall master plan for the 10 acre site. Project design includes enhancements to the existing 1/3 mile loop trail and playground, an outdoor restroom facility, a half basketball court, shuffleboard, picnicking areas with grills, tables, benches, and fire pits, horseshoes and/or corn hole, a wind garden and plantings that address storm water run-off.

The plan also includes cabinettes which could be used for overnight lodging or artist residences. Project implementation will begin  this summer starting with the half basketball court, shuffleboard, wind garden and outdoor restrooms.

Some funding for these project elements has been secured, but the Center needs to raise additional funds for further plan implementation. Please consider making a donation today and help this special place grow. Your tax-deductible donation to the annual General Fund campaign will help meet the ongoing costs of operations and  assure the continuation of the important programs at the Center.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Chasing the Dragon Hillclimb a Sports Car Club of America Trial Event

June 13 - 14, 2015    Chasing the Dragon Hillclimb   This is a Sports Car Club of America Time Trial event. Competition licensed drivers in prepared sports cars race one at a time up a 2 mile mountain road in class competition. 

The course is located near The Tail of the Dragon in beautiful Robbinsville NC and Graham County. The road race is on the edge of the Nantahala Forest where spectators, course workers and drivers enjoy some of North Carolina's most beautiful mountain scenery. Join the fun as a driver, a worker, event staff or a spectator for a true southern tradition that began in the 50's: HILLCLIMB. 

The Central Carolina Region (CCR) Sports Car Club of America include North Carolina counties Alexander, Anson, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey. The Club was founded to to encourage the preservation, ownership and operation of the sports cars; to act as a source of technical information: to provide and regulate events and exhibitions for sports cars and their owners: and to encourage careful and skillful driving on public highways.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Highlands NC Will Host 8th Annual Motoring Festival

June 11 - 14, 2015   8th Annual Highlands Motoring Festival   Participants range from pre-war to classic Europeans to American muscle. The 2015 Highlands Motoring Festival will recognize Mercedes, 1989 and older, as the Marque of the Year, in addition to many other makes and models of both American and foreign vehicles that will be on display.  This fun, family oriented event is a must for the vintage car enthusiast who wants to show or just to browse these great cars from the past. 

In addition to the main show on Saturday, many other activities are also planned including the Opening Party, golf outings, a road rally and mountain drive, brunch, Welcome Party, Motoring to Motown, Buffet and movie and much more. Come for one event or spend the entire weekend.

Raffle and Auction items include:
  • Raffel and auction items include:
    Two Season Tickets – Highlands Playhouse 
  • Large Pizza – Brick Oven Pizza 
  • 2 Limited Edition Mercedes Prints – Lory Lockwood Old Truck Print – Mountain Heritage 
  • New Orleans dinner for 10 at the home of Bobby Lee and Trisha Carey 
  • Gift Certificates (2) – (1) European Facial OR one hour warm bamboo massage
  • (2) Cut and blow dry for lady or gentleman – Taylor/Barnes Spa 
  • Golf for Four – Old Edwards Club at Highlands Cove 
  • Golf for Four – Wildcat County Club 
  • Golf for Four – Highlands Falls Country Club 
  • Dinner for Four – On the Veranda 
  • Dinner for Four – Wolfgang’s 
  • Lunch for Four – Asia House 
  • Dinner for Four – Cyprus 
  • Lunch for Four – Cyprus 
  • Dinner for 10 – Barbara Grossman’s artist studio 
  • Large ladies leather hand bag – Jolies 
  • 14k Gold pendent w. diamond chips and chain – TA Anderson 
  • $100 gift certificate – TA Anderson $30 
  • Gift Certificate – Kilwins Ice Cream 
  • Custom designed neckpiece with coral, turquoise, and agate with sterling silver accents – Drake’s Diamond Gallery
  • $25 Gift Certificate – Mountain Fresh

Enjoy the altitude and cool weather, while you get away from the summer heat. Come for the day or the weekend.  Public admission is FREE. The event is held at The Highlands Recreation Park and benefits the Literary Council of Highlands.