Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mountain Music News: Live Music at The Purple Onion

photo by Jeff McJunkin , Fine Art America
The Purple Onion Restaurant, located at 16 Main Street in historic downtown Saluda NC, is a favorite destination for excellent cuisine featuring a variety of ethnically and regionally inspired dishes with an emphasis on the Mediterranean's simple, healthful cuisines with a focus on freshness. Winter hours begin in November along with Oyster and Pint Night - Every Monday and Tuesday oysters on the half shell is a feature, raw or roasted along with $3 pints.

October 29 - Michael Reno Harrell the master of great songs and stories is back

October 31 - Halloween with the JPQ Band.  Jim Peterman returns with his fabulous, funky, jazz and R & B band to "put a spell on you." The Onion will be buying beers for the best in costume so come on out and have some fun.

November 5 - Dogwhistle - local Saludan Scott Allen returns after a very long absence with a band that combines the landscape and sounds of Appalachia, Texas and Nashville.

November 7 - Aaron Burdett, talented favorite hometown singer-songwriter returns with his latest, highly acclaimed release "Tinderbox".

November 12 - Cabo Verde, a mix of authentic Latin and Afro-Cuban grooves and funky rhythms

November 14 - Gigi Dover and Big Love.  Gypsy, jazzy, funky, southern-soul and world music from this longtime Onion favorite.

November 15 - Sweet Claudette (special Sunday Concert). Call for reservations. Country/Motown.

November 19 - Louise Mosrie.  Soulful southern folk music from this Nashville-based singer/songwriter

November 21 - Citizen Mojo.  A blues, funk, soul and rock 'n' roll band


November 28 - Riyen Roots and Kenny Dore  End a great month of music with the duo's uncut truth of blues influenced songs.

A highlight of the month's music will be the Sweet Sounds of Sweet Claudette. The doors open at 6:00 PM and a limited menu will be available prior to the concert with beverages and desserts served throughout the evening. . Admission is $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Reservations highly recommended.

photo of Sweet Claudette courtesy of The Purple Onion
Sweet Claudette is made up of members of some of the Southeast's favorite bands. Amanda Platt of The Honeycutters, Dulci Ellenberger of Now You See Them and Melissa Hyman of The Moon and You are joined in this WNC supergroup by Amber Lyle Sims. The seeds of Sweet Claudette were planted at a women's songwriter showcase in the fall of 2009. The four women had so much fun working up tunes for the show, they decided to form a band so they could keep singing and playing together. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

NC Mountain Real Estate News: Lake James Real Estate Update

The Lake Cove Cottage:
 Beds: 3     Baths: 3.5     Sq. Ft: 2,048

The Lake Cove Cottage offers the best in indoor/outdoor living with an open concept interior living space as well as ample covered outdoor space. The luxurious master suite is located on the main level with a large private bathroom and walk-in master closet. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

NC Mountain Spirits: Howl-O-Wine at Round Peak Vineyards

October 30, 2015 from  5-9 PM:  Come on out with your favorite pooch to this popular Halloween event sponsored by Round Peak Vineyards. As always, the event benefits Mayberry 4-paws and other local animal rescue organizations. With George Smith howling out tunes, food, costume contests (people and pooches), and of course great beer and wine, this is one Halloween event you don't want to miss.
photo courtesy Round Peak Vineyards

Round Peak Vineyards is located at Roundpeak Church Road in Mount Airy NC

Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Events in the Mountains from Scary Spooktaculars to Family Fun Fests to Trick or Treat in Historic Mountain Cities

 Date:       October 27, 2015
    Fall Festival and Trick or Treat   Celebrate the last day of the Tailgate Market season. For the kids there will be Trick or Treating with downtown businesses, a costume contest, pumpkin painting and craft activities. Growers will have fall crops for sale. Hours are 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM at the Historic Marion Market Shade Shelter.    Get a link for more details HERE

photo courtesy Postcards from the Smokies
Date:       October 29, 2015
    Downtown Trick or Treat   Enjoy a fun, safe and small town trick or treating experience this Halloween. With the streets closed, the kids are out in full force to fill their bags with candy from the costumed downtown merchants. And don't forget the costume contest open to all ages with the winner in each class receiving a gift certificate to Soda Pops (the local ice cream shop). For more information please contact the Swain County Chamber of Commerce.   
Get a link for more details HERE

Date:       October 30, 2015
Event:      Halloween Celebration   
Trick or Treating begins at 6 PM at City Hall. The Little ones can trick-or-treat at local businesses and the whole family can enjoy the festivities that follow at Buckeye Lake and Recreation Center.  The Halloween party includes food, drinks, fun games, and a haunted egg hunt.  For those who enjoy chills and thrills, the haunted hayride is a spooky experience.  
Get a link for more details HERE

Date:       October 30, 2015
Event:     Halloween Stroll  
The City of Saluda and local downtown businesses will sponsor its annual Halloween Stroll on Friday, October 30 from 4 - 6 PM. Parents, bring your children to town for a fun afternoon of going store to store for Halloween treats.   
Get a link for more details HERE

Date:       October 30, 2015
    Boone Boo! 
Ghosts, ghouls and goblins hit the streets of Downtown Boone for the Annual Downtown Boo Boone.  The fun begins at 4:00 PM at the Watauga County Library with crafts and activities for the kids. Activities include games and arts & crafts at the Watauga Co. Library located on Queen St. in Downtown Boone, followed by a Halloween "parade" down to the Jones House Community Center where children can enjoy a silly and spooky tour through the Jones House with tricks and treats around every corner. Trick-or-Treating with the Downtown Boone merchants begins at 5:00 PM and continues until 6 PM. Come out and enjoy a fun, safe, and silly Halloween with your friends in Downtown Boone.   
Get a link for more details HERE

photo courtesy Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Date:      October 30 - 31, 2015
Event:    Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Express
The PEANUTS gang return the the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Pumpkin Patch for this annual family fun favorite. The excursions, which are themed after Charles M. Schulz's classic story "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," will be departing from the Bryson City Depot and arriving at the Pumpkin Patch. Event activities include campfire marshmallows, a coloring station, temporary tattoos, trick or treating, bouncy house, hayrides and live musical entertainment. Two trips per day at 12 PM and 3:30 PM.    
Get a link for more details HERE

Date:        October 30 - 31, 2015
Event:     Haunted Grove House Inferno
at the Grove House Entertainment Complex. Come experience the #1 Halloween Dance Party in WNC along with $1400 in costume contests both nights. Special midnight Inferno Show on Friday night.  Be terrified by monsters lurking around every corner of all three venues - The Boiler Room, Club Eleven and Scandals Nightclub. Enjoy 6 DJs, 4 bars and 3 dance floors with gates open from 9 PM until 3 AM. Admission is $20 Friday night, $30 Saturday night.    
Get a link for more details HERE

photo courtesy
Date:       October 30 - 31, 2015
Event:     Ghost Train Halloween Festival at Tweetsie Railroad  
Advanced ticket purchase is recommended for this very popular event. Fun for the whole family this ghastly special event admission includes: all the nighttime activities in the park - the ride on the Ghost Train, trick-or-treating for the kids, Haunted House, Tweetsie Palace Spooktacular, the rides in the Creepy Carnival, and the attractions in "The Boneyard” section, featuring the Black Hole, 3-D maze, and the “Freaky Forest.”    
Get a link for more details HERE

Date:       October 31, 2015
    Trick-or-Treat Street in Historic Downtown Hendersonville 
Beginning at 5:30 PM you can come enjoy our wide sidewalks & friendly merchants for some of the safest most enjoyable trick or treating in the area. Other events include a dance party extravaganza with returning DJ, Sid the Surf, as well as a Halloween costume contest and dance party held between 4th and 5th street in Downtown Main Street.   
Get a link for more details HERE

photo courtesy Waynesville NC Library
Date:       October 31, 2015
    Treats on the Street  
Participating downtown Waynesville merchants open their doors for trick-or-treaters on Halloween evening. This is a safe and fun adventure for costumed children and their parents to stroll the sidewalks in search of delicious candy and special treats. Waynesville Fire and Police Departments and First Baptist Church join in the fun.   
Get a link for more details HERE

Date:       October 31, 2015
    Highlands Downtown All Hallows Eve Celebration  
Trick-or Treat in a safe environment in Downtown Highlands. The streets are closed to vehicles with foot traffic only and children, parents, and even pets may walk around in customs collecting goodies from local merchants. 5:30 - 8:30 PM   
Get a link for more details HERE

Date:      October 31, 2015
Candle Light Ghost Tours  
Come out for an evening of tales, mystery and haunts at the Candle Light Ghost Tours. Learn about the ghosts that haunt the old buildings that make up downtown Wilkesboro. Visit a cemetery where Civil War Soldiers are buried, stand in the jail cell Tom Dooley spent his last days, and listen to the stories of the haunted Smithey Hotel. Tickets will be sold on the Courthouse lawn at the museum and at the Wilkesboro Open Air Market the Friday before. Tours start at 8 PM    
Get a link for more details HERE

Date:      October 31, 2015
Event:     Beary Scary Halloween at Grandfather Mountain  
Celebrate Halloween early at Grandfather Mountain with a full day of crafts, nature programs, trick-or-treating in the animal habitats and a costume contest. Participate in an interactive program titled “Going Batty for Bats.” Children in costume enter park for half-price. Events are included with park admission.    
Get a link for more details HERE

Date:      October 31, 2015
NC City:  NEBO
Event:    Halloween Eve Wine, Fish Fry and Costume Party  
South Creek Vineyards will be serving up local fish or letting the brave catch their own - if they dare. You can avoid the terror and wine down on the vineyard deck while listening to live music by Rory Kelly. Wicked, scary and scandalous costumes welcome but optional. Your purchased ticket includes: Fishing and you keep the fish from the stocked lagoon - you will need to bring your own fishing gear and lawn chair; Catered fish and chips dinner, fried fresh on site; A glass of South Creek wine. Costume Contest 7 PM with the voted best winning a bottle of South Creek Wine. Live music by Rory Kelly, acoustic rock. Whether you will fish or not, an advance ticket purchase for each person is required to attend this event. No one under age 21 permitted. Admission: $15/person.   
Get a link for more details HERE

photo courtesy
Date:       October 31, 2015
   Heart of Brevard Halloweenfest in Transylvania  
Held in Downtown Brevard - 10 AM - 10 PM.  Transylvania’s 33nd Annual Halloweenfest (10-6) and Beer Garden with Live Music,  Oskar Blues and Brevard Brewing (6-10 PM). Activities include a street festival with arts and crafts, Pumpkin Town, Boo-ville, Transylvania Boulevard, Tailgate Market, Ghoulish Golf, Spooky Hay Maze, Face & Hair Painting,  costume parade, Downtown trick-or-treat and more.    
Get a link for more details HERE

Friday, October 16, 2015

Carolina Press Hosts Newsmakers Forum: Who Owns WNC's Water

October 22, 2015 from 6-7:30 PM: Who Owns WNC's Water. Rhi Newsmakers Forum features a panel discussion with: Kim Colson, director, N.C. Division of Water Infastructure Katie Hicks, assistant director, Clean Water for North Carolina Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson Lee Smith, utilities director, Hendersonville Water and Sewer.

The Forum is moderated by: Jon Elliston: Investigations and Open Government Editor, Carolina Public Press Jack Igelman: lead contributing environmental reporter, Carolina Public Press.

The Forum will be held at the Fletcher Town Hall 300 Cane Creek Road in Fletcher NC. The event is free and open to the public, but advance tickets are required.

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. Support CPP with a tax-deductible contribution today.   Carolina Press, PO Box 17595 in  Asheville, NC 28816.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Weekend Mountain Festivals Celebrate Fall Colors, Crafts, NC Heritage and Mountain Music

Get links for these festivals and other weekend events on our NC Events Calendar.

Date: October 6 - 10, 2015
Event: 103rd Annual Cherokee Indian Fair    Part carnival, part art exhibit and agriculture show, this annual fair features artwork, traditional Cherokee food, nightly musical entertainment, rides and games, and of course, fireworks. You’ll find Cherokee white oak baskets, pottery and beadwork, and you’ll marvel and the traditional
photo courtesy
Cherokee contests and competitions like the infamous Cherokee Stickball games. Don't miss the Cherokee Fair Parade from 4 - 6 PM on the opening day, 10/6. While you’re on the Ferris wheel, be sure to take in the gorgeous fall foliage that engulfs the Great Smoky Mountains at this time of the year.

Date: October 10, 2015
Event: Annual Todd New River Festival    This FREE festival features multiple music performances, storytelling, bluegrass jams, puppet shows, athletic competitions and other recreational events for all to enjoy. More than 30 vendors offer a variety of arts and crafts. Enjoy plenty of NC barbecue and great food. Admission is free. Parking and a shuttle ride to the festival are available for $5 at the field just off Railroad Grade Road from the Highway 194 entrance to Todd.

Date: October 10, 2015
Event: 32nd Annual Mountain Glory Festival    The festival covers the court house lawn and 3 blocks of downtown Marion. Browsers and shoppers looking for original handicrafts or handspun enjoyment will find plenty of choice among more than 125 artists, crafters and food booths and a variety of entertainment, from local bluegrass bands playing traditional mountain music to haunting melodies of Native American music. 9:30 AM - 5 PM

Date: October 9 - 11, 2015
Event: Cashiers Leaf Festival    Each year, the Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association (known locally a GCAMA, or G-comma) sponsors the Cashiers Leaf Festival. This 3-day event celebrates the beauty of the season that's particularly unique to this area. Featuring arts and crafts from local and regional artisans, food from area restaurants, music from a variety of bands on two main stages, and activities for all ages at various locations throughout the Cashiers Valley, the Cashiers Leaf Festival serves as the centerpiece of the area's Leaf Season.

photo courtesy of Tweetsie Railroad
Date: October 9 - 10, 2015
Event: Ghost Train Halloween Festival at Tweetsie Railroad   Advanced ticket purchase is recommended for this very popular event. Fun for the whole family this ghastly special event admission includes: all the nighttime activities in the park - the ride on the Ghost Train, trick-or-treating for the kids, Haunted House, Tweetsie Palace Spooktacular, the rides in the Creepy Carnival, and the attractions in "The Boneyard” section, featuring the Black Hole, 3-D maze, and the “Freaky Forest.”

Date: October 10, 2015
Event: Hey Day Fall Family Festival at the WNC Nature Center   Enjoy the 37th annual Hey Day Festival featuring live music and dance performances, special animal encounters, educational programs, arts and crafts for the kids, and delicious food from local vendors. Hey Day is the Nature Center's biggest event of the year.

Date: October 10, 2015
Event: Asheville Oktoberfest   Downtown Asheville's Wall Street will transform into "Little Germany" for the Asheville Downtown Association's 6th Annual Oktoberfest. Internationally-renowned "oompah" band, The Stratton Mountain Boys, returns to the stage with happy yodeling songs, shoe-slapping dances and lively spirited Polka music sure to incite dancing in the street and rousing cheers of "ein Prosit!" The event will feature beer tastings from local breweries including Highland Brewing, Asheville Brewing Company, Pisgah Brewing, Green Man Brewery, Boojum Brewing Company, Noble Cider, Catawba Brewing Company, Craggie Brewing and French Broad Brewing Company. Many brewers are featuring seasonal ales for Oktoberfest, and will be on hand to discuss their beers. Oktoberfest Games are back as well with some old favorites like the Stein Races and Keg-rolling contests as well as some new ones.

image courtesy of High Country Press,
Date: October 11, 2015 
Event: Boone Heritage Festival    Celebrate Appalachian heritage with living history demonstrations, "yarn-spinners," music jams (bring your instrument) and old-time music on stage. Hear award-winning musicians and storytellers of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area perform in the cozy setting of the Coffey Cabin porch. Historical interpreters in period clothing will demonstrate 18th century skills such as spinning and weaving, throwing a tomahawk, shooting a flintlock rifle and more. Make-and-Take Crafts include cornhusk crafts, toddler-size scarecrows, "tin" lanterns, jack-o-lanterns and more. Craft vendors offer authentic items such as alpaca wool apparel, turned wooden bowls, handcrafted soaps, candles, jewelry, handblown glass ornaments, crocheted hats and baby items, books, quilts, wooden furniture, leather items, prints and more. Non-profit exhibitors include conservation, farming and education organizations. Snack on fried apple pies, kettle corn, cotton candy, Scotch eggs, hot dogs and more. Admission, music and storytelling are free. A small fee for hands-on craft activities helps cover the cost of materials.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Saluda Summer Concert Series Holds Encore Performance

October 9, 2015  Top of The Grade Concert Encore Performance   The summer concerts, organized by the Saluda Downtown Foundation promotions team, were a huge success resulting in this encore performance.  The Super '60s, a band from Hendersonville that was wildly popular at the Apple Festival will play, so put on your dancing shoes and come join in the fun.

Donations will be appreciated at this concert, and all proceeds will go towards more lighting in McCreery Park. The performance will be held on the Ella Grace Mintz Stage from 6 - 8 PM in McCreery Park. In case of rain, the concert will move to the Pavilion. Bring your chairs or blankets, food and coolers.

painting of downtown Saluda by Jeff Pittman

Saluda NC has been a popular getaway destination and gateway to the NC mountains since 1879 when the first passenger rode the up the Saluda Grade on the newly completed railroad line. 

If you need an escape from the heat or a respite from the hectic pace of life, Saluda NC is the answer. Loaded with tranquil, scenic beauty and fresh mountain air Saluda is one of Western North Carolina's hidden jewels.

Any visit to Saluda should include a stop by Random Arts for art supplies or artful women's wear, a browse through Heartwood Gallery for local and other American made art and crafts, a hike to Pearson's Falls to enjoy a pristine forest and natural water feature, and dinner (maybe with live music) at The Purple Onion. The historic downtown Main Street meanders along the old Saluda Grade railroad tracks and offers a variety of specialty shops. And don't forget to stop by WildFlour Bakery - probably THE best bakery on the planet - and stock up on their wonderful breads.

Get links for Saluda NC lodging, restaurants and attractions on our Saluda NC Visitor Guide

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fall Color in the Mountains Begins with a Weekend full of Arts and Crafts Festivals and Events

The beautiful fall colors in the mountains of Western North Carolina are reflected in the local artists and crafts inspired by their surroundings. Whether the colors are found along the trails and byways or in galleries and festivals, October is the most "color-full" time of the year in the NC mountains. For additional events and festivals visit out NC Events Calendar. This weekend's art and crafts events include:

Date:       October 2, 2015    
Event:     Art After Dark
   Downtown Waynesville galleries remain open for Art after Dark featuring demonstrations, artist receptions, and special music. Enjoy the Gallery Stroll from 6 PM - 9 PM with live music and great food. Free admission. Art After Dark happens the first Friday evening of each month from May until December

Date:       October  2, 2015   
   Asheville Downtown Gallery Art Walk    The Downtown Asheville Art District (DAAD) invites you to visit the more than twenty galleries that contribute to Asheville's reputation as a vibrant arts community and "The Paris of the South." Within a half-mile radius of Pack Square and the city's center, you'll find unparalleled diversity from fine studio crafts, to glass, photography, folk art and contemporary painting, metalwork, textiles, jewelry and more by local, regional, national and international artists.  A complete  Downtown Gallery Guide and map is available at any participating downtown gallery, the Chamber of Commerce, or Pack Place.

Date:       October 2 - 4, 2015
Event:     33rd Annual Asheville Quilt Show  This year's show, 
'A Harvest of Quilts' is held at the WNC Ag Center, Fri-Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4:30. Admission $ 6.00. Free Parking. This is a  judged quilt show with over $10,000 in prize money, more than 20 vendors,  demonstrations, a Silent Auction, gift shop, quilts for sale and an "Opportunity Quilt". Multi-day Passes are available as well as, group discounts. This event is sponsored by the Asheville Quilt Guild ( and Moda (  

Date:       October 2-11, 2015
Event:      American Craft Week  
A celebration of the wonders of American craft and its contribution to the culture and economy of the country. Dozens of participants in Western North Carolina host special events from open studios to major gallery exhibits. Get a list of participants and events on the website.

Date:      October  3, 2015  
Event:     Brushy Mountain Apple Festival  
This Annual Festival is one of the largest one-day arts and crafts festivals in the Southeast. The streets of downtown North Wilkesboro NC are filled with over 425 arts and crafts, 100 food concessions, 4 different music stages consisting of Blue Grass, Country, Folk, Gospel, and Appalachian Heritage. Cloggers, folk dancers, rope skippers, and square dancers provide additional entertainment venues for festival goers. Appalachian Heritage crafts are highlighted such as woodcarving, chair making, soap making, pottery throwing, and quilting. The Brushy Mountain Ruritan Club owns, operates, and organizes this fundraising event, supporting over 100 civic, church and other non-profit organizations. 

photo courtesy of Art in the Park in Blowing Rock
Date:      October 3, 2015
Art in the Park   
A juried arts and 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.

Date:       October 3, 2015
Asheville Art in the Park   The finest handcrafted art in the area is on display and for sale at Pack Square in downtown Asheville. Nationally known artists exhibit at this event and the best part is- they are local. Muddy Knees Design and Production is proud to once again offer local artists the opportunity to connect with the public in Asheville‘s Pack Square Park. Held on Saturdays in October and June.

Date:      October 3, 2015
Event:    ColorFest, Art and Taste of Appalachia   Autumn's colors and flavors take center stage  during this popular annual festival. This arts and food event fills the sidewalks of Dillsboro with a variety of mountain artisans demonstrating their skills, plus food vendors serving up a taste of the North Carolina mountains.  Local musicians and street entertainers add music to festivities, while restaurants and shops are open to serve the crowds throughout the day.  10 AM - 4 PM.

Date:      October 3, 2015
Event:     Mars Hill Heritage Festival   Traditional mountain music and old-time craft demonstrations, local arts and crafts fill the town of Mars Hill and the Mars Hill College campus at this family-friendly festival. Food available from local vendors. 10 AM - 4 PM.  

Art on Main, courtesy of The Arts Council of Hendersonville
Date:      October 3 - 4, 2015
Event:     Art on Main
This is the 56th annual  fine arts and fine crafts show again held in Historic Downtown Hendersonville. The Downtown area is transformed into a giant outdoor art gallery featuring the finest artists and artisans from the southeast. Art on Main attracts 3,000-4,000 art lovers each year.

Date:      October 3 - 4, 2015
John C Campbell Folk School Fall Festival   Celebrate the rich heritage of Appalachia at the 42nd annual Folk School Fall Festival, featuring over 200 juried and non-juried craftspeople. Handcrafted items for sale include jewelry, woodturning, pottery, weaving, ironwork, photography, rugs, woodcarvings, furniture, paintings, baskets, and much more. Live music and dance on two stages, great food, craft demonstrations, and kids' activities including pony rides are just a few more reasons why the John C. Campbell Folk School Fall Festival is one of the most popular events in the region.