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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for August, 2013

Tails and Trails 5k Adventure Run

Monday, August 26th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – On Saturday, September 28, Buncombe County Parks and Recreation Services will host the 6th Annual Tails and Trails 5K Adventure Run. The run starts at 9:30 a.m. and is open to adults, children and dogs of all ages.  Put your paws to the pavement and come join us for this unique fun run.

The run will take place on the Buncombe County Sports Park track. Advance registration is available by mail. The mail-in registration forms can be found online at buncombecounty.org/parks or call for a form.  Registration will be available through the day of the race. Register by September 13th to receive an event T-Shirt. Check in and late registration begins at 9:00 a.m. The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 4 – 12 and 2 cans of Dog Food, which will be donated to the Asheville Humane Society.  A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to Asheville Humane Society.

Dogs must remain on leashes at all times. The Buncombe County Sports Park is located in Candler.

For more information and registration forms please call Jay Nelson at 250-4269 or email him at [email protected].

Get Close to Fall Color at Biltmore

Monday, August 26th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Fall road trips through the western North Carolina mountains offer what very few areas in the country can: a chance to drive on roads canopied in golden autumn leaf colors. Stopping at Biltmore along the way is a great fall travel idea since the estate’s 8,000 acres give the chance to stretch the legs and explore that color close up.

Park the car and wander through Biltmore’s formal gardens, filled with colorful mums and other seasonal blooms; hike through forests; or even climb to the rooftop of America’s Largest Home, the 250-room Biltmore House. Whatever you choose, Biltmore’s sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains makes the estate a sweet spot for taking in vivid fall color.

Fun for families

Families will enjoy Antler Hill Village where children can run off energy in the Village Green, or play in Pisgah Playground. The playground is a new addition this year and features a ferry that children can navigate across a small lagoon. A Children’s Maze offers a pathway through a forest of 500 trees. The Village also features a kid-sized Land Rover Course complete with small Land Rover carts and a track populated with small hills and other obstacles to drive over. The course is part of the estate’s Land Rover Driving School.

NEW inside Biltmore House
Two rooms inside Biltmore House – the Second Floor Living Hall and the Salon – will re-open this fall after the estate’s Museum Services team restores them to their appearances as they were when George Vanderbilt opened the home in 1895. To bring the rooms back to their original states, the team has spent the summer conserving all the furnishings, recreating elaborate window treatments and making structural changes.

As appropriate for such a grand space, several notable paintings are being returned to their original locations in the Hall. John Singer Sargent’s portraits of Richard Morris Hunt and Frederick Law Olmsted and Anders Zorn’s painting “The Waltz,” which have been hanging temporarily in the Salon, will once again hang where George Vanderbilt intended. The restored room will re-open Sept. 1.

Relocating the paintings from the Salon has led to its reinterpretation. Curators decided to tell the story of how the room has changed through the years. Removal of a wall revealed an original firebox and brick walls. A section of the fabric ceiling treatment is being removed to show the terra cotta tiled ceiling above. Information panels will explain the new interpretation of the room when it re-opens Oct. 1.

Extend your stay – experience more of the estate
You may linger on the estate by staying a night or more at the award-winning Inn on Biltmore Estate. Several specials are available through the season, including a Labor Day Celebration Package which includes two nights, access to Biltmore House and estate, a Celebration Dinner with Fireworks and more.

Guided outdoor experiences include horseback riding, Segway tours, sporting clays, fly fishing, archery, river float trips and bike riding. Guided indoor activities take you behind the scenes of Biltmore House to explore more about how the home operated when the Vanderbilt family lived in it more than a century ago. A special exhibition, “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad,” provides an intimate look at the time the Vanderbilts spent as a family and features objects they collected during their world travels. Many of these items have never been displayed until this exhibition.

Biltmore’s Winery feature self-guided tours and a tasting room offering free samples of the estate’s many award-winning varieties. Special guided tours and seminars include the new weekend Vine to Wine Tour; Red Wine & Chocolate seminar; and Biltmore Bubbles, a look at how Biltmore produces its sparkling wines.

Biltmore’s Field to Table Program focuses on growing – and finding – the best, freshest foods in season for the estate’s restaurants, which range from barbecue to fine dining. Fresh produce is supplied to the restaurants by the estate’s agricultural services, and the award-winning culinary teams incorporate this bounty into recipes featuring estate-raised products and locally-sourced foods.

Fall travel deals at Biltmore
Save $15 on daytime admission if you purchase tickets seven days or more prior to your visit on www.biltmore.com. Booking within six days of your visit, save $10. Youth ages 10-16 are half off the adult admission price.

More information about Fall Color at Biltmore is available at www.biltmore.com.

Neighborhood Groups Invited to Participate in Asheville Festival of Neighborhoods

Monday, August 26th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The Neighborhood Advisory Committee is hosting the first Asheville Festival of Neighborhoods on Sunday, October 27, 2013, and is asking neighborhood groups and associations to play a part.

The festival was conceived to recognize and learn more about Asheville’s vibrant neighborhoods and to foster cross-communication, so the participation of neighborhood representatives is crucial to a successful festival.

“This is just a great way for neighborhoods to get together and showcase what they are doing,” says NAC member Elaine Poovey. “And we feel like this will be a valuable way to address some of our mutual community concerns.”

To sign up to represent your neighborhood, respond by August 31 to Elaine Poovey at [email protected] and put Festival of Neighborhoods on the subject line, or call (828) 253-3514. Participants are encouraged to bring a display that tells the community more about their neighborhood, including the neighborhood boundary, population, history, community achievements and details about their neighborhood organization. The program will also feature a slideshow, so participants are encouraged to submit up to five photos of their neighborhood.

The first Festival of Neighborhoods will take place at UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Regional Magazine Recognizes A-B Tech for Continuing Education Programs

Monday, August 26th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – A-B Tech Community College has been voted Gold Best Continuing Education Opportunities by the readers of Blue Ridge Country magazine in the 2013 Best of the Mountains poll.

“We are honored to be recognized for our program, which offers a large variety classes and training for our community,” said Shelley White, Senior Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education.

A-B Tech’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education offers classes and training through three departments, which includes Community Enrichment, Workforce Programming in healthcare, business and technology, skilled trades, employment basics and emergency services and Customized Training for business and industry.

Instruction within those areas is designed to support the economic and cultural development of the community and its citizens. Courses are built upon the concept of lifelong learning and for convenience, are offered at a variety of times and locations. More than 17,000 students are served each year through Continuing Education at the College.

Conducted once every five years, the Best of the Mountains poll featured a variety of other reader selections, ranging from best waterfall to best southern cooking. Readers submitted their votes online over a two-month period, producing a list of nearly 250 platinum, gold and silver awards for cities, attractions, people and activities in the Blue Ridge Mountains region.

The 2013 Best of the Mountains award winners can be found in the July/August 25th Anniversary Edition of Blue Ridge Country. The magazine is now available online at blueridgecountry.com/online. The magazine is published bimonthly with a readership of 325,000 covering the mountain regions of nine southern states.

Competitions at WCU’s Mountain Heritage Day

Monday, August 26th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Horace Kephart had a bushy mustache. So did Robert Lee Madison. Yet it’s hard to know how either the patron of Great Smoky Mountains National Park or the first president of Western Carolina University would fare in the mustache and beard competition at this year’s Mountain Heritage Day, Saturday, Sept. 28 on the WCU campus.

Aspiring competitors have just about enough time to begin growing those whiskers now – as well as preparing entries for the old-fashioned costumes and home-canned goods contests, practicing skills for the chainsaw competition and training for the Mountain Heritage Day 5K.

There is no entry fee for any of the contests except the 5K, and admission and parking is free at WCU’s daylong celebration of Southern Appalachian music, arts, dance and song.

Planned and coordinated by students in WCU’s Sport Management Association, the 5K race begins at 8 a.m. and winds its way through the campus, recalling a time when one of the fastest ways to get around in the mountains was on foot. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Full race details, pre-registration forms and costs will be posted online at http://claws.wcu.edu/sma/5K/.

Baked goods as well as home-canned and preserved foods will be jury-weighted in the annual “A Gathering In” traditional foods competition. An adult and a youth winner also will be declared for the “Best in the West Apple Recipe Contest.” Winners will be given ribbons in a number of categories, all described in the booklet linked to the “Contests” page at www.mountainheritageday.com. For more information, contact Peter Koch at [email protected] or 828-227-7129.

Children and adults are welcome to compete in the traditional clothing contest, sporting the fashions of pioneer days through the turn-of-the-19th-to-20th century. Audience members participate in the judging after competitors model their outfits on stage.

Trophies will be awarded in the different classes of the chainsaw contest to be held the morning of Mountain Heritage Day.

Owners of antique and classic automobiles also are invited to compete for awards by participating in the festival’s all-day car show.

Mountain Heritage Day and its many competitions are only weeks away – always the last Saturday in September.

It’s time to start growing, sewing, canning, chopping and jogging.

For more general information about Mountain Heritage Day contests, call WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129. You can also keep up with developments leading up to the festival on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MountainHeritageDay or by following @WCU on Twitter.

Award-Winning Blues Artist Ruthie Fosters at DWT Sept. 20

Monday, August 26th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Winner of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues Female Artist, Ruthie Foster, and her band open the Mainstage Season at Diana Wortham Theatre on Friday, September 20, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. The evening begins with a 7:00 p.m. opening night party sponsored by Pack’s Tavern, and an opening act, blues and roots artist Seth Walker.

An electrifying artist bristling with soul, Grammy-nominated Foster smolders with an intensity born from her vibrant voice and indelible presence. Backed by her excellent band including Tanya Richardson (bass) and Samantha Banks (drums), Foster can burn down any stage with her combustible blend of soul, blues, rock, folk and gospel.

Foster was Grammy-nominated for her last two albums: The Truth According to Ruthie Foster (2010) and Let It Burn (2012). With an unexpected collection of songs including selections by Adele, Black Keys, Los Lobos, Johnny Cash, The Band, Pete Seeger, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Foster creates a sound with the irresistible fire of the great women of soul, but with a freshness all its own.

From humble beginnings in a rural Texas church choir, Foster’s astonishing voice has taken her on an amazing ride including a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy Band and time absorbing the musical influences of the New York City music scene. Back in Texas she became a regular nominee at the Austin Music Awards winning Best Folk Artist in 2004-05 and Best Female Vocalist in 2007-08. Also, in a nod to her astounding range, she won Blues Music Association awards for Best Traditional and Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist in back-to-back years. She has collaborated on stage and in recordings with a diverse list of artists including Warren Haynes, Bonnie Raitt and Paul Thorn, and is a favorite at festivals including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Monterey Blues Festival and Merlefest.

Ruthie Foster’s Asheville performance is made possible by Performance Sponsors Dianne & David Worley and Parsec Financial, and by Mainstage Music Series Sponsors Henry LaBrun and Arby’s, with additional support from Media Sponsors The Laurel of Asheville and WNCW 88.7FM.

The new entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is marked by the location of the theatre’s new marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway between Marble Slab Creamery and Circle in the Square restaurants, and into a large interior courtyard for Pack Place with multiple glass doors to the theatre’s lower lobby and new box office. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2013/2014 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Scene, Blue Moon Water, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

Getting Fat in the Desert: Childhood Obesity in WNC

Monday, August 26th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Western North Carolina has some of the best restaurants in the world (it’s true, we checked), and at the same time, some of the bleakest food deserts in the country. WNC can boast about successful farmers markets, but some children rarely eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

How is this dichotomy playing a part in our food choices? in our children’s food choices?

How can we influence public policy and education to use local resources to ensure every child in WNC has access to a healthy diet?

Healthy food options will be served and feel welcome to share your own favorite healthy dish to share.

Discussion Leaders

  •  Jason Urroz, Director of Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s Kids in Parks program
  • Adrienne Gilbert, Health & Nutrition Coordinator of Head Start of Western Carolina Community Action
  • Sheena Kanott, Manager Cherokee Choices diabetes prevention program
  • Mark Rosenstein, Director of Green Opportunities
  • Bronwen McCormick, Director for Rainbow In My Tummy

Date: September 18, 2013

Time: 6:30PM

Location: Lenoir-Rhyne University Asheville 2nd Floor boardroom at 36 Montford Ave

ASAP’s 2013 Farm Tour Announced

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – On September 21 and 22, from 1 until 6 pm, the gates and barns of 31 Appalachian Grown certified farms across Western North Carolina will open to the public for ASAP’s annual Farm Tour.  The self-guided tour offers a chance for locals and visitors alike to learn how food grows, taste farm-fresh products, meet farm animals, and shake hands with the community’s food producers.

Advance passes are on sale now for $25 at asapconnections.org and at select area businesses and tailgate markets (a list of vendors can be found online). One pass admits an entire carload to any participating farm both days. Passes can also be purchased the day of the tour at the first farm stop for $30, or individual farms can be toured for $10. Farm Tour guides are available online and from pass vendors. Guides include a map, directions, and tips. New this year, farm listings also include details about children’s activities. Families and school groups taking the tour can find information just for them at ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School website, growing-minds.org. Additionally, the guide includes information about the Farm Tour Photo Contest. This year’s contest winners will receive free coffee for an entire year from Appalachian Grown partner restaurant Green Sage Coffeehouse & Café and a free pass to next year’s Farm Tour.

September 21 and 22 aren’t the only important dates when it comes to this year’s big event. For the first time, ASAP will host a live tour Twitter chat on Tuesday, September 17, from noon until 1 pm. The chat is a chance for attendees to get their Farm Tour questions answered and hear tips for making the most of the event from ASAPers and past attendees. Those wishing to participate can simply tag their questions and tips #asapfarmtour.

Thursday, September 19, marks ASAP’s first Farm Tour kickoff party, hosted in partnership with Appalachian Grown partner eatery Sunny Point Café at the restaurant, 626 Haywood Road in West Asheville. The Spade to Spoon Social will run 6-9 pm and feature special stations for beer, wine, and local food from Sunny Point’s on-site garden and area farms. While enjoying food and beverages, attendees can tour the restaurant’s garden and learn how their chefs use homegrown veggies in seasonal specials. ASAP staff members will be present to answer Farm Tour questions. For $20, attendees will receive five tickets to exchange at food and drink stations; advance tickets can be purchased at asapconnections.org along with tour passes. Sunny Point is graciously donating a percentage of ticket sales to ASAP.

Those interested in taking the tour can find more information, including a list of pass vendors and details on volunteering and attending the tour for free, at asapconnections.org. ASAP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as their community website fromhere.org, will feature event information and stories leading up to the tour. Participants are also invited to share their journey via social media using #asapfarmtour during the weekend. 

Event sponsors are Greenlife Grocery and WNC Magazine. Other tour supporters are Carolina Farm Credit, Sunny Point Café, WNC Woman, The Laurel of Asheville, ImageSmith, and West End Bakery.

ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work in the region, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

Rising Country Star Kacey Musgraves to Perform at WCU

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Rising country music star Kacey Musgraves will perform in concert Saturday, Oct. 26, as part of Homecoming weekend activities at Western Carolina University.

Musgraves, who performed Monday, Aug. 12, on the nationally televised Country Music Association’s “Country’s Night to Rock,” will take the stage at 9 p.m. in the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center. Opening acts will be announced later.

Tickets for the concert go on sale at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Ramsey Center box office.

After releasing three albums independently in her early teens, Musgraves appeared on the fifth season of the USA Network’s singing competition “Nashville Star” in 2007. She joined country supergroup Lady Antebellum on its “Own the Night” tour in 2012 in the United Kingdom. She also signed that year with Mercury Records, releasing her solo debut single “Merry Go ‘Round.”

The single is included on her first Mercury album, “Same Trailer, Different Park,” which was released in March of this year, debuting at the top of the country album charts. She is nominated for four awards at the 48th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, including female vocalist of the year and top new female vocalist.

“Blowing Smoke,” the second single from her debut album, currently is climbing the country music charts.

National Public Radio called Musgraves “country’s blunt and poetic new voice,” while Rolling Stone magazine praised her for a “songwriting voice you won’t hear anywhere else in pop: young, female, downwardly mobile, fiercely witty.”

Arena seat tickets for the Oct. 26 show are $15 for WCU students and $20 for all others if purchased in advance. Floor seat tickets are $20 for WCU students and $25 for all others if purchased in advance. Tickets purchased on day-of-show are $20 for arena seats, $25 for floor seats.

For more information, visit the Ramsey Center’s website ramsey.wcu.edu, or call 828-227-7677. The concert is sponsored by WCU’s Department of Residential Living and the A.K. Hinds University Center.

Forest Service Offers Tips for Fall Foliage Fun in the Mountains

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina unveiled its fall foliage 2013 webpage, featuring scenic drives and others areas in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests to enjoy leaf viewing this autumn. With more than a month before the fall foliage season begins, the feature will help visitors plan their fall adventures.

The feature is posted on the National Forests in North Carolina website, http://www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc, click on “Fall Foliage in the Mountains.”

“Fall Foliage in Western North Carolina – 2013” describes popular locations for viewing mountain plants at high, middle and low elevations during peak season. For example, the Big Butt trail in the Mount Mitchell area of Yancey County enables travelers to enjoy a variety of colorful, high-elevation plants in late September and early October. Visit the webpage to see more featured locations and, remember, always practice safety when visiting the national forests.