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Leaf-peeping and Wine Go Together at Biltmore this Fall

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – A mix of colorful outdoor beauty, wine appreciation and sumptuous culinary offerings populate Biltmore’s fall calendar, starting in September.

Biltmore’s autumn landscape presents a prime opportunity for fans of changing leaf color. In addition to tours through the 250-room Biltmore House, “leaf-peepers” can explore the estate’s mums-filled gardens; miles of hiking and biking trails; crafts demonstrations and friendly farm animals at Antler Hill Farm. Guided outdoor experiences include horseback riding, Segway tours, sporting clays, fly fishing, the Land Rover Driving School and river float trips.

“Taste the Estate” in September

Perfect for wine and food lovers, Biltmore kicks off the season with “Taste the Estate” to celebrate North Carolina Wine Month and the estate’s long history of winemaking. Guests may take part in free tastings, luxurious wine-focused meals and specialty tours across the estate.

Among the complimentary wine experiences, the Winery tour and Grand Tasting gives guests an opportunity to sample two dozen Biltmore wines, including an exclusive tasting of Biltmore’s Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blancs North Carolina 2010.

Premium wine experiences include Biltmore Bubbles, a look at how Biltmore makes its sparkling varieties with tastings; Red Wine & Chocolate seminar, featuring a wine host guiding you through a series of sips that pair Biltmore’s reds to various types of chocolate; and the Vine to Wine Tour, which visits areas on the estate typically not open for tours, including a trip to the vineyards. Sample wines throughout the tour and conclude with a grand tasting. Estate restaurants will offer special Wine Flights. The Inn on Biltmore Estate will offer Sip & Savor in the Library Lounge daily after 5 p.m., pairing Biltmore Wines with small plate offerings.

“Taste the Estate” maps will be available on site as well as online, and will detail the locations of free and premium wine tasting experiences across the estate.

Wine Dinners

Biltmore’s winemakers have teamed up with the estate’s award-winning chefs to create four special dining experiences:

  • Cottage Dinners, Sept. 5 and Sept. 12: Biltmore’s historic Market Gardener’s Cottage is the site of two special wine dinners created by Inn on Biltmore Estate’s Chef David Ryba. Enjoy a six-course dinner in a charming outdoor setting, accompanied by live music. Each course is paired with a Biltmore Wine by the Inn’s Certified Sommelier, Artur Loli. $174 per person, including tax and gratuity. Call 877-890-9096 to reserve, or visit www.biltmore.com.
  • Moveable Feast at Winery Courtyard, Sept. 19:  Dine al fresco in the Winery Courtyard, starting with an hors d’oeuvres reception and followed by a menu designed by Executive Chef Kirk Fiore. Dine on six courses featuring seasonal, estate-raised ingredients paired with Biltmore’s finest wines. $165 per person, including tax and gratuity. Call 828-257-5995 to reserve, or visit www.biltmore.com.
  • Winemaker’s Dinner in the Champagne Cellar, Sept. 26:  Biltmore’s Winemaker Bernard Delille will pair Biltmore wines with a menu using local North Carolina ingredients designed by Bistro’s Executive Chef Paul Klaassen. The Winery’s Champagne Cellar is the site for this intimate four-course wine dinner.  $160 per person, including tax and gratuities. This dinner is limited to 30. Call 800-411-3812 to reserve, or visit www.biltmore.com.

Live After Five in the Village

On Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 5 p.m., Biltmore hosts Live After Five in Antler Hill Village with live music on the Village Bandstand. The Grape Stomp takes place right outside the entrance to the Winery. Families will enjoy the nearby farm, where kids can run off energy, play at Pisgah Playground and visit with the farm’s friendly resident goats, chickens, horses, sheep and other small animals. Antique tractors and wagons are there to climb, and blacksmith Doc Cudd demonstrates his craft.

Celebrate Labor Day, Fall and Halloween at Inn on Biltmore Estate

Inn on Biltmore Estate is offering several specials through the season:

  • The Labor Day Celebration Package (Aug. 30-Sept. 1) includes two nights, access to Biltmore House and estate through length of stay, a Celebration Dinner at Antler Hill Barn, fireworks and more.
  • A Fall Celebration Package (Oct. 24-26) will coincide with the inn’s Halloween Weekend. The package includes accommodations for two, dinner at Antler Hill Barn with live music and games on Oct. 25. Additional Halloween activities during the weekend include a Guest Pumpkin Carving Contest (the winner receives a two-night stay next year on the same weekend) and the Lighting of the Pumpkins on the Grand Terrace. A Candy Station in the lobby will offer Halloween treats for all. Call 866-336-1245 or book online at www.biltmore.com/stay.
  • The Inn is also offering the Our State Package (Oct. 31-Nov. 2), which highlights Biltmore’s agricultural history. The package includes two nights; a Legacy of the Land Tour; a West Side presentation by Ted Katsigianis, Biltmore’s vice president of agricultural sciences; a three-course dinner with wine in Antler Hill Barn and more. Call 866-336-1245 or book online at www.biltmore.com/stay.

Fall travel deals at Biltmore

From Sept. 2 through October, save $12 on daytime admission if tickets are purchased online seven days or more prior to visiting at www.biltmore.com. Book within six days of visiting and save $7. Children age 9 and younger are FREE. Youth ages 10 to 16 are half off the adult admission price. Seniors receive $12 off daytime admission price on Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning Sept. 2.

More information about fall at Biltmore is available at www.biltmore.com.

Diana Wortham Theatre 2014/2015 Mainstage Season

Friday, August 15th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, North Carolina announces the schedule of performances for the 2014/2015 Mainstage Series. The Mainstage Series presents a wide range of top touring artists in music, theater, dance, comedy, and other performing arts in an intimate, 500-seat hall. Tickets for all performances are on sale at 10:00 a.m. on August 21st and are available at www.dwtheatre.com as well as from the box office at (828) 257-4530. The theatre offers flexible multi-show discount packages starting with as few as three performances. Savings range from 10% to 20% off Regular prices depending on the number of performances; multi-show packages are available through the Diana Wortham Theatre box only at 828-257-4530.

The 2014/2015 Mainstage Series season opens September 19, 2014 with Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience, a foot-stomping, sing-along sensational night bringing the songs of a generation that are woven into the tapestry of our lives, with a set list compiled according to the audience’s requests prior to the show and performed perfectly by the McGuigan Brothers: no wigs, no faked accents, no pretense, just the music exactly as it was recorded.

The 2014/2015 Mainstage Special Attractions Series showcases four performances that cross multiple genres. One of Comedy Central’s 100 Greatest Stand-up Comedians and popular NPR’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” panelist Paula Poundstone (October 9, 2014) entertains with wry wit and spontaneity. The pioneering physical theater company Cirk La Putyka presents Slapstick Sonata (November 7 & 8, 2014), an absurd yet poetic theater piece transcending acrobatics and contemporary dance. The warm sounds and merrymaking of the season shine in A Swannanoa Solstice (December 21, 2014 – two shows), a beloved holiday tradition featuring world award-winning recording artists Al Petteway, Amy White and Robin Bullock who are joined by a wealth of storytellers, dancers and special guest musicians, along with host, Doug Orr. And experience the awe-inspiring feats and gorgeous traditional music of The Peking Acrobats (March 14, 2015 — two shows), a troupe that has redefined expectations of Chinese acrobatics with daring maneuvers, precision tumbling, and spellbinding gymnastics.

The 2014/2015 Mainstage Music Series at Diana Wortham Theatre features some of the nation’s top touring acts. Power trio Red June (November 15, 2014) seamlessly blends country, bluegrass, and American roots music with a dash of indie rock sensibility. Joining Red June are special guests Shannon Whitworth, well known for her time with The Biscuit Burners and her booming solo career, and her bandmate and guitarist Barrett Smith. Transcending genre limitations, the rich voice and distinctive cello of Shana Tucker (January 17, 2015) is a sultry fusion of soulful jazz-folk and acoustic pop, evoking the spirit of Americana greats such as Bill Withers and Esperanza Spaulding. As part of an international tour, Arlo Guthrie (February 13 & 14, 2015) brings The Alice’s Restaurant Massacree, in its entirety, along with other Guthrie favorites in this 50th Anniversary Tour. Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy (March 4, 2015) two of the world’s most celebrated fiddlers, appear together as husband and wife in a new show, Visions of Cape Breton and Beyond, celebrating the unique heritage of their hometowns. Vocal acuity and sumptuous harmony are the hallmarks of the Grammy Award winning quartet New York Voices (April 11, 2015), whose incomparable blending, creative rearrangements, and infectious enthusiasm make their live performances an audio/visual delight. And Annie Moses Band is an ensemble unlike any in America today, blending fiddle, jazz, and classical influences with soaring, folk inspired vocals, creating a sound that is both refreshing and familiar.

The 2014/2015 Mainstage Dance Series, recognized for offering some of the nation’s foremost dance companies right here in Asheville, opens with Paul Taylor Dance Company (October 17 & 18, 2014). Choreographer and cultural icon Paul Taylor is the last living member of the pantheon that created modern dance; with unrivaled creativity and monumental taste, his choreography offers observations on life’s complexities and society’s thorniest issues. Named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” (2009), Kyle Abraham is also a 2013 recipient of a coveted MacArthur “Genius” Award. His company Abraham.In.Motion (March 24 & 25, 2015) flows from opera to rap, creating movement that is fresh and unique. And internationally acclaimed for its mix of humor and drama, the wildly creative and gravity defying Pilobolus (April 7 & 8, 2015) is back to wow Asheville audiences with its athleticism, invention, and grace.

The 2014/2015 Mainstage Theatre Series features three compelling performances. Whether read aloud with family and friends or in solitude on a chilly winter evening, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (November 28 & 29, 2014 – three shows) is a definitive holiday experience. Creator and remarkably versatile actor Jeremy Webb has re-envisioned this classic by creating a 25 character, family-friendly, one-man play with puppets for ghosts. Aquila Theatre Company brings two nights of unforgettable entertainment: first with Emily Brontë’s classic story of all-consuming passion, Wuthering Heights (January 30, 2015), which recounts the tale of ill-fated lovers on the lonely moors of northern England; and then on the following night the company presents a William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (January 31, 2015), a production imbued with magic, the supernatural, and a heightened sense of theatricality in the experienced, nuanced hands of the Aquila Theatre actors. Aquila Theatre’s “two plays in two days” afford audiences the chance to see the same remarkable cast in very different roles, often dissimilar in nature, in the same weekend.

The 2014/2015 Mainstage Celtic Series presents four unforgettable bands in the Scots-Irish tradition. The quintessential Irish-American band Solas (February 27, 2015) presents Shamrock City, its most ambitious project to date. One of Ireland’s most celebrated exports, Lúnasa (March 26, 2015) is internationally acknowledged as being the finest Irish instrumental band of recent times. Canada’s Celtic ambassadors for more than 20 years The Barra MacNeils (April 30, 2015), bring their virtuosic talents to Asheville for an unforgettable evening of august and spirited music. And the delicate power of her pristine voice and the simple charm of her invitational presence make an evening with Karan Casey (May 15, 2015) a beautifully inspiring, soulful event.

2014/2015 Intersections Series Performances: The Intersections Series features two dedicated performances in the 2014/2015 season. A one-man storytelling tornado, Martin Dockery’s performances are dynamic, fast-paced, and hilarious. In Wanderlust: From Here to Timbuktu (January 22-24, 2015) Dockery acts out his winsome odyssey of dropping everything after ten years of temporary work, buying a one-way tickets to an unknown land, and believing that fate will necessarily reward him with an epiphany, any epiphany at all. And hailed as the most important narrative of its time depicting the life of a female slave, Harriet Jacobs’ astonishing and true story Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (February 27 & 28, 2015) is brilliantly dramatized by star of stage and screen, Cherita Armstrong. The Intersections Series performances are held in The Forum, a large multi-purpose space adjacent to the theatre and accessible from the theatre’s main lobby.

The 2014/2015 Mainstage Matinee Series for Students and Families is a full schedule of shows to complement the classroom curriculum of area students and teachers and is open to school groups, homeschoolers, community groups, and families. Serving more than 9,000 students, educators, and families every year, the series features first-rate performances and detailed study guides designed by educators. This year’s Mainstage Matinee Series includes: Paul Taylor Dance Company (October 17, 2014), Theatreworks USA in The Lightning Thief (November 5, 2014), Warehouse Theatre in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (November 14, 2014), Aquila Theatre Company in Shakespeare’s The Tempest  (February 2, 2015), ArtsPower’s Laura Ingalls Wilder (February 10 & 11, 2015), Theatreworks USA in Fly Guy and Other Stories (February 17 & 18, 2015), Young Audiences New York’s Literature to Life® presents Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (February 26 & 27, 2015), Kyle Abraham / Abraham.In.Motion (March 24, 2015), and Theatreworks USA in Curious George (April 14 & 15, 2015).

The entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is marked by the location of the theatre’s marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway between Marble Slab Creamery and White Duck Taco, and into a large interior courtyard with multiple glass doors which lead to the theatre’s lower lobby and box office. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2014/2015 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.

Rococo Ballroom Opens in Asheville

Monday, June 30th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Rococo Ballroom dance studio opens its doors this week in North Asheville, bringing to the area the only ballroom dance studio with a unit-based class structure, teaching all styles of partner dances.

Owners Jake Lavender and Meghan McDonald have been dancing competitively and providing ballroom dance instruction for eight years with Arthur Murray International Dance Studios. This is the team’s first venture as an independent studio.

“We teach using three different classes to maximize the learning potential,” says McDonald, “the advantage of this model is that anyone, with any level of experience, can learn more skills to reach their personal goals faster.” The studio offers private lessons for learning new things, as well as group classes and parties for reviewing and practicing skills while getting helpful hints from an instructor. All of the teachers are full-time dance instructors and professional competitors.

The new studio is located in a 1600- square-foot space in Reynolds Village and it features a large dance floor, twenty feet of mirrors, and a modern sound system for private instruction and group classes. Rococo Ballroom offers private instruction in any partner dance, including Bachata, Bolero, Cha-cha, Foxtrot, Rumba, Salsa, Samba, Swing, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Western, Waltz, and others.

Rococo Ballroom will officially open on Saturday, June 28, 2014 with a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The studio is located at 51 North Merrimon Avenue, Suite 107, and will be open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 9 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 828-575-0905 or visit Rococo Ballroom on Facebook for more information.

Local Publisher Launches New Asheville Guide Series

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Connecting Corridors, an Asheville-based boutique publisher, has just released their first Asheville Pocket Guide: an illustrated guide to experiences along the French Broad River corridor from Hominy Creek to Glenn Creek. Unlike other print guides on the market, the Asheville Pocket Guide folds conveniently to pocket-size for easy travel, and it doubles as a beer coaster—it is, after all, a guide to one of the country’s best beer towns.

The pint-size eight-panel publication is packed with information to help locals and visitors alike immerse themselves in authentic Asheville adventures near the beloved French Broad. Names and addresses of art galleries, restaurants, parks, campsites, outdoor centers, and other businesses and locales are included. Area nonprofits are also spotlighted. To further help connect people to unique places, Connecting Corridors has turned the pocket guide into an integrated website and digital magazine with weekly articles, as well as a mobile-responsive navigational guide.

The Corridors team includes local writers, designers and artists deeply connected to and knowledgeable about Asheville—from Outward Bound leaders, to naturalists, to food writers, to environmentalists, to popular bloggers. “We’re the corner store merchants who point you in the right direction, then reveal our favorite café nestled in a secluded alley” describes owner and project coordinator Sammy Cox. “Our publications provide both the basics and fun insider info.”

Cox has lived and worked in Asheville for 25 years, forming a strong bond with the area and its businesses and publishing landscape. He believes strongly in this innovative, multimedia tour guide approach and plans to follow up the French Broad River Corridor Asheville Pocket Guide with a full series, while growing the companion website. “Bigger isn’t always better,” he says. “An easy-to-digest focus on unique geographical and conceptual corridors and a handful of sponsors and advertisers can have a sizable community impact.”

The guide is distributed by Grass Routes to more than 100 strategic locations, including the Asheville Chamber. Find them all and learn more at ashevillepocketguide.com.


Connecting Corridors is a small-batch publisher and marketing company focused on connecting people to unique places. They strive for sustainability, embracing new media to drastically reduce paper use and printing on Forest Stewardship Council-certified stock. To learn more, visit ashevillepocketguide.com, or call (828) 989-6965.

Gardening Workshop for Kids at Highlands Botanical Garden

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Highlands Botanical Garden is hosting a gardening workshop for kids, Monday, June 16 through Wednesday, June 18. The workshop is for kids age seven to 10 and will be held each day from 10:30am until 12:30pm. It is designed to get kids excited about the amazing world of plants and to teach them that they can have fun gardening in their own backyards. A hands-on camp, kids will get to practice what they learn each day and bring projects home to enjoy throughout the summer.

The first day will focus on the basics of gardening, including a review of the essentials that plants need to grow, and proper planting methods. Kids will put these methods to use by planting flowers in the Botanical Garden, and they will plant their own vegetable seeds to bring home.

Composting and mosses are the focus of the second day. Kids will learn how to create their own garden soil using food scraps and other organic waste. They will also learn about plants that don’t need soil: mosses. After a moss scavenger hunt in the Botanical Garden, they will try “moss milkshake” propagation to create their own moss art to take home.

On the third and final day of the workshop, we will look inside the belly of the beast as we dissect a pitcher plant and discuss ways that carnivorous plants capture their prey. We will also talk about weeds and practice weeding in the Botanical Garden.

For more information about this workshop, including a gear list, visit www.highlandsbiological.org/botanical-garden/, call (828) 526-0188, or e-mail [email protected] Kelder Monar, one of the horticulturists at the Highlands Botanical Garden, will instruct the workshop. The cost is only $30 per child, or $20 for Salamembers.


Asheville Top 10 City for Earth Day

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – If you’re looking for the ultimate Earth Day celebration this year, you’ve come to the right place. SaveOnEnergy.com has scoured the country in search for the best cities to visit this year for Earth Day. When it comes to celebrating all that’s green, these cities are going above and beyond all the rest.

1. Austin, TX
Austin is known for being an all-around green city so it should come as no surprise that the city does it up right for Earth Day. The free Austin Earth Day Festival, which takes place April 26, will have more than 75 booths, a handful of environmental speakers, sustainable demonstrations, countless kids’ activities and entertainment including Bollywood and Flamenco dancers.

Even Austin businesses take part in Earth Day celebrations. On April 22, dozens of business will contribute to the Give 5% To Mother Earth campaign. Participating business will donate 5 percent of their profits on Earth Day to seven environmental nonprofits in the area.

2. St. Louis, MO
St. Louis offer’s one of the nation’s largest Earth Day events, with 30,000 to 40,000 attendees each year. The city kicks off the party April 26 with food and live music. And on April 27 the celebration continues with a festival, which features sustainable products from local businesses as well as local musicians and performance artists. Part of the event’s draw is its recycling program, dubbed REX. Through the program, attendees can bring their hard-to-recycle items, such as bicycles, household fixtures and mattresses to recycle for free.

3. Philadelphia, PA
Philly will be teeming with Earth Day events for you to attend. The city’s largest Earth Day activity, the 5K for Clean Air, will take place April 19. The Penn Institute for Urban Research will host a free lecture “Mapping Our Global Future” on Earth Day. And the National Constitution Center will host its own Earth Day celebration. Eco-friendly organizations will be at the event to teach attendees about locally grown foods, preserving the park systems, protecting homes from toxins and what being green has to do with the Constitution.

4. Houston, TX
Houston isn’t waiting for Earth Day to start celebrating the planet. The city will host its Earth Day Houston festival on April 12 this year. The free event, sponsored by Waste Management, will focus on entertaining and educating families on the importance of sustainable living. Activities for children and adults will revolve around environmental awareness highlighting healthy living, wildlife, habitat, air, land, water and sustainability.

5. Asheville, NC
This small city, tucked in the mountainous region of North Carolina, is always a fun place for eco-enthusiasts to hang out. Not only does Asheville offer an abundance of outdoor activities, from hiking to kayaking, the city is vegetarian-friendly and places significance on carbon reduction. So it should come as no surprise that the city stretches its Earth Day activities over an entire week.

Asheville Earth Week is a 10-day event with a number of activities designed to promote sustainability, green living and environmental awareness. The festivities begin April 12 with a River Clean Up hosted by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and a number of earth-friendly activities will continue throughout the week. The city’s annual festival will take place April 19, complete with music, crafts and food vendors.

6. San Francisco, CA
When it comes to celebrating the planet, San Francisco won’t be left in the dust. The city is planning its fourth annual Earth Day event on April 19 and expects about 10,000 people to attend. Event-goers will hear from internationally recognized environmental speakers and can browse more than 80 booths featuring eco-friendly products. There will also be fashion shows displaying the latest eco-friendly fashions, organic food and beer served throughout the day, children’s activities and more.

7. Chicago, IL
If you’re looking for a variety of eco-friendly activities this Earth Day, the Windy City is the place to be. Those looking to volunteer might enjoy the city’s 25th annual Earth Day Parks and Preserves Clean-Up on April 26th. Just outside the city in Carol Stream, you’ll find a free Earth Day festival and farmers market, which will feature eco-friendly food, ideas, project and products on April 26. And along the lines of Earth Day, the Morton Arboretum will celebrate Arbor Day from April 13 to 27. Events include an Arbor Day 10K, costume contests, tree plantings and tram tours.

8. Baltimore, MD
There are just too many Earth Day options in Baltimore to fit in one day so the city has dedicated an entire week, April 18-26, to celebrate the planet. Throughout the week, you can take in a number of presentations on the environment, enjoy a family farm day, take part in a scavenger hunt or view a live cooking demonstration. The main event, Baltimore’s EcoFest, will cap the week’s celebration on April 26. Participants will get to taste local food and beer, tour green homes and take part in free yoga classes. Children will have plenty to do at the Kid’s Corner including crafts, reading circle and eco-friendly play space.

9. Santa Barbara, CA
If you’re already ready for some beach time, head to Santa Barbara for Earth Day. In addition to enjoying the area’s natural beauty you can attend the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival on April 26-27. The city was actually the inspiration for the very first Earth Day in 1970–following a large oil spill off it’s coast in 1969–and takes pride in its heritage at its annual Earth Day celebration. The event will feature local artists, designers, crafters and small businesses with plenty of booths for you to learn about living the green life. There will be a marketplace where you can pick up earth-friendly gifts for all of your friends, a green car show displaying the latest green automotive technology, and plenty of locally grown grub for you to snack on all day. For the little eco-enthusiasts in your life, make sure you check out the event’s kid’s corner.

10. Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati is throwing a rocking Earth Day celebration too. The city’s festival, scheduled for April 19, will have more than a dozen events to help residents celebrate the planet. Some of the highlights include an Earth Day scavenger hunt, live music, an animal showcase and recycling games. Students in grades three through eight are invited to participate in a recycled costume contest. The student with the best costume, made out of recyclable materials, will win $100.

Biltmore Village Beer, Bites, and Bands

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Restaurants and breweries in Historic Biltmore Village have come together to create a new and unique event. Two local breweries and 8 local restaurants have joined together to promote ”Beer, Bites, and Bands” to be held April 4 & 5 from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM at the two brewery locations.

On both evenings, customers will have the opportunity to sample craft beers from Catawba Brewing Company located at 19 Brook Street and French Broad Brewery located at 101 Fairview Street.  In addition to the beer, food from eight different Biltmore Village restaurants will be provided along with live music.

On Friday night, at both brewery locations, food will be featured by:  Moe’s Original BarBQue, Village Wayside, Corner Kitchen and Fig’s Bistro.

Friday night’s entertainment at French Broad will be Todd Cecil & Black South and

Eleanor Underhill & Friendsat Catawba Brewing Company.

Saturday night’s fare will be provided by The Cantina, Katuah Marketplace, Ruth’s Chris and Rezaz.  Performing at French Broad on Saturday will be Tina and Her Pony, while John Henry’s Jazz Band will be performing at  Catawaba Brewing.

The ticket price of $25 per person, per night includes 3 flights of beer, food, commemorative T-shirt and music at both breweries.  Tickets are limited to 100 for each night.

Tickets will be available at www.eventbrite.com and at the breweries.  For more information, please go to www.historicbiltmorevillage.com.

About Historic Biltmore Village:  Located directly across from the world famous Biltmore Estate, The Historic Biltmore Village is truly one of the south’s most unique touring and shopping environments.  The Village features a collection of independent, regional and national retailers along with the most sought after restaurants and outstanding lodging. It’s the perfect night out for foodies, brews and friends.  It’s a must see site for history buffs and architecture aficionados.  In short, it’s a destination like no other.

Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival WCU

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival will return to Western Carolina University on May 16th and 17th. The event is sponsored by the Southeastern Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers.  This fun-filled weekend of programs, presenters and exhibitors is the Southeast’s premier fly fishing educational event.

The Festival is expected to attract at least forty local fly shops, non-profits and other exhibitors as well as forty demonstration tiers from throughout the Southeast.  Steve Rajeff and Leslie Holmes will headline our talented group of casting instructors.  In addition to two days of casting instruction by some of the best instructors in the country, the Federation will offer its casting instructor certification tests. The Cullowhee area also offers non-fishing activities for the entire family.

On Friday, May 16th, the Southeastern Council will once again partner with Little River TU to host the Back the Brookie BBQ.  All profits will support the restoration of brook trout in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  On Saturday, May 17th, the Southeastern Council will host its annual awards dinner and auction.

Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to support the establishment of the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians by donating exhibition items or financial support. The Museum, located in Cherokee, North Carolina, will become the home of the rich heritage of fly fishing from Maryland to Georgia and will provide a base of education related to fly fishing with workshops, exhibits and presentations.  Donated funds will be used to secure fly fishing artifacts before they are lost to future generations.

Hours for the Festival will be Friday, May 16th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, May 17th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Tickets are $5 for adults and $10 for families.  Scouts in uniform and disabled veterans are free.  Online registration will open mid-March on the Council website.

For more information, visit www.southeastfff.org.

WCU Green Energy Park “Iron Pour” April 5

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Artists from Western Carolina University and throughout Western North Carolina will give new meaning to the term “fired up” as WCU’s Fine Art Museum hosts an “iron pour” Saturday, April 5, at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro.

An iron pour is an artistic activity in which iron is heated, melted and poured into molds to create sculpture. The goal of the event is to invite the community to learn about the art of casting iron while also allowing students to create unique cast iron artwork, said Denise Drury, curator at the Fine Art Museum.

“The Green Energy Park is a perfect location for this event,” Drury said. “Western Carolina students and the community already use the facility for glass blowing, firing ceramics and casing bronze and aluminum. This iron pour is an excellent opportunity to add iron casing to the energy park’s roster of activities.

The pour will be led by artists Tripp Jarvis and Melissa Van Sandt from Tri-State Sculptors, a group of artists from Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Morgan Kennedy, who teaches sculpture at WCU, will also take part along with his students.

The iron pour, to be held from 5 until 8 p.m., is open to the public free of charge. Sponsored by the WCU College of Fine and Performing Arts and the Jackson County Green Energy Park, the event is funded in part by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council and is being held in conjunction with the exhibition “Iron Maidens” that was on view at the Fine Art Museum earlier in the year.

For more information on the iron pour, contact Drury at 828-227-2550.

Spring ushers in Biltmore Blooms

Monday, March 24th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Biltmore Blooms offers a variety of activities for all ages in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Flowers take center stage with lavish orchid displays and thousands of spring bulbs in bloom in magnificent gardens designed at the turn of the century by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

Flower bloom schedule

Spring bloom provides constant changes in Biltmore’s gardens. The progression of blooms dictated by Mother Nature constantly unveils different flowers and new color combinations, resulting in a unique show for visitors to enjoy each week during Biltmore Blooms.

2014 Bloom Reports
To stay up-to-date about what’s in bloom throughout the season, sign up for weekly bloom reports from Director of Horticulture Parker Andes and notifications of Biltmore’s featured ‘flower of the week’ at Biltmore.com/WhatsBlooming.

The earliest spring days kick off the celebration with two opulent orchid displays – one in the Winter Garden inside Biltmore House, the other, a year-round orchid display located in the tropical Conservatory. At Biltmore House and the Conservatory, visitors can expect to see close to 1,000 orchids in bloom.

For a limited time March 20 through April 6, guests will be given the rare opportunity to step into the Winter Garden in Biltmore House to admire the sights and fragrances of a special orchid collection. This light-filled, glass-domed garden room was once used by the Vanderbilts to relax and entertain in their home while surrounded by lush exotic plants. The room is typically roped-off to guests during tours of Biltmore House, but will be open for a limited time.  “Some of these orchids will experience their peak bloom in March and early April, so we like to give our guests a chance to see these unusual and colorful blooms up-close in the same way the Vanderbilts enjoyed them – in the Winter Garden,” said Cathy Barnhardt, Biltmore’s Floral Displays Manager.

Outdoor gardens
Among the first plants to bloom across the estate will be the sunny glow of daffodils and forsythia. The spring blooming schedule continues with the widespread tulip bloom throughout the estate, while later in the season will see many other flowers such as azaleas, rhododendron, roses and vibrant annuals and perennials take hold.

Gardening tips & design inspiration

To get the most out of the gardens at this wonderful time of year, join Biltmore’s gardening and design experts as they offer tips and techniques, all included with the price of estate admission. Weekend Ask a Gardener stations in the Walled Garden allow guests to talk with Biltmore’s horticulture experts. Daily free demonstrations on creating beautiful spring arrangements are offered at “A Gardener’s Place” at the Conservatory: Designing Spring Wreaths takes place daily at 1 p.m. and Creating Elegant Centerpieces daily at 2 p.m.

Food, wine & entertainment

On May 23, a special outdoor dinner party, the Moveable Feast, will take place in the historic Walled Garden surrounded by exquisite spring blooms. Tickets are $160 per person and include tax and gratuity. For reservations call 828.257.5995.

Included with the price of estate admission, Biltmore Winery will offer daily tastings of its limited release spring seasonal wine in addition to other complimentary tastings and a production tour. Specialty tours like the NEW Vine to Wine Tour, Biltmore Bubbles Tour, and the Red Wine and Chocolate Tour are available at an additional cost. Kids will enjoy the Grape Stomp outside the winery Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m.

The Barnyard at Antler Hill Farm, open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., comes alive with spring’s baby goats, lambs, chicks and bunnies for families to pet and photograph.

Enjoy live music daily in the Conservatory, during tours of Biltmore House and on the bandstand in Antler Hill Village.

Spring is the perfect time to take advantage of Biltmore’s mountain surroundings with outdoor activities such as sporting clay shooting, Segway tours, horseback riding, carriage rides, fly-fishing, biking, float trips along the French Broad River and the Land Rover Driving Experience.

Easter egg hunt & Easter brunch

The estate’s annual Easter Egg Hunt for children ages two to nine takes place on Easter Sunday, April 20, on the front lawn of Biltmore House.  Special children’s entertainment includes music, storytelling, magic shows, games, crafts and taking photos with the Easter Rabbit. Hunts begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.  Registration begins two hours before each hunt and closes 15 minutes prior to the hunt. Parents should bring their own baskets for children to collect eggs.

Reservations are recommended for Easter brunch at estate restaurants, Deerpark or the Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Call 800.411.3812 for more information.

Spring savings

Purchase estate admission tickets at least seven days in advance of your visit and receive $15 off. Moms get free admission with the purchase of an adult or youth ticket on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11. The four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate is offering a special “Spring Celebration Package.” Call 866.336.1245 or book online. Find out about additional special offers and packages.