New Belgium Brewing’s 2014 Clips Beer and Film Tour

August 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – New Belgium Brewing’s annual Clips Beer & Film Tour will make its thirteenth stop of the 2014 tour in Asheville, N.C. on September 5. The event will take place in Pack Square Park from 7:30-10:30 p.m., with the films starting at 9 p.m. This beer-toting, film-traveling, nonprofit-benefiting show is going coast-to-coast hitting 21 cities in its fifth year with 100 percent of the proceeds from beer sales benefititting local nonprofits. Since its inception in 2010, Clips has raised close to $400,000 for nonprofits nationwide and raised $10,926 in Asheville last year. Clips is a fundraiser for Asheville on Bikes – outside alcohol is not permitted.

“Asheville on Bikes is thrilled to continue working with New Belgium and we welcome them into our community,” said Asheville on Bikes Director Mike Sule. “It’s great to have a national company championing the value of active transportation. Their commitment to active transportation broadens support for enhancing our infrastructure.”

Clips offers a venue where guests can try New Belgium’s most esoteric beer offerings, while watching short films created by New Belgium fans. Many of New Belgium’s Lips of Faith beers can be hard to come by and Clips offers the best way to try them. Up to 17 varieties from Lips of Faith to brewery classics will be on tap. For a complete list of beers available at the Asheville stop, click here.

New Belgium beers will be available in 3-ounce samples or a 12-ounce pour. Served by local beneficiary volunteers, there’s plenty of fun to be had alongside a host of traveling tricks and contests. Food from Gypsy Queen Cuisine, Avery’s Dogs and Pho Ya Belly will be available.

New Belgium selects approximately 20 short films for the tour each season. All selected filmmakers for the 2014 tour receive a trophy-worthy beer in a custom screen-printed bottle, made exclusively for the winning submissions. This year, the chosen films include a banana with an attitude, ultra marathoners running with stubborn animals, neon spandex, and much, much more! It’s a diverse and highly entertaining line-up with something for everyone.

“Clips is a great place to come together with friends and relax,” said Christie Catania, Clips National Special Events Manager. “It is an outdoor evening gathering, where you can connect with friends, watch films and enjoy good beers. One-hundred percent of proceeds from beer sales benefits your local nonprofit.”


Friday, September 5Time:
7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Pack Square Park – Roger McGuire Green

Proceeds Benefit:
Asheville on Bikes’ (AoB) mission is to cultivate the culture of urban and commuter cycling through advocacy and celebration. AoB works with the public, businesses and government to advance support of active transportation improvements (

Recycling By:
Asheville GreenWorks, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, is an environmental conservation organization that enhances the local community through volunteer-based programs and education (

Admission – free
3 oz. sample –  $1.25
12 oz. beer –  $5.00

Other tips:
Food is welcome; alcohol is not (leave that to us).
Bring low chairs or blankets – or lounge on the grass.
Entire families are welcome.
Bring your I.D. if you plan to sample beers!
Bring a water bottle – New Belgium gives away water for free.
Dogs are welcomed on a leash, under control, and by their owner’s side.
Please walk, ride a bike, carpool, or take public transportation!

For the latest information on Clips, go to For more information on New Belgium Brewing, visit

About Clips Beer & Film Tours
Clips is a national beer and film festival that invites guests to try New Belgium’s unique Lips of Faith series alongside popular classics, while catching short films by New Belgium friends and fans. Attendees get to enjoy a night under the stars with proceeds going to local nonprofits in each city. Since its inception in 2010, Clips has raised $366,893 for nonprofits nationwide. This marks the fifth year for the beer-toting, film-traveling, nonprofit-benefiting show that travels coast-to-coast.

About New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews nine year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Snapshot Wheat, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Lager, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at

WCU’s Galaxy of Stars Return of Riders in the Sky

August 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Ten years after the group’s last performance at Western Carolina University, Riders in the Sky will return to the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, with a mix of Western song classics and zany send-ups of the same, opening the Galaxy of Stars Series.

The group, formed in 1977, combines acoustic music and a wide musical repertoire with outrageous comedy, along with a little yodeling here and there. The group remains the only exclusively Western band to have won two Grammy Awards.

Riders in the Sky reached a whole new generation of listeners with their performance on the soundtrack for Disney’s “Toy Story 2,” including “Woody’s Round Up” and “To Infinity and Beyond.” The album “Toy Story 2″ was their first Grammy Award-winner in 2001 for “Best Musical Album for Children.” Two years later, they roped their second in the same category, for “Monsters Inc. – Scream Factory Favorites,” the companion CD to the movie.

In addition to being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, Riders in the Sky are in the Western Music Association’s Hall of Fame, the Country Music Foundation’s Walkway of Stars, and the Walk of Western Stars along with Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, John Wayne and other cowboy legends. They have been the Western Music Association’s “Entertainers Of the Year” six times, and won “Traditional Group of the Year” and “Traditional Album of the Year” multiple times. The Academy of Western Artists has named Riders in the Sky “Western Music Group of the Year” twice in five years, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has awarded the group its Wrangler Award statuette three times. Billboard magazine counts the group as one of “the most significant acts in the history of American music.”

They appeared in the inaugural 2005-2006 season of the Galaxy of Stars Series, Jackson County’s only professional entertainment series.

The Bardo Arts Center box office is the source for season tickets for the Galaxy of Stars Series, which includes the performances of “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical,” Oct. 24; “Cinnamon Grits: Christmas in the South,” Dec. 12; an “Elvis Tribute” starring Travis Ledoyt, Jan. 31, 2015; “Man 1, Bank 0,” Feb. 28; the ventriloquism and comedy of Lynn Trefzger & Glenn Singer, March 27; and the homage show “We’ve Only Just Begun: The Carpenters,” April 26.

Admission for “Riders in the Sky” and other individual performances is $21 for adults ($15 in groups of 20 or more), $16 for WCU faculty and staff members, and $7 for students/children of any age. Contact the box office at 828-227-2479 or online at

French Broad Brew Fest Features Breweries, Music, Scenery

August 15th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – After 17 years hosting the French Broad River Festival in the spring, the organizers are now perfecting the French Broad Brew Fest, now in it’s 4th year, which features a few of the area’s best resources: craft brew, great music and beautiful scenery.

Just north of Asheville, Hot Springs is a destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking whitewater, fishing, hiking, biking, or just relaxing at the Spa by the river. With the festival grounds located on the banks of the French Broad and it’s intersection with the Appalachian Trail, what better way to celebrate Fall in the Mountains? Beautiful scenery, music, craft beers, and food on one glorious afternoon, camping included! See details below:

Brew: 15+ breweries will be onsite and festival-goers will receive a commemorative souvenir glass for sampling from noon to 10 pm on Sat. Sept 27. Breweries include Asheville Brewing, New Belgium, One World Brewing, Pisgah Brewing, Catawba, Highland, Oskar Blues, Foothills, Sierra Nevada, R.J. Rockers, Natty Greene’s, Lagunitas, Sweetwater, French Broad Brewing, Holy City Brewing, Widmer Brothers, Shock Top, Abita, and don’t forget about the FBBF Homebrew Invitational organized by “The Godfather”!

Entertainment: See Lineup with bios including Yarn, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Tony Trischka & Territory, Hymn for Her, Wick-it the Instigator, Empire Strikes Bass, and the Mountain Top Polka Band in the Brew Tent . . . and more! (see band info below) Hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, soaking in hot tubs, and spa appointments are optional.

Environment: Where the French Broad River intersects with the Appalachian Trail . . . beautiful campsites included (see Relax).

Relax: No worries about driving, because camping is included with private campsites, rv sites and cabins available on the festival grounds. Lodging is also available within walking distance at one of the hotels or B&B’s in town. In addition to the festivities, festival-goers can also enjoy the 100 acre resort & spa’s modern Jacuzzi style hot tubs, positioned outside along the river and supplied with a continuous flow of Natural Hot Mineral Water and a staff of massage therapists on hand to compliment your soaks. If you’d like to reserve a soak in the mineral springs or a stay in the campground in advance of the festival (to reserve your spot), go to or call 828-622-7676.

Date: Sept 27-28, 2014 (camping included)
Location: Hot Springs Campground & Resort, 315 Bridge St., Hot Springs, NC

Music / entertainment: Yarn, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Tony Trischka Territory, Hymn for Her, Wick-it the Instigator, Empire Strikes Bass, and the Mountain Top Polka Band in the Brew Tent.

Breweries: Asheville Brewing, New Belgium, One World Brewing, Pisgah Brewing, Catawba, Highland, Oskar Blues, Foothills, Sierra Nevada, R.J. Rockers, Natty Greene’s, Lagunitas, Sweetwater, French Broad Brewing, Holy City Brewing, Widmer Brothers, Shock Top, Abita, and don’t forget about the FBBF Homebrew Invitational organized by “The Godfather”!

Food vendors and more: Food vendors will be available at the festival or you can dine out in one of Hot Springs restaurants.


$75 ticket includes a 5oz. commemorative souvenir sampling glass, unlimited beer samplings from noon to 10 pm in the Brew Tent, campsite and nearly 12 hours of great music. $60 ticket for music and camping only (no beer sampling).

Tomatoes are the Talk of the Town

August 15th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – This month chefs can’t get enough of farm-fresh, just-picked tomatoes. From the tiniest of local cherry tomatoes to the largest of unique heirlooms – there is no shortage of tomato varieties to choose from. To celebrate this summer star, Appalachian Grown™ partner restaurants have exciting plans for ASAP’s Get Local campaign.

Visit Laurey’s for their mouthwatering tomato dishes. They are featuring an heirloom tomato gazpacho as a daily soup, a marinated heirloom tomato salad with cheese curds from Yellow Branch Cheese as well as a variety of other salads and dishes with local tomatoes. Farm Burger is also jumping on the tomato train featuring local tomatoes from a variety of farms in their snack and salad specials. Their specials change daily, so be sure to stop by the restaurant throughout the month. The Market Place is using a wide variety of cherry and heirloom slicer tomatoes from Gaining Ground Farm this month in dishes including an heirloom tomato salad, pappardelle pasta, and watermelon panzanella. Chef William Dissen also notes that they preserve whole local tomatoes and make tomato jam to use during the winter month.

Cúrate is hosting a now sold out multi-course dinner event – Get Local La Tomatina – on August 6 that is a fun play on a traditional tomato festival in Spain. The dinner is featuring local produce from Ivy Creek Family Farm, Gaining Ground Farm, Cane Creek Valley Farm, and more.

Visit ASAP’s website at to find details on what’s happening this month. You can also Get Local at home: Find each month’s featured food—and other seasonal products—at your neighborhood farmers tailgate market, roadside stand, or grocery store. Browse for markets, stands, and stores via ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at


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, visit, or call (828) 236-1282.

October Events at Chimney Rock

August 15th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock announces October events.

Annual Passholder Fall Sunrise Breakfast

Date/Time: Saturday, October 4; gate opens 6:15am for 7:25am sunrise

Description: Few sights in Western North Carolina are as spectacular as watching the sun rise over Lake Lure in the fall! The Park opens early for Annual Passholders with a tasty continental breakfast and the best seats in the area. Post your sunrise pictures to our Facebook page. New Passholders are welcome. To RSVP, please call 800-277-9611 by October 1. Check out area accommodations at if you plan to stay overnight.

Cost: $5 Annual Passholder, free for kids under 5. Advance registration required.

Link to Event:

Rockin’ Naturalist Guided Hikes

Date/Time: Saturdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25; 11am-noon

Description: Explore Chimney Rock’s trails with a Park naturalist or State Park Ranger to learn about plants, wildlife, geology and more along the way. Or, we’ll head “off the beaten path” to discover less-traveled areas of the park. Topics vary; included with park admission. Limited to the first 15 people. Offered every Saturday at 11am from May-October, weather permitting. More details at

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to Event:

Grady’s Wildlife of WNC

Date/Time: Every Sat. & Sun. in October; 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26; 2pm

Description: Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s live woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl. Our resident education animals are the stars of the program, which explains each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife. Programs vary. Held in the Outdoor Classroom on the Meadows, weather permitting.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to Event:

Beats, Burgers & Brews at the Old Rock

Date/Time: Fridays & Saturdays, Oct. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25; 6-8pm

Description: After leaf peeping, relax outdoors to the beat of bluegrass, Americana, folk, blues or other genres while enjoying a regional craft brew or glass of wine on our riverside deck. Talented local musicians and singer-songwriters liven up the scene on Friday & Saturday evenings in October at this popular burger joint in Chimney Rock Village. The Old Rock Café features one of the 2014 Zagat-rated “Must-Try Burgers Across the Country” with Hickory Nut Gap Meats’ 100% grassfed beef burger. The full menu includes grilled sandwiches, salads and fresh baked fruit cobbler. Get more band details at

Cost: Free

Link to Event:

Naturalist Niche Series: Fall Big Basswood Hike

Date/Time: Saturday, October 11; 9:30-11:30am

Description: Up and down a bit of slope, between a few boulders and shrubs and weaving beneath towering fall foliage, hike into a hidden forest cove. Renowned naturalist Ron Lance will guide you to where the state’s largest basswood tree lives, with a circumference of more than 13 feet! Several other large trees are its neighbors and wildflowers carpet the forest floor. This 2-hour-plus hike is moderately-strenuous and not suitable for children under 12. Limited to 15; advance registration required.

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $10 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 for Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to Event:

Naturalist Niche Series: Fall Ridge Hike with Ron Lance

Date/Time: Saturday, October 25; 9:30-12:30pm

Description: Soak up Western NC’s legendary fall colors on the most scenic hike all year long! Venture high atop the ridges of Chimney Rock State Park some 1,500 feet above the valley floor, where you’ll enjoy dramatic views surrounded in a sea of stunning fall leaf colors. Led by renowned naturalist Ron Lance, this 3-hour hike is moderately strenuous. Limited to 15; advance registration required. (Photo by Stacy Redmon,

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $10 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 for Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to Event:

Fall Homeschool Day

Date/Time: October 15; 9:45am-noon

Description: This is Chimney Rock’s most popular homeschool event of the year! Join Park education specialists for fun, interactive programs in a 1000-acre classroom where learning comes alive. Multiple programs are offered for your students to experience a day of “fun learning” they won’t soon forget. All programs are designed to meet NC and SC curriculum standards. Program details and rates online at

Cost: Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required.

Fall Leaf Peeping at Chimney Rock

Date/Time: October 15 – November 7

Description: Witness Western NC’s legendary fall colors from high atop Chimney Rock with up to 75-mile panoramic views overlooking Lake Lure and the Blue Ridge Foothills. Some of the region’s most stunning autumn foliage appears here from late-October to early-Nov. due to the lower elevation. A premier leaf peeping destination, the Park offers scenic hiking trails, ancient geological features, nature programs and guided rock climbing that attracts visitors from around the world. Get weekly fall color updates at

Link to Event:

Diana Wortham Theatre 2014/2015 Mainstage Season

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 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

Park Ridge Health Recognized for Community Impact

August 15th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Park Ridge Health has been recognized as a top-ranked Community Value Provider by Cleverley + Associates, a leading health care financial consulting firm that specializes in operational benchmarking and performance enhancement strategies. Park Ridge Health received scores in the top 20 of its bracket, earning a Community Value Five-Star designation. This designation means Park Ridge Health is one of the top-performing hospitals in the nation in terms of value provided to the community through financial strength, reinvestment back into the organization, cost structure, charge structure and quality patient care.

“At a time when health care providers are increasingly under scrutiny for financial responsibility and community impact, Park Ridge Health is pleased to be recognized for its value to our local community,” said Jimm Bunch, President and CEO of Park Ridge Health. “I believe that if we continue to put safety first, financial viability will follow. As the second largest employer in Henderson County, Park Ridge Health is just as committed to providing a stable future for our community as we are to providing the best possible care for our patients.”

Cleverley + Associates’ annual State of the Hospital Industry uses the Community Value Index(r) (CVI) to measure the value a hospital provides to its community. The CVI was the first study of its kind and remains the most comprehensive index dedicated to hospital value assessment.

About Cleverley + Associates: Cleverley + Associates is a leading health care financial consulting firm that specializes in operational benchmarking and performance enhancement strategies for health care providers, consultants and vendors. The company’s primary focus is to provide health care providers with solutions and recommendations that will enhance their performance. Cleverley + Associates have released the Community Value findings as part of its new publication, State of the Hospital Industry -2014 Edition.

About Park Ridge Health: Founded in 1910, Park Ridge Health is a beloved piece of our growing community’s health care network, providing leading-edge, compassionate care in a Christian environment. Park Ridge Health is a member of Adventist Health System, a family of 45 exceptional, faith-based hospitals across the country that operate independently to deliver care and services that best meet the needs of their communities. Leading the way in many medical firsts for the region, Park Ridge Health provides personalized care at more than 30 locations, offering a dedicated network of more than 140 physicians and providers, cardiac care & rehabilitation, emergency services, nationally awarded cancer care, state-of-the-art surgical care, full-service orthopedic care, a boutique labor & delivery experience, a full range of imaging services and the only accredited hyperbaric medicine facility in Western North Carolina. For more information about Park Ridge Health or to find a physician, please visit or call 855.PRH.LIFE (855.774.5433).

WCU ‘Top Adventure College’ in Magazine Poll

August 15th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Results from an online poll have been tallied, and Western Carolina University has been announced as the No. 1 college for outdoor adventure in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic by a leading outdoors magazine.

Western Carolina captured the title of “top adventure college” over the second-place school, Garrett College in Maryland, following several rounds of voting in which WCU also came out on top against Emory University, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Virginia Tech and Appalachian State. Representatives of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine said that more than 115,000 visitors to its website cast votes during the competition held earlier this summer, and results are listed in the publication’s new August issue.

In her story about the poll results, magazine staff member Jess Daddio wrote that “WCU’s stunning campus is home to some serious adventure. Both the Parks and Recreation Management (PRM) department and the Base Camp Cullowhee outing program offer students a chance to get the quintessential experiential education experience.”

Base Camp Cullowhee has long offered dozens of outdoor recreation trips for students and equipment rental, but in recent years the staff has increased its experiential education services to integrate outdoor activities with students’ classroom curriculum, said Josh Whitmore, WCU’s associate director of outdoor programs. “For example, a professor might approach us about including a climbing wall session, a group development team-building activity or a guided hike to a geologic feature in a class,” Whitmore said.

When it comes to total student participation in Base Camp’s programming, numbers have skyrocketed in the last decade, Whitmore said. “When I first started here nearly 10 years ago, we would run about 300 to 400 touches (student participations) for a year, and we have about 7,000 to 8,000 now,” he said. The growth has followed along with improvements in the university’s recreational facilities, such as the indoor climbing wall at the Campus Recreation Center, which sometimes averages up to 800 student visits per month, he said. Also, WCU’s on-campus trail system – with seven miles of pathway for mountain biking, hiking and running – opened last year.

A decade ago, the Base Camp staff included Whitmore and about half a dozen student workers, but now it takes three full-time staffers and 20 to 25 students to keep the outdoor program going, he said.

Accordingly, the university’s reputation among the general public and prospective students as an epicenter of outdoor adventure has grown over the years, Whitmore said. “Certainly, the mountain lifestyle is a big draw for folks. This (“top adventure college” title) is a big part of building that reputation and will help with that for sure.”

In its rundown of the top eight vote-getting schools, the magazine also included profiles of two accomplished alumni from each institution. WCU’s featured students, both graduates of the Parks and Recreation Management Program, are Glenville native Bobby Bryson and Laurinburg native William Butler. Bryson is now a captain for the Charlotte Fire Department, and as a member of the North Carolina Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Team, takes part in search and rescue operations that utilize Blackhawk helicopters for swift-water, flood, urban and wilderness rescue. Butler is an educational technician for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and in that position he introduces visitors to outdoor adventure and educates them about using the wilderness responsibly.

In addition to parks and recreation management, other academic programs offered by WCU for students interested in careers in the outdoors are forest resources, hospitality and tourism and natural resource conservation and management.

Blue Ridge Outdoors’ coverage of the “top adventure college” competition is available online at

Wicked Weed Brewing Expands in Asheville

August 6th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – In conjunction with the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC), Wicked Weed Brewing announced today expansion plans for a new brewing facility to be located in western Buncombe County. The company’s expansion will add 82 new jobs and will invest $5 million in facilities and equipment over the next three years.

The brewery plans to purchase a county-owned building which will become a state-of the-art 40,000-square-foot production facility. This new brewhouse will position Wicked Weed to grow their capacity up to 50,000 barrels a year. Wicked Weed joins a growing number of Buncombe County manufacturers located in Enka Commerce Park, off Sand Hill Road, and brewing is expected to be underway by fall 2015.

This announcement comes as Wicked Weed Brewing opens its second downtown location, a barrel house and tasting room, called The Funkatorium, located at 147 Coxe Avenue. This dedicated sour barrel house will store up to 1,000 barrels used in the process of making Wicked Weed’s signature sour, barrel-aged beers. It is the only facility of its type in the Southeast, with only a handful of craft brewers nationally having a dedicated sour house.

Since opening just over 18 months ago, Wicked Weed has produced more than 155 unique beer recipes, won a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2013 and garnered national attention in the craft brewing industry for their creative, high-quality brews like the Freak of Nature Double IPA.

These expansion plans allow Wicked Weed Brewing to gradually grow their market in North Carolina and eventually other states while staying focused on their passion for producing creative, world-class craft beers and maintaining strict quality standards through self-distribution.

“When opening Wicked Weed, we could have never predicted that after a year and a half we would be opening not only a second location but also a third. While this is very exciting, growth is not the goal for our business; our driving priority is to simply make great and innovative beer in a region of the country we all call home. Brewing world-class beer in Western North Carolina really is a dream come true. We wouldn’t be moving forward in our company without the support of Buncombe County and all the craft beer enthusiasts who love what we do, and we have to express our deepest gratitude for the opportunity to take our passion to the next level.” said Walt Dickinson, Keeper of the Funk and an ownership partner with the brewery.

The success of the company underscores the growing economic value of the craft beverage industry in Western North Carolina. Buncombe County is home to an ever growing number of craft brewers and diverse support services, as well as the Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast at AB-Tech Community College.

Chairman of the Buncombe County Commissioners, David Gantt commented, “Wicked Weed is an outstanding example of the entrepreneurial spirit in Buncombe County. Two local families have combined talents and created jobs and lasting economic value for our community. I am so proud of this company and this announcement.”

“Wicked Weed’s rapid expansion in high-quality, innovative craft brewing shows its tremendous entrepreneurial talent and energy.  It also highlights the dynamic economic contributions of this industry in our community.  I expect other entrepreneurial sectors to follow the high-growth example of the craft brewing industry as our great quality of life and creative attributes continue to attract innovators and highly-skilled individuals,” remarked EDC Chairman Paul Szurek.

Wicked Weed Brewing is an Asheville, North Carolina based brewpub that consistently hosts 20-plus house beers on tap, including hop forward, West Coast style ales, open fermented Belgians, and barrel-aged sour beers. Opened in December 2012, Wicked Weed is destined to become the largest producer of barrel-aged beers in the Southeastern U.S. The brewery is best known for its Freak of Nature Double IPA, Coolcumber Ale, Tyrant Double Red Ale, Hopburglar Blood Orange IPA, Dark Age Bourbon Stout and Black Angel Cherry Sour. Wicked Weed Brewing won a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for its Serenity Farmhouse Ale in 2013. Wicked Weed recently began small scale statewide distribution of kegs and bottles of barrel-aged sour beers to major metro areas in North Carolina. Visit them online at and on Facebook at

The Economic Development Coalition (EDC) for Asheville-Buncombe County is a public-private partnership committed to: creating and retaining high quality jobs, community leadership, and being a resource for better business decisions.  The EDC accomplishes this mission through its four core services: business retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneurship, research, and marketing and recruitment.  The EDC is funded by Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, the Town of Weaverville, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the AVL 5×5 Campaign. Visit

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a member organization with over 1,800 member businesses and organizations. Chamber members collaborate with community organizations and coalitions to support the community and each other with the mission of building community through business. The Chamber is home to a 4,000 square foot Visitor Center which welcomes over 200,000 visitors per year. To get active in the Chamber, visit

Tickets for WCU’s Mainstage Season

August 6th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The students and faculty of Western Carolina University‘s School of Stage and Screen soon will raise the curtain for their Mainstage season for the 2014-15 academic year.

The playbill includes two plays and two musicals. Season subscriptions and individual tickets for the productions will go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 6, at the box office in WCU’s John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The Mainstage season will kick off in October with “Elemeno Pea,” a comedy written by Molly Smith Metzler and directed by D.V. Caitlyn, a professor in the School of Stage and Screen. The play, exploring the themes of status, ambition, regret, mistakes and life-defining choices, contains adult language and content.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, through Saturday, Oct. 4, plus a 3 p.m. matinee on Oct. 4, at Hoey Auditorium.

The next production on the playbill is the musical “42nd Street,” book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, and lyrics and music by Al Dubin and Harry Warren. The production will be directed by Terrence Mann, WCU’s Phillips Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre, with assistance from music director Katya Stanislavskaya and choreographer Karyn Tomczak. Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes, the musical follows an aspiring chorus girl on her journey through Broadway. Music will include “You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me,” “We’re in the Money” and “Lullaby of Broadway.”

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, through Saturday, Nov. 15, plus a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Bardo Arts Center.

The season also includes the musical comedy/horror production “The Rocky Horror Show” in February. Written by Richard O’Brien, the musical will be directed by Mann with help from music director Stanislavskaya. The sci-fi gothic musical about a transvestite and his motley crew includes audience participation and cascading toilet paper. The New York Times said the musical “that deals with mutating identity and time warps becomes one of the most mutated, time-warped phenomena in show business.”

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, through Saturday, Feb. 21, plus a special showing at 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 21, at Hoey Auditorium.

Director Brenda Lilly of WCU’s School of Stage and Screen will present J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan: The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up” in April. The fantasy play follows the adventures of Peter, Wendy, Michael and John in Neverland. This new adaptation of the classic play that will be performed at WCU is based on the work of John Caird and Trevor Nunn, who researched and restored Barrie’s original intentions. The London Times considers the play “a national masterpiece.”

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, through Saturday, April 18, plus a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 19, at the Bardo Arts Center.

Subscriptions for the musicals and plays are available Wednesday, Aug. 6, through Sunday, Sept. 28, and are priced at $50 for adults, $40 for seniors and WCU faculty and staff, and $20 for students.

Individual tickets for the two musicals, “42nd Street” and “The Rocky Horror Show,” are $21 for adults, $16 for seniors and WCU faculty and staff, and $7 (in advance) and $10 (day of show) for students.

Individual tickets for the two plays, “Elemeno Pea” and “Peter Pan,” are $16 for adults, $11 for seniors and WCU faculty and staff, and $7 (in advance) and $10 (day of show) for students.

Preceding the regular Mainstage season is the special event “Through the Looking Glass: Celebrating 125 Years of Arts at WCU.” Chancellor David O. Belcher and wife Susan Belcher will host this celebration of the arts throughout the university’s 125-year history. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, at the Bardo Arts Center. WCU Friends of the Arts can reserve seats through Friday, Aug. 22, when remaining seats will be released to the general public. Reservations are required for this event.

Following the regular Mainstage season is the seventh annual Controlled Chaos Film Festival. The event, which will feature the best films written, directed and produced by students in WCU’s Film and Television Production Program, is set for 7 p.m. Friday, May 1, at the Bardo Arts Center. All seats are $10, with cash only accepted at the door.

For more information about the Mainstage season and the two special events, contact WCU’s School of Stage and Screen at 828-227-7491. To order season subscriptions and individual tickets, call the Bardo Arts Center box office at 828-227-2479 or go online to