Big Changes Coming to the ART

August 21st, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Beginning January 1, 2015, Asheville Redefines Transit will begin offering service on Sundays and improved service to the Emma and Oakley sections of Asheville.

“Sunday service is at the top of our list for enhancements to the system, and was included as a high priority in the Transit Master Plan,” said Transportation Manager Mariate Echeverry. “This will provide riders more options to get to their workplace and to make needed trips on Sunday.”

Sunday service earned the highest scores in a 2008 Rider Survey and in a follow up survey conducted in 2013. The addition of Sunday service means that ART will operate every day of the year except Christmas, Thanksgiving Day and Easter.

Asheville City Council approved funding for the change in the 2014/2015 budget and the step meets the city’s goals of constant improvement and excellent service as well as Council’s Strategic Goal of supporting multimodal transportation.

“The City’s commitment to increased service will make a major impact on the daily lives of thousands of people,” said Adam Charnack, Vice-Chair of Asheville’s Transit Committee. “Investments like these attract even more riders and we look forward to building on this momentum.”

As part of the implementation of these changes, the City of Asheville will host a public meeting to receive comments and feedback on Wednesday, August 20 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. in the 4th Floor Training Room of the Municipal Building, 100 Court Plaza.  The meeting will be a drop-in format to take public comment on the most effective times and routes for these improvements.

The meeting will also address changes in response to rider requests that the ART operate direct routes from downtown to the Oakley and Emma areas.

The public can weigh in on changes to the ART system at or submit comments by August 25, 2014, to [email protected] or mail to Mariate Echeverry, Transportation Planning Manager, City of Asheville, P.O. Box 7148, Asheville NC 28802.

Paper surveys are also being distributed and collected at the ART Station and in the Emma community to gather as much feedback as possible.

Since the Transit Master Plan launch in 2008, enhancements outlined in that plan have been implemented as funding is secured. Service enhancements that have been implemented include new branding, increased frequency on major corridors, holiday service, increased service on Tunnel Road, 10 new shelters, route schedule improvements and the launch of the NextBus arrival notification system.

For more information about Asheville Transit call (828) 253-5691, e-mail [email protected] or visit

Leaf-peeping and Wine Go Together at Biltmore this Fall

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
  • 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
  • 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

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
  • 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

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 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

UNC Asheville Recalls Jewish Cultural Renaissance of Germany’s Interwar Years

August 21st, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Professor and scholar of Jewish history Michael Brenner will present Why Weimar? at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30 in UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center. Brenner will explore the dramatic explosion of long suppressed creativity from within Germany’s small Jewish population that took place between the end of World War I and the rise of Hitler.

Brenner’s lecture kicks off the yearlong Evenings at the Cabaret Weimar series, exploring Germany’s tumultuous experiment with democracy during the Weimar era. The period was marked by modernist innovations in the arts, theater, architecture, literature and science, and by a vibrant cabaret culture.

Brenner is the Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies and directs American University’s Center for Israel Studies. He is also professor of Jewish history and culture at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, and has had visiting appointments at numerous universities. His many books include The Renaissance of Jewish Culture in Weimar Germany (Yale University Press, 1998), and a volume he co-edited with Gideon Reuveni, Emancipation through Muscles: Jews and Sports in Europe (University of Nebraska Press, 2006).

Upcoming events in the Evenings at the Cabaret Weimar series will include film screenings, musical performances and lectures:

  • October 14: Meet Mack the Knife. Scholar Naomi Graber and piano and voice duo Vance Reese and Amanda Horton will present an evening of the music of Kurt Weill, a leading composer for musical theater in Berlin.
  • October 28: Is There A Jewish Architecture? Israeli filmmaker Duki Dror presents his award-winning 2012 documentary film, Incessant Vision, an exploration of European architect Erich Mendelsohn’s lyrical modernist designs.
  • April 7: Einstein in Berlin. Professor Peter Fenves recounts Albert Einstein’s revolutionary theories of the universe and his role as a social activist denouncing German militarism and advocating for a Jewish homeland.
  • April 21: The Poet of Crossing Boundaries. Professor of European Studies Markus Hallensleben explores the avant-garde poetry, prose and drama of Else Lasker-Schüler—one of the few women affiliated with the Expressionist movement.
  • April 28: Martin Buber: Jewish Existentialist. Theologian Claire Sufrin discusses the work of philosopher Martin Buber, who started an adult academy for modern Jewish learning in Frankfurt, Germany, and also translated the Hebrew Bible into a highly original German idiom.

This series is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies and OLLI (the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute). For more information, contact the Center for Jewish Studies at 828.232.5027, or OLLI at 828.251.6140.

Park Ridge Health South Asheville Grand Opening

August 21st, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Park Ridge Health will host a grand opening celebration at its new South Asheville campus on Sept. 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. Park Ridge Health South Asheville is located immediately off of I-26 at Exit 37.

“This grand opening is going to be very exciting for both the community and for our team members,” said Graham Fields, Assistant to the President at Park Ridge Health. “Park Ridge Health’s South Asheville campus was developed with our community and our patients in focus, so we can provide them with the best possible location and the best possible experience.”

The community is invited to drop in, meet care providers, and enjoy refreshments from Travinia Italian Kitchen, live music, tours of the new facility, a chance to meet Park Ridge Health staff and providers, prizes, giveaways and fun for the whole family.

At Park Ridge Health’s new health campus, patients will have access to many of the region’s leading primary providers and specialists, as well as other high-demand medical services. More than 20 physicians and providers will offer care at Park Ridge Health South Asheville, with extended hours, weekend hours and same-day appointments available.

“We’re eager to consolidate our exceptional medical practices in the South Asheville area under one extremely convenient location, all in an environment that will match Park Ridge Health’s nationally leading performance on patient engagement and patient safety,” said Jason Wells, Vice President of Physician Services at Park Ridge Health. “Our providers are looking forward to offering care in this beautiful new facility with incomparable access.”

The address for Park Ridge Health South Asheville is 15 Skyland Inn Drive, Arden, NC.

Three primary care providers accepting new patients at Park Ridge Health South Asheville campus

Park Ridge Health is pleased to welcome Steven Hauser, M.D., M.P.H., Virginia Hauser, A.R.N.P., F.N.P-B.C., M.P.H., and Katie Dager, P.A., to its new health campus in South Asheville. All three providers are accepting new patients.

Dr. Steven Hauser is an internal medicine physician accepting new patients ages 18 and over at Park Ridge South Asheville. Prior to his time at Park Ridge Health, he attended medical school and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Jackson Memorial Hospital-University of Miami. Dr. Hauser has specific interest in health education and disease prevention. Prior to his medical training, he received a Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology, the science that studies the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations.  As an internist, Dr. Hauser cares for patients with an array of acute and chronic illnesses both common and complex.

“I enjoy internal medicine because I have the opportunity to care for the whole patient, while still having sufficient knowledge to coordinate patient care with sub-specialists,” Dr. Hauser says.

Virginia Hauser, A.R.N.P., F.N.P.-B.C., M.P.H., is a board-certified family nurse practitioner at Park Ridge Health South Asheville. Prior to practicing as a nurse practitioner, she was a clinical educator in Women’s Health, augmenting her skills with a Masters in Public Health. Virginia completed her nursing training at the University of Miami. She has experience in oncology, primary care and women’s health.  During her career, Virginia has cared for patients in a variety of settings including private practice, university and a nationally operated walk-in center.

“I am excited to provide quality care in a beautiful new setting, allowing patients improved access,” Virginia says.

As a family nurse practitioner, Virginia’s scope of practice encompasses health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis and management of common, acute and chronic health care problems. She emphasizes patient empowerment, education and shared decision making.

Katie Dager, P.A., earned her Masters of Science as a Physician Assistant from Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, Va. She is relocating from Roanoke, where she provided care as a physician assistant with a special emphasis on urgent care and weight management. Dager is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and her professional interests include preventative medicine and women’s health.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Park Ridge Health family, and especially looking forward to caring for the women in our community,” Dager says.

About Park Ridge Health South Asheville: Park Ridge Health South Asheville will provide access to many of the area’s leading primary care providers and specialists, as well as other high-demand medical services. Located off I-26, Exit 37, across from the entrance to Biltmore Park, and built with the needs of our community in mind, the site of this new health campus was selected to provide leading-edge medical care in a convenient location. More than 20 physicians and providers will offer care at Park Ridge Health South Asheville, with extended hours, weekend hours and same-day appointments available. Schedule an appointment today by calling 855.PRH.LIFE or by visiting

Another First For Historic Biltmore Village

August 21st, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Historic Biltmore Village in Asheville NC will be hosting its first annual Vintage Fall Festival featuring the Bee Happy Market.

The event will be held in the Wells Fargo parking lot at 11 Kitchen Place from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM.  Starting at 2:00, all of the restaurants with outdoor seating will be featuring live entertainment.  Participating retail merchants will host special sales and a look at the newest fall fashions throughout the Village.

Historic Biltmore Village is excited to be working with Emily Growden, owner of Bee Happy Wares & Whimsies, to host a premier open air artisan, vintage, antique, and collectibles market. It’s no secret that these types of markets are being held all over the country and are in very high demand, gaining momentum with the help of shows like HGTV’s Junk Gypsies.  “Whether it be a result of enduring a recessed economy or simply a love for all things nostalgic, we have embraced the continuing demand of giving old pieces new life,” explains Emily.  “There are so many local artisans with a passion and gift for refurbishing and repurposing, and yet no specific venue in Asheville to come together in one event of this nature.”

Historic Biltmore Village plans to grow this vintage market from year to year, likely becoming a juried event.  If you would like any additional information regarding the Bee Happy Market, please contact Emily Growden at [email protected]

WCU Ranked Among ‘Most Technologically Savvy Online Schools’

August 21st, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Western Carolina University has received a high national ranking on a list of “The 30 Most Technologically Savvy Online Schools.”

The Online Schools Center, based in Lexington, Tennessee, ranked WCU at No. 10 on a list of universities “that offer the discerning distance learner the finest education using the most progressive technology.”

In its review of WCU, the website’s writer Luke Paton wrote that “Distance students at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, can augment their education with the use of live streaming video and audio, as well as with remote access to their instructors. The school began offering distance education in 1997, and it constantly endeavors to take maximum advantage of the changes in information and communications technologies.” The website also mentions services offered to online learners by WCU’s Hunter Library.

Early this year, WCU was listed by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s best providers of online bachelor’s degree programs. The magazine put WCU in 34th place among 205 schools in a category titled “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.” A few months later, U.S. News & World Report gave WCU a high national ranking for having online options that are veteran-friendly.

The Online School Center’s website is General information about WCU’s online programs is available at the website or by calling the university’s Division of Educational Outreach at 828-227-7397.

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.