Archive for May, 2012

WNC Highlands Celtic Festival at Pisgah Brewing

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The WNC Highlands Celtic Festival returns to Black Mountain for its third year, bringing its biggest lineup yet of the hottest bands on the Celtic festival circuit.  Headlining the event are the powerful and tribal Scottish band Albannach, along with international Celtic supergroup Rathkeltair.  Rounding out the entertainment lineup are Marcille Wallis & Friends, the Thistledown Tinkers, Uncle Hamish and the Hooligans, My Three Kilts, Pipapelli, the Montreat Scottish Pipes & Drums, and the Moynihan School of Irish Dance.   Scheduled for Father’s Day Weekend 2012 (Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16), WNC Highlands Celtic Festival turns Pisgah Brewing Company into a Celtic feast for the senses, with samplings of Celtic culture including athletics and dance, authentic foods and crafts.  Drawing fans from all across the country to Black Mountain, the family-friendly WNC Highlands Celtic Festival has furthered Western Carolina’s reputation as a Father’s Day weekend destination and the Festival itself as a new holiday tradition.

“Festival-goers will be treated to an eclectic mix of traditional Celtic music, its offshoots such as bluegrass, and fusions of the ancient Celtic sounds with modern styles such as rock and blues,” said a spokesperson from Celtic Heritage, producers/directors of the Festival.  “Western Carolina, and Black Mountain in particular, were once the destination of many Scottish and Irish immigrants seeking to make a life in the New World.  They brought their customs and their music with them, and that’s the root of the unique vibe in this area.  It seemed only natural to bring their descendants back ‘home’ to participate in a festival, almost a family reunion, celebrating those immigrants and their contributions.”

Returning to headline the festival is the popular Scottish band Albannach.  Their lone piper, surrounded by four drummers, creates a fierce and intense yet danceable sound that has won them a devoted following across the United States.  Scottish natives all, Albannach’s stated purpose in life is to share Scotland’s intriguing culture through music.  Their invigorating approach to the traditional music of the Highlands and Islands quickly brings audiences to their feet and always leaves them begging for more.

Rathkeltair is one of North America’s premier Celtic rock bands, featuring a powerful quartet of musicians from Ireland, England and America.  Their cross-generational appeal lies in their ability to take listeners on a musical journey through time and space, weaving traditional bagpipe tunes together with tunes from Steely Dan or The Beatles.  They are story-tellers as well, delivering compelling original vocals that are exciting, audience-friendly, and great fun.

“Marcille Wallis & Friends” has as its nucleus touring and recording artist Marcille Wallis, one of the nation’s top hammer dulcimer players.  Wallis’s group also includes award-winning Scottish dancers, a vocalist/multi-instrumentalist, and fiery Celtic/bluegrass fiddler Matt Miller, winner of numerous fiddle championships.  The Thistledown Tinkers is a duo of seasoned music veterans from North Carolina, who play not the fragile, romanticized Celtic music heard in movie soundtracks but music that makes listeners sing along and stomp their feet.  Uncle Hamish and the Hooligans, My Three Kilts, and Pipapelli are fixtures not only on the Celtic festival/Highland games circuit, but in Celtic pubs across the southeastern US.

The Montreat Scottish Pipes and Drums band has entertained thousands during its 30+ years of existence.  Based out of the Asheville area, the band includes members from Avery, Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania, and Jackson Counties in North Carolina.  The Moynihan School of Irish Dance is fronted by lead dancer and choreographer Gillian Moynihan, also of the Asheville area.

Advance tickets are $20, and cover all festival activites both days.  They can be ordered from www.celticheritageproductions.com/wnc.htm or by calling (828) 280-3355.  Tickets at the gate are $25, so fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early.  Hours for the festival are 6pm-Midnight, Friday June 15, and 10am-Midnight, Saturday June 16.  Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged, though coolers are not permitted.  Parking is free.

Highlands Biological Station Offers Course for Science Educators

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – June 25 through June 29, the Highlands Biological Station is hosting a field-based course for science educators titled “Mountain Biodiversity” with Karen Kandl, associate director of the Station.  We invite educators of all levels to enroll in this engaging study of the biogeography and biodiversity of the southern Appalachian Mountains.  Mountain Biodiversity focuses on the theory and practice of conservation biology as it relates to this unique regional environment.  Topics include southern Appalachian historical geology, regional biogeography, principles of ecology and evolution, biodiversity assessment, and conservation biology.

Science educators may take the course for three CEU’s or two graduate credits through Western Carolina University, or just for fun!  There are no prerequisites and the registration fee, which includes housing, is just $150.  There are additional fees to receive graduate credit.  For more information, or to register, visit www.highlandsbiological.org/ or call (828) 526-2602.  We’d love to hear from you!

Mountain Safari Party at WNC Nature Center

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The Friends of the WNC Nature Center invite the local community to join them for the 2nd annual “Mountain Safari” – a wild social adventure at the WNC Nature Center on Thursday, May 31, 2012, from 6-9 p.m.. The Nature Center will open its doors for an evening soiree guaranteed to delight even the most festive of partygoers, all in the name of furthering the mission of the WNC Nature Center.

Live entertainment at Mountain Safari is as varied as the different animal inhabitants of the Nature Center. Bluegrass musician Rob Russell, the Asheville-based rock band Sunshine and the Bad Things, and native son and musical genius/headliner Aaron Woody Wood will be performing, as well as the enchanting Bhangra dancers Christine Garvin and Diana McCall. Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy evening encounters with the owls, otters, cougars, wolves, and more!  Delicious food generously donated by area restaurant favorites like Azalea Café, Chili’s, Edna’s of Asheville, Fig Bistro, The Marketplace, and Ultimate Ice Cream will satisfy partygoer’s taste buds.  To wash down the delectable bites, Asheville Brewing Company is generously providing beer and, to commemorate the Center’s “Year of the Red Wolf,” attendees are encouraged to come early for a limited release bottle of Rufus Red Ale!

The Friends Executive Director Kimberly Brewster shared, “This year’s event is not only shaping up to be wilder than the last, it is also receiving great support from business, restaurants and now the community with tickets being bought up quick!”  She hopes everyone will come out for a “fun evening of great entertainment and adventure as we party with (and for) the animals.”

During the benefit, the Center will also treat guests to a silent auction and raffle, to help raise funds for projects at the WNC Nature Center. The silent auction will feature more than $10,000 worth of impressive and generous donations from area businesses, artists, and area attractions. Highlights from the silent auction include one of-a-kind paintings and paw prints of animals from the Nature Center, fun outdoor packages from sponsors like Diamond Brand Outdoors, and admission to Wild Walks, a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Center. 

Attendees are encouraged to dress in their best safari gear, and those that do will be entered into a special raffle. The Friends appreciate all the support from the sponsors mentioned above, as well as many others, including: Beer City Bikes, Festiva Resorts, Forest Commercial Bank, Greenhands Healing Center, Groovy Tables and Dr. Steven L. Cahan!  Tickets are available to members of the Nature Center for $40 and to non-members for $45 by advance sale and $50 at the door.  For more information visit www.wildwnc.org, or call the Friends at (828) 259-8092.                    

About Friends of the WNC Nature Center

The Mission of the Friends of the WNC Nature Center is to create awareness and provide financial resources, through fundraising and events, in support of the Nature Center – Asheville’s Wildlife Park and its mission of connecting people with animals and plants of the Southern Appalachian Mountains by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the region’s rich biodiversity.

Pools Open Memorial Day Weekend!

Friday, May 25th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Buncombe County Pools will open to the public beginning on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools will be open for the season when schools are out for summer break and will remain open daily until Buncombe County Pools will open to the public beginning on Memorial Day Weekend.school begins in August.

Pool hours:

  • Monday – Friday (Noon – 5:45 p.m.)
  • Saturday (11 a.m. – 6:45 p.m.)
  • Sunday (1 – 6:45 p.m.)

The cost to swim is $3 per person. Discount passes are available at all pools.

  • 10 visits for $25
  • 25 visits for $40

Pool Contact Information:

Cane Creek – Fletcher (828) 628-4494
Erwin – Asheville (828) 251-4992
Hominy Valley – Candler (828) 667-9937
North Buncombe – Weaverville (828) 645-1080
Owen – Swannanoa (828) 686-1629

Memorial Day Ceremony May 28

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Join us at our Memorial Day Ceremony!ASHEVILLE NC – Buncombe County, in conjunction with the City of Asheville Mayor’s Committee on Veterans Affairs, will host the annual Asheville-Buncombe Memorial Day ceremony on the Roger McGuire Green of Pack Square Park at 3 p.m. on May 28, 2012.

The public is invited. For more information on the event, please contact Asheville Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts at (828) 259-5800.

Fly Your Flag for Memorial Day May 28

Friday, May 25th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Memorial Day is Monday, May 28.  Here are some pointers on how to fly your flag properly.

Important Do’s

  • It is the universal custom to display the national flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. The U.S. flag may be displayed at night upon special occasions when it is desired to produce a patriotic effect.
  • The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
  • Display the U.S. flag on all days that weather permits but especially on national and state holidays and other days that may be proclaimed by the President of the United States. On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag should be half-staffed until noon.
  • The U.S. flag should be displayed on or near the main building of every public institution during school days in or near every schoolhouse and in or near every polling place on election days.
  • Always hoist the U.S. flag briskly. Lower it ceremoniously.

Important Don’ts

  • Never in any way should any disrespect be shown the U.S. flag.
  • The U.S. flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags and organization or institutional flags are dipped as a mark of honor.
  • The U.S. flag should never be displayed with the union down except as a signal of dire distress.
  • The U.S. flag should never touch anything beneath it – ground, floor, water or merchandise.
  • The U.S. flag should never be carried horizontally, but always aloft and free.
  • Always allow the U.S. flag to fall free – never use the U.S. flag as drapery, festooned, drawn back, or up in folds. For draping platforms and decoration in general, use blue, white and red bunting. Always arrange the bunting with the blue above, the white in the middle and the red below.
  • The U.S. flag should never be fastened, displayed, used or stored in a manner which will permit it to be easily torn, soiled or damaged in any way. Never use the U.S. flag as a covering or drape for a ceiling.
  • Never place anything on the U.S. flag. The U.S. flag should never have placed upon it, or on any part of it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature.
  • Never use the U.S. flag for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything. The U.S. flag should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard; or used as any portion of a costume or athletic uniform. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

County Offices to Close for Memorial Day

Friday, May 25th, 2012
American FlagASHEVILLE NC – Buncombe County Government offices and libraries will be closed on Monday, May 28 for Memorial Day.

Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Recycling Day at the BC Landfill will be cancelled on Friday, May 25.

The Landfill and Transfer Station will be open regular hours on Friday, May 25 and Monday, May 28.

Asheville’s Garden Hotline is Now Open

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
CosmosASHEVILLE NC – The Extension Master Gardener Hotline is open for the season. Volunteers are available to answer your gardening questions on the phone, or you may bring problem samples into the our office for diagnosis.

Call 255-5522 or visit 94 Coxe Avenue in Asheville. Phone and office hours are:

  • Monday -Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Pools Open Memorial Day Weekend!

Monday, May 21st, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Buncombe County Pools will open to the public beginning on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools will be open for the season when schools are out for summer break and will remain open daily until Buncombe County Pools will open to the public beginning on Memorial Day Weekend.school begins in August.

Pool hours:

  • Monday – Friday (Noon – 5:45 p.m.)
  • Saturday (11 a.m. – 6:45 p.m.)
  • Sunday (1 – 6:45 p.m.)

The cost to swim is $3 per person. Discount passes are available at all pools.

  • 10 visits for $25
  • 25 visits for $40

Pool Contact Information:

Cane Creek – Fletcher (828) 628-4494
Erwin – Asheville (828) 251-4992
Hominy Valley – Candler (828) 667-9937
North Buncombe – Weaverville (828) 645-1080
Owen – Swannanoa (828) 686-1629

Biltmore’s 16th Annual Concert Series

Monday, May 21st, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – See a show under the stars during Biltmore’s 16th annual concert series, kicking off on Aug. 9. A mix of Grammy-winning and contemporary Christian artists highlight the series, with views of Biltmore House and the Blue Ridge Mountains as an unforgettable backdrop. Performances will be staged on the South Terrace of Biltmore House and Diana at Biltmore. All concerts start at 8 p.m.

Tickets sales begin in May. For more information and a schedule of on-sale dates, visit www.biltmore.com/concerts

The full Biltmore Concert Series line-up is:

Steve Miller Band, Aug. 9 on the South Terrace
Peter Frampton, Aug.11 on the South Terrace
KC and the Sunshine Band and Village People, Aug. 18 on the South Terrace
Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Aug.24 on the South Terrace
Chris Tomlin, Aug. 25 on the South Terraces
Foreigner, Sept. 1 on the South Terrace
The Lettermen, Sept. 28 at Diana at Biltmore
David Cassidy in Concert, Oct. 5 at Diana at Biltmore
Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Oct. 12 at Diana at Biltmore
Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Oct. 19 at Diana at Biltmore

A variety of ticket, dining and accommodations packages are available for all of the concerts. Tickets do not include or require estate admission. Performers and dates are subject to change. Biltmore Twelve-Month Passholders receive a discount on general admission and reserved seating. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.biltmore.com/concerts, or call 866-336-1255.