Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Help Light-Up the Night with a New Asheville Tradition

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The North Carolina Arboretum will begin a new tradition this month with Winter Lights opening November 22and running through January 4.  Visitors will walk through a winter wonderland and experience the gardens in a whole new way! The Arboretum is seeking volunteers – individuals, families and groups, to help and be part of the inaugural year.

The Arboretum has collaborated with Jerry Stripling, former designer and manager of holiday decorations, special projects and events for Walt Disney World®, to create a truly magical experience. This new light show will enhance the natural beauty of the gardens and landscape. By bringing in new visitors and involving volunteers, Winter Lights helps to support the Arboretum’s mission of cultivating connections between people and plants.

Volunteers may enjoy the event while helping out in a variety of fun ways as part of the festivities. Outside opportunities are available at the Fire & S’mores station or having fun welcoming and directing visitors as a Greeter/Wayfinder. If you prefer indoors, volunteers are needed to assist with admissions, in the gift shop or at the information desk. Volunteer shifts are available seven days a week, 5:30 – 9:30 PM, including holidays. Minors 16 and over are welcome to volunteer for designated positions with adult supervision. Individuals and groups are encouraged to sign up!

Find out more and sign up to volunteer at, email [email protected] or call 828- 665-2492 x 219.

Winter Lights will be open nightly and feature music, gifts, and food & beverages. Tickets are on sale now exclusively through and are date-specific with limited quantities. All tickets must be purchased in advance; no tickets will be sold at the gate.

Located in the inspirational Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum cultivates connections between people and plants through creative expressions of landscape stewardship, including:     Conservation, Education, Garden Demonstration, Research, and Economic Development. Find out more and plan a visit today –

For Further Information Contact:

Tara Griffith, Coordinator of Volunteer & Guest Services

North Carolina Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville NC 28806

(828) 665-2492 x 219

E-mail: [email protected]

Lake Julian Festival of Lights

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Lake Julian Park presents “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” at Lake Julian Park. The first night of the Lake Julian Come on out &d see the lights!Festival of Lights is for walkers only.

Thursday, December 4, Lake Julian Park will become a wonderland for pedestrians – no cars allowed! Enjoy the holiday lights from a new perspective as you stroll through the brightly lit woods.

Take time to warm yourself by the fire and toast a couple of marshmallows with the kids.

Gates open from 6 – 8 p.m. Adults admission is $5 and children get in FREE!

Wonderland Walkers should wear comfortable shoes, warm clothing and be prepared to walk over half a mile on a paved walkway. The walkway is of moderate difficulty with some inclines. Parents with young children are welcome to bring strollers or wagons. No pets please.

Lake Julian Park is in Arden, just off Long Shoals Road. Parking for “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” is at:

Family of Faith Fellowship Church
212 Long Shoals Road, Arden
Directions to “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” Parking

For more information, call (828) 684-0376 or email [email protected].

“Walking in a Winter Wonderland” is subject to weather conditions. Lake Julian Park reserves the right to cancel the event or close the event early without notice.


Light up your Holiday nights at the Lake Julian Park Festival of Lights. This is the 15th year for the annual spectacle. The drive through show begins on Friday, December 5 and is nightly from 6 – 9 p.m. through Tuesday, December 23. The park is brightly lit with thousands of colored lights and over 50 animated and stationary light displays. The road circling the park becomes a magical journey through tunnels of dazzling lights.

The cost for this drive through presentation is $5 for a car, $10 for a van and $25 for a motor coach. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Buncombe County Special Olympics. Lake Julian Park is located off Long Shoals Road.

Lake Julian Park
406 Overlook Road Ext, Arden
Directions to Lake Julian Park for the Festival of Lights

Ending Veteran Homelessness in Asheville and Buncombe County

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Mayor Esther Manheimer has signed on to the Mayors’ Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness by the end of 2015, a program initiated earlier in the year by First Lady Michelle Obama.  Ending veteran homelessness means reaching the point where there are no veterans sleeping on our streets and every veteran has access to permanent housing.

The Mayor’s Challenge is a call to action – announced by First Lady Michelle Obama earlier this year, and has received support from the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Veteran’s Affairs (VA), US Interagency Council on Homelessness, and by the National League of Cities. The challenge is for mayors to make a commitment to ending Veteran homelessness in their cities by 2015.

Increasing access to permanent housing in Buncombe County occurs through a collaborative partnership that includes the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative, the VA, the Housing Authority, Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministries, and Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina.

In the coming months, this collaborative will be focusing on strengthening its plan to address all forms of homelessness among veterans. This plan will include rapid re-housing strategies to ensure a quick transition back into safe, stable and sustainable housing for veterans and their families who have become homeless, as well as prevention strategies to ensure housing stability for those imminently at risk of homelessness.

“The Asheville-Buncombe community took on the challenge of ending chronic homelessness by 2015 when the 10 Year Plan was adopted,” said Veterans Administration Homeless Programs coordinator Allison Bond. “Because of strong, collaborative partnerships, creative solutions, and now Mayor Manheimer’s endorsement of the Mayor’s Challenge, we are on track to achieve ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 as well.”

Craven Street Improvement Project Moves to Next Phase

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Craven Street improvement project underway in west Asheville moves to the next phase this week. The stormwater culvert section of the project underway since mid-July is complete and crews will shift to the realignment of Craven Street, Emma Road and Hazel Mill Road. Work along this section is anticipated to take through the spring of 2015. During that time, Craven Street will be closed between Waynesville Avenue and Hazel Mill Road, while a new four-way stop at Craven Street, Hazel Mill Road and Emma Road will be in place by the end of the week.

The section of Craven Street between Georgia Street and Waynesville Avenue will be open beginning Tuesday November 11, allowing access to Haywood Road from Waynesville Avenue.

The Craven Street improvement project is located in the area surrounding the New Belgium Brewery construction site and is the City of Asheville’s portion of a public-private partnership with the State of North Carolina, North Carolina Golden Leaf Foundation, NCDOT, Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Buncombe County, the Economic Development Administration, and the Asheville-Buncombe Economic Development Coalition and others in support of New Belgium’s investment of $175 million in the community.

Find updates on this improvement project at

UNC Asheville to Switch to Energy-Efficient LED Lighting

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Projected Annual Savings of $468,000 Will Pay Off Capital Costs in Seven Years. UNC Asheville is beginning a $3.2 million project to upgrade the majority of all indoor and exterior lighting on campus to energy-efficient LED fixtures. LED or light-emitting diode bulbs typically use between 30 and 40 percent less electricity than comparable alternatives. The project also will include installation of some linear fluorescent lamps and occupancy sensors that will automatically turn off lights in empty rooms. The upgrade, estimated to generate at least $468,000 in avoided energy costs per year, is expected to be completed by the end of May.

“This is a huge step forward in minimizing our carbon footprint,” said Sonia Marcus, UNC Asheville director of sustainability. “We will save about 5,000 megawatt-hours of energy per year, equivalent to the annual electricity use of about 475 homes. The cost savings are also tremendous. We expect to save nearly $79,000 a year in Ramsey Library alone.”

The LED fixtures are designed to meet brightness and color temperature requirements in a wide range of applications. All lighting levels will adhere to LEED® standards set by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

UNC Asheville’s effort is part of a University of North Carolina system-wide campaign to reduce the energy intensity of its facilities by 30 percent between 2002 and 2015. The lighting upgrade initiative is projected to save at least $3.5 million annually across 12 of the system’s campuses.

As part of this larger $26.5 million UNC system project, UNC Asheville will benefit from economies of scale in purchasing, contracting and financing. Utilities savings are guaranteed and will be used to pay back over seven years the $3.2 million debt UNC Asheville will incur to invest in the upgrade.

North Carolina-based Cree Inc. will supply the majority of LED fixtures used in the upgrade project, and installations will be performed by local firm MB Haynes Corporation. “This is a win-win-win for the environment, the state budget, and for the local economy,” said John Pierce, UNC Asheville vice chancellor for finance and campus operations. “We appreciate the help of the UNC system in making this possible.”

NC Arboretum Winter Break Camps

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The NC Arboretum announces Winter Break Camps!

Winter Mountaineers (K-2): Embark on a winter adventure every day! This camp offers all sorts of outdoor skills, games and activities like making shelters out of found materials and exploring the trails and woodlands of the Arboretum on age-appropriate excursions.Get ready for a week of outdoor winter fun! $190/members, $210/general public.  December 1 – 5, 2014, 9 am – 4 pm. Register at

Winter Mountaineers (3-5): Spend a week gaining winter wilderness survival skills while adventuring in the outdoors. Learn basic fire building skills, shelter building and how to make tea from seasonal native plants. Play games and explore the trails and woodlands of the Arboretum for outdoor winter fun! $190/members, $210/general public.  December 1 – 5, 2014, 9 am – 4 pm. Register at

For more information contact
Jonathan Marchal
Youth Education Coordinator and Discovery Camp Director
[email protected]
(828) 665-2492 ext. 228.

WCU Band Selected to Lead Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – When the 505 members of the Western Carolina University Pride of the Mountains Marching Band pound the pavement of New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, they won’t be just taking part in the beloved holiday tradition. They will be the very first parade participants to hit the streets that morning.

That’s because the WCU unit has been selected as the lead band for the parade by organizers of the event, to be held Thursday, Nov. 27.

Wesley Whatley, creative director of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, broke the news to members of the Pride of the Mountains during a recent band tournament held on campus.

“We are so excited that the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band has been chosen to lead the parade through the streets of New York City,” said David Starnes, WCU director of athletic bands. “What this means is that we will be leading the parade from Central Park West along the parade route.”

The parade will be broadcast live by NBC beginning at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. The television broadcast includes other acts that perform for the cameras as the parade moves through the city to the stage area at 34th Street, Starnes said. “We will be the first parade participant to be seen on TV,” he said.

During its time in front of the cameras – and an international TV audience – the band will perform “I’ve Seen the Lights Go out on Broadway” by Billy Joel. During the parade, the band will perform other selections from its 2014 halftime production, “Street Beatz,” a musical travelogue of “The Big Apple.”

The Pride of the Mountains is one of only 10 marching bands selected from across the nation to perform in the 2014 Macy’s parade. The invitation to perform at the event, which came in a surprise on-campus announcement by parade officials in April 2013, is the latest in a long line of accolades bestowed upon the WCU marching band.

The Pride of the Mountains was recipient of the 2009 Sudler Trophy, awarded by the John Phillip Sousa Foundation and considered the nation’s highest and most-coveted award for college and university marching bands.

The band followed that up with an invitation to march in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, where it won “favorite band” in a poll conducted by KTLA-TV, earning 40 percent of all votes cast in the poll and more than any of the parade’s other musical groups.

Next stop, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Founded in 1924, the world-famous Macy’s parade attracts more than 3.5 million spectators lining the streets of New York, and 50 million at-home viewers.

Potato Comfort in November with ASAP

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Potato dishes bring comfort and warmth to the fall season. Many varieties of potato are grown in the Appalachian Grown™ region, which makes them the perfect fall match for the Get Local product this month. Kennebec is the most prevalent variety, but others include Yukon Gold, Russian Banana fingerlings, and many purple and reds such as Purple Peruvian and Colorado Rose. Sweet potatoes are also on the menu—Beauregard and Covington are some favorites and are just right for a Thanksgiving feast. A long storage life allows potatoes to be available at local farmers markets through the end of the season, so plan to stock up for winter.

Appalachian Grown partner restaurants have scrumptious plans for ASAP’s Get Local campaign in November. The Market Place is sourcing potatoes from Gaining Ground Farm for a crispy smashed potato. Truffle herb fries are also on the menu as a side dish and in daily specials. West End Bakery is featuring a four cheese potato soup this month. They will also be making roasted potato breakfast bowls for their weekend brunch using fingerling potatoes from R Farm.

Visit ASAP’s website at to find more 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.

Holiday Tails Dec. 6th at WNC Nature Center

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – It’s time for our holiday celebration at the Nature Center with crafts, garland creations, wildlife art, face painting, a Christmas hay maze and of course, animal encounters! Santa himself  will be here from 12-4!

Festival runs from 10am-4pm. Regular admission rates apply. Friends members get in free.

Tis the Season Holiday Fair Nov 21 – 23

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – A festive shopping event featuring fabulous art, crafts, gifts, adornments for the home as well as delectable holiday food and NC wines.

Friday, November 21, 10am-8pm
Saturday, November 22, 10am-8pm
Sunday, November 23, 11am-5pm

Adults $4.00 per person
Children under 12 Free
Free Parking

For more information: