Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $10 Annual Passholder
You’ll know spring has arrived at Chimney Rock when wildflowers begin to bloom and birds are singing. Join world-traveled birding expert Simon Thompson to look for early breeding songbirds such as the Wood Thrush, Hooded Warbler, Scarlet Tanagers and other springtime species. Limited to 15; advance registration required. Join an expert naturalist on park trails every 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month April-November to learn about wild edibles, plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fun outdoor topics.
Description: Have a field day at Chimney Rock! Join our education specialists for fun, interactive programs in a 1000-acre classroom where learning comes alive. All programs are designed to meet NC and SC curriculum standards. Registration required, call (828) 625-9611 to register. For rates and program descriptions, visit http://chimneyrockpark.com/education.
Date/Time: Sunday, April 20; Gate opens 5am-6am for 6:30am service
Cost: Free admission for entry to Sunrise Service
Celebrate the glory of Easter with song, scripture and spiritual music as a spectacular sunrise ascends over Lake Lure. Chimney Rock’s annual Easter Sunrise Service has become a legendary event in WNC, attracting more than 1,000 early risers from around the Southeast each year. This free non-denominational celebration features live instrumental music, spiritual songs and breathtaking scenery. Guests are invited to eat breakfast at the Old Rock Café and stay to enjoy the Park all day.
Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $10 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 for Grady’s Kids Club Member
Identify a variety of spring wildflowers with renowned naturalist and author Ron Lance. Grab your cameras and field guides for this informative, moderate hike to find blooming beauties like trillium, mountain laurel, flame azaleas and more unique species. Limited to 15; advance registration required. Join an expert naturalist on park trails every 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month April-November to learn about wild edibles, plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fun outdoor topics.
Join Chimney Rock State Park rangers, biologists and other environmental educators to learn about the great work being done to protect our beautiful landscape. Booths will be located in Chimney Rock Village behind the Old Rock Café. Bring the whole family!
Date/Time: Saturday-Sunday, April 26-27; 8:30am-4pm
Cost: $160 non-passholder; $135 Annual Passholder. *Save $10 off full price if you register by March 31! Advance registration required.
Capture spring wildflowers, beautiful landscapes and up to 75-mile views with your camera at one of the region’s most affordable workshops. Pro photographer Les Saucier teaches basic and advance techniques, including tips on iphone photography & apps, while inspiring you to take your best photos yet.Mr.Saucier has led nature photography workshops for more than 28 years and has had his work published in magazines like National Geographic. The 2-day workshop includes classroom time, field time and critique. Cost includes an Annual Pass (for non-Passholders) and lunch each day. For more about Les, visit www.lessaucier.com
Date/Time: Saturdays, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; 11am-noon
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 chimneyrockpark.com.
As spring migration nears its end, join world-traveled birding expert Simon Thompson at Chimney Rock to learn which birds are staying for summer. From habitat to habits, you’ll better understand migration patterns and how to identify our feathered residents. Limited to 15; advance registration required. Join an expert naturalist on park trails every 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month April-November to learn about wild edibles, plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fun outdoor topics.
Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $10 Annual Passholder
Take your family together and treat mom to beautiful scenery with spring wildflowers. Buy one regularly-priced adult ticket and mom or grandma receives one free with online coupon. Join a naturalist for a guided wildflower walk at 11am-noon on Saturday for no extra cost (limit first 20 people). Download the coupon from chimneyrockpark.com and present it (in print or on your mobile device) at the Ticket Plaza at time of purchase. Valid May 10-11, 2014.
Cost: Buy one regularly-priced adult ticket and Mom or Grandma receives one free
Hickory Nut Gorge is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species, making it one of North Carolina’s most significant centers of biodiversity. Follow naturalist Clint Calhoun Off the Beaten Path to see some of his favorite areas in the Park and learn about species living there. Bring your camera and lace up your boots for this moderate-to-strenuous hike. 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
Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s 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. Program at 2pm. Try to outwit gravity with a free climb per person on our climbing tower open 11am–4pm.
ASHEVILLE NC – Catawba Brewing Company’s Tasting Room located at 63 Brook Street, Asheville NC, 28803 held it’s grand opening celebrations Feb. 22. The event, that was open to the public, included the release of a new, commemorative beer, music, and limited edition promotional gear. The new beer, called Brewtal Double IPA, is the creation of Catawba’s Head Brewer, Kevin Sondey. Dubbed a “big beer for a big beer city”, Brewtal weighs in at 8.8 percent ABV and showcases the brilliant citrus notes of the Mandarina Bavaria hop variety. Says Sondey, “I wanted someone to be able to come to Catawba and have something different than what’s available everywhere else. Brewtal Double IPA was made specifically for our Asheville location’s opening, and exemplifies the wide variety of styles we will continue to make for our home market.” Catawba’s new location will also allow them to feature entertainment groups.
Katuah Market located at 2 Hendersonville Road celebrated their grand opening on Feb. 22. Katuah Market is a small store driven by big ideals, providing quality and a personal touch only found in locally owned establishments. Their concept combines offering the best local, natural, and organic foods with the convenience and service of a corner grocery store. John Swann, one of the owners says, “At our heart, we love food. We believe in real food grown without artificial means and made without chemical additives. We obsessively search for new innovative products but still geek out over our old favorites.” Katuah is a springboard for local folks ready to bring their new hot sauce; vegan brownie or hand crafted soap to retail because the owners at Katuah believe in a strong local food economy. Fresh and prepared foods are central at Katuah, with their breakfast, lunch and dinner options and the 120-seat indoor/ outdoor café. In addition to ready-to-eat offerings, Katuah has a butcher shop, produce section and full grocery and wellness offerings, stocking only foods scrutinized and selected with the highest integrity in mind.
POSH, A Boutique Hotel and Private Bar is located just two and a half miles from downtown and just around the corner from the opulent Biltmore Estate at 8 Village Lane. Here, you’ll find their boutique hotel nestled conveniently in Historic Biltmore Village. The aptly named establishment is housed inside of two historic, picturesque buildings and boasts seven luxurious suites, the smallest of which measures a whopping 2,300 square feet. The seven distinct, intimately sophisticated suites envelop guests in warmth and serenity with refined details like gas fireplaces, private outdoor spaces, granite countertops and glass showers. You’ll find two bedrooms, two full baths, separate laundry rooms, full kitchens, living and dining areas housed in each unit as well as a private outdoor patio or balcony. The hotel is perfect for a weekend getaway, corporate retreat or special event. This secluded property balances serenity and privacy with the ease of having Asheville right at your fingertips.
POSH BAR, Biltmore Village’s Haute Hangout
Here you will come to experience their brand new, elegant Posh Bar. Guests will enjoy a sophisticated yet cozy, eclectically designed neighborhood haunt. The Posh Bar features a simple menu of both classic and modern cocktails; artisanal wines and spirits; craft beers, and seasonal beverages, all paired with a signature light fare menu. General Manager, Elizabeth Woodworth states, “we’re very excited about our new bar and outdoor living and will be holding a number of events including an oyster roast, wine tasting and more”. Reminiscent of a plush, private club in shades of deep red and rich brown, the hardwood floors, unique décor and beautiful original art pieces make the experience refined and attentive yet comfortable and relaxed.
About Historic Biltmore Village: Located directly across from the world famous Biltmore Estate, The Historic Biltmore Village is truly one of the south’s most unique touring and shopping environments. The Village features a collection of independent, regional and national retailers along with the most sought after restaurants and outstanding lodging.
ASHEVILLE NC – A young band taking the Scottish/Irish music scene by storm, The Paul McKenna Band performs with exciting energy and contemporary flair Friday, March 14 at 8:00 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre. The band honors the traditional alongside the innovative with outstanding vocals, driving guitar and bouzouki, intense fiddle playing, a warm pairing of flute and whistles, and dynamic bodhrán and percussion. Fatea Magazine calls The Paul McKenna Band, “A band with the potential to dominate the Scottish/Irish traditional scene for the next twenty years.”
Named “Best Up and Coming Artist of 2009” at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, The Paul McKenna Band had a strong showing at the same awards show in 2012 where Paul McKenna won “Scots Singer of the Year,” and the group was nominated for “Folk Band of the Year.”
In 2013 The Paul McKenna Band celebrated the release of its third studio album, Elements, on the Greentrax Recordings label. The album is acclaimed for its fresh, innovative arrangements and exciting, dynamic sound — a result of the band’s contemporary approach to traditional folk music. The band’s two previous albums, Stem the Tide (2011) and Between Two Worlds (2009), were also released on Greentrax.
Since forming in 2006, the band has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and has performed at international festivals including The Cambridge Folk Festival (England), Tonder Festival (Denmark), Milwaukee Irish Festival (U.S.) and the Goderich Festival (Canada) in addition to a headline performance at the internationally acclaimed Celtic Connections Festival at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.
The Paul McKenna Band is: Paul McKenna (vocals, guitar, bouzouki), Shannon Quinn (fiddle), Sean Gray (flute, whistles, guitar, vocals), and Ewain Baird (bodhrán, cajon, vocals).
The Paul McKenna Band’s Asheville performance is presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, and made possible by Celtic Series Sponsors Don & Nancy Ackermann Cole, First Citizens Bank, and Ward & Smith, P.A.; with additional support from Media Sponsor WNCW 88.7 FM.
The new entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is marked by the location of the theatre’s new marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway between Marble Slab Creamery and Circle in the Square restaurants, and into a large interior courtyard for Pack Place with multiple glass doors to the theatre’s lower lobby and new 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 2013/2014 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Scene, Blue Moon Water, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.
Lush Life Productions is at it once again for an event in which local bars or restaurants in Asheville battle it out for the title of “Asheville’s Best Buffalo Wings”. With a ticket that includes unlimited wings, beer (while supplies last) and great local music, this event has sold out in the past and is sure to sell out again.
The competition will heat up at Asheville Music Hall at 4pm on March 9. The wings will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges in two categories: specialty and traditional buffalo style. The people also get to have their opinions voiced with a People’s Choice award in which attendees have the opportunity to vote for their favorite.
ASHEVILLE NC – Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center and the North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association will host a reception and talk on Thursday, Feb. 27, celebrating the exhibit “Fewer Footprints and More Tears: Commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears.”
The reception will begin at 6 p.m. in the Mountain Heritage Center and will be followed by a 7 p.m. presentation in the museum auditorium by R. Michael Abram, a scholar who focuses on Cherokee culture. Abram will present an illustrated lecture on contemporary Cherokee artists commenting on their reactions to the Trail of Tears.
Abram graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine and practiced medicine in Bloomington, Ind., until he moved to the Cherokee area in the 1980s. In addition to his medical duties locally, Abram was curator and director of the Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery that he operated with his wife, Sue, in Cherokee until 2010. Abram has presented traveling exhibits and lectures across the Southeast and frequently serves as a consultant.
The North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association is dedicated to documenting all the routes and sites associated with the Trail of Tears in North Carolina and to working with the National Park Service to include the story of the Cherokee homeland in the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
The Feb. 27 event is being presented in conjunction with the exhibit, which includes historic images and copies of historic documents, including the Henderson Roll, along with contemporary art by Cherokee artists reacting to the Trail of Tears and its historic and ongoing effect on the Cherokee people.
The exhibit will be open through Friday, March 14, at the Mountain Heritage Center. Admission to the reception, talk and exhibit is free.
For more information, call the museum at 828-227-7129.
ASHEVILLE NC – With the April 15th tax filing deadline coming up, watch out for criminals and con artists posing as the Internal Revenue Service to try to win your trust and steal your money.
We’ve warned you before about phony calls from the IRS. One North Carolina consumer recently reported getting one of these threatening calls from someone claiming to be with the IRS. The fake IRS agent told him a warrant had been issued for his arrest and, if he did not pay his taxes immediately, police would put him in jail within hours. The caller continued to harass and intimidate him until he felt he had no choice but to pay more than $8,000 to the scammers.
If you get a call that claims to come from the IRS, look for warning signs that it’s scam:
The IRS will not threaten arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay back taxes immediately.
IRS agents will never demand immediate payment by credit card, pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.
Typically, the IRS communicates with consumers about tax issues via mail, not by phone, email or text message.
Ask for the caller’s call back number and employee badge number, and then call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to check them out.
Don’t rely on Caller ID to identify who is calling you, since scammers can manipulate it to make it appear they are calling from the real IRS.
Never share personal information, such as your Social Security Number or bank account number, with anyone you don’t know who contacts you, even if they claim to be with the IRS. Identity thieves can use this information to open up accounts in your name and even claim your tax refund.
If you spot a tax related scam, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at ncdoj.gov. If you need help filing your taxes, check out our tips for finding tax help you can trust.
ASHEVILLE NC – Nothing beats on-the-ground scenarios for emergency response training, but safe locations to carry out sometimes invasive techniques are few. Thanks to a partnership with Mission Health, City of Asheville Fire and Police personnel have the opportunity to hone essential response skills like forced-entry and high–rise fire response in a vacant building owned by Mission.
Throughout February, March and April, the Asheville Police and Fire Departments will be conducting training at 50 Doctor’s Drive, culminating in full-incident training scenarios.
The training is made possible by Mission Health, which owns the Doctor’s Drive building, formerly home to Mission Staff Health and other support services.
“Mission Health is pleased the vacant building will ultimately find a productive use to benefit Asheville and the surrounding communities, making everyone safer,” said Sonya Greck, COO, Mission Hospital. “This partnership between Mission Health and the City of Asheville reinforces Mission Health’s strong commitment to our community by ensuring that we are exceptionally prepared to respond to public safety emergencies.”
The Asheville Fire Department is using the opportunity to train in search techniques, the use of thermal imaging cameras, practicing the rule of air management, use of the national incident management system and many other incorporated basic firefighting skills.
“The Asheville Fire Department is eager for this training opportunity because we are always looking to continuously improve,” says Public Information Officer Kelley Klope. “This training will enhance firefighter skills and will help the department continue to meet and exceed the standards of the profession in order serve the city of Asheville to the highest level it deserves.”
The Asheville Police Department Emergency Response Team and Hazardous Devices Team are conducting training to respond to a variety of high risks, including active shooter drills, hostage situations, child abduction, and a wide variety of tools and techniques to render safe potential explosive hazards including using the bomb disposal robot and bomb suits.
“The partnership with Mission is a great opportunity to get hands-on training with the tools that help us work at our best level,” said APD Chief William Anderson. “Even officers who have experience in these techniques benefit from this kind of practice.”
The APD has been partnering with the Buncombe County Sheriffs Office SRT, Henderson County Sheriffs Office SRT and the local office of the FBI to conduct joint training. “We do this so that we would be prepared to work together to safely resolve a high stress high risk incident,” Anderson said.
Media visits and tours of the training are available by appointment.
For more information on specific days and training please contact AFD PIO Kelley Klope at 828-768-1437 or APD Sgt. Dave Romick at 259-5882.
ASHEVILLE NC- In the early months of the year, Biltmore offers a peaceful retreat following the hectic pace of the holidays. Winter specials include lowest admission of the year, beginning at $39 purchased seven days or more in advance online or over the phone. Tickets include a free audio guide of Biltmore House and kids 9 and younger also get in free with an adult admission.
Biltmore Blooms – March 20 through May 23, 2014
Biltmore’s gardens are alive with color as spring arrives. Stunning floral displays – featuring nearly 100,000 tulips – across the estate celebrate the majesty of Frederick Law Olmsted’s legacy as Biltmore’s master horticulture planner. Biltmore’s restaurants will feature special menu items, with the Winery offering wine seminars.
Easter Egg Hunt – April 20, 2014
The Easter Rabbit makes his annual appearance on Biltmore’s Front Lawn on Easter Sunday. Highlighting the day are the grand Easter Egg Hunts at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Children ages 2 to 9 may attend the hunt for free when accompanied by an estate pass holder or a ticketed adult.
Moveable Feast – May 23, 2014
Take in beautiful views of the estate and enjoy an exquisite meal designed and prepared by Chef Kirk Fiore. Surrounded by beautiful blooms, this dinner will take place outside in our historic Walled Garden. A 6:30 reception will be followed by dinner at 7:15. Tickets are $160 per person and include tax and gratuity. For reservations call (828) 257-5995.
18th annual Biltmore Concert Series – Selected dates
Biltmore House and the Blue Ridge Mountains serve as backdrop for amazing musical experiences during Biltmore’s annual concert series. Concerts take place on the South Terrace of Biltmore House. The concert line-up will be announced in spring 2014.
40th annual Christmas at Biltmore – Nov. 7 through Jan. 11, 2015
Holidays arrive at America’s largest home in style. More than a century ago, George Vanderbilt chose this magical season as the time to unveil his new home to family and friends. This year’s Christmas at Biltmore promises another extravagant celebration, complete with dozens of Christmas trees, miles of ribbon, garland and lights.
31st annual Candlelight Evenings at Biltmore – Nov. 7 through Jan. 3, 2015
Candlelight and firelight accent Biltmore House’s extravagant holiday décor during these nighttime tours. The house glows, appearing much as it would have at the turn of the 19th century. Candlelight Christmas Evenings include a self-guided candlelight tour of Biltmore House, next-day visit to the gardens, Antler Hill Village and Biltmore Winery.
“The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad” Exhibition – Open daily
“The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad” focuses on the lives and personalities of George, Edith and Cornelia Vanderbilt. This close-up look at exotic and rare items the family collected throughout their lives features an extraordinary collection of Samurai armor, and a display detailing the fateful decision that saved the Vanderbilts from perishing on Titanic.
ASHEVILLE NC – The Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority reported a seven percent increase in passenger traffic for the 2013 calendar year, which was the third highest number of annual passengers reported in the past decade. While traffic each year varied, overall Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) has seen a steady increase in traffic over time.
In 2013, seven consecutive months of increased traffic were reported from June through December, with December 2013 showing a 28% increase in traffic over December 2012. The upswing in traffic in 2013 can be credited to several factors like new routes, added available seats, and this region’s strong utilization of services at AVL.
Two new non-stop flights to Florida were added by ultra low-cost carrier Allegiant Travel Company, one of Asheville Regional Airport’s (AVL) newest partners. A flight to St. Petersburg, Fla. was added in June and a flight to Ft. Myers, Fla. was added in October, coinciding with the increase in traffic.
Other partner airlines were able to increase the number of seats available on existing flights by more than 15% during some months in summer and fall. Residents in the area choosing to fly local are another contributing factor, keeping planes full.
“Any year where the traffic percentages have increased is positive but to show a trend that we are growing over time is meaningful,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., executive director of Asheville Regional Airport. “Airlines have realized that we have a strong demand for air service in this market and we are seeing full flights.”
Looking forward, Bleiweis says, “It is the people of western North Carolina who are driving this positive trend and we look forward to their support of the local airport in 2014.”
ASHEVILLE NC – Moogfest announces iconic electro-pop duo Pet Shop Boys, British rapper and self-declared “anti-popstar” M.I.A., experimental multi-genre music producer Flying Lotus, plus Mad Decent’s Dillon Francis as additional headliners in the already landmark lineup of musical acts led by three Kraftwerk 3D concerts and CHIC featuring music super producer Nile Rodgers.
Daytime programming expands to include musical pioneers Dan Deacon, Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox, plus Futurama creator and writer for The Simpsons David X. Cohen, as well as Google’s creative masterminds who are designing the future of audio.
With over 20 years of history under their belt, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe’s Pet Shop Boys have sold more than 50 million records worldwide and are six-time Grammy nominees, recognized as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records. Collaborating with theatre directors, architects, set and costume designers, Pet Shop Boys have built their performances into a technologically immersive and visually theatrical experience. With their celebrated history of striking and original tour productions, this year’s Moogfest performance promises to be nothing short of spectacular.
M.I.A. is renowned for her presentation of layered textures of instruments, electronics and unusual sound samples that shaped her acclaimed and distinctive avant-garde music style. From the beginning her music was always an explosion of color, light, and heat as she fearlessly incorporates a range of political, social, philosophical and cultural references into her music, combining her Sri Lankan roots with her urban present to create music that defies existing pop music conventions.
Flying Lotus is an expert at weaving together different worlds and styles to create music that defies genre classification. On his latest record, Until The Quiet Comes, Flying Lotus draws from hip hop, electronic music, and rock, to position himself in the center of a musical web that stretches far from the vibrant sprawl of his base in Los Angeles.
A pioneer in the moombahton genre, Dillon Francis lives between 105 and 112 BPM. An open format DJ, he sees no delineation between making music and playing it. Francis boasts releases on Diplo’s Mad Decent, Fool’s Gold, and Skrillex’s OWSLA, some of the most respected labels in electronic music.
The newly added nighttime programming speaks to Moogfest’s focus on innovation and breaking down barriers. German heavyweight trio Moderat, comprised of Modeselektor and Apparat, bring a passionate and enthusiastic approach to electronic music, while Ghostly’s Audion is the outlet for pop-music innovator Matthew Dear to exorcise his dance floor demons. Machinedrum will be performing his celebrated album Vapor City, where each of the songs leads you down a dark and twisting trail through different districts in a city of his own imagination. DFA’s UK-based Factory Floor will deliver one of their signature pummeling and exhilarating performances, and Black Dice, alumni of DFA themselves, bring their own brand of concise and concentrated catharsis to the mix.
Other Moogfest 2014 talent announced includes Tiga, the Sex Whiz of Sonic Parkour, RVNG Intl’s Holly Herndon, Ejecta, the Driftless Recordings project of Joel Ford and Neon Indian’s Leanne Macomber, No. 19’s Louie Fresco, and Eric Volta of Claude Von Stroke’s Dirtybird Records.
The Windish Agency also joins the company of the nightly music showcase curators that includes experimental Record Labels Warp Records, DFA, Fool’s Gold, Ghostly International, No. 19 Music’s Social Experiment, RVNG Intl., and Driftless Recordings. Plus Electronic Tastemakers Crew Love, Brooklyn-based Cultural Organization AFROPUNK, Detroit’s Movement Festival, North Carolina’s Hopscotch Festival, and Austin’s Switched On.