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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for July, 2010

Asheville Tourists Celebrate ‘Beers and Baseball’

Friday, July 30th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The second annual Baseball & Beers Festival will be held Saturday, August 7, from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm at McCormick Field.

There will be over 40 different craft beers, including several from the Asheville Brewers Alliance. Admission gets you your very own souvenir beer stein, which you can take and sample all of the beer you want. The concession stands will also be open, and patrons are invited to sit in the seating bowl in addition to gathering on the concourse. There will also be live music throughout the festival, featuring Woody Wood, Big Daddy Love, Soulgrass Rebellion, and Simplified.

The 2010 Baseball & Beers ticket prices are broken down into 4 price levels. VIP Access: $40- Includes access to the private bathrooms in the Asheville Citizen Times Clubhouse, a catered meal, a T-shirt, and a beer stein. Party Pavilion: $30- Grants you access to the Pepsi Party Pavilion which will include heavy hors d’oeuvres, a T-shirt, and a beer stein. Regular Admission: $20- Includes a beer stein. Designated Driver Ticket: $10- Grants you admission to the festival, but you will not be allowed to drink.

For tickets or information, call the box office at (828)258-0428 or Click here for tickets.

City Awarded Tourism Product Development Fund Grant

Friday, July 30th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Civic Center has been awarded a $2 million dollar grant, to be funded over a 4 year period, from the Tourism Product Development Fund of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, the City announced today. The grant will help fund a proposed $5.45 million dollar renovation of the Asheville Civic Center. The Tourism Product Development Fund, which is funded through the Buncombe County hotel occupancy tax, is dedicated to projects that will increase tourism and overnight lodging.

Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy noted: “This is an incredible opportunity. The Asheville Civic Center is an important economic engine for our city and our region. These funds will allow us to greatly improve the facility — and these improvements will benefit local residents and tourists alike.”

The proposed Civic Center improvements include new seating for the lower level of the arena, renovating the balcony seating and flooring, improving the locker rooms and dressing rooms, upgrading the lighting, messaging and sound systems in the arena, concourse renovations, and information technology improvements. The City of Asheville recently issued a Request for Qualifications for architectural and engineering services to begin the renovation process.

Sam Powers, Director of the city’s Office of Economic Development and Director of the Asheville Civic Center, commented: “This grant will play a major role in making our facilities better for fans, performers and promoters. We attract more than 200,000 patrons a year — and our research shows that over 70% of our ticket sales come from outside of Buncombe County. These visitors stay in local hotels, eat in local restaurants and support local businesses. The Civic Center generates a substantial economic impact. It is an asset worth investing in. We are thrilled that the Tourism Development Authority, Buncombe County and the City are coming together as partners in this project.”

The Asheville Civic Center first opened its doors 36-years ago and has hosted everything from concerts, plays, trade shows and sporting events to local high school graduations. Mike Burke, Chairman of the Asheville Civic Center Commission, noted that, “Even though the arena is in its fourth decade of use it has good bones. Our project will add new life to the building and allow us to be even more competitive as a regional entertainment venue.”

Recently the Southern Conference named Asheville as the host city for its men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments beginning in 2012. The games will be played at the Asheville Civic Center and at U.N.C. Asheville’s Kimmel Arena.
For more information about the Asheville Civic Center please visit http://www.ashevillenc.gov/departments/civic_center/default.aspx?id=348&ekmensel=12_submenu_0_link_5, follow the civic center blog athttp://ccblog.ashevillenc.gov/, or follow the civic center of Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AshevilleCC.

Call for Crafters for the Scarecrow Festival

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Crafter booth at a past Scarecrow Festival.ASHEVILLE, NC – The 6th Annual Scarecrow Festival is fast approaching. On October 2, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., crafters will gather to enjoy the fall splendor of Lake Julian Park where they will show off and sell their creations.

Now is the time to call and reserve your booth space. Last year’s event drew hand crafters from all over the Western North Carolina area. The booth spaces are 12’ X 12’ areas with or without electric hookups. The cost for a non-electric booth space is $35 and the cost for a space with electric is $40. Larger display areas are available. The deadline to register is Friday, September 24. Missed deadlines will be accommodated if space is available. Call Grace Young at 250-4260.

All exhibitors are asked to contribute one of their craft items to the Caldron of Crafts. Exhibitor booths are judged on their Scarecrowfall theme decorations, creativity and design. The winner will receive the pot of craft prizes donated by their fellow artisans. Go wild decorating your booth and take home the jackpot!

Entrance into the festival is free. Scheduled activities include face painting, clowns, and food booths. It’s a great day of fun for everyone.

  • Location: Lake Julian Park
  • Date: Saturday, October 2, 2010
  • Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For more information or to reserve your craft booth, call Grace Young at (828) 250-4265 or email her at: [email protected].

Come Out for Asheville-Buncombe National Night Out, August 3

Friday, July 30th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Tuesday, August 3 will be a good night to get to know your neighbors… Come on out to the Buncombe County Sports Complex on Sand Hill Road from 6 – 8 p.m. for National Night Out. National Night Out is an annual crime prevention and community policing celebration organized by law enforcement, neighborhoods and community groups. Join us for the Fourth Annual Law Enforcement Community Service Award and a rally against crime, with free FOOD, lots of FUN, the Highway Patrol Helicopter and MORE! For more information, call the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Crime Prevention Unit at 828-775-2672 or visit www.nationalnightout.org.

New MapAsheville Marks City of Asheville and NCDOT Owned Roads

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Who should you call to fix that pothole or broken curb? In a recent update to mapAsheville, the city’s online user-accessible mapping and GIS service, The City of Asheville added a new application that displays ownership of all roads and corridors within the city limits so residents can find out who maintains their street.

While many of the streets inside the Asheville city limits are owned and maintained by the city, others are a mix of North Carolina Department of Transportation property, privately-owned roads, or roads owned by the National Park Service.

“A lot of people don’t understand that difference,” says Transportation Director Ken Putnam. “They just assume they are on a city street.”

Knowing who owns the road brings a resident that much closer to finding out who to call if repairs or maintenance are needed, because whoever owns the street is responsible for its maintenance, Putnam notes.

For instance, Putnam continues, most major traffic corridors in the City of Asheville, like Merrimon Avenue, Charlotte Street and Haywood Road, not to mention I-240, are the property of NCDOT. “We thought this would be important information to put out there,” Putnam said. “And that it would be another useful resource for the citizens of Asheville.”

The new application, says Information Technology Director Jonathan Feldman, is a good example of the versatility of the award-winning mapAsheville system developed in 2006.  Like previous applications that supply developer information and maps instances of crimes within the city, the update consists of data the city is already working with in some fashion. Because of the way mapAsheville was structured in its creation, it is easy to follow up by plugging in new information and making it available to the public.

“It’s like a Mr. Potato Head system,” Feldman says. “We can put it together with all these different components. So when we decided to do this one, it was literally done within the week.”

The City of Asheville already uses extensive GIS information for anything from directing emergency vehicles to supplying Asheville City Council with current annexation boundaries. Having that tool also increases the efficiency by which City of Asheville staff can answer technical questions without digging for data. The mapAsheville component allows the public to access data it needs as well, Feldman says.

“Without an application like mapAsheville, all that information is locked away where the people can’t get to it,” Feldman says.

To see the mapAsheville’s new application, go to www.ashevillenc.gov/mapasheville and click on the “Standard GIS” link. Then, in the map criteria column on the left side of the page, select “Maintenance Responsibility,” and zoom in to the desired location. Clicking the “+” sign will show the map’s color-coded key. A “Simple Search” from the mapAsheville main site will also allow for address-specific searches.

Take Care to Prevent Heat-related Illness During Bele Chere

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – So far this summer, temperatures in Asheville have been flirting with record highs. And with plenty of upcoming outdoor events like Bele Chere to choose from, the City of Asheville is asking people to be aware of the ways to prevent heat related illnesses as well as recognize their symptoms.

Whether working or playing, overexposure to heat has the potential to cause problems like heat exhaustion or stroke. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include pale, clammy skin, excessive sweating and weakness. Heat stroke symptoms include extremely high body temperature, hot, dry flushed skin, rapid pulse rate, headache and nausea. Anyone displaying those symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

Being prepared can make for a safer and more enjoyable outside experience, especially in environments like the three-day Bele Chere festival.

Asheville Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Kelley Webb says festival attendees should pay extra attention while enjoying the downtown festivities.

“Festival goers should keep hydrated and regulate the amount of time in the sun,” Webb says. “Especially be aware of your children and limit their exposure to the heat and sun. Please listen to your body and its reaction to the heat and sun and try not to wait until it is too late.”

Here are tips to staying healthy in the heat no matter the occasion:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Water, juice, sports drinks or even milk will help. Soda is not an effective hydrator.
  • Watch your intake of alcoholic beverages. Drinking alcohol, even the day before exposure to heat, can exacerbate dehydration.
  • Wear lightweight, loose fitting and light-colored clothing that reflects the sun’s energy and allows air to circulate against the skin.
  • Wear a hat or use an umbrella that shields the face, neck and head from sunlight.
  • Avoid strenuous activity during the hotter parts of the day.
  • Eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than large meals that can increase the body’s heat.
  • Take breaks. Look for places to cool down in the shade, breeze or even air conditioning.
  • Heat is dangerous to pets too. Don’t leave them in cars, and provide water when outside in the heat.
  • Seek help if you or someone in your party begins showing signs of heat-related illness.

Asheville Fire and Rescue will be operating booths within the Bele Chere festival to treat heat-related problems and other types of emergencies.  “We will have first aid booths located throughout the festival area with personnel on site that can assist anyone who is feeling overheated,” Webb says.

In recent weeks, the City of Asheville’s Risk Management office briefed city employees who work outside on the ways to avoid heat-related illness like heat exhaustion or stroke.

A variety of similar training sessions are regularly scheduled for City of Asheville employees who engage in strenuous work, and hit on relevant topics like back injury prevention, ladder safety, driving in extreme weather and eye and ear protection.

Like heat safety, such topics are not new to the city’s work crews, but City of Asheville Safety and Claims Administrator Patricia McAfee says reminders never hurt.

“I believe in empowering employees, and knowledge is power,” McAfee says. “The more they know about their environment, the better they’ll know how to protect themselves.”

Bele Chere Children’s Area Event Schedule

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Food Lion Children’s Area will be located on the arena level of the Asheville Civic Center, located at 87 Haywood Street. A mixture of free crafts, ticketed rides, and free children’s performances will be offered to festival goers all weekend.
This area is alcohol free.
The hours of operation are:
Friday 12-9PM
Saturday 10-9PM
Sunday 12-6PM

Programming for the 2010 Children’s Area:

Friday, July 23:
1:00 PM            Nature Center Presentation
2:00 PM            Tae Kwon Do demo with Asheville Sun Soo Tae Kwon Do
3:00 PM            Kids Drumming Session with the Roots of Rhythm
4:00 PM            YWCA Asheville Summer Camp Choir
5:00 PM            Energize with T-bone
6:00 PM            Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth
7:00 PM            Jungliah & Friends

Saturday, July 24:
11:00 AM         Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth
12:00 PM         Energize with T-bone
1:00 PM           Nature Center Presentation
2:00 PM           Kids Pilates with Diane Rose
4:00 PM           Asheville Dance Revolution
5:00 PM           Tae Kwon Do demo with Asheville Sun Soo Tae Kwon Do
6:00 PM           Kids Drumming Session with the Roots of Rhythm
7:00 PM           Jungliah & Friends

Sunday, July 25:
12:00 PM          Tae Kwon Do demo with Asheville Sun Soo Tae Kwon Do
1:00 PM            Mountain Thunder Cloggers
2:00 PM            Kids Pilates with Diane Rose
3:00 PM            Asheville Dance Revolution
4:00 PM            Kids Drumming Session with The Roots of Rhythm
5:00 PM            Story Telling-Harry Bryan

Free crafts and activities include:

Girl Scouts of Western North Carolina will be making awesome crafts out of recycled materials.
Highland Christian Church will be providing fabulous face painting, hat making, and other wearable crafts
Buncombe Baptist Association will be facilitating Mommy Haven– a place for moms to breast feed and change diapers. They will also offer a coloring station nearby.
And stop by to learn more about the Asheville International Children’s Film Festival which will have a booth as well.

Food and drinks are available in the Children’s Area throughout the weekend.

Click here for a downloadable program.

Transit Route Detours During Bele Chere

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville Transit will detour normally scheduled routes during Bele Chere beginning Thursday, July 22 at 5 p.m. through close of business Saturday, July 24.

As part of Asheville Transit’s continuing goal to provide quality service, all route times and destinations will remain the same, except as routes enter and exit downtown Asheville. The following routes will be affected:


Specific route detours are listed at www.ashevilletransit.com. For more information, please visit www.ashevilletransit.com or call 253-5691.

Bele Chere Offers Park-and-Ride Shuttles

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville will provide continuous express shuttle service and free parking for Bele Chere, July 23 – 25.  To use these services, attendees should park at one of two designated locations and look for the Bele Chere booth selling shuttle tickets. The shuttle will transport people downtown, relieving the hassles associated with finding parking and dealing with traffic.  The cost for the shuttle is $2 round trip.

Park-and-ride locations include:

West Asheville Shuttle: K-Mart on Patton Avenue
Parking location: Use the K-Mart parking area, northeast corner of Patton Avenue (US-19/US-23/US-74) and Louisiana Avenue.
Downtown pick-up/drop-off location: At the Civic Center, the corner of Haywood Street and Flint Street.

East Asheville Shuttle: Asheville Mall, Sears Department Store
Parking location: Use the Asheville Mall parking area in the back near the Sears Department Store near White Pine Drive.
Downtown pick-up/drop-off location: At the corner of Market Street and College Street in City/County Plaza.

The shuttles will run Friday, noon – 11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Sunday, noon – 7 p.m.

For more information, contact 253-5691 or visithttp://www.belecherefestival.com/.

Bele Chere Line-up for Lexington Avenue Performance Area

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Lexington Avenue Performance Area will host a variety of interactive demonstrations and performances. Learn some new Salsa, Zydeco, Swing, and Ballroom dance moves from members of your local dance community. Check out the juggling, balancing, hooping, and clogging performances also! A highlight of the performance area is the Community Drum Circle on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 8PM. The Community Drum Circle, facilitated by the Roots of Rhythm, welcomes everyone. Bring your own drum and join in.

Friday, July 23: Lexington Avenue Performance Area Schedule
4:15 PM       Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth– Juggling!
5:00 PM       Salsa & Rumba with Shall We Danz
6:15 PM       Zydeco Demo and Lesson with Deborah Swanson
7:15 PM       Hooping with Stephanie McDowell
8:00 PM       Community Drum Circle

Saturday, July 24: Lexington Avenue Performance Area Schedule
3:00 PM       Duo Balancio
4:15 PM       Clogging for Adults with Asheville Clogging Co.
5:00 PM       Zydeco Demo and Lesson with Deborah Swanson
6:15 PM       Swing Asheville– Swing Lesson and Dance
7:15 PM       Hooping with Stephanie McDowell
8:00 PM       Community Drum Circle

Sunday, July 25: Lexington Avenue Performance Area Schedule
2:00 PM       Kids Clogging Performance with Asheville Clogging Co.
3:00 PM       Swing Asheville– Swing Lesson and Dance
4:30 PM       Ballroom Dancing with Shall We Danz