Local Scoop


Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for December, 2012

City of Asheville Accepting Entertainer Applications for 2013 Bele Chere Festival

Friday, December 21st, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The City of Asheville is now accepting entertainment applications for the 2013 Bele Chere festival being held July 26 through 28, 2013.  The deadline to apply is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 15, 2013.  Applications and additional information are available online at www.belecherefestival.org.

Located in downtown Asheville, North Carolina, Bele Chere showcases more than 40 national, regional and local entertainers on four stages.  Now in its 35th year, Bele Chere provides an excellent showcase for local musicians and entertainers of all genres of music.

Information about the 2013 Bele Chere Festival will be available online at www.belecherefestival.com or by calling the City of Asheville Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department at 828-259-5800.

Bele Chere is the largest free street festival in the Southeast, with an attendance of approximately 275,000 annually.  The festival is produced by the City of Asheville in conjunction with the Bele Chere Board of Directors.

Tomas Kubinek Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible at DWT

Friday, December 21st, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Described by London’s Time Out magazine as “hilarious and enormously talented,” Tomas Kubinek: Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible brings his collision of absurdist theatre and circus magic to Diana Wortham Theatre, Saturday January 19, 2013 at 8:00pm. Via comedy, clowning, mime, magic, acrobatics, and music, Kubinek’s exuberant show is equal parts comic brilliance, virtuosic vaudeville, and irresistible charm.

Born in Prague, Kubínek and his parents left Czechoslovakia when he was only 3 years old to escape the 1968 Soviet Invasion and were granted asylum in Ontario, Canada. It was there that a young Tomáš witnessed his first circus, which sparked a passionate interest in clowns, circus, theatre, and magic. After he began performing in his early teens, Kubínek saved money and traveled to Europe to study with some of the world’s greatest teachers of theatre. Through experimentation with live performance, and his various studies and collaborations, Kubínek developed an entertaining and thrilling style all his own.

Tomáš Kubínek has appeared in over 30 countries around the world. He was the headline performer at the First International Congress of Fools in Moscow, toured across Italy, and performed a sold-out run at London’s prestigious Royal Festival Hall Purcell Theater as the featured solo-artist of the London International Mime Festival. In 1997 and 1999 Kubínek played limited engagement runs at Broadway’s New Victory Theater. Both runs sold out in advance and received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. The New York Times lauded his work as “Absolutely expert and consistently charming!”

Besides his solo work, Tomáš Kubínek has collaborated with many other artists from all over the world. He has been featured on Czech National Television with the celebrated actor and clown Boleslav Polivka on Mr. Polivka’s annual television specials, and he has performed in numerous guerilla-style absurdist theater sketches with writer and comedian Frank van Keeken at the HBO Workspace in Los Angeles. While touring with his solo work Kubínek also teaches master classes for theatre students and professionals and occasionally writes and directs new works, collaborating on pieces for solo artists and theater companies.

Tomáš Kubínek’s Asheville performance is made possible by Performance Sponsors Joel & Deborah Bohan Berkowitz; and by Mainstage Special Attraction Series Sponsor Diamond Brand Outdoors; with additional support from Media Sponsor The Laurel of Asheville.

The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is located in the same complex as the Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum and is within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2012/2013 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Citizen-Times, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Asheville Renaissance 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.

Registration Open for Jan 3-6 Dulcimer Winter Weekend

Friday, December 21st, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Registration is ongoing for the eighth annual Dulcimer U Winter Weekend, a conference for mountain dulcimer enthusiasts that will be held Thursday, Jan. 3, through Sunday, Jan. 6, at the Terrace Hotel at Lake Junaluska.

Sponsored by Western Carolina University’s Office of Continuing and Professional Education, the event will provide class options from more than 50 hours of instruction in the mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, guitar and autoharp. Participants will be able to choose from a wide array of classes in topics ranging from “music theory” to “advanced dulcimer ensemble skills.”

Evening activities will include folk dancing, performances by the instructional staff and music sharing sessions.

All classes, concerts, jam sessions, vendor areas and meals will take place inside the Terrace Hotel. Registration is $159 per person.

For more information or to register, visit the website http://DulcimerU.wcu.edu or contact Bobby Hensley in the Office of Continuing and Professional Education at [email protected].

Welcome Winter with Local Winter Squash

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The local winter squash crop has been harvested and cured. Not salted or smoked like meat, of course, rather held at a controlled temperature after harvest. That simple process helps the squash stand up to storage and last through the upcoming winter months.

All varieties—from acorn to spaghetti—can be enjoyed now, too. And enjoy is exactly what the Glass Onion in Weaverville hopes you’ll do with their month-long local butternut squash lunch and dinner specials in celebration of ASAP’s Get Local December focus.

Why feature butternut in particular, co-owner/manager Natalie Byrnes favorite type of winter squash? “With butternut you can be versatile, roasting it for salads or boiling it for soups,” she says, adding, “We wanted to highlight and prepare it in different ways to show how many uses it really does have.”

For the first week of December, she and her husband, co-owner and chef Edward Hannibal, will feature Ivy Creek Family Farm’s (located in Barnardsville) various butternut varieties in raviolis with pecans, sage and cream. During week two, you can order up butternut squash and ginger soup; week three will offer a roasted butternut squash salad with dried cranberries, toasted almonds and local greens; and the Get Local celebration  will close with fresh pappardelle with roasted butternut squash, duck confit, cherries and sage. Glass Onion will donate 50% of all special sales to ASAP.

But that’s not all. Also find local spaghetti squash on their menu now, along with local greens, potatoes, onions and root veggies. “Our mission is just that: We try to work with local farmers as best as possible,” Byrnes stresses. “It’s about the relationship between your menu and your farmers.”

Winter squash will also shine at holiday tailgate markets this month. For a list of markets and weekly tailgate reports, visit ASAP’s community website fromhere.org. For a list of growers and more restaurants serving local squash, search ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.


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 asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

It’s a Good Time to Fish at Lake Julian!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Since Lake Julian is a thermal lake (it serves as a cooling agent for Progress Energy) some of the best fishing occurs from October through March.

Lake Julian has an abundance of bass, catfish, brim, crappie and Tilapia.

A-B Tech Craft Beverage Institute

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – A-B Tech Community College has announced the creation of The Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast, a premier education destination to meet the needs of the rapidly-growing beverage industry in the region.

“The job of the community college is to find the local need and fill it. Each region has its own market niche,” said Dr. Hank Dunn, A-B Tech President.  “Craft beverages are a big business in the area. We think it will be an incredible boon to the area and will grow exponentially.”

The College plans to offer a two-year degree starting in fall 2013 in brewing, distillation and fermentation to teach the science and technical art of craft beverages. A large component of the process will require STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. There will also be a business track to address marketing, events and tasting room management to provide a comprehensive education to support the beverage industry.

The growth of the beverage industry in Western North Carolina was led by the Biltmore Estate Winery, the world’s most visited winery.  Now the region is welcoming the production facilities of New Belgium, Sierra Nevada and Oskar Blues breweries, joining Asheville’s own Highland Brewery and other microbreweries in the area.

“Big things are happening here in North Carolina,” said Sheila Tillman, Associate Dean of Hospitality Education at A-B Tech. In addition to the Biltmore winery and the major craft brewers, Western North Carolina is also the home of three distilleries.

“We are not the Northern California wine country. We are not St. Louis, known for its beer. We are not Kentucky, home of whiskey,” said Tillman. “We are finding ourselves in the situation of supporting a growing job force of not one part of the beverage industry, but we have three major industries simultaneously coming here. “

A-B Tech will not only provide a two-year degree, but continuing education and workforce development in the beverage industry through hands-on training in a fermentation facility designed specifically for brewing, winemaking and distillation at the College’s Enka site.

Training will cover the multifaceted processes associated with craft beverages, including agriculture for hops and grape vines, marketing, sales and supplier organizations, restaurants and hotels and new business development.

Scott Adams, Director of The Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast, said there are a few places to study beer in the area, but nothing as comprehensive that covers brewing, fermentation and distilling.  “Our goal is to get people trained and in the jobs where they are needed,” he said.

Nature Center Prepares Groundbreaking of New Play Area

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The Friends of the WNC Nature Center are thrilled to share the news that the 100,000th visitor in 2012 walked through the doors at 10am on Monday, December 3, 2012.  Betsy Archer and her son Milo, members of the Friends of the Nature Center, were excited to celebrate this milestone with the Center and Friends staff.

The Friends Executive Director Kimberly Brewster presented Betsy and Milo with a basket of goodies worth over $350 that included an Adopt-an-Animal package and a special Engraved Brick to commemorate the event.  While Milo enjoyed the plush otter in the basket, he was more interested in visiting the real river otters out on the trail.

Betsy shared that the Nature Center is “our favorite place in Asheville!”  She actually read about the plans to celebrate the 100,000 visitor in her member newsletter.  As a member of the Friends, they visit often and she even took photographs at the evening fundraising event Mountain Safari held back in May.

“100,000 guests is an astounding number, especially for a facility our size” notes Chris Gentile, the Director of the Nature Center.  “Since the Nature Center has been part of the City of Asheville, this is by far the largest attendance year we have seen”.  Gentile attributes the success to increased marketing efforts and new exhibits and events.

Exciting things are happening at the Center with the 2020 Vision & Site Plan well underway and the groundbreaking of a new playground and upgrades to the red wolf experience.  Kimberly Brewster shared that “last month we were thrilled that the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina awarded $50,000 to complete the Red Wolf & Play project scheduled to debut in the spring of 2013.”  The funds will go towards interactive elements that will engage visitors and share the story of the critically endangered red wolves.

Admission to the Center is $6 for adults ($8 for non-Asheville residents), $5 for seniors ($7 for non-Asheville residents), $4 for youth ages 3-15 and children age 2 and under are free, Members are free (join before you visit at www.wildwnc.org).

For additional information visit www.wncnaturecenter.com or call 828-259-8080.

The Friends provide support to the WNC Nature Center- Asheville’s Wildlife Park!  Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) the zoo features over 250 animals native to the Southern Appalachians including cougars, red wolves, otters, birds of prey, black bears, and reptiles.  For more information on the Friends of the WNC Nature Center, or to join the Friends and support future projects, visit www.wildwnc.org .

Santa on the Chimney Celebrates 20 Years December 8 and 15

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Watch for a man in a big red suit with a long, white beard climbing down the chimney. It’s Santa Claus, of course, but that’s no ordinary chimney. It’s Chimney Rock, one of the world’s largest natural chimneys. St. Nick practices for his big evening when he’ll climb down millions of chimneys delivering Christmas presents to little boys and girls. And he’s back again for the 20th year! Come see Santa practice climbing down Chimney Rock more than 1,000 feet above Hickory Nut Gorge from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 8 and 15, weather permitting. Chimney Rock was named one of “10 great places to catch up with Santa” by USA Today.

Fearless St. Nick will descend from the top of Chimney Rock about every 30-45 minutes, and between climbs he’ll be available for photo opportunities. Kids are invited to sit on Santa’s lap and meet Mrs. Claus, snack on holiday cookies and hot cocoa and engage in kids’ activities. Weather permitting, you can also meet Grady the Groundhog or other live woodland critters that wouldn’t survive at the North Pole. Annual Passholders can get their holiday shopping done with a special sale of 25 percent off retail on December 1 to 16 at the Sky Lounge Gift Shop as they enjoy live holiday music and refreshments.

Win a Free Climb with Santa’s Elves. Each day, one lucky guest will win free two-hour rock climbing lessons for two with Santa’s professional helpers, Fox Mountain Guides. The winner of each drawing will be announced at 1:30 p.m.; you must be present to win. To learn more about Fox Mountain Guides or book a rock climbing lesson, visit foxmountainguides.com or call (888) 284-8433. There is no additional cost with paid Park admission. In case of inclement weather, check chimneyrockpark.com for the event status.