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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for March, 2015

Tailgate Tents Going Up

Friday, March 27th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Spring is here and the growing season is upon us! Tailgate tents are going up, and area farmers markets are opening outdoors for the season. Celebrate spring by getting a taste of what is growing in your community. At early spring markets, expect fresh greens, spring onions and asparagus; meats, cheeses, baked goods, value-added farm products like preserves, and a wide selection of plant starts. Produce offerings will differ from market to market based on the location of vendor farms—microclimates vary greatly in the region. But the season changes quickly, with new offerings sprouting up each week.

Find a list of spring tailgate opening days for the central mountains below. For a complete list of the 90+ tailgate markets in the region, including their season start dates, visit ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org. The 2015 print guide hits stands in mid-April.

Opening Dates in the central mountains:

Asheville City Market: April 4, Saturdays 8:00 am-1:00 pm

Asheville City Market South: April 1, Wednesdays 12:00-4:00 pm

Bakersville Farmers Market: April 4, Saturdays 8:00 am-12:00 pm

Black Mountain Tailgate Market: May 2, Saturdays 9:00 am-12:00 pm

East Asheville Tailgate Market: May 1, Fridays 3:00-6:00 pm

Flat Rock Farmers Market: May 7, Thursdays 3:00-6:00 pm

French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market: April 15, Wednesdays, 2:00-6:00 pm

Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market: April 25. Wednesdays and Saturdays 8:00 am-12:00 pm

Henderson County Tailgate Market: March 14, Saturdays 7:00 am-12:00 pm

Historic Marion Tailgate Market: May 5, Tuesdays 3:00-6:00 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Jackson County Farmers Market: April 4, Saturdays 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Leicester Farmers Market: April 4, Saturdays 9:00 am-2:00 pm

Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market: April 4, Saturdays 9:00 am-1:00 pm

Mills River Farmers Market: May 2, Saturdays 8:00 am-12:00 pm

North Asheville Tailgate Market: April 11, Saturdays 8:00 am-12:00 pm

Oakley Farmers Market: May 7, Thursdays 3:30-6:30 pm

River Arts District Farmers Market: May 6, Wednesdays 2:00 pm-6:00 pm

Spruce Pine Farmers Market: May 6, Wednesdays 2:00-5:00 pm

Transylvania Farmers Market: April 18, Saturdays 8:00 am-12:00 pm

Original Waynesville Tailgate Market: May 13, Wednesdays and Saturdays 8:00 am-12:00 pm

Weaverville Tailgate Market: April 8, Wednesdays 2:30-6:30 pm

West Asheville Tailgate Market: April 7, Tuesdays 3:30-6:30 pm

Yancey County Farmers Market: April 18, Saturdays 8:30 am-12:30 pm


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.

Plant a Pinwheel for Child Abuse Prevention

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – On April 7 at 3:30 p.m., the Buncombe County Commissioners and the Child Protection Team invite the community to join them as they plant a pinwheel to signify Child Abuse Plant a pinwheel for childe abuse prevention.Awareness Month. Meet them on the lawn in front of the meeting garden, between the parking garage and the County Administration Building and take a stand against child abuse.

To draw attention to Child Abuse Prevention Month, we ask that you wear blue on April 7.

The problem of child abuse and neglect affects many of Buncombe County’s children and has reached epidemic proportions in North Carolina with over 100,000 children reported abused or neglected last year. Last year Buncombe County received over 4,000 reports of child abuse and neglect.

It is vital that the community join forces with the Buncombe County Child Protection Team and reach out to parents and children to help prevent child abuse and strengthen families and children who have experienced abuse.

Do you suspect abuse?

To make an adult or child protective services report any time, day or night, call the numbers below:

  • Child Abuse: (828) 250-5900
  • Adult Abuse: (828) 250-5800

Biltmore International Rose Trials Competition

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The judging and awards ceremony for the third annual Biltmore International Rose Trials competition is scheduled for Saturday, May 30, 2015. An international jury will select the winning roses in 12 categories.

Since 2011, Biltmore’s historic Rose Garden has been home to the trials in which more than 90 varieties from growers and breeders worldwide have been planted and cared for by Biltmore’s expert horticulturalists. Each trial lasts two years and a permanent jury judges the roses four times per year. During this year’s competition, the international and permanent juries will conduct the final round of judging for the trial group of 29 roses planted in 2013.

Before entering their roses into trials and competition, breeders work on their creations for four or five years prior. Roses to be judged this year are from Canada, France, Ireland, Germany, the UK and the U.S.

The trials are a valuable way for the home gardener to learn what roses do well and what may be potential candidates for their own gardens. Trials of this type are open to rose breeders around the world – from professional to beginner. New rose varieties will be planted for trial each May. They are evaluated for overall health and rigor; fragrance; disease resistance; and ability to repeat bloom.

Guests visiting Biltmore’s gardens may view the roses currently on trial in borders in the Walled Garden and areas near the historic Rose Garden. Peak blooming time in Biltmore’s rose garden occurs typically in mid-May and September.

Biltmore International Rose Trials event details

Several ticket options are available for guests interested in attending competition events.

-Welcome Reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on May 29 in the Conservatory Rose Garden. Tickets are $65 each. Call 800-543-2961 to purchase.

-The Rose Trials Ticket Package includes attendance at the Welcome Reception in the Conservatory Rose Garden at 6:30 p.m. on May 29; competition day on May 30 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. with judging and garden tours; a self-guided tour of Biltmore House; access to the grounds and the awards presentation and lunch at 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the estate’s Lioncrest. Guests may also enjoy Biltmore’s Winery and “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad” exhibition in Antler Hill Village. Tickets are $175 per person for the package (non-pass holders); $132.20 for pass holders. Call 800-543-2961 to purchase.

-The Inn on Biltmore Estate Package includes accommodations for two at the award-winning Inn on Biltmore Estate, attendance at the Welcome Reception in the Rose Garden; entry into competition day on May 30 in the gardens; a self-guided tour of Biltmore House; access to the grounds and the awards presentation and lunch at 12:30 p.m. at the estate’s Lioncrest. Also included is the chef’s breakfast buffet each morning in The Dining Room; audio guides to Biltmore House; valet parking at the Inn; and complimentary shuttle service around the estate. Guests may also enjoy Biltmore’s Winery and “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad” exhibition in Antler Hill Village. Package price starts at $1,168. Call 800-858-4130 or book online at www.biltmore.com.

-Select area hotels are offering special Biltmore International Rose Trials rates. For ticket and hotel information, call 800-543-2961 or book online at www.biltmore.com.

More information about the Biltmore International Rose Trials may be found here; http://www.biltmore.com/events/international-rose-trials-1

Farmer’s Market-Based Food Assistance Program

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Health and social sciences scholar Darcy Freedman will present “Developing, Implementing, and Sustaining a Food Assistance Incentive Program for Farmers’ Markets: Lessons Learned in South Carolina,” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31 in UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center, Mission Health System Mountain View Room.

With a decade of experience developing, implementing, and sustaining food environment interventions, Freedman’s research is based on the social aspects of health frameworks. She focuses most of her work on promoting health equity through research, teaching, and practice that uses collaborative and participatory models to create healthy places to live, work, play, and pray. Freedman employs a range of research approaches including participatory action research, community-level intervention analysis, qualitative methods, and arts-based approaches. Freedman is associate professor at Case Western Reserve University and core faculty of the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods.

Freedman’s lecture is part of UNC Asheville’s Greenfest, and is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by Interdisciplinary Distinguished Professorship of the Mountain South and the UNC Asheville Departments of Economics, Health and Wellness, and Sociology. For more information, contact Leah Greden Mathews at 828.251.6551 or [email protected].


Local Earth Skills School Featured on National Geographic Channel

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – How far do you have to go to get-back-to-the-land? The National Geographic Channel’s new series, “Live Free or Die,” examines a growing movement of people living in radical harmony with nature. The show profiles individuals who forage wild food, fashion clothing from animal hides, and live in shelters built of forest debris. National Geographic describes the series as an exploration of “America’s most remote subculture,” but if you live near Asheville, NC this emerging movement is not so far away.

Several days of filming took place at Wild Abundance, a school for land-based living located twenty minutes from Asheville. Founder, director, and homesteader Natalie Bogwalker is featured in “Live Free or Die” along with show standards, Thorn, Tony and Amelia, locals who regularly collaborate with Bogwalker to teach eco-homesteading, permaculture, and primitive skills.

“Our goal is to provide individuals with the education, inspiration, and information to live in greater balance with the web of life,” says Bogwalker. “We marry modern desires with historical wisdom — domesticated lifestyles with wild remembering.”

Wild Abundance has just announced the 2015 curriculum for its Essentials Program. The 160 hour course runs from March to November and explores the fundamentals of eco-homesteading. Students begin with knife skills, garden planning, and seed starting. They then learn to make fire-by-friction, forage edible and medicinal wild plants, and harvest timber with horse power. This is followed by tours of local homesteads to discover natural building techniques. In the fall, they move to food preservation, seed saving, basket weaving, ethical slaughtering, and bone tool making.

The classes are designed to appeal to a wide range of people and fit into a full-time work or school schedule. “One of my favorite things is bringing different people together,” says Bogwalker. Participants vary from suburban mothers wanting to become more comfortable taking their kids camping, to professionals working in landscape design or alternative medicine, to twenty-something wanderers learning to forge a debt and desk free existence in the wilderness.

Bogwalker, who holds a BA in Ecological Agriculture, is also the founder and director of the renowned Firefly Gathering, a festival of classes and workshops dedicated to natural living that attracts hundreds of visitors to the Asheville area every summer. Bogwalker’s efforts contribute to the expansion of Asheville’s defining earth skills scene.

While the National Geographic Channel is available in about 70% of American households, the Wild Abundance EssentialsProgram invites us to turn off the television and explore the living wilderness in our own backyards.

The 2015 Wild Abundance Living Essentials Program begins on March 28. For more information or to register, visitwww.wildabundance.net.



Volunteers Needed for Tuckaseigee River Cleanup on April 18

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Base Camp Cullowhee at Western Carolina University will present the 31st annual Tuckaseigee River Cleanup on Saturday, April 18, and is looking for volunteers to participate in the nation’s largest single-day effort to remove trash from a river.

Registration for groups and individuals will be held on the A.K. Hinds University Center lawn from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the first 600 volunteers to register receiving a free T-shirt and energy bar. There is no early registration for the event.

Base Camp Cullowhee, WCU’s outdoor programming organization, will provide transportation to the river after volunteers receive a life jacket and paddle. On site, staff members will deliver a safety briefing before giving trash bags to participants. Volunteers should anticipate two to three hours of work.

Volunteers who participate by raft have to weigh at least 40 pounds, should wear shoes that won’t come off in the water (such as tennis shoes or sandals with a back strap) and are encouraged to eat lunch before registering. Rafts are self-guided and no coolers or alcohol will be allowed. Walking trails along the river banks are an option for volunteers who do not meet the weight requirement or who do not want to raft.

After the cleanup, volunteers are invited to return to the University Center lawn for a free cookout, live entertainment, yard games and the chance to win prizes donated by local businesses. Winners must be present to receive prizes.

The Tuckaseigee River Cleanup typically attracts up to 900 volunteers each year who remove tons of garbage from 27 miles of the river. The event originally was organized by a small group of students and staff from WCU’s Outdoor Programs who recognized the need to clean up the river.

For more information, contact Jeremiah Haas, coordinator for the event, at 828-227-3625 or visit basecamp.wcu.edu.

Wicked Weed Brewing Breaks Ground 50,000 Barrel Brewing Facility in Asheville

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – In celebration with the Buncombe County Commissioners and the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC), Wicked Weed Brewing breaks ground today on outfitting its new brewing facility in the Enka Commerce Park on the western edge of Asheville. The company’s expansion will add 82 new jobs and invest $5 million in facilities and equipment over the next three years.

The 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art brewhouse will enable Wicked Weed Brewing to help meet rapidly growing demand and scale its capacity up to 50,000 barrels a year. Wicked Weed plans to expand its market in North Carolina and eventually other states, while staying focused on its passion for producing creative, world-class craft beers and maintaining strict quality standards through self-distribution.

It’s expected to take about five months to completely outfit the existing building, which the brewery purchased as a shell building from Buncombe County. The brewing equipment installation will occur in June, with brewing and distribution expected to be underway this fall.

“The Asheville community’s overwhelming support and demand for Wicked Weed beer is what drives us forward to keep growing and brewing high quality, award-winning craft beer. As we expand, our focus remains on brewing the most creative and innovative beer styles for our many friends and fans across North Carolina,” commented Walt Dickinson, Head Blender and an ownership partner of Wicked Weed Brewing.

The new brewing facility is Wicked Weed’s third site, since opening its second downtown location, The Funkatorium at 147 Coxe Avenue, last fall. The dedicated sour barrel house and tasting room is the only facility of its type in the Southeast.

RateBeer.com just named Wicked Weed among the top 100 brewers in the world out of over 19,000 breweries listed on its site. Since opening just over two years ago, Wicked Weed has produced about 250 unique beer recipes, won a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2013, and has garnered national attention in the craft brewing industry for its creative, high-quality brews like the Freak of Nature Double IPA.

“Wicked Weed’s job growth and success in such a short time can only be explained by its innovative approach and commitment to brewing only the finest beer. We’re excited to see this family-owned business continue to expand one of the nation’s hottest craft brewing centers, right here in Buncombe County,” stated David Gantt, Chairman of the Buncombe County Commissioners.

Wicked Weed Brewing is an Asheville, North Carolina based brewpub ranked among the world’s top 100 brewers by RateBeer.com. It consistently hosts 20-plus house beers on tap, including hop forward, West Coast style ales, open fermented Belgians, and barrel-aged sour beers. Opened in December 2012, Wicked Weed is destined to become the largest producer of barrel-aged beers in the Southeastern U.S. The brewery is best known for its Freak of Nature Double IPA, Coolcumber Ale, Tyrant Double Red Ale, Hopburglar Blood Orange IPA, Dark Age Bourbon Stout and Black Angel Cherry Sour. Wicked Weed Brewing won a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for its Serenity Farmhouse Ale in 2013. Visit them online at www.wickedweedbrewing.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/WickedWeedBrewing.

The Economic Development Coalition (EDC) for Asheville-Buncombe County is a public-private partnership committed to: creating and retaining high quality jobs, community leadership, and being a resource for better business decisions.  The EDC accomplishes this mission through its four core services: business retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneurship, research, and marketing and recruitment.  The EDC is funded by Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, the Town of Weaverville, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the AVL 5×5 Campaign. Visit www.ashevillechamber.org/economic-development.

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a member organization with over 1,800 member businesses and organizations. Chamber members collaborate with community organizations and coalitions to support the community and each other with the mission of building community through business. The Chamber is home to a 4,000 square foot Visitor Center which welcomes over 200,000 visitors per year. To get active in the Chamber, visit www.ashevillechamber.org.

Spring Events and Happenings at Chimney Rock

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock announces Spring events.

Selfie in the Park: What’s Your View?

Date/Time: April 1- April 30

Description: When you think about Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, what do you picture? Grady munching a sweet potato? The top of the Chimney on a rainy day? Scaling Vista Rock with Fox Mountain Guides? Or feeling the cool mist of the Hickory Nut Falls on your face? It seems everyone has a favorite place at the Park, and whatever your view, we want you to share it. Snap a selfie at your favorite spot in Chimney Rock (uniqueness and creativity encouraged), post it to Instagram at chimneyrockatchimneyrockpark, and tag us for the chance to win some amazing prizes, including free Park passes, an overnight stay at The Esmerelda Inn, lunch for two at the Old Rock Café and more! For a complete list of rules and guidelines, visit our website at www.chimneyrockpark.com/events.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=591



IMG_1427 (1)60th Annual Easter Sunrise Service
Date/Time: Sunday, April 5; gate opens 5am-6am for 6:30am service
Description: 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 special 60th Anniversary year will feature live music, including special songs sung by Chimney Rock employees and their family members, spiritual songs, Park musician John Mason on the hammered dulcimer and breathtaking scenery. Guests are invited to eat breakfast at the Old Rock Café and stay to enjoy the Park all day.

Cost: Free admission for entry to Sunrise Service

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=467


Spring Homeschool Day
Date/Time: Wednesday, April 15; 9:30am-12:30pm
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. Optional afternoon activities will be offered. Registration required; call (828) 625-9611 to register. For rates and program descriptions, visit http://chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $12 Adults (includes Park admission), No charge Annual Passholder; $13 Youth (ages 5-15), $7.50 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=468


Naturalist Niche: Spring Wildflower Walk
Date/Time: Saturday, April 18; 9:30-11:30am

Description: 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. Location of hike may vary depending on where the most flowers are blooming. Spring Wildflower Walk is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=574


Kids ClimbSpringtime Kids’ Rock Climb

Date/Time: Saturday, April 18; 11am-3pm

Description: Get a taste of rock climbing and experience Chimney Rock from a new perspective with the Southeast’s leader in rock climbing education, Fox Mountain Guides. Kids (ages 7-15) climb for half price with 20-minute “tasters” on Vista Rock at this fun, family-friendly event, weather permitting. Convenient, walk-up access to climbing for the whole family to try! Beginners welcome, and no experience is necessary. All equipment is provided. Additional kid-friendly activities focusing on health and wellness will be offered throughout the day.

Book a 2-hour or longer climbing lesson anytime with Fox Mountain Guides at (888) 284-8433.

Cost: $10 for a kids’ taster climb (half price!) or $20 per adult, plus Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=592



Earth DayEarth Day
: Saturday, April 25; 11am-3pm
Description: 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. Kids have the chance to earn a Grady’s Kids Club annual pass to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.  Bring the whole family!

Cost: Free

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=556


Spring Break Family Discovery Programs
Date/Time: Monday, April 6-Sunday April 12; daily at 2pm
Description: 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 animal ambassadors are the stars of our 2pm program led by a Park naturalist, who will explain 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. Don’t forget your camera!
Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=551




20140518_094603_resized_1Naturalist Niche: Waterfall Exploration
Date/Time: Sunday, May 3; 9:30–11:30am
Description: Hickory Nut Falls is not only one of the highest falls east of the Mississippi River,  it’s also full of plants and animals are easy to miss if you aren’t watching closely! Join a Park Naturalist to explore the Falls and search for life hiding among the rocks. Advance registration required. Waterfall Exploration is part of our Naturalist Niche series. Join an expert naturalist on park trails once a month January – December to learn about plants, wildlife, survival skills, birding, geology or other fascinating outdoor topics!

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=576


Cub scout - snakes prog cropSpring Boy Scout Day & Campout
: Saturday May 2- Sunday May 3; 9:30am Saturday-9am Sunday
Description: Description: For years, Boy Scouts of all ages have enjoyed their own special days at Chimney Rock State Park. Our nearly 1,000 acres make an incredible backdrop to a variety of programs that are educational and fun! Scouts will enjoy morning programs, have the chance to become a North Carolina State Parks Junior Ranger, then join us for a campout beneath the stars. Programs details at http://chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $15 per scout, $12 per adult, $5.50 additional children,$8 per camper  Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required.

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=474


2_CR flag at sunrise_Chuck HillAnnual Passholder Spring Sunrise Breakfast
Date/Time: Saturday May 9; gate opens 5am for 6:30am sunrise
Description: Few sights in Western North Carolina are as spectacular as watching the sun rise over Lake Lure. Weather permitting, the Park opens early for Annual Passholders with a tasty continental breakfast and the best seats in the area. Post your sunrise pictures to our Facebook page. To RSVP, please call 800-277-9611. Check out area accommodations at chimneyrockpark.com if you plan to stay overnight.

Cost: $5 Annual Passholder, free for kids under 5. Advanced registration required.

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=534

Photo credit: Chuck Hill Photography


PROMO: Mother’s Day Weekend Special

Date/Time: Saturday-Sunday, May 9-10

Description: Get 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. 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 9-10, 2015.

Annual Passholders can start the day out with a spectacular sunrise view at our Annual Passholder Spring Sunrise Breakfast. Not a Passholder? You can upgrade your paid admission ticket; it’s just $13 for adults and $5 for youth.

Cost: Buy one regularly-priced adult ticket and Mom or Grandma receives one free

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=409

Spring Girl Scout Day & Campout
Date/Time: Saturday May 16-Sunday May 17; 9:30am Saturday-9am Sunday
Description: For years, Girl Scouts of all ages have enjoyed their own special days at Chimney Rock State Park. Our nearly 1,000 acres make an incredible backdrop to a variety of programs that are educational and fun! Scouts will also have the opportunity to become a North Carolina State Parks Junior Ranger. And the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down—our 5-acre Meadows is the perfect place to spend a night under the stars. Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required. Programs details at http://chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: $15 per scout, $12 per adult, $5.50 additional children, $8 per camper

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=471


Grady & Kids at Chimney RockMemorial Day Weekend Family Discovery Programs
: Saturday-Monday, May 23-25; 11am-4pm
Description: 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. Family wildlife programs at 2pm. Try to outwit gravity with a free climb per person on our climbing tower open 11am–4pm.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/event_detail.php?EVENT_ID=558



ASAP Announces Cost Share and Promotional Support for Area Farmers

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – ASAP announces the launch of a farmer cost share program and the renewal of its popular wax produce box initiative, both designed to maximize economic opportunities for local farmers and identify “certified local food” in the marketplace in Western North Carolina. Both programs are part of ASAP’s Appalachian Grown™ program, which helps farmers enhance the competitiveness of their products in local markets. Through increased visibility of the Appalachian Grown brand, consumers can clearly identify certified local food where they shop and dine.

ASAP created the Appalachian Grown certification program in 2007 so that consumers can feel confident that the farm products they seek out in the marketplace were grown or raised in the Southern Appalachians and that their local food purchase helps support the local economy.

“Appalachian Grown is a powerful tool for farmers and consumers alike,” said Molly Nicholie, ASAP’s Local Food Campaign Director. “Resources such as the cost share program and Appalachian Grown branded wax boxes help farmers reduce marketing costs and build a cohesive identity for family farms in the Southern Appalachians. Simultaneously these programs help consumers identify authentic local farm products and can support local food, strong farms, and healthy communities with their food dollars.”

Cost share funds are made possible through support from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, and are available for farms in North Carolina to be used for design and production of custom labels, packaging, or promotional materials featuring the Appalachian Grown logo. More information about the cost share program is available at asapconnections.org.

The Appalachian Grown wax produce box program allows ASAP to use the bulk buying power of over 700 farms to offer packaging materials at an affordable price for growers, helping them meet market requirements and enhance the visibility and marketability of their products. This program is supported by the Golden LEAF Foundation, the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, and The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.  A new shipment of boxes will arrive in early April in time for the spring growing season. This year, ASAP is offering discounted pallet prices for farms that pre-order. Wax box pre-orders are available now through asapconnections.org.

For more questions about the cost share program, order wax boxes, or Appalachian Grown, visit asapconnections.org, or contact [email protected].


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 in the region, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

18th Annual French Broad River Festival

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – This annual grassroots festival has grown steadily from a one night benefit party on the banks of the French Broad to an all weekend festival featuring some of the best music in the area and a number of outdoor events in celebration of this beautiful river and setting.

Date:  May 1-3, 2015

Location:  The festival takes place at the Hot Springs Campground & Spa, at the intersection of the French Broad River and the Appalachian Trail in historic Hot Springs, NC.

Music / entertainment:

Larry Keel Experience, Sol Driven Train, Zach Deputy, Big Daddy Love, Big Something, PGrass, The Accomplices, Red Dirt Revelators, Raising Caine, Empire Strikes Brass, Dead 27’s, Rodeo Clown, The Dubplates and more!  This festival always has a few surprises such as a juggling fire show, kid’s parade, trapeze artists, fireworks, late night acoustic jams, and watch out for flying marshmallows.

Outdoor events:  You can enjoy the outdoors by participating in the raft race, a 9 mile whitewater race that finishes at the festival, paddling “with the pros”, or the mountain bike race.  And if you’re not feeling too competitive, you can take a nice hike on the AT or just hang out by the river, listening to the music.

The Raft Race will be held on Saturday, May 2 at 10:00 am.

The biggest mass start whitewater raft race in the southeast. The race begins in Barnard, North Carolina and ends at the festival in beautiful Hot Springs, NC. During the 9 mile race, you will experience Class 1-4 whitewater excitement as well as bumping boats, crazy people, and a lot of heckling.  See website for details to pre-register for a spot on a raft with guide.

The Mountain Bike Race will take place Saturday, May 2 at 10 am. Registration fees are $15 for non-festival participants and free for folks attending the festival. There will be prizes for the top finishers. Please plan to arrive at 9 am for pre-race registration and route information. For more info regarding the race and pre-registration, check out www.frenchbroadriverfestival.com.

Paddle with the Pros! Space is limited so sign up early!
Saturday, May 2nd offers a chance to paddle with an Open Canoe legend.  Three time World Champion Eli Helbert will be leading a canoe clinic for folks with their own boat and gear. This will be great for boaters of all skill levels. Sign up for Paddle with the Pros at the festival information booth on Friday afternoon or evening. Space will be limited, so get there early!

Bring the Kids!  Kids 12 and under are free, and The Kids’ Village  has a terrific line up of fun activities including inflatables, face painting and Becky the Balloon Lady making costumes and fun balloon shapes for the annual FBRF Kids’ Parade.  Becky brings an entourage of fun folks that juggle, play with fire, and love to create an entertaining atmosphere for kids of all ages!  Kids’ parade on Saturday led by Sol Driven Train.

Food, prizes and more: There are plenty of food vendors or you can dine out in one of Hot Springs’ restaurants.  See lots of outdoor gear and win some of it in the raffle and silent auction.  Kids area. Sand volleyball. Spa. River. Mountains. Sleeping is optional.

Good Cause:  Over the years, The French Broad River Festival has donated over $150,000 to designated local charities such as Manna Food Bank, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of WNC, Eliada Home, Homeward Bound of Asheville, and American Whitewater.  Proceeds in 2014 will be donated to the Hot Springs Community Learning Center, Homeward Bound and American Whitewater.


Tickets include camping, music, registration fees for whitewater and biking events (if you have your own boat/bike), one raffle ticket, festival schwag, and good times.

~ $80 General Admission (Early Bird online) – see website for details / availability at gate.

~ Parking $50 inside festival or drop off gear at campsite and park free just outside

~ Children under 12 get in free.

Rafting plus Admission:

For those without boats but who would like to participate in the race, a limited number of tickets are available. These include a spot in a raft for the raft race with a guide, plus everything the general admission ticket offers. Check the website for more details. Tickets are on sale now at www.frenchbroadriverfestival.com.