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Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax at Chimney Rock June 13

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – On June 13, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, Ingles Markets and Mast General Store will present Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax on an outdoor 35-foot screen for the Park’s 4thAnnual Movie on the Meadows. The much-loved children’s story incorporates themes of environmental conservation and the importance of protecting our natural resources through Seuss’ quirky characters and witty wordplay.

The movie will be shown at the end of a full day of activities themed around National Get Outdoors Day. From 10am-2pm, kids and their families can meet live critters including possibly Grady the Groundhog or some of his animal ambassador friends, take part in NC State Parks’ Junior Ranger program, climb Vista Rock with Fox Mountain Guides with 20-minute tasters at special rates, learn how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly with Leave No Trace and meet Appalachian photographer Tim Barnwell.

The Lorax is a natural fit for National Get Outdoors Day,” said Shannon Quinn-Tucker, PR & Promotions Manager, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. “Its themes of conservation and the importance of protecting and appreciating our natural resources, told by Dr. Seuss, one of American’s favorite storytellers, will be a big hit with kids and adults alike. We’ve received a lot of feedback from folks telling us they’re looking forward to watching it with the amazing soaring cliffs as a backdrop on the Meadow in the Park.”

National Get Outdoors Day activities are included with Park admission, with the exception of climbs with Fox Mountain Guides. The Park will close at its normal time of 7pm, then the front gate will reopen at 7:30pm for movie parking, which is $12 per car or $8 per car for Annual Passholders. $3 discount coupons for parking are available now through June 13 exclusively at the Lake Lure Ingles Market. Guests who show their same day Park admission receipt will receive complimentary parking.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive early for the movie screening that will run from 9-11 p.m. Pre-show entertainment will be provided, and concessions will be available. Moviegoers are encouraged to bring flashlights to find their way after dark and blankets or camping chairs for casual seating on the grassy Meadows. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed.

More event details are available at www.chimneyrockpark.com.

Unwind at Biltmore this Summer

Friday, May 29th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Unwinding from the daily routine can mean many things at Biltmore: romantic garden strolls, wine tastings, farmyard visits, scenic bike rides, and live music under the stars. Not to mention exploring the castle-like, 250-room Biltmore House. Imagine the possibilities on vacation at Biltmore this summer, running now through Sept. 7, 2015.

Biltmore’s great outdoors

Acreage surrounding Biltmore House offers a dynamic variety of activities for fans of the great outdoors. Meander through the colorful and ever-changing manicured gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, or explore miles of hiking and biking trails that wind through wooded areas and open fields. Take in mountain and Biltmore House views from the back of a horse, while floating down a lazy river, on a Segway, or on a carriage ride. Try your hand at fly-fishing, sporting clays or get behind the wheel of a Land Rover.

Music under the stars: The Biltmore Concert Series

Dance under the stars on select summer nights during Biltmore’s Concert Series, staged on the South Terrace next to Biltmore House. Kicking off Aug. 7, the 2015 line-up includes Natalie Cole and Peabo Bryson; Counting Crows: Somewhere Under Wonderland Tour with Citizen Cope; ZZ Top with Blackberry Smoke; Chris Tomlin and MercyMe; Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers and Blues Traveler; and The Four Tops and The Temptations. Visit www.biltmore.com/concerts for dates and details.

NEW! Free cooking demonstrations by Biltmore chefs

Biltmore’s chefs will share their knowledge in a series of free cooking demos, set for dates in June, July and August. They’ll demonstrate techniques and share basic Biltmore-inspired recipes for the home kitchen. Select events also include a three-course lunch featuring highlights from the class (additional price). Advance registration is required for each demonstration, and seating is limited. http://www.biltmore.com/events/cooking-demonstrations

Month of June: Chef Mark DeMarco – Cedric’s Tavern

June 12, 10 to 11 a.m.: Pickling Summer’s Bounty
June 19, 10 to 11 a.m.:  Making Fresh Sausages at Home
June 26, 10 to 11 a.m.:  Seasonal Jams and Preserves
Call 828-225-1320 to reserve. Please tell the reservationist if you plan to stay for lunch ($24 per person).

Month of July: Chef Kirk Fiore – Lioncrest

July 16, 10 to 11 a.m.:  Fresh Salsas with Summer Fruits and Vegetables
July 23, 10 to 11 a.m.:  Hand-made Vinegars with Fresh Garden Herbs
Call 828-225-6260 to reserve.

Month of August: Chef David Ryba – The Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate

Aug. 6 and 13, noon to 1 p.m.:  The Edible Garden, featuring heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs and salads. Call 828-225-1699 to reserve. Please tell the reservationist if you plan to stay for lunch ($30 per person).

Fun in Antler Hill Village and Farm

Admission to Biltmore includes access to Antler Hill Village Farm and Barnyard. The Barnyard is home to blacksmiths, woodworkers and other craft demonstrations. “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad” exhibition is housed in the Legacy building and sheds light on the time the Vanderbilt family made Biltmore House their home, and their world travels. Summer evening weekends feature Live After Five in Antler Hill Village with musical performances by area musicians on the bandstand at the Village Green. On-site culinary options are available, and Cedric’s Tavern, the Bistro, and the Creamery will be open.

The Winery

Admission offers entry to Biltmore Winery, with complimentary tastings and a production tour.  Specialty tours such as the Vine to Wine Tour, Biltmore Bubbles Tour and the Red Wine and Chocolate seminar are available at an additional cost.

Stay over at Inn on Biltmore Estate

Extend your visit with an overnight stay at the award-winning Inn on Biltmore Estate or with our local accommodations partners and take advantage of packages on select dates this summer.

Summer 2015 vacation deals at Biltmore

Kids 16 and younger receive FREE admission now through Labor Day, Sept. 7.
Dads receive FREE admission on Father’s Day, June 21, with purchase of an adult or youth ticket.
Save $12 when tickets are purchased seven days in advance.

More information is available at 866.336.1245, or by visiting www.biltmore.com. View suggested itineraries for more family travel ideas.

 

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: 

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.

Early Bird Tickets French Broad River Festival

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – For a few more days…tickets and parking passes are at the best price possible for the 18th Annual French Broad River Festival happening May 1-3, 2015.  Get them now and have something to look forward to in the spring!

Oh yea, of course you’ll be looking forward to being outdoors in beautiful Hot Springs but what about the music? We don’t have the complete lineup yet, but wanted to share a few that we’re already very excited about. First of all, we’ve got our old friends The Larry Keel Experience joining us for the first time since 2010…can’t believe it’s been that long. Of course, Sol Driven Train will be returning for 2 sets (including one kid’s set). We also want to welcome Big Something for their first time at the fest, along with the Dead 27s and Rodeo Clown. Also, we’ve got a special treat, PGrass featuring Brock Butler (of Perpetual Groove) along with members of James Justin and Company. Let us know what you think so far!  We’ll be adding more as they are confirmed! Stay tuned…and get your tickets now at Ticketweb!

What’s it all about?  Check out this video produced by Adam Johnson that gives a good overview and footage from the 16th festival.

Kids Fishing Tournament at Lake Julian

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Kids Fishing TournamentASHEVILLE NC – The Kids Fishing Tournament at Lake Julian Park is Saturday, September 27, 2014. It’s open to children ages 15 and under and is sponsored by The Recreation Division of Buncombe County Library, Recreation and Culture Department and West Ridge Auto Sales.

The Tournament begins at 8:30 a.m. and runs to 11:30 a.m. Register on site the day of the tournament for $10 per child, which covers fishing bait, snacks and a free hot dog lunch at the conclusion of the tournament. A fishing license is not required for children under 16 years of age.

This is a catch and release event and we will supply a bucket for each competitor’s catch. After the fish has been weighed and measured, it is released back into the lake. Participants should bring their own pole.

Fishing is allowed anyplace inside the Lake Julian Park boundaries. No boat fishing is allowed. Children must be accompanied by at least one adult.

Children will be grouped into one of five age categories and prizes will be awarded in each of the categories.

Prizes will be given for:

  • biggest fish
  • smallest fish
  • most fish caught

In addition, competitors in every age group will have an opportunity to show off their casting skill. Casting poles and targets are provided by Lake Julian Park and children can demonstrate their ability anytime during the Tournament. There are prizes for the winners of the casting competition, too!

For information about this event contact David Blynt at 250-4266 or [email protected].

Chimney Rock Announces November and December Events

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Join Chimney Rock for exciting events in November and December.

NOVEMBER EVENTS

Shutterbugs Nature Photography Workshops

Date/Time: Saturday & Sunday, November 1-2; 8:30am-4pm

Description: Capture vibrant fall foliage, a 404-foot waterfall and up to 75-mile views with your camera at near-peak colors. It’s one of the region’s most affordable workshops. Led by pro photographer Jeff Miller, these two one-day workshops are tailored to individual experience, with more advanced concepts on day two. Topics include wide-angle, telephoto, macro and intimate landscapes; composition, inspiration, post-processing, critique and sharing your photos. Mr. Miller is an award-winning photographer published in regional, state and national publications with work exhibited throughout N.C. Cost includes an Annual Pass (for non-Passholders) and lunch each day. For more about Jeff, visit www.mountainlens.com.

Cost: Day 1: $90 or $65 Annual Passholders; Day 2; $100 or $75 Passholders; Both days: $170 or $135 for Passholders (fees include an Annual Pass and lunch each day) *Save $5 per day off full price if you register by September 30! Advance registration required.

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/month_view.php?&monthYear=2014&month=11#E494

 

2nd Annual Climbin’ the Chimney

Date/Time: Saturday, November 8, 11am-3pm

Description: Experience Chimney Rock from a rope with the Southeast’s leader in rock climbing education, Fox Mountain Guides. For beginners, try climbing Vista Rock and rappelling, or for experienced climbers, test your skills on two difficult routes up the Chimney. For a big thrill, try rappelling 200 feet down the Chimney like Santa does every December (costs extra, expert rappellers only)! Profits benefit a local non-profit. All equipment is provided. Book a climbing lesson anytime with Fox at (888) 284-8433.

Cost: Up to four climbs or rappels offered for only $20 plus Park admission.

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/park/climbing/index.php

 

Fall Girl Scout Day

Date/Time: Saturday, November 8; 9:30am-12:15pm

Description: Chimney Rock’s Fall Scout Days are among the Park’s most popular annual events. Fall is a beautiful time to seek adventure outdoors and learn more about our natural world. With ever-changing programs and expert presenters, Park naturalists continue to offer new programs to meet your scouting needs. Looking for a little more adventure? Try out rock climbing in the Park or zip lines nearby! For program details, go to chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required.

Link to Event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/education/scout.php

 

Veteran’s Day Admission Special

Date/Time: November 7-11

Description: Veterans, reservists, retired and active military personnel are our American heroes, so Chimney Rock would like to honor your service with a free visit to Chimney Rock State Park during November 7-11, 2014. Must present military ID or proof of service. Free admission only for military members with ID, not for entire party.

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/month_view.php?&monthYear=2014&month=11#E456

 

 

Naturalist Niche Series: Simon Says Bird Walk

Date/Time: Saturdays, November 8; 8:30-10:30am

Description: Now is the perfect time to start preparing for winter birding. Grab your binoculars and field guide to join world-traveled birding expert Simon Thompson for an early look at which of our feathered friends are staying around for winter. Limited to 15; advance registration required.

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $10 Annual Passholder

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/year_view.php?monthYear=2014&category=32

 

 

Naturalist Niche Series: Survival Skills

Date/Time: Saturday, November 22; 10:30am-12:30pm

Description:  When heading off the beaten path, it’s important to stay oriented and know what useful resources you can find in the woods if you happen to get lost. Join local naturalist Clint Calhoun for an adventure into Chimney Rock’s Old Growth Forest where you’ll learn about helpful survival tips, techniques and essential gear. Plus, you’ll discover what makes this forest ecologically remarkable. Limited to 20; advance registration required.

Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $10 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 for Grady’s Kids Club Member

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/year_view.php?monthYear=2014&category=32

 

Fall Boy Scout Day

Date/Time: Saturday, November 15; 9:30am-12:15pm

Description: Chimney Rock’s Fall Scout Days are among the Park’s most popular annual events. Fall is a beautiful time to seek adventure outdoors and learn more about our natural world. With ever-changing programs and expert presenters, Park naturalists continue to offer new programs to meet your scouting needs. Looking for a little more adventure? Try out rock climbing in the Park or zip lines nearby! For program details, go to chimneyrockpark.com/education.

Cost: Call (828) 625-9611 to register. Advance registration required.

Link to Event: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/education/scout.php

 

DECEMBER EVENTS

Santa on the Chimney

Date/Time: Saturdays, December 6 & 13; 11am-2pm

Description: How is Santa able to climb down millions of chimneys around the world in a single night? He practices, of course. Witness Santa’s daring stunt as he practices on one of the world’s largest chimneys with multiple 200-foot rappels! Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy live holiday music, hot cocoa, cookies and kids’ activities, plus meet live critters. Sponsored by Coffee on the Rocks in Chimney Rock Village. This rappelling Santa was recently ranked as one of the “8 Most Extreme Santas in the World” by Buzzfeed.

Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3XO_DyFtuU

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.

Cost: Included with Park admission

Link to Event: http://chimneyrockpark.com/events/month_view.php?&monthYear=2014&month=12#E402

French Broad Brew Fest Celebrates Fall by the River

Friday, August 29th, 2014
ASHEVILLE NC – Just north of Asheville, Hot Springs is a destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking whitewater, fishing, hiking, biking, or just relaxing at the Spa by the river.  With the festival grounds located on the banks of the French Broad and it’s intersection with the Appalachian Trail, what better way to celebrate Fall in the Mountains?   Beautiful scenery, live music, great craft beer, and food on one glorious afternoon, camping included!  See details below:
Brew15+ breweries will be onsite and festival-goers will receive a commemorative souvenir glass for sampling from noon to 10 pm on Sat. Sept 27.  Breweries include Asheville Brewing, New Belgium, One World Brewing, Pisgah Brewing, Catawba, Highland, Oskar Blues, Foothills, Sierra Nevada, R.J. Rockers, Natty Greene’s, Lagunitas, Sweetwater, French Broad Brewing, Holy City Brewing, Widmer Brothers, Shock Top, Abita, and don’t forget about the FBBF Homebrew Invitational organized by “The Godfather”!
 
EntertainmentSee Lineup with bios including Yarn, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Tony Trischka & Territory, Hymn for Her, Wick-it the Instigator, Empire Strikes Bass, and the Mountain Top Polka Band in the Brew Tent . . . and more! (see band info below)  Hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, soaking in hot tubs, and spa appointments are optional.
 
Environment:  Where the French Broad River intersects with the Appalachian Trail . . . beautiful campsites included (see Relax).
Relax:  No worries about driving, because camping is included with private campsites, rv sites and cabins available on the festival grounds.  Lodging is also available within walking distance at one of the hotels or B&B’s in town.  In addition to the festivities, festival-goers can also enjoy the 100 acre resort & spa’s modern Jacuzzi style hot tubs, positioned outside along the river and supplied with a continuous flow of Natural Hot Mineral Water and a staff of massage therapists on hand to compliment your soaks.  If you’d like to reserve a soak in the mineral springs or a stay in the campground in advance of the festival (to reserve your spot), go to www.nchotsprings.com or call 828-622-7676.
Check out our YouTube page to see what it’s all about!

Details about campground, parking, etc.
  • Festival gates open at 8 am Sat. 9/28 and tickets include camping for Sat. night, but if you want to arrive earlier (and secure a prime campsite) you can reserve a site for Friday 9/27 or earlier by calling the Hot Springs Campground & Resortat 828-622-7676.  Note: If designated sites fill up, there will still be plenty of room to camp!
  • The brew tent will be open from noon to 10 pm
  • You will be allowed to enter the campground and unload your vehicle at your campsite, but will need to buy a $25 parking pass to remain parked in the festival grounds.  Unloading and parking in parking area is free
  • If you don’t want to camp, check out other accomodations in Hot Springs here.
  • As of now, RV spots are still available but it is recommended that you call and reserve a spot through the campground for Friday night to ensure a site.  On Sat. all sites are 1st come 1st serve.
  • Sorry but NO DOGS allowed in festival grounds!
  • If you have any questions, send email to [email protected] or be sure to like us on Facebook for updates also.

Fall outdoors in Hot Springs
Earn your brew.  What a perfect fall weekend it will be to enjoy the outdoors and all Hot Springs has to offer.
  • Hiking:  Hot Springs is a favorite with hikers on the Appalachian Trail (AT), which runs through town and right by the festival grounds.  Lovers Leap Rock , one of the most popular AT side hikes in the area, offers a grand view of the French Broad River and the festival 500 feet below!
  • Biking:  Follow the French Broad about 7 miles down River Road to Paint Rock or head up to the Mills Ridge Bike Trail for singletrack.  An informal pre-festival bike ride is being organized Sat. morning around 9 am.  If interested call 828-230-4054.
  • Whitewater:  It is a River Festival, and Section 9 from Barnard to Hot Springs is what the Cherokee called “Tahkeyostee” or “where they race”.  For a much calmer float but still very scenic, put in at Hot Springs and float to Paint Rock (Section 10).  Check out French Broad Rafting in Hot Springs for a guided trip
  • Fishing:  The French Broad River has great Smallmouth Bass fishing, or catch Trout in nearby Spring Creek or The Laurel River.
  • Spa / Hot Tubs:  The Hot Springs Spa, located across from the festival grounds, features modern Jacuzzi style hot tubs, positioned outside along the tranquil banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River; the tubs are supplied with a continuous flow of World Famous Natural Hot Mineral Water. They have a nationally certified & state licensed staff of massage therapists on hand to compliment your soaks or for separate service altogether.
For more details or for shuttle services, check out Bluff Mtn Outfitters (http://www.bluffmountain.com/) in downtown Hot Springs

French Broad Brew Fest Features Breweries, Music, Scenery

Friday, August 15th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – After 17 years hosting the French Broad River Festival in the spring, the organizers are now perfecting the French Broad Brew Fest, now in it’s 4th year, which features a few of the area’s best resources: craft brew, great music and beautiful scenery.

Just north of Asheville, Hot Springs is a destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking whitewater, fishing, hiking, biking, or just relaxing at the Spa by the river. With the festival grounds located on the banks of the French Broad and it’s intersection with the Appalachian Trail, what better way to celebrate Fall in the Mountains? Beautiful scenery, music, craft beers, and food on one glorious afternoon, camping included! See details below:

Brew: 15+ breweries will be onsite and festival-goers will receive a commemorative souvenir glass for sampling from noon to 10 pm on Sat. Sept 27. Breweries include Asheville Brewing, New Belgium, One World Brewing, Pisgah Brewing, Catawba, Highland, Oskar Blues, Foothills, Sierra Nevada, R.J. Rockers, Natty Greene’s, Lagunitas, Sweetwater, French Broad Brewing, Holy City Brewing, Widmer Brothers, Shock Top, Abita, and don’t forget about the FBBF Homebrew Invitational organized by “The Godfather”!

Entertainment: See Lineup with bios including Yarn, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Tony Trischka & Territory, Hymn for Her, Wick-it the Instigator, Empire Strikes Bass, and the Mountain Top Polka Band in the Brew Tent . . . and more! (see band info below) Hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, soaking in hot tubs, and spa appointments are optional.

Environment: Where the French Broad River intersects with the Appalachian Trail . . . beautiful campsites included (see Relax).

Relax: No worries about driving, because camping is included with private campsites, rv sites and cabins available on the festival grounds. Lodging is also available within walking distance at one of the hotels or B&B’s in town. In addition to the festivities, festival-goers can also enjoy the 100 acre resort & spa’s modern Jacuzzi style hot tubs, positioned outside along the river and supplied with a continuous flow of Natural Hot Mineral Water and a staff of massage therapists on hand to compliment your soaks. If you’d like to reserve a soak in the mineral springs or a stay in the campground in advance of the festival (to reserve your spot), go to www.nchotsprings.com or call 828-622-7676.

Date: Sept 27-28, 2014 (camping included)
Location: Hot Springs Campground & Resort, 315 Bridge St., Hot Springs, NC

Music / entertainment: Yarn, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Tony Trischka Territory, Hymn for Her, Wick-it the Instigator, Empire Strikes Bass, and the Mountain Top Polka Band in the Brew Tent.

Breweries: Asheville Brewing, New Belgium, One World Brewing, Pisgah Brewing, Catawba, Highland, Oskar Blues, Foothills, Sierra Nevada, R.J. Rockers, Natty Greene’s, Lagunitas, Sweetwater, French Broad Brewing, Holy City Brewing, Widmer Brothers, Shock Top, Abita, and don’t forget about the FBBF Homebrew Invitational organized by “The Godfather”!

Food vendors and more: Food vendors will be available at the festival or you can dine out in one of Hot Springs restaurants.

Tickets:

$75 ticket includes a 5oz. commemorative souvenir sampling glass, unlimited beer samplings from noon to 10 pm in the Brew Tent, campsite and nearly 12 hours of great music. $60 ticket for music and camping only (no beer sampling). www.FrenchBroadBrewFest.com

WCU ‘Top Adventure College’ in Magazine Poll

Friday, August 15th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Results from an online poll have been tallied, and Western Carolina University has been announced as the No. 1 college for outdoor adventure in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic by a leading outdoors magazine.

Western Carolina captured the title of “top adventure college” over the second-place school, Garrett College in Maryland, following several rounds of voting in which WCU also came out on top against Emory University, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Virginia Tech and Appalachian State. Representatives of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine said that more than 115,000 visitors to its website cast votes during the competition held earlier this summer, and results are listed in the publication’s new August issue.

In her story about the poll results, magazine staff member Jess Daddio wrote that “WCU’s stunning campus is home to some serious adventure. Both the Parks and Recreation Management (PRM) department and the Base Camp Cullowhee outing program offer students a chance to get the quintessential experiential education experience.”

Base Camp Cullowhee has long offered dozens of outdoor recreation trips for students and equipment rental, but in recent years the staff has increased its experiential education services to integrate outdoor activities with students’ classroom curriculum, said Josh Whitmore, WCU’s associate director of outdoor programs. “For example, a professor might approach us about including a climbing wall session, a group development team-building activity or a guided hike to a geologic feature in a class,” Whitmore said.

When it comes to total student participation in Base Camp’s programming, numbers have skyrocketed in the last decade, Whitmore said. “When I first started here nearly 10 years ago, we would run about 300 to 400 touches (student participations) for a year, and we have about 7,000 to 8,000 now,” he said. The growth has followed along with improvements in the university’s recreational facilities, such as the indoor climbing wall at the Campus Recreation Center, which sometimes averages up to 800 student visits per month, he said. Also, WCU’s on-campus trail system – with seven miles of pathway for mountain biking, hiking and running – opened last year.

A decade ago, the Base Camp staff included Whitmore and about half a dozen student workers, but now it takes three full-time staffers and 20 to 25 students to keep the outdoor program going, he said.

Accordingly, the university’s reputation among the general public and prospective students as an epicenter of outdoor adventure has grown over the years, Whitmore said. “Certainly, the mountain lifestyle is a big draw for folks. This (“top adventure college” title) is a big part of building that reputation and will help with that for sure.”

In its rundown of the top eight vote-getting schools, the magazine also included profiles of two accomplished alumni from each institution. WCU’s featured students, both graduates of the Parks and Recreation Management Program, are Glenville native Bobby Bryson and Laurinburg native William Butler. Bryson is now a captain for the Charlotte Fire Department, and as a member of the North Carolina Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Team, takes part in search and rescue operations that utilize Blackhawk helicopters for swift-water, flood, urban and wilderness rescue. Butler is an educational technician for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and in that position he introduces visitors to outdoor adventure and educates them about using the wilderness responsibly.

In addition to parks and recreation management, other academic programs offered by WCU for students interested in careers in the outdoors are forest resources, hospitality and tourism and natural resource conservation and management.

Blue Ridge Outdoors’ coverage of the “top adventure college” competition is available online at http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/biking/alumni-souths-best-adventure-colleges/.

July Events Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock State Park announces July’s variety of outdoor events and activities.

Family Fun Nature Programs

Daily 2pm at Outdoor Classroom. Included with Park admission.

Join us for a variety of family programs about wildlife, plants, trees, ancient rocks and more! See chimneyrockpark.com for program topics.

Rockin’ Naturalist Guided Hikes

Every Saturday, 11am-noon. Meet at Cliff Dwellers Gifts. Included with Park admission; limited to first 15 people.

Explore the popular Hickory Nut Falls trail with a Park naturalist and learn about its plants, wildlife, geology and more along the way.

4th of July Weekend Family Fun

Friday-Saturday, July 4-6; programs 2pm, climbing tower open 11am-4m.

Included with Park admission.

Meet Grady the Groundhog or some or our other animal ambassadors up close, and get one free climb per person on our climbing tower — then stand under Old Glory atop Chimney Rock for the family photo op of the year!

Beats, Burgers & Brews

Fridays and Saturdays, 6-8pm every weekend in July and first weekend of August at the Old Rock Café. No cover charge and no reservations required.