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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
Date/Time
: 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

 

MAY EVENTS

 

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
Date/Time
: 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
Date/Time
: 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

 

 

Ring in Spring with Biltmore Blooms

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The sight of sunny daffodils popping up at Biltmore’s entrance gate is a sure signal that the estate’s annual springtime celebration – Biltmore Blooms – is about to begin.

Biltmore Blooms starts on the first day of spring, March 20, 2015. Biltmore’s gardens and grounds will flourish as a progression of colorful blooms marches across the estate, paying homage to the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted and his final project – George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore gardens. Biltmore Blooms runs through May 25, 2015.

Quickly following the daffodil bloom, thousands of tulips will begin popping up, with a concentrated bloom occurring in the Walled Garden pattern beds. The tulips this year will feature shades of purple, pink white and orange. Later in the season azaleas in the Azalea Garden and all around the property will flower, as will rhododendron, roses and vibrant annuals and perennials. For planning vacations during Biltmore Blooms, stay up to date with the weekly bloom report from Parker Andes, the estate’s director of horticulture at www.biltmore.com/bloomreport, starting March 2, 2015.

“Dressing Downton” exhibition

Adding to this year’s celebration, Biltmore House is the site of “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashions for Changing Times,” an exhibition of 45 costumes worn by the actors in the popular PBS Masterpiece series, “Downton Abbey.” The elaborate costumes are grouped in rooms throughout the House and give guests a sense of what it must have been like when the Vanderbilt family lived in the house. Exhibition runs through May 25.

Orchids highlight the early days of spring

At the start of Biltmore Blooms, spring sights are abundant inside Biltmore House. From March 20 through April 12, guests may step into the glass-domed Winter Garden to enjoy hundreds of fragrant exotic orchids on display there. This room is typically roped-off to guests, but will be open for a limited time.

Guests will want to take note of the elaborate fresh flower arrangements within the rooms of Biltmore House this spring. The estate’s floral team created original designs inspired by the costumes on display, as well as the era depicted on “Downton Abbey.” The Entry Hall welcomes with a towering French wire basket arrangement of green and purple hydrangea, purple and lavender stock and green and purple roses. A dramatic fabric in the same colors drapes down from the ceiling.  The drape and floral palette was chosen to complement and suggest Violet Crawley’s purple print day dress on display in the Morning Salon.

Garden-related activities and events complete Biltmore’s spring offerings:

Learning in the gardens

-The Conservatory is the site of “Orchid Talks,” conducted by estate gardening experts. The 45-minute session discusses Biltmore’s history with orchids and details about the plants displayed in the building’s special orchid room. 11 a.m. weekdays. Included in admission.

-“Ask a Gardener” stations set up in the Walled Garden give guests an opportunity to talk with Biltmore’s horticulture experts. Included in admission.

-Gardening and floral demonstrations are offered daily at A Gardener’s Place at the Conservatory. The sessions are “Exquisite Orchids for Beginners” at 1 p.m. and “Nurturing Treasured Houseplants” at 2 p.m. Included in admission.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Sunday April 5

The estate’s annual Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 2 to 9 takes place on Easter Sunday, April 5, on the front lawn of Biltmore House.  Entertainment includes music, storytelling, magic shows, games, crafts and photos with the Easter Rabbit. Hunts begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.  Registration begins two hours before each hunt and closes 15 minutes prior. Parents should bring their own baskets for children to collect eggs. Included in admission.

Mother’s Day Mom Gets in Free

Treat Mom to a day at Biltmore on Mother’s Day, May 10. All mothers receive free admission with the purchase of an adult or youth ticket.

Special Dining Experiences

-Easter Sunday Brunch: Served at Deerpark and the Dining Room at Inn on Biltmore Estate on Easter Sunday, April 5. Reservations are recommended.

-Cedric’s English Sunday Brunch: Served at Cedric’s Tavern in Antler Hill Village, Sundays through May 24, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Winery

Biltmore Winery will offer daily tastings of its Limited Release Spring Seasonal Wine in addition to other complimentary tastings and a production tour, included with the price of admission. Specialty tours such as the Vine to Wine Tour, Biltmore Bubbles Tour, and the Red Wine and Chocolate Tour are available at an additional cost.

Antler Hill Village and Outdoor Activities

-Weekends will feature live music in Antler Hill Village and Grape Stomps at the Winery entrance for children Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. Enjoy the nearby farm and visit with the friendly resident animals and their spring newborns such as baby goats, lambs, chicks and bunnies.

-Biltmore’s Outdoor Adventure Center is located in the village and offers Segway tours, horseback riding, carriage rides, fly-fishing, biking, float trips along the French Broad River and the Land Rover Driving Experience.

Stay at Biltmore

Expand your Biltmore Blooms visit with a stay at the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate. Enjoy the same gracious hospitality experienced by George and Edith Vanderbilt’s guests. The Inn is offering a variety of packages this spring, including a Dressing Downton package.

Special Spring Savings

-March 20 through May 21, youth estate admission is half the price of adult admission.

-Purchase estate admission tickets seven days in advance of your visit and receive $10 off.

-Moms receive free admission with the purchase of an adult or youth ticket on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10.

Visit www.biltmore.com for ticket, reservations and visitor information. Or call (800) 411-3812.

About Biltmore

Located in Asheville, N.C., Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt.  Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore includes Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; and Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division. To learn more about Biltmore, go to www.biltmore.com or call 877-BILTMORE.

 

LEAF 40th Festival Spreading Global Gratitude

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – LEAF is thrilled to announce the stellar lineup of performing artists for the Spring 2015 LEAF Festival, taking place May 7-10, 2015 near Asheville at the majestic Lake Eden in Black Mountain, NC.  Spread  “Global Gratitude” at LEAF Festival and experience tribal tribute artists from 30 different countries with Xavier Rudd & The United Nations making their 2015 debut; Rolling Stones Top 100 Guitarist Bombino; and Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires known as “The Screaming Eagle of Soul”.

“Moving into our 40th Festival this Spring, LEAF is embracing 20 years of momentum to give our amazing community a truly unique experience, states Ehren Cruz, LEAF Performing Arts Director.  ”Over the past two decades we have established time honored traditions that now rest at the heart of our community – from contra to poetry, family adventure to late night drum circles, roots music to world music – this Spring LEAF we aim to bring in the very best of all we have created these many years into a celebration of epic proportions!”

The 40th LEAF features Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Famer R. Carlos Nakai (Native American flautist), Donna the Buffalo (Americana Roots Rock) returning since playing the inaugral LEAF Festival in 1995 and Sierra Hull (Bluegrass), who performed at the Grand Ole Opry and Carnigie Hall by the age of 12,  The LEAF experience is rounded out with showcases from the 2nd Annual Newsong: LEAF Singer Songwriter Competition and the Pisgah 10th Year Anniversary  Jams and much more.

Spring LEAF 2015 Performing Artists Lineup:

Xavier Rudd & The United Nations  | Bombino | Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires

Carlos Nakai | Lágbája | Karsh Kale | Donna The Buffalo
Natalia Clavier (Vocalist of Thievery Corporation) | The Duhks | Ganga Giri
Martha Redbone Roots Project | Sierra Hull | Secret Agent 23 Skido | Kinobe & The Wamu Spirit | Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba | Free Planet Radio | Proyecto Jirondai | Masankho Banda | Grandfather Mazatzin Aztekayolokalli | Chief Shaka Zulu| Poetry Slams | Preston Frank Zydeco | Bailey Spiritual Sounds FKA Madisson Elites | Contra w/ Free Raisins | Buddy System | Clayfoot Strutters | Adina Gordon | Charlotte Crittenden | The Warriors of Anikituhwa| Unifire Theater |  Kickin It’ Jelly Dome | Toy Boat Circus
Fox & Beggar Theater | Numatik | Travers Brothership | Sirius B | Juan Benevides Group | Global Gratitude Mural Project | 2nd Annual Newsong Presents: LEAF Singer Songwriter Competition
Pisgah 10th Year Anniversary Happy Hour Jams

In addition to music from three stages and various art displays, LEAF Festival also features healing artists, local craft brews, a kids village, a poetry slam, lakeside activities, camping, cabins, dance parties and food from local independent restaurants and vendors.  Purchase adult tickets, starting at $40 for the day or $147 for the weekend, online at http://www.theLEAF.org or by phone at 828-686-8742.  Additional discounts available for local, commuting residents and youth 10-17 years. Children under 10 years are admitted FREE with parent/guardian.

“The Wild Gardener” to Speak at Wildflower Whimsy

Monday, April 14th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Spring ephemerals decorate the forest floor with a riot of color and fragrance, yet within a few short weeks they disappear until next spring. On May 2nd and 3rd, the Highlands Biological Foundation is celebrating the emergence of spring ephemerals in the southern Appalachians with their event “Wildflower Whimsy.” Wildflower Whimsy will feature guided garden tours, a lecture, live plant auction and reception (with live music), and guided wildflower walks. The event will be held Friday May 2nd from 5pm until 8pm, and Saturday May 3rd from 10am until 2pm.

Peter Loewer will present Friday night’s lecture at 6pm, “Wildflowers and Native Perennials – and Even a Few exotics – for the Southeast.” Known as The Wild Gardener, Peter Loewer is an established writer and botanical artist. The topics of his books are diverse within the world of botany. In 1973 he wrote the first book on ornamental grasses, “Growing and Decorating with Ornamental Grasses.” Other books include a book on nocturnal flowers titled “The Evening Garden,” another “Thoreau’s Garden” and “Jefferson’s Garden”, both of which were illu­strated by Peter Loewer. In addition to being an avid writer, The Wild Gardener has a garden show on public radio in Asheville, and is a contributing editor for Carolina Gardener. The American Horticultural Society named his book “The Wild Gardener” one of the 20th century’s 75 best garden books. Peter Loewer has a popular website – www.thewildgardener.com – where he answers your questions on gardening, wildflowers, native plants and how to bring the world of nature into your backyard. He currently teaches and practices art – particularly printmaking – and works on pen and colored pencil renderings of native plants and pollinators. For an example of his work, check out the cover of Sow True Seed’s 2014 catalogue. With his background and expertise, Peter Loewer is the perfect fit for the guest speaker of Wildflower Whimsy.

All proceeds from Wildflower Whimsy go directly to the Highlands Botanical Garden. Your support ensures that we can continue to maintain and improve the Botanical Garden for everyone to enjoy. Carefully curated by the horticulturists of the Highlands Botanical Garden, the live plant auction will be an excellent opportunity both to acquire plants for your garden and support the operations and maintenance of the Botanical Garden.

Tickets are $40 for members of the Highlands Biological Foundation and $50 for non-members, or you can participate in only Friday night’s activities for $25. Your ticket includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer, garden tours, live music, and a seat during the lecture on Friday night. On Saturday your ticket includes lunch and a wildflower walk. For more information, call (828) 526-2221 or visit highlandsbiological.org/wildflower-whimsy.  The Highlands Biological Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Tailgate Tents Going Up

Monday, March 31st, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Yes, it is spring. One way to know for sure, even with the confusing cold and snow? Tailgate tents are going up, and area farmers markets are opening outdoors for the harvest season. Celebrate spring by getting a taste of what is growing in your community at local tailgate markets. At early spring markets, expect fresh greens, spring onions and asparagus; meats, cheeses, baked goods, value-added farm items 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.

Find a list of spring tailgate opening days below. Markets listed are all members of the Mountain Tailgate Market Association (MTMA), a collaborative group of farmer- and vendor-only area markets. For a complete list of the 90+ tailgates in the region, including their season start dates (a new feature for 2014!), visit ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org. The 2014 print guide hits stands in mid-April.

MTMA Opening Dates

Asheville City Market: April 5, Saturdays

8 am-1 pm

Asheville City Market South: April 2, Wednesdays 2-6 pm

Bakersville Farmers Market: May 31, Saturdays 8 am-12 pm

Black Mountain Tailgate Market: May 3, Saturdays 9 am-12 pm

East Asheville Tailgate Market: May 9, Fridays 3-6 pm

Flat Rock Tailgate Market: April 17, Thursdays 3-6 pm

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

Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market: April 26, Wednesdays/Saturdays 8 am-12 pm

Henderson County Tailgate Market: March 15, Saturdays 7 am-12 pm

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

Leicester Farmers Market: March 29, Saturdays 9 am-2 pm

Madison County Farmers & Artisans Market: April 5, Saturdays 9 am-1 pm

Mills River Farmers Market: May 3, Saturdays 8 am-12 pm

Montford Farmers Market: April 23, Wednesdays 2-6 pm

North Asheville Tailgate Market: April 5, Saturdays 8 am-12 pm

Oakley Farmers Market: May 8, Thursdays 3:30-6:30 pm

Spruce Pine Farmers Market: May 7, Wednesdays 2-5 pm

Transylvania Tailgate Market: April 19, Saturdays 8 am-12:00 pm

Original Waynesville Tailgate Market: May 14, Wednesdays/Saturdays 8 am-12 pm

Weaverville Tailgate Market: April 9, Wednesdays 2:30-6:30 pm

West Asheville Tailgate Market: April 8, Tuesdays 2:30-5:30 pm

Yancey County Farmers Market: April 19, Saturdays 8:30 am-12:30 pm

ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)

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.

Spring Fire Season is Here

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The spring fire season has arrived, and federal officials are asking visitors to the national forests and neighbors to help prevent the next wildfire. The USDA Forest Service (USFS) National Forests in North Carolina urges residents throughout the state to keep safety in mind and exercise caution during the spring fire season that typically lasts until late April to mid-May.

Nine out of 10 wildfires in North Carolina are started by humans. Residents and visitors to the state are urged to be extremely careful during this time period that is often characterized by dry and/or windy conditions.

In the spring, people do a lot of yard work that often includes burning leaves and yard debris. In North Carolina, more than 40 percent of all wildfires are caused by careless debris burning – the number one cause of wildfires in the state. Private landowners who cause wildfires may be liable for fire suppression costs on state and national forest land if a fire originates on their property.

For people who choose to burn debris, the N.C. Forest Service offers the following tips to protect property and prevent wildfires:

  • Always consider alternatives to burning.
  • Obtain a burning permit at an NCFS office or online at http://ncforestservice.gov/burn_permits/burn_permits_main.htm
  • Check the weather – don’t burn on dry, windy days.
  • Know your local burning laws.
  • Be prepared with water, a shovel and phone.
  • Stay with your fire until it is completely out.

Studies have shown that taking these and other measures can greatly reduce wildfires and the loss of property associated with them. Also, take time now to prepare your home against wildfires. Tips on protecting your property can be found at www.firewise.org.

Additionally, campfires can be a source of wildfires. Follow these guidelines to help prevent wildfires:

  • Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible
  • Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones
  • Pour until hissing sound stops
  • Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel
  • Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers
  • Stir and make sure everything is wet and they are cold to the touch
  • If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers.

Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Remember: do NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.

Learn more about fire safety at www.smokeybear.com. Remember….only YOU can prevent wildfires.

Spring ushers in Biltmore Blooms

Monday, March 24th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Biltmore Blooms offers a variety of activities for all ages in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Flowers take center stage with lavish orchid displays and thousands of spring bulbs in bloom in magnificent gardens designed at the turn of the century by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

Flower bloom schedule

Spring bloom provides constant changes in Biltmore’s gardens. The progression of blooms dictated by Mother Nature constantly unveils different flowers and new color combinations, resulting in a unique show for visitors to enjoy each week during Biltmore Blooms.

2014 Bloom Reports
To stay up-to-date about what’s in bloom throughout the season, sign up for weekly bloom reports from Director of Horticulture Parker Andes and notifications of Biltmore’s featured ‘flower of the week’ at Biltmore.com/WhatsBlooming.

Orchids
The earliest spring days kick off the celebration with two opulent orchid displays – one in the Winter Garden inside Biltmore House, the other, a year-round orchid display located in the tropical Conservatory. At Biltmore House and the Conservatory, visitors can expect to see close to 1,000 orchids in bloom.

For a limited time March 20 through April 6, guests will be given the rare opportunity to step into the Winter Garden in Biltmore House to admire the sights and fragrances of a special orchid collection. This light-filled, glass-domed garden room was once used by the Vanderbilts to relax and entertain in their home while surrounded by lush exotic plants. The room is typically roped-off to guests during tours of Biltmore House, but will be open for a limited time.  “Some of these orchids will experience their peak bloom in March and early April, so we like to give our guests a chance to see these unusual and colorful blooms up-close in the same way the Vanderbilts enjoyed them – in the Winter Garden,” said Cathy Barnhardt, Biltmore’s Floral Displays Manager.

Outdoor gardens
Among the first plants to bloom across the estate will be the sunny glow of daffodils and forsythia. The spring blooming schedule continues with the widespread tulip bloom throughout the estate, while later in the season will see many other flowers such as azaleas, rhododendron, roses and vibrant annuals and perennials take hold.

Gardening tips & design inspiration

To get the most out of the gardens at this wonderful time of year, join Biltmore’s gardening and design experts as they offer tips and techniques, all included with the price of estate admission. Weekend Ask a Gardener stations in the Walled Garden allow guests to talk with Biltmore’s horticulture experts. Daily free demonstrations on creating beautiful spring arrangements are offered at “A Gardener’s Place” at the Conservatory: Designing Spring Wreaths takes place daily at 1 p.m. and Creating Elegant Centerpieces daily at 2 p.m.

Food, wine & entertainment

On May 23, a special outdoor dinner party, the Moveable Feast, will take place in the historic Walled Garden surrounded by exquisite spring blooms. Tickets are $160 per person and include tax and gratuity. For reservations call 828.257.5995.

Included with the price of estate admission, Biltmore Winery will offer daily tastings of its limited release spring seasonal wine in addition to other complimentary tastings and a production tour. Specialty tours like the NEW Vine to Wine Tour, Biltmore Bubbles Tour, and the Red Wine and Chocolate Tour are available at an additional cost. Kids will enjoy the Grape Stomp outside the winery Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m.

The Barnyard at Antler Hill Farm, open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., comes alive with spring’s baby goats, lambs, chicks and bunnies for families to pet and photograph.

Enjoy live music daily in the Conservatory, during tours of Biltmore House and on the bandstand in Antler Hill Village.

Spring is the perfect time to take advantage of Biltmore’s mountain surroundings with outdoor activities such as sporting clay shooting, Segway tours, horseback riding, carriage rides, fly-fishing, biking, float trips along the French Broad River and the Land Rover Driving Experience.

Easter egg hunt & Easter brunch

The estate’s annual Easter Egg Hunt for children ages two to nine takes place on Easter Sunday, April 20, on the front lawn of Biltmore House.  Special children’s entertainment includes music, storytelling, magic shows, games, crafts and taking photos with the Easter Rabbit. Hunts begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.  Registration begins two hours before each hunt and closes 15 minutes prior to the hunt. Parents should bring their own baskets for children to collect eggs.

Reservations are recommended for Easter brunch at estate restaurants, Deerpark or the Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Call 800.411.3812 for more information.

Spring savings

Purchase estate admission tickets at least seven days in advance of your visit and receive $15 off. Moms get free admission with the purchase of an adult or youth ticket on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11. The four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate is offering a special “Spring Celebration Package.” Call 866.336.1245 or book online. Find out about additional special offers and packages.

Biltmore Blooms: A springtime Celebration Starting March 21, 2013

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – From March 21 through May, Biltmore Blooms promises varying degrees of gorgeous as the estate awakes from winter with a steady progression of floral color and a succession of blooms. Starting on the first day of spring, Biltmore celebrates the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted and his final project – George Vanderbilt’s magnificent Biltmore gardens.

This festival of flowers begins with the bright golden yellow of daffodils and forsythia in the gardens, coinciding with an opulent display of potted tropical plants and lavish flowers inside Biltmore House. The season continues with a massive tulip bloom across the estate, multi-colored azaleas, rhododendron and roses in the Historic Rose Garden.

Something new
As an added treat, a new guest experience will be introduced inside Biltmore House. Visitors will be able to step into the Winter Garden, normally roped off, to enjoy a display of exotic orchids, just as George and Edith Vanderbilt’s guests might have. Some of the plants will be the same species plants that were planned for the Biltmore Conservatory in 1894.

The Winter Garden’s existing tropical foliage will be enhanced, creating a lush green background. Unusual and beautiful orchid specimens will be displayed on tiered plant stands, in urns and on pedestals with fine leafed ferns and other foliage.

“Orchids will typically experience their peak bloom during this time frame, so we wanted to give our guests a chance to see these unusual and colorful blooms in the same way the Vanderbilts enjoyed them – in the Winter Garden,” said Cathy Barnhardt, Biltmore’s Floral Displays Manager.

Floral displays throughout the House will repeat the rich jewel tones found in the orchids. Foliage will be showcased in glass domed cloches and reproduction Wardian Cases, which look like miniature greenhouses. The Winter Garden will close to guest traffic on April 7.

Designer and expert presentations
Guests can see how green their thumbs can be as Biltmore’s gardening experts lend tips, tricks and techniques. Weekend “Ask a Gardener” stations in the Walled Garden allow guests to talk with Biltmore’s horticulture experts. Daily seminars will be held in A Gardener’s Place at the Conservatory on the following topics: Smell-Good Plants, 1 p.m.; Terrariums: Gardening Under Glass, 2 p.m.; and Organic Fertilizing, 3 p.m.

Entertainment
Live music will be offered daily in the Conservatory and Biltmore House. Weekends will feature bands in Antler Hill Village starting on April 1.

The Winery will offer daily tastings of its Biltmore Spring Seasonal Wine (a rose? of Pinot Grigio) and wine seminars. An exhibition, “The Vanderbilts At Home and Abroad,” featuring rarely seen objects in the Vanderbilt collection continues in the Biltmore Legacy Building in Antler Hill Village. Spring is the perfect time to take advantage of Biltmore’s mountain surroundings with outdoor activities such as sport clay shooting, Segway tours, horseback riding, carriage rides, fly-fishing, biking, float trips along the French Broad River and the Land Rover Driving Experience.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt
The estate’s annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place on Easter Sunday, March 31, on the front lawn of Biltmore House. Enjoy children’s music and stories, magic shows, games and take photos with the Easter Rabbit. Hunts begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Registration begins two hours before each hunt, and closes 15 minutes before each hunt.

Spring savings

From March 21 through May, youth estate admission is half the price of adult admission. Purchase estate admission tickets seven days in advance of your visit and receive $15 off; $10 off if purchased one to six days in advance. In addition to Biltmore House and gardens, estate admission includes entry to the Winery, Antler Hill Village, Antler Hill Farm and Barnyard, specialty gift shops and restaurants. The four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate is offering special pricing, including mid-week rates starting at $179.

About Biltmore

Located in Asheville, N.C., Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore includes Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; and Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division. To learn more about Biltmore, go to www.biltmore.com or call 877-BILTMORE.