Sunday, July 31, 2011

Michael Cleveland and Bluegrass Fever at the Blue Ridge Music Center

Get ready for Bluegrass Fever! at the Blue Ridge Music Center August 7th featuring Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper plus Galax's own Houston Drive. This Sunday evening concert at the Music Center will kick off the following great week of music at the Galax Old Fiddler's Convention. 


Bluegrass fiddle-fireball, Michael Cleveland and his award winning band Flamekeeper are sure to deliver one of the Hottest shows of the season. 8-time winner of the IBMA Fiddler of the Year award, Michael has lead Flamekeeper to taking home the IBMA Group of the Year award 4 times. Also, both Michael's CDs "Flamekeeper" and "Let Er Go Boys" have received the IBMA Instrumental Album of the Year award and the band's new CD "Fired Up" is getting airplay across the country.

Michael Cleveland has performed with Rhonda Vincent, Dale Ann Bradley, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, J.D. Crowe and the New South, Audie Blaylock and Redline, Melvin Goins and others. The group has a hot new lineup that Michael is excited about bringing to Galax. Flamekeeper now features Charlie Cushman on banjo, Ashby Frank on vocals/mandolin, Charlie Lawson on vocals/guitar and Blake Bowen on vocals/bass. One thing that is for certain that this band will put on a big bluegrass show that will dazzle the audience as Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper have done for years now.

Hear Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper here.

Kicking off the Bluegrass Fever concert will be hometown favorite, Houston Drive, so-named in memory of banjoist, Houston Caldwell. They're no slouches either. Houston Drive won the blue ribbon for Best Bluegrass Band at the Old Fiddlers Convention last year and will be stiff competition this year as well with their powerful singing and hot picking.  

Hear Houston Drive, formerly Broken Wire, here.

Tickets for the Sunday August 7th Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper / Houston Drive concert are $20 or the earlybird price of $18 by Aug 3rd. Children 12 and under are free. Concert starts at 7pm and seating opens at 5:30pm. Smokehouse BBQ available at the concert. The Blue Ridge Music Center is located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Buy tickets here

The Blue Ridge Music Center is located at 700 Foothills Road in Galax Virginia, just across the state line at milepost 213 on the Blur Ridge Parkway.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Brevard Music Center FREE Concert

On Tuesday, August 2 at 7:30 pm in Straus Auditorium, come listen to a free concert featuring Brevard Music Center's most talented percussion students.

Bach, Mendelssohn, Barber, Chavez and Agostini are just a few of the composers represented on this program. Hear pieces featuring the marimba, timpani, vibraphone and xylophone, as well as pieces for both full percussion ensemble and solo instruments.
Student performers will be:
 Kelsey Bannon - St. Petersburg, FL
John Benton - Lilburn, GA
Charlie Berntsen - Pittsburg, PA
Hunter Brown - Currituck, NC
Blake Edmonson - Cincinnati, OH
Taylor Hampton - Gastonia, NC
Michael Jarrett - Roswell, GA
Ben Kipp - Huntley, IL
Joel Panian - Washington, PA
Daniel Raderman - Columbia, MD
Kelsey Tamayo - Radcliff, KY
Nick Tariello - Schenectady, NY
Other FREE events:
Monday, August 1 - BMC@TCL | Student Recital
Tuesday, August 2 - Supersonic
Wednesday, August 3 - Student Piano Recital
Thursday, August 4 - New Music Concert
Friday, August 5 - BMC@TCL | Piccolo Opera
Upcoming Events:
Saturday, July 30 - Alcina | Dvorak Symphony No. 7
Sunday, July 31 - Soloists of Tomorrow | Piano Competition Finals
Monday, August 1 - Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Project
Wednesday, August 3 - Brevard Live - All Beethoven Program
Thursday, August 4 - L'Elisir d'Amore
Visit the ticketing website to purchase tickets.
Some seats are available for the opera season finale, Donizetti's sparkling comedy The Elixir of Love.  There is an evening performance at 7:30pm on Thursday, August 4, and there are 2pm matinees on Friday, August 5, and Saturday, August 6.  Don't miss out, and don't wait—this is your last chance this year to hear live opera in Brevard, North Carolina.  Future stars of the opera world await you at the Porter Center.

The BMC box office at the Porter Center opens three hours before each show and remains open through the first intermission. You can also purchase your tickets online.  Tickets are $25 and $35 for seating both on the main floor and in the balcony.

Friday, July 29, 2011

New Interactive Climate & Weather Exhibit at Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain recently installed its first interactive exhibit since opening the Nature Museum in 1990. Made possible by a partnership between NASA, Appalachian State University and Grandfather Mountain, the exhibit focuses on weather and climate.

Guests use touch screens to view a presentation on the weather-related science behind the earth’s climate. The presentation provides information on current conditions on Grandfather and on the Mountain's weather records. It also allows visitors access to the NASA Climate Kids website, EPA website, and an ASU climate quiz.

The new exhibit is part of a large-scale effort by Appalachian State University and Grandfather Mountain to conduct educational programs centered on climate curriculum.

Grandfather Mountain   is the highest mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountain range at an elevation of 5,964 feet. The Mountain is now owned by a nonprofit Stewardship Foundation and operated as a scenic travel attraction and a world-class nature preserve.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Park and Ride Shuttle Service for Bele Chere

The City of Asheville will provide continuous express shuttle service and free parking for Bele Chere, July 29-31. Beat the traffic in and  around the downtown area for this year's Bele Chere Festival with multiple shuttles available.

To use the service, festival attendees should park at one of two designated locations and look for the Bele Chere booth selling shuttle tickets. The shuttle will transport people downtown, eliminating the need to find parking during the popular festival. The cost for the shuttle is $2 round trip.

Park-and-ride locations:
West Asheville Shuttle:
K-Mart on Patton Avenue, northeast corner of Patton Avenue (US-19/US-23/US-74) and Louisiana Avenue.

Downtown pick-up/drop-off location: At the Civic Center, the corner of Haywood Street and Flint Street.

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

Shuttle schedules: Shuttles will run about every 20 minutes:

Friday, noon – 11 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday, noon – 7 p.m.
For more information, call 828-253-5691 or visit

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show this Week

July 26 - 31  Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show - Hunter Jumper  One of the oldest horse show events in the country and a Blowing Rock tradition since 1923.  Open to spectators. The Show is held at the  L. M. Tate Horse Show Grounds, at the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve located in the mountain splendor of Western North Carolina's Moses Cone Memorial Park, the Pisgah National Forest, and one mile from historic Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

Proceeds from the show support local organizations including the Blowing Rock Fire Department, the Blowing Rock Rescue Squad, and the Watauga County Humane Society,  Blazing Saddles - a dedicated volunteer-based organization that provides therapeutic riding for the handicapped - and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Asheville's Bele Chere Festival is Bigger and Better than ever - and still FREE!

July 29-31   Bele Chere Festival  is the largest FREE street festival in the Southeast. Held in downtown Asheville each July., the Festival includes arts & crafts, food, entertainment, interactive events, and a children’s activity area. The event draws about 300,000 visitors each year.

This year the event includes more music with bands performing at Bele Chere playing extended 90 minute sets. Festival-goers will be able to catch multiple acts performing at the same time on different stages.  Friday night's performance is headlined by the up and coming Mark Broussard. Touted as the next "big thing" in the music biz, you can see him for free at Bele Chere! Be sure to check out some of the great local bands including, Balsam Range, Skinny Legs & All, Vertigo Jazz Project, Paper Tiger and the Secret B-Sides.

The Festival food offerings will be more diverse this year combining the Pritchard Park food court for traditional festival fair such as gyro's, funnel cakes, hot dogs and snowballs,  with local flavor from the Taste of Asheville section located at Pack Square Park. A number of renowned restaurants will be on hand including Mela, Corner Kitchen and Vincenzo's.

The Festival always provides fun for the youngsters and this year there will be a kid zone in the Asheville Civic Center for crafts, ticketed rides and exhibits, all in a secure (and air-conditioned) arena. Catch the hula hoop demonstration, sing-a-longs and cool wildlife demonstrations courtesy of the WNC Nature Center. Another fun activity for the family is Airdogs! Watch a variety of pooches try to capture the title of top dog in this dock jumping competition. This popular Bele Chere event offers audience members a chance to win prizes as well (no jumping required).

The Bele Chere mural returns this year encouraging creativity by all ages. Leave your mark on the multi-panel display. New for 2011 - a mobile art lab will be on hand complete with a photo booth. The photos will be projected onto the BB&T building throughout the festival.

If you've always wanted to learn a special dance step there will be interactive performances on Lexington Avenue: enjoy a zumba lesson, learn a new dance routine and perform it live at the festival or participate in the community drum circle. Ball room, Two step, and clogging are also planned.

Beat the heat with two mist tents located at Pritchard Park on College St. and outside of Blue Spiral Gallery on Broadway Ave. For more than mist head over to Pack Square Park and Splasheville, a "come-on-in" water feature that provides instant relief from July temps.

Late Night: Bele Chere winds down around 10 PM on both Friday and Saturday nights, but that doesn't mean the party has to end. Many restaurants surrounding the downtown area will be running Bele Chere specials. Enjoy a great late-night dinner or snack at popular eateries including Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro, Rosetta's Kitchen and MoDaddy's.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Radio, Records and Rabble-rouser at the Blue Ridge Music Center

On July 30th, at the Blue Ridge Music Center there will be a special tribute concert to rural musicians who gained fame in the 20s and 30s as pioneers of country music radio and recording.
New North Carolina Ramblers

The New North Carolina Ramblers will perform stringband music in the tradition of such legendary artists as Charlie Poole, The Carter Family and the Floyd County Ramblers with a little country humor thrown in. The band features Kirk Sutphin (fiddle) and Jeremy Stephens (fiddle/guitar), Darren Moore (guitar/autoharp) and Kinney Rorrer (banjo) who is the great nephew of Charlie Poole and Posey Rorrer.

Hear the New North Carolina Ramblers here .

Opening up the concert will be award winning, fiddler, Mark Campbell and banjoist/author, Joe Ayres from Richmond, VA who will play old-time music from the Virginias including minstrel and Civil war era tunes.

Check out Mark Campbell's fiddle playing here .

Tickets for the July 30th concert are $10 or $8 five days in advance. Buy tickets here . Children 12 and under are free. Concert starts at 7pm and seating opens at 5:30pm. At 5pm there will be a small theater pre-concert talk "," (free with concert ticket), featuring both groups. Seating limited. Reserve ahead. Smokehouse BBQ available at the concert. The Blue Ridge Music Center is located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway - just across the state line in Galax VA.

Art Lovers' Weekend in Tryon

July 29 - 31 - Tryon will be an art lover's dream as the Upstairs Artspace  hosts its Art Trek and the Tryon Gallery Trot hosts its night of opening receptions and late hours. Come to the Upstairs opening reception on Friday night, then Trek around all day Saturday to over 30 artists homes and studios. On Saturday evening from 5-8 PM the downtown Tryon Trot includes eight galleries, shops, and organizations hosting opening receptions, new exhibits, late hours, and entertainment.

On Sunday the "Trek" continues at  artists' studios. The Tryon Gallery Trot participating galleries include: The Upstairs Artspace, Skyuka Fine Art, Kathleen's, Richard Baker's Studio, Green River Gallery, Vines and Stuff and  Tryon Painters & Sculptors- now in its exciting new location in downtown Tryon on Maple Street. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Frisbee Dogs at Tweetsie Railroad this Week

July 23 - 31   BLOWING ROCK   K-9s in Flight Frisbee Dogs   Man's best friend will thrill audiences of all ages when the K-9s in Flight Frisbee® Dogs wag their way to Tweetsie Railroad.  These super canines will dazzle and amaze guests with acrobatic freestyle routines the entire family will enjoy. 

Off-Road Assault on Mt. Mitchell today

July 24    Off-Road Assault on Mt. Mitchell  The assault is a 63-mile mostly off-road bicycle route with 11,000 ft. of accumulated climbing. The route begins and ends in Old Fort NC climbing to the Blue Ridge Parkway and on to Mt. Mitchell. Entry fee/cash prizes.  Registration is now closed for participants, but observers are welcome.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Annual Concerto Competition Winners Perform at the Brevard Music Center

July 31, 3 PM, Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, at The Brevard Music Center, 400 North Broad Street in Brevard NC. "Soloists of Tomorrow".  2011 competition has been completed with 5 winners The final round receiving scholarships to the 2012 Institute and Festival, as well as the opportunity to perform with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra.

The winners include:
Casey Grev is from Upper Arlington, Ohio, and attends Ohio State University, majoring in music education and music performance.  He has been playing the saxophone for 11 years. In addition to playing in Soloists of Tomorrow on July 31 with the BMCO, he will be playing tenor sax in Rhapsody in Blue on July 23 at 7:30PM.
Jeanelle Brierley attends high school in Phoenix, Arizona, where the heat peaked at 115° last week! This is her first summer at Brevard (and her first time to the East Coast) after having attended Aspen last year. She will be Transylvania Symphony Orchestra concertmaster for both July 24 (Dvorak Symphony No. 8) and August 5 (Shostakovich Symphony No. 1). Jeanelle was the only high school orchestral student in the finals this summer.
Peabody student Kelsey Tamayo is earning her Masters in percussion performance and is enjoying her first summer at Brevard.
Bolton Ellenberg, Pensacola, FL - piano
Joseph Kingma, Houston, TX - piano

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This Week at the Brevard Music Center

If you enjoyed the intimate setting of the Morrison Playhouse for the production of Brevard Music Center's The Threepenny Opera, then you're sure to enjoy the BMC production of Handel's Alcina. Tickets are going fast, and Thursday's performance is already sold out but the two remaining shows on Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30 still have tickets available. If you're not familiar with this production, listen to the Finale. Tickets are $25.

This week's schedule:
Friday, July 22 - Lockhart Conducts Mahler 3
Saturday, July 23 - Hansel and Gretel | An Evening of Pops
Sunday, July 24 - Dvorak Symphony No. 8 | Hansel and Gretel
Monday, July 25 - Susan Platts in Recital
Tuesday, July 26 - Chamber Music
Wednesday, July 27 - Brevard Plays Bach
Thursday, July 28 - Alcina


Monday, July 25 - Student Recital

Tuesday, July 26 - BMC@TCL
Wednesday, July 27 - Student Piano Recital
Thursday, July 28 - New Music Concert, Transylvania Symphonic Band
Friday, July 29 - Program of Song

For tickets visit the ticketing website

Music in the Mountains this weekend - July 22 -24

July 22   NEWLAND   The Newland River Walk Concert Series   6 PM - 9 PM   A variety of music and entertainment in a family atmosphere. Bring your blanket, pop-up tent, table, chairs, cooler or whatever, for a family picnic while enjoying the summer long series.  Located at the Newland River Walk Band shell (adjacent to Lowes parking lot). 

July 22   WAYNESVILLE   FOLKMOOT USA PARADE   Main Street, Dancers and musicians from around the world will parade down Main Street to the Haywood County Courthouse for the opening ceremonies at 1 PM

July 22   HENDERSONVILLE  Music on Main Street Concert Series  Every Friday evening from June - August . The event feature " oldies rock, beach music, variety and top 40 music. Bring a chair and enjoy the FREE  music.

July  22   WEST JEFFERSON  Back Street Park Summer Concerts   Free summer concert series held every 3rd & 4th Friday nights May - September, 5:30pm - 7:30pm. Bring your chair, blanket or picnic and enjoy the sounds of traditional local bluegrass, folk and country music. Rain location is the Farmer's Market or the Arts Center.

July 22   BLOWING ROCK   Symphony Performance at Chetola Lake  The 24th annual performance by the Symphony of the Mountains, surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridges. Take your seat on the grass by Chetola Lake and bring a picnic to enjoy with friends and family, or purchase meals from caterers at the event.  New this year are hot air balloons- take a ride to experience a spectacular view of the event and surrounding mountains. The performance ends with a spectacular fireworks show. 7 PM - Admission charged.

July 23   BRYSON CITY   Music in the Mountains - Free Concerts   JAKLEG  Every Saturday night from June through Oct, enjoy a FREE concert in Bryson City at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Train Depot from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Sit in one of the old church pews on the covered depot deck or bring a lawn chair to enjoy the show. 

July 23   ASHEVILLE   Shindig on the Green   A joyously spontaneous celebration of traditional and old-time string bands, ballad singers, storytellers, big circle mountain dancers and cloggers.  Stage show and informal jam sessions.

July 23   BEECH MOUNTAIN  Dancing in the Streets at Town Hall  Three street dances will be held for the  Summer  of2011 with a DJ playing music for all ages from the 1940s and up. Dancing  is on a sanded surface at a cool elevation of 5065 feet in the mountains, so bring a jacket.

June 24 - Aug 7  BREVARD   Brevard Music Center 75th Anniversary Season 400+ students perform and study with a renowned faculty.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

They're Dancing in the Street!

July 22    MOUNTAIN STREET DANCES   Downtown Waynesville is Alive at Night. Put on your cloggin' & square dancin' shoes and enjoy an old-fashioned mountain hoe down! Live mountain music, demonstrations and instruction by local clogging teams. Refreshments will be available. The event is held in front of the historic Haywood County Courthouse from 6:30-9p PM.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

64th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands

July 21 - 24    64th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands   This bi-annual event is one of the largest and most notable craft fairs in the southeast. The Craft Fair is held each July and October at the Asheville Civic Auditorium, drawing 1000s of visitors from across the country since the Fair began in 1948

Enjoy exhibitors, demonstrations and entertainment. More than 200 craftspeople fill the two levels of the center with a diversity unlike any other craft show. Works range from centuries old traditions to the latest in contemporary techniques and materials, and include clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, mixed media, natural materials, paper, wood and jewelry.
Local musicians share their love of traditional and bluegrass mountain music live on the arena stage. Get a complete schedule or performances here.

All exhibitors are members of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild a non-profit, educational organization established in 1930 to bring together the crafts and craftspeople of the Southern Highlands for the benefit of shared resources, education, marketing and conservation. The Craft Fairs are one of the ways in which the Guild fulfills its mission.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Folkmoot USA Festival begins this week

July 21-31  Folkmoot USA Festival - The State International Festival of North Carolina, Folkmoot USA, is a two-week celebration of the world's cultural heritage through folk music and dance. The Festival is held each summer across the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, featuring performances, a parade and workshops by up to 350 performers from ten to twelve countries. Performers demonstrate cultural heritage through colorful, authentic and original reproduction costumes, lively dance and traditional music. During its 27-year history, over 200 folk groups from more than 100 countries have shared their heritage and culture at the Folkmoot Festival.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Clasic Cars and Music Jam in Old Fort Today

1935 Ford photo by Barbara Sammons
July 17   Classic Car Show   Bring your car, truck, or motorcycle - or just your appreciation for classic cars and vehicles. Downtown Old Fort NC from 1 PM - 5 PM. This is a FREE event, sponsored by Route 70 Cruisers.

July 17   
Informal Jam on the Porch   Bring an instrument or bring an ear!The informal Jam takes place each Sunday on the porch of Mountain Gateway Museum from 2 PM to 4 PM. Bring you chairs , blanket and picnic to enjoy the scenic creek front setting.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Opera's Greatest Hits at Brevard Music Center

If a full length production isn't your style, but you enjoy the more memorable arias and songs from your favorite operas, don't miss Opera's Greatest Hits on Sunday, July 17 at 3:00 PM. Members of the Janiec Opera Company will perform arias, duets and ensembles, accompanied by JOC pianists. The concert will feature songs from such productions as Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Pagliacci, Die Fledermaus, and more. Tickets are $25-$35; Lawn: $15. Brevard Music Center in Brevard NC

Friday, July 15, 2011

8th Annual Franklin Folk Festival

July 15 - 16     8th Annual Franklin Folk Festival - A celebration of Appalachian heritage in Downtown Franklin. Over 100  exhibits of authentic mountain living, food, entertainment and more. The Festival kicks of Friday night with the "Take me home", the music of John Denver. Sponsored by Macon County Folk Heritage Association. Sponsored by the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Fiber Festival in Asheville

July 15-17 -  Summer Fiber Festival is Three spectacular days of more than 35 vendors with a variety of over 70 classes/workshops and free demonstrations. Artist and vendors from all over the United States will feature workshops in felting, spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting, crocheting and much more. No entry charge for the retreat, you only pay for the classes you take!

Downtown After 5 in Asheville this Weekend

July 15 -  Downtown After 5  is now in its 23rd year each third Friday of the month from May through September. The  location for 2011 is Lexington Avenue at I-240, allowing a more environmentally responsible venue through the use of compostable cups, plates and utensils. The FREE  live music and dancing starts at 5 PM with food and drink available for purchase.

NC Summer Rental Specials: Stay 3 nights get the 4th free!

Asheville Cabins and Luxury Vacation Rentals
Last minute Special from Carolina Mornings:
All last minute reservations secured and departed between July 15-31 2011

Stay 3 nights and get the 4th FREE.

Mountain Sunshine Red Wolf Black Bear
Mountain Sunshine Red Wolf Black Bear
Buck Horn Hidden Pond Among the Clouds
Buck Horn Hidden Pond Among The Clouds
Pumpkin Patch Blitmore Villa Hideaway Eagles Landing
Pumpkin Patch Biltmore Villa Hideaway Eagles Landing
Flying Fish Pond Cove Sunrise
Flying Fish Pond Cove Sunrise

Call 855.398.0712 to book or search our rental options.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Alleghany Fiddlers Convention in the Blue Ridge Mountains

July 15-16   Alleghany Fiddlers Convention  Enjoy traditional mountain music that is sure to get your toes tappin’ at the annual Alleghany Fiddler’s Convention. Competitions include Blue Grass and old time mountain music for Bands and individuals, youth and adult catagories with $2850 in cash prizes.

The annual event draws 40 to 60 bands and over 200 individual competitors. Fans of mountain music won’t be disappointed. Featuring the Lonesome River Band on Saturday. The convention is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains at the Alleghany County Fairgrounds in Sparta, with lots available for camping.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mountain Stores have more to offer

Should anyone doubt the value of locally owned and operated stores and shops, just take a few minutes to visit City Lights Bookstore in Sylva or The Compleat Naturalist in Asheville. Yes, they both have "stuff" for sale and you can probably even find some the same stuff at chain stores or online dealers. But, like most of the mountain shops,  you'll also find unique products by, about and for the local community. And even more important, you'll find local folks who truly know their "stuff" and share their expertise with both neighbors and visitors on a regular basis. They are making sure the good old days are still with us and the small mountain towns remain an oasis to think, commune and learn.

The Complete Naturalist is hosting a FREE party, Friday July 15, 6:30-8:00 PM. Celebrate the end of the week with drinks and snacks. This week the Naturalist Meetup welcomes Dr. Tim Spira, author of the new book, Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont. This book was the Naturalist's top seller at the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Smokies. Come and meet Tim and mingle with other naturalists - a fun way to kick off a summer weekend! Join the new Compleat Naturalist Meetup Group to be notified of upcoming events. Meet other nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, naturalists, and similarly inquisitive minds.

Stop by and stay for the whole time or leave when you wish. Please RSVP if you plan to attend so that the refreshments can be planned: A portion of our proceeds goes to support the non-profit group, Discover Life in America (DLIA), which oversees the project that is helping the Great Smoky Mountains National Park manage its resources and tell its story through science. The Compleat Naturalist is located at 2 Brook Street in Historic Biltmore Village, Asheville NC.

City Lights Bookstore is hosting Hillbilly Tales from the Smoky Mountains on July 15th at 7:00 PM. Whittier resident and author, Patricia Graham, will be at City Lights to read from her book, Hillbilly Tales from the Smoky Mountains. The book includes several short stories based on the folklore of the Appalachian mountains.

Before the time of cell-phones, computers and television, family members would gather on the front porch and conjure stories through oral traditions. This endearing book offers hillbilly sayings and proverbs that go hand-in-hand with mountain medicine. Part two includes The Return to Green Cove, a short but dramatic story written by one of the original descendants of the Crowe family, Ms. Verna Humphrey. Facing the end of the Civil War, poverty and death take their toll on Charlotte, a young girl struggling to regain her birthright. When a young lawyer enters upon the scene, Charlotte's interpretation of heritage takes on a brand new meaning.

And just for FUN - stop by on Game Night, held every third Monday at 6 PM.
  Bring the whole family for brainy games at the bookstore and less brainy games, such as Cornhole, Washers and more at the Cafe. Look for food specials and Kid's meals as well!

City Lights stated mission is: "to share the literature of the Southern Appalachian region with the world, and the world of books with our community." City Lights Bookstore is located at 3 East Jackson St. in Sylva NC.

Monday, July 11, 2011

5th Annual Laugh Your Asheville Off.

Carl LaBove performs in Asheville
July 12 - 16 Grab your funnybone and head for Asheville's  5th Annual Laugh your Asheville Off.  This year’s festival will feature over 50 comics in 3 days. The annual event has grown into one of the largest stand-up comedy festivals in the Southeast. The festival returns to locations in downtown Asheville,  including the Diana Wortham Theatre.

The  kick off Tuesday evening is a benefit, Local Laughs, for the brother wolf rescue performed at The Magnetic Field, 372 Depot Street .Wednesday evening the Launch Party showcases Comedy Central;s Kyle Kinane at The Highland Brewing Company. Get a complete schedule here.

Summer Music Concerts: Summer Tracks At Rogers Park

July 15 - Nouveaux Honkies and The Mark Yaxley Duo.  The evening begins with jazz-blues guitar master Marc Yaxley, who has opened for jazz great Ramsey Lewis, trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and blues rocker Warren Haynes. Since moving to North Caroline in 1993, Marc has recorded six CDs and now resides in Brevard, NC, where he teaches Jazz and Classical guitar. He will be joined by Cameron Austin on bass.

“If Johnny Cash and Freddy King had a baby it would be the Nouveaux Honkies,” said South Florida’s Sun Sentinel Online. This violin, guitar, bass and drum quartet is best described as Roots ‘n Roll that rocks—you just have to hear it for yourself. Singer/guitarist, Patrick Timothy O’Donnell’s vocal style is said to be “an amalgam of Van Morrison and Willy De Ville.” Add in violinist, Rebecca Dawkins with her crafty lead lines and poppy rhythms and their unique blend of blues, swing and country is described as a reinvention of the musical wheel. Also featured are drummer Brian Menendez and bassist Joe Veloz. This quartet, now based in Southeast Florida is a favorite of festivals from coast-to-coast.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

NC Summer Events: Hendersonville Street Dances begin this week

July 11   Street Dances  - The Street Dances have been a tradition in Hendersonville NC for 92 years. The Street Dances features mountain heritage music and dance every Monday evening from July 11 through August 15. Bring a chair, admission is free.

To open the 93rd Annual Street Dances
Bobby and Blue Ridge Tradition will perform along with Southern Mountain Smoke Cloggers, mountain heritage bluegrass music, clogging and square dancing. The event takes place at the Visitors Information Center-201 S. Main Street in historic downtown Hendersonville from  7:00PM-9:00PM.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Free Concert tonight in Bryson City

July 9    Music in the Mountains - Free Concerts  Tonight's performers are Big House Radio.   Every Saturday night from June through Oct, enjoy a FREE concert in Bryson City at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Train Depot from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Sit in one of the old church pews on the covered depot deck or bring a lawn chair to enjoy the show.

Friday, July 8, 2011

NC Summer Mountain Festivals: 48th Annual Coon Dog Day in Saluda NC

July 9 -  48th Annual Coon Dog Day  In 2011, the City of Saluda is celebrating its 130th birthday so expect this year's event to be bigger and even better, with a day filled with celebration for dogs and their people! Great food, live music, parade, crafts, street dance, and more.

The Festival
began as a chicken supper fundraiser for the local Coon Club and over 48 years has grown into an event which attracts over 10,000 people each year. The day begins with the Coon Dog Day 5K run through historic downtown Saluda, includes a popular parade at 11 AM and continues until 11 PM with a street dance.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

56th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

July 7-10 the 56th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games One of the oldest and best known Summer festivals in the mountains, the Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans includes  traditional dancing, piping, drumming, athletic achievement, music and Gaelic culture.

Brevard Music Center Event: Vega String Quartet Debut

Tuesday, July 12 at 7:30 PM at the Porter Center on the Brevard College campus The Vega String Quartet will make its debut appearance with the Brevard Music Center. The Quartet in Residence at Emory University was recently reviewed by the New York Times: "The music simply took over and created a space of its own. The musicians played with a deceptive simplicity and fluidity that made difficult passages seem childlike in their straightforwardness. Big, strong playing...excellent ensemble. Crisp, clear precision." - The New York Times

The Vega String Quartet ( click for a preview) will be performing Haydn's Quartet in G major, Bartók's Quartet No. 4, Sz. 91, and Beethoven's Quartet in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

NC Summer Festivals: Carolina Mountain Ribfest

 July 8- 10   Carolina Mountain Ribfest  The Ribfest  features World Class professional barbecue rib vendors from all over the country, live entertainment, amusement rides, arts & crafts and more.

The Asheville area event offers mouth watering, award winning BBQ Ribs, Brisket, Pulled Pork and Chicken, with all the traditional side dishes. Music at the Fest includes a full schedule of Top Name Live Entertainment daily featuring national, regional and local acts. Visit the Carnival and Midway filled with spectacular rides for adults, childrens rides, games and more.
Admission: Adults - $6.00Children under 12 - FREE . Fletcher NC (suburb of Asheville)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Butterfly Identification Workshop in Asheville

Oftentimes folks who start out watching birds branch off into butterfly watching. Of course summer is the best time to learn about them.  The Compleat Naturalist is offering the rare opportunity to study butterfly specimens up close in this 2-hour workshop, using our teaching collection which includes nearly every species of butterfly found in North Carolina. Sat., July 16, 2:00-4:00 p.m.    Click here for registration details.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th of July Events: Picnics and Parades on the 4th of July

SPRUCE PINE   Annual 4th of July Picnic and Covered Dish Dinner  at the Historic Orchard at Alta Pass. Free music from 11:00-4:30. Admission for the meal is a dish to share, large enough for your party with some extra for the musicians who will be entertaining all day. In place of the covered dish, guests may pay $12 per meal. The Orchard provides fresh barbecue, water, iced tea, and paper goods.

CHIMNEY ROCK  4th of July Independence Day Events at Chimney Rock Park   July 2-4, 11-4pm, bring your kids for a free climb on the climbing tower in the Meadows. $5 Hot Dog Meal Special from the "Rolling Rock". 

OLD FORT   Old Fort Independence Day  The Town of Old Fort celebrates Independence Day with a Community Picnic on the grounds of Mountain Gateway Museum between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Bring your food, drinks, chairs, blankets and the family to enjoy the shaded landscape bordering picturesque Mill Creek. Afterwards watch the Independence Day Parade that begins at 4:00 p.m.

BLACK MOUNTAIN   July 4th Celebration Events Montreat Parade 10:30am Free to the Public.

LAKE LURE   Lake Lure 4th of July Celebration  Enjoy a variety of activities all day including arts and crafts show and sale, carnival games, free truck rides, kids zone at the beach, kids games, lakeside bingo and  beach cookout ( 11 AM - 3:30 PM)
FRANKLIN   4th of July Parade    in Historic Downtown Franklin the Parade begins at  10:00 AM and continues until 1 PM

BEECH MOUNTAIN   Independence Day Picnic   Celebrate with a picnic, bounce house for the kids, music, traditional family games and fun.  There is something for everyone with potato sack races, hula hoop contest, corn hole, three-legged race, and much more
HENDERSONVILLE   Independence Day Parade    4th of July Parade in Historic downtown Hendersonville.
FRANKLIN   4th of July Parade   Parade in historic downtown Franklin 9:30am - 1pm. Parade begins at 10am.
HIGHLANDS    Highlands Fireworks   Annual Children's games at the Community Center, Rotary BBQ, and much more throughout the day. 
Festive Fireworks at 9:15 PM.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tiffany Exhibit another reason to visit Biltmore

We can think of at least 100 reasons why you should visit Biltmore in Asheville NC. The one-of-a-kind attraction hosts about 1 million visitors each year who marvel at the history, beauty and accomplishments of the Estate. And from July 1 through  October 23 there is yet another reason to include a day - or a week - at Biltmore on this year's mountain vacation.

 Tiffany at Biltmore
  is an exhibition of 45 stained glass lamps created by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) and The Tiffany Studios. This remarkable collection of stained glass lamps and objects was organized by The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in New York, and features Tiffany's most admired designs drawn from the natural world.

In addition to the exhibition, Biltmore's talented landscape and floral designers are incorporating Tiffany-inspired elements throughout the gardens and in Biltmore House:
  • Dramatic 40-foot dragonflies created from flowers and foliage, resembling Tiffany's iconic stained glass fixtures
  • Floral décor in Biltmore House inspired by Tiffany's love of botanicals
  • Unique 24-foot "Living Wall" of flowers, foliage, and vines mimic stained glass, next to the Conservatory
The exhibition is located at The Biltmore Legacy in Antler Village and is  included in daily admission to Biltmore.

Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July Weekend Event: Celebrate with Music in the Mountains

June 29 - July 3   Betwen  LITTLE SWITZERLAND and SPRUCE PINE -  Live Music and More - the Historic  Orchard at Altapass  Live music and dancing, hayrides, storytelling, nature walks and lots of fun every Wed - Sun in season.

1   HENDERSONVILLEMusic on Main Street Concert Series  Every Friday evening from June - August . The event feature " oldies rock, beach music, variety and top 40 music. Bring a chair and enjoy the FREE  music.

July 1   
NEWLAND   The Newland River Walk Concert Series   6 PM - 9 PM   A variety of music and entertainment in a family atmosphere. Bring your blanket, pop-up tent, table, chairs, cooler or whatever, for a family picnic while enjoying the summer long series.  Located at the Newland River Walk Band shell (adjacent to Lowes parking lot).
July 1 - 4   BRYSON CITY   Inspirations "Singing in the Smokies"   Southern Gospel singing with The Inspirations and more at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts

July 2   BRYSON CITY  - Music in the Mountains - Free Concerts   The Grove Band   Every Saturday night from June through Oct, enjoy a FREE concert in Bryson City at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Train Depot from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Sit in one of the old church pews on the covered depot deck or bring a lawn chair to enjoy the show.

July 2   ASHEVILLE   Shindig on the Green   A joyously spontaneous celebration of traditional and old-time string bands, ballad singers, storytellers, big circle mountain dancers and cloggers.  Stage show and informal jam sessions.
July 2 - 3   CASHIERS   3rd Annual "Cashiers Mountain Music Festival"   Hear Doc Watson & David Holt, Balsam Range, Rye Holler Boys and some of the most talented bluegrass musicians around! This is an event for the entire family with arts & crafts and a fun zone for the kids, concluding with a spectacular display of fireworks. Tickets must be purchased.

July 3 - 5   FLAT ROCK   Flat Rock Playhouse Music on the Rock  The Music of Motown.   Summer Music on the Rock Concerts offer audiences a variety of music of well-known artists performed by exceptional singers and musicians.