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Haywood County Animal Control, the Haywood County Health Department and veterinarians from the county’s six animal hospitals are collaborating on a series of rabies clinics the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 1.

The clinics will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the following locations:

• Monday, Sept. 27 – Canton Middle School

• Tuesday, Sept. 28 – Jonathan Valley School and Central Haywood High School

• Wednesday, Sept. 29 – Hazelwood School (New)

• Thursday, Sept. 30 – Bethel Middle School

• Friday, Oct. 1 - Riverbend School

The cost per vaccine is $6. In addition to staffing the six clinics, Haywood County veterinary hospitals will offer rabies shots for $6 during normal business hours on each of the clinic days. Participating veterinary clinics include Animal Hospital of Waynesville, Balsam Animal Hospital, Canton Animal Hospital, Country Lane Animal Hospital, Junaluska Animal Hospital, and Maple Tree Veterinary Hospital.

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TCA Tree Farm in Ironduff is selling “dig your own” 4-foot Norway spruce trees Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 as a benefit for the Haywood County Schools Foundation.

The trees are immune to the woolly adelgid that attacks hemlocks, and they grow over one foot a year.

Proceeds will be used for the foundation’s “Save a Teacher” fund, a project to use locally raised money to provide additional teachers for the Haywood school system.

The trees are $20 and can be dug up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. Buyers need to bring their own shovels and a five-gallon bucket for each tree. TCA Farms is located at 101 Flat Rock Gap Road in Waynesville. To get there, travel down N.C. 209 toward I-40, and turn left across from the Haywood Café Truck Stop onto Ironduff Road. Go .3 miles and cross a small bridge and turn left onto McElroy Cove Road. Go .7 miles down McElroy Cove Road and turn left onto Noland Gap Road. Travel on Noland Gap until you see signs. 828.456.2400 or 828.507.6432.

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A major remodeling job to convert the abandoned Wal-Mart in Clyde to house the Haywood County Department of Social Services could get underway by November. This rendering by Asheville firm Padgett & Freeman Architects shows how the dreary big-box storefront will get a new façade more fitting with the mountains. Contractors are now bidding on the $12.5 million project. The 115,000-square-foot superstore will also serve as home for Haywood’s health department, planning and erosion control, building inspections and environmental health. Commissioners bought the Wal-Mart primarily to move DSS from its crumbling building, which would have required millions to fix up. In August, the county locked down a 40-year rural development loan, funded with federal stimulus money through the USDA, to pay for the project.

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The Seventh Annual Maroon Devil Classic Golf Tournament to will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2, at The Ridges Resort and Golf Club in Hayesville. The tournament will be a four-man captain’s choice format.

Registration is $75 per golfer and includes green fees, cart rental, goodie bags, lunch, cold drinks, door prizes for all and several on course contests with prizes including: $100 gas card, two Calloway golf bags sponsored by Coca Cola, and $100 cash. 

For team registration or more information contact Jamie Fisher, 736.1951 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Matt Pegg, 736.8701 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or Joanna McMahan, 788.0065 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority and Haywood Community Colleges’ Small Business Center will co-sponsor a seminar for small business owners titled “Findability on the Web: Tips and Tricks From The Pros” from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 28.

The seminar will cover topics such as the importance of local search, in-bound linking strategies, why keywords are important, how to analyze your current website and set reachable goals that can improve results.

The entire focus will be small business-centric and give clear steps and tools to connect to your customers online. Ty Hallock, of TopFloorStudio a Web and Mobile agency in Asheville and Ravenel Mansfield, of Ravenel Consulting will be the presenters.

The presentation takes place at the Regional High Tech Center in the Waynesville Industrial Park and is free. Participants are asked to pre-register to insure a seat. To register call the Haywood County TDA at 828.452.0152 or the Small Business Center at 828.627.4512. More information is also available at www.visitncsmokies.com/hcc.

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Haywood Community College’s Division of Continuing Education will offer a new solar course series called Harnessing the Power of the Sun.

The series will provide more than 20 hours of instruction including some hands-on lab activities. The cost of the series is $75 and includes a solar thermal book. Classes are held on Monday evenings from 6 until 8 p.m. beginning Sept. 27 and ending Dec. 6. There are also two Saturday classes with extended lecture and demonstration times.

For more information go to www.haywood.edu and click on the Solar Power Course Series icon in the lower left corner.

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The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Meet and Greet the Candidates forum at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the Gateway Club. Cost to attend the breakfast is $10 for chamber members and $15 for non-chamber members.

Candidates running for offices in both the U.S. and North Carolina House and Senate have been invited to speak on how, if elected, they will address the concerns and needs of community businesses and citizens alike.  The informational session will begin brief statements by each of the candidates. Following the program, attendees will have the opportunity to network with the candidates and fellow members of the business community.

828.456.3021 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Pre-registration is required.

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The Jackson County Home Builders Association will hold a Jackson County Town Meeting Forum at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28, at the Cashiers Community Center.

All candidates for county commissioner have confirmed they will attend, as well as both candidates for sheriff. N.C. Senate District 50 candidates Sen. John Snow and challenger Jim Davis have been invited.

The public can submit questions they would like asked to JCHBA, PO Box 1073, Cashiers, N.C., 28717, or via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If time permits, after written questions are answered then respectful questions may be presented from the floor. 828.507.1254.

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The Martin Lipscomb Performing Arts Center and the Highlands Cashiers Players will present the world premier of Gary Carden’s newest play, “Signs and Wonders,” on Oct. 1, 2 and 3. 

This Small Stages production will also include another of Carden’s plays, “The Bright Forever.” 

Signs and Wonders is a story about Shelby Jean and a young evangelical preacher in rural Georgia. Highlands’ own Carla Gates will portray Shelby Jean. “The Bright Forever” is a true story of Fanny Crosby. This blind woman wrote 8,000 hymns, including “Blessed Assurance.” Fanny will be played by area favorite Shirley Williams.

The two theatrical pieces present a contrasting view on how religion affects people’s lives and are directed by Ronnie Spilton.

Gary Carden, a Sylva native, has been described as a storyteller with the “ability to blend humor with poignancy, a blend that allows him to bring to the reader the great themes of human existence — love, death, bravery, fear, desire, success, failure — without having to beat the reader over the head with these themes” by The Smoky Mountain News. 

Carden is also known as a folklorist and a storyteller. He was raised by his grandparents in Jackson County in a house filled with the past. He listened to Grady Cole and Renfro Valley on the radio while his grandfather tuned musical instruments with a tuning fork and sang hymns from a shape-note songbook. 

Carden graduated from Western Carolina University and taught literature and drama for 15 years, worked for the Cherokee Indians for 15 years and has spent the last 15 years as a lecturer and storyteller. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree from Western Carolina University in August 2008.

Other Carden plays and stories include “The Raindrop Waltz,” “The Tannery Whistle,” and “The Prince of Dark Corners.” 

The world premier of “Signs and Wonders” and “The Bright Forever” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 1-2 and at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 3. For tickets call 828.526.9047. www.highlandspac.com

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“Confessions of a Clergy Wife,” performed by Barbara Bates Smith, will take the spotlight at 3 p.m. Sept 26 in Thatcher Hall at Grace Church in the Mountains in Waynesville.

The candid and humorous spiritual journey has led to thought-provoking discussions wherever it has played. In it, Smith salutes and questions her husband, her priest, and her therapist, while quoting Thich Nhat Hanh, Joseph Campbell, Bishop Porter Taylor and Bishop John Shelby Spong.

Hammered and lap dulcimer and singing bowl accompaniment is by Jeff Sebens of Cana, Va.

“The show is a zinger, compelling, authentic, and brave,” says Frank Levering, D.D., Harvard. The Rev. Tim McRee, of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Canton, called it “outstanding.”

A Southeastern Theatre “Best Actress” award winner, Smith has recently played featured roles in productions of “Hamlet,” “Doubt,” and “Wit” with the HART theater.

The 45-minute presentation will be followed by an informal session of questions and discussion. The program is free to the public. Call 456.6029

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The Fiddling Dills Sisters will appear at the Jackson County Public Library at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18.

Amanda Dills Stewart and Sharon Dills have been playing music together for many years. Amanda started playing violin at age 5 and Sharon at the age 3.

Amanda graduated from WCU with a degree in music education. She taught music at Fairview Elementary for four years and now is a stay-at-home mom and also teaches private violin and fiddle lessons at her home. Sharon graduated from WCU with a degree in B-K Education. She is now a social worker at the Department of Social Services.

The Fiddling Dills Sisters have played at numerous benefits, festivals and weddings over the years.

The performance is free to the public and is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Jackson County Main Library.

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A free guest artist concert beginning at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4, at Western Carolina University Coulter Building recital hall will feature The Trio de Llano, a chamber music ensemble based at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La.

The Trio de Llano features Dennette McDermott on flute, Malena McLaren on clarinet and Douglas Bakenhus on bassoon. The ensemble was founded in August 2004 in an effort to promote and actively perform the unique chamber music repertoire for this often overlooked combination of instruments, said Eldred Spell, professor of flute at WCU.

Each member of Trio de Llano is a full-time faculty member at Northwestern State University. Past performances include recitals at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of North Texas, and the University of New Mexico. In addition, the trio has received grants to perform in the Slovak and Czech Republics; Victoria, British Columbia; Manchester, England; and the National Flute Association New York Convention.

For information contact WCU’s School of Music at 828.227.7242.

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Irish dancing and fiery fiddling take center stage when the Hunt Family performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at the Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.

The Hunt Family, Clint, Sandy and their seven children: Jessica, Jennifer, Joshua, Jonathan, Jordan, Justin and Jamison will perform together traditional dance and play Celtic, bluegrass, inspirational and popular tunes. The group has released multiple albums and has performed in Scotland and for Queen Elizabeth during a 2007 visit to the United States. The Hunts are accomplished musicians, and members of the family are ranked nationally and internationally in Irish dancing.

The performance, sponsored by WRGC-AM, is part of WCU’s Galaxy of Stars Series. The next performance in the series is the Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival on Sunday, Oct. 3.

WCU will celebrate the traditional song, dance, food and crafts of the Southern Appalachian Mountains at its annual Mountain Heritage Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, on the WCU campus. The festival is free and features more than 20 musical acts, a Cherokee stickball game, contests and Children’s Tent.

Tickets for the Hunt Family  $25 for adults; $20 for senior citizens and WCU faculty and staff; and $5 for children and students. For more information, call FAPAC box office at 828.227.2479 or visit fapac.wcu.edu.

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Western Carolina University will mark five years of art and entertainment beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct.22, at the Fine and Performing Arts Center with a gala featuring art, music and a theatrical revue of songs by George and Ira Gershwin.

Tickets for the event are on sale now.

“It is time to celebrate and reaffirm the magic of this facility,” said Robert Kehrberg, founding dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts at WCU and member of the committee that began planning the facility.

The Fine and Performing Arts Center, a $30 million showcase for arts, culture and education in Western North Carolina, opened in October 2005 with a performance by comedian Jay Leno. Since then, it’s touched tens of thousands of people with events ranging from national acts such as the Atlanta Ballet to WCU student productions to exhibits of artwork by regional schoolchildren.

The gala, a recognition of past FAPAC achievements as well as a look ahead, will begin with an outdoor cocktail reception held under tents in the FAPAC courtyard. Reception guests will experience the unveiling of WCU’s new outdoor sculpture exhibition and have the opportunity to preview a Fine Art Museum exhibit of contemporary images of Appalachia by photographer Mike Smith.

Festivities move indoors at 7 p.m. for a performance by WCU’s resident Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet, followed by a 7:30 p.m. curtain time for “’S Wonderful.” The new off-Broadway revue transports the audience to different places in different decades with scenes set in New York in the ’20s, Paris in the ’30s, Hollywood in the ’40s and New Orleans in the ’50s. Musical numbers include classics such as “Swanee,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Nice Work if you Can Get It,” “Summertime,” “I’ve Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Tickets to the Gershwin revue plus entry to the cocktail reception costs $100. Orchestra seats for only “’S Wonderful” cost $50; club seating costs $35; and balcony seat tickets cost $25.

To buy tickets or for information call 828.227.2479 or fapac.wcu.edu.

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Registration for Central Haywood High School’s eighth Annual Dawgs on Hawgs Motorcycle Ride fundraiser will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 2 at Ghost Town Harley Davidson on the Waynesville Bypass.

This event raises much-needed school funds to provide students with classroom supplies, rewards, incentives and scholarships for seniors pursuing higher education after graduation.

Riders will travel from Ghost Town Harley through Waynesville, across Waynesville Mountain to Edwards Cove Road. Riders will go near Camp Daniel Boone and back through Canton, Clyde then to Maggie Valley; the ride will be escorted by law enforcement officers.

Wheels Thru Time, a favorite spot with motorcyclists, will host the ceremony time of fellowship, snacks and door prize give-a-ways. Riders have an opportunity to also see the Wheels Thru Time Museum.

$15 per rider or $25 per couple. Riders will have the choice to purchase orange T-shirts made by Patti Boos of Canton and raffle tickets for the cash drawing following the ride.

Supporters may send donations or prizes to 3215 Broad Street, Clyde, N.C., 28721, or feel free to drop by personally.

Contact Donna Parris or principal Jeff Haney at 828.627.9944.

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Middle Eastern (belly) dancing classes for seniors will be held every Thursday from 9 to 10:15 a.m. at the Creative Thought Center on Pigeon Street in Waynesville.

Exercise & Movement for Middle Eastern Dance is a basic class that offers stretching, strengthening and a breath-focused approach to learning the forms of the belly dance; it is geared toward mature women or anyone who wants a gentle, fun work-out.

Damira/ Pamela Norris, CMA (Certified Movement Analyst) has studied, performed and taught ethnic dance styles from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisian, Persia, and Turkey. She brings to the classroom her training as a Laban Movement Analyst. She has been leading dance and exercise classes for seniors since 1995. She was awarded the Silver Artist Gold Medal for her presentation during the Senior Games Awards in May 2010 in Waynesville.

“I have been studying the dance for over 33 years and teaching for 30, and I am constantly amazed at its healing and empowering effects,” said Norris.

828.926.3544.

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The Haywood County Arts Council is seeking artists for its third annual Small Works show to be held Nov. 17-Dec. 31 at Gallery 86 at 86 N. Main Street in Waynesville.

The show has grown from 68 western North Carolina artists represented in 2008 to 96 artists in 2009. The show provides opportunity for budding artists to exhibit their work, as well as opportunity for more seasoned artists to test their boundaries.

It is open to artists with a permanent address in the Qualla Boundary or following counties: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey.

All pieces submitted must be exactly 12 inches or smaller in every dimension, including base, matting and frame. Artists are required to submit a minimum of three pieces and maximum of five original pieces. Those entering the show will pay a fee of $20 for handling and publicity. Work must be original, all work must be for sale, must have been created in the last two years. Artwork must be received by Nov. 5.

For application or information on how to submit artwork, email Brittany Martin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit the web site at www.haywoodarts.org or call 828.452.0593.

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The eighth-annual Fontana Clogging weekend will be held at The Fontana Village Resort Sept. 24-26.

Dancers from more than 20 states (as far away as California), Canada and Germany will be on hand for a weekend of clog dancing workshops, evening dances and live bluegrass music.

On Friday afternoon instructors will conduct easy-level workshops. On Friday evening there will be a dance followed by a live music social at the lodge. At 7 p.m. on Saturday there will be a bluegrass concert featuring the Grass Stains Bluegrass Band of West Virginia and Drew and Lacey Williams of Nashville. At 8 p.m. there will be an exhibition show featuring clogging teams from all over the United States. The evening continues with a fun dance featuring open clogging and old-time square dancing.    

Event coordinators Naomi Pyle and Jeff Driggs have been coming to clogging and square dance functions at Fontana since the 1970s, and are proud of the success of the jamboree they started seven years ago.

“Clogging has come a long way from the freestyle step dance of our forefathers,” Driggs said. “The modern style of clogging is done to all forms of music and incorporates many different percussive dance forms. At the jamboree you will see everything from young people dancing to pop music, to folks shuffling and flatfooting to country music and live bluegrass music.”

Pricing and information for the workshops is available at www.fontanaworkshop.com. Saturday evening bluegrass concert cost $5. Contact Jeff Driggs. 304.610.6254 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Bruce Bunch — outdoorsman, conservationist and wildlife artist — will be the guest speaker at the Art League of Highlands at 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 27, at the Highlands Civic Center.

Bunch is a familiar figure in outdoors circles and arts organizations in the Southern Appalachians, where he is often spotted with fly rod or paint brush in hand. Bunch’s series, “Art on the Fly,“ includes birds, dogs and fly fishing art and has been collected by sportsmen world wide. He has garnered national and international acclaim and was recently chosen by the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Expo as their featured artist.

Guests welcome. 828.743.7673.

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Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (CSA) will hold a landscape-painting workshop from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, as part of a fall series of painting workshop.

The workshop will be held at Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The class is inclusive with all materials furnished so that each participant can leave with a finished painting.

Learn about perspective, color, shading, composition, and drawing on the right side of the brain. Call Doreyl Ammons Cain at 828.293.2239 for information or to make reservations.

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Fall art classes for all ages will be held at the First Baptist Church of Waynesville beginning Sept. 27. The classes are a six-week series that will be held on Monday and Tuesday afternoons that feature adult drawing, photography and painting as well as a Children’s Art Experience class.

The schedule includes drawing classes on Mondays from 1 to 4 p.m. for $55; painting classes on Tuesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. for $55; photography classes on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m.; a children’s art experience on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 p.m. for $72. All supplies are included and scholarships are available.

The classes are part of the Inspired Art Ministry, a nonprofit corporation that tithes on tuition fees, offers scholarships for the children’s classes, a student show each year and provides field trips. To register or for information, contact Char at 828.456.9197 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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In conjunction with the national American Craft Week, Jackson County craftsmen are hosting and opening for the exhibition “Hand + Craft: A Jackson County Celebration” from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1, at Gallery One as part of Sylva After Dark.

The exhibit, in honor American Craft Week, will remain open until Oct. 24 at Gallery One in Sylva.

Sponsored by the Jackson County Arts Council, The American Craft Week is a national event that celebrates the best of today’s hand crafted artwork.  More than a dozen Jackson County craft artists will show a variety of work including metal, wood, clay, fiber, and mixed media. The goal of Craft Week is to promote awareness of American-made craft work through marketing, networking, education, and communications programs.

For information about local events contact Anna Fariello at 828.227.2499 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To reach Gallery One and the Jackson County Arts Council call 828.293.5458.

 

Cloth/weaving: 

Tim Lewis, Photographer and Gallery One manager, has created a new line of photo-printed textiles made into scarves.  He shows these along with several other textiles on view and for sale. 

Cullowhee textile artist, Neal Howard holds a degree from the Haywood Community College Professional Crafts program;  Her website “Neal the weaver” explains her homegrown process.  “Outside - quite literally in my front yard,” she writes, “I set up my table, drying rack and steaming area.  Then I fill buckets with warm water to soak the yarn.”  She works up this yarn into hand dyed, hand-woven, silk scarves and wraps. 

Sandy Creek Weavers of Whittier is a mother-daughter including Emily Hyatt and Victoria Hyatt Sowers. The team creates a variety of rugs and tapestries on historic 200 year old “barn looms.”

Dillsboro weaver, Kathie Roig recalled her introduction to craft work.  “I started weaving in 1980 after my husband gave me a small table loom as a wedding present.  Nearly 30 years later I’m still weaving.”  For many years Roig operated KMR Handwoven at the Riverwood Shops in Dillsboro.

Dillsboro’s Susan Morgan Leveille, proprietor of the Oaks Gallery, long a retail mecca for visitors.  Leveille runs the shop while maintaining her own career as a weaver. 

 

Blacksmith:

Metalsmith William Rogers also worked in Dillsboro as the original designer of the Green Energy Park’s blacksmith studios.  Today he teaches hammered copper workshops in Cherokee, Asheville, and Andrews.  He is best known for commission work that combines steel and copper. 

 

Pottery:

Treehouse Pottery in Dillsboro is owned by Travis Berning and Joe Frank McKee.  Each makes distinctive functional pottery with a strong sense of style. 

Berning and McKee are also well known for their efforts at organizing the annual Western North Carolina Pottery Festival, an event that draws appreciative crowds to the region. 

Potters, Joan Byrd and George Rector represent Western Carolina University’s School of Art and Design showing their own distinctive designs.

 

Woodworking:

Exhibitor Bill Hyatt left a career in criminal justice to pursue his “obsession” with woodturning.  Today he lives in Whittier where he specializes in forms made from spalted maple.

David Nestler is another graduate of the Haywood Community College Professional Crafts program.  A native of Sylva, Nestler took his years of hobby woodworking and turned them into a professional career as craftsman/owner of Tree of Life Woodworks, where he produces custom furniture. 

Wood craftsmen, Chris Behre is the resident master woodworker at the Biltmore Estate.  At his home studio in Tuckasegee, he makes bentwood Shaker boxes and children’s toys.

 

Printing:

Frank Brannon, owner of SpeakEasy Press in Whittier, combines letterpress printing, hand papermaking, and bookbinding to produce hand-bound books made from a variety of natural materials.

Exhibition organizer, Anna Fariello is also showing mixed media work that combines photo imagery with other materials.  Long an artist herself, Fariello directs the Craft Revival project at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library and serves on the board of the World Craft Council.  She was asked to organize a local event as part of the national American Craft Week effort.

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Haywood Habitat for Humanity (HHGH ) is providing a way for citizens to showcase their culinary skills, treat their taste buds, and support a good cause at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Maggie Valley Club.

Bring a favorite food sufficient to provide a small taste for 50 people and participate in the culinary competition to include “Best Appetizer,” “Best Dessert,” and “Best Presentation of  ‘A Taste of Fall.’”  Don’t want to bring food? Come as a taster. Every attendee will sample the entries and vote to select the prized winners.

The cost is $25 a person when bringing a favorite food for the competition, or $50 a person to attend as a taster.  The event will also include a silent auction. Recipes of all entries will be posted on www.haywoodhabitat.org.

All proceeds will be donated to HHFH to support the ongoing mission to eliminate substandard housing.  HHFH partners with low income families to build affordable housing through no-profit loans.  

Checks should be made out to Haywood Habitat for Humanity and mailed with or without recipes to Haywood Habitat, PO Box 283, Waynesville, N.C., 28786. For information call the Habitat office at 828.452.7960.

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The talents of Western North Carolina’s top traditional musicians and singers will be showcased during the 36th annual Mountain Heritage Day, coming up Saturday, Sept. 25, on the campus of Western Carolina University.

The festival’s newly named “Mountain” and “Heritage” stages will feature 22 separate musical acts that will provide constant free entertainment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., said festival coordinator Trina Royar.

“Our schedule of performers for the two stages includes bluegrass, old-time music, bluegrass-gospel, traditional Irish music, traditional and contemporary folk, and traditional country. If you like music in the ‘traditional’ genre, we’ve got you covered,” Royar said.

The entertainment lineup includes regional bluegrass favorites Balsam Range, Whitewater Bluegrass Co., Buncombe Turnpike and the Stoney Creek Boys, as well as the traditional and contemporary folk sounds of Phil and Gaye Johnson, old-time music by Jackson County’s Queen and Deitz families, and the Red Wellies, a traditional Irish band from Asheville.

Also, Mountain Heritage Day will feature four clogging teams, with two teams performing on each stage, Royar said.

Other musical performances are scheduled at the festival’s Circle Tent, a venue designed to provide visitors with a workshop kind of experience, Royar said. The Banjo Circle will feature area banjo pickers Mark Pruett, Junior Queen and Steve Sutton. The Fiddle Circle will highlight the talents of Trevor Stuart, Delbert Queen, Danielle Bishop, Beanie O’Dell and Arvil Freeman, and the Mandolin Circle will feature Adam King, Danny Bishop, Barry Clinton and Darren Nicholson. WCU’s own student group, the Porch Music Club, will lead an open jam at the Circle Tent at 3:30 p.m.

While the music and dancing is going on at the two main stages and in the Circle Tent at Mountain Heritage Day, a new performance area, the Children’s Tent, will offer younger festival visitors a wide range of activities, Royar said.

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The traditional folkways of the Southern Appalachian Mountains will once again take center stage as the Western Carolina University community presents the 36th annual Mountain Heritage Day on Saturday, Sept. 25.

WCU’s annual festival offers a smorgasbord of traditional mountain culture, with a variety of music, dance, crafts, folk arts, contests and activities that is hard to find in a one-day event, said festival coordinator Trina Royar of WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center.

All Mountain Heritage Day activities, including stage performances, will take place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., with the exception of the 5-K footrace, which begins at 8 a.m., and registration for the woodcutting contest, which starts at 9 a.m. This year’s festival will be held on fields behind the Cordelia Camp Building, in parking lots and grassy areas around the Camp Building, and in the nearby Mountain Heritage Center, which is located on the ground floor of H.F. Robinson Administration Building.

Each year’s Mountain Heritage Day is the result of months of planning and work by a host of volunteers representing WCU’s student body, faculty and staff, and all that activity culminates with a busy festival day on the last Saturday in September, Royar said. “In particular, the event requires a big commitment by the university’s police force and facilities management department, but the payoff comes for everyone involved with the festival when they see the big crowds and smiling faces at WCU’s largest one-day event,” she said.

See also: Mountain Heritage Day to offer continuous entertainment, new Children’s Tent

 

Arts, crafts and food

Visitors at this year’s Mountain Heritage Day will find 80 booths of juried arts and crafts, providing a perfect opportunity for local residents to get in some early holiday shopping, Royar said. Items for sale will include everything from ceramics and wood carvings to basketry, jewelry and metalwork. Beginning this year, the layout of the arts and crafts vendor area has been redesigned to provide for a more pleasant shopping experience, with each vendor having a “corner” booth with two open sides. Fifty-nine percent of the arts and crafts vendors at this year’s festival are from Buncombe and other N.C. counties to the west, Royar said.

About 20 food vendors also are scheduled to participate in the festival, offering festival-goers tempting options such as Cherokee frybread, gyros, angus beef burgers, kettlecorn and ice cream.

 

Stickball and blowguns

The traditional Cherokee game of stickball has been a favorite attraction for festival visitors in recent years, and the Snowbird Stickball Team from Graham County will make its first appearance at Mountain Heritage Day to demonstrate that ancient sport. Before the two dozen members of the team begin play at 11 a.m., they will “take to the waters” of nearby Cullowhee Creek as an act of purification, said team leader Charles “Shorty” Kirkland.

Another Native American tradition will be demonstrated at 1 p.m. when team members join with their female associates in playing the courtship game of “Fish.” Male players use sticks to throw a ball up to hit a wooden fish that sits atop a 24-foot pole, while the female players are allowed to use their hands to throw the ball. Also, the females are allowed to physically harass the male players, “but the man has to be a perfect gentleman,” Kirkland said.

The Snowbird team also will demonstrate the use of traditional Cherokee blowguns at 3 p.m.

 

Music & clogging

For fans of traditional music and clogging, life doesn’t get much better than the two main stages of Mountain Heritage Day, which will offer continuous free entertainment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Royar said.

The newly renamed “Mountain Stage” (formerly Norton Stage) and “Heritage Stage” (formerly Traditional Stage) will present many types of traditional music ranging from traditional and contemporary bluegrass to old-time and folk music. A new act at this year’s festival will be the Red Wellies, an Asheville-based traditional Irish band. Visitors can expect to hear many local favorites, such as the bluegrass band Balsam Range, which includes three WCU alumni.

Clogging fans will want to check out performances by the Blue Ridge Highsteppers, the Rough Creek Cloggers, the Cole Mountain Cloggers and the Dixie Darlings, Royar said.

Festival music won’t be limited to the two stages. Visitors will have an opportunity to see some rapid-fire picking up close and personal at the Circle Tent, which will provide a “workshop” sort of musical experience, Royar said. The 11 a.m. “Banjo Circle” will feature Mark Pruett, Steve Sutton and Junior Queen, while a 12:30 p.m. “Fiddle Circle” will showcase the talents of Trevor Stuart, Delbert Queen, Danielle Bishop, Beanie O’Dell and Arvil Freeman. A “Mandolin Circle” at 2 p.m. will include Adam King, Danny Bishop, Barry Clinton and Darren Nicholson.

Other Circle Tent activities will include a 10 a.m. presentation on “The Building of the Glenville Dam and Lake: An Engineering Feat” by the Jackson County Historical Society, and a 3:30 p.m. open jam session of traditional music led by the Porch Music Club, a WCU student group.

Other musical performances that have been a part of every Mountain Heritage Day will take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., when singers from around the region will gather to demonstrate the sacred mountain tradition of shape-note singing. The singing will take place in the gymnasium adjacent to the Camp Building, with participants singing from the “Sacred Harp” and “Christian Harmony” hymnals.

 

Children’s Tent

Mountain Heritage Day organizers this year are putting more emphasis on providing activities for children, and a new Children’s Tent has been added that will provide fun and educational sessions all day, Royar said.

Heritage activities will be offered from 10 to 11 a.m., and during the afternoon hours musical programs geared toward children will be presented by Joe and Bill Deitz, Phil and Gaye Johnson, and the Whitewater Bluegrass Co., with the bluegrass band leading “play party games” and a “family dance.” Storyteller Bobby McMillon will entertain the kids beginning at 2 p.m., and more heritage activities will be offered from 3 until 5 p.m.

 

Plenty more

Other important parts of Mountain Heritage Day include the folk arts and living history demonstrations, an auto show, contests and the annual Mountain Heritage Awards for 2010.

These awards are given to one individual and one organization in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the preservation or interpretation of the history and culture of Southern Appalachia. That presentation will take place at 12:15 p.m. on the Heritage Stage.

Comment

Marian Wright Edelman will speak at the Lake Junaluska Peace Conference at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, at Stuart Auditorium.

The talk is part of the 2010 Lake Junaluska Peace Conference titled “Peace for the World’s Children” and is free. The three-day Peace Conference is Sept. 19-21.

Edelman is a lifelong advocate for disadvantaged Americans and is the founder and director of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), headquartered in Washington, D.C. Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families. A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, Edelman was the first African-American woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar. 

For more information about the Peace Conference, call 828.454.6656 or visit www.lakejunaluska.com/peace.

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A grand opening celebration of the Alzheimer’s Association’s office and counseling center in Cherokee will take place  2:30-5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 20.

The facility will be in the Health and Medical Division Building, 43 John Crowe Hill. Principal Chief Michell Hicks of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will lead festivities. Tuesday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and coinciding with World Alzheimer’s Day, there will be a 1-mile “awareness walk” starting from the fairgrounds.

This new center will serve residents living in the state’s seven westernmost counties. It is the first Alzheimer’s Association facility of its kind in the nation to be located on a tribal boundary or Indian reservation.

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The Boy Scouts of America is celebrating 100 years of scouting with a council-wide camporee and celebration at Camp Daniel Boone in Haywood County the weekend of Sept. 25.

All Scouts, leaders, families and guests are encouraged to come and partake in the festivities. Boy Scout activities include pioneering projects, rifle shooting, archery, scouting exhibits, old-time games, geocaching, horseshoes, volleyball, scouting museum, wisdom council, hot air balloon, heritage merit badges, patrol events, Dutch oven cooking, totem pole carving, walking stick carving, Cub Scout games, campfire program and more. Master of ceremonies will be Sherrill Barber of WLOS-TV.

www.danielboonecouncil.org.

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Registration is now open for the 20th Annual Haywood County Memory Walk, which will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 3 at Lake Junaluska.

There are more than 1,630 cases of Alzheimer’s disease in Haywood County, and that number is expected to increase as baby boomers age. Last year, more than 220 people raised money and participated in the walk around Lake Junaluska.

Search for Haywood County on www.alz.org/memorywalk or 828.254.7363 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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“Taking Care of You: Powerful Tools for Care giving,” is a six-week series created to educate those who care for chronically ill family members. The classes will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. every Thursday from Sept. 30 to Nov. 4 in the Conference Room of the Community Service Center in Sylva.

The program will focus on tools such as ways to reduce stress, guilt, anger and depression. The classes will also teach family members how to communicate effectively with doctors and other family members, as well as set goals and problem solve.

$6. Register before Sept. 27. 828.586.4009

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Training sessions for those wishing to work as a respite caregiver will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, and those seeking a respite caregiver can attend training from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Haywood Community Connections, located at the Haywood County Administrative Building, 81 Elmwood Way, Waynesville.

Haywood Community Connections/Mountain Projects, Alzheimer’s Association, Haywood Regional Medical Center, 30th Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance and Southwestern Commission Area Agency on Aging came together several months ago to develop a caregiver respite list.

People who would like to work as a private respite caregiver can sign up at Haywood Community Connections. Those seeking a respite caregiver can also contact Haywood Community Connections. Caregivers can receive training developed by the group to help them with the hiring process.

828.452.2370.

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Dog and cat owners will have an opportunity to learn basic emergency first aid for their companion pets in a hands on two-hour workshop with Dr. Tami Shearer of Shearer Pet Health Hospital.

Getting your sick or injured companion to the vet is important, but there are things you can do to help your pet until they can be seen. Some of the basics you will learn in the course include how to recognize an emergency situation, what to do if your pet has been hit by a car, how to treat for common poisons, choking, preventing shock in an emergency, how to perform CPR and the treatment and prevention of infections.

The workshop is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21, in the community room at United Community Bank in Bryson City. Workshop fee is $25 and will cover course materials and supplies. 828.586.3300.

Comment

College Night at Haywood Community College will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20, in the auditorium.

Area high school students and residents will have a chance to talk with college representatives from more than 55 southeastern universities, colleges, and trade schools. All juniors and seniors in Haywood County are invited.

828.627.4646.

Comment

In an effort to revitalize the nation’s civic culture, veterans and schoolchildren from throughout Jackson County will gather at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18 in Cashiers, Sylva and Cherokee for a public reading of the U.S. Constitution.

The readings will take place at  Veterans Memorial Park in Cherokee, Poteet Park in Sylva and the Village Green in Cashiers.

Comment

To the Editor:

This year we have three county commissioners running for re-election in Jackson County. Brian McMahan is running again for chairman; Tom Massie is asking for our support again as  vice chairman; and William Shelton wants your vote to represent us as commissioner. All three representatives have faced challenges from our citizens and our economy over the past two years and have proven themselves to be reasonable in their deliberations, responsive in resolving issues in a timely manner and thoughtful in their approach to using data and facts to guide their decisions and manage our tax dollars (third lowest in the state).

McMahan, our current chairman, is a native of Jackson County. He is married with a child on the way and is a deacon in his church. He was recently elected President of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. He has over 14 years experience in emergency services and brings family values and a community service focus to his deliberations.

Massie, our current vice chairman, is also a native son and has more than 25 years public service as a county planner and North Carolina Clean Water Trust Fund representative. He is a member of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation Board of Directors and Mountain Resource Commission. Tom brings the values of quality public service to the commission and county services.

William Shelton grew up in the Qualla community and is married with four sons. William was a supervisor with Jackson Soil and Water District before having his own farming business for the last 26 years. William brings the values of business management and conservative financial management to the commission and county services.

We have a choice in this election between these dedicated representatives, all of who bring reasonableness, responsiveness and thoughtfulness to deliberations affecting our neighbors, schools, mountains, streams and tax dollars. Or, we can choose untested Tea Party candidates who may have good intentions but whose only solution to complex problems is to experiment with the failed supply-side economic theory of cutting tax revenues and county services, letting those less fortunate fend for themselves and saying “No” to ideas outside their ideology.

Ron Robinson

Sylva

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To the Editor:

We write with deep concern over recent attacks on Muslims and Muslim communities in our country.

One of our principal readings for last year’s Lake Junaluska Peace Conference was Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s fine book, What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right with America: A New Vision for Muslims and the West. In this detailed, scholarly, yet very readable book he outlines the ways Islam, like Judaism and Christianity, share an “Abrahamic tradition” that has come to critically support the democratic and pluralistic institutions we Americans hold so dearly.

Rauf, an American citizen with 35 years of leadership in American Muslim life, outlines in this book his “Cordoba Initiative” of interfaith dialogue to strengthen these democratic institutions and advance the work of interfaith cooperation so crucial after the events of September 2001. On the basis of these beliefs, he and others started planning an Islamic center for interfaith work in New York City. It is this center, whose very purpose is interfaith understanding, that is now the occasion for virulent attacks on Islam around the country, both verbal and physical.

With all our hearts we urge our fellow citizens, our political leaders, and other public influentials to work together to overcome our fear, anger, and ignorance in order to advance the very mission that Imam Rauf has so bravely undertaken. Please read his book. Study what other progressive Muslims like him are thinking and doing. Let us pray and work for an America in which all religious traditions can flourish and find a genuine peace. Imam Rauf closes his book with the words of a famous Muslim poet: “Love is my religion, and whichever way its riding beasts turn, that way lies my religion and belief.” St. Paul could not have said it better. It’s at the heart of the Golden Rule and central to all our religious traditions.

Garland Young, Chairman

Lake Junaluska Peace Committee

Comment

To the Editor:

Having been involved when Forest Hills sought to impose an ETJ on surrounding communities several years ago and having been a long-time critic of Chancellor John Bardo’s “vision” for both WCU and the adjoining communities, there is much I could say about the recent discussions about incorporation. However, I’ll limit myself to a simple question: has anyone from Forest Hills considered the first rule of politics? The rule — count the votes — would seem particularly germane when one considers that the proposed annexations would potentially add a population of students that far exceeds the existing population of the village.

What happens when all those students register to vote? What happens when an issue or issues motivates that population? And, given the involvement the political science department has shown in local affairs, is it really all that farfetched to consider the possibility that the governance of Forest Hills could become a kind of laboratory experiment?

Applying zoning regulations to university land could be trickier than anticipated since there are varying strictures about how a municipal or county jurisdiction may regulate state facilities. The obvious question, and one that has been addressed recently in The Smoky Mountain News, is whether Forest Hills is being used as a vehicle to bring alcohol sales closer to campus. If that is a primary motivation, then wouldn’t a referendum on countywide alcohol sales pose less risk? If the issue is providing a zoning or regulatory structure for the purpose of development, especially along Old Cullowhee Road, then wouldn’t a community-based zoning district like the one created by the Cashiers Development Ordinance offer the same opportunity?

I’ve never understood how getting bigger enhances a local vision of maintaining the charms of a small community.

Mark Jamison

Whittier

Comment

To the Editor:

I have several concerns about the Forest Hills annexation after attending the second extended meeting between Forest Hills and Western Carolina University. Many good questions were asked and deflected with ambiguity.

I understand that WCU has yet to produce full documents of disclosure, and I anticipate an interesting read. My first concern is where is the study to prove that Cullowhee can economically support such a venture. It was stated that the “CAT” card proves that students will use this corporate Town Center. The CAT card is not reliable assessment of our local economics, and most of the students who are forced to have a CAT card are under the drinking age.

The university’s schedule creates a hardship for local businesses for almost four months out of the year between winter break, spring break and summer session, not to mention, these are students and they don’t have much expendable income.

Our second-home market goes dead in the water during winter, and as a Cullowhee resident, I do not see this being a responsible venture. Adding insult to injury, Chancellor John Bardo stated that the rent prices within the Town Center will be too high for local entrepreneurs, and local businesses will not have a fair chance of competing as alcohol sales will only be allowed within the Town Center.

I am begging Forest Hills to consider, at the very least, in writing, a contract for fair square footage rent prices allowing our locals a chance to truly enjoy the use of his Town Center and allow local dollars to generate locally and not only enhance some corporate bank account. I believe it is smart to embrace our growth, but we must be responsible about it. Otherwise, we will have a Town Center that lies empty, like the Sleep Inn in Sylva that deteriorates as I type. That is an empty eyesore, a blemish to our viewshed benefiting no one.

Robin Lang

Cullowhee

Comment

To the Editor:

The article titled “Creeks now flow clean through Waynesville and Sylva” (Sept. 8 Smoky Mountain News) described the decline in fecal coliform pollution in Scotts Creek. While this is unequivocally good news, it does not mean that Scotts Creek is all cleaned up and that now we can all turn our attention to other environmental problems.

Water monitoring and cleanup is team effort and a community challenge. The Jackson County Health Department has brought in the state’s Waste Discharge Elimination Program (known as WaDE) to help homeowners finance repairs to septic systems. TWSA continues to assess and fix up broken sewers in the Sylva system. This fall students in the Environmental Health Department at WCU will be monitoring for fecal sources in nearby Savannah Creek.  

Other types of pollution continue. Scotts Creek has very high levels of sediment during storms, and the resulting mud settles in the stream suffocating the invertebrate life and upsetting the stream ecology. Data from the Sylva Mud Meter will help us document those levels. WATR’s Watch our Water team will be looking for mud sources in Scotts Creek and elsewhere in the Tuckasegee River watershed in effort to reduce erosion. More volunteer help is always appreciated

The community response is essential too. When the community and individual landowners become accountable for our septic systems and our stream bank buffer areas, then we can take the positive steps needed to improve water quality. Litter problems persist, and litter cleanup is also an indicator of involvement and concern. WATR volunteers assist the Town of Dillsboro by regularly removing litter in Scotts Creek at the Monteith Farmstead Park, and Sylva’s mayor just announced that LifeWay Church will be cleaning litter from Scotts Creek in the Bridge Park area.  

So the good news of lower bacteria levels in Scotts Creek provides us with cautious optimism. People with open sores or weakened immune systems probably should not wade in Scotts Creek because bacteria are still present and actual amounts are still uncertain. But conditions have significantly improved and will improve more as we stay vigilant and active in protecting our creeks and rivers.

Special thanks go to the Division of Water Quality’s Ed Williams, who supplied information for this letter.

Roger Clapp

Executive Director,

Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River

Comment

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to the Cindy Solesbee letter to the editor in the Sept. 8 Smoky Mountain News where she presumed that I “failed to show up” because I was “too busy (or some other excuse) to meet with the voters.”

The League of Women Voters in Franklin contacted me fewer than three weeks before their forum for North Carolina state senate candidates. For more than six months, my only vacation during the campaign was scheduled for the week when I was in Colorado, making it impractical to return for their event. The League graciously allowed me the opportunity to respond to their submitted questions and to those presented at the forum, which I did.  Those responses were printed in the newspapers that requested them.

I am eager to meet with voters to discuss the issues and do so several times every week. I invite citizens to visit the campaign website, www.davisforncsenate.com, to check the schedule for times when they can share their concerns and ask questions. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify this matter.

Jim Davis

N.C. 50th District Senate candidate

Franklin

Comment

A 5K race will be held in conjunction with Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25.

The race starts in front of the McKee Building on Central Drive on campus. The race is put on by the WCU Sports Management Association with proceeds going to the endowed scholarship fund.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. Entry fees are $15 before Sept. 23 or $25 on race day. $10 for students with a valid identification card.

Racers get a T-shirt, bottled water and fruit. Runners with the best times receive an award.

828.227.3548 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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A day packed with outdoor activity will be held at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, in recognition of National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Activities include fly-fishing casting, fly tying, outdoor cooking, archery, pellet rifle range, interactive kids’ hunt camp and tree stand safety.

There will also be tours of the fish hatchery. Inside are showings of an award-winning documentary on natural history and wildlife diversity of the mountains. Exhibits include five aquatic habitats with live fish, frogs, salamanders and snakes.

The Pisgah Center is located on U.S. 276 south of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Transylvania County, about 55 minutes from Waynesville. 828.877.4423.

Comment

Mast General Store will host representatives from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation at their stores on Saturday, Sept. 18, to help connect people with the organization.

The Foundation supports special projects on the Parkway that enhance visitors’ experience, from restoring historic buildings and preserving scenic views to funding ranger-led programs and Kids in Parks excursions.

“The Blue Ridge Parkway is undoubtedly a special place,” said Fred Martin, vice president of the Mast General Store. “With so many of our guests and employees sharing an affinity for the Parkway, it is important that we do what we can to ensure it’s there for enjoyment in the future.”

The Mast General Store will donate 10 percent of sales on Sept. 18 to the Foundation.

Comment

A fall field photography workshop based in Haywood County will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday mornings from Sept. 22 through Oct. 13.

Field excursions will include elk rut season in Cataloochee Valley, rushing mountain cascades and waterfalls, Blue Ridge Parkway high vistas and changing color in the national park amongst others. Classes to review and critique the photographs taken will be offered Tuesday evenings.

“Included in the program will be composition, exposure, lighting, and presenting subjects in a way that has the greatest impact,” said Bob Grytten, the program leader and an award-winning photographer. “Also included are segments on the computer and digital work.”

The program is hosted by the Waynesville Armory Recreation Center, where the class will meet to take a van to the field sites.

The program is designed for photographers with digital SLR cameras and tripods.

Program orientation will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21. Field shoots are $30 each and Tuesday night sessions at $10 each.

There is a 20 percent discount is offered to those taking all eight sessions. 828.627.0245 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Comment

It’s harvest time, and what to do with the garden’s bounty can be a little overwhelming.

A talk on long-term food storage and preserving the harvest will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17, at the Creative Thought Center in Waynesville. If you don’t have a garden of your own, it’s also a good time to stock up on fresh local food at the farmers’ market and put it away for winter.

Kathleen Lamont, an organic grower, will share how to create stores of wholesome nutritious food. Learn how to pack and store grains, beans, and rice for the long term, plus learn the art of canning, dehydrating, root cellaring, vacuum sealing, and freezing processes, including which foods lend themselves to which method.

For more information visit Lamont’s websites at www.BacktoBasicsNC.com. 828.456.9697 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Creative Thought Center is located at 449 Pigeon Street/U.S. 276.

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Learn how to attract birds and butterflies to your garden while helping the ecosystem during a “Gardening with Nature” talk at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at the historic Rickman Store in Macon County.

Botanist and gardener Jean Woods will share how to use native plants and where to find them. She will also cover garden pest control, soil stewardship and wise water use.

Woods will have pictures of native plants incorporated in the home garden as well as several handouts about the soil and light requirements for species.

Woods is chair of the Education Committee for the North Carolina Native Plant Society. She is a frequent speaker at events and garden clubs and a leader of wildflower walks.  The Rickman Store is on Cowee Creek Road, seven miles north of Franklin on N.C. 28 next to Cowee Elementary School. 828.349.5201.

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The Watershed Association of the Tuckaseigee River will hold its annual dinner at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Sapphire Mountain Brewing Company in downtown Sylva.

Come celebrate a good year and share a meal with others concerned with the health of mountain rivers and creeks.

WATR will highlight projects from the past year and future initiatives.

WATR monitors water quality in the Tuck and its tributaries and promotes public awareness and advocacy for water quality.

Cost is $15. RSVP to 828.488.8418 or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Comment

Volunteers are needed to help scoop trash from Richland Creek in Waynesville as part of the statewide Big Sweep from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18, in Haywood County.

Haywood Community College’s students in the Natural Resources Department will lead the effort. Meet at the Bi-Lo’s Grocery Store parking lot off Russ Avenue in Waynesville.

The cleanup is part of the Big Sweep, an annual statewide event where volunteers take to the waters and shorelines to pull litter. Since its inception in 1987, more than 252,000 Big Sweep volunteers have retrieved more than 4,400 tons of debris from North Carolina’s waterways.

828.627.4564.

Comment

Join Bryson City Bicycles for “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day” at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Deep Creek Picnic area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park outside Bryson City.

Bryson City Bicycles welcomes young riders who want to have a fun day on their bikes, learn biking skills and make new friends. All participants get snacks, beverages and a goody bag.

Bicycle safety and proper trail etiquette will be covered before the ride. Rangers from the National Park Service will showcase their patrol bike. The ride will be led on Deep Creek Trail and Indian Creek Trail. Bring water and snacks or lunch.

Bryson City Bicycles has a limited number of kid’s bikes and helmets to rent for $15 for the event. First come first serve. Register in person at Bryson City Bicycles on Everett Street in downtown Bryson City or call 828.488.1988.

The ride is part of a nationwide Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, supported by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

Comment

Jennifer Frick-Ruppert, ecologist and author of Mountain Nature: A Seasonal Natural History of the Southern Appalachians, will appear at noon on Friday, Sept. 17, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. The lunch with the author program is devoted to the natural history of the mountain area.

Frick-Ruppert is associate professor of ecology and environmental science at Brevard College. Her new book explores the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachians and the webs of interdependence that connect them. The book is organized around the seasons, giving readers a full cycle of the year in the mountains.

Hikers and readers interested in nature and ecology are encouraged to attend this informal discussion and reading. Attendees may bring their own meal.

828.586.9499.

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