You're Invited ... Welcome to Social Season in the Moutains!
After months of record snowfall, dark evenings beginning as soon as work lets out, and nights spent inside with my dog Lulu, social season has arrived in our little corner of the world! If there's one thing we do well in Western North Carolina, it's help our neighbors and non-profits. With taxes complete and a tank of gas in my car, I set out to a few good times for great causes over the weekend.
Uncork the Festival: A Taste of Rio
Blowing Rock is one of my favorite small towns. It reminds me of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls with quirky residents, unique shops, and a friendly attitude. The Watauga Arts Council kicked off the annual Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival with a Brazilian-themed evening at Chetola Resort. South American fare was paired with wines from the country as works by High Country artists were auctioned for the organization's general fund.
Botanical Gardens at Asheville 50th Anniversary Party
After an outing to the Botanical Gardens at Asheville for a garden party on Sunday afternoon. Members and their guests celebrated with great weather, mountain music, and the unique collection of plants housed on the garden's 10-acre site. It seems the ample precipitation we received over the winter has been great for plants native to the Southern Appalachian Mountains!
Downtown After 5 Kickoff
After the gardens, I showed up to The Orange Peel for the closing ceremony of Actionfest. I came thisclose to snapping a picture with Chuck Norris, who was receiving the festival's Lifetime Achievement Award, but had second thoughts when he arrived with quite the impressive security team. I accidentally left my hat at the club, but I was back just two days later to attend the launch party for one of Asheville's longest running music series.
Volunteers and music fans packed the Peel to hear the Asheville Downtown Association announce the lineup for this year's Downtown After 5. I must say, the lineup is one of the strongest in years and I'm looking forward to summer nights on Lexington Ave. It was the perfect end to a weekend spent meeting my neighbors and promoting special organizations.