event-calendar

EVENTS

One of the country’s premier music festivals, MerleFest’s lineup of bluegrass, old-time, Americana, country, blues, and classic rock acts is always impressive. This year’s headliners include Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Robert Earl Keen, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Sam Bush, and Rhiannon Giddens. Bring your instrument along to pick until your heart’s content at the Pickin’ Place. » Wilkes Community College, 1328 Collegiate Dr.; Thursday-Sunday, prices vary, individual day or multi-day tickets available; (800) 343-7857; www.merlefest.org

A public botanical garden with educational offerings, Bullington Gardens’ spring sale includes hundreds of perennials and native plants, ornamental trees and shrubs, and vegetables, including about 20 types of tomatoes. Proceeds from sales support the operations of the gardens and its programming for local school children. 95 Upper Red Oak Tr., Thursday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; www.bullingtongardens.org

Held over two days at the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville, more than 40 specialty nurseries from the Carolinas and Eastern Tennessee offer plants, shurbs, and herbs. Be advised: Some vendors take cash only. WNC Farmers Market, 570 Brevard Rd.; Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; www.brhorticulture.org

Held over two days at the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville, more than 40 specialty nurseries from the Carolinas and Eastern Tennessee offer plants, shrubs, and herbs. 570 Brevard Rd.; Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; www.ashevilleplantsale.org

The World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is a family-oriented blend of the unique comedy and clown skills of Gregory Popovich, and the talents of his furry costars. Featuring are more than 30 pets in the show, each one having been rescued from animal shelters and given a new "leash" on life filling the stage with skills, stunts, laughs and excitement. The Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre has been voted Las Vegas' "Entertainer of the Year" and "Best Family Show." This show is sure to raise the "roof-roof!"

http://www.greatmountainmusic.com/eventdetail.asp?t=i&m=4&d=28&y=2018&evt=1

The World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is a family-oriented blend of the unique comedy and clown skills of Gregory Popovich, and the talents of his furry costars. Featuring are more than 30 pets in the show, each one having been rescued from animal shelters and given a new "leash" on life filling the stage with skills, stunts, laughs and excitement. The Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre has been voted Las Vegas' "Entertainer of the Year" and "Best Family Show." This show is sure to raise the "roof-roof!"

http://www.greatmountainmusic.com/eventdetail.asp?t=i&m=4&d=28&y=2018&evt=1

This year’s plant sale theme, Seeds the Day, focuses on the importance of saving and growing heirloom seeds. Around 20 vendors will sell native plants and seeds, and several presenters will speak on the themed topic. Proceeds from sales go toward scholarships for students majoring in environmental sciences. Clem’s Cabin, 1000 Hendersonville Rd.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; www.fbrgc.org

Celebrate mountain heritage and get a glimpse of what life was like in WNC during the 1800s at the Mountain Gateway Museum’s annual event. Expect music, food, demonstrations like weaving, pottery turning, and hit-and-miss engines, and craft vendors displaying and selling their wares. » Mountain Gateway Museum, 24 Water St.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free; (828) 668-9259; www.mgmnc.org

Chimney Rock State Park hosts photographer Chuck Hill for a photo workshop on how to best capture nature’s beauty at all hours of the day. The class will cover types of scenic photography and the equipment needed to make a photo pop, and even cover astrophotography. Participants will get the chance to shoot sunrise and sunset, and can camp overnight in the park for an additional fee. Class size is limited. »Chimney Rock State Park, 431 Main St.; 9 a.m. Saturday to 4 p.m. Sunday.; $250, $8 camping per person; (800) 277-9611; www.chimneyrockpark.com

The festival’s name comes from its early roots as an Earth Day celebration, and it still focuses on environmental protection and sustainability, along with the promotion of local businesses and civic groups. But, it’s expanded a ton, too, and now includes fine arts and handmade craft demos, multiple music stages, and even a children’s talent show. Vendor applications are accepted until April 1. » Downtown; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free; (828) 554-1035; www.greeningupthemountains.com

This festival presented by the WNC Cheese Trail, a nonprofit whose mission is to educate and promote tourism around the production of local cheese, is a chance to taste samples from area cheesemakers and take part in hands-on activities, how-to workshops, and discussions such as the raw milk debate. New for 2018 are yogurt- and lotion-making demos. Highland Brewery, 12 Old Charlotte Hwy.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; $14, $25 VIP (includes an hour early entry and parking); Facebook: Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest

Asheville Outlets (www.shopashevilleoutlets.com) is pleased to again host Asheville’s Flea for Y’all Sunday, April 29th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location, just 6 miles from downtown Asheville, offers easy access from I-26, mountain views and ample parking for patrons and vendors alike. Come ready to explore and discover great vintage finds, one-of-a kind handmade items, exceptional art, yummy food and beverages, while enjoying good music! The Flea will take over the tree-lined lot next to Field and Stream.

Asheville Outlets Flea for Y’all remaining dates are Sunday May 27, June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30 and October 28, 2018. Adult entry is $2, children are free, friendly dogs welcome! Leary PR for Asheville Outlets.

Blowing Rock is often cited as one of North Carolina’s prettiest small towns, but it’s a tasty place, too, and this event shines a big, bright spotlight on the town’s small but mighty food scene. This year’s festivities include an expanded schedule of seminars on a variety of culinary topics, from beer and wine pairing to grilling, alongside countless opportunities to savor edible artistry—from the Grand Tasting to a picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway. » Multiple venues; Thursday-Sunday, times & prices vary; (828) 295-7851; www.savorblowingrock.com

Bring a chair or blanket and celebrate Fridays with free concerts on the courthouse lawn all summer long. The series kicks off May 4 with a performance by classic rock outfit Sweet Revenge. Special in May, catch a BMX stunt show before The Roadrunnerz Band on May 25. And the June 29 show will feature local bands competing for the chance to perform during the Historic Morganton Festival in September. Food, beer, and wine are available for purchase. » Historic Burke County Courthouse lawn, 102 E. Union St.; Fridays, food vendors open 6 p.m., music 7-10 p.m.; free; (828) 438-5252; ww.morgantonfest.org

The Asheville Botanical Gardens are lovely during bloom time, and the Spring Plant Sale is a perfect chance to explore the native landscape and shop for common and hard-to-find endemic plants. A percentage of sales benefit the gardens. 151 W.T. Weaver Blvd.; Friday, noon-6 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org

Edgy. Classic. Country. A defining voice of country music and a modern-day legend, Tanya Tucker inspired many female artists who still top the charts today. From the signature classic songs to the unforgettable sass and soul of her voice, Tucker has paved a path in country music and beyond through an unprecedented level of success and continues her longevity today due to a natural, undeniable talent which has proven to be timeless ever since she recorded her debut single "Delta Dawn," at age 13. With appearances across the world, the Grand Old Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and even Super Bowl Half-Time Show, Tucker's career, nearly four decades already underway, is proving to be one for the record books.

http://www.greatmountainmusic.com/eventdetail.asp?t=i&m=5&d=4&y=2018&evt=1

 

It just so happens the 2018 Kentucky Derby falls on Cinco de Mayo, so the Salt Block Foundation’s annual watch party will be replete with flavored juleps and a Mexican buffet this year. Break out your big hats and bow ties, as there’s a best-dressed contest, plus music, games, raffles, and more entertainment, all to benefit the foundation and its support of five of Hickory’s cultural organizations: Catawba Science Center, Hickory Choral Society, Hickory Museum of Art, United Arts Council, and Western Piedmont Symphony. » SALT Block North Lawn, 243 3rd Ave. NE; Saturday, 4-9:30 p.m.; $40; (828) 324-4906 ext. 303; www.saltblockfoundation.org

Whether you choose to bike the 24-, 41-, or 62-mile route through the scenic back roads of Rutherford County and the Blue Ridge Foothills, you’ll be helping Rutherford Housing Partnership provide urgent home repairs to low-income homeowners in the area. The improvements will alleviate potential threats to their health and safety. You can even participate as a “ghost rider,” which means you’ll give back without breaking a sweat and still get a free shirt and after-ride meal. » First Baptist Church, 246 N. Main St.; Saturday, 8 a.m.; $30; (828) 248-3431;www.rutherfordhousingpartnership.com

With a 2018 theme of celebrating rye, the bread festival presents expert bakers and the opportunity to sample their offerings and cull tips. On Saturday, shop for breads, flour, and more during the bread fair at New Belgium Brewery, which runs in tandem with hands-on workshops and lectures at various locations. The day ends with dinner with the bakers. Sunday serves up a six-hour master class for pro bakers. 21 Craven St.; bread fair, Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; free; www.ashevillebreadfestival.com

This spring’s rendition of this biannual festival is dedicated to trailblazers: those who courageously set out on paths never before traveled. “Each artist selected has taken up the torch of this great call,” shares Ehren Cruz, LEAF’s performing arts director. Some of the slated musical pioneers include Ani DiFranco, Rising Appalachia, Snarky Puppy, and the list of visionaries goes on. Funds raised go to LEAF Community Arts, which seeks to make more movers and shakers via arts education in WNC and around the globe. » Lake Eden, 377 Lake Eden Rd.; Thursday-Sunday, times vary; $108-$220 weekend pass, $46-$67 day pass, free children 10 & under; (828) 686- 8742; www.theleaf.org

The Bearfootin’ Bears may just be Hendersonville’s most famous habitants, although they aren’t even permanent residents. Each year, area artists turn a new set of plain-white acrylic bears into works of public art to be displayed throughout downtown in order to benefit local nonprofits—bears are auctioned off in October. See each bear’s big reveal before they find their summer vacation spots; brochures of the bear locations will be available.» First Citizens Bank Plaza, 539 N. Main St.; Friday, music 5 p.m., reveal 6 p.m.; free; (828) 233-3205; www.downtownhendersonville.org

The finale of Asheville Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-2018 Masterworks concert season, and the last of six live auditions by ASO conductor hopefuls, features an eclectic program of genre-bending composers and works led by Jacomo Bairos, currently of the Amarillo Symphony. Hear pieces by Leonard Bernstein, who fused jazz, Broadway, and classical traditions, and Sam Hyken, who was influenced by composers and artists from Gershwin to Michael Jackson. Also hear Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, and a reimagining of “Hungarian Dances” that may be some of the first mold-breaking music of its kind in the classical world. » Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, 87 Haywood St.; Saturday, 8 p.m.; $24-$69, $11-$43 youth; (828) 254-7046; www.ashevillesymphony.org

Shop Waynesville’s Frog Level district while browsing for annuals, perennials, shrubs, hanging baskets, and also works by local artisans. Historic Frog Level, Commerce & Depot streets; Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; www.historicfroglevel.com

This family-friendly festival transforms downtown Tryon into a marketplace of African and Latino art and foods paired with jamming music for a sizzling family fiesta, all to celebrate and unify the cultural cornerstones of these heritages. Entertainment includes Latin-fusion group Chócala, Brazilian Fusion Dance Company, and steel drum band Rhythm Trail; a separate stage will be dedicated to youth programming. Get there when it begins for an opening parade, or start celebrating early with Tryon’s Mother’s Day 5K and brunch, noon-2 p.m. Donations and proceeds from both events benefit The Grown Man Club, a nonprofit that advocates for African-American and Hispanic/Latino men and youth. » Downtown, Trade St.; Saturday, 2-8 p.m.; free; (864) 541-4912; www.facebook.com/ brazilianfusiondance

Do you love food, wine, and the arts? Then this is an affair you won’t want to miss. The Bascom visual arts center returns this year to highlight world-class wines and fine dining. In-home wine dinners take place May 17 with 10 prestigious Cashiers and Highlands homes opening their doors to roughly 20 guests for an intimate evening of gourmet fare and excellent wine pairings. Each home features a guest winemaker alongside a notable chef from the Southeast. On Friday, May 18, the popular Stock Your Cellars wine market takes place, giving guests the opportunity to take home wines from renowned brands such as Nellcote, Frank Family, Terra Valentine, and Laurent-Perrier. » The Bascom, 323 Franklin Rd.; Thursday & Friday; $750 per person in-home wine dinners, $100 wine market; (828) 787-2966; www.collectivespirits.com

December 4, 1956, is a big night in music history: Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash played together at the legendary Sun Records in Memphis, TN. This jukebox musical—with a professional cast garnered from a nationwide search—brings that storied jam session to life through a score of the artists’ greatest rock hits, from “Fever” to “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Great Balls of Fire” to “Walk the Line.” » HART Theatre, 250 Pigeon St.; Fridays & Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m.; $26, $24 seniors, $13 students; (828) 456-6322; www.harttheatre.org

Since giving up his job as a grocery truck driver in 2002, Tim Hawkins has been forging the magical blend between two comedic ideals: (1.)A genuinely funny comedy show (2.)that caters to the entire family. Is it realistic? Hawkins believes so. With over 100 million views on YouTube, 120+ sold out shows every year, and a motley crew of 200K+ Facebook fans, Tim has started a gut-busting grassroots revolution of multi-generational (hilarious) proportions.

Uber Fan Package includes reserved seating in the first two rows of the theatre, a special concert laminate, a $10 voucher for Tim's merchandise at the event and a post-show meet and greet with Tim. Space is limited.

 

http://www.greatmountainmusic.com/eventdetail.asp?t=i&m=5&d=18&y=2018&evt=1

Jackson County is stocked with more trout than any other county in the state. It’s also home to WNC’s Fly Fishing Trail: 15 hot angling spots that run from one end of the county to the other along the Tuckasegee River. It makes good sense, then, that its chamber would host a festival focused on all things fishing. Get to know area fishing guides and other industry vendors while enjoying food, craft beer, live music, and children’s activities. The pre-festival Tuck Trout Trot run/walk kicks things off Friday; a portion of its proceeds will benefit the county parks and recreation department’s outdoor programming. » Bridge Park, 76 Railroad Ave.; Saturday, 12:30-4:30 p.m.; free, donations encouraged, race $18; (828) 586-2155; www.mountainlovers.com

Billed as “art with an expiration date,” this annual exhibition pairs visual artists with floral designers to create stunning, yet ephemeral, gallery displays. Twenty artists are chosen by a jury to participate and submit an original 2D or 3D artwork in any medium. Then, floral designers from the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Ikenobo Ikebana Society, along with professional designers, are matched with a piece to create fresh floral interpretations based on their experience of it. Both works are presented in tandem for one weekend only. A preview reception Friday benefits Henderson County Public Schools’ art programming. » The Gallery at Flat Rock, 2702-A Greenville Hwy.; Friday, preview reception 5-8 p.m., Saturday-Monday, exhibit 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free, reception $25; (828) 698-7000; www.galleryflatrock.com

Celebrate the best of Brevard, including its famous rare residents, at this annual festival. Live music kicks off festivities Friday night and continues throughout the weekend. Catch acts like Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds and Songs From The Road Band featuring Charles Humphrey, formerly of Steep Canyon Rangers, among others. Saturday and Sunday brings vendors, the Squirrel Box Derby down Jailhouse Hill, and 5K and 10K foot races to the streets of downtown. » Downtown; Friday, 5:30-10 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; free; (828) 884-3278; www.whitesquirrelfestival.com

It won’t be an easy case to solve, as there are a whopping 216 possible solutions to the mystery at hand: Who killed Mr. Boddy, and in what room, with what weapon? That’s why the performers are counting on your help. Don’t worry, you’ll get clues along the way to help determine the outcome. Music by Galen Blum, Wayne Barker, and Vinnie Martucci, with lyrics by Tom Chiodo and book by Peter DePietro, brings the popular board game to life. » Flat Rock Playhouse, 2661 Greenville Hwy.; Wednesdays & Thursdays, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Fridays, 8 p.m., Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m.; $20-$52; (828) 693-0731; www.flatrockplayhouse.org

This gem of a fest honors the mountain’s rich gemstone and mineral heritage. Guided hikes each day lead to a historic “hidden” mine, while kids can enjoy treasure hunts daily. Saturday and Sunday feature presentations by renowned geologist Alex Glover, including one sharing the story connecting Wedgewood China to WNC. Gem mining, gold panning, and mine tours—including an evening black light tour—are offered for a fee. » Emerald Village, 331 McKinney Mine Rd.; Saturday-Monday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; free; (828) 765-6463; www.emeraldvillage.com

More than 260 vendors span eight blocks of Main Street selling thousands of annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, hard-to-find plants, plus garden art, planters, handmade lawn furniture, and more. Learn tips from regional experts during garden talks and clinics. Historic Main St.; Saturday & Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; free; (828) 693-9708; www.visithendersonvillenc.org

It’s time to really get your garden growing, and the annual Garden Jubilee is here to help. More than 250 vendors line Main Street with thousands of annuals, perennials, vegetables, and herbs—lawn furniture, birdhouses, wind chimes, and garden tools, too. New vendors include Gardens That Matter, which helps parents and children garden together, and Raspberry Fields, a local berry producer that’ll have 2,000 raspberry plants up for grabs. Bring a wagon to transport all your goods. » Downtown, Sixth Ave. to Caswell St.; Saturday & Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; free; (828) 693-9708; www.visithendersonvillenc.org

Asheville Outlets (www.shopashevilleoutlets.com) is pleased to again host Asheville’s Flea for Y’all Sunday, April 29th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location, just 6 miles from downtown Asheville, offers easy access from I-26, mountain views and ample parking for patrons and vendors alike. Come ready to explore and discover great vintage finds, one-of-a kind handmade items, exceptional art, yummy food and beverages, while enjoying good music! The Flea will take over the tree-lined lot next to Field and Stream.

Asheville Outlets Flea for Y’all remaining dates are Sunday May 27, June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30 and October 28, 2018. Adult entry is $2, children are free, friendly dogs welcome!

Carl Sandburg began playing guitar to enhance his lectures, performing during the era of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. He played the banjo and harmonica, too, and collected folk songs, which he published in his book The American Songbag. The festival honors his love and preservation of folk music with performances by some of today’s favorite area acts. Tours of the Sandburg home are offered throughout the day for a small fee. » Carl Sandburg Home, 81 Carl Sandburg Ln.; Monday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; free; (828) 693-4178; www.nps.gov/carl

Twenty-plus years ago, a handful of artists throughout Mitchell and Yancey counties decided to open their studios to visitors for a day. Fast-forward two decades and that smattering has grown to include seven galleries, 64 studios, and more than 100 artists—working in nearly every medium—who open their doors for the whole weekend. A reception Friday at the Toe River Arts Council’s Spruce Pine Gallery offers a chance to meet select participating artists. Find a guide to the studios online. » Multiple venues; Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday reception, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; free; (828) 682-7215; www.toeriverarts.org

Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural programs, this annual event (now in its 34 year) celebrates the performing and visual arts. Recognized as one of the country’s best summer arts fests by The New York Times, it features a wide range of music, dance, visual arts, film, and theater programming across the university campus. It even features educational opportunities, including lectures, tours, workshops, and more, making it ideal for art aficionados and novices alike. » Multiple venues at Appalachian State University, 287 Rivers St. ; days, times & prices vary; (828) 262-4046; www.appsummer.org

Audiences have been enjoying this telling of the Cherokee story from 1780 through the 21st century since its debut on July 1, 1950. This season, for the first time in more than a decade, performers will revive the original Kermit Hunter version of the production—with a few dramatic updates. It all happens outside under the stars, so bring a blanket should the night turn cool. »Cherokee Mountainside Theatre, 688 Drama Rd.; Monday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; $25, $15 children six to 12, free children five & under, reserved seating & VIP tickets available; (866) 554-4557; www.visitcherokeenc.com

Travel the fastest by canoe or kayak—yours from home or a rental from Zaloo’s Canoes—five miles down the New River and glory could be yours; categories include family float, novice, expert, and championship. The course is calm, no white-water rapids. Participants race to raise money for Friends of High Country State Parks. Festivities will be held at New River State Park before the awards ceremony, and feature music, food, tubing, swimming, and hiking. » Race begins at Zaloo’s Canoes and ends at New River State Park, Wagoner Rd. Access; 9 a.m.; $10, $5 children, $25 family float (up to six); (336) 877-5550; www.friendsofhcsp.weebly.com

Not to be confused with liverwurst, liver mush is a distinctly Southern—and distinctly Western North Carolina—pork delicacy featuring, of course, liver. The meat gets mixed with cornmeal and spices and then fried. If you’ve never tried it, the festival offers free sandwiches to ensure you get a taste; for those who can’t get enough, there’s a liver mush-eating contest. Join in the pig calling competition, which promises to be a real squeal, and enjoy craft vendors, and live country music, too. » Downtown, Main St.; Saturday, 5-9 p.m.; free; (828) 652-2215; www.facebook.com/livermushfestivalmarionnc

Only the downhill sections of this mountain bike race are timed, meaning riders can cycle at a leisurely pace during the uphill portions of the Pisgah National Forest course. Pick from one or two days of racing, depending on just how much you want to test your skills. Camping is available at the site for dirt cheap—meals, too. » Camp Grier, 985 Camp Grier Rd.; Saturday, 8:45 a.m. start, Sunday, noon start; $95 one day, $125 both days; pisgahpro@gmail.com; www.pisgahproductions.com

The show, with additional events in July and August, is about more than just the participating horses and their riders: It’s also about supporting area nonprofits in Blowing Rock and throughout the High Country. The kick-off event is the most glamorous of them all, as the Saddlebred classes are loaded with chrome and flash. In the fine harness category, carriages and harnesses can be worth as much as a house. » L.M. Tate Horse Show Grounds at the Broyhill Equestrian Preserve, 1500 Laurel Ln.; Wednesday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; $10 per day, free children 12 & under; (828) 295-4700; www.brchs.org

In just 10 weeks, Brevard Music Center will host more than 80 events and concerts in a wide array of genres, from symphonic performances, including masterpieces by Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky, to bluegrass shows by legends Steep Canyon Rangers and Bėla Fleck. A rock violin concerto featuring R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, a dance by Asheville troupe Terpsicorps, and a showing of West Side Story on three large movie screens accompanied by a live symphony are also highlights. » Multiple venues; days, times & prices vary; (828) 862-2130; www.brevardmusic.org

Taylor Mason's quick wit, flawless delivery and polished material make him a hit with audiences of every age. He is a ventriloquist, musician and stand-up comedian. Having graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in agriculture (fertile training ground for a comedian!), followed by a master's degree from The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University (in advertising), Taylor has never had a "real" job. Instead, his experiences as a comedy writer and performer has taken him from The Second City Theatre in Chicago to headlining gigs at every major comedy club across the country, presenting at corporate events and performing on the Disney Cruise Line. By using the music, laughter and the shared experience of sheer joy as his calling cards, Taylor Mason has built an outstanding, consistent and truly American career as an entertainer.

http://www.greatmountainmusic.com/eventdetail.asp?t=i&m=6&d=8&y=2018&evt=1

To be sure, the event is a cycling challenge, meaning it’s all about the 20-, 35-, 60-, and 100-mile route options that traverse the Blue Ridge Mountains in Alleghany County. But organizers want to be sure riders are properly fueled, so there’s at least a little focus on food: Cyclists get a full continental breakfast before hopping on their bikes, and a spaghetti lunch awaits finishers. The event supports the nonprofit Alleghany Wellness Center and its community programming, including spin classes. » Alleghany Wellness Center, 508 Collins Rd.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.; $45, $40 advance; (336) 372-2944; www.tourdemountains.com

Take in the sights of Asheville as you head out from Pack Square, wind through the city and along the French Broad River, and make your way back to the park, where a finish festival awaits. But don’t delay in registering: This year’s event is capped at 3,000 runners, with no race-day registration. Want to run with your friends? As long as there are at least five in your crew, you can register and race as a team. » Pack Square Park, 80 Court Plz.; Saturday, 7 a.m.; half $85, 10K $55; (828) 200-5498; www.ashevillehalfmarathon.com

The USDA Forest Service began this nationwide summer designation back in 2008 to support Americans in seeking out healthy, active outdoor lifestyles. The Cradle of Forestry plans to celebrate with lots of free outdoor activities for all, including nature skills and demonstrations. » Cradle of Forestry, 11250 Pisgah Hwy.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free; (828) 877-3130; www.cradleofforestry.com

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian’s festival celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017 with a theme of passing knowledge down from elders to the younger generations. This year, that motif continues when the museum opens its new gallery during the event with an art show by Eastern Band millennial artists, all under the age of 40. Outside the gallery doors, catch a blowgun contest and Warriors of AniKituhwa performance, and enjoy a traditional Cherokee meal (for purchase). » Museum of the Cherokee Indian, 589 Tsali Blvd.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free; (828) 497-3481; www.cherokeemuseum.org

When you’re home to the only Scottish tartan museum in the United States, you better put on a dynamite Scottish heritage festival. And Franklin does, every year to start the summer. The celebration begins Thursday with a clan dinner and continues all weekend long, via a tartan parade and the crowing of Little Miss Tartan, Gaelic folk music and dancing, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy traditional Scottish fare. » Downtown; Thursday-Sunday, prices & times vary; most events free; (727) 424-8901; www.tasteofscotlandfestival.org

It’s almost easier to list what this long-standing festival doesn’t offer: It features a pageant (which provides scholarships to young women), crafts fair, giant square dance in the street, classic car show, a ducky derby, and a 10K all packed into two days—not to mention food and music. » Multiple venues; Friday-Saturday, times & prices vary, free crafts fair; (828) 284-1984; www.ncrhododendronfestival.org

This neighborhood music festival boasts five stages and 35+ acts, ranging from rock to Afrobeat, indie to experimental, and funk to surf. Performance venues include an outdoor main stage, Isis Music Hall, The Mothlight, The Brew Pump, and one secret stage yet to be announced; all ages are welcome at all stages except for The Mothlight, which is 21 and over. Enjoy local beer and fare, kids activities, and artisan vendors while you listen. » West Asheville, Haywood Rd.; Saturday, noon-2 a.m., Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; free; www.allgowest.com

North Carolina’s first ski resort, Beech Mountain, continues to celebrate its 50th year with its 2018 summer concert series. Kicking it off are The Wood Brothers, whose blend of Americana and roots rock-inspired tunes somehow sound even better than usual coming from the special outdoor stage at the base of the slopes. Acclaimed acoustic rocker Sean McConnell opens. »Beech Mountain Resort, 1007 Beech Mountain Parkway; Saturday, 6 p.m.; $30, $25 advance; (828) 387-2011; www.beechmountainresort.com 

This annual event seeks to help attendees deepen and expand their connection with the natural world through hands-on classes. According to the gathering’s manifesto, it aims to help us learn “how to provide for ourselves and our families and communities in a way that is in harmony with the web of life.” Choose from workshops on crafts (like basketry and leatherworking), buschcraft and campcraft, natural parenting, plant medicine and food, gardening and permaculture, and the list goes on. Educational opportunities abound for adults and children of all ages alike. Enjoy evening entertainment, with optional on-site camping available. » Farm at Green Heron Pond, 181 Browntown Rd.; Thursday-Sunday; four-day pass $215-$400, $110-$250 youths 8-14, $20-$150 children under 8, two-day pass $140-$250, $70-$175 youths 8-14, $15-$100 children under 8, all prices are sliding scale; (828) 777-8777; www.fireflygathering.org

This hit Broadway musical retrospective celebrates the life and times of Ellie Greenwich, whose doo-wop sounds skyrocketed to the top of the 1960's charts. In the city of Levittown of New York state lived an ordinary girl named Ellie. She dreamed of a great career in the music industry and longed to hear her songs played on the radio. Through joys and heartaches, commercial successes and painful loss, Ellie managed to fulfill her dream with a career spanning more than forty years and countless gold records. The Leader of the Pack Musical tells the story of that girl though the melodies and lyrics of more than thirty songs that made her famous including such hits as "Chapel of Love," "Be My Little Baby," "Da Do Run Run," "Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts," "Do Way Diddy Diddy," "The Leader of the Pack" and many more. A full two-act production.

Its name gives away what makes this race unique: mud—and lots of it. Over the three-plus-mile course, racers will make their way through pits and pools filled with the wet, goopy stuff—plus obstacles, too. It’s all in the name of fun: The event benefits Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, a local children’s museum that, like the race, provides opportunities for interactive play. The race is open to individuals or teams of four. » Berkeley Mills Park, 69 Balfour Rd.; Saturday, noon-7 p.m.; $55 timed individual, $50 untimed individual, $200 team of four; (828) 697-8333; www.madmountainmudrun.com

Meet your farming neighbors and their families—from their children who help on the farm to their kids (that’s baby goats) and other animals that reside there. Over the weekend, area farmers provide guided and self-guided tours, demonstrations, and hands-on experiences. More than 20 WNC growers and producers are slated to participate. One pass grants you and a carload of friends and loved ones access to as many farms as you can visit each day. This year marks the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s 10th year hosting the event, so expect some exciting anniversary offerings. A map of participating farms can be found online and in print at the farms and area farmers markets. » Multiple venues; Saturday & Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; car pass $40, $30 advance; (828) 236-1282; www.asapconnections.org

Asheville Outlets (www.shopashevilleoutlets.com) is pleased to again host Asheville’s Flea for Y’all Sunday, April 29th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location, just 6 miles from downtown Asheville, offers easy access from I-26, mountain views and ample parking for patrons and vendors alike. Come ready to explore and discover great vintage finds, one-of-a kind handmade items, exceptional art, yummy food and beverages, while enjoying good music! The Flea will take over the tree-lined lot next to Field and Stream.

Asheville Outlets Flea for Y’all remaining dates are Sunday May 27, June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30 and October 28, 2018. Adult entry is $2, children are free, friendly dogs welcome!

The Traditional Voices Group is pleased to announce the program for its 2018 RiddleFest Concert. Madison County songstress Laura Boosinger and fiddler Josh Goforth will headline the program on June 30 at the Burnsville Town Center. The Griffith Chapel Singers will open the show, which begins at 7 PM, followed by Asheville singer/songwriter Ash Devine.

10am-11:15am: Workshop- Instruments 101 with the Isaacs
11:30am-12:45pm: Workshop & Bus Tour- "Road Stories and Q & A with the Isaacs
12:45pm-1:45pm: Lunch Break
2pm-3pm: Devotions with Ricky Skaggs

The Isaacs, a multi award winning family group, features mother Lily Isaacs, and siblings Ben Isaacs, Sonya Isaacs Yeary and Rebecca Isaacs Bowman. Playing their own acoustic instruments and joined by other band members, The Isaacs have a unique style that blends tight, family harmony with contemporary acoustic instrumentation that appeals to a variety of audiences. Their musical style has been influenced by many genres of music including bluegrass, rhythm and blues, folk and country, contemporary, acoustic and southern gospel. They perform frequently at the Grand Old Opry, and are active members on the Gaither Homecoming Videos. Throughout the year, they often perform to welcoming fans in countries such as South Africa, Norway, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, Israel, Canada and many more. They feel very blessed to be able to share their message of grace through song and story.

A life full of music is the story of Ricky Skaggs. By age 21, he was already considered a "recognized master" of one of America's most demanding art forms, but his career took him in other directions, catapulting him to popularity and success in the mainstream of country music. His life's path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music, to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact. Ricky is a 14-time Grammy Award winner and continues to do his part to lead the recent revival in Bluegrass music.

The Isaacs, a multi award winning family group, features mother Lily Isaacs, and siblings Ben Isaacs, Sonya Isaacs Yeary and Rebecca Isaacs Bowman. Playing their own acoustic instruments and joined by other band members, The Isaacs have a unique style that blends tight, family harmony with contemporary acoustic instrumentation that appeals to a variety of audiences. Their musical style has been influenced by many genres of music including bluegrass, rhythm and blues, folk and country, contemporary, acoustic and southern gospel. They perform frequently at the Grand Old Opry, and are active members on the Gaither Homecoming Videos. Throughout the year, they often perform to welcoming fans in countries such as South Africa, Norway, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, Israel, Canada and many more. They feel very blessed to be able to share their message of grace through song and story.

A life full of music is the story of Ricky Skaggs. By age 21, he was already considered a "recognized master" of one of America's most demanding art forms, but his career took him in other directions, catapulting him to popularity and success in the mainstream of country music. His life's path has taken him to various musical genres, from where it all began in bluegrass music, to striking out on new musical journeys, while still leaving his musical roots intact. Ricky is a 14-time Grammy Award winner and continues to do his part to lead the recent revival in Bluegrass music.

http://www.greatmountainmusic.com/eventdetail.asp?t=i&m=7&d=6&y=2018&evt=2

The Isaacs, a multi-award winning family group, features mother Lily Isaacs, and siblings Ben Isaacs, Sonya Isaacs Yeary and Rebecca Isaacs Bowman. Playing their own acoustic instruments and joined by other band members, The Isaacs have a unique style that blends tight, family harmony with contemporary acoustic instrumentation that appeals to a variety of audiences. Their musical style has been influenced by many genres of music including bluegrass, rhythm and blues, folk and country, contemporary, acoustic and southern gospel. They perform frequently at the Grand Old Opry, and are active members on the Gaither Homecoming Videos. Throughout the year, they often perform to welcoming fans in countries such as South Africa, Norway, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, Israel, Canada and many more. They feel very blessed to be able to share their message of grace through song and story.  Over 50 years ago, Larry, Steve, and Rudy Gatlin started singing in their little hometown of Abilene, Texas, and from there went on to make music history. Over the course of a four-decade career that has taken the Gatlin Brothers from dusty Texas stages to White House performances, from Broadway to Grammy Awards to the top of the country charts, there has been one unifying element: music. There's no harmony quite as pure as family harmony. Country Capsule put it best, "Gatlin harmonies spin with high and light precision and their music bleeds and screams of love and a lot of living." With over a dozen top 40 hits and influenced by faith, family and their fans, Larry, Steve and Rudy will always be ready to "stand up and sing a tune any night."

http://www.greatmountainmusic.com/eventdetail.asp?t=i&m=7&d=7&y=2018&evt=2

10am-11:15am: Devotions with the Isaacs
11:30am-1pm Talent Search! Winner performs a song at the evening concert. Registration info online- limited entry spots.
1pm-2pm Lunch Break
3:15pm-4:15pm: "Cooking Made Easy" with Teays Valley & the Isaacs

http://www.greatmountainmusic.com/eventdetail.asp?t=i&m=7&d=7&y=2018&evt=1

Mountain Voices, a 55-member chorus, will present Music by the Decade. The program will include show tunes, Top 40 hits, gospel, and patriot songs from over 50 years of music. Mountain Voices is under the direction of Beverly Barnett and accompanied by Mary Pittman.

 

http://www.greatmountainmusic.com/eventdetail.asp?t=i&m=7&d=13&y=2018&evt=1

Let's celebrate the summer with a drive down memory lane as The Sock Hops perform hits from all your favorite songs of the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Specializing in four-part harmonies, The Sock Hops will have you singing along as they bring all the great classic hits to the stage, including "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" "At the Hop," "Sherry," "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and "Come Go With Me."

http://www.greatmountainmusic.com/eventdetail.asp?t=i&m=7&d=27&y=2018&evt=1

Asheville Outlets (www.shopashevilleoutlets.com) is pleased to again host Asheville’s Flea for Y’all Sunday, April 29th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location, just 6 miles from downtown Asheville, offers easy access from I-26, mountain views and ample parking for patrons and vendors alike. Come ready to explore and discover great vintage finds, one-of-a kind handmade items, exceptional art, yummy food and beverages, while enjoying good music! The Flea will take over the tree-lined lot next to Field and Stream.

Asheville Outlets Flea for Y’all remaining dates are Sunday May 27, June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30 and October 28, 2018. Adult entry is $2, children are free, friendly dogs welcome!

Asheville Outlets (www.shopashevilleoutlets.com) is pleased to again host Asheville’s Flea for Y’all Sunday, April 29th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location, just 6 miles from downtown Asheville, offers easy access from I-26, mountain views and ample parking for patrons and vendors alike. Come ready to explore and discover great vintage finds, one-of-a kind handmade items, exceptional art, yummy food and beverages, while enjoying good music! The Flea will take over the tree-lined lot next to Field and Stream.

Asheville Outlets Flea for Y’all remaining dates are Sunday May 27, June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30 and October 28, 2018. Adult entry is $2, children are free, friendly dogs welcome!

SAVE THE DATE for the first annual Give to the Music Wine & Jazz Fest at Asheville Outlets Sunday, September 23rd from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., with a special VIP Hour from 11:00 a.m.  - 12 noon. The event, sponsored by iHeart Radio - Asheville and Ingles Markets, will feature LIVE Jazz music and a variety of wines from across the region. 

Tickets $25 in advance online and $30 day of. Ticket cost includes a sampling of a wide variety of wines and “tastes” provided by various local restaurants. Participating vendors, ticket link & entertainment line-ups will be released soon, check www.shopashevilleoutlets.com  for updates.

Asheville Outlets (www.shopashevilleoutlets.com) is pleased to again host Asheville’s Flea for Y’all Sunday, April 29th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location, just 6 miles from downtown Asheville, offers easy access from I-26, mountain views and ample parking for patrons and vendors alike. Come ready to explore and discover great vintage finds, one-of-a kind handmade items, exceptional art, yummy food and beverages, while enjoying good music! The Flea will take over the tree-lined lot next to Field and Stream.

Asheville Outlets Flea for Y’all remaining dates are Sunday May 27, June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30 and October 28, 2018. Adult entry is $2, children are free, friendly dogs welcome!

Asheville Outlets (www.shopashevilleoutlets.com) is pleased to again host Asheville’s Flea for Y’all Sunday, April 29th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location, just 6 miles from downtown Asheville, offers easy access from I-26, mountain views and ample parking for patrons and vendors alike. Come ready to explore and discover great vintage finds, one-of-a kind handmade items, exceptional art, yummy food and beverages, while enjoying good music! The Flea will take over the tree-lined lot next to Field and Stream.

Asheville Outlets Flea for Y’all remaining dates are Sunday May 27, June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30 and October 28, 2018. Adult entry is $2, children are free, friendly dogs welcome!