Blowing Rock

Explore five exquisite Blowing Rock homes on Friday. Sponsored by St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, 100 percent of the proceeds go toward several local charitable organizations, including The Hospitality House, OASIS, and Habitat for Humanity. The homes are within walking distance of each other though shuttles will be provided. Find tickets online or at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. A patron party takes place on Thursday at the Blue Ridge Mountain Club, and includes dinner, music, and a silent auction. » Various locations; Thursday, 6 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; $30 Friday tour, $150 patron party + tour; (828) 295-7323; www.stmaryofthehills.org


This event offers yoga classes in nearly every style—70, in fact, over the course of the weekend, taught by more than 40 renowned instructors. But it includes more than just the opportunity to stretch and bend. Presentations touch on topics from body image to yoga photography. And, there’s live music Friday and Saturday nights from the likes of Xavier Rudd & MC Yogi; a vendor village with a slackline park; chances to rest and relax with a massage or acupuncture; and plenty of other healthful, healing happenings. »Multiple venues; Thursday-Sunday, times & prices vary; hello@ashevilleyogafestival.com; www.ashevilleyogafestival.com

Blowing Rock

The score for this daylong happening—celebrating its 30th anniversary—starts with New Orleans jazz before crescendoing into the main music event: the Symphony of the Mountains’ performance featuring soloist Emmet Cahill, a rising international Irish tenor from the group Celtic Thunder. The coda? Fireworks! This year’s theme is “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” and the event will also include a silent auction for a reserved table to the Denim Ball (see page 128). Advanced ticket purchase is recommended. » Chetola Resort, 185 Chetola Lake Dr.; Friday, 5:30 p.m.; $50, $40 advance; (828) 295-7851; www.symphonybythelake.com

Flat Rock

To call this production, with its well-known score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, a megahit would be an understatement. The family-friendly tale reimagines the biblical story of Joseph, Israel’s favorite son. According to one rave review, “Bible study was never so much fun!” » 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.; $15-$50; (828) 693-0731; www.flatrockplayhouse.org


Catch Jimmy Herring, legendary guitarist of acclaimed acts including The Allman Brothers Band, The Dead, and of late, Widespread Panic, on tour with his newest musical endeavor The Invisible Whip. The band is comprised of drummer Jeff Sipe, Matt Slocub on organ, bassist Kevin Scott, and multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby » Isis Restaurant & Music Hall, 743 Haywood Rd.; Friday & Saturday, 9 p.m.; $30, $25 advance; (828) 575-2737; www.isisasheville.com

Old Fort

Warm up to ORAMM with the Jerdon Mountain Challenge on the 29th, or just enjoy a short cycling course with all the amenities of a long-distance endurance race. It travels some of the same trails as the demanding July 30th ORAMM, which includes highlights such as Star Gap and Heartbreak Ridge, and climbs 10,500 feet. Both end with after parties of food, drinks, and much-needed massages. » Mountain Gateway Museum, 24 Water St.; Saturday & Sunday, 7:45 a.m. starts; Jerdon: $90 until July 3, $100 until July 23, $115 race day, ORAMM: $160-$180; info@blueridgeadventures.net; ww.blueridgeadventures.net


Just like household pets get treats, so do the habitat animals at Grandfather Mountain. Called “enrichment,” their treats aren’t only special food, but also a new toy or even unfamiliar scent, all of which help them stay active and intellectually stimulated. Visitors can watch enrichment demonstrations, talk with keepers, and participate in family-oriented games and crafts. » Grandfather Mountain, 2050 Blowing Rock Hwy.; Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; included with entry fee, $20, $18 seniors, $9 children four-12, free children under four; (828) 733-2013; www.grandfather.com


For 2017, this 90-year-old festival makes a move to A-B Tech’s Asheville campus, which offers ample concert and parking space. Founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford and presented by the Folk Heritage Committee, the event honors Southern Appalachian music and dance traditions, providing a performance platform for the talented folks living right here between the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains—think fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, and balladeers. A-B Tech/Mission Health Conference Center, 16 Fernihurst Dr.; Thursday-Saturday, 6:30 p.m., doors 5:30 p.m.; $12-$22 single night, $60 three nights; (828) 258-6101 ext. 345; www.folkheritage.org


Festivities kick off Saturday with the LEAF Art Dash 5K. Runners will encounter roaming performing artists—from bumblebees to tigers to jugglers—along the way. The race’s artistic flare is fitting: It’s one of LEAF’s biggest fund-raisers for its Schools & Streets cultural arts education programming. Beyond the race, expect community partner tents, family adventure activities, three stages of local, regional, and national talent, and 80+ local culinary and craft arts vendors. » Pack Square Park, 80 Court Plz.; Friday, 2:30-10 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.- 10 p.m.; free, limited VIP tickets available; (828) 686-8742; www.theleaf.org/downtown

Blowing Rock

Don your very best denim and enjoy a night of dinner, drinks, and dancing; tunes will be provided by The Lucky Strikes Orchestra. The ball is a fund-raiser for the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, specifically supporting its rehab efforts at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. The 3,500-acre park, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, faces critical maintenance issues. Chetola Resort, 185 Chetola Lake Dr.; Friday, 6-10 p.m.; $100; (866) 308-2773 ext. 245; www.brpfoundation.org/thedenimball


Catch Shakespeare's classic comedy in HART Theatre’s new indoor-outdoor performance space. The building’s glass doors open into nature, and actors will traverse both settings as they present a tale of forest magic and mischief. The on-site eatery, Harmon’s Den Bistro, will be open for dinner before the play and for drinks and dessert after. » HART’s Fangmeyer Theater, 250 Pigeon St.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m.; $24, $11 students; (828) 456-6322; www.harttheatre.org


Everybody can cut loose—in their seats, of course—during this stage adaptation of the 1984 film. The play features music by Tom Snow and lyrics by Dean Pitchford, with additional lyrics by Kenny Loggins, and it tells the now well-known tale of one young man taking on a small town’s dancing ban with defiant, super-cool moves. On opening night, stay late and join cast members for an after party. On Sundays, stick around for post-show discussions. » Parkway Playhouse, 202 Green Mountain Dr.; Fridays & Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 3 p.m.; $22, $20 seniors, students & military, $12 children under 17; (828) 682-4285; www.parkwayplayhouse.com


Appalachian State’s festival, now in its 33rd season, is an homage to the arts as a whole: Events throughout the summer cover music, dance, theater, film, and visual art. This year’s highlights include Jennifer Nettles on July 15, Chris Botti on July 22, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers on July 27, and YESTIVAL (YES with special guests Todd Rundgren and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy) on August 5. Multiple events happen every week; find a full schedule online. » Multiple venues at Appalachian State University, 287 Rivers St.; days, times & prices vary; (828) 262-4046; www.appsummer.org


Craft collectors won’t want to miss this chance to bid on more than 240 works in clay, glass, metal, painting, photography, textiles—the list of mediums goes on. The items are donated by Penland’s alumni, students, and instructors, and proceeds support the school’s educational programs, including the work-study scholarship, which benefits around 300 students each year. The auction’s featured artist is metalworker and furniture designer Vivian Beer, of HGTV fame; bid on her commissioned piece Saturday. The event will also honor Cynthia and Edwina Bringle, twin sisters who’ve been involved with Penland for more than 40 years, as Outstanding Artist Educators. » Penland School of Crafts, 67 Doras Tr.; Friday, 7:45 p.m. live auction, Saturday, 1 p.m. live auction, other event times vary; $255 Friday, $285 Saturday, $395 both days; (828) 765-2359; www.penland.org


Each August, Valdese joins with other Waldensian communities in celebrating the 1689 return of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native valleys in Italy. It’s a carnival of sorts, with amusement rides, dancing, a footrace, music, and food and craft vendors. The festival even includes a state-qualifying bocce ball tournament. Also catch a production of This Day Forward (see page 132). » Downtown; Friday, 6:45 p.m.-midnight, Saturday, 9 a.m.-midnight; free; (828) 879-2129; www.townofvaldese.com

Lake Lure

There isn’t much this multisport event doesn’t have on offer: It includes golf, cycling, swimming, running, and even pickleball, which combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. The central events are three races—the 10K Dam Run, the Lake Lure Triathlon, and the Race to the Rock (a 5K run or 25-mile bike ride that ends with a nine-percent incline to the top of Chimney Rock). And racers aren’t just limited to one. Organizers issue the 3 Races in 3 Days Challenge to those brave enough to take them all on. The event benefits several community charities. » Multiple venues; Friday-Sunday, times & prices vary per event; lakelureolympiad@gmail.com; www.lakelureolympiad.com

Blowing Rock

Hear beach music from The Tams, The Original Drifters, Eric & The Chill Tones, and The Magnificents Band at North Carolina’s oldest tourist attraction. Coolers are welcome for the day of music, and a Lowcountry boil, hamburgers, hot dogs, and drinks will also be sold on site. » The Blowing Rock, 432 The Rock Rd.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; $55, $40 advance, $10 children 12 & under; (828) 295-4812; www.theblowingrock.com

Chimney Rock

Yes, it’s a noxious invasive that poses a significant threat to biodiversity in our region. But even kudzu has its good points. Learn which methods can help eradicate the weed and how to put it to use for baskets, jelly, and more. Also enjoy live music from the Kollard Kings. For an extra fee, make a kudzu basket with the help of South Carolina artist Nancy Basket. Advance registration is required. » Chimney Rock State Park, 431 Main St.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; free with $15 park admission, $6 youth; (800) 277-9611; www.chimneyrockpark.com

West Jefferson

Choose your challenge—102, 72, or 55 miles—but be warned: None of these rides are for the faint of heart. Each course spends time on the Blue Ridge Parkway and hills abound, making the routes challenging if not downright strenuous. Organizers hope the joy of riding through stellar scenery dulls the pain a tad. An additional 3.15-mile limited rider challenge is comparable to a Category 2 climb, gaining almost 1,454 feet. » Ashe Civic Center, 962 Mount Jefferson Rd.; Saturday, 8 a.m.; $60; (336) 846-2787; www.blueridgebrutal.org

Lake Lure

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, parts of which were filmed in Lake Lure. On the 18th, celebrate Patrick Swayze’s birthday with a free screening of the movie at 8 p.m. The festival kicks off early Saturday with a day of live music, dance performances, a shag dance competition, watermelon games, and a lake lift contest. After parties take place each night at several area venues. » Morse Park Meadows, 2948 Memorial Hwy.; Friday, 5-9:30 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday free, Saturday $25, $20 advance, $10 children, $5 advance; info@dirtydancingfestival.com; www.dirtydancingfestival.com