The Plunge, Freezin’ for a Reason!


On “Super Bowl” Saturday, February 1, Haywood Waterways Association and the Town of Canton are hosting the “8th Annual Plunge Benefit-t-t-ting Kids in the Creek & Environmental Education.” The Plunge is a community event, bringing together citizens, schools, public officials, businesses, churches, and many others to support kids.

The event will be from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Champion Credit Union Aquatics Center (77 Penland St., Canton, NC). On-site registration begins at 10 am. All plungers receive free swag and lunch. The depth of plunge is a personal choice, from a dip of the toe to a full-body immersion. Prizes are awarded for best costumes and top fundraisers.

 The cost is $25 or FREE by raising sponsorships ($10 for under age 18). Register and donate online at www.crowdrise.com/8thannualhwaplunge. "Join the Team" and Crowdrise will create your own page linked to the fundraiser, then raise sponsorships by sending the link to all your family, friends, coworkers, and everyone else and go for one of the top fundraiser prizes.  100% of the proceeds benefit the organization’s Kids in the Creek and environmental education programs.

 Off-line, contact Haywood Waterways for a paper copy of the "Sponsorship, Donation, and Registration Packet" (828-476-4667, info@haywoodwaterways.org). Or sign up the day of the event!

 Bonfires will be raging to help folks warm up as well as indoor changing and eating facilities. Since it is a winter Plunge, the event will happen rain or shine! 

Eric Romaniszyn, Haywood Waterways’ Executive Director, said, “The Plunge is a great fundraiser for our education programs, as well as a great friend-raiser and tool for raising awareness of clean water.”

Haywood Waterways is a nonprofit watershed organization based in Haywood County, NC. Their mission is to reduce nonpoint source pollution and improve surface water quality throughout the Pigeon River Watershed. They accomplish this through education and focusing attention on the watershed as a natural, economic and recreational resource to be conserved and enhanced for this and future generations.

Haywood Waterways Association is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law (Tax ID: 56-2108874). Financial information and a copy of our license is available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 919-807-2214; the license is not an endorsement by the State.


The Asheville Celtic Festival, a Winter Indoor Celtic Festival bringing the Celtic Spirit of the Seven Nations to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. 

• Feel the Vibes of Early Settlers from the Celtic Nations   

• Participate in Entertaining Battles and Performances

• Learn About Celtic History and Traditions

• Listen to LIVE Celtic Music

• Explore your Family Background

• See Characters in 1700 Period Dress 

• Shop the Celtic Crafts and Buy a Kilt

• Eat Traditional Foods

• Drink the Stouts & Ales 

• Rest by the Fire 

Cool events to keep the Celtic spirit alive through the winter.

·  Celtic Live Music

·  Traditional Food & Drink

·  Kilts and Accessories

·  Scottish Athletes

·  Celtic Crafts and Gifts

·  Scottish and Irish Dog Clubs

·  Armored Sword Fighting at The Castle

·  Family Heritage Research

·  Scotch Tasting

This endurance bike race offers three options: the 20-mile Piccolo, 55-mile Medio, or 100-mile Gran Fondo route, each with optional competitive timed sections. Winners in every category are determined by the fastest combined time. Celebrate victory with food and cold beer at the end. Proceeds benefit Western Youth Network, which supports High Country kids in fifth through 10th grades. » 164 S. Depot St.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; $175 Grand, $140 July 15-30, $120 by July 14; $155 Medio, $125 July 15-30, $100 by July 14; $110 Piccolo, $85 July 15-30, $65 by July 14; (765) 247-2453; www.grandfondonationalseries.com

Formerly known as the Poverty Forum, Pisgah Legal Services’ Justice Forum explores complex social problems. This year, the topic is on immigration and the work the nonprofit does to help immigrants. Often hailed as the most famous undocumented immigrant in America, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, founder of the nonprofit Define American, and immigration rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas shares insight on immigration through his experience coming to America from the Philippines as a child. This year’s forum is free, while the reception is ticketed. » US Cellular Center, 87 Haywood St.; Thursday, 5:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. forum; $60 reception, (828) 210-3444; www.pisgahlegal.org

Culture, food, and music—including headliners Angelique Kidjo’s Remain in Light tour and The Wood Brothers—converge at the LEAF Festival on Lake Eden. The focus for this year’s global gathering is artists whose work is as inspirational and captivating as the stars in the sky. Proceeds enable LEAF Community Arts to provide arts education in WNC and in 10 countries worldwide. » Lake Eden, 377 Lake Eden Rd.; Thursday-Sunday; $193 weekend, $162 youth, $60 Friday, $49 youth, $71 Saturday, $65 youth, $60 Sunday, $49 youth; (828) 686-8742; www.theleaf.org

Have some finger-licking fun at this Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned cook-off, which uses wood, fire, and smoke to ignite your taste buds as well as your passion for local nonprofits. Enjoy two days filled with live music, a wood crafter’s showcase, kids area, poker run, cornhole tournament, the people’s choice pulled pork and wings competitions, and of course an abundance of barbecue. » Downtown; Friday, 5-10 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; free; (828) 757-4451; www.smokinginthefoothills.com

Pile your plate high with seafood and enjoy the soulful sounds of Continental Divide (featuring Music Hall of Fame inductee Gene Pharr) at this tasty event. Take a peek at the juried photography exhibition in the arts council gallery and sip on craft brews from Catawba Brewing Company and Fonta Flora, among others. Proceeds from the sale of food and drinks support the Burke County Arts Council. » Historic Courthouse Square, 115 E. Meeting St.; Saturday, 1-7 p.m.; free, food & drink available for purchase; (828) 433-7282; www.burkearts.org