Ashvegas Hot Sheet: MountainTrue taking reservations for annual French Broad Float


More of what’s going around:

-Inflation station: Here’s a tip for all you paddlers: Second Gear on Haywood Road in West Asheville will inflate your tube for you. Rock.

-French Broad River paddle tour: Speaking of paddling, check this from MountainTrue:

Every year, MountainTrue and our French Broad Riverkeeper take participants on a guided trip down the French Broad River from the source of the river into Tennessee, camping out along the French Broad River Paddle Trail℠ (sponsored by Oskar Blues Brewery).

Leave the shuttle, food, drinks and logistics to us and enjoy the river’s beauty from the water.

Join us on a five-day float from the headwaters to Asheville from May 30-June 3 or, for the first time, on a new three-day float from Hot Springs to Douglas Lake from July 12-14. We also have a two-day option, May 30-31.

The five-day paddle starts at the confluence of the North and West Forks of the French Broad River, and winds through farmland, under a canopy of trees, before widening to reveal the stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains. The river cuts through the Biltmore Estate, and paddlers will catch a unique view of the majestic house. We’ll have an afternoon to explore the Biltmore Estate grounds and tour the winery.

The three-day trip is a new trip that takes paddlers on a stunning voyage that starts in the scenic river town of Hot Springs and winds through spectacular scenery, around dramatic cliff bands, and down a handful of class II rapids and one class III rapid. We’ll camp along the river as we make our way to Douglas Lake, the final destination of the trip.

This trip features some of the most stunning scenery in the region, and we’ll highlight and take samples of several water quality threats to the watershed, in an effort to understand the threats to the French Broad River.

Camping has been arranged for each night of the trip, providing an exciting opportunity to paddle camp along the banks of the river every night of your journey. Hearty food will be provided for each meal. Breakfast will range from pancakes, bacon and eggs, yogurt, fruit and bagels. Lunch will be made in the morning and eaten on the river. Dinner will range from pasta, to dinner out at local eateries, to pizza.

Sign up today at

-Restaurant update: 67 Biltmore opened Tuesday in the former Laurey’s Cafe space; Bonfire Barbecue opens Thursday on Patton Avenue; Lafayette has opened on North Lexington; and Loretta’s Cafe is up for sale.

-Downtown After Five: Returns to downtown Asheville on Friday. From the press release:

The Asheville Downtown Association’s 27th season of Downtown After 5, presented by Prestige Subaru, begins Friday, May 15. Downtown After 5 is from 5-9pm on North Lexington Avenue, and is always free and open to the public.

Headliner: CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band

Opener: Bayou Diesel


Downtown After 5 features local, regional and national brews for sale as well as wine and soda. Plus, attendees will find plenty of great local fare from food vendors: Rosetta’s Kitchen, Lobster Trap, Kettle Corn, D.O.G.S., Ultimate Ice Cream, The Lowdown Food Truck and Gypsy Queen Cuisine.

Each year, the Asheville Downtown Association chooses five nonprofits to sell wristbands at each Downtown After 5. The nonprofit receives $2000. May’s nonprofit is Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina working towards ending homelessness by moving people into housing and providing them with the resources they need to remain housed.

-Asheville police chief search: The city of Asheville has narrowed its search for a new police chief to four candidates, including current deputy chief Wade Wood.

-Studio 27 opens: A new photography studio, Studio 27, has opened in the Riverside Business Park in Woodfin. Photographers Dathan Brannon, Morgan Ford and Stewart O’Shields are sharing the space. They all do amazing work.

-Mike Mason on the move: Former WLOS investigative reporter Mike Mason, who left the station suddenly, has landed at WGCL in Atlanta as an investigative reporter there.

-Dirty Dancing filming: Wilmywood updates its report on filming of the Dirty Dancing TV remake in Western North Carolina. The production is set for summer, but production offices have yet to open, Wilmywood reports.

-Pools opening: Buncombe County government officials have announced that county pools will begin opening on May 23.

-Foothills Meats bike delivery: The relatively new Foothills Meats counter in Ben’s Penny Mart has begun experimenting with bicycle delivery of their delicious sandwiches.

-Diamond Brand gear swap: Diamond Brand will hold a “gear swap” on June 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its location on Hendersonville Road. Sellers pay a $15 fee for space to sell gear (cost is $20 to register the day of the event). For more info, contact Sarah at

-Nepal fundraiser Saturday: Here’s the press release:

Odyssey Drama Teacher Melanie Wester recently met a woman who lives in Asheville but grew up in Nepal. All of her family still lives in Nepal. Her parents’ home was destroyed in the earthquake, her brother and uncle lost their homes as well. Another uncle was killed. Her mother, who was taking care of her 94 year old husband who has Alzheimer’s, was injured in the earthquake and fell into a coma. Last Thursday, she was airlifted to New Delhi so that she could receive more extensive medical care. Other family members are now trying to take care of him without homes to live in. Their needs are great.

All proceeds from tickets to this Saturday’s performance will go directly into this Asheville woman’s hands to help her family. This encore performance was unplanned, but when the drama students saw the opportunity to make a difference in this globally acknowledged tragedy, they rallied to produce this second showing of their widely attended performance of A Half Dozen – Six One Act Plays. The Odyssey Creative Drama Club was going to donate the money from their encore performance to an organization, but after meeting this woman, they decided to help her family instead. We’re helping someone from Asheville by helping her family in Nepal.

Please, share with friends and come out to enjoy some awesome theater, support these students, their service efforts, and help a family from Nepal!

The performance is at Odyssey Community School, 90 Zillicoa St. in the Montford neighborhood. It begins at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2015

If you have any further questions, please contact Melanie Wester at