-The first ever WNC Bigfoot Festival is set for Sept. 8 in Marion over in McDowell County. The event, organized by a group of Bigfoot researchers, came together after an alleged sighting in McDowell County garnered national attention. The festival will include a 5K run and a Bigfoot calling contest.
-New construction permits have been pulled for the planned High Test Deli and Sweet Shop at 134 Coxe Ave. on Asheville’s South Slope.
-Speaking of the South Slope, the Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective is planning to open a new theater in the area. The plans call for a 120-seat venue with onsite parking.
-The wine and oyster bar Virgola, which opened last year in Biltmore Station, has changed its name to The Wine & Oyster. Owners Steve and Nan Klein said in a press release that they decided to “unchain” from their Virgola franchise affiliation (they were one of five Virgola locations around the U.S.) to “create a restaurant more aligned with the independent spirit of the Asheville community.” They’ll celebrate the change today at their 2 Hendersonville Road location with a “re-branding bash” featuring an evening of local music by Asheville’s own Jesse Barry, wine and raw oysters.
-There’s a new weekly radio show for outdoor sports enthusiasts. It’s called The Mountain Sports Show, and is hosted by Tim Grotenhuis, co-owner of Kick It Event Management and a co-organizer such events as the Mountain Sports Festival, Asheville Running Experience, and the Race To The Taps running series. The show airs at 11 a.m. on Saturdays at WISE Sports Radio (1310/970 AM and 97.3 FM) and be listened to online, as well.
-Are you tuned into ClimateCon yet? It’s a climate services conference hosted by The Collider, and a series of events around the conference will be held across Asheville. The centerpiece event is called The Business of Climate Forum, which will give attendees the chance to explore the business challenges and opportunities posed by the world’s changing climate. Art galleries, breweries and other business are jumping in with climate-themed shows and brews.
–The Hop reopens today after a short closure for some significant renovations to its Merrimon Avenue location. Owners Greg and Ashley Garrison have been loving, loyal stewards of this wonderful, homegrown ice cream shop. The goal of the renovation was to improve the way both visitors and employees use the space, Greg Garrison tells me. The new streamlined space will make it easier for employees to move around, and easier for visitors to order. There will also be larger spaces for events like birthday parties, Garrison said. Look for new fun features, too, like a huge “magnetic wall” and a digital menu board.