Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

Some of what’s going around this week:

The Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Asheville has opened.

-A case of Zika virus has been treated at Mission Hospital, WLOS reports.

Word on the street: Chipotle is coming to the corner of Tunnel Road and South Tunnel Road, which is being redeveloped by Atlantic Retail Properties.

The Magnetic Theatre presents The Bernstein Family Christmas Preview Party, September 14, 6:30-9 pm, at Magnetic 375 (375 Depot Street in the River Arts District), according to a press release. Tickets to the event are $25, available through the link to Eventbrite at Box office telephone: 828.239.9250. Tickets include two free drinks, appetizers, and the chance to buy tickets to The 45th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular weeks before they go on sale to the general public! More:

Sponsored by Oskar Blues Brewery and Grapevine Distributors, this fun evening will give you a chance to rub elbows (or more, depending on how many drinks they have!) with the Bernstein family. In addition to being able to take holiday photos with Baby Jesus and Judy Bernstein, ticket-buyers can participate in a raffle for a 30-second, personal commercial spot in the show that can be used to advertise your business or your marriage proposal! (Some restrictions apply.) A silent auction will include such items as dinner for four at the Edison at Grove Park Inn, a massage, dinner at The Junction with Judy Bernstein, LaZoom tickets, and other local items.

Textile artists and garment designers from around Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina will show 42 juried garments and accessories at Local Cloth’s Project Handmade 2016-Elements of Nature show at 7 p.m. on Sept. 22, according to a press release. The event is a regional fashion show of wearable art, presented by Local Cloth Inc. and will be held at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville. Tickets are now on sale. General admission tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at A limited number of VIP tickets for priority seating are $30, and can be ordered by emailing: [email protected], or calling 828-222-0356.

Public tours are starting up at New Belgium Brewing in Asheville. Here are a few details:

In an effort to host locals for the first tours, New Belgium hosts day-of tours from Monday, Aug. 29 through Thursday, Sept. 1. Tours, for this limited time, will be booked in person on a first-come, first-served basis, and for that day only. Each tour accommodates up to 25 people, and runs for 90 minutes leaving the Liquid Center on the half hour starting at 11:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m.

-Can’t make it this week? Book tours online for a date after September 2:

-New Belgium’s free tours run daily on the half hour and reservations are necessary.

Asheville Folk – a collective of local artists, makers, entrepreneurs, and more – has announced its first conference, Fall Break Co. Here’s more:

The four day creative gathering and camping trip for makers, thinkers, entrepreneurs, and artists with big dreams is set for September 12-15 in Asheville. Guest speakers from across the Southeast, presenters from Asheville, and participants from across the country will be in attendance.

The days will be filled with creative workshops, individual consultations, inspiring speakers, and outdoor activities. The evenings will include community dinners, conversations around the campfire, stargazing, and live music.

Guest speakers include Nashville-based stylist, design consultant, and speaker Ruthie Lindsey. Ruthie partners with many companies, including: Kinfolk, Warby Parker, Free People, MercedesBenz, Better Homes and Gardens, Lincoln, and more. Other speakers include the creator of Slingshot Coffee, Jenny Bonchak; the owner/operator of Greenville’s Dapper Ink, Matthew Moreau; the creator of Dallas’ Staff Retreat Co., Rocky Garza; and managing partner of Greenville’s Methodical Coffee, Will Shurtz.

Workshop topics will include photography, public speaking, goal setting, leadership, and social media. The conference will also include special musical guest Anna Mae. Numerous local businesses and makers are partnering to make the event a success.

Tickets for Fall Break Co. are still available at Businesses or organizations wishing to partner with Fall Break Co. can contact [email protected].

The 36th Annual Heritage Weekend will be held on Sept. 17 and 18 at the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Folk Art Center, according to a press release. More:

This free celebration of mountain heritage is sponsored by the Southern Highland Craft Guild and features traditional crafts accompanied by music and dancing.

A highlight of the weekend is the 36th Annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday afternoon, from 2:00 to 3:00. A whimmy diddle is an Appalachian mountain toy traditionally made from two sticks of rhododendron. Notches are carved into one stick and a propeller is attached to the end. Rubbing the notches with the second stick makes the propeller spin. Can you get it to gee (spin to the right) and haw (spin to the left)?

During the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition contestants are judged on the number of rotations between gee and haw they can complete during a given time. They may be asked to switch hands or whimmy diddle behind their back. All ages may compete with trophies given for best child, adult, and professional. Winners receive a Moon Pie, a t-shirt, and bragging rights.

On going demonstrations will include traditional woodworking with traditional tools, weaving, spinning, dyeing, broom making, stone carving, and print making. Visitors will have the opportunity to try their own hand at some of the crafts and an activity table will encourage young people to create.

On Saturday, Anthony Cole will be on hand to demonstrate sheep shearing throughout the day, and on Sunday, Joe Parham will bring animals to demonstrate how he trains dogs to work with sheep at 1:00 and 3:00. A music stage will provide further entertainment with blue grass and gospel music. Local cloggers will demonstrate the energy and fancy footwork that goes into the mountain dance tradition. A quality lunch will be available from Farmhouse BBQ, selling delicious barbecue and tasty side dishes.

The Blue Ridge Parkway’s Folk Art Center is the ideal place for Heritage Weekend with free parking and a grassy area for picnics and relaxation. Spend an early autumn weekend in Western North Carolina honoring and learning about the crafts of yesteryear. Tour the Folk Art Center and take a walk through the woods. For more information, including a list of participating craftspeople and musicians, call 828-298-7928 or visit

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

You Might also Like

1 Comment

  1. Murphy August 29, 2016

    Have you heard when the theaters will close?


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Stories