Thursday, September 1, 2011

Labor Day Weekend in Western North Carolina

Labor day weekend has arrived and the summer of 2011 is nearing its close but there are still plenty of exciting events happening in the Western North Carolina Mountains. This weekend features a fantastic lineup of events replete with local flair. For downtown Asheville fun, don't miss the Lexington Avenue Art and Fun Festival (LAAFF) featuring local artists and performers plus all kinds of silliness including bike jousting tournaments and big wheel races. This is the 10th annual LAAFF which has been called downtown Asheville's "bohemian" alternative to Bele Chere. Also this weekend, the 41st annual Smokey Mountain Folk Festival in beautiful Lake Junaluska offering the finest traditional music and dance of the Southern Appalachian Region.
Every First Wednesday of the month from 3:00- 5:00 p.m. The Asheville Art Museum is free to the Public, the next date is Wednesday September 7th 2011. Also in downtown Asheville, the final Shindig on the Green of 2011 will be held tonight, beginning around sundown in Pack Square Park. Admission is free, and entertainment is abundant at this the 45th year of the country's longest running folk festival. For traditional agricultural fun don't miss the Hickory Nut Gap Farm corn maze and pumpkin patch open 7 days a week from 9am to 6pm September 1st through October 31st. Take the whole family for a farm day trip just 20 minutes from downtown Asheville and pick up some local certified organic apples and grassfed beef at the farm store while the whole family enjoys a traditional Appalachian farm complete with baby animals for the kids to pet. Speaking of Apples, the annual North Carolina Apple Festival featuring 4 days of fun including one of the most best known Street Fairs in the Carolinas with Freshly Picked Apples, Arts & Crafts, Festival Food and FREE Entertainment is happening at the Historic Courthouse on Hendersonville’s Beautiful Main Street September 2nd through 5th.
For the paddlers in the family, there are still plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the whitewater including a guided canoe trip down the Chatooga River with the river guides from Headwater Outfitters and "Discovery at Dusk" a 4 hour guided canoe trip down the French Broad River next date is Sept 9th Checkout the Headwater Outfitters website for details of each of these guided river tours. For the slightly less aquatic nature enthusiasts join Parkway Rangers for a moderate, 1-mile RT hike on the Art Loeb Trail to the summit of Black Balsam Knob (6214').

Without a doubt, the Asheville area mountains have something for everyone in every season, so as the summer gives way to cooler temperatures get ready for some of the most exciting activities of Autumn including hiking, biking and the beautiful colors that grace our mountains in the fall.

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