Tuesday, July 26, 2011

BELE CHERE AND BEAUTIFUL LIVING

According to tradition Bele Chere means "beautiful living" and comes from an ancient Scottish dialect. Most of us would agree that Bele Chere means great music today.

It is hard to believe now but… in 1979 Asheville merchants wanted to revitalize an abandoned downtown Asheville. They thought they could get some much needed local interest if they created a music festival. Bele Chere Festival started in three blocks of downtown Asheville with music as entertainment and a few merchant booths. And that is how a legendary event began.

Today downtown Asheville is home to restaurants, galleries, retail businesses, theatres, art exhibits, and a growing number of residents who call downtown "home", including friends of mine, but we still have Bele Chere Festival. And it starts this Friday!

The Bele Chere Festival is a three day festival with music, arts, crafts and food in the streets of downtown Asheville. It features live music on four different stages. The festival has a wide range of musical types with incredible talent from all over. This year the local, regional and national performers promise to be some of the best ever!

Did you ever wonder where all of that amazing talent comes from? The festival selection committee receives more than seven hundred applications to perform at Bele Chere every year. The selection committee is made up of local community members involved in the Asheville music industry. Bet you did not know this! If you want to know more about the selection process just go to BeleChereFestival.com

Artists and crafters also set up shop in the streets of Asheville to take part in the Bele Chere festival fun. They come from all over the country with beautiful metalwork, fabric, paint, ceramics, woodwork and a variety of other mediums. These artisans are featured throughout the streets during the festival. Arts Park at the Drhumor (yes, this is how they spell it) parking lot is a favorite stop also. Your next showpiece could be waiting for you!

Are you worried about parking in downtown? In order to make your visit more enjoyable, the city provides shuttle service from two different pick up points. It takes about thirty minutes from downtown Hendersonville to get to the shuttle pick up points. East will run from the back parking lot of the Asheville Mall. West will run from the K-mart Plaza shopping center on Patton Ave at Louisiana. These are $2 fares round trip and run approximately every twenty minutes. They will continue to run for an hour after the festival closes every day. There will be maps with directions and advice at the front desk of 1898 Waverly Inn. There is also parking in downtown garages for the adventurous but that is definitely at a premium.

The hours for the festival are Friday, July 29 Noon to 10 p.m., Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, July 31 Noon to 6 p.m. To see a street map of the festival area including stage locations go to http://www.belecherefestival.com/downloads/Public%20Traffic%20Control%20and%20barricade%20map.pdf The schedule for the stage music events for all three days can be found at http://www.belecherefestival.com/pages/entertainment_stages.htm

We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tiffany Lamp Exhibit at Biltmore Estate

We went to Biltmore Estate last week and saw the new exhibit, known as “Tiffany Lamps: Articles of Utility, Objects of Art,” It comes to Biltmore from The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in New York City. The exhibit features forty five stained glass lamps created by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) and The Tiffany Studios. Tools, period glass and photographs detailing how the lamps were made are also on display. The exhibit will be at The Biltmore Legacy exhibition hall in Antler Hill Village through Oct. 23.

Most of us know about the little blue box that Tiffany & Co puts the exquisite little gem surrounded by gold or silver in. LC’s father created that company. But, we have also seen Tiffany style hanging lamps in pubs and restaurants throughout the western world. The Tiffany style lamps that we all know and love do not do justice to the real thing. This collection will take your breath away. Even the lamp bases were beautiful. It took a lot of self-control not to reach out and try to touch these incredible lamps. The artists’ eye for color, texture and design are remarkable. Did you know that Louis Comfort Tiffany got most of his inspirations from everyday objects like flowers, dragonflies and trees?

Louis Comfort Tiffany was an established painter and was famous for his work in interior design when he started experimenting with stained glass. You can see some of his design work in the White House Blue Room, East Room and Entrance. He opened his own glassworks factory for stain glass and mosaics in 1885. Some of his earliest lamps were exhibited at the Chicago’s Worlds’ Fair in 1893. During this same time period George Vanderbilt was building Biltmore Estate and Frederick Law Olmsted was going between Chicago designing the Columbian Exposition for the Worlds’ Fair and North Carolina designing the beautiful grounds at Biltmore Estate that you see today. You can read more about Frederick Law Olmsted and the Chicago Worlds’ Fair in the book “Devil in the White City” by Erik Larsen. Did you see how I pulled all of that together? I amaze myself sometimes!

Back to The Biltmore Estate -- In addition to the exhibition, the landscape and floral designers are incorporating Tiffany-inspired elements throughout the gardens and in The Biltmore House. Tiffany-inspired designs and events will spring up across the estate throughout the exhibition. Plans include special landscape touches with flower bed designs inspired by Tiffany’s use of botanicals in the Walled Garden and Antler Hill Village and floral displays throughout The Biltmore House. Two of the special features will be the transformation of the Winter Garden fountain into a “growing” Tiffany-style lamp and a specially produced wine by Biltmore Winery. The estate is also unveiling a unique 24-foot "Living Wall" of flowers, foliage, and vines that will mimic stained glass next to the Conservatory.

We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Coon Doggin’ it in Saluda on Coon Dog Day – July 9, 2011

Saluda’s website describes it as “a celebration for dogs and their people.”

I googled the definition for coon dog. This is what I pieced together.

n. 1. any dog trained to hunt raccoons.

Wikipedia says: A Coonhound is a type of scent hound and a member of the hound group.

I have now gotten the answer to the question “what is a coon?” without calling Saluda City Hall. I am now ready to tackle the big question. “Who came up with Coon Dog Day, when and why?” I went to www.saluda.com in hopes of going to the source and found a lot of information.

In 1963 Saluda’s Coon Dog Club needed a new fundraiser. As with most fundraisers it involved food. This one happened to be a “chicken supper fundraiser.” (I have not heard about how the chicken was cooked but I am betting on “fried”.) This small supper has grown over the years into an incredibly entertaining street festival that attracts over 10,000 people each year.

The day starts at 8am with a 5K run. If you would like to run go to www.saluda.com and register. I think it is only $30 and that includes prizes and t-shirts. Live music starts at 9 am. The bands play all day long (you can bet there will be some bluegrass) and there is a street dance that evening that ends at 11pm. I did not find a schedule of the live entertainment but they will probably have one at the main stage on the day of the festival. There is an hour long parade through the center of town starting at 11am with homemade floats, tractors, fire trucks, horses AND the reigning Coon Dog Royalty Court. There is a Master of Ceremonies that announces the parade and tells the crowd who won the best float trophies. It is one of the favorite events of the day. There are many local food and craft vendors and even non-profit vendors set up throughout town to visit and lots of dogs to admire, talk to and pet.

And do not let me forget the people that started the festival. The Coon Dog Club will have dog shows and contests at the school yard in the afternoon.

It is an incredibly fun way to spend a Saturday just ten miles from our door.

We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC
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