Winter Warmer a hit

Beer lovers gathered at the US Cellular Center yesterday afternoon for the annual Winter Warmer Festival. Out of town guest Cigar City Brewing Company of Tampa, Florida was a star, pouring several beers not normally available in North Carolina including their Marshal Zhukov Imperial Stout and Warmer Winter seasonal. Local newcomer Wicked Weed also had long lines throughout the afternoon. This year the festival moved upstairs to larger space, allowing the sell-out crowd more room to roam while enjoying fine beers along with catered food from Strada Italiano. Here’s to an even better event in 2014.

Anne Fitten Glenn of Oskar Blues

RJ Rockers Brewing Company, Spartanburg, SC


Windy Hill Orchard and Cidery, York, SC

A good crowd.

Highland Brewing Company

Brian Grossman of Sierra Nevada Brewing

Long Man Fest on the French Broad River Saturday October 13

This Saturday, October 13th, a brand new, family-friendly, music and fun festival comes to Asheville called Long Man Fest, this one-day, outdoor event is promising to be as unique as its name.

Enjoy a day of family-friendly entertainment, local Highland beer, artists and crafters, two music stages, river entertainment tours and beautiful autumn foliage on the French Broad River at the Asheville Outdoor Center on Saturday, October 13. Long Man Fest River Entertainment Tour one-hour rafting trips feature musicians and plenty of surprises waiting along the riverbanks.

“It’s not just a celebration of the river, or autumn, or our amazing local community; but rather this festival is an amalgamation of all of these things combined together, forming the perfect excuse to spend the day outside in a uniquely Asheville kind of way,” says Jason Mencer, festival co-organizer.

The Hop Kids Zone features face painters, performers, gem-mining and plenty more to keep kids of all ages entertained. For the adults, there’s a Highland Brewery sponsored corn-hole tournament with plenty of great prizes for the winners.

Blue Moon Water is providing pure local spring water from the mountains of Western North Carolina. Plus, the Hop Ice Cream Cafe will offer vegan options while Gypsy Queen Cuisine, The Lowdown, Avery’s Hotdogs, Ursa Minor Coffee and Beulah’s Bavarian Pretzels serve up vegetarian, organic and local options.

The Western North Carolina Alliance and Asheville Beyond Coal will be on hand providing information about the French Broad River and how you can get involved.

“It is important on the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act to remember how far we have come in cleaning up the French Broad River, but there is still a long way to go to truly meet the goals of the act to have all waters be fishable and swimmable,” says Hartwell Carson, French Broad Riverkeeper.

Event greening efforts include solar power by Solar Powered Sound, recycling and composting stations provided by Danny’s Dumpster, recycling and composting assistance by Warren Wilson College students, recyclable wrist-bands, recycled posters and materials, 100% recycled T-shirts by Nature Moment Products and assistance from Plant Restaurant.

Long Man Fest is a uniquely-Asheville way for families and friends to spend a beautiful fall Saturday during peak leaf season in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The festival will go all day Saturday, from 12pm to 8pm, and the weather forecast is predicting a beautiful day.  More information and tickets are available on the festival’s website at

Music Schedule:

12:00-12:30pm @ SIDESTAGE
Linda Mitchell & The Electric Cabaret

12:40-1:20pm @ MAINSTAGE

1:30-2:00pm @ SIDESTAGE

2:10-2:50pm @ MAINSTAGE
John Wilkes Boothe & the Black Toothe

3:00-3:30pm @ SIDESTAGE
Jim Avett

3:40-4:20pm @ MAINSTAGE
Skunk Ruckus

4:30-5:00pm @ SIDESTAGE
Pierce Edens

5:10-5:50pm @ MAINSTAGE
Common Foundation

6:00-6:40pm @ SIDESTAGE
The Judy Chops
***Martial Arts Demonstration

7:00-8:00pm @ MAINSTAGE
Secret B-Sides

One of the names that The Cherokee People called the French Broad River was ‘Agiqua’. Translated to English, Agiqua (pronounced Ah-geeg-wah) means Long Man. This river has flowed through Asheville and the ancient Appalachian Mountains for centuries. This weekend, celebrate the river that connects us all with a Long Man Fest pre-party and #AVLTweetup on Friday, Long Man Fest on Saturday and Float Beyond Coal on Sunday.

Asheville Pizza Showdown 2012 coming August 12th


Asheville, NC  – Back by popular demand, the Asheville Pizza Showdown, which is the evolution of Asheville Pizza Wars is happening on Sunday August 12, 2012 at the Garage at Biltmore in the Asheville Biltmore Village area, to have a great foodie and brew time, and to raise funds for the Manna Food Bank.

This event is open to the public. Tickets are $30 and include All You Can Eat Pizza, All You Can Drink Beer Samples, and Entertainment from several great local bands.

The Asheville Pizza Showdown is the first of many food and beverage based competitions and events planned from now through the end of 2013. For those of you who love Great Pizza, a Mini Beer Fest, Friends, Music and Fun, this will be a memorable time for All! This event was sold out in 2010 will lines running down the street. This year we have expanded and will be providing additional parking and more local Asheville Breweries.

Local Celebrity Judges including Pam Lewis, Tony Kiss, and a couple of surprise judges will select the Winners. A “People’s Choice” award will also be up for grabs. All participating pizza restaurants will receive a reward for being a part of this great time and benefit.

First Place Winners Fiore’s (now Strada Italiano) and Frank Roman’s Pizza will also be on the scene in an attempt to retain their winning title from 2010.

What: Asheville Pizza Showdown 2012
When: Sunday August 12, 2012, 4pm – 10pm
Where: Garage at Biltmore – 101 Fairview Rd, Asheville NC 28803 (Biltmore Village)
Who: Open to the Community – all ages welcome
Cost: $30 per person. All Inclusive!

Advance tickets purchase will be available online through several outlets. There will also be ticket sales at the door.

Children up to 12 years old (with a paying adult) get in free with one of the following items brought and donated to Manna Food Bank: Cereal/Granola Bars, Fruit/Applesauce Cups, Jello/Pudding Cups, Crackers (Graham, Animal, etc), Dried Fruit Pouches, Individual Serving Cereal Boxes/Bowls, Single-Serve Packs (Cracker Sandwiches, Graham/Animal Crackers, etc)

Teens & Young Adults 13 – 20 years old are $15 a piece at the door.

You can purchase tickets here and they will be waiting for you at Will Call:

Get in touch with Jan Rogers at for more information about tickets, events or sponsorships.

You can also RSVP to the Asheville Pizza Showdown on Facebook.

Also hear the podcast intro by SoConvo:

Asheville Hosts a Mountain Mardi Gras and You’re Invited

Asheville, NC – January 6th 2012 marks the beginning of Asheville’s annual Mardi Gras Season, beginning with Twelfth Night on January 6th and culminating at the Mardi Gras Parade and Ball on Bacchus Sunday (February 19th). Each year Asheville’s Mardi Gras celebrations have grown and evolved as more artists, expatriate, costumers, musicians and onlookers gather to celebrate this historic mid-winter tradition… Asheville style. Asheville has become the region’s hot spot for Mardi Gras festivities and with a newly established non-profit status, we plan to continue that growth along with the support of the community.

This year’s events will include a Twelfth Night celebration at MoDaddy’s on Friday, January 6th where the King and Queen will be crowned and the Mardi Gras season is officially kicked off. The annual Cajun Cookoff / Art & Oddities Auction will be held Saturday, January 21st. All food entries are welcomed and prizes will be awarded to the best of the best Cajun cooks. The Mardi Gras Parade is on Bacchus Sunday, February 19th in the streets of Asheville. The Ball, following the parade, will be held at Pack’s Tavern’s Century Room and will include a performance by the Snake Oil Medicine Show. As always, the parade and ball are family friendly, free and open to the public.

Asheville’s Mardi Gras is a grassroots organization and without the help and support of the community, these events could not happen. If you would like to learn more about these events or about getting involved by becoming a member or volunteering, please visit, The Costume Shoppe on Lexington Ave., or join our Facebook groups page. What ever role you decide to play, we look forward to seeing you at the opening ceremonies during Twelfth Night.

#LAAFF – 2010 photo album (See these Asheville Pics) #avlpics

The Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival has created an event to be remembered in Asheville North Carolina. The community is growing and LAAFF has a lot to do with it. Thank you to Kitty, Michael, Erin and the countless others that have taken a part in making this happen. See these great photos of the day.

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