Cherokee Storytelling Bonfire: A Meaningful Way to Spend Labor Day Weekend

cherokee nc mountains
Asheville. Land of the Sky. A city that seems to rise up from the mountains and touch the clouds. Why not take this Labor Day weekend to get out of the city and learn more about the true history of these mountains we call our home? The place that Asheville inhabits was once a part of the Cherokee Nation. For over 10,000 years the Cherokee people traveled through here, hunting and securing food for their families. At first glance Asheville might seem to have come a far way from its Cherokee roots.  Look closer.
cherokee nc bonfire sonny
Beyond the skyline lies the same blue mountains layered against the same arching sky. The character of this place remains, its soul untouched and alive all around us. Just an hour’s ride from Asheville is the Qualla Boundary, all that remains of the once vast Cherokee Nation. Yet all is not lost. The people are still there, still preserving the heritage of their ancient culture. They still live in the mountains, fish in the rivers, tell their stories around the fire. Some of you may have been there. You may have driven through and seen all of the t-shirt shops and the guy who stands at the side of the road wearing a feather headdress which is decidedly not Cherokee. Coming from Asheville, a place that prides itself on authenticity, you may have decided that Cherokee is too commercialized for you. Sold out. Touristy. Look closer. This Labor Day weekend is the perfect opportunity for you to dispel these misconceptions. Come check out the Cherokee Bonfire at Oconaluftee Islands Park near downtown Cherokee, and let the Cherokee tell you their story for themselves.
cherokee bonfire john john
This is the last weekend of the year, so try to make it out while there’s still time.  The bonfire begins at 7:30 pm, and will be held this ThursdayFridaySaturday, and Sunday. Listen as the speakers impart knowledge their people have gained from living in these mountains for millennia. You might even learn something about yourself.  Then settle in around the fire for an evening of storytelling in the great oral tradition. For more information on the bonfire and other things to do while you’re there, head over to my blog, LOCUS: A journey in search of PLACE at If you can’t make it this weekend, please go to Cherokee Bonfire on Facebook and Like the page. This helps ensure that the sponsors keep this amazing tradition alive for another year.
Blog Post by Kerri Nicole Casey. Photos by Brian Casey.

WNC author, men’s spirituality expert Stamper featured in Ultimate Men’s Summit

Stamper shares how “The Warrior Spirit – An Ancient Imperative of Modern Man,” accelerates transformation of masculinity in the 21st century era of human growth, development, and potentiality in landmark international summit June 18

ASHEVILLE, N .C. (June 16, 2011) –Western North Carolina author and facilitator Gary Stamper, a pioneer in the alternative men’s spirituality movement, is a featured presenter in the international Men’s Ultimate Summit Saturday, June 18, at 11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST.

The segment, “The Warrior Spirit – an Ancient Imperative for Modern Man,” places Stamper firmly in the company of 75 respected teachers, authors, and elders including inspiring and transformational trailblazers like Neale Donald Walsch, Gary Zukav, Dan Millman, Hal Stone, Andrew Harvey, John Perkins, Claudio Naranjo and Gay Hendricks. The Ultimate Men’s Summit is the largest ever of its kind, dedicated to the growth, evolution, and expression of men in the modern world.

Known for his work with the “Integral Warrior,” Stamper helps men with a desire to assist human evolution transcend traditional archetypes and outdated stereotypes to embody the New Masculine, waking to their full potentials.

An international award-winning designer and national facilitator of the Shamanic Priest Process™, Stamper is also author of a pending book Awakening the New Masculine: the Way of the Integral Warrior, now under contract with Berrett-Koehler Publishers at

“When we learn to embody the New Masculine,” says Stamper. “We integrate and call in all perspectives of the masculine with fierce awareness, stretching the boundaries of what is possible. We bravely hold space for the feminine, nature, body, spirit, integrity, wisdom and heart.”

“As men, we are waking up to our true gifts – and stewarding the emergence of a new era,” says Stamper. “We’re evolving a new form of masculinity – one infused with integrity, authenticity, generosity and virtue. And we’re living more purposefully and finding ways to serve a cause greater than ourselves.”

Gary Stamper’s segment, “The Warrior Spirit – an Ancient Imperative for Modern Man,” is Saturday, June 18, at 11 a.m. PST and 2 p.m. EST. To sign up for this FREE virtual event, and access segments in the Ultimate Men’s Summit through June 19 at For more information on Gary Stamper and his unique work with men’s groups and relationship workshops, go to

Sherri L. McLendon is a freelance writer in Weaverville, N.C., who specializes in helping entrepreneurs upscale their money mindset and apply spiritual principles in marketing, public relations, and media communications. Find out more about her done-for-you services at McLendon Bylines,, or her divinely inspired marketing mentoring agency, Professional Moneta International, at