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Asheville Home Garden and Green Living Show March 17 - 19, 2017!

We are very excited to be in the Home Garden and Green Living Show this year! We will be at booth #306, so make sure to stop by! We will have a giveaway each day of the event! We will be giving away a gift card to Green Sage Cafe, another gift card to Homegrown, and a $100 gift card to Asheville Salt Cave! Make sure to sign up for our newsletter at our booth for 1 entry and earn another entry to win by snapping a photo of our booth, our agents, or anything with our logo on it; then share and tag us @townandmountainrealty on Facebook, Instagram, and/or tag us @townandmountain on Twitter. Winners will be announced Monday March 20th!

We will have agents at our booth that specialize in our local Asheville & WNC area, green building, new construction, sustainable living, and so much more!

Here are some recently SOLD Green Built NC homes listed by Amanda Boren, Robbie McLucas, & Jody Whitehurst!

 

Check out the beautiful green homes still available!

96 Bent Creek Preserve Road Asheville, NC 28806 Listed by Robbie McLucas

14 Sulphur Springs Road Asheville, NC 28806 Listed by Amanda Boren

From www.homegardenandgreenlivingshow.com

Get ready for the 42nd Annual WNC Home & Garden and Green Living Show!

March 17-19, 2017 @ the US Cellular Center, Downtown Asheville, NC

We are back and our show is BIGGER and BETTER than ever! The premier green living event in Asheville will be held at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville March 17-19, 2017. As the longest running and most attended WNC Home Show, we will feature products and services for the home and garden as well as dozens of new seminars and workshops with topics ranging electric vehicles, solar energy, sustainable gardening and everything in between!

SHOW HOURS

March 17, 2017 3pm-8pm

March 18, 2017 10am-7pm

March 19, 2017 11am -5pm


Read More: https://homegardenandgreenlivingshow.com/

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    Bee City USA Asheville News March 2017

    Support Local Native Nurseries!

    Have you caught spring fever yet? Now is the time to make your plans for adding more native plants to your gardens to provide lots of delicious nectar and pollen for all kinds of bees and other pollinators, as well as host plants for butterflies and moths to lay their eggs on, especially milkweed for hungry monarch caterpillars.

    Check out our recommended species list for the Greater Asheville Area here. It's the first "resource" listed. You'll notice a list of local nurseries at the end who specialize in local native plants that are not treated with pesticides that may harm pollinators.

    Register Now--Organic Growers School March 11-12!

    Back by popular demand, Organic Growers School Spring Conference is back on the UNC Asheville campus with more than 150 workshops on topics ranging from cooking to mushrooms to pollinators.

    OGS Pollinator Track

    Bee City USA has partnered with Organic Growers School to offer the following workshops with outstanding presenters:

    Creating Monarch Habitats - Kim Bailey
    Invite monarchs to lunch by growing milkweed and providing

    a succession of nectar plants throughout the season! Take an in-depth look at monarch natural history, migration, and habitat needs. Discuss pollinator plant propagation,  techniques for rearing caterpillars indoors, and explore related citizen-science projects.

    Enhancing Farm Diversity to Support Pollinators - Nancy Lee Adamson
    Floral diversity on farms supports pollinators and many other insects that benefit our farms, gardens, and watersheds. Learn about some of our smaller farm heroes: the most common types of bees, wasps, flies, beetles, and other wildlife that help ensure healthy harvests.

    Growing Native Plants from Seed - Pat Sommers
    Discuss seed morphology, pollination and the importance of species plants in a highly hybridized world. You'll plant two six-packs with a variety of native seeds while learning germination requirements and the what, how and why of growing them.

    Integrating Pollinators into the Garden - Angie Lavezzo
    Learn the benefits of attracting pollinators to your vegetable gardens for boosting natural pest control, increased yields, and overall beauty.

    Meet the 'Other' Bees - Jill Sidebottom
    Native bees were the New World's pollinator work horses long before the honey bee was brought here from Europe. Discover the rich diversity of native bees in western NC, and learn how to recognize the most common groups and how to increase them in your garden or farm.

    Plant-Pollinator Interactions - Tim Spira
    Have you ever wondered why there is such an incredible diversity of flower shapes, sizes, colors, and fragrances in nature? Discover how plant-pollinator interactions have been a key force generating the diversity of flowers that we see in nature.

    Who Pollinates Your Food? - Phyllis Stiles
    Plants and their pollinators co-evolved over millions of years in mutually beneficial ways. Today three-quarters of the world's crops benefit from pollinators, either for producing seeds or improving the quality and/or quantity of yields. Get ready to be amazed at how crafty flowers can be!

    Half-Day Workshop: Beekeeping Basics - Sarah Eshan McKinney & Diane Almond
    Learn what's involved with the magic of honeybees: time, money, equipment, and management options and issues to enjoy and sustain healthy hives. Class will be taught through PowerPoint, beekeeping equipment, and handouts.

    Read More: http://www.beecityusa.org

    Read More: https://www.facebook.com/beecityasheville/

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      Major Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

      Don't get in your own way when you try to sell your home this year.

      It’s a new year and it’s time for a fresh start. If you’re planning to sell your home in 2017, here are a few mistakes you should avoid to maximize your results and minimize your headache. Selling a home can be difficult. ( It doesn't have to be, we can make it a great experience! ) Side step these common mistakes to increase your chances for a smoother, faster, and more gainful transaction.

      Skipping the necessary preparation.

      Once the decision has been made to sell, it’s understandable that many sellers want to get their homes on the market as quickly as possible. However, taking the time to get your home ready for sale is one of the most important steps in the selling process.

      Skipping or skimping on this step is one of the biggest mistakes a home seller can make. You only get one chance to make a first impression and a great first impression can translate to actual dollar value – especially in a competitive market.

      Take the time to paint, make repairs, de-clutter, tidy landscaping and stage the home, if needed. An experienced real estate professional can help you to determine what work needs to be done and how it could affect the value of your home in the local market.

      Clean up and declutter. Potential buyers need to be able to picture themselves in your home – too much clutter, personal items or disorder can be distracting and turn buyers off.

      Repair and upgrade. Even small cosmetic issues can be a red flag for potential buyers. Chipping paint, water stains, cracks or stained carpets can be signs of neglect or larger problems with the property. Your home should look well cared for and maintained.

      Stage. Staging can range from simply refreshing and rearranging current furnishings, to editing and adding accessories, to complete professional staging.

      Take great photos. Proper preparation also translates to a well-executed marketing plan. Your home should show at its best in person as well as in the property photos and collateral materials. As more and more buyers are turning to the internet to begin their home search, we rely on excellent photography to make a great first impression. Ditch those iPhone or point-and-shoot images. Professionally shot and staged property photos are an absolutely essential sales tool.

      Pricing too high for the market.

      Pricing is the most important decision, and the one that will have the largest impact on your sales outcome. The biggest mistake sellers make is overpricing their property for the market.

      Overpricing typically leads to more days on market, which can negatively affect your final sale price. Whether you’re in a hurry to sell or not, time is a critical factor in selling your home. In general, the longer a property sits on the market, the less urgency buyers will feel, the more leverage they will feel they have and the less likely you will be to attract the attention for multiple offers.

      Pricing can be a sensitive topic of discussion, and it’s a good idea to work with an experienced professional who knows the market as well as your specific neighborhood. As a seller, it can be difficult to see your own home with unbiased eyes. Emotional attachments and financial obligations can cause sellers to reach for more value than the market will bear.

      Review comparable deals in the area, take a realistic look at your home and discuss the positives and negatives of different pricing strategies with your agent to determine what will work best for you.

      ( Contact us today for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis of your home and/or property! )

      Even with thoughtful pricing, it’s still possible to miss the mark. Sellers who are able to keep their emotions and expectations in check will be better able to reassess a situation and find a successful outcome.

      Being present for showings and open houses.

      As much as you may want to be completely hands-on in the sale of your home, it’s almost never a good idea to linger during showings or open houses. When the seller is present, it can create an awkward situation for potential buyers.

      Buyers may feel they’re intruding on your home, which can make it even more difficult for them to imagine themselves living there. They may feel rushed or inhibited by the seller’s presence and may not take the extra time they need to go through the home at their own pace. In addition, buyers may not feel comfortable expressing their true feelings about a property which can lead to frustration and inaccurate feedback.

      Not working with an experienced professional.

      Working with an experienced real estate professional can make all the difference in your home selling experience. A good agent can provide you with support, advice and resources to help you avoid many of these common pitfalls.

      From preparation and pricing to marketing and showing your property, a good agent can alleviate much of the stress, time and legwork necessary to get your home sold. Real estate transactions can get complicated and once a buyer makes an offer on your home or you enter escrow, a seasoned professional who is skilled in negotiation and familiar with the process can be invaluable.

      When you’re interviewing and hiring an agent to sell your home, it’s important to ask questions. Not all agents are created equal, so choosing the best person to represent you is key. Working with an under-qualified agent, or even someone who just doesn’t mesh with your personality and goals, can be just as detrimental as going it on your own.

      Consider experience, past and current deals, market knowledge and marketing know-how. Equally important is to hire someone you respect, trust and feel you can work well with.

      Find an experienced LOCAL Asheville & Western North Carolina agent today!

      Avoid these common home selling mistakes and set yourself up for a positive and prosperous 2017.

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        What You Need to Know Before Buying Your Home in 2017

        What You Need Know to Navigate the 2017 Real Estate Market

        Searching for an Asheville or WNC home in 2017?

        Let our experienced LOCAL REALTORS help you navigate our unique market!

        Buying a Home in 2017? Here Are 6 Things You’ll Want to Know

        Now that the panic, unrest, and general exhaustion caused by the presidential election is, for the most part, in our rear view mirror, people are starting to look ahead. For many, this means buying their first home in 2017. But, the first year after a presidential change is always tricky when it comes to buying a home, and this year is shaping up to be no different.

        #1: Rates Are Already Rising

        A change of presidents traditionally causes interest rates to rise slightly, but since Trump’s election win, the rates have already climbed by 0.5%, a rather quick hike. Because Trump’s election is having a negative effect on inflation, buyers should expect home prices to also start rising. If the recent upswing in loan applications tells us anything, it is that the threat of higher interest rates and home prices is creating a sense of urgency among buyers.

        #2: City Properties Are Still Best for Investment Properties

        If you want to buy a home that will provide you with the highest appreciation potential, then you’ll want to focus your search in metro areas. City properties have the best price appreciation rates and income potential from renters, especially when those properties are located in larger cities.

        #3: You Need to be Able to Afford More Than Just the Down Payment

        At one time, home buyers could get away with just the down payment coming out of pocket. All other associated fees and closing costs were able to be rolled into the mortgage. But these days, lenders want buyers to not only have the down payment amount, but also their closing costs available in cash. And with some closing costs as high as 2.5% of the loan amount, this can really have an impact on how much home you can actually afford.

        #4: Get Pre-Qualified Before You Start Looking for Homes

        Getting pre-qualified for a home loan doesn’t guarantee you will be approved, but it is a good place to start. This is because getting pre-qualified will give you an idea of how much home you can afford. Plus, because your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and down payment amount can have an impact on your interest rate, getting pre-qualified will give you the information you need early on in the process so you can improve your chances of getting your loan approved at the best rate possible.

        #5: Do Your Due Diligence When Choosing an Agent and/or Lender

        Buying a home requires a lot of research. But, your research shouldn’t be restricted to just comparing locations and properties. You also need to do your due diligence when shopping for a real estate agent as well as your lender.

        When you’re buying your first home, trust in your agent and lender is paramount. So, ask those you trust for referrals to Realtors and lenders. Visit with each and speak to them before you agree to use their services.

        In fact, try to choose your agent and lender very early in your buying process. This will enable your relationship with them to grow and in turn, they’ll become valuable resources of information and professional advice while you’re on your home buying journey.

        Why Choose Us?

        #6: Be Ready to Move

        With interest rates starting to climb, competition is going to start getting very fierce, very quickly in 2017. So, if you find a home you love, put in an offer and get ready to move because odds are things will progress quickly. This is especially important if you’re looking at homes priced $200,000 or less. Buyers will be jumping on these properties because with home prices rising, they’re going to want to get in early, and so should you. Good luck! ( Why rely on luck when you can have an experienced REALTOR making sure you are taking all the right steps to get the home or property that is right for you. Contact us today! )
         

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          Asheville Restaurant Week 2017

          From: www.exploreasheville.com

          From Bon Appetit to National Geographic to USA Today, Asheville’s dining scene has won over the hearts (and taste buds) of many of America’s top culinary critics in the past year. Zagat even named Asheville one of the nation's hottest food cities.

          For ten days this month, a "who's who" of Asheville's chefs and restaurants offer you a special opportunity to taste mouth-watering meals at special prices as part of Asheville Restaurant Week presented by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. The celebration kicks off Jan. 17, 2017 and continues through Jan. 26. 

          We're putting our insider knowledge on the table to help you savor each bite.

          How it works

          Asheville Restaurant WeekMake your choice(s)

          Participating restaurants will be offering specifically-tailored prix fixe menus (multiple courses at a special fixed price). Options include:

          • $15 two-course lunch
          • $35 three-course meal
          • $30 dinner for two

          Make a reservation

          Not every restaurant accepts reservations, but for those that do, it's strongly recommended to have one. Visit the Asheville Restaurant Week homepage and click the "make a reservation" link next to the icon for the restaurant of your choice.

          Make it a getaway

          Enjoy more incredible meals by staying overnight in Asheville during Restaurant Week or making an extended trip of it. From historic bed & breakfasts to cozy cabins to world-class hotels, Asheville offers many flavors of accommodations.

          Participating Restaurants

          To help you in choosing your dining adventure, we've created these handy categories. Please note that many of the participating restaurants could fit into multiple categories.

          International/Global Cuisine - Taste the world's finest flavors at these ethnic restaurants.

          Asheville, NC's long awaited Ethiopian Restaurant offers traditional dishes served family style on gluten-friendly injera, with a large selection of meat, vegetarian, and vegan foods.

          Blue Dream Curry House is an international journey of flavor serving curries from around the world and local beers at an affordable price.

          Bomba is located on a very important corner on Pack Square where Chef Hector first decided to open his own restaurant. Four successful restaurants later, Bomba is the perfect, central spot in downtown Asheville to meet a friend for breakfast, lunch or for one of their handcrafted espresso drinks. Serving a refreshing combination of creative lunches and tasty entrees, one cannot beat the value or the view. Positioned right on the corner of Pack Square, this is the best place in Asheville for people watching.

          The Cantina offers handmade Southwestern favorites with a twist of Asheville. Located in the heart of Historic Biltmore Village, it is one of the jewels of the Village and Asheville. The Cantina uses only the freshest ingredients sourced locally when available. In addition to the traditional fare with a flair, The Cantina offers many vegetarian and gluten-free options. Housed in a 1940s bowling, dining and dancing complex, this casual yet attractive restaurant boasts an atmosphere from family-friendly to romantic.

          Golden Fleece is a fairytale, born of a community rich in history and filled with a love of food & culture. Tucked away in the rolling mountains of Grovewood in Asheville North Carolina, Golden Fleece is a whimsical ode to the earth and the bounty of quality ingredients it provides. It is a celebration of slow cooked wild game, crackling fires, rustic recipes, and the beauty of naked produce.

          A trattoria specializing in brick wood-fired oven pizza, salads, soups, desserts, espresso coffee, wine and beer.

          This hot spot features a bright, modern interior and is known for its great food, excellent service, eclectic wine list and reasonable prices.

          Authentic affordable Italian street food cuisine in Downtown Asheville.

           

          James Beard-worthy - These restaurants and their chefs have been recognized by the prestigious James Beard Foundation awards.

          he best of Spain, conveniently located in downtown Asheville! Cúrate is pleased to bring the best Spain has to offer through our traditional cuisine, unrivaled hospitality and festive, energetic atmosphere.

          Here you’ll enjoy Chef Katie Button’s masterful American food creations, served small-plate style, with a focus on local Appalachian ingredients. Enhance the meal with our playful and original craft cocktails, distinctive wines and spirits from all over the world, and local draft beers. Finish with a decadent dessert for a truly unique dining experience.

          Rhubarb, at the heart of Asheville on Pack Square, is a comfortable place for friends, families and strangers to simply lean in and enjoy the company-a place where food and drink is at its uncomplicated best. Chef John Fleer, a three time James Beard nominee for Best Chef Southeast has created a menu inspired by seasonal, local ingredients and pays homage to the bounty of regional and American cooking.

          Table: unfettered, moderately priced new-American cuisine for everyone. Offering a hip, urban comfortable, friendly environment with exceptional and welcoming service.

           

          Pair with a pint (or a cocktail) - Drink up at these places known not only for their food but for their refreshing adult-beverages.

          A warm and inviting experience to top off your relaxing day in Downtown Asheville. Chestnut is located across the street from the new Aloft Hotel on Biltmore Avenue and just up the street from The Orange Peel.

          Chestnut features local and seasonal flavors. Enjoy a signature Kale Salad, or a delectable Lobster Bisque.

          STORM Rhum Bar & Bistro is a unique dining and bar experience offering an exceptional new-world approach to classic food and drink. At STORM, we believe that the most interesting places – whether in some exotic corner of the world or right in your own backyard – can inspire creativity, imagination and ideas.

          Located inside of The Wedge Studios building in  the River Arts District of Asheville, The Bull and Beggar provides a modern take on rustic European inspired cuisine, filtered through the products and people that surround us.  

          Located in downtown Asheville, the brewpub is the original home of Wicked Weed Brewing housing a full restaurant, tasting room, bottle shop, and original 15 barrel brewery.

          The upstairs portion of the historic building hosts a full restaurant featuring elevated pub gastronomy, 16 of our beer offerings, and classic as well as creative cocktails. Complete with a dog friendly patio and cocktail area at street level guests are sure to find the brewery experience suited to them.

           

          Family Favorites - With a laid-back dining atmosphere, these eateries are perfect for a night out with a group featuring people of all ages.

          Marco's Pizzeria continues the family business started in 1933 of cooking unparalleled New York-style pizza in two locations in Asheville, North Carolina. In addition to pizza, Marco's offers a full menu of Italian favorites including salads, pastas, sandwiches, calzones, and strombolis.

          Comfort food, quickly and a trendy downtown location. Whether it's family dinner or a quick business lunch Twisted Laurel has the fresh Mediterranean menu you've been looking for. Within walking distance of Pack's Square, you don't have to go off the beaten path to discover consistently great food in an unbelievable atmosphere.

          Their food is good and affordable, always, with no exceptions. Offering an outdoor patio overlooking the French Broad River and the train tracks. With an on-site parking lot right next to the restaurant.

           

          Farm-to-Table Flavors - While many participating restaurants offer farm-to-table fare, these stand out for their dedication to using ingredients from local farms.

          Ambrozia Bar and Bistro is a neighborhood café located in North Asheville next to scenic Beaver Lake. It features modern American cuisine with a twist. The ever changing menu specializes in farm fresh local ingredients. The quaint atmosphere is modern and comfortable.

          At Buffalo Nickel, we strive to provide you with a warm and inviting atmosphere, free of pretense. A place where you can feel comfortable and relaxed as you join us for dinner or drinks. We are a chef-driven restaurant providing familiar flavors from many different regions of this great country. We agree that great food begins with great ingredients. That is why we feel very passionate about forming not just professional, but also personal, bonds with each of our farmers and purveyors. We feel this ensures we will receive the very best product possible for all of you to enjoy. A dash of this belief, mixed with a pinch of advanced culinary technique, and a generous portion of exemplary service in a comfortable setting is Buffalo Nickel’s recipe for a truly enjoyable dining experience. Join us in embracing modern American cuisine and culture!

          We aim to provide a little something for everyone, and offer lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch with menus focused on value as well as quality. All of our menus reflect both the diversity of our influences (American South, Italy, & New Orleans to name a few) as well as our support of many local farms.

          Chef Joe Scully brings years of culinary experience to bear in his special North Carolina take on Pan-American cuisine, while host Kevin Westmoreland makes you feel as welcome as an old friend at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

          Fresh, local, seasonal: Chef Duane Fernandes describes his menu as “ingredient driven new American with a Mediterranean influence”. Isa’s menus are printed daily in order to highlight the best local produce as well as outstanding product from around the world. Fernandes’ experience in some of America’s top kitchens has left him dedicated to and passionate about the authentic, memorable dining experience.

          Posana is a contemporary American restaurant in the heart of downtown Asheville on Historic Pack Square. Enjoy imaginative seasonal menus, showcasing the best of the region’s produce and products in a warm and inviting atmosphere.  Posana sources premium ingredients from over 65 local purveyors and farmers and our own urban garden in West Asheville.

          Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, The Market Place Restaurant specializes in handcrafted cuisine from seasonal and local ingredients, many of which come from within a 100 mile radius of Asheville. Bringing you the local harvest since 1979. An Asheville favorite on charming Wall Street in the heart of the city's cultural scene. Dining available in 3 settings: a more classic, butcher block table dining room for both casual and special meals, a relaxed bar and lounge for cocktails and live music, and a relaxed garden patio during fine weather.

           

          Delicious Date Nights - Intimate dining and great wine lists make these places perfect for an evening with your sweetheart.

          Conveniently located in Biltmore Park, 131 Main redefines fresh with cuisine that bursts with flavor and an interior that seamlessly combines the modern with the elegant. 131 Main offers its patrons the freshest ingredients possible. In fact, all meat and fish are purchased daily by our expert staff. An open French-style cooking suite allows patrons to look on as our chefs prepare their culinary masterpieces.

          The Red Stag Grill offers Asheville's finest gastronomic choices in a casual atmosphere where everyone feels warm, welcome and at ease. Emanating Old-World ambience with hand-hewn beams and tables, walnut wood flooring, and intimate lighting, the restaurant also includes a dramatic lounge for socializing while enjoying brilliantly prepared libations. The Red Stag Grill's menu includes a masterful blend of chops, game and traditional favorites - all with an emphasis on the freshest local ingredients complimented by an extensive wine list.

          Discover Roux and you just may become addicted. Our patrons tell us they're mad about Roux. We knew when we opened we were creating something special, but our patron's love of Roux is our best affirmation. Our Executive Chef Randy Dunn has created an innovative menu incorporating small plates and comfort food finished with a creative twist. Roux fuses southern comfort with modern sophistication, dishes inspired by our Chef's grandmother's kitchen then spiced with locally farmed ingredients that are all Asheville.

          Ruth’s Chris Steak House is a part of Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. Founded in New Orleans by Ruth Fertel in 1965, Ruth’s Chris specializes in USDA Prime grade steaks served in Ruth’s Chris signature fashion … “sizzling.” To experience fine dining at its prime …just follow the sizzle to Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

          The Blackbird's goal is to delight it's guests with cooking grounded in the traditions and ingredients of the Carolinas creating an affordable and vibrant menu – Modern Southern with a “nod” to tradition. The Menu features the seasonal best from local farmers, fresh catches from the coast of the Carolinas, as well as the many incredible local micro-brews and great wines from the Americas.

          Asheville Restaurant Week

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            Celebrate News Years Eve 2016 in Asheville - Ring in 2017 the Right Way!

            The Ultimate Guide to Asheville New Year's Eve

            From: www.citizen-times.com

            By:

            Go home, 2016. You're not invited to this party.

            Come New Year's Eve in Asheville and the surrounding area, it's time to dance away the 2016 blues — and there are plenty of local venues and events that are here to help you do it.

            Welcome 2017 to the world by dancing at the three-floor, six-bar annual Grove House bash or party the cold away at a Caribbean-style party downtown. There's Thirsty Monk's fourth annual keg drop and bands at The Bywater — at Top of the Monk, brush up on your French and party into the new year like it's 1925 Paris.

            From dancing to rock shows, fancy affairs to celebrating the apocalypse, it's time to forget the bad things from 2016 and cross our fingers for a better new year. Break out the champagne, and offer up a "cheers" to 2017!

            If you feel like dancing

            As if. On the last evening of 2016, the Burger Bar is taking its guests back to 1995 for A Very '90s New Year. Party to music from two decades ago while dressed in totally awesome era-wear — from midriff tops to flannels-around-the-waist, platform shoes to perfectly crimped hair, pinned with butterfly clips. Prizes will be awarded to the best dressed. Ben Herring will be blasting all the hits of the decade, and, to give 2016 a proper sendoff, he'll play the best of the best from the beloved musicians lost this year, starting at 11 p.m. Bison burgers and other treats will be on the grill, and a special champagne toast will happen at midnight. Don't miss this party back in time at 1 Craven St., from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31.

            New York City drops a ball, Atlanta drops a peach, Miami drops an orange — and, for the last three years, Asheville's dropped a keg. The tradition continues in 2016/2017, as Asheville rings in the new year at the Biltmore Park Thirsty Monk with the fourth annual New Year's Eve Keg Drop Celebration. The two-story golden keg will be lit up and glowing on New Year's Eve, and, at midnight, the Monk will tap their special keg of Woodstove Winter Ale and toast to the possibilities 2017 brings. The party is free to attend at ends at 1:30 a.m., at 2 Town Square Blvd. in South Asheville/Biltmore Park.

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            If you want to hear some tunes

            Future soul funk band Window Cat will be shaking things up at The Bywater on Riverside Drive from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

            Head to the Grey Eagle to see the funk, soul and Americana legends that are Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band and The Broadcast. Dance away the 2016 blues with some Taqueria tacos in hand, starting at 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Tickets are $20 in advance at thegreyeagle.com or $25 at the door.

            Over at Isis Music Hall in West Asheville, the Jon Stickley Trio, The Honeycutters and Taylor Martin's Engine will swing the venue into 2017, starting at 8:30 p.m.

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            If you like strange themes

            What was great about 2016? The new Netflix series Stranger Things, of course. Head to the New Year's Eve Freak Out at Toy Boat Community Art Space with Eleven and the gang to party all night with Passion Faction, Abu Disarray, DJ Malinalli, DJ Kent Scott and VJ J.S.F. Doors open at 10 p.m., and entry is $8 in advance or $10 day-of.

            At the Top of the Monk, guests will teleport to a different time, a different place for the fourth annual Paris in the Twenties party at 92 Patton Ave. Ring in the new year underneath the glow of the Eiffel Tower, on the rooftop patio at Top of the Monk. The Paris in the Twenties New Year's Eve Soirée features dazzling styles and costumes, special cocktails, a Brandy Sidecar toast at midnight and a holiday menu. The fancy evening starts at 4 p.m. and goes 'til 1:30 a.m.

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            Asheville Events to Ring in 2017

            From: www.exploreasheville.com

            From watching a golden keg drop at midnight to hearing a band play a Grateful Dead/bluegrass fusion to a candlelight vigil of release and renewal, Asheville stays true to form by ringing in 2017 in a unique way. Looking for a more traditional celebration with live music, a dance floor and a champagne toast? There’s no shortage of those big parties in town to help you welcome the new year in style!  

            Photo by Jared Kay. Graphic created by Cat Kessler.

            Asheville New Year's Events At-A-Glance

            New Year’s Eve Masquerade at The Social Lounge: Dress as your favorite superhero and join others in downtown Asheville ready to conquer a new year. Before the party at The Social Lounge, enjoy the Italian custom of the Feast of the Seven Fishes next door at Strada. Reservations for dinner are strongly recommended.

            Pack’s New Year Countdown at Pack’s Tavern: The Big Deal Band will play in the Century Room and DJ MoTo will spin in the South Bar. In the heart of downtown, Pack’s Tavern offers three bars. A buffet kicks off the evening.

            EPIC New Year's Eve Bash at Grove House Entertainment Complex: Bring in 2017 with a New Year's Eve party spread across three dance floors. There will be balloon drops on all three dance floors and the balloons will be stuffed with more than $1000 in cash and prizes. The Grove House will serve heavy Hors d'oeuvres and desserts and champagne toast, and will hand out party favors.

            New Year’s Eve Keg Drop at Thirsty Monk South (Biltmore Park): A tradition now in its fourth year, a two-story golden, lighted keg will descend at midnight at Thirsty Monk South. As 2017 arrives, party goers will tap a keg of Woodstove Winter Ale and toast to the New Year. The keg drop celebration is free to attend.

            New Year’s Eve Bash at Salvage Station: A full lineup of performers including Santos Glocal Soul and Laura Reed take the stage to provide hours of music entertainment at Salvage Station. A champagne toast at midnight will be followed by Dr. Get Right’s dance party.

            New Year’s Eve with The Honeycutters and Jon Stickley Trio at Isis Music Hall: Three of Asheville’s best bands come together for an evening of music and celebration. Dinner reservations will be available in the dining room and Isis Lounge.

            Grass is Dead at Asheville Music Hall: Pickin’ and Grinnin’ are what this Grateful Dead/bluegrass fusion band does best. It’s music likely to have you smiling as 2017 begins at Asheville Music Hall.

            New Year’s Eve at Nightbell: Renowned Chef Katie Button has created a five-course prix fixe menu that Nightbell will serve on New Year’s Eve. A reservation is a must.

            New Year's Eve at Calypso: Asheville's newest restaurant, Calypso, is hosting multiple special events on Lexington Avenue. The Early Bird Gala features a four-course prix fixe dinner with a cocktail of your choice, carnivale dancers, show, and dance party. The New Year's Eve Ball Drop Gala, just a little later, has a five-course prix fixe feast with a cocktail of your choice. Following Miami's ball drop and a special midnight champagne toast, the party continues with DJ Disc-oh!'s Island Vibe Dance Party.

            Midnight in London: Get your evening started off early at Metro Wines for a British-inspired celebration. At 7 p.m. Asheville time, the fireworks will start in London. Bangers, chips and cheddar cheese, sparkling French wine, and Bordeaux will be served.

            Endings, Beginnings -- A Candlelight Vigil of Release and Renewal at Urban Dharma: Purify the past year’s "negativities" through chanting the Vajrasattva mantra. The lighting of candles serves to renew the commitment to creating a better world for all.

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            Where to ring out the old and welcome the new year

            From: www.mountainx.com

            By:

            For many people, 2016 was a bit of a horror show. Relationships tanked, beloved stars passed away, and then there was the election. If none of these events touched you negatively, you might not even need a New Year’s Eve roundup. But for those of us who want to kick this year to the curb and see in — albeit with some trepidation — 2017, here’s where to sip some bubbly, wear a wacky hat, dance like no one’s watching and party like it’s 1999 (there’s no shame if you secretly wish it was).

            And, for what it’s worth, let’s hug the ones we love, be kind to our fellow New Year’s Eve revelers and begin the next year as we mean to continue. Happy New Year to you, readers. May it be happy, healthy and sweet.

            All events listed take place on Saturday, Dec. 31. For more New Year’s Eve ideas, visit Clubland, Calendar and mountainx.com

            • Everyone’s invited to The BLOCK off Biltmore’s all-ages One Love New Year’s Eve Party. Dance to ReggaeInfinity from 8-11 p.m. followed by a salsa band, and Wadadli Dessert Oasis will serve up vegan food. $10. 39 S. Market St., theblockoffbiltmore.com

            • Bluegrass fans and Grateful Dead fans can have the best of both worlds at the Grass Is Dead show at Asheville Music Hall. The band formed in South Florida nearly 20 years ago but only recently started touring outside its home state. The group opened for Leftover Salmon in Asheville last year and returns to town to ring in the new year. 10 p.m. $12 advance/$15 day of show. 31 Patton Ave., ashevillemusichall.com

            • “Because when it’s 7 p.m. here, it’s Midnight in London!” is the tagline for MetroWines’ early-evening event. Midnight in London includes bangers, chips and cheddar cheese with Bordeaux and sparkling French wine in time for New Year’s Eve fireworks in the U.K. 6-7:30 p.m. $30, reservations required. 169 Charlotte St., metrowinesasheville.com

            • Empire Strikes Brass is finishing work on its debut album, Theme for a Celebration, at Echo Mountain Studios, and will launch a release tour in February. First, the band will take time out for a little celebrating with a New Year’s Eve show at New Mountain, 38 N. French Broad Ave. The show includes one set by Empire Strikes Brass, “with surprises honoring some of the fallen musical heroes of 2016,” says guitarist Kelly Hannah; and a late-night set billed as “Push Pull Strikes Brass,” which is DJ Push Pull with a horn section. 9 p.m. $20 advance, $25 day of show. newmountainavl.com

            • “We will be doing what we do best — music, food and fun — all night long,” says The Salvage Station, 466 Riverside Drive, of its end-of-the-year party. The music part of that equation includes performances by Santos Glocal Soul and Laura Reed plus a late-night DJ dance party with Dr. Get Right. A Champagne toast will take place at midnight. 7 p.m. $8 advance/$10 day of show. salvagestation.com

            • The Hustle Souls put in regular appearances on area stages and draw from sounds coming from New Orleans and Memphis. As The Musoscribe writes, “Hotshot guitarist Chris Everett — a master in most every musical genre — spins out endlessly creative licks, and he does so in a manner that makes it look easy.” Everett and company perform at Foggy Mountain Brew Pub, 12 Church St., starting at 10 p.m. Free. foggymountainavl.com

            • Fittingly, Asheville Symphony Orchestra will welcome 2017 with a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. “Each year orchestras around the world celebrate the new year with performances of this towering musical work, which celebrates hope and brotherhood,” says a press release. The concert features the Asheville Symphony Chorus with soloists Danielle Pastin, soprano; Kirstin Chavez, mezzo-soprano; Rolando Sanz, tenor; and Steven Condy, bass. Music starts at 8 p.m. at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, 87 Haywood St. $22-74. ashevillesymphony.org

            • A threesome of local roots music awesomeness — Jon Stickley Trio, The Honeycutters and Taylor Martin — play in the new year at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall, 743 Haywood Road. Come early for dinner, starting at 5 p.m. (reservations required) or drop by later for the show, which begins at 8:30 p.m. $20. isisasheville.com

            • The Time Machine Dance Party returns to The LAB, 39 N. Lexington Ave. Here’s how it works: Music from a different decade is played each hour, starting with the ’60s and ’70s at 10 p.m., moving to the ’80s at 11 p.m., the ’90s at midnight and wrapping up with the 2000s and 2010s in the first hour of the new year. Free. lexavebrew.com

            • “Nothing rings in the new year like the sound of firecrackers and Champagne bottles popping off,” points out The Crow and Quill. The venue, at 106 N. Lexington Ave., heats up the wintry night with the high-energy, New Orleans-style Firecracker Jazz Band. 9 p.m., $5-$10 suggested donation. thecrowandquill.com

            • The Countdown to 2017 party at Pack’s Tavern, 20 S. Spruce St., starts at 6:30 p.m. with a ticketed buffet dinner ($50 per person), followed by the separately ticketed show at 9:30 p.m. The Big Deal Band takes the stage in the Century Room, and DJ Moto will spin dance hits in the South Bar. Doors open at 8 p.m.. $10. packstavern.com

            • First, it was sad news when rapper GZA canceled his New Year’s Eve show at The Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave., after Wu-Tang Clan — his longtime group — announced a performance the same night in Las Vegas. But then it was happy news when hip-hop artist Talib Kweli filled in the slot. The Mos Def and Kanye collaborator has played LEAF (where he replaced De La Soul). Local artists RBTS WIN and Mike L!VE open. 9 p.m. $30 advance/$30 day of show. theorangepeel.net

            • Newly opened Calypso Restaurant, 18 N. Lexington Ave., holds two New Year’s Eve parties. The Early Bird Gala boasts a four-course dinner with a Carnivale dance show, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $75. The Ball Drop Gala includes a five-course feast, a Champagne toast following the ball drop in Miami, and an island-vibe disco party with DJ Disc-Oh, 9 p.m.-midnight, $130. Then, an after-party takes place at the venue’s disco street tent, with costumed dancers, Caribbean music and cocktails, for a $20 ticket. calypsoasheville.com

            • Izzi Hughes, a junior at Hendersonville High School and an up-and-coming singer-songwriter, performs an early show at The Greenhouse Moto Cafe, 4021 Haywood Road, Mills River. Hughes says her set “contains an eclectic mix of covers from old to extremely current [and] I have arranged most of the songs in a slightly different way than the original with my own unique twist.” 7-10 p.m. avl.mx/383

            • Looking for a local powerhouse New Year’s Eve? The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave., has you covered: Funk collective Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band shares the bill with soul rockers The Broadcast. Both bands pretty much owned 2016; maybe starting 2017 in their presence is a good move. 9 p.m., $20 advance/$25 day of show. thegreyeagle.com

            • If local music fans used to shun cover bands, the well-chosen tribute song has come back into favor, thanks in part to The Mothlight’s themed shows. For New Year’s Eve it’s “The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 2” and Tom Petty. No word at press time about what area musicians will wear those legendary mantles. 9 p.m., $10. 701 Haywood Road, themothlight.com

            • While the long-standing New Year’s Eve tradition at Jack of the Wood, 95 Patton Ave., used to be bluegrass band Sons of Ralph, this year the bar hosts what could become a new familial tradition: Rock outfit Woody Wood and The Family Band. 9 p.m., $10. jackofthewood.com

             

            • Here’s something to celebrate: The Grove House commemorates its 35th annual Epic NYE Bash. The party “started with Scandals in 1982 and spread throughout all three floors, now known as Grove House Entertainment Complex,” says a press release. This year’s three-floor fete, held in Scandals, Club Eleven On Grove and The Boiler Room, includes three dance floors, six bartender stations, balloon drops, party favors, hors d’oeuvres and Champagne toasts and eight themed areas (“Pirates That Stole Christmas,” “Forest Of Silver & Gold,” “Old School Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Santa Saloon,” “Holiday Hall,” “Candy Land” and “Ice Palace”). If that’s not enough, there’s also a drag show in Scandals at midnight. 8 p.m.-3 a.m., $25 advance/$30 day of show ages 21 and older/$35 ages 18-20. 11 Grove St., thegrovehouse.com

            • This year, the annual New Year’s Eve bash at Tressa’s Downtown Jazz & Blues features two local acts: blues artist Ruby Mayfield and R&B outfit Jesse Barry and the Jam. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. 28 Broadway, tressas.com

            • Local Dead-centric jam band Phuncle Sam returns to Pisgah Brewing, 150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain, for its annual New Year’s Eve show. “As usual, this is a free event to the public, complete with balloon drop and Champagne toast,” says the website. Root Down food truck vends. 9:30 p.m. pisgahbrewing.com

             

            • The New Year’s Eve Hootenanny at Oskar Blues Brewery, 342 Mountain Industrial Drive, Brevard, comes complete with shuttle transportation from Brevard hotels. But the real star of the evening is headliner Southern Culture on the Skids. That band shares the bill with Jonny Fritz and Pretty Little Goat. There will also be food from the Oskar Blues CHUBwagons, a free photo booth and specialty beers. Doors open at 7 p.m. $25 local tickets at the Tasty Weasel Taproom/$35 advance/$45 day of event. oskarblues.com

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              Holiday Happening Around Asheville

              From: www.mountainx.com

              The holiday season is in full swing, and there’s so many celebratory possibilities that it would be easy to miss out on something big — lights shows, a trolley tour, a naughty elf and good music are all on the list.

              Consider this a bit of a cheat sheet, providing a peek at festively themed craft shows, art openings, theatrical productions and concerts. Need more ideas? Visit the Community Calendar and mountainx.com

              • Santaland Diaries started as an essay by David Sedaris about the holiday season he spent working as an elf at Macy’s. He read a version of the story on Public Radio International’s “This American Life” more than 20 years ago, and it was adapted for the stage. The one-man play returns to 35below at Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Wednesday, Dec. 14, through Saturday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., with 9:30 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Dec. 18. $15. ashevilletheatre.org

              • “Revel with local musicians and storytellers,” says the webpage for Christmas at Connemara, held Saturday, Dec. 17, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. The celebration takes place in the garage adjacent to the Sandburg Home. There will be cookies and cider, and craft-making in the bookstore from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 81 Carl Sandburg Lane, Flat Rock, avl.mx/364

              LIGHT IT UP: The North Carolina Arboretum's Winter Lights display, picture, is one of many outdoor LED light exhibits to visit throughout the holidays. Photo courtesy of the N.C. Arboretum LIGHT IT UP: The North Carolina Arboretum’s Winter Lights display, pictured, is one of many outdoor LED light exhibits to visit throughout the holidays. Photo courtesy of the N.C. Arboretum

              • The North Carolina Arboretum hosts its Winter Lights exhibit through Sunday, Jan. 1. The walk-through experience — “a winter wonderland [of] uniquely lit displays and landscapes composed of nearly 500,000 energy-efficient LED lights,” according to the arboretum’s website — is on view in the gardens. “Listen to the sounds of your favorite holiday tunes or enjoy a cup of holiday-inspired cocoa, cider or beer,” and the property’s Savory Thyme Café serves a holiday buffet every weekend. 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way. 6-10 nightly. $18 adults/$16 children ages 5-11 with group and member discounts available. ncarboretum.org

              • Duo Vela is American flutist Marla Nistico and Australian guitarist Daniel Nistico. The married musicians started their band while attending The Eastman School of Music. Though they’ve toured extensively (including in China, Australia and New Zealand), the Nisticos recently relocated to Asheville. They’ll play a special concert as part of the N.C. Arboretum’s Winter Lights (see above). The performance of Christmas carols takes place on Sunday and Tuesday, Dec. 25 and 27, 6:30-10 p.m., on the Education Centre’s Atrium Stage.

              • The Lake Julian Festival of Lights is a drive-through light show featuring thousands of colored bulbs and 50 animated and stationary displays. The exhibit is on view through Friday, Dec. 23, 6-9 nightly. $5 cars/$10 vans/$25 motor coaches. 406 Overlook Road Ext., Arden, avl.mx/365

              • Celebrate Irish and Scottish heritage (yours or someone else’s) at the annual Celtic Yulefest. “The word yule comes from the Old English ‘geol,’ which was the name of the winter festival held in many European countries around the time of the winter solstice,” says a press release. The gathering includes music from Carolina Ceili with special guests The Belfast Boys, fiddler Laura Smith and the Ashegrove Garland Dancers at White Horse Black Mountain, 105 C Montreat Road, on Saturday, Dec. 17, 8 p.m. $18 advance/$20 at the door. whitehorseblackmountain.com

              • If your band name is “The Mistletoes,” you’d better book a lot of gigs in December. Actually, that group (Chris Boerner on guitar, Allyn Love on pedal steel, Casey Toll on bass and Joe Westerlund on drums) backs Raleigh-based singer-songwriter Jeanne Jolly on her seasonal-themed eight-date Jolly Holiday Revue. Expect “a mix of holiday favorites and original compositions,” according to a press release for the show that stops at the Isis Restaurant & Music Hall, 743 Haywood Road, on Saturday, Dec. 17, 7 and 9:15 p.m. $15. isisasheville.com

              • The historic Smith-McDowell House offers special insight into a Victorian-era Christmas. “Six rooms of the Smith-McDowell House representing the 1840s-1890s will be on display with costumed interpreters describing the evolution of Clement Moore’s poem through the 19th century,” says a press release. The theme of the house’s holiday display is Moore’s famed A Visit from St. Nicholas. The Smith-McDowell house is open to the public Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Christmas decorations will be on view through Friday, Jan. 6; general daytime admission is $9. 283 Victoria Road, wnchistory.org

              • “Using the most technologically advanced equipment in the industry, Christmas Wonderland magically expresses what Christmas means to us,” say the organizers of Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, a “drive-through, fully synchronized, LED Christmas light and music show” held in six locations. One of those spots is the WNC Agricultural Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher. Visit the display through Friday, Dec. 30, dusk-10 p.m. $25 cars and family vans/$40 activity vans. shadrackchristmas.com/asheville

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                Affordable Ways to Winterize Your Home

                From: www.lifeyourway.net

                Preparing for the cold winter weather is a great way to green up your home and make it more energy efficient so that  you can turn your thermostat down a few notches and save energy and money on your heating bills this winter.

                Here are a few easy and affordable ideas to weatherproof your home for winter:

                Windows

                1. Make sure your storm windows are installed correctly

                If you have older windows, be sure that your storm windows are in good repair and closed correctly all around your home.  Storm windows help to provide an additional layer of protection against the cold winter air.

                2. Add plastic coverings to the inside of your windows

                On the inside of your windows, you can easily add plastic covering that further helps to insulate old, drafty windows.  We put the plastic over our wooden blinds, and poke a little hole at the top to pull the cord through so that we can still open the blinds and let the sun shine in, which also helps to heat up the house.

                Doors

                4. Use door draft stoppers

                You can buy a door draft stopper (there are lots of cute ones on Etsy!), or if you’re crafty, make one yourself.  Place them along your outside doors to help keep away the draft that seeps in underneath the door.

                5. Fix leaks around doors and windows

                Light a candle and move it around the door and window frames in your home.  If it flickers, you know there is a draft coming in, so patch the leaky spots with caulk or weather stripping.

                Around the House

                6. Get a water heater insulating blanket.

                Insulating your hot water heater saves energy by reducing heat lost through the sides of the water heater by 25-40%, which will help save you money on your energy bills.

                7. Insulate your outlets

                This one might seem a little silly, but many electrical outlets, especially in older homes, don’t have insulation around them. These could be a source of drafty cold air or a place that the warm air can leak out of your house since they are essentially just a hole in the wall.  To insulate your outlets, purchase foam padding that easily fits around your electrical outlets or light switches. Remember to take care and follow directions when working around electricity!

                8. Add attic or basement insulation (or both!)

                This one will probably cost you the most amount of money, but it will also give you the largest return on your investment.  Large amounts of heat can be lost through non-insulated, or under insulated, basements, crawl spaces or attics. Adding insulation to your attic may be a DIY job, even if you just roll out some extra insulation along the floor and walls of the attic.

                The basement probably requires an experienced contractor because of the issues of moisture, which can lead to mold, and increased radon, which can lead to lung cancer.  You can also seek out greener types of insulation made from recycled materials like denim, newspaper or wool that are formaldehyde-free.

                Contact your LOCAL Asheville REALTORS to find great contractors and help with all your real estate needs!

                 

                These tips are great, but before utilizing them, however, it may make sense to get a home energy audit to find out your home’s weak spots.

                 

                Extreme cold weather can be hard on both you and your home. Here are some tips to put into practice when freezing weather, snow, and ice hit your area.

                How to Prevent and Deal with Frozen Pipes

                Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
                Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the "strength" of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
                 
                Preventing Frozen Pipes
                Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:
                • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
                • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
                • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
                • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
                During Cold Weather, Take Preventative Action
                • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
                • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
                • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
                • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
                • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
                To Thaw Frozen Pipes
                • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
                • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
                • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
                • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
                • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
                Future Protection
                • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
                • Pipes can be relocated by a professional if the home is remodeled.
                • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
                • For more information, please contact a licensed plumber or building professional.

                Read More: www.redcross.org

                 

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                  Fourth annual CiderFest - October 15th.

                   

                   

                  Town and Mountain Realty is a proud sponsor of the Fourth annual CiderFest, which will take place Saturday, October 15th from 1-5pm. The mid-October event date, slightly earlier than the November event date of years past, will coincide with the peak fall colors in Asheville, providing the perfect fall setting for this year's festival.

                  In addition to the new event date, this year's CiderFest will be held at a new venue, the event space at Salvage Station, located beside the French Broad River just off I-26. 

                   

                              

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Small bites from a variety of craft food vendors will be available throughout the day. A festival favorite, WNC Cheese Trail, will be offering samples from local creameries, and several local farms will be offering samples of apple pies, jellies and jams, and other apple products. Other food sample offerings will include artisanal cheeses, caramels, and baked goods. For a full list of food vendors, see here.

                   

                                 

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  CiderFest will also feature local bands and buskers roaming throughout the venue providing live music for festival-goers to enjoy while in line for food and beverage samples or while perusing the local arts-and-crafts vendors. More information on the music and craft vendors can be found here

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Other entertainment will include community-focused workshops such as educational cidermaking seminars, and an interactive kids zone featuring hands-on educational green-living activities and eco-friendly crafts. More information on kids zone activities can be found here.

                   

                   

                  To purchase tickets or read more about this event, visit the CiderFest homepage.

                   

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                    Outdoor Activities in Asheville

                    Outdoor Activities in Asheville

                    Photo credit: beauforthouse.com

                    This guest post was contributed by Real Estate Unlimited, an Echo Park real estate company. 

                    Asheville’s placement in the Blue Ridge Mountains creates a variety of opportunities for outdoor fun, and the area is home to architectural treasures and natural wonders. In this post, we’ll look at some of the prime ways you and your family can take advantage of the magnificent landscapes of Asheville, NC!

                    Since Asheville sits at the juncture of two rivers, the Swannanoa River and the French Broad River, the area has become renowned for whitewater rafting, named “#1 Vacation with a Splash” by Good Morning America and National Geographic Adventurer. Visitors can enjoy a rafting trip on several local waterways, including customary favorites like the Nantahala River and the Pigeon River. Each has its own personality, with some offering exciting rapids and others drifting along a more placid scenic course. 

                    Kayaking isn’t the only way to survey the landscape.  For the adventurous traveler, multiple companies offer zipline tours that allow you to swoop out across the Asheville Valley, catching expansive views of the Asheville city skyline. Recently, several adventure tourism companies opened up zipline courses for all ages above ten, so your kids don’t have to miss out! If you’d rather keep your feet planted on the ground, you can take a waterfall tour including a leisurely day hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with rest stops at some of Asheville’s most beautiful natural water features.

                    Cycling enthusiasts might want to check out the Farmland Heritage Trail, a gentle cycling and driving route that winds through the preserved agricultural communities of Alexander, Leicester, Sandy Mush, and Newfound. Along the tour, you’ll see “Farm Stop” signs indicating farms open to visitors interested in an educational tour. If you’re interested in learning more about the fauna inhabiting the Southern Appalachian environs of Asheville, plan a trip to the Western North Carolina Nature Center, which is home to over sixty species of local animals including river otters, black bears, cougars, and red wolves. 

                    Photo credit: amplified-media.com

                    Asheville has a strong tradition of street music, from sidewalk buskers to multiple outdoor music festivals. One famous event is the “Shindig on the Green” outdoor music festival, which takes place every Saturday evening during July and August. Scheduled to start “along about sundown,” the festival takes over Asheville’s City/County Plaza for local bluegrass bands and dance teams. The trees bracketing the County Courthouse nearby provide an impromptu stage for jam sessions. 

                    If you’re interested in learning more about Asheville’s fascinating history, you can combine a walking tour with a journey into the past through Asheville’s Urban Trail attraction. The Urban Trail is a self-guided scavenger hunt. With the help of a detailed map, participants travel along a 1.7 mile city walking path that includes 30 stations, each one with its own work of art and bronze plaque offering information about Asheville’s history. 

                    Local sculptors and artists were commissioned to make each station engaging – for example, at the Vance Monument Station, you’ll see bronze pigs and turkeys to represent the Buncombe Turnpike, a busy thoroughfare for farmers taking animals to market. The tour includes literary stars like Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry, as well as architectural landmarks depicting Asheville’s Gilded-Age prominence. Although the course can be walked in under an hour, you’ll probably want to stretch the excursion over a whole day, since there are so many dining and shopping attractions along the route.

                    However you like to spend a sunny day, Asheville has a wealth of attractions designed for you.  Choose the countryside or the downtown square – or both! – and make this storied North Carolina city your new favorite vacation getaway!

                    About the Author: Real Estate Unlimited is a premiere real estate agency located in Southern California, serving Echo Park and nearby neighborhoods. We pride ourselves on our in-depth local historical and cultural knowledge, ensuring that all of our clients are matched with the perfect home in the perfect area. We are passionate about delivering the best service to all of our clients. 

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