8/11/2011 - ASHEVILLE ADVENTURE OF THE WEEK
by Karen Chavez - Asheville Citizen Times
When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Waterrock Knob Visitor Center, Milepost 451.2 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Details: This will be the second annual celebration of the rich heritage and history found in the communities hugging the Blue Ridge Parkway, said park ranger Pam Mann. The event started last year as part of the parkway's year-long 75th anniversary celebration. It proved to be popular.
"We had nearly 1,400 people attend the event last year, which is a lot for Waterrock Knob," Mann said. "We are going to have even more craft demonstrations and tents this year."
There will be free, ongoing craft demonstrations throughout the day as well as Cherokee dancers, Appalachian storytellers, old-time and bluegrass bands, and clogging. Bryson City naturalist George Ellison will end the day with a nature hike through Waterrock Knob starting at 3 p.m. Visitors can also do their own hiking in the area on their own.
The Visitor Center and Eastern National gift shop will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and food will be available for purchase from Big Mountain BBQ.
"The idea for the event is to show people driving on the parkway that there are lots of great communitiies full of heritage, and to get them into the communities that we share so much with," Mann said.
Some of the local heritage-based craft demonstrations will include wool spinning (from sheep to finished product), goat cheese making (along with baby goats to pet), wood carving, pottery and more.
One of last year's popular presenters, Bob Plott, author of "Strike and Stay," the history of the North Carolina state dog, will return with his dog, Nannie the Plott hound.
Live entertainment will include The Ross Brothers, J Creek Cloggers, Ammon Sisters Mountain Storytelling, and the Boys from Tuckaseegee, among others.
Directions: From Asheville, head south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Milepost 451. Or take a faster route on I-40 west to Exit 27, then continue on U.S. 19 west to the Balsam entrance for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Head south. The drive is about an hour and a half.
Information: Call the Balsam office of the parkway at 456-9530. For automated road and weather conditions, call 298-0398.