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Asheville connections: Big Love, local food, party



1/16/2012 - Asheville connections: Big Love, local food, party
by Asheville Citizen Times - Jason Sanford

Big Love fest is back

ASHEVILLE - The Big Love Fest, a festival spotlighting local entrepreneurs and artists, is scheduled for May 6 and event organizers plan to issue a call for vendors starting Wednesday at

Organizers are seeking local talent and entrepreneurs who meet and strive to exceed the following specifications:

Makers: Artists and crafters who source their goods locally will be given priority. In addition to quality work, the festival is looking for outstanding and creative booth presence.

Food vendors: Preference will be give to food vendors who source a portion of their food locally or regionally. If a vendor needs or already has a Health Department permit, apply as a "food vendor." If not, apply as a "maker." To determine whether you will need a Health Department permit, contact Pam Cassanego at 250-5229. There are a limited number of spaces for food vendors. There will also be a designated area for food trucks.

Business vendors: Organizers are seeking independent businesses that specialize in locally sourced or manufactured products. The festival is welcoming businesses that supply services or engage the public in an activity. Preference will be given to applicants who conduct their business in Asheville or Buncombe County.

The festival will not consider vendors from outside Western North Carolina. Preference will be given to vendors who have had previous experience with outdoor festivals in the region.

NOC wins prestigious award

BRYON CITY - Nantahala Outdoor Center won the 2012 Outdoor Industry Association's small-company award for its work to break new ground on getting people outdoors.

The center will pick up its award at a Friday ceremony in Salt Lake City. The award is the industry's top honor for businesses contributing to the future of outdoor recreation as voted on by an expert panel of peers from the outdoor industry.

Other recipients of the 2012 Inspiration Award include The North Face, the National Outdoor Leadership School and Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind mountaineer to climb Mount Everest and the tallest mountains on every continent.

City accepting nonprofit proposals for NEA grants

ASHEVILLE - The city Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department is accepting proposals from eligible nonprofit cultural organizations for the city to be the local government partner for the National Endowment for the Arts 2012 Our Town grant.

Proposals will be accepted through 5 p.m. Wednesday. Applications must be mailed or hand-delivered by the deadline. Faxed or emailed applications won't be accepted.

The NEA Our Town grant invests in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with their arts and design organizations and artists, work to increase their livability. More information can be found at nea. gov. Proposal forms and guidelines can be found on the city's website,, or picked up on the fourth floor of 70 Court Plaza between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

For more information, contact Diane Ruggiero at 259-5815 or

Celebrating Jones' move

ASHEVILLE - The YWCA of Asheville is inviting the public to a party in honor of former executive director Holly Jones at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Renaissance Hotel.

The Movin' on Up Celebration starts with a 5:30 reception, followed by a 6:30 presentation, then dancing to the music of Westsound. Light hors d'oeurvres and desserts will be provided by Old Europe. Children are welcome.

After nearly 16 years as executive director, Jones left the YWCA of Asheville in December to work as regional manager for the YWCA's Southeast region. In her new role, Jones will be working with 23 local YWCAs in seven Southeastern states. Her job is to strengthen their organizational capacities and enhance the organization's collective voice.

Black Mountain store has got a yarn to tell, and sell

BLACK MOUNTAIN - The Black Mountain Yarn Shop will celebrate the start of its third year in business Jan. 27.

The shop is locally owned and located downtown at 203-A W. State St. It offers everything from local yarns to accessories, as well as knitting, crocheting, weaving, felting and spinning classes. The shop is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. For more info, go to

Know the business of farming

SWANNANOA - The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project is holding a conference for anyone currently farming or seriously considering farming as a profession.

The daylong event starts at 8 a.m. Feb. 25 at Warren Wilson College. Cost is $30 per person, or $45 for two farm partners before Feb. 1. Conference registration includes a choice of workshops, meetings with restaurant and wholesale buyers, a locally sourced breakfast and lunch, as well as a resource notebook. Call 236-1282 for more information.

Engage us

Do you have an announcement, an event or other news to share? If so, please email Jason Sandford at



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