"Cat-egorical" - by Brent Brown

Cat-egorical

The Asheville Chamber of Commerce recently produced a “Christmas Cat” video to promote the city, in hopes that they could catch some of that elusive virulence that cat memes seem to engender on the internet. Some criticism of the video was that it was too “generic” and there was nothing specifically “Asheville” about it. Therefore, […]

FORENSIC FOLKLORIST: "I'm excavating [folk] practices from older generations," says Byron Ballard, known as Asheville's village witch. Photo by Machaela Treadway

Byron Ballard keeps Appalachian folk magic practices alive

Known as Asheville’s village witch, Byron Ballard practices what she calls “hillfolk hoodoo,” a form of Appalachian folk magic. Ballard came by hoodoo naturally, growing up in a poor community in the mountains of Western North Carolina where hoodoo was practiced. She laments that the practice is disappearing: “Local hillfolk are no longer practicing hoodoo, […]

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Get outside for winter activities

Are you packing on those extra pounds after gorging on office holiday cookies and sugared paraphernalia? Are you spending your evenings hiding under your blankets and waiting for spring? Then you may be missing out on the great outdoor events Western North Carolina has to offer. We’ve rounded up some options for activities and great-outdoors clubs that will keep you moving well into the early […]

AS SEEN ON TV: Lex 18's new "Downton Abbey" dinner events will allow diners to experience a vintage banquet complete with butlers, footmen and interactions with a few characters from the popular British television show. Photo by Hayley Benton

Small Bites: Downton Abbey in downtown Asheville

The new year will bring a fresh dinner theater experience to Asheville — one that will be of particular interest to fans of the British television series Downton Abbey. On Sunday evenings starting Jan. 4, downtown restaurant Lex 18 will offer live viewings of the popular BBC program while re-creating an aristocratic 1920s meal in […]

Photo from the Flat Rock Playhouse Facebook page

Theater review: Flat Rock Downtown’s “A Motown Christmas”

Flat Rock Playhouse‘s new production, A Motown Christmas, is a tight two-hour show. It covers a number of predictable holiday classics — “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty The Snowman,” “Santa Clause is Coming To Town” and religious standards like “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” “Silent Night” and “Joy To The World.” The show features the vocal […]

Sunny Side Salad: Brunch can be breakfast, it can be lunch — or it can be anything in between. Sunny Point's breakfast salad is one dish that bridges a gap between meals. Photo courtesy of Sunny Point Café

Asheville: Brunch City, U.S.A.

Walking through the streets of downtown Asheville on a chilly Sunday morning, it’s hard not to be tempted by the smell of fresh-roasted coffee wafting from inside cracked doors. Outside, eye-catching rows of sandwich boards line the sidewalk. “Lobster omelette; local eggs,” reads one. “Fresh-squeezed pomegranate mimosa,” reads another, adorned with a colorful chalk-drawing of a tasty-looking […]

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Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler December 17-23: Wild Hobbit Annie at the Museum

In Theaters. And so it begins. The first flood of Christmasiana — clogging theater screens with Hobbits and Ben Stiller, a trickle of singing tots and one art title. And don’t forget, there’ll be another six titles hitting us on Christmas Day. These are perilous times we live in.     Unsurprisingly — especially since […]

(Photos by Appalachian Voices)

NC Policy Watch: Tough rules, engaged public needed to clean up coal ash

OPINION by Sarah Kellogg: This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will finally release the first-ever rule regulating the storage and disposal of coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal. For years, communities and environmental groups across the country have pushed the EPA to finalize the regulations, and now, due to a court ordered mandate, the […]