Labor Day, the last hurrah of summer, is almost upon us. The three-day weekend finds people scrambling to cram in as many fun activities and cold beers as possible before the leaves turn, the temperature drops and the tourists flee for warmer climes.
Thankfully, Asheville has no shortage of stellar diversions to sate your final cravings for summer fun. The following are just a few of the many ways to spend the long weekend as the nation celebrates hard work with hard play.
Bacon Fest Asheville
There’s so much hyperbole thrown around about the amazing qualities of bacon these days that you’ve probably already stopped listening to me and nestled yourself instead in a fantasy replete with the smell of smoke and a gentle sizzling sound. Celebrate the meat that makes everything better at Highland Brewing Company on Saturday, Aug. 31 from 1 to 4 p.m. Enjoy bacon barbeque, bacon ice cream, bacon-infused beer and just plain ol’ bacon, as well as music, football and plenty of other activities that coincide perfectly with mass bacon consumption.
Tickets are $10 for adults; free admission for children 12 and under.
For more information, visit http://1059themountain.com/2013/07/22/baconfest-asheville/.
Ooh La La Curiosity Market
With all the rainfall we’ve had this summer, it’s about time we find a good reason to crack out the umbrellas. This Saturday, Aug. 31, the Ooh La La Curiosity Market will set up in Pritchard Park beneath a bevy of colorful parasols as more than a dozen local artists showcase their wares. Whether you seek jewelry, pottery, painting or leather crafts, there’s sure to be something to pique your curiosity. And if browsing is more your style, there will also be three musical acts for your entertainment, as well as a raffle for a chance to win a tantalizing gift basket.
Admission is free; the market is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 31.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/OohLaLaCuriosityMarket.
NC Apple Festival
Is any fruit more beloved than the apple? I mean, would you call someone you love the kiwi of your eye? The grapefruit? For more than 65 years, the NC Apple Festival has been celebrating the glorious nature of this cherished fruit. Come down to downtown Hendersonville from Friday, Aug. 30 through Tuesday, Sept. 2 to enjoy a plethora of apple vendors, apple growers and artists inspired by that same muse that gave gravity to Sir Isaac Newton, sauce to Samuel R. Mott and a company name to Steve Jobs.
Admission is free; the festival runs in downtown Hendersonville from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30 through Tuesday, Sept. 2.
For more information, visit http://www.ncapplefestival.org/.
2013 Biltmore Concert Series – The Beach Boys and Bill Engvall
No one should have to tell you to get your butt over to the Biltmore Estate to see the Beach Boys on Friday, Aug. 30. But in case you aren’t convinced, here are a few reasons. Or, perhaps, “here’s your sign,” as comedian Bill Engvall would say. The beloved funnyman from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour and “The Bill Engvall Show” will perform at the estate on Saturday, Aug. 31. Whether you seek good vibrations or just a good chuckle, the 2013 Biltmore Concert Series has got you covered.
The Beach Boys perform on Friday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m.; tickets are $53 general admission or $63 reserved seating.
Bill Engvall performs on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 8 p.m.; tickets are $50 general admission, $60 reserved seating or $70 premium seating.
For more information, visit http://www.biltmore.com/visit/calendar/concerts.asp.
Shindig on the Green
For a more collaborative music experience this weekend, come out to the Shindig on the Green at Pack Square Park. Bring along your instruments so you can take part in some hardcore jamming, or just bring along a picnic blanket and enjoy the music and the summer evening. The shindig will feature concessions by Okie Dokie Smokehouse and the Hop Ice Cream, and a stage show celebrating the folk heritage of Western North Carolina. Do your Saturday night up right — Appalachian style.
Admission is free; the shindig runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31.
For more information, visit http://www.folkheritage.org/shindigonthegreen.htm.