Thursday, Sept. 20
• “Mary Judith Messer’s powerful and often disturbing memoir, set in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, northern Virginia and New York City, tells of her life as the middle daughter of an abusive moonshiner and his mentally ill wife, the incredible hardship her mother and the four children suffered at her alcoholic father’s hand, as well as the trauma the children suffered from the cruelty of other youth and adults in their life growing up in Haywood County,” explains a synopsis of Moonshiner’s Daughter. “Her escape from poverty and horrible living conditions came at the age of 14 when she joyously became a mother’s helper for a family of five children. Two years later she moved to NYC to join her older sister who had fled a forced marriage to one of their father’s drinking buddies. While there, Mary’s experiences were wide-ranging, from bed-bug infested basement flats to glamorous nights at Radio City Music Hall and Broadway shows. She also discovered that not all cruel people had been left behind in North Carolina.” Messer visits French Fryz Restaurant, 2109 Hendersonville Road, to greet readers and answer questions about the book. 6:30 p.m. Free. Info: 684-0416.
• ”Reel Rock shows are exciting events where climbers and outdoors lovers come together to celebrate the ultimate in adventure filmmaking,” according to a website for the traveling event. “Prize giveaways, appearances by top climbers and fundraising for nonprofit organizations are just some of the ways that Reel Rock events are more than just film screenings. For our seventh year, Sender Films and Big UP Productions are combining the biggest names in the sport with stories of pushing the limits like never before. From battling Himalayan peaks to a battle on Spanish limestone to establish the world’s first 5.15c. From the non-conformist world of offwidth climbing to the newfound fame of the boundary-pushing sport of free soloing. This year’s films are nothing short of intrepid tales that will get your palms sweating from beginning to end.” Held at Asheville Pizza and Brewing, 675 Merrimon Ave. 7 p.m. $10.
Friday, Sept. 21
• “The International Day of Peace, aka ‘Peace Day’, provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date,” explains a website for the globally celebrated event. “It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace. … Since its inception, Peace Day has marked our personal and planetary progress toward peace. It has grown to include millions of people in all parts of the world, and each year events are organized to commemorate and celebrate this day. Events range in scale from private gatherings to public concerts and forums where hundreds of thousands of people participate.” A local celebration will be held at Pack Square, featuring music, dance, guest speakers and a bell ringing celebration. Rain location: First Congregational United Church of Christ, 20 Oak St. 4-7 p.m. Free. Info: 505-9425.
• The Asheville Downtown Association presents the final installment in this season’s Downtown After Five concerts, a series of free performances held on North Lexington Avenue in front of the I-240 overpass. This month’s performance features Knoxville-based Americana outfit The Black Lillies and WNC’s own Buchanan Boys. 5 p.m. Free.
• Here’s one for the kids: “The Professor WhizzPop Show is a funtastic medley of comic mayhem perfect for birthday parties, Christmas parties or festivals or fetes,” according to the magician’s website. “The show stars the hapless Professor WhizzPop, whose myriad of mishandled magic provides giggles galore as the Professor gets nearly everything wrong and the kids in the audience help to make everything right! During the show you may see the ‘world’s longest piece of string trick,’ the ‘rabbit in the hat trick’ (with a very unrabbit-like bunny), the ‘world’s biggest magic wand trick’ and the ‘mommy is a magician trick.’ Every trick is guaranteed to engage, empower and enrich your kids … not to mention the fun and giggles are guaranteed!” Professor WhizzPop performs at The Hop West, 721 Haywood Road. 6:30 p.m. Free.
• This one should be … interesting: “Mr. Quintron is a very eccentric concert and nightclub organist from New Orleans, Louisiana,” begins a post by Rhinestone Records. “He plays music on a custom made Hammond/Rhodes combo synthesizer/organ (which he’s got all built up to look like a car with real working headlights) backed by raw simple drum machine beats (think 808 boom chika boom through one BIG speaker with all the treble turned down) and his own patented invention The Drum Buddy — a rotating, light-activated analog synthesizer which is played much in the same way that a DJ spins and scratches records. Of course let’s not forget about Miss Pussycat, who plays maracas and sings backup, as well as entertaining all age groups with her highly amusing technicolor puppet shows. The Quintron/Miss Pussycat experience is one of barely controlled electronic chaos, “Swamp-Tech” beats, small explosions, incredible clothes and entertaining puppet stories. You can see them perform regularly at the Spellcaster Lodge in New Orleans, Louisiana, or on one of their many tours around the world. This act somehow has equal relevance in sleazy nightclubs, pizza restaurants and university lecture halls.” Quintron performs at The Get Down, 1045 Haywood Road. Greg Cartwright and The Krektones open. 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 22
• The Carl Sandburg Home presents an afternoon of farm-related events during the Fall Into the Farm party. From an event page, “This family-friendly festival highlights the Sandburg family’s farm life and features a professional storyteller, square dancing, garden tours, cheese-making demonstrations, goat judging and children’s crafts — fun activities that take you back to the 1940s and ‘50s when the Sandburg’s lived at Connemara. All activities, including house tours, for this festival day are free.” 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Info: 693-4178.
• “The North Carolina Arboretum celebrates Southern Appalachian traditions during Carolina Craft Day,” begins a release for the annual show. “The event, now in its seventh year, features craft demonstrations, juried art and craft vendors and plant sales at the Education Center. … Western North Carolina is known worldwide for its botanical beauty and diversity, as well as for the many wonderful handmade crafts and works of art that are influenced by the mountain way of life. Vitally important to the region’s craft heritage is the close relationship between crafts and the plants used in their production. Much of the fiber, color and artistic expression of mountain craft arises from the character and nature of plants. Admission to Carolina Craft Day is free for members or with $8 parking fee per personal vehicle.” 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Info: 665-2492.
• From an event page for Food Poets Society, a culinary and spoken word event presented by Traveling Bonfires, “Poet-cook Pasckie Pascua cooks Pacific Islander dishes to complement kava-kava. No cover charge for the show, food is donation basis. Enjoy cool poetry and music from Caleb Beissert, Paul DeCirce, Tom Hoa Binh and the Peacemakers, Aaron Price, Bill Ramsey, Riyen Roots, Jadwiga McKay, Michaela Roche and more awesome local poets and musicians while you savor exotic cuisine.” Hosted at Vanuatu Kava Bar, 15 Eagle St. 9 p.m.
• “For the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit, we’re having a party!” invites Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe, 55 Haywood St. “We’ll have a kids’ costume contest with drinks for all the halflings who participate. Also, Hobbit expert Corey Olsen (author of Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit) will be here — via Skype — to talk about The Hobbit and do a Q&A with audience members. A Twitter and Facebook photo costume contest also starts RIGHT NOW for any and all (not just kids), and ends on Sept. 22 (some employees are even getting into the spirit, and will be romping about the store as Hobbiton Ambassadors). As for prizes, we’ll have a copy or two of The Hobbit, journals, maybe some gift cards, and possibly even some Hobbity swag from the publishers.” 3 p.m. Free.