Around town: A psychedelic circus comes to town

CIRCUS ACT: The Snozzberries will host the third annual Psychedelic Circus at Asheville Music Hall on Friday, Nov. 17. Photo courtesy of Ethan Heller

Asheville psychedelic rock band The Snozzberries will throw its third annual Psychedelic Circus on Friday, Nov. 17, at 9 p.m., at Asheville Music Hall. Virginia-based rock band Kendall Street Company will open the show, which will feature interactive art exhibits and “other surprises.”

“Who doesn’t like a circus?” says Ethan Heller, Snozzberries guitarist and vocalist. “We wanted to host an event that blends the childlike wonder of going to the circus, with all of its magic and weirdness, with the feeling of going to your first music festival all over again.”

Past shows have included live painters, fuzzy art exhibits and flow performers. Last year, over 500 balloons were stuck to the walls and ceilings and then blown into the crowd. Heller says this year, the band is working with Joey Times Productions to create a circuslike atmosphere with artists, dancers and liquid light projection.

Heller says he and the band are excited about the new music they’ve been working on. “Some of the new tracks are very heavy and proggy, bordering on thrash metal, some are super fusion-y à la Frank Zappa and Herbie Hancock, and some just have a killer vibe to dance to. We’ll be playing three or four brand new original songs, as well as some fun new covers.”

The band has been touring the Southeast and Midwest this year, including playing at an old jazz club formerly owned by Al Capone in Chicago. But they are looking forward to performing on their home turf.

“Playing a hometown show here is the best feeling,” says Heller. “This town has been incredibly supportive of our oddball misfit rock band, and we couldn’t be more excited to throw another hometown rager!”

Asheville Music Hall is at 31 Patton Ave. For more information, visit

A call to adventure for female backpackers

Solo travelers Kim Heiter and Natasha Weinstein will launch their new guidebook, Backpackers’ Guide to the Globe, on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 5:30 p.m., at Modern Muse Gallery.

Combining practical advice and personal narratives, the book is geared toward women, particularly solo female backpackers. The authors have both traveled extensively in over 60 countries over 20 years. Heiter is a resident of Asheville.

“As solo female travelers, we felt the need to create a resource specifically for women that not only covers the logistics of backpacking but also encourages and empowers them to embark on their own adventures,” they say in a press release.

The event will include a meet and greet with the authors and light snacks with beer and wine.

Modern Muse Gallery is at 191 Lyman St. For more information, visit

Holiday Parade steps off Nov. 18

The Asheville Holiday Parade will be back for its 77th year on Saturday, Nov. 18. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m. downtown, more than 60 parade entries will follow the theme of “Snow Globe.”

Before the parade, Kick It Events will host the first Onesie One Miler, a family-friendly race in which runners dress in their holiday best, with onesies being especially encouraged. The race starts at 10:30 a.m. and will follow a route through downtown.

The parade itself will kick off with the Grand Marshal Float, honoring Asheville’s volunteers. Rosie Palmisano and Yvonne Cook-Riley are representing this year, with 35-plus years of service. Cook-Riley says she is “humbled by the prospect” of being grand marshal but insists it’s not about her work. “It’s been all about community … it’s being part of Asheville, which I am very proud of.”

The parade will also exhibit a veterans float, as well as marching bands, classic cars and community organizations. The grand finale will be a float featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus. Following the parade, attendees can take advantage of a photo op with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Restoration Hotel, 2-4 p.m.

For more information, visit

History comes alive

Swannanoa Valley Museum is hosting a musical journey through the history of the Swannanoa Valley on Friday, Nov. 17, 6-8 p.m.

Tours will share tales and songs about how the valley was settled, the work of convict laborers, and the experience at McDibb’s, a local music venue of the past.

Each tour lasts approximately one and a half hours, with tours departing every 30 minutes. Tours will depart from the history museum starting at 6 p.m. The last tour will depart at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for museum members and $25 for nonmembers.

The Swannanoa Valley Museum is at 223 W. State St., Black Mountain. For tickets and more information, visit

Clogging champions

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers, Mars Hill University’s dancing team, won its 31st national championship last month at the America’s Clogging Hall of Fame National Championships in Sevierville, Tenn.

The team won the title for the 8-Couple Southern Appalachian Hoedown in the Young Adult Team category. In all, they won eight grand championships and scored first place in 10 team dances and second place in three team dances. 

Individual dancers also won awards: Sammy Locklear, National Champion, Contemporary Male Solo; Keyshawn Sanders, Grand Champion, Choreographed Solo; Samuel Evans, second place, Traditional Male Solo; Halea Baker, second place, Traditional Female Solo. Lauren Freeman and Rachel Sealy placed in the All-American Team, and Philip Starck, parent of team member Christina Starck, was recognized as ACHF Dad of the Year.

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers are led by managing director Danielle Buice Plimpton and assistant director Dallas Moffat.

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers were organized in 1974, influenced by the Bailey Mountain Square Dance Team, which began performing in 1950. Bailey Mountain is a mountain adjacent to the college campus.

For more information, visit

Appalachian musical collaboration

Seasoned Appalachian musicians collaborated with a select group of emerging regional artists for a new album, Fine Tuned: Volume One.

The 10-track album was just released by nonprofit Blue Ridge Music’s initiative, Fine Tuned, representing a long tradition of such collaboration and mentorship in Western North Carolina.

“One of the hallmarks of traditional Appalachian music is this idea of it being an oral tradition passed from one generation to the next,” says Fine Tuned mentor Sav Sankaran, a vocalist and bass player for bluegrass band Unspoken Tradition, in a press release. “In some ways, this is a 21st-century version of that. To be able to impart some of the knowledge and experience I’ve gained as a professional musician to someone who’s just starting out is a really worthwhile experience for me.”

The album was produced by Josh Goforth, mixed by Goforth and Chris Rosser, and mastered by Rosser. It is currently available as a vinyl LP.

For more information, visit

— Andy Hall & Murryn Payne


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About Andy Hall
Andy Hall graduated from The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. After working at the United States Capitol for ten years, she has returned to her native state to enjoy the mountains — and finally become a writer.

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