Around town: The Lovely Asheville Annual Fall Festival returns

LOVELY DAY: Attendees line dance at last year's Lovely Asheville Annual Fall Festival. Photo courtesy of Lovely Asheville

The second annual Lovely Asheville Fall Festival, a celebration of the area’s beauty and the preservation of nature and humanity, takes place Saturday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 15, noon-6 p.m., in Pack Square Park. The free, family-friendly event is a fundraiser presented by nonprofit Asheville Creative Arts and Lovely Asheville Enterprises to support opportunities in arts and sciences for at-risk youths.

The festival will feature live music, spoken word, cultural activities, and local food and craft vendors. Musical performers include Lyric and her band, Women to the Front Band, The Free Flow Band and Delta House Jazz Band. One of the festival’s main attractions will be an exhibit paying tribute to individuals from the area who have gained worldwide fame or recognition, such as Roberta Flack and Nina Simone.

The idea for the festival came from a conversation between Ray Mapp and his friend Olympia Adams about the area’s natural beauty and the need for a festival to celebrate autumn. They created Lovely Asheville Enterprises and presented the idea to Asheville Creative Arts and the City of Asheville last summer, and in three months planned the first event, which attracted 500 attendees.

“This festival is unique because it is designed to celebrate Asheville’s natural beauty and educate both tourists and residents about preserving [it] in sustainable ways,” says Mapp.

Mapp says he hopes the festival will continue to grow each year.

Pack Square Park is at 80 Court Plaza. For more information, visit

Halloween indie film fest

Cat Fly Halloween, a seasonal offshoot of Cat Fly Film Fest, will take place Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 14. Highlighting local and regional filmmakers of the South, the event will feature indie camp and horror films in a community celebration of the “spooky season.”

“Horror is one of the most accessible genres for indie filmmakers, so it falls right in line with our mission of providing a screening platform for up-and-coming artists,” says Brittany Jackson, festival founder and programming director, in a press release.

On Friday at 7 p.m., the House of Black Cat Magic cat café will hold a donation-based backyard screening of Practical Magic. The event will include tarot readings and an ice cream truck, with proceeds supporting the café’s cats, as well as helping Cat Fly Indie Film to file as a nonprofit 501(c)(3).

On Saturday, the Wedge at Foundation will host screenings of 10 curated Halloween-themed short films all created by regional independent filmmakers, with genre and subject matter spanning from classic horror to dark comedy.

Costumes are encouraged throughout the weekend.

Cat Fly Indie Film, all-female-founded in 2017, is an Asheville-based film collective that highlights up-and-coming regional, independent filmmakers and supports LGBTQ+ and minority groups.

The House of Black Cat Magic is at 841 Haywood Road. The Wedge at Foundation is at 5 Foundy St. For more information, visit

A culinary conversation at UNCA

Award-winning author and former Kentucky poet laureate Crystal Wilkinson will talk about the role of food in her writing, including how it ties to cultural identity and inspires her, in the Blue Ridge Room of UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Student Union on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 6 p.m.

Hosted by UNCA and English professor Erica Abrams Locklear, Wilkinson’s talk will be the third in the Thomas Howerton lecture series “Diverse Roots at the Common Table: Culinary Conversations in the American South.”

“I’m honored to host Crystal Wilkinson on campus,” says Abrams Locklear. “She’s one of the most important voices in contemporary Southern and Appalachian literature. Her work draws attention to the lived experiences of Black people in the mountains, stories that often go untold and underrecognized. I believe the event will be of interest to a wide range of people, from those who love literature to those who enjoy cookbooks and the food scene.”

Wilkinson’s new book, the culinary memoir, Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks, will also be featured in the discussion.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. A livestream will also be available.

The Highsmith Student Union is at 1 University Heights. To register, visit

Medwick releases new album

Asheville-based musician and writer Joe Medwick has released All My Friends, an album featuring many local musician friends including guitarist and singer-songwriter Doug Pettibone. Medwick recorded the album in an area all-analog private studio made of wood and stone, which he says reminds him of studios in Woodstock, N.Y.

“It’s the best sounding room I’ve been in in ages,” he says, “and it really reminds me of Levon [Helm]’s because it’s architecturally designed like a chapel.

“I really wanted to get a live, warm-sounding record like my pals The Band and Little Feat.”

Medwick celebrated Oct. 4 with an album release party at White Horse Black Mountain. He’s also working on a podcast to be released sometime next year. “Joe’s Lost Interviews and Tall Tales” will draw from material he gathered while working as a documentarian with legends like Miles Davis and B.B. King.

For more information, visit

Local poet’s new collection

Local poet Nicole Farmer has released a new collection, Honest Sonnets: Memories from an Unorthodox Childhood. Farmer, who has lived in Asheville since 2017, says the inspiration came from the deaths of her parents, which occurred within five months of each other.

“Writing was a creative outlet for my grief,” she says. “I tried several times to write a prose memoir and failed. When I began reading the American sonnets of Terrance Hayes, Gerald Stern and Diane Seuss, it was like a floodgate opened. I had found a form that was short and demanded that I tell the memory in a concise and structured way. This memoir is a love letter of sorts to my parents and my sister. We moved 16 times in my first 18 years, which created a very close family.”

Farmer and her husband moved to Western North Carolina to be closer to their daughters, who were attending UNC Asheville and Western Carolina University. She says she’s never lived in a place that felt as much like home as WNC. “The mountains calm me.”

Farmer has a reading scheduled at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café early next year.

For more information, visit

40th annual Mountain Glory Festival

Marion’s annual Mountain Glory Festival will take place for the 40th year on Saturday, Oct. 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., in downtown.

Over 175 local craft, food, nonprofit and sponsor booths will fill three blocks. Live music will play on two stages, and the McDowell Arts Council Association will host the Mountain Glory Festival Quilt Show at 50 S. Main St. The event will also have a Kids Korner, with hands-on activities, and a contest awarding the best dressed pet.

Free shuttle services will run from Roses Discount Store parking lot at 600 N. Main St. every half hour. Parking for those with disabilities will be available behind State Farm Insurance at 70 N. Main St.

For more information, visit

— with additional reporting by 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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