BORDERING CHAOS: Hadaya Toys founders Vanessa Bell and Jennifer MacDonald, pictured, recently traveled to a refugee camp on the border of Syria, where they met a 6-year-old Shaima. The youth arrived in Lebanon with her mother and siblings after her father was killed in Syria. Bell says Shaima "was especially cute, fearless and adorable. She followed us everywhere and just wanted to be carried and held much of the time."

Conscious party: Free Planet Radio to perform at Hadaya Toys’ fundraiser for Syrian refugee children

The candlelit evening will also feature photos, spoken word and several short video presentations depicting previous aid trips taken by Hadaya’s founders; a silent auction of gift cards to local businesses; and Habibi baklava, Roots hummus and other refreshments.

EAT YOUR ART OUT: After a year of growing her artisan popcorn business in Asheville, owner Ginger Frank is ready to party down. Her family-friendly anniversary event will include plenty of popcorn samples and live entertainment for all ages. Plus, supporters can visit Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn's Merrimon Avenue shop leading up to the event for extra freebies.

Small bites: Poppy Handcrafte­d Popcorn celebrates one year

Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn is offering fans free popcorn and more during the company’s first anniversary celebration. Meanwhile Standard Pizza Co., has a new downtown location; Asheville’s gluten-less population convenes for an educational event; Black Mountain Ciderworks is throwing a Halloween bash and Bomba is rolling out a multi-cultural menu.

REGIONAL FLAVORS: Tryon-area restaurants, breweries, wineries and farms will offer samples at the third annual Taste of Our Carolina Foothills culinary event.This year's festival takes place at the Foothills Equestrian and Nature Center.

Small bites: Taste of Our Carolina Foothills festival nears

An upcoming foodie event in Tryon highlights culinary delights from the Carolina foothills. Asheville eaters, on the other hand, can check out WNC Garlic Fest, Posana’s benefit dinner for ASAP’s Growing Minds Program, Ashley English’s canning class or Wild Wing Café’s stein-holding competition. Plus, food writer Jonathan Ammons talks about one of his favorite Asheville restaurant appetizers.