Local businesses drive Asheville vibe

Walk any downtown Asheville street and you’re likely to encounter some quirky storefronts offering unusual products. Together, these “specialty shops” or boutiques, most of them locally owned businesses, are a key component of the city’s distinctive flavor, attracting thousands of tourists each year and helping fuel the economy.

A national coup: How Asheville Cyclocross Nationals went from dream to reality

Racers and organizers both had their fingers crossed as competitors zipped around the often muddied and frozen course on the Biltmore Estate during the 2016 Cyclocross National Championships, Jan. 5-10. In the end, the event drew high praise from all quarters. Adam Myerson, a 30-year-veteran bike racer and pro from New England, wrote: “Nationals course evaluation: best nats course I’ve ever ridden. Maybe best U.S. course ever, period.”

Holiday events roundup for 12/23 through 12/31

ART/CRAFT FAIRS Caldwell Arts Council 601 College Ave. SW, Lenoir, 754-2486 • Through WE (12/23) – “Satie’s Holiday Sale,” 75 crafters and artists exhibiting. Mon.-Fri.: 9am-6pm. Sat.: 10am-3pm. Free to attend. BENEFITS Dancing, Drums, and Dreams Benefit AshevilleRhythm.org • TH (12/31), 8:30pm – Tickets to this New Year’s Eve celebration with music by Free Planet Radio and Kevin Spears benefit […]

Asheville florist joins elite team of designers for Rose Bowl Parade

Asheville florist Janet Frye is headed to California later this month to help arrange thousands of flowers on four floats designed by award-winning Charles Meier for the Rose Bowl Parade. Frye was personally invited in September to join a four-person team of florists to work a week preparing the floats for the nationally-televised New Year’s […]

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. An indoor studio […]

Racetrack to rodeo: Taylor Earnhardt Putnam carries on family legacy in SRA finals

Putnam comes into this weekend’s Finals competition as the leading “All Around Cowgirl,” having scored more points in multiple categories than her competitors, in addition to being ranked fourth overall in barrel racing and ninth in breakaway roping. True to her family legacy, she has established herself as a top competitor in her chosen sport, translating her heritage of winning and love for speed from the asphalt to the cow-pen.

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features a single mother’s sailing journey toward empowerment, a new hammock that holds 800 pounds worth of loungers and the third episode of Southern Songs and Stories, featuring Tellico.

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features a project to equip a youth cheerleading team with uniforms and other supplies; a local film collective’s contribution to a global project; plus one parent’s quest to improve Oakley Elementary School’s playground.