News in brief: Get hip to van life, attend election forums

LIVING THE DREAM: “It’s a wonderful thing to wake up and stand in your underwear overlooking the mountains,” says van-lifer “Mr. Wolf,” embracing the great outdoors beside his van on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by Hokey Pokey

Check out #vanlife

Hearing the call of the open road? The fourth annual Asheville Van Life Rally offers a chance to check out the latest and greatest in #vanlife culture, gear and inspiration. Held Friday, Sept. 21-Sunday, Sept. 23, at the JuneBug Retro Resort, 355 Clarks Chapel Road, Weaverville, the rally includes a full weekend of camping, live music, local craft brews, campfires, a kids village, vendors and a raffle benefiting Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.

Camping passes are $85 per vehicle (plus taxes and fees) for the weekend and include an intimate setting Friday night with vehicle owners, campfires, local brews and music.  On Saturday, the event opens to the public from noon-10 p.m. Day passes are $15. For more information, see

Micah Pulleyn, Asheville Van Life Rally founder and director, says in a press release the event has more than doubled in size each year. In 2017, the rally attracted over 3,000 visitors with 100 vehicles exhibiting. With more than 200 vehicles already registered, this year’s rally is already slated to double the 2017 vehicle attendance.

Handful of election forums announced

While most campaign seasons see candidate forums proliferate as election day approaches, the challenges of corralling multiple candidates often mean that events aren’t announced until shortly before they take place. But if you’d like to put a few solid bipartisan forums on your calendar, these are the ones Xpress is following so far:

  • Thursday, Sept. 20, noon, Council of Independent Business Owners presents its power lunch forum of candidates for the N.C. House of Representatives at the Land of Sky Shrine Club, 39 Spring Cove Road, Swannanoa. $15 includes lunch.
  • Thursday, Sept. 20, 6-7:30 p.m., the League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County hosts candidates for N.C. Senate District 49, N.C. House of Representatives District 115, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners District 2 and the Reynolds school district at the Black Mountain Library, 105 N. Dougherty St., Black Mountain.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 26, 6-7:30 p.m., the League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County hosts candidates for N.C. House of Representatives District 114, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners District 1, Buncombe County sheriff, Erwin school district and Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor at the West Asheville Library, 942 Haywood Road.
  • Thursday, Sept. 27, 6-7:45 p.m., Connect Buncombe hosts candidates for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners at Holiday Inn Asheville-Biltmore West, 435 Smokey Park Highway.
  • Thursday, Sept. 27, 6 p.m., Indivisible Asheville/WNC hosts a town hall meeting for candidates for U.S. House of Representatives districts 10 and 11 at Lord Auditorium at Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 2, 6-7:30 p.m., the League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County hosts candidates for N.C. Senate District 48, N.C. House of Representatives District 116, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners District 3 and Enka school district at the Leicester Library, 1561 Alexander Road, Leicester.
  • Friday, Oct. 19, 8-10 a.m., the Young Professionals of Asheville hosts candidates for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and sheriff at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce boardroom, 36 Montford Ave.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 23, 6 p.m., Indivisible Asheville/WNC hosts a town hall meeting for local candidates for N.C. Senate and House of Representatives at the Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Center, 285 Livingston St., Asheville.

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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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