BBOnline Member SINCE 2006
 

Terrell House Bed and Breakfast

109 Robertson Street, Burnsville, North Carolina 28714
Innkeeper(s): Laura & Mike Hoskins

A Farm to Fork Feast Benefit – Sept. 4 26 Jul 2016, 5:13 pm

Farm to Fork Dining on the Square in Burnsville

Long tables covered in linen will line Main Street in downtown Burnsville Sunday, September 4, when the first Farm to Fork Dining on the Square event is hosted from 6–9 P.M. The community dinner benefits the agricultural nonprofit Toe River Aggregation Center Training Organization Regional (TRACTOR).

“It will be an elegant evening,” says Robin Smith, director of TRACTOR, “a seated affair with white tablecloths and china.”

Beginning at 6 P.M., spirits and hors d’oeuvres will be served on the porch of the Nu Wray Inn. The seated meal for up to 230 guests will follow, consisting of multiple courses prepared by White Falls Catering. TRACTOR will have purchased the ingredients from farmers and proceeds will go toward the nonprofit’s mission to spread awareness of local agriculture, broaden access to fresh food, and increase farm income in the community.

TRACTOR works with more than 50 small farms throughout Yancey, Mitchell, Burke, McDowell, Avery, Madison, and Buncombe counties. The organization aggregates produce from farms, processes it, and distributes it to retailers and restaurants. “This event not only provides income to farmers, but also supports existing businesses and brings attention to the town center,” Robin says. “The broader vision is to promote agriculture as an economic driver and teach the community about how we’re all interrelated.”

Tickets are $125 per person and are available at the Yancey County Cooperative Extension office, TRACTOR office, and Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit tractorfoodandfarms.com or call 828.682.7413.

Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair Aug. 5 – 6 26 Jul 2016, 5:04 pm

The Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair marks its 60th year of promoting fine craftsmanship on Friday and Saturday, August 5 and 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Sponsored by the Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, the fair is held in historic downtown Burnsville where the town square will be transformed into a thoroughfare with more than 200 artist booths lining the streets. Southern fair staples such as barbecue, homemade ice cream, and sweet tea will be served.

For more information, call the Yancey County Chamber of Commerce at 828.682.7413 or visit their website at yanceychamber.com/craft-fair.

TRACTOR’s Farm to Fork Dinner September 4th from 6 to 9 PM 11 Jul 2016, 5:05 pm

Tractor Food and Farms

Check out our director, Robin Smith, and grower, Adam McCurry, discussing TRACTOR and our upcoming Farm-to-Fork Dinner on WJHL’s Daytime Tri-Cities from last Friday!

The dinner is on September 4th from 6 to 9 PM and tickets are available NOW on our website.

Amy talks to Yancey County farmer Adam McCurry and Robin Smith, director of TRACTOR (Toe River Aggregation Center Training Organization Regional) about their organization and upcoming Farm to Fork Dinner on the Square event.  http://wjhl.com/…/tractors-farm-to-fork-event-in-yancey-co…/

For more information, check out TRACTOR’s website.

 

4th of July celebrations 2 Jul 2016, 1:10 pm

There will be fireworks on the Square tonite and at Mountain Air on the 4th. Tonite the square will be full of telescopes to do some stargazing after the fireworks.  Happy 4th America…

Blind Squirrel Restaurant 23 Jun 2016, 9:36 am

The Blind Squirrel Restaurant is open serving food and their own hand crafted beers.

RiddleFest 16 Jun 2016, 9:45 am

Riddle Fest is June 25th,  music by the man who inspired the Carter Family. Headlined by the Burnsville Jubilee Choir with pianist Brian Gurl. An Easley tribute by singer song/writer Steve Barnes

Burnsville is #3 in WNC Magazine’s “13 Best Small Towns in WNC” 19 May 2016, 5:07 pm

Sometimes, smaller is better. That’s certainly the case with those comparatively little towns that offer an unexpectedly large amount of amenities, entertainment, and recreation for locals and visitors alike. Just what is it that makes a small town great? We found out by exploring 13 in Western North Carolina that share some characteristics—a population under 5,000, a pedestrian-friendly downtown, ample food and nightlife options—but possess unique attributes as well.

Written by Jonathan Ammons, Jon Elliston, Tim W. Jackson, Randy Johnson & Melissa Reardon

3. Burnsville {pop. 1,693}
Nearby Penland School of Crafts has certainly played a role in establishing the Burnsville area as a haven for high-caliber artisans. Many of their works can be found at The Design Gallery or at the Toe River Arts Council in downtown. Though if you want to explore more in depth, embark on TRAC’s biannual Studio Tour, held every June and December. And the Mt. Mitchell Craft Fair, which takes over Burnsville’s quaint town square and celebrates its 60th anniversary in June, offers even more opportunity to shop for local art and crafts.

Culturally speaking, the Parkway Playhouse presents top-notch theater productions, and the Appalachian Quilt Trails offer routes to roam the countryside and learn about historic and notable sights marked by hand-painted quilt squares. Writers can partake in the offerings as well at the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival, held in September. And outdoor enthusiasts will love the town’s close proximity to Mt. Mitchell, accessible via the Mt. Mitchell Scenic Byway, which meanders through the lovely Toe River Valley.

There is also plenty on offer in downtown, with dozens of businesses scattered near the charming town square park. Shopping options include home accouterments at A Touch of Cass and 5,000 square feet of art and antiques at Menagerie Mercantile, while the list of restaurants ranges from pancake breakfasts and pulled-pork lunches at Pig & Grits to pub fare and pints at the local watering hole, Snap Dragon. Learn more at www.exploreburnsville.com.

—Melissa Reardon

Cycling ‘Final Four’ returned to WNC 19 May 2016, 4:59 pm

2016 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships

Teams from across the country descended on Western North Carolina for the 2016 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships. After years of dominance by Western locales, last year’s event was held here under a two-year contract with USA Cycling. This year’s edition Friday to Sunday, May 13-15,  saw top college athletes face off in Division I and Division II competition in Madison County and nearby Burnsville.

“It’s like the Final Four of cycling,” says volunteer Connie Molland, who’s been heavily involved in organizing both the 2015 and 2016 events. “This is our equivalent in the cycling community.”

Until recently, the West Coast was widely considered the go-to U.S. cycling destination. Increasingly, however, the Southeast is in the spotlight for national championship events. The 2016 Criterium & Team Time Trial National Championships took place in Greenville, S.C., April 16-17, and in early January, the weeklong 2016 Cyclo-Cross National Championship was staged at Biltmore Estate.

Criteriums feature some of the most exciting, high-speed, adrenaline-filled bike racing around. Racers compete for a specified amount of time, usually 50-70 minutes, on a course that’s less than a mile long, typically in a city, town or parking lot. In the cycling format that most closely resembles NASCAR, racers fly through tight corners on the edge of traction, occasionally resulting in crashes; bumping elbows is commonplace.

Economic impact

But racers and cycling enthusiasts aren’t the only ones who’ll benefit. The presence of the athletes, spectators and others coming in for the weekend will give local businesses a big boost. Last year’s road nationals brought in 77 teams and 388 athletes, says Kevin Loughery of USA Cycling. “Most riders did at least two, maybe three events. This means they likely stayed for an average of three nights.”

And for Zuma Coffee in Marshall, that resulted in “our best weekend that we’ve enjoyed in the last 14 years,” notes owner Joel Friedman. The town, he says, has begun to make a name for itself as a cycling destination. On weekends, large groups of cyclists are a common sight, and many stop in for an espresso and a snack.

Molland, who serves on the local organizing committee as the community relations director for Madison County, has been a huge advocate for both the county and the town. An informal economic-impact survey she conducted after last year’s road nationals revealed that the event was a real boon for local small businesses.

“Connie Molland has been spectacular in bringing the community together; she’s been quite a champion for the area,” says Friedman.

Later this month, the Masters & Para-Cycling Road NationalChampionships (May 24-28) and the Road Race & Time Trial National Championships (May 27-28) will both be held in Winston-Salem.

Here in WNC, three separate competitions will play out over the weekend: a road race on Friday, a criterium on Saturday, and the team time trial on Sunday. Amateur, noncollegiate criterium and time trial races will take place as well, and a 5K charity run will be held in Burnsville before the criterium. After Sunday’s finale, the teams whose men and women have performed the best will be declared the national champions in their respective divisions.

Shining a light on WNC

Hugh Moran, who was Mars Hill University’s cycling coach from 2008 until last August, says road nationals had been held out West for so many years that he felt it was time for the Southeast to highlight its own beautiful roads and trails. Coincidentally, in 2013, the Asheville Bicycle Racing Club and the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission had been hoping to hold the Masters National Championships in Asheville but missed the application deadline. Moran, who also serves on the local organizing committee, saw an opportunity to elevate collegiate cycling in the region. He shared his ideas with the sports commission, which subsequently mounted a successful bid for the 2015 and 2016 Collegiate Road National Championships.

Local organizing committee member Tom Ratajczak was a key player in the unsuccessful push to get the masters nationals. Thanks to his experience helping to promote the French Broad Cycling Classic, he’s been able to advise the committee on logistical issues.

Last year, the road race and time trials were held in Marshall, while the criterium was staged in downtown Asheville. The challenging road race included a good mix of climbing and flat-to-rolling sections, offering something for every type of racer, says Moran. It didn’t make sense to change a good thing, so those events will be basically the same this time around.

Last summer, though, the sports commission, recognizing that it wouldn’t be able to host the event again this year for financial reasons, decided to step down. But with the road nationals’ return to WNC in doubt, the local cycling community came together to avert the crisis. The Madison County Tourism Development Authority stepped in and, together with the WNC Bicycle Dealers Association, supplied a generous sum of money, says Moran. Meanwhile, he and Molland worked on raising additional funding.

Rescuing the race

Alan Brookshire of the Asheville-based VeloSports Racing Team has been deeply involved in the cycling community throughout the Southeast for over 15 years. He has three kids who race both collegiately and professionally; he also serves on the local organizing committee.

Jimm McElroy, one of VeloSports’ lead members, heads up the committee. Brookshire spoke to him last summer, proposing that the racing team become the 2016 road nationals’ primary organizer. VeloSports had been heavily involved with the previous year’s event. Team members, including Brookshire and his family, worked tirelessly — helping with course setup, serving as marshals and assisting race officials — to help ensure the weekend’s success.

One of the most active teams in Asheville, VeloSports stages the annual Ring of Fire criterium series, which runs throughout the spring and into the summer at the Carrier Park “Mellowdrome.” “We didn’t want our local cycling community to look like we weren’t capable of hosting national-level championship events, so we decided to step in as the main organizing force,” McElroy explains.

Because it was a two-year contract with USA Cycling, VeloSports felt that allowing the event to leave the area was simply unacceptable, says Moran. “Madison County and the town of Marshall stepped in and said, ‘This was such a positive experience for us that we really want to see it back.’” The organizers say they’re excited about hosting a national championship-level event in two communities that have shown so much enthusiasm about collaborating with the cycling community.

Forging new partnerships

Things couldn’t stay exactly the same as last year, however, since the local organizing committee needed to find a new site for the criterium. Due to logistical difficulties and other concerns, downtown Asheville didn’t seem interested in hosting it again.

So, after talking with a number of municipalities, the organizers settled on Burnsville. The only condition was that they work around the Fit Families 5K, an established event that benefits Graham Children’s Health Services. VeloSports and Fit Families organizer Schell McCall saw an opportunity to create a mutually beneficial partnership.

“We’re helping them out by making the event a little bit bigger,” says McElroy. “Schell has been a huge help in terms of connecting us with local people, giving us ideas on how to make the event more successful, more smooth in terms of where we can host things, and who to talk to to help facilitate things. Brian Buchanan, the police chief, has been amazing as well; all the Town Council in Burnsville and the mayor have been extremely supportive,” notes McElroy. “They were so excited when we came to them in January. They really rolled out the red carpet for us, asking what we need and really being on top of things. Burnsville has just been a pleasure to deal with.”

McCall says her organization’s goal for the 5K “is to get the entire community active, healthy and connected, particularly children, so anyone under 18 can run for free.” She believes the two events are a good fit. To create a family-friendly atmosphere, McCall and VeloSports are jointly sponsoring a free kids bike race in between the Saturday morning run and the criterium.

Sierra Nevada is one of USA Cycling’s biggest sponsors, and a beer garden featuring its products will be set up adjacent to the town square, where spectators can cheer on the racers. The expo area will include a bike rodeo for kids as well as space for local racing teams, many of which will be providing volunteers throughout the weekend. Retailers including Youngblood Bicycles, Liberty Bicycles, Asheville Bicycle Co. and Solstice Cycles will be represented along with local cycling product manufacturers like Cane Creek and DeFeet.

Mars Hill University is providing affordable housing for collegiate racers, coaches, family members and USA Cycling officials. The campus is mere minutes away from Marshall, and Burnsville is not much farther. The school will also be serving a hot breakfast for racers before their events, and Asheville resident and Olympic medalist Lauren Tamayo, the recently crowned women’s national criterium champion, will speak at the Saturday evening banquet.

The return of the Collegiate Road Nationals is just the latest evidence of a growing trend. These days, says McElroy, “WNC is one of the biggest cycling meccas in the country.”

N.C. State Parks Centennial Celebration 18 Apr 2016, 4:32 pm

North Carolina’s State Parks set an attendance record in 2015, welcoming 17.3 million visitors to the state’s 41 parks and recreational areas, an increase of 1.7 million from 2014.

 Mount Mitchell State Park is the highest point east of the Mississippi.

The attendance figure is expected to grow again in 2016, when the state’s park system celebrates a centennial of providing history, outdoor recreation and education to visitors.

In March 1915, after a group of citizens urged the government to protect the Summit of Mount Mitchell (the highest peak in the eastern U.S. at 6,684 feet above Yancey County) the N.C. General Assembly authorized Mount Mitchell as the first North Carolina State Park. With the property acquired by the state in 1916, the first state parks system in the nation began.

This year, North Carolina celebrates 100 years of state parks growth, from 525 acres on Mount Mitchell to more than 228,000 acres across the state today. Visitors travel through the gates of these parks to learn more about an area’s bio-diversity, history and culture, escape into wilderness, grab a picnic under a tree, paddle the waterways, hike various levels of trails, follow the footprints of critters and breathe in the smells of the surrounding flora.

Mt. Mitchell will be hosting a signature event August 27th

You can learn more about North Carolina’s State Parks Centennial Celebration by visiting this article from the April 2016 issue of Carolina Country