Category Archives: Events in Highlands NC and Cashiers NC

Pick a Wildflower

Here’s a real challenge – Select your favorite wildflower among a trio of beauties that wreath Cashiers and Highlands.

Here’s a real challenge – Select your favorite wildflower among a trio of beauties that wreath Cashiers and Highlands.

We hope you enjoyed participating in the Readers’ Poll for last month. The question we posed was: Which was your favorite place for a nature walk? Choices were the Cliffside Loop Trail; the Highlands Plateau Greenway; and Highlands Botanical Garden.
You chose: Highlands Botanical Garden.
Our question for June is what is your favorite plateau wildflower?
Straddling the Eastern Continental Divide in a temperate rainforest, our area boasts the highest floral diversity in North America. Wild plants decorate the forest with a riot of color and fragrance advertising their beauty to pollinators and humans alike. Many of these plants, known as ephemerals for their short season of productive growth, will disappear back into dormancy, not to be seen again until next spring.
With such diversity, it was hard to choose only three. But they are: Painted Trillium, Bee Balm, and Flame Azalea.
Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum): This trillium has a slender stalk, 8-16 inches high, with a whorl of three large, blue-green leaves. The flower, white with purple markings, is borne above the leaves on a short, arching stem. Bright-red fruits appear in early fall. This is a perennial. The erect, stalked flower has an inverted, pink V at the base of each white, wavy-edged petal.
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma): This showy fellow is an escapee from New England. It makes its home down this way where hummingbirds and other long-tongued insects revel in it. It is also known as bergamot (yes, Earl Grey tea lovers!). It has showy, scarlet flowers in large heads or whorls at the top of the stem, supported by leafy bracts, the leaflets of which are pale-green tinged with red. Its square, grooved, and hard stems rise about two feet high, and the leaves which it bears in pairs are rather rough on both surfaces.
Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum): This is a native plant and is used as an ornamental locally, as long as it’s placed in its favorite acid soil. A wide variation of color forms occurs, from all shades of yellow to orange-yellow and scarlet. The moniker of flame comes from not only the bright color of these flowers, but if you catch them early enough in the season the unopened buds can look like orange-red candles.
To vote, please visit our Facebook Page at facebook.com/TheLaurelMagazine. Write-in suggestions are welcomed and we hope you enjoy your wildflower adventures. Why not let us know what you found by posting your photo on our Facebook page?

by Jenny King | Photo by Christina Ramsey

Tour de Cashiers

Serious and not-so-serious biking enthusiasts are invited to test their mettle at the 23rd Annual Tour de Cashiers, set for Saturday, May 2.

Serious and not-so-serious biking enthusiasts are invited to test their mettle at the 23rd Annual Tour de Cashiers, set for Saturday, May 2.

The Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce will stage the 23rd Annual Tour de Cashiers on Saturday, May 2.
Cyclists will follow one of four routes: the Century, ¾ Century, Metric Century, or Quarter Century, with rides enveloping elevation gains of up to 10,500 feet. Steep climbs and fast descents await experienced cyclists who return year after year to enjoy the Century route. Less experienced riders can find their comfort zone and experience the thrill of the ride with one of the shorter routes.
This year, the Century Ride will kick off at 8:00 A.M. from The Village Green Commons on Frank Allen Road. On-site registration and post-event festivities will be held at the Commons pavilion. Metric and Quarter Century Riders will leave at 8:30 A.M. and 9:00 A.M., respectively.
Returning riders will be welcomed back at the finish line with a hearty meal, drink, and even a hot shower at the nearby Cashiers-Glenville Recreation and Community Centers. Participants also receive a commemorative t-shirt.
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital serves as the Tour de Cashiers
Marquee Sponsor.
“Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, a Mission Health hospital, is proud to be a sponsor of the 2015 Tour de Cashiers Mountain Cycling Experience,” said Jackie Ring, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital’s president and chief nursing officer. “Mission Health and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital are committed to our local community and improving the health and wellness of residents across western North Carolina.”
Other businesses making this event possible are gold sponsors Andrews Auld Heating & Cooling Inc., Laurelwood Inn, and Landmark Realty Group; silver sponsors The Laurel Magazine, Sapphire Mountain Brewing Company, Vordach Zipline, and WHLC Radio; Bronze Sponsors, Camp Merriewoode, Cashiers Insurance Agency, Hansen & Associates, Heller & Dawkins PC, Highland Hiker Inc., McKee Properties, Slab Town Pizza, Sweetwater Builders Inc., The Chalet Inn, The Corner Store, and Zoller Hardware; and Mica’s Restaurant, which is providing the pre-ride pasta dinner and
post-ride meal.
There are countless individuals who provide their time and energy to make this event a successful and safe one, including a group of more than 60 parents, teachers and staff from Summit Charter School who will operate four rest stops along the way.
Participants can find more details and register online at www.tourdecashiers.com or contact the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce at (828) 743-5191 or online at www.cashiersareachamber.com.

by Mary Jane McCall | Photo by Federico Bigazzi

Wildflower Whimsy

The Highlands Biological Foundation’s Wildflower Whimsy, set for May 8 and 9, is a celebration  of the wonders and mysteries of wildflowers and their pollinators. For more information,  call (828) 526-2221 or visit  www.highlandsbiological.org/wildflower-whimsy/

The Highlands Biological Foundation’s Wildflower Whimsy, set for May 8 and 9, is a celebration
of the wonders and mysteries of wildflowers and their pollinators. For more information,
call (828) 526-2221 or visit www.highlandsbiological.org/wildflower-whimsy/

The Highlands Biological Foundation is excited to host Wildflower Whimsy this May 8 and 9. In keeping with our informal theme this year of pollinator conservation, we have invited ecologist Nancy Lee Adamson to be the keynote speaker at 5:30 P.M. on May 8. Nancy, who is devoted to promoting pollinator conservation through planting habitat and minimizing pesticide use, will talk about celebrating biological diversity in order to support pollinators. We depend heavily on pollinators such as native bees for our food and landscaping; these connections are intimate and complex, but threatened by habitat destruction. Nancy will highlight specifically the connections between the beautiful blooms that we treasure and the nectar, pollen, and nesting habitat they provide. She is the East Region Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services. Long involved with seed collecting and propagating native plants, she ran the horticulture and Master Gardener programs for Frederick County, Maryland Extension and the education program at Adkins Arboretum in Maryland. Nancy is also part of the design team developing the new one-acre pollinator garden at the Highlands Biological Station.
Whether you daydream of sweeping patches of trout lilies and beds of bloodroot to stave off the winter blues, or you’re unfamiliar but curious about the diminutive world of spring ephemerals, Wildflower Whimsy promises to deliver. This celebration will deepen your appreciation of the spring ephemeral wildflowers, sharpen your observation skills, and show you some of our favorite places to discover wildflowers.
All proceeds from Wildflower Whimsy benefit the Highlands Biological Foundation, whose mission is to foster research and education focused on the rich natural heritage of the Highlands Plateau. Members of the Foundation receive a discount. Tickets include a lecture, plant auctions, live music, and wine reception on Friday, and a guided wildflower walk on Saturday. For more information, visit www.highlandsbiological.org/wildflower-whimsy/ or call (828) 526-2221.

Contributed by Michelle S. Ruigrok

Groovin’ on the Green

The Groovin’ on the Green concert series revels in the magic of live music performed under the stars. Just amble down to the  Village Green Friday nights from June through mid-September.

The Groovin’ on the Green concert series revels in the magic of live music performed under the stars. Just amble down to the Village Green Friday nights from June through mid-September.

Community.
It means different things to different people, but in Cashiers there is a place that embodies community, The Village Green and Village Commons, where Cashiers comes to play.
Few events are as anticipated and attended as the Groovin’ on the Green concerts sponsored by the Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association. Concerts are held every Friday night from June through early September at the Village Commons on Frank Allen Road (next to the Post Office, but please no parking at the Post Office).
Here you will find music lovers of all ages settling in to enjoy a night of musical delights under the stars. Each concert marks the chance to join your neighbors and enjoy the easy spirit of a community, unwinding after a hectic week. Come with your friends or make new ones.
The shows start at 6:30 P.M. and the music varies from week to week. You will hear everything from blues, bluegrass, jazz, folk, country, and Americana to pop and rock. Some of the artists on slate this year are Julie Gribble Band, Hurricane Creek Band, Tellico, Erica Nichole, Josh Lasher Band, Dane Michael Group, Jackson Taylor Band, and Rockell Scott and Friends.
Concerts are held rain or shine and admission is free (but donations are appreciated). Bring your lawn chairs, kids, dogs, guests, friends, and family and join the toe tappin’ fun. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and bring a cooler with your favorite beverages.
If you don’t have time to plan ahead and prepare a picnic, just stop at one of the local eateries and order a to-go meal. We’ll see you on the Green.

by Mary Jane McCall | Photo by Sarah Valentine

Village Nature Series

Musician-Storyteller Bruce Greene, the Village Green Nature Series’  presenter for May, weaves a musical tapestry of the region’s rich  heritage – 5:30 P.M. Tuesday May 26.

Musician-Storyteller Bruce Greene, the Village Green Nature Series’ presenter for May, weaves a musical tapestry of the region’s rich heritage – 5:30 P.M. Tuesday May 26.

Come gather on the back porch of The Village Green Commons at 5:30 P.M. May 26 for an intimate concert of traditional songs, ballads, fiddle tunes, and banjo selections from southern Appalachia.
This is the first program of the 2015 Village Nature Series. This month features musician-storyteller Bruce Greene. Greene is known worldwide for preserving Appalachian music and culture. He and Kore Loy McWhirter will perform in a relaxed, informal manner to bring the music, legends and history to life.
Greene and McWhirter have been singing together for nearly 30 years. They mostly sing a cappella in close harmony. Greene plays fiddle from the old-style tradition with McWhirter accompanying with the fiddlesticks, another old southern mountain tradition. His repertoire of fiddle music includes a vast number of obscure and crooked tunes as if opening a previously locked door to a room rich with old-time music that most people did not know existed.
“This is a rare musical treat that you won’t want to miss,” says Ann Self, Executive Director of The Village Green. The Village Nature Series is sponsored by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust and The Village Green. Each month, residents and visitors can attend a free presentation to learn about the natural and cultural elements of this area.
Other topics for 2015 include black bears, native plants and pollinators, insects, and heritage apples. The programs are always at 5:30 P.M. the last Tuesday of each month May through September at The Village Green Commons on Frank Allen Road near the post office in Cashiers. For more information on The Village Nature Series you can visit The Village Green website at www.villagegreencashiersnc.com and click on the “Events” tab.

CLE: Increasing APPtitude

The Center for Life Enrichment’s 2015 season begins with the world of technology!
If you’re still struggling with how to operate your iPad or iPhone and need some guidance, CLE has the just the person to show you the ropes. Nigel Sixsmith is one of a handful of Apple experts and has taught iPad and Apple classes for CLE for four years, and has a dedicated following. His expertise and knowledge is invaluable to Apple users and is always in high demand.
“iPad Basics” is the beginner’s class and introduces new owners to the iPad and iOS 8. No prior knowledge is needed!! This class will be held Tuesday and Thursday, May 12 and 14, in the CLE Classroom from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.
“iPad Advanced” is great if you already have a working knowledge of the iPad and will help you get the most out of your iPad and iOS, from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Tuesday and Thursday, May 19 and 21.
There are almost a million apps out there and “A Fun Guide to the Best Applications for iPad and iPhone” will introduce you to the very best ones on, Tuesday and Thursday, May26 and 28, from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.
The cost of these classes is $70 for members and $80 for nonmembers.
Gain a greater understanding of Post-Modernism Art with Margaret Browne as she discusses how we got from Picasso to Post-Modernism in “Appropriation Art: Finding Meaning in Found-Image Collage.”
This lecture is in conjunction with The Bascom but will be held in the CLE Lecture Hall Thursday, May 28, from 4:00 to 5:00 P.M. Cost is $10.
The Phoenicians have a great role in the development of civilization, but little has been known about their daily lives. The results of a 40-year-long archaeological excavation has pieced together the lives of this ancient civilization and allows us to visualize the details of private life in ancient Phoenicia. Presenter Helen Dixon teaches ancient Near Eastern and ancient Greek civilization at North Carolina State University. She’ll share her findings from 10:00 A.M. to noon Friday, May 29. Cost is of $25/$35.
For more information on CLE classes or membership, visit www.clehighlands.com, call (828) 526-8811 or stop by our office at 348 South Fifth Street in the lower level of the Peggy Crosby Center in Highlands.

Contributed by Bonnie Dayton

Cashiers Gets Crafty

The Cashiers Arts & Crafts Show is set for Saturday, May 23 and  Sunday, May 24 at the Village Green.

The Cashiers Arts & Crafts Show is set for Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24 at the Village Green.

It’s that time of year again! The finest artisans from throughout the Southeast will once again converge on The Village Green for the Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley’s bi-annual Arts & Crafts Show. Come to the Crossroads this Memorial Day weekend for the return of one of the area’s most notable events.
This year’s Spring Arts & Crafts Show takes place on Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24, from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. both days, rain or shine. On display are some returning favorites from past shows, as well as some new faces making their debut this year. From unique ironwork and woodcraft to hand-thrown pottery, hand-stitched textiles and homemade cakes, pies, jellies, and jams, there’s something to please every artistic palate and tempt even the finickiest of tastes.
Entrance to the Cashiers Rotary Arts and Crafts Shows is free to attend, but all donations are accepted and greatly appreciated. All funds raised during the shows go to benefit the Cashiers Rotary Club Charities fund, which supports area programs that perform good works and advocate on the behalf of the under-served and underprivileged within our community. The club has distributed more than $1 million dollars to date and, with your help, hopes to expand the reach even further.
Members of the Cashiers Rotary will also show off their culinary skills at the refreshment booth, offering hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, and more to keep you fueled up as you hunt for the perfect piece to add to your collection.
Join us and the more than 70 exhibiting artisans as we welcome in summer with fine art, custom crafts, good food, and family fun at the Cashiers Rotary Arts & Crafts Show on May 23 and 24 at the Village Green in Cashiers. Visit www.cashiersrotary.org for more information on events, participating artisans or last-minute artisan registrations.

Contributed by Mary Alice Grant

Can You Dig It?

The Mountain Garden Club’s 33rd Annual Plant Sale,  slated for 9:00 A.M. Saturday, May 23, at the  Highlands Ball Field, is a chance to bring the Plateau’s natural heritage home with you.

The Mountain Garden Club’s 33rd Annual Plant Sale, slated for 9:00 A.M. Saturday, May 23, at the
Highlands Ball Field, is a chance to bring the Plateau’s natural heritage home with you.

The Mountain Garden Club is known for their high kicks and choreographed moves in the annual Highlands Olde Mountain Christmas Parade, but what they are most proud of is the work they
do locally.
Their biggest fundraiser is the annual Plant Sale, held this year Saturday, May 23, from 9:00 A.M. to noon. This will be the 33rd year the members have undertaken such a huge project, which is in the planning stages a year in advance. They carefully tend their own gardens for inventory but also accept donations of plants from non-club members.
They’ll be happy to come “thin” your plantings for you and the diggers will leave your garden in great shape for the season. Just give Caroline Cook a call at (828) 526-2742. Their extensive selection of local plants include many varieties of both sun and shade plants; ground covers; and an impressive selection of Dahlia tubers. Expert advice on all the plants is readily available from any of the Garden Club members.
The Mountain Garden Club tends to be quiet about the work they do in the community. They have planted and tended gardens at the Eckerd Living Center and have many educational projects with the students at Highlands School. The club has helped the Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Nature Center, and helped to fund portions of the renovation at the Kelsey Hutchinson Park. The monies made from the annual plant sale help support local scholarships and are donated to meaningful projects throughout the Highlands area.
Champion their good works by attending the plant sale, held at the Highlands Ball Field on the corner of Highway 64 and Hickory Street. Bring your own cart, wagon or sled, or use the wide variety of sleds made available by the club to load up your purchases. They will even help get all your plants in your car.
You’d better come early because this highly anticipated event does get busy, with many plant selections selling out. Rain date is Sunday, May 24 from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. Cash and check only, please. For more information, call Andrea Gabbard at (828) 200-6742.

by Jenny King

Time to SOAR

The Special Operations Adventure Race to benefit the children of fallen Special Forces will be staged on  Saturday, June 13. The competition will test athletes’ running, cycling, rappelling, and watercraft talents.  For more information or to register, visit www.soarhighlands.org.

The Special Operations Adventure Race to benefit the children of fallen Special Forces will be staged on
Saturday, June 13. The competition will test athletes’ running, cycling, rappelling, and watercraft talents.
For more information or to register, visit www.soarhighlands.org.

The 14th Annual Special Operations Adventure Race benefiting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will be held on June 13. This annual event continues to draw outdoor enthusiasts from across the Southeast who come to the mountains to challenge themselves and raise money for a
great cause.
Since its inception, the Highlands Annual SOAR race has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for SOWF, which provides college educations to children of fallen special operations personnel in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. It also provides assistance to families of severely wounded troops with immediate expenses incurred while traveling to be at the bedside of their loved ones.
The annual SOAR race continues to be an example of how a community can have a positive impact in the lives of very special children whose parent has sacrificed so much for our country.
Solo racers and teams of two will run, cycle, rappel, paddle, and navigate throughout the day and can choose either the Sprint Race which lasts five to seven hours and assumes that the racer has basic navigation skills, or the more challenging Elite Race, which lasts 10 to 12 hours and assumes the racer has intermediate navigation skills.
For more information on the race and registration, please visit www.soarhighlands.org.

The SOAR
Schedule of Events
Friday June 12, 2015

2:00 – 6:00 P.M. Registration, Check-In, and Gear Check at Highlands Civic Center, US-64 and Laurel Street
5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. Spaghetti Dinner ($7)
7:00 P.M. Mandatory Pre-race meeting for all racers
No entries after 6:00 P.M.
Saturday June 13, 2015
7:30 A.M. – Start Elite Race – Main and Fourth Street
9:00 A.M. – Start Sprint Race – Main and Fourth Street
6:30 P.M. – After Race Dinner (food, beer, and wine – free for racers, $7 for all others) followed by Awards as soon as determined. Dinners and Awards at the Highlands Community Building.

by Mary Jane McCall

Fishes and Loaves Celebrates 10th

Thanks to a generous community, Fishes and Loaves reaches some of Jackson County’s neediest neighbors. To learn more, call (828) 506-6170.

Thanks to a generous community, Fishes and Loaves reaches some of Jackson County’s neediest neighbors. To learn more, call (828) 506-6170.

With a little help from Above… and from you, miracles do happen.
This past March Fishes and Loaves celebrated its tenth anniversary. A decade ago a half dozen passionate volunteers launched F&L as a program to feed those below the poverty line in Jackson County. Since then thousands of households have benefitted from food boxes provided up to twice a month, depending upon need. The food pantry, located behind the fire station, is open Mondays and Thursdays from 4:30 P.M. to 6:30 P.M. Volunteers from eleven area churches and other volunteers “staff” the food pantry during these hours.
These food-for-life packages contain three cans each of veggies, meat, and fruit, two cans of soup, dried beans, spaghetti sauce, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and peanut butter. Last November and December 187 Thanksgiving boxes and 167 Christmas boxes were distributed containing Ham or Turkey, 5 pounds of potatoes, pie, rolls, and all trimmings needed for a family dinner were distributed. Manna Food Bank, a Federal Emergency Food Assistance Program, food drives, and direct purchases supply the groceries.
In addition to food distribution, during the winter, the Rotary Club of Cashiers teams up with Fishes and Loaves to provide free outerwear to the needy during the colder months.
Fishes and Loaves has two major fundraisers each year: the Big Ol’ Mountain Country Breakfast which will be held Saturday, July 4, 2015 at the Cashiers Community Center; and the Empty Bowls Soup Luncheon, scheduled for Sunday, October 4, 2015 at the Zachary-Tolbert House Pavilion.
For more information about volunteering, donating, or receiving contact Bill (828) 506-6170, Larry (828) 508-0378, or Howard (828) 577-5100. Helping Fishes and Loaves increase their outreach is soul-satisfying for the giver and body-and-soul satisfying for the receiver.
Happy 10th Anniversary, Fishes and Loaves!

by Donna Rhodes

Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine for the Highlands Community Fund, an effervescent evening of barbecue, dance and jolly refreshments,  will be staged at 6:30 P.M. Sunday, June 7. It’ll boost the fortunes of a host of local causes.

Rise and Shine for the Highlands Community Fund, an effervescent evening of barbecue, dance and jolly refreshments, will be staged at 6:30 P.M. Sunday, June 7. It’ll boost the fortunes of a host of local causes.

Mark your calendars for an evening of cocktails, barbecue, and dancing music.
The Highlands Community Fund will be hosting Rise and Shine for the Highlands Community Fund at The Bascom at
6:30 P.M. June 7.
There will be an evening of enjoyment starting with cocktails, then a delicious barbecue dinner catered by Lovie’s of Atlanta. There will be a time to kick up your heels with dancing music provided by the Caribbean Cowboys.
This is an evening of pure enjoyment and a time to get to know the Highlands Community Fund Board and the wonderful support it gives to the Highlands community.
Since 1966, the Highlands Community Fund has raised permanent endowment funds for the community. Each year, the earnings from these funds are used to make grants to nonprofits serving Highlands. In partnership with The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, the Highlands Community Fund has made 97 grants to 28 organizations, totaling more than $580,000.
Recent grants have supported projects at The Literacy Council of Highlands, Hudson Library, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Highlands, the Middle School Courtyard Project at Highlands School, The Bascom, the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center, the Gordon Center for Children, Highlands Community Child Development Center, Blue Ridge Mountain Health Project, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, the Peggy Crosby Community Service Center, and the Highlands
Emergency Council.
So Rise and Shine for the Highlands Community Fund and come enjoy a night of great food and entertainment. Tickets to this event are $75 and the dress is mountain casual.
For more information, contact Highlands Community Fund Board member Gayle Cummings at (828) 526-0247
or gayle.cummings@me.com.

Contributed by Caroline Cook

Friday Night Live Is Back

Highlands embraces the raucous spirt of the season with  Friday Night Live, a free, joyful music series starting May 22 at Town Square. It’ll be staged through the end of October.  For more information, visit the Highlands Chamber of Commerce at  www.highlandschamber.org or call (828) 526-2112.

Highlands embraces the raucous spirt of the season with Friday Night Live, a free, joyful music series starting May 22 at Town Square. It’ll be staged through the end of October. For more information, visit the Highlands Chamber of Commerce at www.highlandschamber.org or call (828) 526-2112.

It’s May and mountain-style music will be cranking up Friday Night Live performances at Highlands Town Square, starting May 22nd and running straight through October.
This fun, free favorite has become a Highlands tradition. Bands start rockin’ about 6:00 P.M. and keep the good times rollin’ until 8:00 or later. FNL happens every Friday night, rain or shine, throughout
the summer.
FNL started five years ago. It’s the brainchild of Lynn Delgado of Highlands Falls Country Club. Lynn was a former member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. She proposed and initiated this venerable Friday Night music series. It became so popular, bands-in-demand started kicking off the weekend every Friday night with good ol’ mountain blues, rock, country, folk, fusion…you name it. If it’s music of the mountains, you can hear it in Highlands.
Spectators get up and dance or clog. Kids rock out. Even casual listeners tap a toe. There’s not an idle foot on the block.
Don’t miss the Johnny Webb band on May 22, Friday Night Live’s first performance of the season at Town Square.
The Chamber of Commerce proudly presents this music for the entertainment and enjoyment of everyone. Spend your Friday evening strolling Highlands, enjoying the music, window shopping, or dining in one of Highlands’ many fine restaurants. For more information contact the Highlands Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center at www.highlandschamber.org or call (828) 526-2112.

by Donna Rhodes

Saturdays on Pine

Regional music – bluegrass, blues, jazz, and rock and roll – returns to Highlands’ Kelsey-Hutchinson Park with a series of Saturday night concerts.

Regional music – bluegrass, blues, jazz, and rock and roll – returns to Highlands’ Kelsey-Hutchinson Park with a series of Saturday night concerts.

Saturday evening the place to be is at the Saturdays on Pine Summer Concerts. Brought to you by the Highlands Chamber of Commerce, The Ugly Dog Pub, and other generous sponsors, these lively Saturday evenings bring out young and old alike to mingle, dance, and listen to great music.
Beginning on June 6 and continuing through August, these concerts start at 6:00 P.M. and are held at the Kelsey Hutchinson Park on Pine Street. Bring your lawn chairs and a picnic, or have a bite to eat at a local eatery before or after the show, and join the fun. It’s truly a great place for friends and families to stop, unwind, relax and enjoy great music and good times.
Saturdays on Pine presents some of the finest bands from the region. Whether you like jazz, country, blues, rock and roll, bluegrass, or folk music, you will likely find it all here.
Kicking off the series on June 6 will be the Lauren Mitchell Band, one of Florida’s most popular blues bands. Featuring Lauren’s soulful voice and supported by a great band, their performance is sure to set the stage for a great season.
Other musical acts scheduled include Shane Bridges, who claims musical influences from Merle Haggard to Tom Petty; the Hobohemians from Athens, Georgia, known for playing popular music from the 1920s and 30s; Porch Forty, the funk, southern rock band from Cullowhee, North Carolina; and Highlands’ own Wellstrung, playing bluegrass, folk, and Americana music — mountain music at its finest.
For more information about Saturdays on Pine, contact the Highlands Chamber of Commerce at (828) 526-2112.

by Mary Jane McCall | Photo by Sarah Valentine

Hike the Summit

A hike to the summit of Satulah Mountain, set for 9:00 A.M. Friday, June 5, is an ideal way to experience the magic of the  Highlands Plateau Greenway. To register, call (828) 526-2385.

A hike to the summit of Satulah Mountain, set for 9:00 A.M. Friday, June 5, is an ideal way to experience the magic of the Highlands Plateau Greenway. To register, call (828) 526-2385.

The Highlands Plateau Greenway invites everyone to a hike to the summit of Satulah Mountain.
Hikers will leave from Kelsey Hutchinson Park at 9:00 A.M. on June 5 and hike via road and trail to the summit of Satulah Mountain. Along the way there will be experts from the Highlands Plateau Greenway, Highlands Biological Station/Foundation, and The Highlands Cashiers Land Trust explaining the history and biology of Satulah Mountain. It’s also an opportunity to see what’s involved in the issues of public access to the summit.
This event is the annual fundraiser for the greenway. For $25, hikers will receive a guided hike with lectures, a one-year membership in the greenway (a $25 value) and lunch. And as always, there’ll be a surprise or two along the way.
To sign up for Highlands Plateau Greenway’s Satulah Mountain summit hike, contact Hillrie Quin at (828) 526-2385
or hillriemquin@gmail.com.

Contributed by Hillrie Quin

Women in Wine Fashion Show

The magnificent styles of the Acorns Boutique collection are spotlighted in the  Women of Wine Fashion Show,  Friday, May 15, at Highlands Country Club.

The magnificent styles of the Acorns Boutique collection are spotlighted in the
Women of Wine Fashion Show, Friday, May 15, at Highlands Country Club.

Join Acorns Boutique at Highlands Country Club for a kicked-up version of its annual spring fashion show Friday, May 15, from 11:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
Old Edwards Inn and Spa will pair fashions with wines to create stunning style at the social-chic event of the season — the Women of Wine Fashion Show. This exclusive event will feature fashions and accessories from Acorns’ world-renowned designers and wines from The Bascom’s Collective Spirits Food and Wine Festival. Sneak a peek at this season’s hot trends, popular colors, and fashions to suit your personal style.
When you arrive at the historic Highlands Country Club you’ll be treated to a complimentary glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne. During lunch you’ll not only enjoy a preview of fashions, but will be able to taste wines and lunch with seven award-winning women of wine.
Have you always wanted to learn more about the most popular grapes and wine blends in the world? From Merlot to Malbec, whatever wine you’re interested in, you’ll be surrounded by women who know the answers to your questions.
Highlighting the event is special guest Delta Air Lines Culinary Team Sommelier Andrea Robinson, one of only 21 female Master Sommeliers in the world. She’ll be joined by Camille Cox with Champagne Laurent-Perrier; Cassandra Grassi with Grassi Wine Company; Brenda Mixon of The Grade Cellars & Sea Fog; Gabrielle Leonhard with The Gabrielle Collection; Lindsay Woodard with Retour Wines; and Yolanda Papapietro with Papapietro Perry.
After the show, sip complimentary champagne at Acorns Boutique while planning your summer wardrobe, taking advantage of your 10 percent discount at Acorns. Shop for designer women’s apparel, handbags, and scarves, as well as jewelry from the collections of Elizabeth Locke, Steven Vaubel, and Slane. Acorns’ buyers seldom purchase more than one or two of each piece they carry, so you’re guaranteed a unique look.
Cost for the Women of Wine Fashion Show is $100 and proceeds benefit The Bascom: A Center for the Visual Arts. For tickets, contact Tracy Ryan at The Bascom (828) 787-2882 or events@thebascom.org.

by Jenny King

Park Grand Opening

On Saturday, May 30, you’re invited to the Grand Opening Celebration and Dedication of Kelsey-Hutchinson Park.
Anticipation and excitement have been growing about this community greenspace on Fifth and Pine Streets in downtown Highlands, a community space for all to enjoy for years to come. You don’t want to miss this free inaugural celebration.
Family friendly programming will begin at 11:00 A.M. and run throughout the day. Enjoy live music, theatrical performances, and more. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy the shows. Cheer on contestants at the 5k finish line, pick up some locally grown produce at the Farmers Market, or adopt the newest member of your family at the Humane Society’s Stop & Adopt.
Be sure to join us for lunch at the Park. Please bring a dish to share and have a seat at the community table — a communal family-style dining experience. This will be the first event of its kind in Highlands.
For nearly 10 years, Highlanders have had a dream to create a true village park, a place where the community can come together to celebrate their heritage, share music, ring in the holidays, and find respite and relaxation from the bustle of our busy lives. That dream is becoming a reality thanks to so many in our community including Founders Park Coalition, Pine Street Park Committee, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, and the many donors and friends who have stepped up to the plate and taken part in this effort.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of those in our community, the original park concept has been expanded to include an adjoining property that doubles the size of the initial design. More support is needed to complete the expansion. If you would like to learn how you can donate or be involved, please contact Founders Park Coalition chair Nick Bazan at (828) 371-2653 or nicholas.bazan@gmail.com. For information and to sign up for the 5k Run for the Park, contact Skip Taylor at (828) 200-9259 or stmas4280@gmail.com. In the event of rain or construction delays, the event will be moved to the following Saturday, June 6.

Contributed by Julie Schott

Highlands Kitchen Tour

Laurel Club of Highlands’ Kitchen Tour, slated for August 22, offers a glimpse of the Plateau’s most exclusive kitchens.  For more information, visit www.laurelgardenclubhighlands.com.

Laurel Club of Highlands’ Kitchen Tour, slated for August 22, offers a glimpse of the Plateau’s most exclusive kitchens. For more information, visit www.laurelgardenclubhighlands.com.

On August 22, Laurel Garden Club of Highlands will again present the popular Laurel Garden Club Kitchen Tour.  Six kitchens have been selected, including kitchens from historic old Highlands, in-town urban Highlands, and fabulous new mountain home construction. Laurel Kitchen Shop will also be selling home baked casseroles, appetizers, and other goodies to go.
Tickets go on sale May 1 at The Dry Sink, 450 Main Street in Highlands, and online at www.laurelgardenclubhighlands.com. Tickets are $65 each and include transportation. The tour serves as a fundraiser for Laurel Garden Club, which has donated more than $100,000 to the community in the form of grants for
community projects.
For more information closer to the date, please consult www.laurelgardenclubhighlands.com.

Contributed by Lila Howland | Photo by Helen Moore

Wings To Soar

The coolest birds on the planet show up for Wings to Soar, an up-close look at birds of prey. Everyone is invited to attend – 7:00 P.M.  Tuesday, May 26, at Highlands School.

The coolest birds on the planet show up for Wings to Soar, an up-close look at birds of prey. Everyone is invited to attend – 7:00 P.M. Tuesday, May 26, at Highlands School.

One of the Southeast’s premier raptor presentations, Wings to Soar, will bring birds of prey to the old gym of the Highlands School on Fifth Street in an entertaining and informative program for people of all ages. The show starts at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, May 26, and is free and open to the public.
John Stokes and Dale Kernahan, a dynamic twosome who are professional presenters at Rock City, Tennessee, will provide a fun-filled evening designed to entertain and educate about nature and birds of prey including eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons.
Their goal is “to thrill the bejeebers out of the audience” by combining music, video, and, oh yes, live birds of prey flying over the audience giving a whole new meaning to the phase “fly by.” This incredible experience will inspire long after it’s over, hopefully “planting a seed that will grow into a new connection to the natural world.”
The mission of Wings to Soar is to create awareness about the vital role birds of prey play in the natural world. Through their existing outreach programs, they strive to take environmental education to new heights and give audiences a unique opportunity to view and interact with a variety of birds of prey, up close.
This event is free and is provided for all adults and children in Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire, Toxaway, and surrounding areas. It is a part of Mountain Wildlife Days Outreach and is being co-sponsored by the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society.
For additional information contact John Edwards, Director of Mountain Wildlife Days, at (828) 743-9648 or Ann Campbell with the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society at (770) 314-3521.

Contributed by William McReynolds | Photo by Edward Boos

Highlands Marketplace

Highlands Marketplace, set for 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Saturdays, May through October, is a showcase for  local handmade/homegrown products in the best small town tradition.

Highlands Marketplace, set for 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. Saturdays, May through October, is a showcase for
local handmade/homegrown products in the best small town tradition.

Now that the April showers have passed it’s time to get out and enjoy what Highlands has to offer. What could be better than walking through the park, picking out fresh produce and some local baked bread for the weekend? You will be able to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee, smoothie, or local baked goods while deciding on that perfect handmade gift to buy a friend.
Most Saturdays from May through October, the Highlands Marketplace will be held in the newly renovated Kelsey Hutchinson Park.
The park renovation is a bit behind schedule so the Marketplace will be held on the adjacent property that has recently been purchased by the park coalition.
The goal of this market is to allow local farmers, gardeners, growers, bakers, cooks, crafters and artists the opportunity to earn extra income by selling locally produced products. In addition, the market aims to provide residents and visitors of Highlands the opportunity to buy fresh local produce, food and products at a fair market price.
The plan is to have local entertainment every week along with incredible handmade / homegrown products. There will be food and beverages available to purchase along with organic produce, locally made candles, hand woven scarves, handmade furniture and lots more.
The Cashiers Highlands Humane Society will join the festivities throughout the season for stop and adopt opportunities.
The market has been organized and is being run by a committee. They are asking folks that would like to be vendors to please stop by Fressers Courtyard Café or Town Hall to pick up a copy of the rules and regulations along with an application. Or you can email the committee at Highlandsmarketplace@gmail.com and someone will send one to you.
Shoppers can find updates and information by liking Highlands Marketplace on Facebook.
For the 2015 Market season, the dates and hours of operation are
as follows:
Most Saturdays May through October from 8:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M.
November hours will be from 9:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M.
(weather permitting)
Tell your friends and head to the park!!

Contributed by Debbie Grossman

Love Letters

The poignant and deeply personal “Love Letters” will be performed at Highlands Playhouse, May 8-10. For tickets or more information,  call (828) 526-2695.

The poignant and deeply personal “Love Letters” will be performed at Highlands Playhouse, May 8-10. For tickets or more information, call (828) 526-2695.

“Love Letters” by A. R. Gurney was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play centers on two characters, Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III. Using the epistolary form sometimes found in novels, they sit side by side at tables and read the notes, letters and cards – in which over nearly 50 years, they discuss their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats – that have passed between them throughout their separated lives.
Highlands’ own Vangie and Curtis Rich will be playing the roles of Melissa and Andrew. Vangie has been performing on stage for over 70 years and has been in numerous musicals, operettas and plays. She is active in the Highlands United Methodist Church Choir and Children’s Drama productions. Curtis is involved in the Rotary Club of Highlands and is on the Highlands Playhouse Board of Directors. Curtis and Vangie have performed many times together, including “On Golden Pond” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Together, they are sure to add their own flair to the roles of Melissa and Andrew.
We will have three performances Mother’s Day weekend. One on Friday, May 8, at 8:00 P.M., Saturday, May 9, at 8:00 P.M., and a Sunday matinee on May 10 at 2:00 P.M. Tickets are $25 for all shows. Call the box office today at (828) 526-2695 to reserve your tickets.

Highlands Motoring Festival

The Highlands Motoring Festival, June 11-14, is a celebration of the exquisite art of the automobile.  To register or more information, visit www.highlandsmotoringfestival.com.

The Highlands Motoring Festival, June 11-14, is a celebration of the exquisite art of the automobile.
To register or more information, visit www.highlandsmotoringfestival.com.

Every year the Highlands Motoring Festival gets bigger and better so mark your calendars now to attend the 8th annual festival to be held June 11-14. Known as the “Festival with Altitude,” this celebration of the automobile draws a large following year after year.
Start the weekend with a fun day on Thursday featuring multiple events including a golf outing and social at the Highlands Cove Country Club, as well as an opening party later that day at the Ugly Dog Pub, featuring live music and a chance to get to know your fellow car enthusiasts.
Friday features a repeat of last year’s popular Lap of the Mountains day drive beginning at 8:00 A.M. and providing a full day of driving while soaking in the scenery of our beautiful mountains. Your $75 contribution for this event includes a light breakfast at Creekside prior to departure. Cap the day off by attending the Motoring to Motown Welcome Party featuring local barbecue and the great sounds of City Street Band. This event is hosted by The Literacy Council of Highlands. Tickets are $80 per person.
Saturday from 10:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. is the Classic Car Show at the Highlands Recreation Park. This year the festival will recognize Mercedes, 1989 and older, as the Marque of the Year. In addition, there will be many other makes and models of cars, both American and foreign, on display. There is no charge for this event and it is a great chance to see many rare and exotic cars and motorcycles. Saturday evening you can relax a bit at the Saturday Night Social featuring a buffet to be followed by a movie on the big screen. Tickets for the buffet are $30 and the fun starts at 5:30 P.M.
Complete your weekend of fun with the leisurely Sunday Road Rally featuring a brunch mid-way at the famed Dillard House. Don’t forget to return to the Ugly Dog Pub later to share memories of the weekend and watch the awards ceremony.
Proceeds from this year’s festival benefit the Literacy Council of Highlands and all events are open to the public. For more information, including registration information, visit www.highlandsmotoringfestival.com or call the Highlands Chamber of Commerce at (828) 526-2112.

by Mary Jane McCall | Photo by Sarah Valentine

His Angels of Song

The Atlanta Boy Choir will perform at Highlands’ Episcopal Church of the Incarnation on Sunday May 24th at 5:00 P.M.

The Atlanta Boy Choir will perform at Highlands’ Episcopal Church of the Incarnation on Sunday May 24th at 5:00 P.M.

The world acclaimed, Grammy Award-Winning Atlanta Boy Choir, directed by Fletcher Wolfe, will sing again at Highlands’ Episcopal Church of the Incarnation on Sunday Afternoon, May 24th at 5:00 P.M.
This choir, a favorite of Highlanders for over five decades, will present the concert which they will perform in June at Los Angeles’ famous Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple. The chior will also travel to Hawaii where they will give several performances to honor the World War II heroes. Last June, the choir visited Poland to honor Pope John Paul II becoming a Saint. They were given this honor because of their many appearances with him at St. Peter’s in Rome. He called them “His Angels of Song.”
Recently in Atlanta, The Choir appeared at the Fabulous Fox Theatre along with the Atlanta Opera and Atlanta Ballet Companies in The 40th Anniversary of the “Save the Fox” Campaign. The 65 boys and 40 men who comprise The Choir have a full schedule of concerts this month in Atlanta appearing in many of the large churches and cathedrals as well as The Bremen Museum.
The Choir has just been selected to be featured in one the most important films of the decade and has promised not to disclose its title as a great publicity campaign is being organized by the Hollywood producers. The Highlands Concert is free and open to the public with selected reserved seats available to those wishing to help sponsor a needy boy. For further information call our office at (404)378-0064 or email at info@atlantaboychoir.org.

The Garden Talk Salon

Thirty years of designing landscapes for clients in exclusive places from the coast of California to the low country of the Carolinas has equipped Mary Palmer Dargan with a sharp eye for detail and a humorous, no-nonsense approach to getting things done.
“Form follows function, then beautify” is her mantra.
You’re invited to get your hands dirty at her Garden Talk Salon at Dargan’s Dovecote in Cashiers.
Just in time for Mother’s Day planting, Mary Palmer is offering a jumpstart to your summer garden with her workshop on May 22 – “Jump Start Your Summer Garden with Seed-Blocking!” Soil-blocking, a 100-year-old English technique that was just up Mary’s alley.
“I love gadgets of all types and this one rocks,” she says. “It is a little press that ejects the ¾-inch blocks into sets of cakes that resemble chocolate brownies.”
Planting medium, seed blockers, buckets, water, seeds and a light lunch is included for the workshop, plus instructions on how to grow flowers successfully. Cost is $25
On May 15 and 16, Dargan is offering “Land. Life. Garden: LifeScapes for Your Home Environment.”
The gentle joining of hands between your home environment, your family and nature is her passion. She feels that by taking time to engage with nature and observe how it functions best on your home property, you can design solutions that suit particular situations, and avoid wasting time, labor and resources.
This two-day workshop will empower your property as the ultimate Land and LifeScape environment. Draw your dream garden with compost stations, greenhouse huts, potting area and work out the best practices for your property. You will be guided through preparing and planting your garden with hardy vegetables and annuals, using handprint planting methods and seed-blocking, as well as starting baby plants and dahlias for late spring and summer propagation You do not need to know how to draw to attend this 3 hour garden design workshop. Learn how to plant vegetables and annuals to use handprint planting methods and seed-blocking. Pre-registration ends May 11 for $125/$185 couple.
Back by popular demand, on May 29th Jeff Zahner presents “Evergreens for Mountain Landscapes.” Glenda Zahner joins Dovecote for native azaleas in your garden with the dynamic duo giving a narrated walkabout at Chattooga Gardens.
June 5, Dr. Lynn Dillard of Scotlyn’s Yard Nursery presents “The Magic of Mixed Baskets and Dazzling Dahlias” with a reception and narrative tour of the collections.
All salons are held in Cashiers at Dovecote Porch & Gardens, 35 Flashpoint Drive. Pre-registration is suggested, as these are small groups. You can email mpdargan@dargan.com to register. You may also register at dargan.com/dovecote-events.
If you prefer a video of her workshops to share with your friends, just sign up for her newsletter and click the Garden Talk Salon option at www.dargan.com. Getting your hands dirty has never been more fun.

Dine Out for Life

Whether you’re new to Dining Out For Life or have dined with us for years, it’s hard to imagine a better way to spend a Thursday evening.
On Thursday, April 30, thousands of caring individuals in WNC will join with the Western North Carolina AIDS Project for the 13th annual fundraiser. Participating restaurants all over the region will be generously donating 20 percent of their proceeds for the day to the organization and just by picking up a fork, you can help save a life.
Dining Out For Life, voted Best of WNC 2014’s Number One Fundraising Event, will take place in seven counties of WNC with restaurants in Asheville, Arden, Black Mountain, Brevard, Candler, Hendersonville, Maggie Valley, Saluda, Spruce Pine, Sylva, Waynesville, Weaverville, and Woodfin. This year in Highlands you can make your plans for an exciting dinner at On the Verandah, Wolfgang’s, or the Ugly Dog Pub.
Since 1986, WNCAP has provided HIV/AIDS Outreach Education and Prevention programs across 18 counties in WNC and case management services to those affected by the disease. Dining Out for Life is a vital fundraiser necessary for WNCAP to carry on their critical services throughout our region. Last year, DOFL raised over $176,000 in a challenged economy to help with the shortfall of funding at the federal and state levels, while expanding much-needed services to
other counties.
Consider your participation as a Win-Win-Win situation for everybody…a win for you as you enjoy a great meal out, a win for the restaurant of your choice, and a win for the clients of WNCAP and future generations who will continue to benefit from their many
prevention programs.
This year, Subaru has partnered with celebrity designer Mondo Guerra of “Project Runway” for their Love Responsibly social action campaign. Together they are working to encourage patrons in cities all over the country to get involved, support Dining Out For Life, and #loveresponsibly.
You can see more about the campaign at www.takepart.com/love-responsibly.
“Volunteers and sponsors are key to the success of any event of this magnitude,” says Harry Brown, veteran volunteer chairperson for Dining Out for Life. “This year the community has really stepped up in support of WNCAP, thanks to over 250 ambassador/volunteers, our generous sponsors, and the best restaurants in Western North Carolina.”
So make your plans now, call your friends, clients, and neighbors, and put together a gathering at your favorite restaurant, or use this opportunity to try a new restaurant. As an added bonus this year, you will have an opportunity to win several great prizes including roundtrip airfare tickets for two, just for dining out.
Make your plans now to dine out on Thursday, April 30, in the Highlands area, or wherever you are that day, and you just might help save a life!

We invite you to vote in our next poll - “Favorite spot for a moderate hike.”  Readers can vote on facebook.com/TheLaurelMagazine.

Your Favorite Hike?

The Laurel, is offering something a bit new for 2015 – a readers’ poll. Each month we’re going to offer up suggestions of areas around the plateau and ask which is your favorite. Write in suggestions are also welcomed.
For April, let us know which might be your favorite spot for a moderate hike. Now, we know this is a totally subjective call as moderate for one might not necessarily be moderate to someone else. But we have to start somewhere, right?
So here we go…your choices are:
Whiteside Mountain; Bartram Trail/Whiterock Mountain or The Chattooga Loop Trail (Information on these hikes was gathered online and from personal experience)
Whiteside Mountain is a National Recreation Trail. This loop climbs an old roadbed and travels along the brink of some of the East’s most spectacular cliffs. Named for these cliffs, the mountain’s side does look “white” from a distance with sun shining on the light gray granite. From Highlands, follow US 64 East for 5.4 miles. Turn right onto Whiteside Mountain Road. (SR 1600). There is a sign for Whiteside Mountain Recreation Area. Follow for one mile to the signed parking area on the left.
Bartram Trail – Jones Gap to Whiterock Mountain is a 4.6 mile out and back trail located near Highlands and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is dog friendly. Follow Highway 64 West 4.6 miles. Watch for the Cliffside Lake entrance on the right. Just past Cliffside Lake, turn left on Turtle Pond Road. Follow Turtle Pond Road for 1.1 miles to Dendy Orchard Road. Turn right on Dendy Orchard Road and follow it for 1.4 miles. This will become a steep dirt road. At the top of the hill, turn left onto Jones Gap Road. A Bartram Trail sign indicates this road. Follow it two miles to a parking area at the top of the gap.
The Chattooga Loop Trail is almost a 2-mile loop trail that begins to the left of the Iron Bridge. From Highlands proceed East on Main Street, becomes Horse Cove Road, for 4.5 miles to intersection with Bull Pen and Whiteside Cove Roads. Turn right onto Bull Pen Road (#1178) and proceed for 3.1 miles to Iron Bridge. The trailhead is on left just before bridge.
Just visit our Facebook page (The Laurel Magazine) and log in your vote. Next month we’ll publish our results. Have fun and enjoy your hike.

by Jenny King | photo of Whiteside Mountain by Charles Johnson

We invite you to vote in our next poll - “Favorite spot for a moderate hike.”  Readers can vote on facebook.com/TheLaurelMagazine.

We invite you to vote in our next poll – “Favorite spot for a moderate hike.” Readers can vote on facebook.com/TheLaurelMagazine.

The perfect tonic for the end of a long, long winter? A bowl of subtle heat washed down with a mouthful of cornbread and an ice cold beverage. Don’t miss the Highlands Chili Cook-off, 6:30 to 9:30 P.M. Saturday, March 14, at the Community Building.

The New Hotness

Looking to heat things up a little on a cold March night?
Hurry on over to the Highlands Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Chili Cook-off, slated for 6:30 to 9:30 P.M. on Saturday, March 14, at the Community Building (next to the Town Ball Field). Bearing secret home recipes and stock pots filled with chopped onions, chili powder and a variety of other ingredients, veteran and novice chefs are planning to spice up your evening.
In addition to the spicier side of the night there will cornbread recipes to complement the chili, salsas to cleanse your palate, cold beverages to cool you off, and the great sounds of the Southern Highlands Band. Wear your dancing shoes because you are guaranteed to get so caught up in the festivities that you’ll want to dance the night away, not to mention burn all those calories off.
It’s also not too late to dust off your secret recipe and join the fun as a competitor. Who knows, you just might take home the crown for Most Traditional Chili, Hottest Chili, Most Unique Chili, Best Salsa, Best Cornbread, or Best All Round Table decoration.
Tickets are $25 each and are sold at the door on the evening of the event. Children under 12 are admitted free. Anyone needing more information or interested in being a competitor should call Jennifer Cunningham at the Highlands Chamber of Commerce at (828) 526-2112.

by Mary Jane McCall | Chili Cook-off Painting by Janet Cummings

The perfect tonic for the end of a long, long winter? A bowl of subtle heat washed down with a mouthful of cornbread and an ice cold beverage. Don’t miss the Highlands Chili Cook-off, 6:30 to 9:30 P.M. Saturday, March 14, at the Community Building.

The perfect tonic for the end of a long, long winter? A bowl of subtle heat washed down with a mouthful of cornbread and an ice cold beverage. Don’t miss the Highlands Chili Cook-off, 6:30 to 9:30 P.M. Saturday, March 14, at the Community Building.

Tackle This Tourney

First-timers and veteran anglers are invited to dip into local waterways for the 5th Annual Three River Fly Fishing Tournament,
April 30 through May 2. For more information, visit HighlandsThreeRiver.com or call (828) 526-0441.

When you think of fly fishing, do you have visions of yourself in a quiet mountain stream touched by tree-dappled sunlight and gentle breezes? Do you picture yourself finding that perfect fly, flicking your wrist and landing your line exactly where
you planned?
This really can be you. Even if you know nothing about fly fishing other than “A River Runs Through It,” you can participate in the 5th Annual Three River Fly Fishing Tournament, April 30 through May 2.
Five years ago David Wilkes, Steve Perry and Eric Nesmith — all veteran fly fishermen — decided to organize a local tournament, with proceeds benefitting the Town of Highlands Scholarship Fund. This event has grown exponentially since its inception.
Committee member Hilary Wilkes says that last year they had 14 teams of both men and women.
“It’s meant to be a fun weekend,” says Wilkes. “We don’t give cash prizes but have lots of great awards donated by sponsors and vendors. They’re given for everything from the most fish caught to the best
fish tale.”
And while the tournament is lighthearted, they are serious about where the monies go. Last year they raised over $8,000, all benefitting local high school students.
If this is your first fly fishing adventure, you won’t find yourself in over your head. On Thursday there will be a casting clinic held at Harris Lake in downtown Highlands. During the clinic, which is free and open to the public, novice fishers will be given casting instructions by experts and more seasoned casters can hone their skills.
Should you be of need, equipment will be available to rent for
the tournament.
Wilkes says a priority is to encourage more women to participate. “There are lots of women who like to fish around here and I’d love to see them take part.”
Each team may choose to fish either guided or unguided venues but must stay within the tournament map’s boundaries which include, but are not limited to, the Chattooga, the Cullasaja, and Nantahala rivers. Teams are encouraged to fish a native stream, a delayed harvest stream, and a hatchery supported stream and guides are available to hire for any team.
The boundary map for the Three River Fly Fishing Tournament is on display at the Highland Hiker Cabin store on Main Street and registration forms are available at all four Highland Hiker locations. If you have questions or wish to become a sponsor, go by the Hiker and ask for Hilary or email her at hilary@highlandhiker.com. Her phone number is (828) 526-0441. You may also find information online at HighlandsThreeRiver.com.

by Jenny King

Students at the Highlands Biological Station sort their mushroom 
collection. While the students in this photograph are participating in a university program, the workshop on mushroom identification is open to adults of all ages and backgrounds.

Fungi Foray

An innovative workshop offered by the Highlands Biological Station
offers a close-up look at the Highlands Plateau’s shyest and most
delicate forest denizens. To learn the startling secrets of mushrooms, sign up for this class, set for June 15-19. For information,
call (828) 526-2602 or visit www.highlandsbiological.org/summer-2015

For decades, the Highlands Biological Station has specialized in immersion-based education and programming, under the philosophy that the best way to learn is to experience. In response to growing enthusiasm towards — and curiosity about — mushrooms by members of the community over the years, the Station is offering a workshop this summer that is designed to introduce the beginning mushroom enthusiast to the biology and ecology of fleshy fungi.
Guided by experts Jay Justice and Rich Baird, participants will be introduced to the different forest types in the Highlands area, and how their localized conditions influence the growth of particular species. Heavy influence will be placed on learning how to identify fleshy fungi using keys, which will involve some use of microscopes. Daily activities will include lectures and field trips followed by laboratory time. Don’t be intimidated – this workshop is designed for amateur-minded biologists and naturalists, and no previous experience with fleshy fungi is required.
“Introduction to Southern Appalachian Fungi & Their Identification” will meet June 15-19 at the Highlands Biological Station. Class will meet through the entire day and into the evenings, with breaks for meals. Members of the Highlands Biological Foundation at the Bear Pen Mountain level and above receive a $50 discount. For more information about the course, cost, and instructors, call (828) 526-2602 or visit www.highlandsbiological.org/summer-2015/ and scroll down to the workshop section.

Contributed by Michelle S. Ruigrok

Students at the Highlands Biological Station sort their mushroom  collection. While the students in this photograph are participating in a university program, the workshop on mushroom identification is open to adults of all ages and backgrounds.

Students at the Highlands Biological Station sort their mushroom
collection. While the students in this photograph are participating in a university program, the workshop on mushroom identification is open to adults of all ages and backgrounds.

Rotarians Tony Potts and Selwyn Chalker invite you to the Rotary Club of 
Highlands 26th annual Golf Tournament held on Monday, May 4.

Rotary Golf Tournament 2015

Calling all area golfers! It’s time to dust off those clubs and prepare to challenge your friends in the Rotary Club of Highlands 26th Annual Golf Tournament. You’ll be able to show your skills as you play one of the premier golf courses of the area.
Gather at the Highlands Country Club practice green or the driving range at 10:00 A.M. on Monday, May 4 to hone your skills and work out the kinks. The four-man teams will kick off the tournament at 11:00 A.M. Vie for prizes for the “closest to the pin” and “longest drive.”
One-hundred percent of the funds raised by this tournament go to support the local community. Throughout the years, this tournament has raised more than $100,000 to support community projects such as the Student Foreign Exchange Program, the Literacy Council, local Boy Scout Troop, the Peggy Crosby Center, plus many other local charitable programs.
Enjoy snacks and beverages along the course plus a cart-provided lunch as you support your community while enjoying the beauty of the mountains. After the tournament there will be a reception for Rotarians and players to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Highlands Rotary.
Registration for each player is $150. Space is limited to only 30 four-person teams, so be sure to sign up early. If you are not able to play but would like to support the Rotary Club of Highlands with a hole or corporate sponsorship, please contact Joyce Baillargeon at (828) 526-0501 or (828) 421-3551.

Contributed by David Stroud

Rotarians Tony Potts and Selwyn Chalker invite you to the Rotary Club of  Highlands 26th annual Golf Tournament held on Monday, May 4.

Rotarians Tony Potts and Selwyn Chalker invite you to the Rotary Club of
Highlands 26th annual Golf Tournament held on Monday, May 4.

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Scenes From Our Towns…

Laurent-Perrier Champagne Dinner

On a grand Winter’s Eve – Friday, January 23 – Old Edwards Inn and Spa hosted a Laurent-Perrier Champagne Dinner. Held at the Farm at Old Edwards, Executive Chef Johannes Klapdhor presented five courses of his own creations designed to both complement and enhance Laurent-Perrier Champagnes. It was a perfect way to wile away a long winter’s night.
Madison’s Sommelier Curt Christiansen chose five outstanding bubbles from the House of Laurent-Perrier.
Guests enjoyed live music by James Barr while learning about, and tasting, Champagne and the difference between brut, sec and demi-sec.

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Nothing but Love for You

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The world-famous Old Edwards Inn & Spa turns its attention inward during the sleepy winter months and offers its deeply indulgent  guest experience to local residents. For reservations and information, call (828) 787-2625.

The world-famous Old Edwards Inn & Spa turns its attention inward during the sleepy winter months and offers its deeply indulgent guest experience to local residents. For reservations and information, call (828) 787-2625.

Nestled in the heart of our unpretentious Highlands lies Old Edwards Inn and Spa, a four-star resort that has become a favorite respite for politicians, celebrities and the otherwise well-heeled.
Look on any “Best of” list of the finest resorts in the world, and you’re more than a little likely to see Old Edwards featured. That’s an impressive feather in the cap for our town of three stoplights.
And while it’s true that the pleasure of living in Highlands is blessing enough, once a year Old Edwards offers a bonus reason to love being a local. January through March, during their “We Love Locals” promotion, you can experience Old Edwards luxury at your-grandmother-wouldn’t-be-that-generous discounts.
Sunday through Thursday stays at the acclaimed resort are just $95 per night. Champagne is handed to you when you arrive, bed linens to swaddle for, and the bathrooms have — pay attention – Heated. Marble. Floors.
Now for the mildly lucky, that would be a great day. But we live on the Plateau. Our address grants extraordinary entitlement. Dine at the farm-to-table Madison’s Restaurant for lunch or dinner, and receive a whopping 20 percent off your entire check. Go for the foie gras…and the venison…or the duck…and you can’t leave without trying the chocolate chip pie. Well, ok, you might need several visits.
On Sundays, beginning January 11, Madison’s is offering Half Price Wine Selections. Curated by Sommelier Curt Christiansen, this list promises the finest of wines at unprecedented value.
Don’t stop counting the many perks of zip code perfection too quickly. For just $95, celebrate your residency with a 50-minute spa treatment at Condé Nast Traveler’s #2 Top Hotel Spa in The United States. Also during “We Love Locals” for the first time in 2015, you can participate in the wellness and fitness classes at the fitness center for a per-class fee, or schedule a spa treatment for free use of the equipment and classes.
Old Edwards “We Love Locals” promotions are offered January through March, Sundays through Thursdays. For more information, visit www.oldedwardsinn.com/locallove or call (828) 787-2625.

The Highlands Playhouse looks to tickle your funny bone and break your heart with its 2015 Summer 
Season.  In the meantime, take in its slate of 
first-run movies.

A Sensational Season Awaits

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The Highlands Playhouse looks to tickle your funny bone and break your heart with its 2015 Summer  Season.  In the meantime, take in its slate of  first-run movies.

The Highlands Playhouse looks to tickle your funny bone and break your heart with its 2015 Summer
Season. In the meantime, take in its slate of first-run movies.

While we are all enjoying the peaceful calm that is winter in Highlands, it isn’t too soon to look forward to another wonderful summer season when we emerge from our quietude and hit the scene running.
One of the things that many of us look forward to is another year of performances at the Highlands Playhouse.
This year the marks the 77th season of the Highlands Playhouse and they have a toe-tapping season full of musicals in store for us. Audiences will be treated to four world-renowned musicals- each one a different type of show that will have them begging for more.
The season starts with “Anything Goes,” which chronicles the madcap antics of a stowaway and an heiress aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London.
Following that, audiences will have a chance to see the ever popular “Godspell,” a musical based around a series of Biblical parables, mostly from the Gospel of Matthew. This show features various musical styles including rock ‘n roll, pop, R & B, ragtime and more.
“First Date” is next and promises to have audiences laughing hysterically at the story of a blind date between Aaron (who has never gone out with a stranger) and serial romancer Casey. The ensemble cast comes to life as various characters from Aaron and Casey’s past and possible future! The season ends appropriately with “End of the Rainbow,” a musical set in London that follows the last months of Judy Garland’s life. This story follows Garland as she is preparing for her five week run of shows at The Talk of the Town while struggling with both her addictions and her strained relationships with the men around her.
Performance dates are: “Anything Goes,” June 25-July 11; “Godspell,” July 16-August 1; “First Date,” August 6-22; and “End of the Rainbow,” August 27-September 6. For more information please visit the Playhouse website at www.highlandsplayhouse.org or call the box office at (828) 526-9443.
While waiting on the exciting new season, please remember to check out the first-run movies playing at the Playhouse throughout the winter.

by Mary Jane McCall

The Chocolate Cook-off at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community
 Library, set for Saturday, February 7, is a sweet blush of passion 
in the midst of a dreary winter.

Chocolate Cook-off 

The Chocolate Cook-off at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community  Library, set for Saturday, February 7, is a sweet blush of passion  in the midst of a dreary winter.

The Chocolate Cook-off at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library, set for Saturday, February 7, is a sweet blush of passion in the midst of a dreary winter.

The Friends of the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library will hold their fourth annual Chocolate Cook-off on Saturday, February 7, at the library.
The event offers a double treat — delectable chocolate to get you ready for Valentine’s Day, and the opportunity to support the Friends of the Library in Cashiers. All proceeds go to the Friends of the Library to support their mission on behalf of the Cashiers Library.
The event will be held in the Cashiers Library Community Meeting Room from 1:00 – 3:00 P.M. Admission is $6 per person, and free to children under five.
It’s a friendly competition that offers multiple awards — first and second place ribbons for the best chocolate dessert by professionals (chefs, banquet coordinators, and caterers); and also for the best by non-professional chefs, all picked by a three-judge panel based on taste, aroma, creativity and eye appeal; another for a People’s Choice award decided by ballots of those in attendance; and a third for the best table decoration. All desserts will be auctioned at 2:00 P.M.
Anyone interested in entering the cook-off should pick up an application at the front desk of the Cashiers Library. Each contestant will make one dessert to be judged by the panel, and subsequently auctioned off, as well as additional small bites for the People’s Choice competition. If you require further information please contact Bonnie Zacher (743-0489/bjzacher@bellsouth.net, or Adair Simon (743-5940).
The Friends of the Library invites all interested persons to join in their work to support the Cashiers Library. Membership forms are available at the front desk of the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library.

by Luke Osteen

A speakeasy, a supper, and a tasty murder mystery lie at the heart of the Highlands Cashiers Players’ dinner theatre presentation of 
“Murder Not Prohibited,” the last two weekends in February at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center. 
For tickets and performance times, visit highlandscashiersplayers.org.

Murder Not Prohibited

A speakeasy, a supper, and a tasty murder mystery lie at the heart of the Highlands Cashiers Players’ dinner theatre presentation of  “Murder Not Prohibited,” the last two weekends in February at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center.  For tickets and performance times, visit highlandscashiersplayers.org.

A speakeasy, a supper, and a tasty murder mystery lie at the heart of the Highlands Cashiers Players’ dinner theatre presentation of “Murder Not Prohibited,” the last two weekends in February at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center. For tickets and performance times, visit highlandscashiersplayers.org or call (828) 526-8084.

It’s Prohibition 1925 and alcoholic beverages are hard to come by, but not at Harry’s Happy Hideaway when the Highlands Cashiers Players present a dinner theater mystery entitled “Murder Not Prohibited.”
Scheduled for six performances at the Highlands Performing Arts Center, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 20-22 and February 27 – March 1, the show is one of the most popular of Jody Read’s Carolina Murder Mysteries, performed in the past by her acting troupe of HCP players.
The characters involved in this funny murder-mystery spoof are Harry Huckster, owner of the speakeasy; Daisy Darling, his wife and hostess/singer; Cal Apone, a tough gangster from Chicago who suffers from mysophobia (a fear of germs); Trixie LaTour, Cal’s girlfriend; Righty Ragu, Cal’s right-hand man; Willy Joe Cobb, backwoods still operator; and Hope Sober, militant brick-toting member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
The audience, seated at tables, will enjoy a tasty dinner as they watch the show, and be given a chance to decide which of the suspects committed the murders that occur in the play. The first table to identify the murderer and the motive will be awarded an appropriate prize.
Details on times of evening performances and Sunday matinees will be available at the HCP box office, in local newspapers, and at highlandscashiersplayers.org, and highlands-cashierscalendar.com closer to the date of the February performances.
“Murder Not Prohibited” is the third play for HCP season subscribers and available to all others who would like to come eat, laugh, and test their powers of deduction in HCP’s production of “Murder Not Prohibited.”

Contributed by Virginia Talbot

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Spice It Up, Chili Lovers

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Good times and good food…where do you go to find that combination in Highlands in March? Look no further than the Highlands Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Chili Cook-off slated for 6:30-9:30 P.M. on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at the Community Building.
This annual event has become known as the place to shed winter’s gray, cold mantle, kick the snow off your boots and add some spice back into your life. Join your friends and neighbors for an evening of culinary delights, cold beverages, and dancing the night away to the sounds of the Southern Highlands band.
You will enjoy chili and cornbread recipes of every kind and nature, from mild and traditional, to knock your socks off hot and fiery. Some will have you asking for a second helping so you can identify that subtle spice that makes it so unique. Others will have you rushing to the drink stations where beer, wine, and soft drinks will be served to cool you off and cleanse your palate for a second round. Prizes will be awarded for Most Traditional Chili, Hottest Chili, Most Unique Chili, Best Salsa, Best Cornbread, and Best All Round Table Decoration.
Tickets are $25 each and are sold at the door on the evening of the event. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Anyone needing more information or interested in being a competitor should call Jennifer Cunningham at the Highlands Chamber of Commerce at (828) 526-2112.

by Mary Jane McCall | Photos by Marjorie Christiansen

A Shop With A Cop Christmas

The Rotary Club of Highlands will partner for the seventh year with the Macon County Sheriff’s Department and the Highlands Police Department on December 4 for Shop with a Cop Rotary Bingo to benefit the Macon County Shop with a Cop Program.
Shop with a Cop provides Christmas to more than 200 Macon Country children who otherwise would have little or no Christmas. Each child is taken to Walmart by a law enforcement officer and will have $100 to spend with only a couple of conditions: first, they must buy something for themselves and second, something for someone else.
When they’ve finished shopping with officers, the children will have lunch and a Christmas party where presents are wrapped, following a visit with Santa Claus complete with photos.
“Many of the children come from difficult circumstances, where law enforcement officers are perceived as bad guys,” says Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland. “Shop with a Cop works to change that image through friendship and participating in a Christmas that otherwise wouldn’t happen.”
Highlands Police Chief Bill Harrell joins Sheriff Holland saying, “Shop with a Cop is a positive experience not only for the children involved but also for our officers.”
Shop with a Cop Rotary Bingo has been a significant revenue stream for this program. If you can’t attend the Bingo Night, slated for 6:30 P.M. December 4 at the Highlands Community Building, you can make a donation and drop it off at the Highlands Police Department, the Recreation Park front desk, or give it to any Highlands Rotarian.

Contributed by David Stroud, Highlands Rotary Club

The Players’ Gift

Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” will serve as The Highlands  Cashiers Players’ Holiday Reading at the Highlands Performing Arts Center – 7:00 P.M. Thursday, December 18.  There is no admission fee and everyone is invited.

Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” will serve as The Highlands
Cashiers Players’ Holiday Reading at the Highlands Performing Arts Center – 7:00 P.M. Thursday, December 18.
There is no admission fee and everyone is invited.

The Highlands Cashiers Players once again present their annual Holiday Reading at 7:00 P.M. Thursday, December 18, at the Highlands Performing Arts Center.
HCP Board members, cast and crew alike join together at the Highlands Performing Arts Center to offer this gift to the community. Each year is a different festively wrapped package that usually includes poetry, humorous readings, spiritual messages and song. The 2014 program will be especially touching with a staged reading of “A Christmas Memory,” by Truman Capote.
“A Christmas Memory” is rich with evocative language that conjures up life in rural Alabama and the childhood of a boy who is placed in the care of his elderly relatives. It paints a vibrant picture of the closeness forged between two people who choose to focus on the simple pleasures and rituals of life.
Several HCP actors will be participating, with veteran performer Dean Zuch serving as narrator. Music of the season will be included and refreshments will be served after the performance. No tickets or reservations are needed as the program is and has always been the Players’ gift to the community. Join the cast of “A Christmas Memory” and let them give you a present you’ll enjoy and long remember.

by Jenny King

A Festival of Lights

The Villlage Green, Cashiers’ jewel at the Crossroads, will shine for the holidays with Christmas on the Green.

The Villlage Green, Cashiers’ jewel at the Crossroads, will shine for the holidays with Christmas on the Green.

Looking for a little sparkle this holiday season?
Bring your family and friends to The Village Green for Cashiers’ third annual Christmas On the Green celebration. The 12.5-acre park in the heart of Cashiers will feature thousands of twinkling lights and trees decorated by local merchants and organizations from Thanksgiving weekend until New Year’s Day.
“The Village Green exists to enhance the quality of community life by offering events like Christmas On the Green where people can make meaningful holiday memories,” says Jochen Lucke, Chairperson of The Village Green Board of Directors.
The Village Green is conserved and maintained by a nonprofit organization. “The Village Green is distinctive in that it is a free, public park for everyone to enjoy,” says Self. “However, the park receives no public funding and relies on the generosity of individual donors for its operation.” For more information, visit www.villagegreencashiersnc.com.
Parking is available at the entrance near the Gazebo, off of Highway 64 East, and at the entrance to Village Commons on Frank Allen Road in Cashiers. Like The Village Green on Facebook or follow on Twitter @cashiersgreen.

A Joyful Noise

First Presbyterian Church of Highlands will host a Christmas Carol Sing at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, December 6. Everyone is invited to listen and join in.

First Presbyterian Church of Highlands will host a Christmas Carol Sing at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, December 6. Everyone is invited to listen and join in.

There will be a Christmas Carol Sing at the First Presbyterian Church at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, December 6, after the parade.
Stell Huie will be the song leader with Angie Jenkins at the piano. If you enjoy singing familiar Christmas carols, you will definitely want to make this a part of your Christmas tradition.
The church is located at the corner of Main and Fifth Streets. Handicap entrances are located on Fifth Street and on
Church Street.

A Tradition for 40 Years

The 40th edition of the Cashiers Christmas Parade is offered with a generous helping of Christmas joy blended with a most  cheerful community spirit -- noon Saturday, December 13, at the Crossroads.

The 40th edition of the Cashiers Christmas Parade is offered with a generous helping of Christmas joy blended with a most
cheerful community spirit — noon Saturday, December 13, at the Crossroads.

It’s been a tradition for 40 years.
The Annual Cashiers Christmas Parade has grown exponentially and has delighted onlookers with a wide variety of entries. With this year’s parade, held on Saturday, December 13, they will be celebrating not only their 40th Anniversary but the 50th Anniversary of the Sapphire Valley Ski Resort as well.
Built in 1964 by Gene Howerdd Jr., the resort offered skiers an opportunity to snow ski and enjoy the Ski Sapphire Valley Lodge, which was operated in the one of the oldest homes in Sapphire Valley. To honor the resort, the theme for this year’s parade is “A White Christmas.”
Festivities will begin at noon on Saturday, December 13 (the tradition of second Saturday in December every year). Prizes will be awarded for best entries ranging from the Cashiers Christmas Star to the Fruitcake Award.
With hometown flair, floats, vintage cars, marching band, and four-legged friends will make their way from Cornucopia Restaurant on NC Highway 107 South north to the Cashiers Crossroads, then west on US Highway 64 to Frank Allen Road, ending at the Cashiers Community Center near the Cashiers-Glenville Volunteer Fire Department. Grand Marshal Gene Howerrd, founder of Sapphire Valley Resort, will lead the parade which will also feature Spirit of our Community Award Winners – Volunteer, Citizen, Educator and Business Person of the Year.
Spectators are invited to enjoy the festivities along the 107/64 corridors. The event will stream live on the internet at www.SapphireValley.com and emcee WHLC on-air anchor Steve Day, will commentate from the judges’ stand at the Crossroads. For more information or to register to participate, visit www.CashiersAreaChamber.com. The rain date is Sunday, December 14, at 1:00 P.M.

by Jenny King | Photo by Sarah Valentine

The Round Man Cometh

Santa will explain the true meaning of Christmas at a breakfast  with a his youngest friends, 8:30 A.M. Saturday, December 13, in the  Fellowship Hall of Highlands United Methodist Church.  Reservations are recommended – (828) 526-3376.

Santa will explain the true meaning of Christmas at a breakfast
with a his youngest friends, 8:30 A.M. Saturday, December 13, in the
Fellowship Hall of Highlands United Methodist Church.
Reservations are recommended – (828) 526-3376.

Santa Claus will host a special breakfast for children from 8:30 to 10:30 A.M. Saturday, December 13, at Highlands United Methodist Church.
Stacks of pancakes will fill the plates of the holiday revelers. After breakfast, the children will be entertained with a holiday craft project while they wait their turn to talk with Santa. One of Santa’s elves will share a traditional holiday story. There’ll also be Christmas carols and reminders of what the day truly means to the world.
The breakfast is open to all children. The suggested donation is $10 per family. Reservations should be made by calling the Church at (828) 526-3376 no later than December 9.
“The children will have plenty of time to share their Christmas list with Santa and to have pictures made,” says Jennifer Forrester, Director of Children’s Ministries at HUMC.
The Church is located at 315 Main Street, immediately behind the Town Christmas tree.

by Wiley Sloan

Olde Mountain Christmas Parade

Highlands’ Olde Mountain Christmas Parade, slated for 11:00 A.M. Saturday,  December 6, is a celebration of the best of the holiday spirit. Arrive at Main Street early to witness a community in love with Christmas.

Highlands’ Olde Mountain Christmas Parade, slated for 11:00 A.M. Saturday,
December 6, is a celebration of the best of the holiday spirit. Arrive at Main Street early to witness a community in love with Christmas.

With a population of 942, you may expect Highlands’ Olde Mountain Christmas Parade, slated for 11:00 A.M. Saturday, December 6, to last approximately 173 seconds.
But if that’s what you’re thinking, you haven’t taken into account the town’s deep pool of community spirit. It’s not uncommon for the parade to boast over 80 entries.
There’s a warm, homemade feel to much of the Highlands parade, since it’s staged entirely by local groups, churches, businesses, fire departments and bands of neighbors. It’s all delivered with pride, sparkle and more than a little bit of humor.
You’ll find handmade floats, at least one marching band, dancing garden ladies, dogs that amble more or less information,
fire trucks, Smokey the Bear, camels and Wise Men, classic cars, horses, the Highlands High School Homecoming Court, local politicians, and, of course, Santa. People begin lining Main Street early to ensure they get a good view and to chat with neighbors and visitors. The parade route spans three blocks, so there should be plenty of room for everyone.
If you’re part of a group that would like to be included in the lineup, contact the Highlands Chamber of Commerce at (828) 526-2112 or stop by the Visitor Center, 108 Main Street.
If you’re thinking of inviting Santa to participate in your entry, please note that he’s already accepted the Chamber’s invitation to appear at the end of the parade. You wouldn’t want to confuse the kids.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

It’s a true sign that the Christmas season has arrived when the Highlands Community Christian Chorale performs.
This year, Highlands vocalists will be joined by voices from Sky Valley and Franklin to create a beautiful blend of heavenly voices – at the First Baptist Church of Highlands, 220 Main Street, at 5:00 P.M. Saturday, December 13, and 5:00 P.M. Sunday, December 14.
Plan to stay for the reception following the Sunday concert. The ladies of the Church are well-known for their delicious goodies at these receptions.
This year’s performance will be the 20th year that the chorale has blessed the community. Beginning at Labor Day, each year members of local churches gather each Monday night to hone their skills.
Leadership of the chorale rotates among the various choral directors of area churches. This year’s director is Joe Powell of the First Baptist Church. Joe and his wife retired to Highlands after he completed a career as a high school band director. His plans for a leisurely retirement life have been postponed as he enjoys serving as choir director at First Baptist and leads the Highlands Male Chorus.
Joe has compiled a list of traditional Christmas carols that everyone knows. You’ll hum along to “Silent Night” and “The Little Drummer Boy” (with accompaniment from Joe’s grandson on the drums). Members of the Baptist Church always look forward to a performance of “Silent Night” with vocals by Carolyn Patton accompanied by June Hogue on the piano. This is Joe’s first opportunity to lead the chorale. He has worked closely with artistic director Marybeth Brody to select an unforgettable playlist.
“The dedication of each of these singers is amazing,” says Powell. “They give up their Monday nights for practice, they contribute $10 each toward the cost of music, all for the love of singing and to get to renew old friendships with folks they don’t see except during this season.”
You will get a chance to sing with the chorale during the sing-along number. Come early as the church tends to fill up quickly. Be prepared to share a small donation to help the chorale offset the cost of music.

by Wiley Sloan

HANDS relies upon a dedicated team of cheerful volunteers like Buck Trott.
A classic Christmas dinner will be served from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. December 25 at the Hudson House at Highlands Country Club. Proceeds will benefit a host of local charities. For reservations or more information, call (828) 526-9419.

A Double Helping

HANDS relies upon a dedicated team of cheerful volunteers like Buck Trott. A classic Christmas dinner will be served from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. December 25 at the Hudson House at Highlands Country Club. Proceeds will benefit a host of local charities. For reservations or more information, call (828) 526-9419.

HANDS relies upon a dedicated team of cheerful volunteers like Buck Trott.
A classic Christmas dinner will be served from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. December 25 at the Hudson House at Highlands Country Club. Proceeds will benefit a host of local charities. For reservations or more information, call (828) 526-9419.

The much-anticipated Highlands Annual Christmas Dinner will return to the Hudson House at Highlands Country Club this year; and their own Secret Santa has offered to match up to $30,000 in donations.
Almost every member of the volunteer team is returning to offer a traditional Christmas meal of turkey, ham and tenderloin, dressing, and all the trimmings, plus dessert and a glass of wine for the adults.
The event, created in 2001 because there were no places in Highlands for Highlanders or visitors to have a Christmas Day meal, has also become a source of funding for essential nonprofits in the Highlands area whose goal is to better the community through educational help, child mentoring, dental and medical care and a host of other essential services.
The dinner has helped the Highlands School library purchase additional books. It was also fundamental in establishing the Hospice House of Macon County and supports REACH of Macon County, an organization providing a safe place and shelter for victims of sexual violence and abuse. Over the years the dinner, through its sponsorships and donations, has been able to gift over $200,000 to this community.
This year, their goal will be to maximize this extremely generous gift, and distribute as much as $60,000 to area nonprofit organizations. Each dollar donated becomes two dollars, that thousand dollar donation becomes $2,000!
“This community is so blessed to have such philanthropic people in our midst,” says one of the organizers, Ricky Siegel. “Help us maximize this generous offer by being a sponsor for $100 as a Candle, $250 as an Ornament, $500 as a Present, $1,000 as a Star, or anything above $1,000 as a Superstar.” All donations and sponsorships are 100 percent tax deductible. Checks should be made out to H.A.N.D.S., the Highlands Area Nonprofit Donations Sharing, a 501(c)(3), and mailed to or dropped off at, Lakeside Restaurant, 531 Smallwood Avenue, or mailed to H.A.N.D.S. c/o Ricky Siegel, 55 4 ½ Street, Highlands, NC 28741.
The dinner is by reservation only and may be made by calling (828) 526-9419. Seating will begin at 11:00 A.M. and they will serve until 5:00 P.M. The buffet for adults is $40, children 11 and under is $15, and kids 5 and under are free.
So make your plans to join with friends and family at the Annual Highlands Christmas Dinner community event on Christmas Day and be a sponsor. Help them help those who help Highlands.

by Jenny King

Chivaree Tent Sale and Raffle

clip0016Kick off your holiday shopping in a meaningful way by supporting great American art and CHHS.  Acclaimed artist Aaron Hequembourg will be at Chivaree for two days only (Nov. 28-29, 10-5) for a special indoor/outdoor sale.  10% of all sales receipts go to CHHS.  And enter our raffle for a chance to own “Dachshund Girl” (pictured)–the prize includes shipping! 100% of ticket proceeds go to CHHS.

Aaron Hequembourg is one of the brightest starts in the universe of southern art, and he will have his entire inventory of highly sought-after, current work available at Chivaree on Black Friday and Saturday.  You’ll find everything from affordable little treasures to major masterworks.  (And inside, you’ll find hot cider and other treats.) Aaron will share the stories behind his multimedia engraved paintings, which incorporate antique materials from his 1815 Georgia farm and have won major awards around the country, including recent Best-of-Show awards at St. Louis, Cherry Creek, Des Moines, Greenville and CottonSouth. He has exhibited twice at the Smithsonian Craft Show and has served as a judge at many of the nation’s most prestigious juried fairs.

Aaron created and donated “Dachshund Girl” especially for this year’s raffle to benefit CHHS.  It’s the Grand Prize, and we’ll ship it for free if you’re not in town for the drawing!  Second prize is $100 Chivaree store credit.  Tickets are $5 and you can buy as many as you want.  100% of ticket proceeds go to CHHS.  Join us for the drawing, followed by a casual cocktail reception with the artist, at 5 pm on Friday 11/28.  You can buy your raffle tickets at Chivaree, CHHS or online here:

Other things you’ll find at the gallery this holiday season include hand-blown glass Christmas ornaments from the NC mountains; NEW animal face jugs by renowned potter/Highlands Mayor Patrick Taylor; letterpress printing by Amos Kennedy with prices for the masses; major vintage works by William Whiteside; and lots of beautiful artisanal jewelry. Everything we sell is made by southern artists and artisans, with a special focus on western North Carolina.

Chivaree is located on Highway 107 N in Cashiers, just north of the crossroads next to Zoller Hardware.  Call (828) 743-6195 or email owner Margaret Browne at mbrowne@chivarts.com.  Closed Thanksgiving Day; open 11/28 and 11/29 from 10 to 5.  Otherwise, November hours are Mon-Sat, 11-5.  December hours are Wed-Sat, 11-5.

Visit Chivaree online at www.chivarts.com or on facebook at facebook.com/chivaree.

Highlands launches its Christmas Season with inimitable small town charm at the Town Tree Lighting, 6:30 P.M. Saturday, November 29.

Highlands Does Christmas Right

Highlands launches its Christmas Season with inimitable small town charm at the Town Tree Lighting, 6:30 P.M. Saturday, November 29.

Highlands launches its Christmas Season with inimitable small town charm at the Town Tree Lighting, 6:30 P.M. Saturday, November 29.

Thanksgiving in Highlands has its own peaceful, bountiful vibe. The air is crisp, the leaves are gone, and the roaring fires feel a little warmer. It’s a chance for families to gather in reflective thankfulness, cocooning in just a bit in anticipation of the holiday season to come.
Family time, that what it’s all about and Highlands’ own Christmas tree lighting caps the Thanksgiving weekend off on a joyful note. The festivities this year will begin on Saturday, November 29, in front of the Highlands Methodist Church at 6:30 P.M.
Main Street is transformed into a festive wonderland with families bundled in their warm sweaters, children gleefully anticipating the arrival of old St. Nick, and neighbors sipping hot chocolate and catching up with friends or making new ones. When the enormous tree is lit we realize the season of magic is upon us. It all adds up to a holiday tradition that is cherished by young and old.
The fun starts with caroling that everyone’s invited to join. A small ceremony features readings from the Bible and storytelling. Cookies and hot chocolate are the perfect complement to a frosty evening. Winners of the merchant’s window contest and the children’s art contest will be announced. Sweatshirts with the winning artwork will be available for sale. Santa will be on hand at the old Chamber of Commerce building on Main Street across from Reeves to hear wishes and appeals.
To prepare for the crowds, Main Street will be closed between Second and Fourth streets beginning at 5:30 P.M.
The Highlands Downtown Tree Lighting is sponsored by the Highlands Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call the Highlands Visitor Center at (828) 526-2112.

by Mary Jane McCall | Photo by Sarah Valentine

Highlands Christmas Parade

The Highlands Olde Mountain Christmas Parade, set for 11:00 A.M. Saturday, December 6, is built upon a generous helping of holiday  cheer and small town pride. It’s pretty amazing.

The Highlands Olde Mountain Christmas Parade, set for 11:00 A.M. Saturday, December 6, is built upon a generous helping of holiday cheer and small town pride. It’s pretty amazing.

With a population of 942, you may expect Highlands’ Olde Mountain Christmas Parade, slated for 11:00 A.M. Saturday, December 6, to last approximately
173 seconds.
But if that’s what you’re thinking, you haven’t taken into account the town’s deep pool of community spirit. It’s not uncommon for the parade to boast over 80 entries.
There’s a warm, homemade feel to much of the Highlands parade, since it’s staged entirely by local groups, churches, businesses, fire departments and bands of neighbors. It’s all delivered with pride, sparkle and more than a little bit of humor.
You’ll find handmade floats, at least one marching band, dancing garden ladies, dogs that amble more or less in formation, fire trucks, Smokey the Bear, camels and Wise Men, classic cars, horses, the Highlands High School Homecoming Court, local politicians, and, of course, Santa. People begin lining Main Street early to ensure they get a good view and to chat with neighbors and visitors. The parade route spans three blocks, so there should be plenty of room for everyone.
If you’re part of a group that would like to be included in the lineup, contact the Highlands Chamber of Commerce at (828) 526-2112 or stop by the Visitor Center, 108 Main Street.
If you’re thinking of inviting Santa to participate in your entry, please note that he’s already accepted the Chamber’s invitation to appear at the end of the parade. You wouldn’t want to confuse the kids.

Read a Book & Take a Look

There’s nothing sleepy about Hudson Library in the fall. For a full list of activities, call (828) 526-3031.

Fall in Highlands is filled with activities. But, if you get tired of leaf-looking, hiking, shopping or dining – or just want an alternative experience, join the fun at Hudson Library and its across-the-street partner, The Bookworm.
Each Wednesday, from 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M., the library hosts a community studio art session – Art Your Way! — led by a group of local artists. Most sessions feature a live model and attendees may work with any medium. Tables are provided and a there’s a small fee to pay the models. Everyone’s welcome to join, sit, or observe! For more information, contact Muriel Kolb at (828) 526-3882 or the Hudson Library at
(828) 526-3031.
Perhaps you’ve heard that every dog has his day. At Hudson Library, that day is Tuesday. Every Tuesday, from 3:30 to 5:30 P.M., children ages 6 to 12 are invited to visit the Hudson Library to practice early reading skills in a comfortable, non-judgmental environment by reading to our canine companion, Beebles. This adorable, registered therapy dog is an Old English Sheepdog with the group READing Paws. The Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program improves children’s reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method — reading to a dog, but not just any dog.
Sign up at the library desk or call (828) 526-3031. Drop-ins (adults included) are also welcome. For more information on the program, visit www.fontanalib.org or
www.READingPaws.org.
The library hosts Movie Night, every Tuesday at 6:00 P.M. Join us for a mixture of classic and recently-released movies and documentaries. The movies are free! You’re welcome to bring your own snacks and refreshments. All ages are welcome, but not all films are appropriate for all audiences. Please visit the library for a listing of upcoming movies.
The Bookworm, located on Main Street directly across from Hudson Library, is a non-profit organization that sells gently used books, movies and CDs. If you have any books, movies or CDs that you would like to donate, please consider bringing them to us. We accept everything except text books, encyclopedias, Readers’ Digest and Time Life Books. Our hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. For more information, call us at (828) 482-0326.

Contributed by Beverly Pittman

Bring a piece of an Old Mountain Christmas home and help children in the community by buying a tree from Snowbird Farms. 
For more information, call (828) 526-3376.

Lighting up Lives

Bring a piece of an Old Mountain Christmas home and help children in the community by buying a tree from Snowbird Farms.  For more information, call (828) 526-3376.

Bring a piece of an Old Mountain Christmas home and help children in the community by buying a tree from Snowbird Farms. For more information, call (828) 526-3376.

For many of us, Highlands’ Christmas Season starts with the Town Tree Lighting on the front lawn of Highlands United Methodist Church on Main Street, set for Saturday,
November 29.
But this year things start a little bit earlier.
The Gordon Center for Children will be selling Christmas trees to help local families from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. November 28 and 29. The trees are being donated by Snowbird Farms in Cullowhee, North Carolina. These will be gorgeous, freshly-cut 6- and 8-foot trees, selling for $40 and $50. You can beautify your home and help these children, since 100 percent of the proceeds will go to help fund the Gordon Center.
To pre-order a tree, call (828) 526-3376 or send an e-mail to highlandsumc@icloud.com.
There are 218 children ages birth through fifth grade in the Highlands community. During its first year of operation, the Gordon Center has touched approximately one in three children within this age group.

by Wiley Sloan

The Players’ Gift, A Memory

Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” will serve as The Highlands Cashiers Players’ Holiday Reading at the Highlands Performing Arts Center  – 7:00 P.M. Thursday, December 18. There is no admission fee and everyone is invited.

Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” will serve as The Highlands Cashiers Players’ Holiday Reading at the Highlands Performing Arts Center – 7:00 P.M. Thursday, December 18. There is no admission fee and everyone is invited.

The Highlands Cashiers Players once again presents their annual Holiday Reading at 7:00 P.M. Thursday, December 18, at the Highlands Performing Arts Center.
HCP Board members, cast and crew alike join together at the Highlands Performing Arts Center to offer this gift to the community. Each year is a different festively wrapped package that usually includes poetry, humorous readings, spiritual messages and song. The 2014 program will be especially touching with a staged reading of “A Christmas Memory,” by Truman Capote.
“A Christmas Memory” is rich with evocative language that conjures up life in rural Alabama and the childhood of a boy who is placed in the care of his elderly relatives. It paints a vibrant picture of the closeness forged between two people who choose to focus on the simple pleasures and rituals of life.
Several HCP actors will be participating, with veteran performer Dean Zuch serving as narrator. Music of the season will be included and refreshments will be served after the performance. No tickets or reservations are needed as the program is and has always been the Players’ gift to the community. Join the cast of “A Christmas Memory” and let them give you a present you’ll enjoy and long remember.

by Jenny King