Flood of festivals

By Jessi Stone Guide Editor | Apr 17, 2013
Photo by: File photo Thunder in the Smokies returns to Haywood May 3-5.

You may be reading The Guide for the first time this week because our carriers dropped one off at every house on their routes whether you are a Mountaineer subscriber or not. I hope you pick it up and read about all the great events and interesting people in Haywood County. This one time opportunity will hopefully encourage you to get the Mountaineer on a regular basis, especially on Wednesdays when The Guide can be found in the center. To my new readers, feel free to give your feedback and suggestions by emailing jstone@themountaineer.com. To my loyal readers, make sure your neighbors pick up The Guide from their driveways — we don’t want to litter!

Flood of festivals

I’m a festival junkie — local artwork, crafts, seafood, bluegrass, barbecue — whatever it is I’m there with bells on. I love seeing what the locals have to offer, meeting new people, finding new music and taking pictures of cute kids when they least expect it.

The flood of emails in my inbox about upcoming events tells me festival season is upon us. Kicking it off this Saturday is a new festival at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, the Smoky Mountain Oyster & Seafood Festival. While I’m always a bit wary of seafood festivals not directly on the coast, I’ve been assured the oysters are coming straight from the Ware River, which is one of four rivers that feed into the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia.

J. Arthur’s restaurant will be preparing the oysters. The only excuse for not liking oysters on a cracker with hot sauce is an extreme allergic reaction. However, if you are allergic, and don’t have your EpiPen handy, you better just stick to the brats and hamburgers that will be available.

I’ve attended my fair share of seafood festivals in the Florida panhandle, but a chocolate festival will be a new and most welcomed event on Saturday. After I wrap it up at the Oyster festival, I’ll be heading over to the Maggie Valley Club for the 14th Annual Taste of Chocolate. Local bakers will be showcasing their best chocolate cakes, truffles and more.

So come get your sugar rush and chocolate fix for the day while also helping to raise money for the Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.



I have triple duty the following Saturday, April 27, at W.O.W.’s second annual Mom’s Music Festival. I will be volunteering, covering the event for The Guide and performing along side my husband!

This all happened a couple of weeks ago when I met Michelle Briggs, Women of Waynesville’s vice president. She convinced me to come to a meeting to see if I’d be interested in joining. So I did, and I quickly decided this was an amazing group of women. President Nikki White’s enthusiasm is contagious.

Mom’s Musical Festival will benefit the Haywood County Power of Pink Event, which provides free mammogram screenings for underserved women in Haywood County. WOW is working hard to help others in need and I’m excited to be a part of it.

Moms deserve a day of music, food and relaxation while a bouncy house, games and face paintings can entertain their children. Come to The Herren House from noon-6 p.m. for a great lineup of music, including Smoke Rise, Tarnished Rose, Bohemian Jean (me and my husband), Cherokee Thunder and DJ Ogre of Dizzy Records Entertainment.


Annuals and inaugurals

The month of May will be full of events and festivals, including Thunder in the Smokies Spring Rally, Art After Dark, Blue Ridge Craft Show and the Ramp Festival.

While the Ramp Festival will be celebrating 79 years of cooking with wild onions, the WNC EcoFest presented by the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its inaugural event from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. May 4 at Haywood Community College.

The event is designed to educate people on how to be more self-sufficient whether through preserving your own food, keeping bees for honey and pollination, raising chickens and more. The event will offer a number of different demonstrations, locally crafted food and products, and activities for kids.

Festival-goers will have a chance to tour the new platinum-standard Creative Arts Building on the areas of the college campus, as well as the sustainable research demonstration house.

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