Rolling with Stone
I can’t believe it’s Labor Day weekend — the symbolic end of summer. While it has been the coolest summer I think I’ve ever experienced living in the South, I’m looking forward to more fall days, beautiful leaves and bringing out the sweaters from my closet.
But before I get ahead of myself, the weather is supposed to be in the low 80s this weekend — perfect summer weather for all the Labor Day events going on in Haywood County. And none of them are worth missing and I’ve got your entire weekend planned out for you. You’re welcome.
Friday night you can head out to Lake Junaluska for the 43rd annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival. The two-day festival will feature 200 mountain dancers, musicians at Stuart Auditorium and open tent performers outside. I can’t imagine a more beautiful setting for a relaxing Friday night. Shows will kick off around 5 p.m. and will continue to about 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Festival Director Joe Sam Queen and master fiddler Earnest Hodges have put a lot of work into this long-running festival and have booked some great musicians. Tickets are only $10 in advance. So come celebrate your mountain roots and enjoy the music. The entire list of performers can be found on page 9.
For the first time ever, Waynesville will hold the inaugural Craft Beer Fest. Our three local brewers — BearWaters Brewing, Frog Level Brewing and Tipping Point Brewing — have come together to hopefully increase tourism at the end of August and support our local beer industry.
The festival will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 31 at American Legion Ballfield, located at 171 Legion Drive in Waynesville. Since it’s the first year (but hopefully annual) only 500 tickets are available for the event. If you don’t have your tickets yet, do it now at www.waynesvillebeerfest.com.
Tickets cost $35 for the drinkers and $15 for the designated drivers. With more than 20 beer vendors on board, $35 is a bargain. Many of the big Asheville breweries will have tents as well as other popular Western North Carolina breweries. Even if you’re one of those “I don’t like beer” people, I challenge you to give them a try. You never know — you might just find one you love!
You can read more about our local brewing experts and the upcoming event in the center spread of The Guide thanks to our columnist Paul Viau. Paul was kind enough to round up all the local breweries for our cover shot this week as well.
Please come out and support an event that I think will be a huge success well into Waynesville’s future. This is an event the gals in the newsroom will be fighting over to cover. And when the beer festival is over, you can make your way up to Main Street for a Downtown Waynesville Block Party. Kids crafts will start at 6 p.m. The Mountaineer crew will be teaching the kids creative things to do with your newspaper (after you read it of course). So make sure to come see us — we’ll be the ones wearing newspaper hats on our heads.
Labor Day celebration
After a long day of fun Saturday, feel free to take Sunday off to recoup or head out to Maggie Valley for the annual Labor Day Craft Show at the festival grounds. But whatever you do, be prepared for another fun day at 10 a.m. Monday as Canton holds its 107th annual Labor Day Parade through downtown. Canton will actually be in full celebration mode all weekend with live music, cloggers, a car show, basketball tournament and more. See the whole schedule on page 12.