Rolling with Stone

By Jessi Stone Guide editor | Apr 30, 2014

May is upon us Haywood! Let the festivals begin! From here until October, visitors and residents will have a different event to look forward to whether it’s a downtown festival, an event at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds or the Haywood County Fairgrounds or a free community concert in Canton.


Art After Dark

This weekend will kick off the first Art After Dark event Friday night sponsored by the Waynesville Gallery Association. Galleries and shops in downtown Waynesville and Frog Level will stay open late to encourage people to stroll along Main Street and celebrate our local artists.

Last week I met Tom and Larisa Morillo of Waynesville. They just moved from New York recently and are settling into their new home. Larisa will be the featured artist at Earthworks Friday night during Art After Dark and will be showing a couple of her handmade, balljointed porcelain dolls.

You have to see these amazing dolls. I was blown away by the detail and work that she puts into each of her creations from start to finish. She molds the porcelain and fires it in a kiln, she does all the painting by hand, she sews their unique outfits and makes their wigs and even makes their jewelry and accessories.

I had never met anyone that makes dolls like this and she is truly talented and dedicated. Be sure to pick up next week’s Guide to read a feature on Larisa and to see pictures of her girls, which are wonderfully photographed by Tom, a professional photographer who I’m sure we’ll be seeing more from in the next few years. Welcome to Waynesville Morillos!


Ramp Festival

Can you believe the American Legion will be holding the Ramp Festival for the 81st year on Sunday? It’s a time to celebrate our local mountain heritage with the stinky wild onions we’ve all come to know and love. OK, well you either love them or hate them, but you at least have to try them once.

Come try them in eggs, meatloaf, burgers and more from noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the American Legion. The event also will include crafts and live music from Eddie Rose and Highway 40.

I had an author contact me last week asking for some great ramp photos that he can use in his upcoming book about foods in North Carolina. Bob Garner is considered a North Carolina barbecue expert and has written several books on the subject so it would be great exposure to get pictures of our ramp festival in his new book. No pressure but hopefully I’ll see you Sunday as I try to capture the best ramp moments!


Thunder in the Smokies

Get ready for the motorcycles to invade Maggie Valley as the Thunder in the Smokies Spring Motorcycle Rally returns to town this weekend. As usual, the three-day event will include tour rides around the Blue Ridge Parkway, live music, bike games, bike shows, vendors and more. Gates will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For the complete list of events, visit

Go ahead and plan for next weekend as well. The Whole Bloomin’ Thing Festival will be returning to Historic Frog Level from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 10. It’s the perfect place to find a last minute Mother’s Day present if your mother has a green thumb like mine.

I bet she would love a new hanging flower basket or some local herbs. Vendors will include local growers, nature-related artists and crafters, health and wellness professionals and alternative energy and eco-friendly vendors.

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