Stina's picksA point in the right direction
Four years or so ago, I remember seeing a bumper sticker that read, “My Grass is Blue.” I admit it took me several minutes to get it, which would certainly not be the case these days. This place is rich with local bluegrass, and while there are more amazing pickers in these mountains than you can shake a stick at, I have to admit I have a favorite (or five, actually). Like so many others around here, I have a soft spot for the incredibly skilled — and unfailingly friendly — players of Balsam Range.
This Saturday marks the final edition of this season’s Balsam Range Winter Concert Series, and you better know I’ll be there. This time, it won’t just be for the music, but in support of Buddy Melton, who is still recovering from a recent farm injury. I have no idea whether he’ll be there, though I hear positive things through the grapevine. I just know that he and the rest of his group are a real treasure, and that I and everyone around here can’t wait for him to get better.
BR bids winter goodbye
Balsam Range is wrapping up its second annual Winter Concert Series, which means this Saturday is your last chance to see these local stars playing on their home stage for a while. In addition to being an evening of reverence (all-gospel, to boot), it will be a fun time, as that’s just how Balsam Range does things. Master of many instruments David Johnson is this month’s guest, while Eddie Rose will be filling in for Melton. I recommend getting there early to snag a choice seat, as Balsam Range and company have nearly sold out every show in the series. For more information and tickets, call 235-2760 or visit www.balsamrange.com.
Easter at the lake
With more Easter events happening this weekend than I have fingers and toes to count them on, it’s probably not prudent to voice a favorite. So I won’t — not officially. But I will say that Lake Junaluska’s Easter celebration is a lot of giddy fun, with egg hunts for babies, preschoolers and elementary school students alike. There are crafts and egg-decorating competitions, too, and even a 10K and fun run for those looking to burn off some holiday chocolate. All that is great, but to me, the real heart of the day has to be the hunts. I can’t explain it any better than a third-grader probably could, but finding Easter eggs is just awesome, plain an simple. For more information about the day, including times for the runs and hunts, visit www.lakejunaluska.com.
Prom, all over again
Not to get too personal here, but how was your prom? Chances are, it wasn’t perfect, and even if it was, you probably grimace now when you remember what you were wearing. No fear, as the Balsam Mountain Roller Girls are about to give you a do-over. Starting at 8 p.m. this Friday, Haywood County’s only roller derby ladies are hosting a retro prom for folks 21 and older. The BYOB night of campy costumes, music, dancing and skating is a benefit for the brand-new group, and should be quite the hot ticket. Who knows — you might even win Prom King or Queen time around. For more information, contact the Girls at email@example.com or the Sk8way at 246-9124
Gardens, mountains and streams … Oh my
Art can be like a foreign film: It’s sometimes hard to go out of your way to see it, but once you do, you’re happy you made the effort. That’s my way of saying that “Gardens, Mountains and Streams,” the newest show at the Haywood County Arts Council’s Gallery 86, definitely looks worth your while. Though it’s going up this Wednesday, April 4, I’ve been hearing the buzz about it for months. The high-concept show features work from 12 local artists, who got inspiration from private tours of six of the area gardens featured in this year’s Haywood County Garden Tour. The show is not only a chance to get a preview of all the foliage and flowers on the tour, but to experience them through the eyes of some of the county’s most creative peoiple. For a little extra insight (plus some wine and cheese), stop by the show’s reception next week, from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 13. For more information, visit www.haywoodarts.org, call 456-3575 or simply stop by the gallery, at 86 N. Main St., Waynesville.