Stina's picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Apr 19, 2012
Photo by: Paul Viau Chefs of all ages vie for top chocolate honors at this Saturday's Taste of Chocolate Plus. Above, Kids at Work students show off their creations. From left are group members (front row): Austin Steele, Kaleb Sisco, Averrie Gast and Cheyenne Steele; and (back) Corey Costanzo, the program's coordinator.

On Sunday, as I dropped my brother off at Max Patch for a little Appalachian Trail wandering, I felt the warmth of the air on my skin and saw the bright blue, nearly cloudless sky above me and wondered — almost out loud and with a bit of worry — where the time has gone. We’re hurdling toward May and then summer, when nearly every weekend will be so jam-packed with things that it will be an act of triage just to pick one. We’re not quite there yet, though, which magically means hardly any of the events listed below overlap. Enjoy it while it lasts — and have a good week, wherever it takes you.

Every dog has its …

Plott hounds are one of those breeds people either absolutely obsess over or know nothing about. Being that this is Haywood County, the dogs’ official home, you can guess where many attendees of Saturday’s PlottFest will stand. Honestly, though, the day should be fun, even for the uninitiated, as there will be food and music and dancing and all the festivities surrounding the annual Great Smoky Mountain Trout Festival. And if you haven’t seen Buddy Melton play since his amazing recovery, this is your shot, as Balsam Range is headlining. For more information about the day — slated for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds — visit

Nothing like ‘Chocolate’

Hmm … a competition involving chocolate, where attendees get to sample the entries and even help out with some of the judging? I see nothing wrong with this picture. A Maggie Valley tradition, this year’s Taste of Chocolate is dubbed “Taste of Chocolate Plus,” and will feature a few other treats beyond your typical cocoa creations. As it runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Maggie Valley Club, it would be a (semi) sweet way to end your evening after spending the day at PlottFest. Get your tickets at Fun Things Etc., Quilter’s Quarters, Blue Ridge Books or Maggie Valley Club, or call 356-2833 for tickets and information.


Haywood’s ‘Signature’ tunes

For four years, the Grace Noon Concert Series has given folks a free, music-filled spot to spend their lunch hour the third Thursday of every month. While the players are always changing, one group has been there since the very beginning, and this Thursday they’re showing off why. Signature Winds, made up of talented locals (all with some study lungs), will be presenting a show designed specifically for a woodwind quartet from noon to 1 p.m. There’s no need for reservations. Just show up at Grace Church of the Mountains, 394 N. Haywood St., in Waynesville, eat your lunch — and enjoy.

One for the kiddos

I know (but often forget) about Mother’s Day and Father Day — but Day of the Child is a new one on me. El Dia del Nino, as its known in Spanish, is a Mexican holiday and will be celebrated from 5 to 10 p.m. this Saturday at the Haywood County Fairgrounds. The evening is meant to lift children’s spirits with free games and activities, but most importantly in my book, the night will feature a large array of Mexican delights, from quesadillas to pazole, ceviche to tacos. I probably won’t be bringing any children to event, but I will bring my appetite.

A pretty picture

On its face, it would seem that “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona” has all the ingredients of a self-conscious and snooty indie movie (Woody Allen, Europe, free love, etc.). But please, don’t be scared away. There’s something freeing about this film, and it’s unlike any I’ve ever seen. Instead of following some strict formula of a love story or comedy, it’s its own thing entirely, and it explores its characters and off-the-wall scenarios beautifully. I would tell you more about the plot, but it isn’t really important. It’s more the feeling of the film that matters. Watching it just feels like vacation. Definitely worth a rent.


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