Stina's picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Jun 14, 2012
Photo by: Stina Sieg Haven't seen Balsam Range in a while? This Friday night in Sylva your next chance. See Buddy (above), Marc, Tim, Caleb and Darren at Concerts on Creek, starting at 7:30 p.m. Bring your kids and your lawn chairs, as this is free party for everyone.

This probably says a lot about me, but the more people are looking forward to something, the more nervous I get for everyone involved in it. This goes for all kinds of events and activities and art, from something entirely disconnected to me (say, an indie band’s follow-up CD to a hit debut record) to things near and dear to my heart (like the plays that grace the stage at HART). It’s not that I don’t trust these artists, but I just know how fickle the gods of creativity can be. It seems they don’t always want you hit it out of the park.

So, it’s such a joy when people do. I got a taste of that twice last week, starting with speaker Jeanne Robertson’s show on Thursday. The 68-year-old, 6-foot-2-inch former Miss North Carolina was funny in a good-hearted way, and had all of Stuart Auditorium laughing and clapping in recognition of the truths she was telling. On Friday, I delighted in HART’s “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” a tribute to the tunes of the ’50s and ’60s. It was every ounce the fluffy, sweet treat I wanted. Both these nights were absolutely spot on — and the audiences knew it. And you know, it takes their agreement for anything to be great.
Anyway, here’s what I’m looking forward to this week.

Dog day
The volunteers at Sarge’s Animal Rescue go to great lengths to protect local homeless animals, from mucking out litter boxes to hand-feeding helpless babies. This Thursday, all you have to do to help out is drink beer and eat hot dogs. Really. The benefit, called Dogs and Suds, will be at Frog Level Brewing Company from 5 to 8 p.m. Each ticket ($20 in advance or $25 at the door) includes a pint of handcrafted beer, a hot dog, chips, dessert, a chance to win $100 at the Chef’s Table — and a whole lot of good karma. Call 454-5664 or 246-9050 for more information.

Free ‘Range’

Balsam Range travels the country and the world for their music — so heading over to Sylva to hear their tunes just seems like doing my part. Haywood County’s favorite bluegrass band will be at Concerts on the Creek, at Sylva’s Bridge Park Pavilion, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. this Friday. Will you? The show is free, and you know it will be great. Call (800) 962-1911 or visit for more info.

Cheap, delicious eats
I never knew I liked garlic or spicy food until the salsa at Maria’s Mexican Pueblo smacked some sense into me. My first taste of that sauce really was a knock to the head — and continues to be — and I can’t get enough of the exquisite pain. This week, I’ll try to go to at least one of Maria’s delicious dollar nights. On Wednesday, it’s time for enchiladas for a buck, and then next Tuesday it’s $1 taco night. I know everyone gets passionate about his or her favorite Mexican spot around here, and I won’t wade into that foodie firestorm. All I know is that when I hanker for Maria’s, nothing else will do, even though her eats can cause breath that’s downright atomic. Call Maria’s, at 67 Branner Ave., in Waynesville, at 456-6413.

You know the words
At around 7 years old, I decided that “The Sound of Music” was the best musical ever. I’ve seen no reason to change my mind since. At 3 p.m. this Sunday, everyone who agrees has a chance to show it at Western Carolina University’s “Sing-a-Long ‘Sound of Music,’” complete with subtitles to help you along (though the real die-hards won’t need those, of course). Costumes, props and crushes on the young Julie Andrews and/or Christopher Plummer are encouraged, and good singing voices are not required. Here’s your chance to hear hundreds of people choke up during “Edelweiss.” I’m getting verklempt just thinking about it. Call 227-2479 or visit for tickets.

Let’s start a band

Or join one, rather. The folks of the Haywood Community Band are always looking for new, passionate members. While this is not a place to learn an instrument, it is a place to reconnect with one. Maybe you played clarinet in high school or flute in college, and you feel like it’s time to pick it back up. This precludes me, who hasn’t touched my recoder since second grade, but if it speaks to you, I say go for it. The band has people of all ages and backgrounds joined together by woodwinds, brass, percussion — and that desire to get back to doing something they all love. The band practices every Thursday at 7 p.m. at Grace Church in the Mountains, 394 N. Haywood St., in Waynesville, and performs monthly in Maggie. You can see the band this Sunday starting at 6:30 p.m. at the pavilion outside town hall. Call 456-4880 or visit for more information.