Stina's picks

A step in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Oct 08, 2012
Photo by: Donated photo Never heard famed storyteller Donald Davis? This Sunday is your chance to listen to his "Smoky Mountain Tales" — while helping out Friends of the Smokies. The benefit starts at 3 p.m. Sunday at Lake Junaluska's Stuart Auditorium.

I think magic is sometimes best seen when you feel a little blind. That about sums up where I was at Friday night as I wrapped up work, grabbed my coat and started walking down Main Street. It was “Art After Dark,” which meant downtown was slowly filling with friendly, happy, strolling people. I really wanted to be one of them, but was feeling a little tired and heartsick.

It’s amazing to me how fast this place can work on you, though. Within an hour or so, I’d had about half a dozen wonderfully in-depth conversations, met some possible new friends, reconnected with some old ones and smiled in sweet appreciation as a group of musical teenagers played “Wagon Wheel” on the street. Within that hour and change, my worries had lifted away, and if that seems sudden, it’s only because it was. It’s funny how much it surprised me, because that kind of transformation happens at nearly every one of those Friday night art strolls. Luckily, we’ve still got two more this season.

Until the next one in November, there is plenty to help keep you and me busy, including much more than I could ever list off below.

Art everywhere

I have to admit that while I love many of the summer festivals around here, I do not love the heat. No wonder I like the Church Street Art and Craft Show so. Filling Waynesville’s Main Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, this festival has a different flare than many in the area. It’s a little artier, a little less crafty, maybe a little more varied. Perhaps most importantly, it has a great soundtrack, with the likes of Whitewater Bluegrass Co., The Freight Hoppers and others playing throughout the day.

If none of that gets you revved up, how about some clogging? My own personal favorite, the Southern Appalachian Cloggers, and their tiny counterparts, the Fines Creek Flatfooters, will be there, as will many more. For more information, call 4567-3517.

On the run

The problem and beauty of publicly saying you’ll run a race is that then you actually must. That in mind, I’m going to run this Saturday’s Bethel 5K. I would say I’m planning for the half marathon, but I try to lie as little as possible in print.
This county’s winding roads, with their blind curves and lack of shoulder, make running out in the countryside more of a dangerous dare than a practical reality. Getting a chance to hit the pavement without having to be on high alert sounds like a treat I can’t pass up — even if my running has fallen woefully behind. The Bethel Half Marathon and 5K both begin at 8:30 a.m. at Bethel Middle School. Sign up on race day, beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the school, or visit or call 646-0303 for preregistration information.

Hear ‘Tales from the Smokies’

Bring on the screaming girls, because a rock star is coming to town. Truly, that’s who Donald Davis is — at least in the world of storytelling. The famed master of the spoken word will bring his craft to Lake Junaluska’s Harrell Center at 3 p.m. this Sunday.

Making his visit even more special is the fact that all of his tales will be tied to the Smoky Mountains, as the show is a benefit for Friends of the Smokies. For tickets and more information, stop by Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville, at 152 N. Main St., or give a call to Friends of the Smokies, at 452-0720.

Jazz it up

Someone (Frank Zappa? Elvis Costello?) once said that “talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” I do believe talking about jazz is harder still. That said, why not just stop by this Saturday’s Fall Jazz Festival and experience it for yourself? Held at the Classic Wineseller, this opener to the concert series will feature three hours of jazz and an Italian dinner for little more than the price of a movie ticket and snack combo. Local jazz songstress Eve Haslam, who organized the fest, will lend her classic, New York City-trained vocals to the night, while the following three Saturdays will feature top-notch instrumental jazz. Every night will go from 7 to 10 p.m. and all will offer a sampling of some of the best jazz around. Haslam seems to be looking for a jazz revolution around these parts. Are you?

If so, call 452-6000 or visit the Classic Wineseller at 20 Church Street, Waynesville, for tickets.