Winter offers plenty to do in Haywood — really

Jan 15, 2013

Regardless of whether you live in Waynesville or Washington, DC, youngsters are always going to complain that there is nothing to do. While their opinion may never change, there does seem to be a shift taking place this winter in Haywood County. Despite the rain and (semi) cold, new events are popping up all over the place, many of which folks can check out this week.

In Waynesville, Haywood Arts Regional Theatre is starting up its Feichter Studio season this Friday night with the one-man/eight-character play "21A." Written by Kevin Kling and starring Western North Carolina University grad Tim Stoeckel, it plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday night, as well as 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon — and might just be held over for another week. Also in town, the Classic Wineseller is hosting two nights of tunes, by well-known local trio Gregg Kidd, Lee Kram and Chris Minick on Friday, and Italian/Mediterranean music ensemble Musica Nostra on Saturday. Both start at 7 p.m. Other events around town include folk guitarist Jim Rigg playing at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Waynesville Public Library and a Spanish/English story time at 4:30 p.m. every Friday, also at the library.

Over in Canton, not much may be happening this weekend, but last weekend the town's armory was flooded with dance and music fans, soaking up the first-ever "Winter Pickin' in the Park." The new event returns next Friday night, Jan. 25, from 7 to 10 p.m., and will feature the Hill Country Band and the Green Valley Cloggers. Other continuing event on Canton's horizon include Balsam Range's extremely popular Winter Concert Series, which almost always sells out, filling Canton's Colonial Theatre nearly to the rafters with bluegrass lovers. Tickets are now on sale for the band's next show, this time featuring Miss Raines and the New Hip, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2.

Even in the county's smallest towns new things are coming into their own, like Fines Creek's weekly community dance in the old schoolhouse from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturdays. Next week, dancers there will be moving to the music of Jericho Hill. For those not in a country state of mind, there's jazz every Friday night at 5 at Hurley's Dining and Rhum Bar in Maggie Valley, and beats by DJ #3, starting at 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. Also in Maggie, there are now not one but two tubing places — Tony's Tube World and Fie Top Flumes — both of which are open through the weekend. Up the mountain at Cataloochee Ski Area, there is, of course, skiing every day, with night skiing Tuesday through Saturday, all the way until 10 p.m.

With all these choices, and probably many more The Mountaineer isn't even aware of, it might now be safe to tell those teens in your life that there is, officially, plenty to do in Haywood County. Don't be surprised, however, if they have a hard time admitting you're right.