Posts Tagged bluegrass music

Lovers’ Loop Retreat July muse-letter

 Bring the summer on! Fireflies, flowers, long days and evenings, lingering sunsets over the mountains and lots more in a rejuvenating body-and-soul experience for guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville B&B alternative here in western North Carolina.

Right now at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, blue and pink hydrangeas and lavender hostas are bursting in bloom. And each night, our resident fireflies put on an incredible, pulsating, green and yellow light show that’s hard to stop watching. The lightning bugs are just one form of free entertainment in the Asheville area. For more free things to do in Asheville, check out our June 21 blog (at, which lists many free activities around July 4, but most of the items mentioned are relevant after the 4th, too.

Make Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville vacation rental, your place to stay when you explore Asheville, NC recreation, arts, restaurants and summer festivals. Events are posted and updated through the year on Visit the site to see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip. You can link to our blog,, on the home page, and we’re also on Twitter! Our Web site now features a link where you can contact us for a list of many FREE things to do in Asheville.

July features some of Asheville’s biggest annual events: the Bele Chere street festival, Folkmoot, Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, Shindig on the Green. Don’t miss out! One of the free summer events in Asheville is Shindig on the Green, a series of outdoor concerts downtown that kicks off July 3 and runs into September. There’s a great community spirit at Shindig, which features mountain music and dance, some rehearsed and played on stage, some spontaneously created in the crowd. We’ve had guests who’ve built their Asheville trip around Shindig on the Green. Bring your stringed instrument, your voice and your dancing shoes, or just listen, tap your feet and grin.

OK, we’ll say it: July begins with a bang. Asheville’s Fourth of July fireworks will rock the sky downtown, preceded by other July 4th activities downtown.

The Carolina Mountain Ribfest in Asheville July 9-11 serves up all the barbecue, (with music and art), you could want. Move from barbecue to bamboo with the Bamboo Festival July 10-11 at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. The Bamboo Festival truly is a cool event, where you might even find bicycles made of bamboo. The Big Crafty on July 11 downtown is a free fair with some funky crafters.

For chuckles and outright belly laughs, don’t miss the Laugh Your Asheville Off comedy festival July 15-17 downtown. The same weekend, you can catch the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands July 15-18 downtown, one of the major arts events of the year, with a repeat fair Oct. 21-24. The juried event, which represents artists throughout the Southeast, is well worth attending.

One of the most diverse performing arts events of the year in the Asheville area is Folkmoot, an international dance festival that starts July 22 and runs through Aug. 1, with performances in Asheville and other localities. It’s dazzling.

Bele Chere, the free and freewheeling festival with music and food in downtown Asheville, will be July 23-25. That’s followed by Christine Lavin’s 25th anniversary concert in Asheville on July 30 and a women’s roller derby bout with Asheville’s Blue Ridge Roller Girls on July 31.

August brings antiques, crafts, a river festival, an African-American/Caribbean festival and lots more.

All of these events and activities and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville! Email us at to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat September Muse-letter

September rocks in Asheville, N.C. Great stuff going on all month long. Concerts, craft festivals, bluegrass and beer, organic and apple fests, a fair that celebrates farming and gardening, sustainable energy and healthy living and more. And yes, with the start of autumn in September, you may feel that nip in the air here, too.

            At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, we’ve made some enhancements this summer. In addition to exploring all that the Asheville area offers, some of our guests enjoy hanging out at our vacation rental, playing pingpong or just relaxing in a private, peaceful place. In addition to Wireless, our guest suite has lots of information about attractions, restaurants and events to help visitors sort through all of the possibilities.

            Many of the activities in September are FREE. Visit our Web site at to see a list of events we update regularly. We’ve posted events through December and into 2010, so you can see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat. 

            One of our favorite annual events is LAAFF, the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival, on Sept. 6 in downtown Asheville. This is a free, funky street fair that really gives a flavor of Asheville’s brand of quirkiness. Many locals, including us, turn out for this fair. You’ll find a great diversity of live music, belly dancing and other dance performances, poetry, sketch comedy, drumming groups, bicycle jousting, unusual vendors. It’s a real circus.

            The annual North Carolina Apple Festival is Sept. 4-7. The Asheville area is the state’s largest apple-producing region, and this popular festival is just south of Asheville.

            Another fun, free fair is the annual Organicfest in downtown Asheville on Sept. 13. Live music, unusual vendors and crafts, good food. A great opportunity to expand your organic mind in a very organic-minded city.

            One of our favorite bands, the Indigo Girls, will play Sept. 17 at the Orange Peel in downtown Asheville. This area loves the Indigos, whom we’ve seen perform several times here in recent years. They always give Asheville a good show. The Orange Peel is a great, intimate venue for them.

            The Brewgrass Festival on Sept. 19 in Asheville mixes bluegrass with beers from the area’s many local microbreweries. Beer is big business in Asheville, and at the festival you’ll understand why.

            Heritage Weekend Sept. 19 and Sept. 20 is a big deal at the Folk Art Center on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway – and the center – are just around the corner from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, and we go to this free event every year. It’s sponsored by the Southern Highland Craft Guild with traditional mountain music, dance, storytelling and crafts. You’ll also see demonstrations about beekeeping, canning and preserving, whittling, toy-making and other things. The highlight is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition, (the whimmy diddle is an old-timey mountain toy) which you’ve got to see to understand.

            On Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, the very popular and entertaining Womansong, an Asheville choral group, will perform in the area. People come from out of town to see this group, which gives polished, high-energy concerts with humor mixed in.

            On Sept. 26 and Sept. 27, there’s another opportunity to see cool crafts at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. Also on Sept. 26 and Sept. 27, the True Nature Country Fair a bit north of Asheville focuses on health and healing, social issues and politics, sustainable energy, gardening and farming.            

            All of these events and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville!

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat July Muse-letter

If it’s July, it’s festival time in Asheville, N.C., so guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat vacation rental in Asheville have plenty of fun adventures waiting. A few of the area’s biggest annual events occur in July — Bele Chere, supposedly the largest street festival in the Southeast, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, and Folkmoot, an international folk dance and music festival.

            And to top it off, the fireflies are back at Lovers’ Loop Retreat for their summertime mating ritual. Yes, we’ve learned the wisdom of finding pleasure in small things, and so we peer outside at the nightly light show in the yard. It’s a beautiful spectacle, and it’s yours to watch for free when you stay at our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative.  

            Visit our Web site at to see a list of events we update regularly. We’ve posted events through December, so you can see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat. You can link to our blog,, on the home page.

            July 4 kicks off the annual Shindig on the Green free outdoor music series near downtown Asheville with folk and bluegrass and dancing. It’s held on most Saturday nights through early September, a real community event.

            The weekend of July 10-12 will offer a bunch of activities: the Asheville women’s roller derby team bout, the annual bamboo festival, an Asheville Puppetry Alliance performance, the Big Crafty art show.

            The following week, July 16-20, is busy, too. There’s a comedy festival, Folkmoot performances and the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, which fills the Asheville Civic Center with work by crafters from multiple states.

            July 24-26 is the Bele Chere phenomenon, which features large amounts and varieties of music and food and lots of blissed people.

            The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival July 30-Aug. 1 is a big deal for those who enjoy bluegrass and folk music and clogging.        

            All of these events and more are listed on our Web site. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, where the lovely lavender hostas are starting to bloom! See you in Asheville!



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Asheville’s Folk Art Center Heritage Weekend

Yesterday was a beautiful day to get out of the house. The air was crisp and it definitely had that almost fall feel. We drove the four miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Folk Art Center from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, where our guest suite is.

The Folk Art Center
We walked up the steps to the Folk Art Center Building where we began seeing exhibits and craft demonstrations. We could see and hear more actvitiy and music as we went into the building and walked through all the exhibitors to the other side.
Old-time clogging music

Old-time clogging music

We enjoyed watching the cloggers dance to the traditional tunes and walked around to see what else was going on outside.
We learned a few new things from a bee keeper who had bees in a display as well as honey to buy.
Learning about bees

Learning about bees

Mountain Fresh Orchards of Hendersonville had a small, hand-crank apple cider press and it was fun to watch the kids crank it. As the juice dripped out the front, people were encouraged to catch it in little paper cups for a taste. Whatever remained in the bucket below was filtered through cheese cloth and bottled for sale.


Apple cider press

Apple cider press


Weaving on a floor loom

Weaving on a floor loom


There were more than 25 crafts and skills demonstrated. There were basket-makers, spinners and weavers, woodcarvers, chairmakers, broommakers, quilters, sheep shearing, border collie demonstrations and more.


Large spinning wheel

Large spinning wheel

There were also special events like the 28th Annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition. I can’t explain it – you have to see it for yourself!

Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition

Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition















Fall is a great time to visit Asheville! There are so many things going on. We hope you’ll check all the upcoming Asheville events on our Web site,, and stay with us when you visit!

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