At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

Regional Calendar

Community Events & Announcements  

• There will be a New Year’s Market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Canton Armory, 71 Penland St. There will be more than 30 local vendors, as well as food on site. 

• Papertown Spring Market will take place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 13, at Bethel Christian Academy, 100 Park St. There will be local vendors and food. Admission is free. For vendor information, contact Jessica Jones 828.734.9733.

• Smoky Mountain Competition Cheer will be hosting a Drive-Thru Chili Dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Jackson County Rescue Squad Building, 327 County Services Park, Sylva. Each meal is $8 and includes chili (with toppings), cornbread, drink and dessert. Proceeds will go toward the competition fees for youth cheerleaders that represent the Jackson, Macon, Swain and Haywood counties. For more information or to pre-order, contact 828.506.1419.

• Macon County nonprofit organizations have until Feb. 26, to apply for county funds through the Macon County Community Funding Pool (CFP). Application forms and instructions are available at www.maconnc.org. Hard copies are available at Macon County Public Library on Siler Farm Road in Franklin, the Hudson Library on Main Street in Highlands, and the Nantahala Public Library on Nantahala School Road.

Business & Education 

• The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer a free "Empowering Mountain Food Systems - Agribusiness" webinar series. The series will begin with Farm Funding with NRCS, FSA and NC Ag Options, 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21; Liability for On-Farm Visits will be held 9-10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10; Farmland Transition will be held 9-10 a.m. Friday, Mar. 19 and Agritourism will be held 9-10 a.m. Wednesday, April 28. Visit SBC.Haywood.edu or call 828.627.4512 for additional information or to register today. 

• The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer a Free virtual "WordPress 101 Summit" 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 11. The goal of this two-part workshop is to assist small business owners in getting comfortable setting up and building a basic WordPress website or Blog. Visit SBC.Haywood.edu or call 828.627.4512 for additional information or to register today. 

• Southwestern Community College is offering “Digital Literacy” classes this spring through the College & Career Readiness Department. New classes are forming at the Jackson and Macon County Libraries as well as the SCC Jackson and Macon Campuses and Swain Center. Cost for the class is $125, but there is no fee for those who meet waiver requirements (contact Southwestern for more details on these), and SCC will help those without computer or Internet service to find a location for completing their studies. Preregistration is required. For more information or to sign up, call 828.339.4272. 

Health and Wellness  

• Swain County Caring Corner (SCCC) is still open and accepting patients.  It is located at Restoration House (Bryson City United Methodist Church) 81 Academy Street, Bryson City NC 28713. Clinic Hours are Thursdays 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. with Office Hours Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9 a.m. to noon. Call 828.341.1998 to see if you qualify to receive medical care from volunteer providers.

 

A&E

• The Haywood County Arts Council’s “Winter Member’s Show” will be held Feb. 5-27 in the Gallery & Gifts showroom at the HCAC in downtown Waynesville. Original work for 24 local artisans. Free and open to the public. www.haywoodarts.org

• Lazy Hiker Brewing (Franklin) will host Mt. Gypsy Music Jan. 30 and Natti Love Joys (roots/soul) Feb. 6.  All shows begin at 7 p.m. For more information and a complete schedule of events, click on www.lazyhikerbrewing.com.

• Lazy Hiker Brewing (Sylva) will host Mt. Gypsy Music Jan. 29 and Natti Love Joys (roots/soul) Feb. 5. All shows begin at 7 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information and a complete schedule of events, click on www.lazyhikerbrewing.com.

• Balsam Falls Brewing (Sylva) will host an open mic from 8 to 10 p.m. every Thursday. Free and open to the public. www.balsamfallsbrewing.com

• Nantahala Brewing (Sylva) will host live music semi-regularly on the weekends. Free and open to the public. www.nantahalabrewing.com.

Food and Drink 

• There will be a free wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday and 2 to 5 p.m. every Saturday at The Wine Bar & Cellar in Sylva. 828.631.3075.

• The Haywood County Arts Council invites all Haywood County studio artists to participate in the annual Haywood County Studio Tour scheduled for June 26-27, 2021. The artist/studio application and policies for participation may be found on the HCAC website or picked up from HCAC Gallery & Gifts at 86 North Main Street in Waynesville. Email completed forms to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mail to P.O. Box 306, Waynesville, NC 28786. The deadline for the completed studio tour application is Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. For more information visit, www.haywoodarts.org.

 

Outdoors 

• Fire and Rescue Appreciation Days at Cataloochee Ski Area, with personnel and their families receiving a reduced rate, will take place Thursday, Jan. 28, and Friday, Jan. 29. Fire and rescue workers and volunteers must present a valid ID to receive the reduced rate. www.cataloochee.com.

• Help clean up the Tuckasegee River with Trout Unlimited at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30. The group will meet at the church parking lot near the Webster Access and target the area from South Shore Road to N.C. 107. Participants must follow social distancing rules. Trash bags will be provided. www.tuckaseigee.tu.org

• A four-part series of in-depth, hands-on agribusiness work sessions will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20, and repeat weekly through Wednesday, Feb. 10, at Southwestern Community College. These in-person classes will be held at SCC’s Burrell Conference Center. Free. Registration is required at bit.ly/3oMz1Io. Contact Tiffany Henry at 828.339.4426 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Eric Romaniszyn, executive director of the Haywood Waterways Association, will lead a guided hike through the Rough Creek Watershed Saturday, Feb. 6. The group will meet at the Lower Trail Junction parking lot at 9 a.m. The hike is free for HWA members with a $5 donation requested from nonmembers. Space limited to 10 hikers. RSVP to Christine O’Brien at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.476.4667, ext. 11.

• The Blue Ridge Bartram Trail Conservancy is looking for youth ages 16 to 18 to fill six paid trail crew positions this summer, with a few upcoming events planned to give teens a taste of what their summer could look like. An online information session will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9. A volunteer workday open to teens ages 15 to 18 will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13.  For more information, contact Jennifer Love at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Job postings are available at southeastconservationcorps.org/open-positions

• A new photography exhibit will open at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville Jan. 16. On display at the Baker Exhibit Center through May 2, “The Enveloping Landscape” shows Patrice’s photographs alongside those of 25 workshop participants. Free with regular Arboretum admission. 

• Registration is now open for the 18th annual Business of Farming Conference, which will be held Feb. 25 to 27 using a virtual format. Register at www.asapconnections.org. Cost is $95 per person before Feb. 1 and $115 thereafter. Farm partners registering together will receive a discount, and Appalachian Grown certified farmers will receive a 30 percent discount. 

• An online public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, will take comment on proposed revisions to the N.C. Groundwater Quality Standards. Written comments will be accepted through March 16. For more information, including meeting log-on info and a link to the proposed revisions, visit bit.ly/2Yirk1f

• Help combat invasive species at Island Park in Bryson City during a pair of workdays scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, and Wednesday, Feb. 10. Register at www.mountaintrue.org/event.

• Volunteers are needed to help plant rivercane at Rivers Edge Park in Clyde at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29. To RSVP for the workday, contact Christine O’Brien at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.476.4667, ext. 11. Some supplies will be available, but volunteers should bring their own shovels, gloves and augers if available. 

• The annual Haywood County Extension Master Gardener plant sale is underway, with edibles like berries and asparagus and hard-to-find native plants including pollinator-attracting perennials available at exceptional prices. Orders must be placed and pre-paid by March 1. Order forms are available online at www.haywood.ces.ncsu.edu or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They’re also in physical form at the Haywood County Cooperative Extension Office on Raccoon Road in Waynesville. 828.456.3575.

• A recreational racing program will offer skiers and snowboarders of all abilities the chance to push their speed with weekly competitions on non-holiday Saturdays through the end of the season at Cataloochee Ski Area. Races run 9 to 11 a.m. and are subject to weather and slope conditions. Cost is $10 for two runs or $20 for unlimited pass, with a lift ticket or season pass required to participate. Register at the tickets center, and pre-register with NASTAR — the racing program that Cataloochee goes through — at www.nastar.com

• The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education near Brevard is now offering virtual education programs for students in public, private and homeschool. The free programs are tied to the N.C. Essential Standards for Science curriculum and led by an education specialist from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Class dates and times are flexible to meet classroom needs. To schedule a program, educators can contact 828.877.4423.

• The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy has issued a challenge to complete its 60 miles in 60 days Virtual Hiking Challenge, kicking off New Year’s Day. To complete the challenge, participants must walk, run or hike 60 miles by March 1. Registration ends Feb. 1, but earlier registration means more time to log the miles. The basic cost to join is $25, with Level 2 registration priced at $50 and Level 3 registration at $100. Sign up at appalachian.org/event/sahcs-winter-hiking-challenge-60-miles-in-60-days/

• A series of horticulture classes aimed at home gardeners will be offered in the New Year through Haywood County Cooperative Extension. Planned sessions are: Jan. 19, Vegetable Gardening; Feb. 17, Lawn & Weeds; March 2, Introduction to Home Food Preservation; March 18, Landscaping with Native Plants; April 13, Pruning Trees & Shrubs. Classes, taught by extension agents and experienced Master Gardener volunteers, will last for approximately two hours and be held via Zoom until face-to-face training is possible. Sign up by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Cost is $10 per class. 

• The Assault on BlackRock trail race is set for Saturday, March 20, next year, and proceeds will benefit the Southwestern Community College Student Emergency Fund. Registration is $25 in advance or $30 on race day. The Student Emergency Fund proceeds will benefit helps SCC students who encounter unforeseen financial emergencies. Register at www.ultrasignup.com

Hiking Clubs 

• The Nantahala Hiking Club will take a moderate 4-mile hike, elevation change 800 ft., from Winding Stair north to a view from Panther Gap on the Appalachian Trail on Saturday, Feb. 6. The club will meet at Westgate Plaza in Franklin at 10 a.m. Call Leader Katharine Brown, 828.421.4178, for reservations. 

• The Nantahala Hiking Club will take a moderate 4-mile hike, elevation change 400 ft., in the Jack Rabbit Recreation Area in Clay County on Saturday, Feb. 13. The club will meet at Westgate Plaza in Franklin at 10 a.m. Call leader Gail Lehman, 828.524.5298, for reservations. 

• The Nantahala Hiking Club will take a moderate 3-mile hike, elevation change 700 ft., on the Coweeta Lab loop on Sunday, Feb. 14. The club will meet at the Smoky Mountain Visitors Center on Hwy. 441 at 1 p.m. Call leader Katharine Brown, 828.421.4178, for reservations. 

Go to top