The number of festivals offered in this area can make your head spin. It has been wonderful to indulge in the food, and kick up our heels to the music. After our visit to Hickory Nut Gap Farm, we moved on to the Heritage Festival offered at the Folk Art Center just outside of Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This 2-day event exhibited a wide range of crafters making everything from brooms to corn husk dolls. Glass blowing, wood carving, fabric dyeing, weaving and spinning were among the arts being featured. Music was primarily bluegrass on Saturday, shifting to gospel music on Sunday. Cloggers were on hand to show off their skills. We also caught the 35th Annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition. If you aren't familiar with this (and I'm guessing unless you were raised in the mountains of N.C., you probably aren't.) This involves 2 sticks rubbing together, one has a propeller on the end, and notches along the side to make the propeller spin when the other stick rubs the notches. Judges determined which contestants make the propeller spin the fastest. The prize, for all age categories, consisted of a trophy and a moon pie. Moon pies, for those of you not raised in the American South, were first created almost 100 years ago. They consist of 2 large graham cracker cookies, filled with marshmallow, and dipped in chocolate (though other flavored are available.) So sugar on top of sugar, dipped in more sugar! But the weekend was full of fun, and outstanding barbecue, in addition to the crafts and music.
Rain, rain and more rain has been the forecast here lately. But, we drove into Asheville between the
clouds this past weekend for another unique festival, the WNC Garlic Festival. Though most of the vendors of hand were not selling garlic-type products, there was a chance to eat garlic ice cream, which will probably never happen again, and we passed up the opportunity. Garlic butter and hummus we also available. But Alan was drawn to the nearby brewery, and we caught lunch at a food truck offering a mouthwatering selection of tacos. Seminars on how to grow garlic were scheduled throughout the day.
The following day, once again dodging the rain, we traveled into Asheville for a Greek Festival at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Greek Church. Music and food were once again the highlights. Long lines formed inside the Hellenic Center for food, but volunteers moved the diners through quickly. Moussaka, pastichio, spanakopita, gyros, dolomades and Greek salad, along with baklava and a dozen other Greek entrees and treats were available. Church tours, iconography classes, and Greek cooking demonstrations were also available over the 3 days of festivities. Greek foods, traditional clothing and jewelry were available in the Greek marketplace, also set up in the Hellenic Center. Children weren't left out in the planning, with a variety of large inflatables available for them as well. Outside, under a large tent, seating was provided for a dry spot to eat, but also to enjoy the Greek music and dancers. It made us reflect on our Greek getaway two years ago, and drawing us back there again soon, we hope.