Tuesday, August 23, 2011



                APPLES AND ANGELS

By Doc Lawrence

HENDERSONVILLE, NC—Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, this fabled city offers some of the best of today’s North Carolina adventures while maintaining strong ties to deep heritage and rich tradition. Hendersonville, an easy drive from large cities like Atlanta, is a top center for arts and crafts, local farm products, history, the live stage and dining of every style. But, it’s late summer and that means apple harvest here.

The North Carolina Apple Festival is held annually over Labor Day holiday weekend in Hendersonville. It has been Western North Carolina’s premier family festival for 65 years.

Start time is September 2 with four days of fun including one of the most best known street fairs in the Carolinas with just picked apples, handmade quilts and folk art, food and free entertainment at the historic courthouse on Hendersonville’s beautiful Main Street

The apple has been called the loveliest of all fruits. It is also one of the most important agricultural crops grown in bucolic Henderson County.  During a normal year it brings in an average income of $22 million dollars or more. Growing apples has been part of Henderson County's culture and heritage since the mid 1700s. Today there are approximately 200 apple growers here and Henderson County grows 65% of all apples in North Carolina. 

The Apple Festival’s non-stop entertainment throughout the festival is presented on a professional stage in front of the historic Courthouse, beginning Friday with the traditional and classical big band music of the Buddy K Big Band. If you love the music of Duke Ellington, Les Brown, Count Basie, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, put on your dancing shoes and swing.

Saturday features Steve Weams and The Caribbean Cowboys Band. For over 20 years they have provided wildly popular music and have a huge fan base. Following them are The Mighty Kicks! Ranked among the top echelon of entertainment in the South, it’s non-stop choreography, non-stop music and non-stop energy

Sunday is all day gospel followed in the evening by Still Cruzin', a dynamic rhythm section and an electrifying brass segment.  The sweet soul and Motown Revue of The Legacy closes out this year’s festival in grand style.

When you aren’t dancing, eating apple turnovers or dining in Hendersonville’s variety of outstanding restaurants, take time to visit a Connemara, home of America’s poet Laureate Carl Sandburg and a national shrine. Your soul will be replenished walking through the beautiful home and lovely grounds. Next-door is the fabled Flat Rock Playhouse, the state theatre of North Carolina with shows equal to Broadway. And about a block or so up the road is Saint John’s in the Wilderness, one of America’s loveliest and oldest churches with a church graveyard that reads like “who’s who” in Southern history.

The weather this time of year in Hendersonville is divine. With the French Broad and Green Rivers close to town, the fishing’s good. And the air is clean all the time.

Hendersonville’s Oakdale cemetery is a top attraction. Bring a camera. The white marble angel inspired the title of Thomas Wolfe’s “Look Homeward Angel.”

Tailgating recipes and photos from readers will be prominently featured when football season kicks off and the Atlanta Braves compete in the post-season championship series. Submission details:

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