Going to be in the area this weekend? Several activities are happening in Western North Carolina over the Labor Day holiday. Here are a few:

August 29, 2008 — Biltmore Flower Carpet. Starting on Friday and on display through September 14, is Biltmore Estate’s newest extravanza: Over a ¼ of an acre will be devoted to more than 144,000 brightly colored flowers to form the live tapestry. Come see the vivid, living carpet on the South Terrace at Biltmore House. The Flower Carpet is a larger-than life combination of natural beauty blended with creative inspiration. The intricate pattern of colorful plants is drawn from architectural elements of Biltmore House, and interpreted in a grand size and style. For more information, visit

August 29, 2008-September 1, 2008 – North Carolina Apple Festival. Just south of Asheville is the town of Hendersonville, the official home of the North Carolina Apple Festival. The festival features a street fair on Historic Main Street including: entertainment, arts & crafts, apple products, children’s & youth activities, special exhibits, food and the King Apple Parade on Labor Day. More details are available at

August 30-September 1, 2008 – Biltmore Winery’s Summer Holiday Weekend. Swing by the Winery and River Bend Farm for live entertainment and activities. Enjoy soloist performances in the wine bar, and cool off with complimentary wine seminars and wine tasting. For tips on how to incorporate fresh flavors into your summer cuisine, sit in on the fun-filled cooking demonstrations. Sample local flavors at the Winery: Biltmore chefs fire up the grills and showcase the best barbeque from North and South Carolina. Guest can enjoy a sampling of the best pulled-pork served with famous regional sauces—Western Carolina red, Eastern Carolina vinegar, and South Carolina mustard—or dig into a plate of Southern-fried fish and hushpuppies. Dinner is served 1:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. with live local music starting at 2:00 p.m.September 1, 2008 – Labor Day Concert. Annual Concert at the Historic Marion Depot on the lawn featuring Terry McKinney and Jazz Man Eddie Graham in this special “end of the summer” concert. Bring chair or a blanket and enjoy this once in a life time concert by two great performers. In case of rain, the concert will be inside the depot. 6-8pm; free. For more information, call 828.652.2215.September 1, 2008 – Annual Labor Day Barbecue and Picnic at The Orchard at Altapass. 11am-5pm. Live music, storytelling and hayrides through the orchard. The Orchard is located at Milepost 328.3 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland. For more information, call 888-765-9531 or visit few ongoing exhibits:

The Carolina Mountains: Photography of Margaret Morley presented by the North Carolina Museum of History and the Mountain Gateway Museum & Heritage Center. Photographs feature an intimate look at everyday life in western North Carolina around the turn of the 20th century. Exhibited photographs displayed at Mountain Gateway Museum, Old Fort Train Station, Museum & Visitor’s Center, the Marion Davis Branch of McDowell County Public Library and Catawba Vale Coffee Cafe all located in Old Fort. For more information, call the McDowell County Tourism Authority, 888-233-6111 or 828-668-4282.

Historic Carson House Quilt Exhibit – May through October visit Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. to learn about this unique quilt exhibit that includes several quilts made by African-American slaves before and during the Civil War. One such quilt is a “crazy” quilt made by Hannah Greenlee and completed by her daughter Emm after her death in 1896. This pattern is commonly seen in textiles in the Ghana region of Africa along the Ivory Coast. Hannah’s use of color and textile scraps, formed in bar shapes, identifies it as a “crazy” pattern. Recently, the National Endowment for the Humanities included this quilt in their new, “Picturing America” program that teaches children American history through the arts. This nationwide program is distributed to schools and libraries including those in McDowell County. Learn about their lives and Carson family history at or call 828-724-4948.

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