Next weekend, the town of Black Mountain will be all about music and marathons. First off, the music…on February 27, the Black Mountain Center for the Arts will host its regular “Upbeat! Musical Heritage 4th Friday Concert” series, this month featuring Red June with Will Straughan, John Cloyd Miller, and Natalya Weinstein. Doors open at 7pm ($10 donation at the door). For more information on the Upbeat! music series, please visit www.blackmountainarts.org.

White Horse Black Mountain will host Speedsquare, a group described as a “crazy eclectic sense of drama, jazz sophistication, and funk plus splashes of rock” on February 28. This is a family friendly night at White Horse Black Mountain. The performance starts at 9:30pm ($8). For details on all of White Horse Black Mountain’s upcoming live acts, check out www.whitehorseblackmountain.com.

And now on to the marathon…On February 28, the Black Mountain Marathon and Mt. Mitchell Challenge takes place, starting at 7am. Runners in the 40+ mile Mt. Mitchell Challenge start in Black Mountain (known as the “front porch” of North Carolina) and head to the “rooftop of North Carolina”, Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River (4,324-foot elevation gain). That’s the halfway point. The runners then turn around and head back to Black Mountain. The marathoners will start with the Challenge runners, taking the course to the Black Mountain Gap overlook on the famed Blue Ridge Parkway (5,340′), where they turn around and retrace the course to the Start/Finish area in Black Mountain. Although the race registrations are full, you can still check out www.blackmountainmarathon.com for the history of the races and more.

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