Western NC

Vol12 Iss12 017

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26 THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — WESTERN NC | VOLUME 12 — ISSUE 1 BREVARD Brevard BY LAUREL HYATT Just 35 miles southwest from Asheville — Brevard, North Carolina has become the hometown to not only amazing festivals, quality shopping, and dining experiences, but also to patrons of "the arts." If you couple this with the fact that geographically Brevard is the crossroads to outstanding outdoor recreation within and near both national and state forests, you begin to see why nearly 8,000 discerning residents choose to call it home. Brevard is located along Highway 64 in Transylvania County (known as the Land of Waterfalls – over 200). There's a picturesque downtown highlighted by shops, antique malls, the Transylvania Heritage Museum, and of course Brevard Music Center. The town has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the world and the press. National Geographic included Brevard in its Top 50 of the World's Last Great Places. Bike Magazine listed the town as a great destination for the "Bible of Bike Tests" issue. Then there was its inclusion in Outside Magazine's Best Places to Raise Outdoor Kids, Sierra Club's "Clearest Blue Skies" in the US, and Budget Travel's "Coolest Small Towns" in America. Little wonder as many as 20,000 people flock to a festival in the town dedicated and named for a unique looking white squirrel. Every year over the Memorial Day weekend the town hosts its own White Squirrel Festival, honoring these unique siblings to the gray Eastern tree squirrel. The White Squirrel Festival is two days of great family fun, music, food, arts and crafts — and, of course, the Squirrel Box Derby! Today the festival is recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the Top 20 May festivals. music, arts & crafts, the white squirrel Other Brevard festivals to put on your calendar include Halloweenfest (after all, Brevard is located in Transylvania County). Activities include the Flight of the Vampire 5K, 10K, and Children's Fun Run with runners dressed as vampires, zombies, and ghosts. There's a costume contest, parade, chili cook-off, pie bake-off, pumpkin carving contest, a haunted house (was there any doubt?), as well as food, music, and tours. During December check for the dates of the Holiday Twilight Tour through downtown with lots of holiday activities, music and street vendors. Also, each summer, never miss a chance to take part in Brevard's July 4th Celebration with the Fine Arts & Crafts Showcase, day- long music from the downtown gazebo, a 5K Firecracker Run, parade, classic car show, and of course fireworks in the evening to wrap up the perfect day in small town USA. We've talked about festival food but don't forget Brevard boasts several world-class chefs within their cafes, restaurants, and lodges. Many of these culinary geniuses came for the same reason everyone comes — the small town atmosphere, easy access to great outdoor activity, fresh products for the kitchens in their own backyards, and a slower, more relaxed, more creative pace than in the big city. No Brevard story would be complete without more of a mention of music. In 2016, musicians from across the globe gathered in Brevard joined by Brevard Music Center (BMC) Alumnus and Artistic Director Keith Lockhart along with dozens of the most celebrated names in music for over 80 unforgettable performances to celebrate the Center's 80th Anniversary Season. Even though an 80th Anniversary is special, every year at BMC is equally enjoyable as over 31,000 music enthusiasts enjoy opera, pops, jazz, gospel, and blues in the awe inspiring lakeside, open-air venue. Many performances are free to the public and others very reasonably priced for the quality of the program. To get to Brevard from Asheville, take I-26 to exit 40/ Highway 280/Airport exit toward Brevard. Downtown Brevard is 33 miles from Downtown Asheville. If you're into scenic driving, have a little time and don't mind some curves, be sure to ask around town about the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway: spectacular scenery you'll not soon forget, that you can't get from interstate driving. Whether you're looking for just a great place for lunch or dinner, a festival fun day, outdoor activities like hiking and zip-lining, or have realized it's time to search out your new "forever" home – put Brevard, North Carolina on your bucket list. You may have found your home sweet home right here. []

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