Plus, cocktails for a cause.
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💼 125 years serving local business
asheville area chamber of commerce
The Chamber creates local connections. | Photo by AVLtoday
1,700+. That’s how many businesses are part of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. It certainly didn’t start that way, though — in 1898, just 65 businesses in the Asheville area formed the Chamber’s precursor, the Board of Trade, to promote their economic interests and create a business community. But 125 years later, the Chamber still makes business vitality, community connections, and local growth its mission, and now it’s time to celebrate the century + a quarter of accomplishments.

Mark the milestone

The Chamber’s 125th Anniversary Celebration will be taking place on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Guests will gather for a garden party outside the Asheville Chamber (36 Montford Ave.), where you can listen to a little music, enjoy food + drinks from local restaurants and breweries, and build a network.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Community Betterment Foundation, the Chamber’s chartiable arm, is planning to award 12 grants to local nonprofits. A selection committee chose 24 finalists, and the public voted on the recipients back in June and July. We know you’re on the edge of your seat to find out the winners, but you’ll have to wait until the celebration.

Individual tickets to the event are $125, but you can also purchase a donated ticket, which will be given to these nonprofit grant finalists. Proceeds from the event will fund the $10,000 grants, and even if you can’t attend, you can make a grant donation directly.

Sustain the support

Although 125 years is a significant anniversary, the work of the Chamber doesn’t end when the string lights are put away and the marquees are taken down. There are plenty of ways for you to get involved outside of attending the party. Businesses of all sizes can become Chamber members as a way to build relationships with other local businesses and have a voice in local government. Even if you aren’t a member, you can join groups like Young Professionals of Asheville or attend events that are open to the public. Get ready to create some connections.
Tuesday, Sept. 19
  • Fall Pickleball Nights | Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 5-10 p.m. | Murphy-Oakley Park, 715 Fairview Rd., Asheville | Free | Enjoy a spirited game of pickleball as the evenings start to get cooler.
  • Poetry Night | Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Community Center, 285 Livingston St., Asheville | Free | Join fellow artists and step on the stage for an evening of poetry + expression.
  • Wine Tasting | Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 6 p.m. | Burial Beer Co. Forestry Camp Taproom, 10 Shady Oak Dr., Asheville | Free | Australian natural winemaker Con-Greg Grigoriou of Delinquente Wine Co. and Burial Beer Co.'s winemaker Tim Gormley of Visuals are teaming up for a tasting.
Wednesday, Sept. 20
  • Candlelight Restorative Yin and Gong Bath | Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 7-8 p.m. | Black Mountain Yoga, 116 Montreat Rd., Black Mountain | $9-$18 | Reset your nervous system with a gentle, candelit flow.
  • Darlingside | Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 7:30 p.m. | Diana Wortham Theatre, 18 Biltmore Ave., Asheville | $33 | The baroque folk-pop quartet is bringing a night of harmonic intimacy and melodic nuance.
Thursday, Sept. 21
  • Shuffleboard Mornings | Thursday, Sept. 21 | 9 a.m.-12 p.m. | Harvest House Community Center, 205 Kenilworth Rd., Asheville | Free | Have some fun, make some friends, and learn the sport of shuffleboard.
  • Pierson-Law Duo | Thursday, Sept. 21 | 6-8 p.m. | Asheville Art Museum, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville | Included with admission | Gather in the Museum’s atrium for a night of eclectic jazz.
Friday, Sept. 22
  • Standup Comedy | Friday, Sept. 22 | 7-9 p.m. | plēb urban winery, 289 Lyman St., Asheville | $16-$20 | Stop by for food trucks, drinks, good vibes, and laughs from some of the region’s comedy favorites.
  • Pippin | Friday, Sept. 22-Sunday, Oct. 8 | Times vary | Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville | $18-$36.50 | Step into a magical and mysterious world of self-discovery during this Broadway classic.
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Experience the magic of Star Wars with the Asheville Symphony
Panoramic view from the Salvage Station Outdoor Stage of crowd at sunset.
Salvage Station will provide shuttles from the Asheville Visitor Center and Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville Arena to the Outdoor Stage. | Photo provided by Asheville Symphony
Join the Asheville Symphony + Beer City Comic Con for Star Wars: Celebrating a Galaxy of Music on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. at Salvage Station’s Outdoor Stage.

The concert will feature fan favorite musical moments from the films, plus themes from Hoth, Tatooine, Mustafar, Coruscant, and every planet in between.

Tickets are on sale now for the three seating options:
  1. VIP seating — Includes on-site parking, on-site seating + access to a private bar
  2. Bring your own seat
  3. Standing room
News Notes
  • Buncombe County’s Septic Repair Assistance Program can provide financial support for qualifying homeowners struggling to complete septic repairs in their homes. Applications are accepted continuously until further notice for homeowners who make less than 80% of Buncombe County’s median income. See the qualifications before you apply.
  • Join Karen Brinson Bell, the Executive Director of the NC State Board of Elections, for a free public talk on recent voting changes and election proposals. The event will take place tonight, Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Blue Ridge South Room at UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Student Union + includes time for audience questions.
  • On Friday, Sept. 15, Homeward Bound WNC opened the doors of Compass Point Village, a project that will supply permanent housing units to 87 people who are struggling with chronic homelessness. Support will also be provided by the Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness + Appalachian Mountain Community Health Centers. (WLOS)
  • As a result of amendments to HB66, which required redrawing district lines, Buncombe County Schools and Asheville City Schools are mandated by the state to carry out a joint merger study by 2025. Among general feasibility information, the study will examine the economic and educational impacts of a merger. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
  • Locals Kathey Avery and Ray Hemachandra received $50,000 grants as winners of the Tzedek Brilliance Awards. Avery received the Ella Baker Brilliance Award, which recognizes a Black community leader addressing systemic oppression, and Hemachandra received the Pauli Murray Brilliance Award as a leader in a wide range of social justice efforts.
  • Float like a butterfly at the NC Arboretum’s Monarch Butterfly Day on Saturday, Sept. 30. Visitors will get to see monarchs as they migrate south for the winter then hear talks on preservation + conservation, enjoy kids’ activities, and get a first look at the immersive, multimedia experience, “Monarchs and Milkweed.”
  • UNC Asheville invites the Asheville community to attend 2023 Greenfest, a week-long sustainability festival happening Sunday, Sept. 24-Saturday, Sept. 30 that includes fun daily events, classes, panel discussions, volunteer opportunities, a Sustainability Fair + more. See the schedule (and be sure not to miss the monarch butterfly release).*
🥃 Sip to support during Negroni Week
negroni for negroni week at burial beer forestry taproom
These are celebratory cocktails for a cause. | Photo by Phil Cassella, courtesy of Burial Beer Co.
We all know the classic recipe — equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. And even though countless mixologists have put their unique spins on the original, the Negroni remains a bar menu staple. No wonder there’s a whole week dedicated to it.

Established in 2013 by Imbibe Magazine, Negroni Week is a way to not only to celebrate the drink but to give back to a good cause. This year, a dozen Asheville bars + restaurants are joining joints all over the world to support Slow Food, a nonprofit organization that advocates equitable food policies, advances food education, and fosters biological and cultural diversity.

Negroni Week kicked off yesterday, Monday, Sept. 18, and will run through Sunday, Sept. 24. Twelve Asheville spots have made a donation to the cause and will be serving up Negronis and/or Negroni-inspired specials. Take a look at who’s involved locally:
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The Wrap
Molly Wilson.jpeg Today’s edition by:
From the editor
Ever since I demonstrated even a minimal interest in cooking, my family put me in charge of holiday meal planning. I know we’re still months away, but the pressure is starting to build — especially when it comes to pies (which I’ve yet to perfect). Luckily, Dogwood Cottage Baking is spilling its pie secrets for free at the Weaverville Library on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
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