Plus, planning a Leap Day in Asheville.
February 26, 2024 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

69º | 0% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 7:04 a.m. | Sunset 6:22 p.m.

⛈️ Take a rain check
Pendland Creek during rain and flooding. The green infrastructure on New Belgium Brewing's campus helps during the rain event.
Green infrastructure at New Belgium Brewing does its job during flooding. | Photo via RiverLink
At the beginning of this year, environmental nonprofit RiverLink launched the Reduce Rain Runoff campaign to educate Asheville on stormwater runoff, which threatens the health of the French Broad River. The campaign includes monthly resources as well as stories from local residents + businesses to spread the word about the issue and how to take action.

So as RiverLink dives into the new series, we’d thought we’d explore some of the ways that runoff affects the area and how you can help the French Broad Watershed weather the storm.

When it rains, it pours

The French Broad River is about 219 miles long, and about 4,000 miles of rivers + streams across eight counties feed into it. This expanse of rivers and streams are fed by rainwater — but they’re also fed by stormwater runoff.

As rain flows quickly off rooftops and parking lots, it passes through drains and ditches and falls untreated into the river. This stormwater runoff contributes to flooding, erosion, and pollution.

About 55% of the rainfall in developed urban areas becomes runoff (compared with 10% in undeveloped areas). Buncombe County has 100,000+ rooftops that create 8.6 billion gallons of roof runoff — and Buncombe and its surrounding counties expect a 40% population increase by 2040, which means more roofs, more roads, more parking lots.

Rain cisterns outside Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville

Sunny Point Cafe resolved its flooding issues by installing rain barrels.


Photo via RiverLink

Well, what can we do about it?

Great question. Because we’re not here to put a damper on things or rain on your parade (okay, we’ll stop). There are folks all over the area addressing stormwater issues on their personal or business’ properties, and their solutions aren’t difficult to incorporate yourself.

Green infrastructure, as opposed to gutters + pipes, captures rainwater where it falls to soak into the ground naturally. Setting up rain gardens or rain barrels (like Sunny Point Cafe did) can help keep the local watershed right as rain.
Monday, Feb. 26
  • Tai Chi for Beginners | Monday, Feb. 26 | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Dragon Phoenix, 51 N. Merrimon Ave., #109, Asheville | $13-$15 | Practice the Yang 10 and 24 forms along with some Qigong exercises.
  • Trivia with Billy | Monday, Feb. 26 | 7-9 p.m. | River Arts District Brewing, 13 Mystery St., Asheville | Free | Compete in eclectic trivia for a chance to earn 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place — plus, bonuses like best team name.
Tuesday, Feb. 27
  • Baking Class: Danishes | Tuesday, Feb. 27 | 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | Conjure Craft Chocolate, 16 Glenn Willow Dr., Unit 36, Arden | $119 | Laminate like a pro and learn to make flaky pastry doughs with the help of The Crunchy Baker.
  • WNC Scale Model Club | Tuesday, Feb. 27 | 5-7:30 p.m. | North Asheville Public Library, 1030 Merrimon Ave., Asheville | Free | Makers ages 12 and up can join the nonprofit group to work on their finished pieces or works in progress for tips + tricks.
Wednesday, Feb. 28
  • Everybody But You Bro Comedy Open Mic | Wednesday, Feb. 28 | 6 p.m. | Different Wrld, 701 Haywood Rd., Asheville | Free | Join the audience for a lineup of women, nonbinary, and femme comedians to take the stage.
  • Wind Cults and Beautifulish | Wednesday, Feb. 28 | 7 p.m. | Black Mountain College Museum, 120 College St., Asheville | $8-$12 | Enjoy a soundworld of free improvisation and composed musical material + a sonic mishmash of harmony and musical extremes.
Thursday, Feb. 29
  • Chocolate and Wine Soiree | Thursday, Feb. 29 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Hands On! Children’s Museum, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville | $10-$25 | Explore the museum exhibit, preview future plans for a STEM learning experience, and savor a selection of wines + local chocolates.
Friday, March 1
  • Opening Reception: “The Soil’s Gaze” by Chris Jehly | Friday, March 1 | 8 p.m. | Tyger Tyger Gallery, 191 Lyman St., #144, Asheville | Free | Tyger Tyger Gallery presents “The Soil’s Gaze,” a solo exhibition of plein-air watercolor paintings by Chris Jehly that capture the pulse + spontaneity of the natural world, opening Friday, March 1.*
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Violin royalty returns home for inaugural Artist Residency
AVLtoday Asheville Symphony 2.26.24.gif
Education is a prominent part of the Residency. Bendix-Balgley will serve as concertmaster with the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Yao will lead a free workshop for local string students. | Photo credit: Nikolaj Lund
Experience the magic of the violin like never before at Asheville Symphony’s inaugural Artist Residency: A Celebration of the Violin, March 11-18.

Featuring mesmerizing performances and educational events from world-renowned violinists Noah Bendix-Balgley and Shanshan Yao, this brand-new biennial initiative spotlights one new instrument each residency.

Bendix-Balgley is an Asheville native and current concertmaster of the acclaimed symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic. His wife, Yao, was a longtime member of the New York Philharmonic.

🎻 What to expect

Look forward to a solo performance with some of the most technically complex pieces ever put to paper, including Bartók’s Sonata for Solo Violin, composed here in Asheville (80 years to the day of the performance), and insightful lectures, with each event promising an enriching + educational musical experience for music fans of all levels.

Plus, witness the rare opportunity to see the duo solo on a symphony program featuring three violin concertos, Masterworks 5: Violin Virtuosi.

🎟️ Get tix

Individual events are selling out quickly, so we recommend securing tickets sooner rather than later.
News Notes
  • In advance of its submission of final recommendations, the Community Reparations Commission approved a three-month public engagement plan to collect feedback from Black residents of Asheville. The plan will include flyers with QR codes, community input sessions, and door-to-door campaigns. (Mountain Xpress)
  • These volunteer days are a walk in the park. Beginning Wednesday, March 6 and continuing on the first Wednesday of each month, RiverLink is hosting volunteer days at Karen Cragnolin Park. Sign up to help with native plantings, litter cleanup, and more in support of the French Broad Watershed.
  • Provisions Mercantile, Wander Africa + The Scout Guide are joining a sensory journey with National Geographic TV host James Currie. Currie will tell his adventurous tales while you sip on wine and nosh on hors d’oeuvres. Get your tickets for Friday, March 8 — proceeds benefit the Great Plains Foundation.
  • Twice the arboreal adventure. The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) and Bountiful Cities are hosting a two-part event on Tuesday, March 19. Kick off the evening at the chestnut planting workshop, then head to Asheville Pizza and Brewing for a screening of “Clear Day Thunder” and a Q+A with TACF scientists.
  • If you’re curious about LEAF Global Arts and the “World Changers” behind its festival theme, you can tune into the “Speaking of Travel” podcast for a new monthly series — leading up to a live taping at the LEAF Retreat in May. The inaugural episode is an interview between host Marilyn Ball and musicians Chinobay + Ryan “RnB” Barber.
  • Babynomics 101. The Reuter Family YMCA is now offering official Babysitting Courses, and the first session starts March 15. Topics range from basic first aid and emergency protocols to age-appropriate activities and child behavior. Learn more + register.*
Featured Home
  • This 2 bed, 2 bath Black Mountain beauty is a short stroll away from Lake Tomahawk and includes a double-sided fireplace, an oversized backyard, and a detached garage big enough for four cars and all the storage you could ever want. Check out the photos to see what we mean.*
🗓️ By leaps and bounds
Outdoor concert in late evening. A large crowd stands in front of a stage with purple lights.

Would your extra summer day be spent with al fresco music?


Photo by AVLtoday

2024 is a leap year, meaning there’s an extra day tucked into February to keep our calendar on track. Without leap years, calendars would be off by about 501 days — so Feb. 26, 2024 would actually be July 11, 2025.

Well that got us yearning for summer, so instead of planning our extra day on Thursday, Feb. 29, we’re imagining what we’d do with another 24 hours of warm weather and sunny + serene vibes.

How would you spend an extra 24 hours of an Asheville summer? You might try a lavish restaurant you’ve never found time for, snag tickets for an outdoor concert, explore a local watering hole to beat the heat, or literally take a leap and go skydiving — the sky’s the limit.

Let us know how you’d like to spend your extra summer day in Asheville (no restrictions), and we’ll share some of our favorites on Leap Day 2024.
The Buy
Spring vacation clothes to bring some color and life with you on this year’s vacation. We’re liking: Santa Barbara Design Studio’s “Le Beach” bag and this crochet swimsuit cover up.
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The Wrap
Molly Wilson.jpeg Today’s edition by:
From the editor
Do you own a Dan Flashes shirt? Is your job tables? Are you looking for a steering wheel that doesn’t fly off when you drive? If you answered “yes” to any of that cosmic gumbo, you might just be a contender for The Whale Outpost’s “I Think You Should Leave” trivia. Tonight, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., there’s finally a way you can make money (gift cards) out of all your Tim Robinson knowledge. And if you got none of these references, then just come for the zip line.
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