Plus, firework-free ways to celebrate the Fourth of July.
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Today’s Forecast

90º | 33% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 6:19 a.m. | Sunset 8:49 p.m.

64 years of the Skyview Golf Tournament
Billy Gardenhight and two other golfers mark score cards during the Skyview Golf Tournament
From 1991 to 2005, a scholarship was awarded in Billy Gardenhight’s (left) name; the association is working to bring it back in 2024.|Photo via Asheville Municipal Golf Course
When the Skyview Golf Association was founded in 1959, the Asheville Municipal Golf Course was the only facility in the area open to African Americans. But regardless of the limitation, the love of the green was fierce, and a small group of golfers, led by Charles Collette, set out determinedly to encourage competition among African American golfers across the county — and to drive forward an ambitious golfing community.

So they founded the association and, in 1960, hosted the inaugural Skyview Golf Tournament.

About 50 players and 200 spectators showed up for the first competition. “Most people knew nothing about golf,” said 94-year-old Matthew Bacoate in a press release, “but this gave them an opportunity to go somewhere they had never been before.”

Lee Elder and two other golfers stand on a golf course

Professional golfer Lee Elder (left) won the tournament four times.


Photo via Asheville Municipal Golf Course

Bacoate made cardboard-and-crayon promotional signs that first year and kept the scores — now, decades later, he is the tournament manager, promoter, and administrator. Collette served as director until 1972; Billy Gardenhight was director from 1972 to 2009.

Skyview welcomed its first two Caucasian players in its second year and continued to grow and thrive. Over the years, it has hosted golf pros like Jim Dent, Lee Elder, Jim Thorpe, James Black, and Harold Varner III. Twenty-nine African American golfers who have joined the PGA Tour have attended Skyview at least once.

More than 60 years later, the tournament is still held at the Donald Ross-designed Asheville Municipal Golf Course and is one of the largest in the Southeast. This year’s competition is expected to host more than 160 players, 60-65 of which are pros competing for a $40,000 purse.

The 2024 Skyview Golf Tournament will be held Tuesday, July 9 to Thursday, July 11. Pro and amateur golfers can register to compete, and spectators can watch for free.
Thursday, July 4
  • 4th of July Celebration | Thursday, July 4 | 6-10 p.m. | Pillar Rooftop Bar, 309 College St., 6th floor, Asheville | $20 | See the fireworks from this rooftop bar while enjoying live music from The Pubsters, food, and special drinks.
  • July 4th Fireworks | Thursday, July 4 | 9:30 p.m. | Former Bi-Lo Grocery Store, 205 NC Hwy. 9, Black Mountain | Free | Pick your favorite spot around town and settle in for the fireworks show.
  • THE ORB ft. members of The Snozzberries | Thursday, July 4 | 10 p.m.-2 a.m. | Asheville Music Hall, 31 Patton Ave., Asheville | Free, $5-$10 suggested donation | Catch a post-fireworks concert, and dance the night away to some funk rock.
Friday, July 5
  • First Friday on The Block | Friday, July 5 | 5-7 p.m. | YMI Cultural Center, 39 S. Market St., Asheville | Free | The Block has plenty to do + explore, like an exhibit celebrating Black feminist art at The Corner Spot, a Biscuit Head tasting at PennyCup Coffee, and live music at LEAF Global Arts.
Saturday, July 6
  • The Big Crafty | Saturday, July 6-Sunday, July 7 | 12-6 p.m. | Harrah’s Cherokee Center - Asheville, 87 Haywood St., Asheville | $10 | Explore one-of-a-kind wares from 180+ talented artists and makers.
  • Casey’s Movie Trivia | Saturday, July 6 | 7 p.m. | Eulogy, 10 Buxton Ave., Asheville | $3 | Are you smarter than a cinephile? See how well you know your film facts with groups of up to six players.
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News Notes
Today Is
  • Independence Day. America has been celebrating this day for 248 years since the Declaration of Independence was formally adopted on July 4, 1776. Round up the kids, friends, or just yourself and head to a local fireworks show.
  • While fireworks are popping off this evening, they might spook local wildlife. WNC Nature Center Director Chris Gentile shared some firework-free ways you can enjoy the holiday without disturbing flora + fauna. The WNC Nature Center will be open today from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (WLOS)
  • An update from the NCDOT shows that the Merrimon Avenue road diet, which downsized a ~1.5-mile section from four to three car lanes and added 5-ft bicycle lanes, has been effective in reducing crashes. Preliminary data shows a 30% decrease in injury crashes and a 23% decrease in overall crashes. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
  • Cellarest Beer Project is welcoming Paperhouse Pizza on selected Tuesday and Wednesday nights this month. The pizza truck hit the streets in June, serving up sourdough pies, including one with capicola Italian ham, fontina, pickled peppers, and Lays potato chips.
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The Buy
Reusable grocery cooler bags. If you’ve been rocking the same tired grocery bags for a while now (guilty), investing in some sturdy, insulated bags makes transporting groceries comfortable and more convenient.
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From the editor
Looking for a new spot to sip? Rooted in Wine recently opened in Fairview, just down the street from Whistle Hop and Trout Lily Market. The shop has wines by the glass and bottle, local artwork, and plenty of locally sourced items for your next charcuterie board. Check it out at 1327 Charlotte Hwy.
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