The Rotary Club of Franklin presents RiverFest 2 :: Saturday, August 29 from 8:30am - 12:30pm along the Little Tennessee River :: click here for more information!

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Arts & Entertainment

A recent donation of Horace Kephart’s personal correspondence, photographs and other belongings will become part of the new “Horace Kephart and Laura Mack Kephart Family Collection” at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library.

“Kephart himself has been something of a mystery, and this collection will offer one of the first glimpses of him as a person,” said George Frizzell, head of Special Collections at Hunter Library.

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The Western Carolina Community Chorus will present Christmas Reflections on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Coulter Building at Western Carolina University. The program will include a wide variety of styles, including such favorites as "Silent Night," sung by the men, and "Do You Hear What I Hear?" accompanied by piano, snare drum and finger cymbals. Several selections feature the talent of chorus members. Mike Nichols (assistant conductor of the chorus) will direct three pieces from the shape-note tradition, including "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem." The women of the chorus will sing a brand new composition by Philip Rhodes, Robbinsville, who is a retired music professor from Carlton College, and a member of the bass section. The chorus will perform "The First Noel," accompanied by a trio of trumpets, composed by the conductor of the group, Robert Holquist.

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The public is invited to the second annual Community Christmas Concert, presented by the Western Carolina Civic Orchestra Strings on Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Jackson County Public Library. The celebration will begin at 6:30 p.m. with caroling on the courthouse steps, led by Gayle Woody and members of the orchestra.

Beginning at 7 p.m. in the Community Room, the orchestra will play classical pieces by Bach and “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Students of all ages will join in for a selection of favorite Christmas carols.

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Each year, with the coming of the Christmas season, an idea that began as a simple, almost “pot luck” dinner, has transformed into a Highlands tradition. What raised $20,000 over the first five years for Habitat for Humanity has grown to giving away close to $100,000 over the last five years, all for local nonprofits. With that money, the dinner funded nonprofits like Highlands Hospice, the International Friendship Center, Carpe Diem Farms, The Literacy Council of Highlands, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Highlands. What was originally solely funded and seeded only by the organizers and the vendors they purchased from has become an effort that has been given support and sponsorship by local civic organizations like Rotary Clubs, banks like First Citizens, Highlanders and second home owners who recognize the effort being extended to put money into needed programs that go directly back into the community. What began as a dinner that fed only those who could afford to join us evolved into a vehicle to feed some families in the area who would otherwise not have a holiday meal.

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