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Arts & Entertainment

Ten years after the group’s last performance at Western Carolina University, Riders in the Sky will return to the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, with a mix of Western song classics and zany send-ups of the same, opening the Galaxy of Stars Series.

The group, formed in 1977, combines acoustic music and a wide musical repertoire with outrageous comedy, along with a little yodeling here and there. The group remains the only exclusively Western band to have won two Grammy Awards.

Riders in the Sky reached a whole new generation of listeners with their performance on the soundtrack for Disney’s “Toy Story 2,” including “Woody’s Round Up” and “To Infinity and Beyond.” The album “Toy Story 2” was their first Grammy Award-winner in 2001 for “Best Musical Album for Children.” Two years later, they roped their second in the same category, for “Monsters Inc. - Scream Factory Favorites,” the companion CD to the movie.


Jessica Greer Morris, executive director and co-founder of Girl Be Heard, a New York City-based theater group dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence and other issues, will be the keynote speaker for “Take Back the Night” on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at Western Carolina University. The presentation at 7 p.m. in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center is free and open to the public.

Morris was formerly director of community relations at the New York City Department of Health and community organizer for the New York City police department and Manhattan district attorney’s office. She founded Girl Be Heard to engage girls and young women to write and perform their personal stories on topics ranging from body image and sexual orientation to sex trafficking and sexual violence. The group has performed at the White House and the United Nations, and was recently on tour in Denmark, Switzerland and England.


Hickiory Knoll United Methodist Church presented its Just Desserts show Aug. 29-30. Directed by Cindy Miles, the show was a fundraiser for the church, and featured the talents of both church members and friends with hilarious songs and skits and luscious desserts.

Cast members were: Reesa Boyce, Paul Edson, Virginia Fenn, Betsy Gooder, Dr. John Hopkins, Susan Hopkins, Cathy Howman, Leslie Hughes, Kathy Kuhlman, Lou Kuhlman, Roy Lastinger, Doris McConnell, Cindy Miles, Bill Norwood, Paul Sears, Barbara Servatius, Barbara Taylor, Debbie Smith, John Wilde, Jerry Williams, Sally Williams


On Saturday, Sept. 6, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., the historic mountain town of Dillsboro is celebrating its 125th anniversary in a big way. The Town of Dillsboro has gone all out to arrange entertainment, vendors, demonstrators, exhibits, children’s games, and touches of history. Not only do the merchants love the very idea of the town, but they love where they live, and want to show their support for the town’s history by providing demonstrations of old-time arts and crafts, and provide a look at the way of life in the past.

Dillsboro has changed very little — a small country village with pristine white houses, rustic old shops, galleries, and restaurants. Many of the shops that first opened their doors in the 1800s still stand today with new owners.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will be arriving in Dillsboro at 2:15 p.m. to bring visitors to the celebration where all demonstrators will be in tents along Front Street (by the railroad tracks), sharing their skills – making baskets, leather products, pottery, corn shuck dolls, needle crafts, soap making, books, chair caning, spinning, candle making, herbs/teas, beekeeping, stained glass/jewelry, gourd art, and more.


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