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Arts & Entertainment

Western Carolina University is opening the academic year by throwing itself a party in honor of the 125th anniversary of its founding, and all alumni, friends, students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community are invited to take part in the festivities.

Christened the Big Birthday Bash, the free event is scheduled from 4 until 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, on the A.K. Hinds University Center lawn and the adjoining Central Plaza. The afternoon will include a picnic on the lawn featuring barbecue, hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, funnel cakes, deep-fried goodies, lemonade, tea and – of course – birthday cake.


The 11th Annual Benefit Concert for the Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth and Families will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 3, in the sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church, 26 Church St., in Franklin.

Coordinated by Anne Tauber, music director of First Presbyterian, the concert features The Carolines, directed by Beverly Barnett, Macon Harmony (David Dennis), the First Community Handbell Choir, barefoot singer/songwriter Eric Hendrix, and Arthea Brimmer and Anne Tauber playing two pianos. The one-hour program includes both sacred and secular selections and vocal and instrumental soloists. New this year is the recently formed First Community Handbell Choir with ringers from the First Methodist, First Baptist, Good Shepherd Lutheran, and First Presbyterian churches.


The Gaither Homecoming Tour will bring a full evening of entertainment and music to Western Carolina University’s Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19.

The award-winning gospel band featuring Bill Gaither, Wes Hampton, David Phelps, Adam Crabb and Todd Suttles performs to packed houses worldwide. “I’ve always said it all starts with a great song, and we are fortunate that each concert includes great songs that have stood the test of time,” Gaither said.

Gaither and his wife, Gloria, have written more than 700 gospel songs, including “He Touched Me,” “Because He Lives” and “There’s Just Something about That Name.” Most of their recordings have gone gold or platinum, and they regularly appear on television networks around the world.


Nantahala native and Franklin resident, Roy Owenby will share his stories about Appalachian life on Saturday, Aug. 2, at 3 p.m. Blue Ridge Mountain Heritage is the culmination of thousands of miles of travel throughout the South in an effort to gather stories that portray the soul of Appalachia. These stories span past and present and offer a full spectrum of human emotion.

A prolific writer, Owenby has written hundreds of articles and short stories. He is also the author of “The Owl Knows,” a mystery set on the Appalachian Trail. To reserve copies of his books, call City Lights Bookstore at (828)586-9499.

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