18th Annual Pumpkinfest

Pumpkinfest 2014

Pumpkinfest – October 25th, 2014

For the past 17 years, the last Saturday of October has been reserved for one of Franklin’s most unique and most popular events, Pumpkinfest. Every year, downtown Franklin is transformed into a festive fall celebration that is unlike any other. Main Street is closed to vehicle traffic where vendors, artists and crafters from all over the area come to show off their work.

The main attraction, however, is just down the block from town square, where people line up for hours to watch the annual Punkin’ Roll. Centered on Phillips St (locally known as Frogtown Rd), the annual Punkin’ Roll is one of the most participated in events all year. Bring a pumpkin of your own, or buy one on site, then wait for your number to be called and then let it roll. Pumpkinfest 2014-02 Saturday, October 25th, beginning at 9 am and running throughout the day, Pumpkinfest offers a full day of fun and activities, with so much to do and see, you’ll want to get there early and stay all day for the great food, costume contests, screaming contest, magic show, the Punkin’ Roll and more.

For a full list of the day’s activities and schedule of events, please visit the 18th Annual Pumpkinfest website at www.pumpkinfestfranklin.com and for information about Franklin and all the great things to see and do while you’re here, please visit the Franklin NC Chamber of Commerce website at www.franklin-chamber.com.

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Fall Colors Surround Us

Fall Colors

Cullasaja Falls on 10-13-14

Leaf season is in full swing. Although a severe storm system passed through the area Tuesday, bringing heavy rains and strong winds, many of the colors that make this part of the mountains very popular this time of year, are still hanging on. Some lower elevations have not yet reached their peak, so there’s plenty of color to see and with all the rain we received, our rivers and waterfalls will also be supplying lots of “wows” to visitors old and new.

Once you’ve been out peeping at the colors and need to change the scenery, stop by the Macon County Community Building for the 25th Annual Leaf Lookers Gemboree, being held this weekend, Friday, October 17 through Sunday, October 19.


The Leaf Lookers Gemboree will feature a wide variety of items including fine finished jewelry, rough and cut gems, minerals, fossils, fashion jewelry and collectibles.  Dealers will also be available to custom make that special piece of jewelry you’ve always dreamed of or for the upcoming holiday season.

“Dealers who attend our Gemborees return year after year because the Franklin shows are among the best in the country,” said Linda Harbuck, Executive Director of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce.  “We carefully select the dealers who attend to make sure we have just about anything folks could be looking for.”  Harbuck added that special displays setup by the Gem & Mineral Society of Franklin add great value to this show in contrast to similar shows in the southeast.

Admission price is only $2.00 with those under the age of 12 admitted free.  Hours for the 25th Annual Leaf Lookers Gemboree are from 10:00am to 5:00pm Friday and Saturday, 11:00am to 4:00pm on Sunday.  For more information contact the Franklin Chamber of Commerce at 828-524-3161 or toll-free at 800-336-7829.

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Shadow of the Bear

Shadow of the Bear

Each fall, a legend makes an appearance just off Highway 64, between Highlands and Cashiers, NC known as the Shadow of the Bear. In the valley below Whiteside Mountain, for a few weeks, from mid-October through early November, as the sun sets behind you to the west, the shadow casts down onto the valley and begins to take shape. For some, this is an annual pilgrimage, seeking the shadow and watching it take shape from the Rhodes Big View Overlook. It takes a sunny day to see the shadow and the shape starts to form around 5:30 pm. From there, the shadow begins to take shape and lasts for about 30 minutes. To ensure you’ll be able secure a spot to view Shadow of the Bear, you’ll want to arrive about an hour to an hour and a half before sunset.

Your journey to see the elusive bear starts in Franklin, heading up Hwy 64 E/Highlands Road through the Nantahala National Forest into downtown Highlands. Follow the signs for 64 E/Cashiers Rd by making a left turn in the center of Highlands. From there, it is approximately 5.5 miles to the overlook, there are two parking areas, one on either side of the road. Although the Shadow of the Bear is not as popular as some other naturally occurring phenomenon, it does bring out numerous onlookers and photographers hoping to capture the beauty of the autumn leaves that paint the valley floor and create a colorful “bed” for the bear to lay its head down for another autumns evening’s rest.

Crowds gather early, so be prepared

Crowds gather early, so be prepared

The Shadow of the Bear does make an appearance earlier in the year, from mid-February to early March, so if you will be in the area, it would be a great time to see it with a much smaller crowd. No matter which time you’re able to see this unique event, it is a definite must see whenever you’re visiting the great mountains of western North Carolina.

For more information about leaf season and some of the great opportunities to get out and enjoy this Fall weather and the beautiful colors all around, please check out the Franklin Chamber of Commerce’s website at http://www.franklin-chamber.com/ or connect with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/franklinchamber. Have a safe and wonderful week!

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Gingerbread House Making Demonstration

Gingerbread House

One of the nostalgic symbols of the Christmas season is the time honored construction of the Gingerbread House. The smell of the gingerbread fills the air, turning everyone within its reach into a helper, knowing full well that they are hoping to sneak a taste.

The Franklin Chamber of Commerce, in association with Main Street Bakery, is offering a  “How To Create A Gingerbread House” Seminar on Tuesday, October 7 at 6:00 pm.  The seminar will take place in the Underground Franklin Event Center below the Main Street Bakery on Main Street in Downtown Franklin.

Tony Hernandez, of Main Street Bakery, will be conducting the class. He has over 30 years of experience in baking and will be offering handouts with recipes for gingerbread and royal icing.  He will demonstrate baking and assembling techniques for the base of the house and decorating tips.  Gingerbread dough will also be available for purchase.

This seminar is FREE thanks to Andrews Auld Heating and Cooling, Inc.  Everyone is welcome.  Please RSVP by calling the Franklin Chamber of Commerce at 828-524-3161.

Once you have created your gingerbread house, enter it into the gingerbread house competition that will be on display in Town Hall’s lower level.  The entries will be on display during Winter Wonderland December 5 & 12.  Entry forms will be available at the seminar, the Franklin Chamber of Commerce and online at www.franklin-chamber.com.

Light refreshments will be served.  We hope to see you there!

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AT Community Honors Franklin Chamber of Commerce

Photo: Bill Van Horn- ATCC co-chair, Linda Harbuck- CoC Executive Director, Kristina Moe- ATCC co-chair, Olga Pader- ATCC member, Cindy Cavender- CoC Special Events coordinator and Marketing Director, Diane Baldwin- CoC Administrative Assistant, David Lippy- ATCC member.

Photo: Bill Van Horn- ATCC co-chair, Linda Harbuck- CoC Executive Director, Kristina Moe- ATCC co-chair, Olga Pader- ATCC member, Cindy Cavender- CoC Special Events coordinator and Marketing Director, Diane Baldwin- CoC Administrative Assistant, David Lippy- ATCC member.

The Franklin Chamber of Commerce was recently recognized for its support to the Appalachian Trail Community Program by a visit from AT Community Committee members.  Since Franklin’s formal designation in March 2010 as an A.T. Community the  Chamber has helped build public awareness about the significant resources and economic opportunities the Appalachian National Scenic Trail brings to Franklin as an A.T. Community.  The Chamber highlights Franklin as an AT Community in the New Comers Guide along with AT hike information, and they provide space for an AT display in the Chamber building.

The A.T. Community Supporter Program is offered by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as part of its A.T. Community Program.  The Community Supporter Program highlights non-profits, organizations, and businesses that provide support to the hiking community, the Appalachian Trail and/or the ATC by recognizing participating entities as “A.T. Community Supporters.”  Once designated the “Supporter” is recognized with a window decal, certificate and highlighted on the ATC web site.

For more information contact Justin Setzer at jsetzer@franklinnc.com the Town of Franklin member on the AT Community Committee or atcommunity@appalachiantrail.org.

For more information about the Franklin Chamber of Commerce and all the great opportunities to get involved in the community, please visit the Chamber’s website at http://www.franklin-chamber.com/

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61st Annual Macon County Fair

Macon Co Fair

The official opening ceremony for the 61st Annual Macon County Agricultural Fair was held Wednesday at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center at the Macon County Fairgrounds at 1pm. A busy week ahead for all of the entrants in the competitions is on tap with judging in the Arts and Crafts and the floral competitions having already been done. You can check out all of the entrants and see all the winning entries every day for the remainder of the week through Saturday, September 20th.

The gates open at 9 am Thursday through Saturday and close at 9 pm.

For a complete listing and schedule of events at this year’s Macon County Agricultural Fair, please visit their website at http://themaconcofair.com/schedule-events/

The Macon County Agricultural Fair is one of the truly Agricultural only fairs left in North Carolina. There’s a rich history of agriculture in Macon County and the annual fair highlights the role it has had in shaping our great community. Don’t be fooled, there will be plenty of entertainment and a variety of competitions throughout the duration of the fair, something different is happening every night. Here are a few of the highlights from the schedule:

Thursday, September 18

5:00 p.m……………………….Dairy Cattle Show, Show Arena                                                     6:00 p.m. ……………………..Cross-Cut Saw Demonstration, Field                                                   6:00 p.m. ……………………..Entertainment, Pavilion                                                                   6:30 p.m. ……………………..Market Lambs, Junior Show, Show                                                   7:00 p.m. ……………………..Rabbit Show, Rabbit Area                                                                       7:30 p.m. ……………………..Goat Show, Show Arena                                                                   9:00 p.m. ……………………..Doors Close to Public

Friday September 19th

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. …….Kids Pedal Tractor Registration at the                                                                                                 entrance to the Livestock Barn                                                              4:30 p.m. ………………………Entertainment, Pavilion                                                                        6:00 p.m. – until …………….Kids Pedal Tractor Pull                                                                                                                           entrance to Livestock Barn                                                                    6:30 p.m. ……………………..Market Lamb                                                                                                                                             (Costume Contest & Obstacle Course)                                                                                                  Show Arena                                                                                                9:00 p.m. ……………………..Doors Close to Public

Don’t forget that there’s also lots of great food, arts & crafts, and many local vendors out at the fair as well. Don’t miss a great opportunity to discover something new, or visit with some old friends, come see it all, at the fair!

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The Macon County Fair is Back!

Macon County Fair Sept 17-20, 2014

Macon County Fair Sept 17-20, 2014

The Macon County Agricultural Fair will open its doors for another exciting four days from Wednesday September 17th through Saturday September 20th at the Macon County Fairgrounds. Along with entertainment at the pavilion, there will be Pet Shows, Poultry Shows, Livestock Shows and so much more. In the back area of the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center, you will find this years educational booths, along with the many entrants from the children from all over Macon County. There will also be some great local vendors, crafters and artisans with wonderfully unique products and services for you to look at and sometimes get your hands on for a test “run”.

Other areas of the Macon County Agricultural Fair are the floral, art, and photography contests. Entries will be received on Tuesday, September 16th from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. No exhibits will be accepted after Tuesday. Once the doors open Wednesday at noon, you’ll be able to browse through all the winners and almost winners in each category and judge for yourself as well. Take your time walking around the educational booths, learning a little more about how things were done in a simpler time, and what we can pull from the ingenuity of those who came before us.

Don’t forget to walk around the animal’s enclosures and see how the animals are taken care of and how much work truly goes into taking care of just one animal in a herd of them, and compare that to the enormity of a working farm Our eyes can be opened a bit wider each year as we watch the young men and women of FFA, local farms and farming families all take part in the Macon County Agricultural Fair.

A full schedule of events can be found at  http://themaconcofair.com/schedule-events/ and for more information about other happenings in Macon County, Franklin, NC for this coming weekend, please visit the Chamber of Commerce website here http://www.franklin-chamber.com/

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Art on Main


Saturday September 6th

Art on Main is this Saturday, September 6th

The Macon County Art Association is having it’s monthly “Art on Main” event this Saturday, downtown Franklin, from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. There will be all types of painting and photography, as well as other artisans and crafters from Franklin and the surrounding areas, showing off their work and adding some mountain flare to the town square area. Art on Main is sponsored by the Macon County Art Association and brought to you by the Arts Council of Macon County and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

While you’re exploring all of the work from the many talented artists, make your way down Main Street, where you’ll find many other locally unique shops, restaurants and merchants. Visit the local historical locations, such as the clock tower, old jail and the Scottish Tartan Museum and travel back in time at the Macon County Historical Society Museum, where you can get a feel for how things were back in the “good old days”.

As the Art on Main begins to wrap up at 4:00 pm, you’ll start to see another group of folks setting up at the gazebo, as Town Square is transformed into a musical venue for the weekly Pickin’ on the Square concert series. This week, Ms. Kitty and the Big City Band will bring the sounds of Motown and the blues to take you back in time with a wonderful variety of musical sounds. Open mic starts at 6:30 pm with the main show starting at 7:30 pm.  Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair!

You can literally fill your day with history, art, music and more in downtown Franklin this Saturday and we invite you to make this Saturday a day for you to see, touch and hear the sounds of small town America that most places wish for.

For more information about all things Franklin, please the Chamber’s website at http://www.franklin-chamber.com/ where there is a calendar of events and information about all the other fun things you can do while you’re out seeking adventure!


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Happy Labor Day!

Pickens Nose

Labor Day weekend signals that the end of Summer is drawing near. Time seems to be moving faster and faster and the calendar is a little less forgiving each year. School buses are back on the road in Macon County and the classrooms are alive with the spirit of teaching and learning. The most colorful time of the year, leaf season, is literally weeks away.

If you haven’t already, we hope you’ll make your plans to spend this last three day weekend of the summer here in Franklin, exploring the sights of the many downtown stores that are clearing way for their fall inventory. Take a walk down the historic streets and visit the museums and art galleries that bring to life the history and the majestic beauty of our quiet, quaint town. Check out your favorite hiking trail, or discover a new one, on one of the many close to town trails, the most famous one being the Appalachian Trail, that is little less than 15 miles from downtown Franklin. Of course, what weekend would be complete without a drive up Highlands Road to see the green in glory and hear the rush of the Cullasaja River flowing over the sides of the most beautiful waterfalls in western North Carolina!

Take a step back and enjoy all there is to see and do here in Franklin, NC. We hope you have a safe, fun and relaxing Labor Day weekend and we look forward to seeing you again as the leaves change their hue and the magical colors of fall soon begin to shine!

For more information about all there is to see and do here in Franklin, please visit the Franklin Chamber of Commerce’s website at http://www.franklin-chamber.com/

Posted in Activities, Appalachian Trail, Franklin, Hiking, Leisure, Museums, Music, Recreation, Scenic Drives, Summer, Waterfalls, Wildlife | Leave a comment

CareNet and The Chamber say Thank You

Over 300lbs of Pork Donated

Over 300lbs of Pork Donated

The 6th Annual Mountain High BBQ Festival and Car Show was another tastefully successful event this year, and nothing said it more than with the incredible dontations of time, money and resources by both the Kansas City Barbecue Society and all the cook teams that made a donation of over 300lbs of cooked pork butt to CareNet right here in Franklin.

The KCBS began a program called 100KCBS Meals Mission, with the purpose of the initiative to feed 100,000 people this year. The Franklin Chamber of Commerce, with the approval of the KCBS team, purchased 50 Boston Butts from a local supermarket and asked that teams participating in this year’s Mountain High BBQ Festival to prepare them for turn in and turn over to CareNet on Saturday, August 9th. When all was said and done, there was over 300lbs of meat prepared for pickup.

In all, there were 53 teams who participated in this years BBQ Festival with 39 Pro teams and 14 Back Yard teams. Each team that was able, took the pork butts and prepared them, did so on top of the preparation of each of their entries for the competition. Scott Moreitz, Director of Operations for CareNet of Franklin said “We appreciate greatly what the BBQ teams did in preparing and bringing a wonderful new food item to the people who come in and utilize CareNet’s services”. He added “BBQ is not something that we can readily prepare here in our kitchen and the amount of time that goes into its cooking is so lengthy, that it’s not conducive to the services we provide. Thanks to the donation, we’ve been able to add a tasty treat to our menu for our hot meals”.

CareNet of Franklin is a food pantry for those in need. Once a month they can receive a box of food and items to help get them through, but, they can come in for perishable food each day, and while there, can receive a hot meal from the CareNet Cafe. That is where the BBQ donation has helped so much. To date, the folks at CareNet have served approximately 300 meals using the donated meat and in all, believe there will be somewhere in the area of 600 meals served from just this one donation.

For more information about how you can help or donate to CareNet of Franklin, please give them a call at 828-369-2642 or stop by their building on Bidwell Street in downtown Franklin.

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