To start today’s episode off, Joseph introduces the topic of the episode, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. He shares some exciting news, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was once again the most visited national park in 2020. The Great Smoky Mountains Association is creating a podcast discussing the intersection between black history and Appalachian music. Joseph goes on to discuss more of the contents of this upcoming podcast such as guests and topics. Joseph introduces today’s guest, Leslie Hart, the communications manager at the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Leslie grew up in North Carolina, moving around during and post-college, but making her way back home afterward. She started her career in radio, getting her first job in radio during college. At one point she even worked at a radio station back in Asheville. Leslie talks a little about her time working at Biltmore. She talks about working in Kanuga when the remake of dirty dancing was shooting there. Leslie discusses how she came to work for the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, citing her love of their mission, preserving the area. Their non-profit helps to take care of the Western North Carolina region. The foundation is partially funded by the federal government, but they also match every dollar donated through grants and partnerships.


Coming back from the break Joseph asks the question of why the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area exists. On top of its national beauty, this area has its own cultures which are preserved by the foundation Leslie works with. Much of this distinction comes from the fact that this area is the ancestral home of the Cherokee. Through their grants program, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area helps fund projects in the area. Leslie provides examples of some of these projects. In addition to funding local projects, they host cultural programs. Joseph talks about a project the GSMA is working on and asks if it’s the kind of thing Leslie’s organization would take on. The two discuss some of the cultural programs the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area puts on. There are also lots of farmers’ markets all throughout the area. The two talk a little about a shared love of theirs, beekeeping. Leslie talks about some of the itineraries they make, such as the blue ridge craft trails, that lead visitors to artists in the region. Other itineraries include experiences leading to things such as wineries and craft beers. In addition to having pre-made itineraries, their website has an itinerary builder. The pre-made itineraries start with conversations with the community, helping to find artists to be included. After doing research, site visits are done.


Next, the two move on to music trails. These trails lead visitors to live music in the mountains. Leslie talks about foundations that have supported the craft trails. Leslie talks more about the mission of these trails, helping to connect with these artists and helping the communities connect with the artists. She moves on to discuss the challenges they faced in working on this project during the pandemic but making it by on zoom. She talks about meeting the artists, on their website it gives details on the artists, noting details such as whether their hours are open or if you need an appointment to visit. She talks a little more in depth about the variety of art that can be found on these trails. Not only are the trails in the bigger towns such as Asheville, but they are in smaller towns too. She talks about business getting involved in these trails, reaching out to her specifically. Joseph discusses the art at the Meadowlark Motel.


Coming into the last segment, Joseph asks how the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area promotes the Smokies. On their website, they promote the park, with some of the itineraries leading visitors through the park. Moving on, she discusses the future of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Much of the near future pertains to finishing the craft trails project. Leslie shouts out supporters of the foundation. To end the episode, Joseph talks about some of the projects he is working on.


00:00:27.120 –> 00:00:32.160 Joseph McElroy: howdy thanks for joining us on this week’s episode of gateway to the smoke.

00:00:33.210 –> 00:00:41.010 Joseph McElroy: This podcast is about America’s most visited National Park, the great smoky mountains national park, and surrounding towns.

00:00:41.490 –> 00:00:50.430 Joseph McElroy: This area is filled with ancient natural beauty a deep story in history and a rich mountain culture that we explore weekly episodes.

00:00:50.940 –> 00:01:03.990 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklin McElroy a man of the world, but also with deep roots in these mountains my family is living the great smokies for over 200 years my business is in travel, but my heart is in culture.

00:01:04.800 –> 00:01:11.730 Joseph McElroy: today’s episode we’re going to learn about the blue Ridge national heritage area and the blue Ridge crap trail.

00:01:12.360 –> 00:01:35.760 Joseph McElroy: The first and little news and I’m not in my intro I’m always mentioning that it’s the most visited National Park well in 2020 it is again the great smoky mountain National Park, is the most visited National Park in the nation with over 12.1 million visits and that’s quadruple.

00:01:37.110 –> 00:01:43.080 Joseph McElroy: The number of visits in the second place Yellowstone National Park that had 3.8 million visitors.

00:01:43.620 –> 00:01:59.250 Joseph McElroy: however there’s another National Park park service unit in the smoky mountain area that is the number one of all the national park service units it’s not a national park, but is part of the national park service.

00:02:00.630 –> 00:02:01.350 Joseph McElroy: Operating.

00:02:02.490 –> 00:02:15.390 Joseph McElroy: domain and that is the Blue Ridge Parkway and it’s number one it recorded 14.1 million visits, making it the most popular National Park service unit.

00:02:17.250 –> 00:02:25.530 Joseph McElroy: You know the smokies superintendent is very proud of these accomplishments and we had a couple of bad months there, but that it boom it really exploded.

00:02:26.460 –> 00:02:43.110 Joseph McElroy: big concerns we got to work at worry about is that people you know, are not necessarily taking care when their parking and things like that it’s been a little bit more full of litter and damage roadside so people out there yeah pay attention to parking and do it in a responsible manner.

00:02:45.300 –> 00:02:58.080 Joseph McElroy: So pretty proud of that also I want to talk about but there’s a great smoky mountains association has a new podcast exclusive series which I think is pretty society.

00:02:58.500 –> 00:03:10.680 Joseph McElroy: they’re going to explore black Appalachian music it’s a six-part podcast miniseries exploring the intersection of black history and Southern Appalachian music.

00:03:12.000 –> 00:03:20.670 Joseph McElroy: The first one is going to be called CPA cons I think it’s already launched exploring black Appalachian music is hosted by Dr. William Turner.

00:03:20.970 –> 00:03:33.750 Joseph McElroy: and told Ted Olson surveying the many black roots and branches of southern Appalachian music by sharing research listening to recordings of interviewing contemporary black musicians and experts in music history.

00:03:34.890 –> 00:03:35.190 Joseph McElroy:

00:03:36.330 –> 00:03:44.160 Joseph McElroy: It is available it’s now it’s called smoky mountain air and it’s on GSA MAIs existing podcast.

00:03:45.330 –> 00:03:56.550 Joseph McElroy: And it’s actually premiered just about the beginning of April, and it will it’ll be focused on the neglected emphasis contributions to their country and blues.

00:03:56.910 –> 00:04:05.070 Joseph McElroy: And I’ll have some featured guests include loyal Jones Jane Liga and sparky record and then the remaining five episodes are released through.

00:04:06.990 –> 00:04:19.110 Joseph McElroy: And will cover topics such as the complex history of black music in East Tennessee black sacred music black women musician and the diverse landscape of music communities in southern Appalachian.

00:04:19.740 –> 00:04:26.550 Joseph McElroy: And one of our early podcasts on the gateway to the smokies podcasts we talked about various contributions to.

00:04:27.780 –> 00:04:45.720 Joseph McElroy: Music in the smokies and we talked about West African contribution, especially with the banjo which came from West Africa and how that introduced a sort of a rhythm to the music that you know, made it, you know much more popular.

00:04:47.490 –> 00:04:55.020 Joseph McElroy: So anyway I’m pretty happy about that and be sure to listen to it like a great podcast premiering in the area.

00:04:56.160 –> 00:05:05.130 Joseph McElroy: So our guest today is Leslie Hartly she is the communications manager of the Blue Ridge national character dairy-based national.

00:05:05.820 –> 00:05:11.460 Joseph McElroy: She has spent most of her career in tourism and nonprofit fields in Western North Carolina.

00:05:11.880 –> 00:05:20.760 Joseph McElroy: She is enjoying more than 10 years and professional marketing and communications leadership roles, she is the Communications Manager at the Blue Ridge National.

00:05:21.300 –> 00:05:33.450 Joseph McElroy: Heritage area, which is an actual-based nonprofit that serves as a steward of Western North Carolina’s natural and cultural treasures so hi Leslie so how are you doing.

00:05:35.010 –> 00:05:36.990 Leslie Hartley: How are you doing good to see you.

00:05:37.140 –> 00:05:41.580 Joseph McElroy: it’s good to see you too, so so did you grew up in Western North Carolina.

00:05:42.180 –> 00:05:52.530 Leslie Hartley: You know, actually, I was born in western North Carolina in Hickory which is at least used to be known as the furniture capital of the world and.

00:05:53.640 –> 00:05:59.280 Leslie Hartley: I did grow up in Western North Carolina and a black town right outside of Asheville.

00:05:59.700 –> 00:06:02.880 Joseph McElroy: So then, you went all the way to Minnesota three masters.

00:06:03.810 –> 00:06:08.100 Leslie Hartley: that’s true scholarships can be a strong pole.

00:06:08.310 –> 00:06:10.860 Leslie Hartley: And also wanted to experience a completely different.

00:06:11.640 –> 00:06:23.550 Leslie Hartley: Environment and I sure did so I got to travel around some and then I was ready to call North Carolina home again I missed the green trees and.

00:06:25.380 –> 00:06:29.880 Leslie Hartley: just the beauty of Western North Carolina called me home.

00:06:30.420 –> 00:06:34.620 Joseph McElroy: So you ended up working in radio for a little while when you came back right.

00:06:35.100 –> 00:06:46.740 Leslie Hartley: I did actually I started in radio public radio in College as an internship and then moved on to have a job in that and was fortunate enough to work at.

00:06:48.210 –> 00:06:54.900 Leslie Hartley: A WCUS which now is blue Ridge public radio in Asheville for a few years, as their morning edition host.

00:06:55.620 –> 00:06:59.460 Joseph McElroy: Was that a news sort of a program or was it.

00:07:00.090 –> 00:07:12.150 Leslie Hartley: that’s their morning edition is the national news for public radio and I handled the local hosting of that yeah that’s great.

00:07:12.360 –> 00:07:16.320 Joseph McElroy: cool I think I listened to that station that they have some music programs on there right also.

00:07:16.710 –> 00:07:17.340 Leslie Hartley: They do.

00:07:17.610 –> 00:07:19.350 Joseph McElroy: I think I think there’s an article.

00:07:19.350 –> 00:07:19.680 Leslie Hartley: That.

00:07:19.980 –> 00:07:29.430 Joseph McElroy: They had some cool music there, I think I liked the music that in western North Carolina public station there are a couple of different ones, and now they are really.

00:07:30.510 –> 00:07:32.100 Joseph McElroy: eclectic I thought yeah.

00:07:32.430 –> 00:07:38.430 Joseph McElroy: Yes, so, then you were built more states that must be a challenging job you were there, six years?

00:07:39.300 –> 00:07:50.040 Leslie Hartley: um I love that job was it was a really good experience um yeah I was there for six years, I felt I felt really fortunate to be a part of the marketing team there and.

00:07:51.360 –> 00:08:00.510 Leslie Hartley: I focused on online content, which was a new term back then now everyone, everyone is wanting content.

00:08:00.900 –> 00:08:01.230 Because.

00:08:02.790 –> 00:08:04.800 Leslie Hartley: content is king that’s right.

00:08:04.980 –> 00:08:12.180 Joseph McElroy: I wrote, I wrote another podcast called wise content in my line is content is king, but why is content rules, the world.

00:08:15.510 –> 00:08:27.180 Joseph McElroy: yeah well bill more does a pretty good job I guess you would help set all that up and they really you know saturate the Internet with good content about what they do my thing.

00:08:27.810 –> 00:08:35.190 Leslie Hartley: Right yeah they’re a top-notch group there’s no doubt about it, and they have an excellent mission to really.

00:08:36.450 –> 00:08:43.560 Leslie Hartley: protect that place of it’s still the largest America’s largest home.

00:08:44.760 –> 00:08:47.070 Leslie Hartley: So it’s a beautiful place if you haven’t been there.

00:08:47.400 –> 00:08:53.670 Joseph McElroy: Oh I’ve been there, love the place, and then yeah they have all those gardens and have noticed the most visited winery in the world.

00:08:53.970 –> 00:08:54.660 Yes.

00:08:55.860 –> 00:08:56.250 Joseph McElroy: Right.

00:08:58.350 –> 00:09:04.830 Joseph McElroy: So, then, I saw this is an interesting thing you are working, I think, for connoting Cayuga conferences.

00:09:06.600 –> 00:09:11.160 Joseph McElroy: And when they came and rebuild dirty dancing there was that fun.

00:09:12.360 –> 00:09:28.920 Leslie Hartley: that’s true I’m Jennifer Lopez, and others were in the remake of dirty dancing and iconic film and canoe that has these wonderful little cottages that were.

00:09:29.700 –> 00:09:45.870 Leslie Hartley: designed and built in the early 1900s and has a lake it was just the perfect setting to recreate the movie if you’re familiar with the movie it’s set in a New York, I want to say the Catskills maybe.

00:09:47.550 –> 00:09:48.930 Leslie Hartley: yeah and.

00:09:49.470 –> 00:09:57.210 Leslie Hartley: Anyway, it was interesting to have the full crew, the whole place was basically taken.

00:09:57.540 –> 00:10:03.240 Leslie Hartley: For by the film crew and everyone was very gracious it was a good experience.

00:10:03.600 –> 00:10:16.500 Joseph McElroy: Well, Western North Carolina is a great as a great place for doing a lot of films, they do a lot of fields out there, so that’s not surprised I think they actually did the original film at like lower area.

00:10:16.890 –> 00:10:32.730 Leslie Hartley: Some parts of it were def yeah that’s right you’re exactly right the thing that the very well known and often imitated lift seen in the lake I believe was filmed in.

00:10:34.020 –> 00:10:34.890 Leslie Hartley: In lake lower.

00:10:35.220 –> 00:10:40.380 Joseph McElroy: yeah cool so how did you end up at the blue Ridge national heritage area.

00:10:41.130 –> 00:10:49.500 Leslie Hartley: Well um I really love their mission of wanting to protect and preserve this region that I love.

00:10:50.580 –> 00:11:03.780 Leslie Hartley: And the natural resources, the cultural treasures are important to them, and I really loved the idea of being a part of a nonprofit that had a passionate mission and something that I believed in.

00:11:04.800 –> 00:11:13.740 Leslie Hartley: So I joined them on a contract basis, a few years ago and I’ve been in this role for about two years and.

00:11:13.770 –> 00:11:18.210 Joseph McElroy: Can you tell us tell the listeners, what is the Blue Ridge National Heritage area.

00:11:18.720 –> 00:11:28.890 Leslie Hartley: yeah that’s a great question um about 17 years ago the Western North Carolina region was designated a place of.

00:11:29.880 –> 00:11:44.850 Leslie Hartley: National significance or region of national significance because of the distinct character, culture, and the natural beauty, that you can only find the mountains and foothills of North Carolina and so that’s.

00:11:46.410 –> 00:11:57.480 Leslie Hartley: Our nonprofit organization, the Blue Ridge national heritage area partnership we take help take care of Western North Carolina this region.

00:11:57.690 –> 00:11:59.520 Joseph McElroy: hmm and that was.

00:12:00.540 –> 00:12:03.960 Joseph McElroy: That was by the Congress yeah that was at the national level right.

00:12:04.440 –> 00:12:07.800 Leslie Hartley: that’s correct yeah at the federal level.

00:12:08.640 –> 00:12:13.440 Joseph McElroy: And that is, it is significant funding that you get every year from the United government.

00:12:14.880 –> 00:12:18.570 Leslie Hartley: We are very grateful to receive

00:12:20.190 –> 00:12:24.000 Leslie Hartley: the foundation of funds from the Federal Government and

00:12:25.200 –> 00:12:33.630 Leslie Hartley: it is how we are funded partially we but I’ll tell you that every dollar we receive we

00:12:36.300 –> 00:12:47.250 Leslie Hartley: have to match one to one but we often go to the one at the very least in our matching and we do that through grants and partnerships.

00:12:48.090 –> 00:12:56.520 Joseph McElroy: Alright cool well when we come back, I want to talk more about why it exists and what makes it the state all right.

00:12:56.850 –> 00:12:58.410 Leslie Hartley: Okay sounds good, thank you.

00:15:58.290 –> 00:16:12.450 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts and My guess Leslie hardly so Leslie so we’re talking about the blue Ridge national heritage area and it’s 25.

00:16:13.050 –> 00:16:22.140 Joseph McElroy: counties in western North Carolina, why does it exist in that form, why those 25 characters Carroll counties, why was it created.

00:16:23.940 –> 00:16:26.640 Leslie Hartley: yeah that’s a great question um.

00:16:27.960 –> 00:16:35.910 Leslie Hartley: we’re talking about the mountains in the foothills that you find in the western part of North Carolina and it was deemed.

00:16:36.240 –> 00:16:48.600 Leslie Hartley: As it is an area that’s distinct with natural beauty cultural traditions that you only find in this area, and those are living traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation.

00:16:49.050 –> 00:17:00.450 Leslie Hartley: And our nonprofit the blue Ridge national heritage area partnership serves as the steward of that footprint, we have the mission of.

00:17:02.820 –> 00:17:10.470 Leslie Hartley: texting preserving and thoughtfully promoting the natural and cultural resources here in our region.

00:17:11.070 –> 00:17:21.240 Leslie Hartley: um you know, and you can ask you know why is it distinct and when you think about it, Joseph it’s we’ve got the highest mountain East of the Mississippi with mount Mitchell.

00:17:21.810 –> 00:17:34.020 Leslie Hartley: The oldest river in North America, with the new river, you had mentioned at the top of your show the most visited national parklands in the country with the great smokies and now the Blue Ridge parkway.

00:17:36.390 –> 00:17:47.850 Leslie Hartley: itself getting over 14 million visitors last year, and also importantly, where the ancestral home of the Cherokee and Western North Carolina.

00:17:48.540 –> 00:17:52.290 Joseph McElroy: So that’s what I guess that might make the difference, I was trying to figure out why.

00:17:52.770 –> 00:18:06.210 Joseph McElroy: it’s not also cleaning say East Tennessee some counties there as well as some counties in Virginia, but I guess the Cherokee cultural tradition is also and critically important to make a distinct right.

00:18:07.860 –> 00:18:08.370 Leslie Hartley: True.

00:18:08.760 –> 00:18:10.230 Leslie Hartley: yeah yeah.

00:18:10.590 –> 00:18:15.360 Joseph McElroy: Alright cool um So what do you do to serve the Western North Carolina.

00:18:16.440 –> 00:18:18.000 Leslie Hartley: Well, we um.

00:18:19.830 –> 00:18:25.770 Leslie Hartley: We do this, we serve as a steward through, we have a grants program where we support.

00:18:26.820 –> 00:18:34.200 Leslie Hartley: organizations in our region with projects that will help further the traditions or.

00:18:36.510 –> 00:18:40.110 Leslie Hartley: Not just the traditions but also may enhance.

00:18:41.520 –> 00:18:52.890 Leslie Hartley: The cultural assets as well, I mean, excuse me, the national Nash natural assets as well say for exists example we just provided a grant to help.

00:18:54.480 –> 00:19:08.850 Leslie Hartley: The Cherokee in the quality boundary create an aviary for eagles for injured eagles and we have provided that grant for them to do the research to make that happen.

00:19:10.050 –> 00:19:25.680 Leslie Hartley: Of course, the eagle feathers would be used ceremonially and the eagles will be taken care of now it’ll be the first one, on the whole, east coast that exists that kind of gives you an idea of one of the things we’ve done, we also.

00:19:26.730 –> 00:19:31.350 Leslie Hartley: Recently, helped fund the Nina Simone.

00:19:34.530 –> 00:19:50.790 Leslie Hartley: park in Tryon North Carolina, which is the side of where she grew up a good part of her where she grew up was right here in Western North Carolina and Nina Simone, of course, being the iconic jazz singer jazz and blues singer.

00:19:52.470 –> 00:19:55.890 Leslie Hartley: And um anyway sorry.

00:19:57.330 –> 00:19:57.630 Leslie Hartley: yeah.

00:19:57.660 –> 00:19:58.410 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah.

00:19:58.770 –> 00:20:02.730 Leslie Hartley: samples that are trying to give you a sense of the flavor where we’re coming from.

00:20:03.690 –> 00:20:09.240 Leslie Hartley: We do this grants program we also have the training and we have cultural programming as well.

00:20:10.320 –> 00:20:17.940 Joseph McElroy: of us, you know you said, we often think is I didn’t even discover that you know, I was in one of.

00:20:19.200 –> 00:20:25.470 Joseph McElroy: One of my early projects was I worked with Nina Simone, young daughter, to create.

00:20:26.070 –> 00:20:27.450 Joseph McElroy: Their website.

00:20:27.450 –> 00:20:29.850 Joseph McElroy: For the Nina Simone foundation, the first website.

00:20:31.110 –> 00:20:31.530 Joseph McElroy: So.

00:20:32.910 –> 00:20:39.450 Joseph McElroy: yeah so you caught me off guard because I missed that little tidbit of trivia that been great to know.

00:20:40.560 –> 00:20:47.880 Joseph McElroy: So, but I knew that there was some relevance to this area for Nina Simone I love Nina Simone that’s fantastic.

00:20:49.740 –> 00:21:00.570 Joseph McElroy: And the eagle you know the thing is pretty good, you know that I just had Francis figured here on from the great smoky mountains, associations and they’re trying to get.

00:21:01.590 –> 00:21:14.310 Joseph McElroy: Yes, you know the talking about the issues here talking about books, but the big ones are about you know the problem with the interstates and not having put bridges for animals to go across.

00:21:14.790 –> 00:21:21.390 Joseph McElroy: Right is that something that you guys might also get involved with I mean I’s not asking for promise anything

00:21:21.390 –> 00:21:39.120 Leslie Hartley: Because you do not know yeah I can’t promise that um you know that sounds like a Department of Transportation potential project but I’m not sure we just haven’t been i’m familiar with what you’re talking about and to me personally, they sound like a great idea.

00:21:39.690 –> 00:21:42.720 Leslie Hartley: And I think they’re doing that in California now right.

00:21:43.470 –> 00:21:45.570 Joseph McElroy: I that I don’t know.

00:21:45.870 –> 00:21:46.350 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

00:21:47.190 –> 00:22:00.900 Leslie Hartley: There is one, at least in California, that I saw the other day on the news but I’m sorry sounds like a great idea might be something that we would be interested in learning more about.

00:22:02.340 –> 00:22:19.830 Joseph McElroy: It so he said he said I just looking at the cultural programs you offer and they look pretty extensive the Cherokee history and heritage Appalachian craft heritage traditional music heritage historic North Carolina agricultural here’s, what do you guys do with that?

00:22:21.030 –> 00:22:30.030 Leslie Hartley: Well, we really help spread the word about the agricultural traditions, through our website at

00:22:31.020 –> 00:22:43.230 Leslie Hartley: you know we have a rich obviously a rich agricultural heritage here and that continues today not only with what you would think of as traditional farming, but we have.

00:22:44.880 –> 00:22:49.170 Leslie Hartley: An ever-growing amount of farmer’s markets in the local towns.

00:22:51.720 –> 00:22:51.930 Joseph McElroy: fee.

00:22:52.080 –> 00:22:55.050 Leslie Hartley: waivers wineries now it’s expanded.

00:22:55.080 –> 00:22:55.560 Leslie Hartley: Even.

00:22:55.620 –> 00:23:06.120 Leslie Hartley: We have a vehicle, we have two viticulture areas in western North Carolina in the Henderson County area and then up in the Yakima Valley area as well wow.

00:23:06.330 –> 00:23:14.970 Joseph McElroy: You know, ways well, what has the Waynesville in the county that I have my business in his garden what the one that historic farmers markets.

00:23:15.480 –> 00:23:22.080 Joseph McElroy: And yes, it’s kind of cute and you know, I was a beekeeper back and they said when seeing your BP.

00:23:22.740 –> 00:23:26.100 Leslie Hartley: Oh Okay, yes that’s great yeah this.

00:23:27.660 –> 00:23:44.040 Leslie Hartley: I think it’s very much alive and well, and you see younger people taking that on and finding new ways to connect with the potential market or potential customers through the farmer’s markets and through the offering.

00:23:45.720 –> 00:23:50.940 Leslie Hartley: CSA is or where you can purchase your vegetables.

00:23:51.870 –> 00:23:53.340 Leslie Hartley: So yeah.

00:23:53.700 –> 00:23:55.860 Joseph McElroy: So I had some questions about.

00:23:57.000 –> 00:24:00.870 Joseph McElroy: You know, really interesting you offer extensive services online.

00:24:01.350 –> 00:24:15.660 Joseph McElroy: And it seems really ambitious and I just wanted to you know little bit more about that so, for example, you guys have these wonderful itineraries, how do you get those built and you accept them from partners and what what What do you know.

00:24:16.140 –> 00:24:26.040 Leslie Hartley: Well, for example, we have the Blue Ridge craft trails that we’re developing and I’d love to talk about that and talk about those itineraries and how we create them.

00:24:27.000 –> 00:24:27.330 Joseph McElroy: First.

00:24:27.510 –> 00:24:40.770 Leslie Hartley: The blue Ridge craft trails is a new initiative of ours, where we’re going through the North Carolina mountains and foothills and curating kind of a drivable trail that you can follow.

00:24:41.850 –> 00:24:56.490 Leslie Hartley: to discover these artists and studios artists galleries and studios and those 25 counties and we are creating itineraries we have a team that literally goes out visits.

00:24:57.150 –> 00:25:14.910 Leslie Hartley: these sites and takes in what’s going on in that region or what’s going on in that county and put together a suggested itinerary to not only visit with the artists but also what’s going on with the outdoor recreation.

00:25:16.140 –> 00:25:26.430 Leslie Hartley: What kind of small-town experience can you have to connect with the community whether that’s the craft beer, as I mentioned the wineries and distilleries that we have.

00:25:27.570 –> 00:25:32.280 Leslie Hartley: So we try and give you a 360 experience at least an option

00:25:33.780 –> 00:25:43.920 Leslie Hartley: to have a wonderful time it’s a great idea to a great time to get outside and kind of explore and have one on one experiences with artists.

00:25:44.010 –> 00:25:50.340 Joseph McElroy: So is that those itinerary is going to be available separately or they part of the itinerary isn’t already offered.

00:25:51.660 –> 00:25:52.320 Leslie Hartley: They are.

00:25:53.370 –> 00:26:03.270 Leslie Hartley: You can find those blue Ridge craft trails itineraries at blue Ridge craft trails calm, as well as maps and artists profiles.

00:26:04.740 –> 00:26:12.660 Leslie Hartley: But we have that’s a really good question if you go to the website you’ll see that we have suggested itineraries.

00:26:13.380 –> 00:26:29.250 Leslie Hartley: But then, Joseph we also have this itinerary builder where you can actually choose the different towns, the different types of artists, you want to visit and put it all together, we have a tool that helps put together your own customized itinerary.

00:26:29.640 –> 00:26:30.750 Joseph McElroy: Well that’s kind of cool.

00:26:30.870 –> 00:26:31.560 Leslie Hartley: It is.

00:26:32.310 –> 00:26:45.420 Joseph McElroy: yeah but again that’s you know that’s ambitious, so I mean you do, you get do you get partners and all the areas to help you or do you go out and do that you get all those little information yourself how do you find the artists.

00:26:46.470 –> 00:26:57.870 Leslie Hartley: Oh OK that’s a great question um we start with having Community input sessions and we go to the community leaders, the artist’s arts council’s of that area.

00:26:58.770 –> 00:27:13.290 Leslie Hartley: and ask for recommendations and then we have a team that’s focused right now on pulling together the blue Ridge craft drills itineraries and profiles, but and also curating that.

00:27:15.300 –> 00:27:17.250 Leslie Hartley: That trail down to.

00:27:19.260 –> 00:27:27.570 Leslie Hartley: We did that, through our own research we do research and then we do site visits and those who.

00:27:28.140 –> 00:27:45.510 Leslie Hartley: bubble up to to the top through that process or then selected to be on the trails so we, that is, we do that through partnerships in the communities as well as, then the boots on the ground is our own team.

00:27:45.780 –> 00:27:57.840 Joseph McElroy: All right, well cool, and then we come back we’ll talk more about this craft trails and I’m also hit a little bit on some music trails and some other cool stuff so we’ll talk about that later come back.

00:27:58.650 –> 00:27:59.430 Leslie Hartley: sounds good.

00:30:49.110 –> 00:30:59.760 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts with my guess Leslie hartley hey hey Leslie so.

00:31:00.420 –> 00:31:14.400 Joseph McElroy: we’re talking about mountain blue Ridge trails and we were specifically talking about the craft try, but you had a heritage partnership had a music trail before that right.

00:31:15.090 –> 00:31:23.550 Leslie Hartley: yeah we still have a very lively music trail at Blueridge and really that’s a.

00:31:25.680 –> 00:31:40.620 Leslie Hartley: it’s still very much alive at celebrating so traditional music bluegrass blues and Gospel you can find in North Carolina has mountains and foothills and I tell you, Joseph music is back live music is back our.

00:31:41.070 –> 00:31:42.270 Leslie Hartley: Yes, yeah.

00:31:43.380 –> 00:32:04.440 Leslie Hartley: Our website, we really try our best to keep up with all the live music offerings in western North Carolina and keep that up and updated so you can find from the bluff mountain festival that’s coming up to the Earl Scruggs Center picking on the square and of course merle fest.

00:32:05.580 –> 00:32:09.330 Leslie Hartley: Looking forward to that coming back in September.

00:32:09.630 –> 00:32:20.760 Joseph McElroy: I saw that I just saw online balsam range, which had one I had TIM CERT here on the show I just announced they’re gonna be part of that, so it looks pretty exciting.

00:32:20.820 –> 00:32:22.620 Leslie Hartley: yeah saw that today too.

00:32:22.710 –> 00:32:25.860 Leslie Hartley: yeah yeah it should be really good hoping to get tickets.

00:32:26.280 –> 00:32:37.050 Joseph McElroy: Oh, I hope so too, so people can go to that site you mentioned to to actually find music events and festivals, and an individual artists that you visit as well right.

00:32:37.290 –> 00:32:41.760 Leslie Hartley: that’s right apple music and

00:32:41.910 –> 00:32:46.950 Joseph McElroy: cool So what are the blue Ridge craft trails mirrored after that.

00:32:47.730 –> 00:32:49.620 Leslie Hartley: Well, I think i’m.

00:32:51.330 –> 00:33:01.980 Leslie Hartley: In a way, in in that we’ve had the experience of putting together a trail that focuses on cultural heritage of our region.

00:33:02.850 –> 00:33:13.140 Leslie Hartley: Otherwise it’s been a new experience we actually had we’ve been fortunate to have the appalachian regional Commission.

00:33:13.590 –> 00:33:23.520 Leslie Hartley: And the Cherokee preservation foundation, just to mention a few come on board and support this effort we’re very appreciative to that and.

00:33:24.270 –> 00:33:29.430 Leslie Hartley: The blue Ridge craft trails is it’s a new initiative and we.

00:33:30.390 –> 00:33:48.210 Leslie Hartley: were getting close to completing the development of the project, you can certainly find over 150 artists right now on the website, as well as suggested itineraries of bluish craft but we you know just that’s a lot of ground to cover 25 counties.

00:33:48.750 –> 00:33:50.040 Leslie Hartley: Mountains you’ve got.

00:33:50.340 –> 00:33:58.740 Leslie Hartley: you’ve got mountains and valleys and rivers and it’s a lot of trails to cover but it’s a it’s a wonderful job to have.

00:33:58.950 –> 00:34:08.880 Joseph McElroy: Well there’s a lot of crafts that been going on in the blue Ridge area for ya for centuries now and so there’s a lot of history there to cover I.

00:34:09.090 –> 00:34:16.620 Joseph McElroy: mean I read a quote by angie Chandler I think the Executive Director of the blue Ridge.

00:34:17.550 –> 00:34:19.560 Joseph McElroy: national heritage and she said, our goal is to.

00:34:19.560 –> 00:34:27.690 Joseph McElroy: increase income for traditional and contemporary artisans enhance culture tourism and improve local economies.

00:34:27.990 –> 00:34:40.260 Joseph McElroy: We are building on Western North carolina’s history is a leading Center for craft production and education, the United States, I think this was early in your announcement is that still generally the the purpose on the intent.

00:34:40.890 –> 00:34:41.880 Absolutely.

00:34:43.110 –> 00:34:46.020 Leslie Hartley: That is definitely it, we are looking to bring.

00:34:47.610 –> 00:34:58.980 Leslie Hartley: folks who are interested in craft to the actual makers and spend time with them and learn what inspires them what’s the history of what they’re doing and.

00:35:00.150 –> 00:35:10.080 Leslie Hartley: Just connect connect with these artists connect with the Community that they’re in and and have a one on one with them and really a one of a kind.

00:35:10.530 –> 00:35:18.300 Leslie Hartley: Experience where you can bring home a piece that’s been it’s one of a kind to say again, the piece of art that.

00:35:18.720 –> 00:35:36.390 Leslie Hartley: You can get directly from the maker and we’re seeing this have to make a difference, already one of the first two counties to the first two counties that we completed this project in was clay in Cherokee counties out in the Far West region.

00:35:37.560 –> 00:35:45.540 Leslie Hartley: And we have gotten positive feedback we had an exhibit and one of the visits to North Carolina.

00:35:46.200 –> 00:36:00.660 Leslie Hartley: Excuse me, one of the north Carolina visit visitor centers and an exhibit on the blue Ridge craft trails and people actually sought out some of the artists who were exhibited from seeing it in the visitor Center and told them so when they went out there.

00:36:01.020 –> 00:36:07.080 Joseph McElroy: Oh really that’s fabulous to have some success stories, people are getting great reviews back.

00:36:07.470 –> 00:36:31.320 Leslie Hartley: yeah exactly, even with the challenge of the past year with the covered precautions um we’re still seeing we’ve still gone out there very safely and through zoom often continue to develop this trail, but we didn’t give up, and we are persevering and making.

00:36:32.820 –> 00:36:38.550 Leslie Hartley: Making quite a dent in the project like I said we already have about 150 artists on the trail.

00:36:39.270 –> 00:36:39.780 wow.

00:36:42.840 –> 00:36:55.110 Joseph McElroy: Do you how somebody can go to the website and get an itinerary a travel then go travel to like craftsmen, is that they can actually have visited him to call ahead or or what are they, what are the what do they do.

00:36:55.590 –> 00:37:05.670 Leslie Hartley: yeah I’m going to blue Ridge craft trails COM, we have some suggested itineraries or you can build your own itinerary with the itinerary tool that we have.

00:37:06.210 –> 00:37:23.520 Leslie Hartley: And you can find Google maps on our website, we have a Google map for each one of the artists, if you want to go visit them as far as you know, some of the artists who are in their own home studio they do like folks to come by appointment.

00:37:24.390 –> 00:37:26.220 Joseph McElroy: And then some you have held.

00:37:26.220 –> 00:37:36.420 Leslie Hartley: Regular hours, but we note that on each one of the profiles that we have on the website so you won’t be caught surprised you’ll be able to plan your trip.

00:37:37.140 –> 00:37:44.610 Joseph McElroy: And can people find the do you also make suggestions on like places to eat places to stay things to do.

00:37:45.330 –> 00:37:51.510 Leslie Hartley: Yes, yeah we do we do we do our research and have.

00:37:52.920 –> 00:38:08.040 Leslie Hartley: places you don’t want to miss whether it’s rafting in that area that’s really good rafting or Great little hikes to go on mountain biking craft brewery or wineries we also have distilleries.

00:38:09.330 –> 00:38:10.110 Leslie Hartley: Carolina.

00:38:11.160 –> 00:38:13.860 Joseph McElroy: distillery shouts out yeah that’s right.

00:38:14.100 –> 00:38:22.170 Leslie Hartley: So it’s we do have recommendations, not only on the artists visiting them but kind of.

00:38:23.250 –> 00:38:33.990 Leslie Hartley: A full experience what would you like to do, in addition to visiting with a craft artists, so you get some really good information from those itineraries on our website.

00:38:34.320 –> 00:38:39.720 Joseph McElroy: You get to see do you have pictures of the craft so that people can get an idea of what they’re going to see.

00:38:40.260 –> 00:38:58.170 Leslie Hartley: yeah we do that’s a great question, we do have images of usually of the artist, or at least of the artists, most importantly, not, most importantly, but importantly, of the artists works, you get an idea, and you know we’re talking about jewelers Woodworkers weaver’s potter’s.

00:39:00.450 –> 00:39:03.420 Leslie Hartley: I just decided, with someone last Friday.

00:39:05.730 –> 00:39:14.370 Leslie Hartley: has created I don’t know if your listeners will know this, the barn quilt squares that go on horns.

00:39:14.730 –> 00:39:18.840 Leslie Hartley: On frequently in western North Carolina and and I think it started in.

00:39:19.080 –> 00:39:34.650 Leslie Hartley: want to say it started in Ohio but it’s really been adopt adapt adopted here in Western North Carolina and she had created over 3000 of these in the past few years and that kind of blew my mind, because she does it by hand.

00:39:35.580 –> 00:39:50.940 Leslie Hartley: wow yeah and she was inspired by the quilts that she grew up with she said when she grew up she didn’t know about blankets, going to the store and buy blankets, you slept on to your grandmother’s quilts and.

00:39:54.450 –> 00:39:58.560 Joseph McElroy: My mother is still a quilt her she’s going to be at this year so.

00:39:58.560 –> 00:40:02.130 Joseph McElroy: he’s still a quilt yeah it’s serious.

00:40:03.630 –> 00:40:04.290 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah.

00:40:05.400 –> 00:40:06.540 Joseph McElroy: together so.

00:40:07.980 –> 00:40:16.050 Joseph McElroy: So do I guess it’s not just the the bigger towns you taking them into the really small towns too right.

00:40:16.650 –> 00:40:32.310 Leslie Hartley: yeah definitely we we want folks to get out into the small towns and find those hidden gems that are you know in these picturesque truly scenically beautiful towns and what beautiful drives to get there.

00:40:33.330 –> 00:40:42.600 Leslie Hartley: really nice road trip to take in western North Carolina whether you’re going along the the ribbon of road that runs through it, which is the blue Ridge parkway.

00:40:43.020 –> 00:40:45.120 Leslie Hartley: or on some of the other.

00:40:45.180 –> 00:40:45.960 roads.

00:40:47.490 –> 00:40:50.130 Leslie Hartley: yeah it’s not just the large towns like Asheville.

00:40:51.660 –> 00:41:10.860 Leslie Hartley: it’s smaller little towns like brass town in Far West, North Carolina that has the john C Campbell folks school that’s well known for a place to you can take workshops there on everything from blacksmithing to basket tree.

00:41:12.630 –> 00:41:12.870 Joseph McElroy: that’s.

00:41:13.500 –> 00:41:14.250 Leslie Hartley: An idea.

00:41:14.700 –> 00:41:18.480 Joseph McElroy: and places like you include also things like the folk art Center on the blue Ridge parkway.

00:41:19.410 –> 00:41:22.170 Leslie Hartley: Yes, they’re one of our anchor sites actually.

00:41:22.710 –> 00:41:24.090 Leslie Hartley: cool yeah.

00:41:24.870 –> 00:41:30.630 Joseph McElroy: So it sounds like this is a great resource for visitors coming to North Carolina.

00:41:32.220 –> 00:41:37.350 Joseph McElroy: I look forward i’m gonna i’m gonna look forward to it, how does how to businesses.

00:41:38.580 –> 00:41:55.080 Joseph McElroy: That, for example, I own a lodging facility and we’re going to have some music we’re doing a smoky mountain heritage Center and we’re also going to feature crafts and things, how would a business get the application to be part of your ear trails.

00:41:55.800 –> 00:42:05.280 Leslie Hartley: yeah it’s good to be aware, if you wanted to get in touch with me at Leslie a blue rich

00:42:06.900 –> 00:42:10.770 Leslie Hartley: I could, I could pass it along definitely I am.

00:42:13.050 –> 00:42:17.580 Leslie Hartley: I can see your place definitely being on the Blue Ridge music trails as a venue.

00:42:18.120 –> 00:42:18.630 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

00:42:18.690 –> 00:42:28.020 Leslie Hartley: For the music and and we would also want to talk with you about the craft trails and how that could work out um tell tell me about your your craft.

00:42:29.580 –> 00:42:32.520 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know I have an artistic background.

00:42:33.540 –> 00:42:42.180 Joseph McElroy: So I have actually so personally I’ve been putting some of my own craft art into some of the rooms, but we’ve also been putting handmade quilts.

00:42:42.570 –> 00:42:54.240 Joseph McElroy: And now we’re starting to do things like sculptures that we find and have craft people so throughout the area we’re starting to put them into the rooms.

00:42:55.410 –> 00:42:56.460 Joseph McElroy: And plans to.

00:42:56.490 –> 00:43:04.920 Joseph McElroy: You know, to you know develop in the smoky mountain heritage Center whole area for crafts and things like that so.

00:43:04.950 –> 00:43:08.460 Leslie Hartley: yeah it’s a good partnership that could really come around.

00:43:08.490 –> 00:43:08.670 that’s.

00:43:09.720 –> 00:43:10.140 Joseph McElroy: cool.

00:43:10.800 –> 00:43:11.760 Joseph McElroy: Already so.

00:43:12.420 –> 00:43:19.620 Joseph McElroy: we’re gonna take a break, right now, we come back you’ll give some any shout out you want to it to people who helped you along the way here and.

00:43:20.670 –> 00:43:22.290 Joseph McElroy: Then what the future holds.

00:44:12.450 –> 00:44:20.130 host of the podcast gateway to the smoking it airs on talk radio dot NYC every Tuesday night from 6 pm to seven.

00:44:20.640 –> 00:44:32.910 Every episode is dedicated to memorable experiences in the great smoky mountain national park and surrounding areas this show features experts and locals to expound upon the richness of culture, history and and adventure, in which you.

00:45:41.460 –> 00:45:57.930 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy and back with the gateway to the smokies podcast with my guest Leslie Hartley so we’ve been talking about the blue Ridge, and the craft trails and music trails the heritage area.

00:45:59.040 –> 00:46:01.590 Joseph McElroy: And all that and it’s all really wonderful.

00:46:02.760 –> 00:46:12.060 Joseph McElroy: You know the title of this podcast is the gateway to the smoky so I was just wondering, you know, do you guys, promote the smokies as part of what you do.

00:46:13.110 –> 00:46:14.400 Leslie Hartley: yeah absolutely.

00:46:15.480 –> 00:46:16.350 Leslie Hartley: You know it’s.

00:46:18.390 –> 00:46:27.030 Leslie Hartley: it’s this remarkable is fear in in the in the mountains and part of it is here in North Carolina.

00:46:28.290 –> 00:46:35.580 Leslie Hartley: wouldn’t be right if we didn’t mention that on our website yeah and whenever we can.

00:46:37.650 –> 00:46:52.050 Leslie Hartley: it’s an it’s an amazing if if someone hasn’t visited yet I think it’s definitely worth make putting that on your bucket list because it’s it’s amazing I mean from whether you’re into birding or.

00:46:54.180 –> 00:46:56.490 Leslie Hartley: leaf-peeping in the fall.

00:46:57.510 –> 00:47:04.230 Leslie Hartley: Seen wildlife and just gorgeous beauty I don’t have to tell you that Joseph how beautiful, it is.

00:47:04.560 –> 00:47:08.580 Joseph McElroy: I imagine, some of your itineraries take you through that the great smoky smell.

00:47:08.700 –> 00:47:24.120 Leslie Hartley: Right yeah we actually have the main part of the website Blue Ridge on that website you’ll find an itinerary that suggests that a cherry for driving through the through the great smoky mountains National Park so.

00:47:25.470 –> 00:47:27.690 Joseph McElroy: there’s a couple of great drive through there right.

00:47:27.720 –> 00:47:30.990 Joseph McElroy: For 41 you also got the blue Ridge parkway.

00:47:32.100 –> 00:47:35.970 Joseph McElroy: And maybe people can even go hiking on the Appalachian trail is something that.

00:47:36.990 –> 00:47:40.440 Leslie Hartley: yeah yeah you don’t have to do the whole thing just get.

00:47:43.050 –> 00:47:48.900 Joseph McElroy: Part of it yeah but our you go through this go through the smokies on the blue Ridge.

00:47:48.930 –> 00:47:57.660 Joseph McElroy: Go then go from Cherokee to balsam which is near wayne’s old silver just some great chance of lots of arch Maggie Valley.

00:47:58.020 –> 00:47:59.700 Joseph McElroy: And all asheville right.

00:47:59.970 –> 00:48:01.440 Leslie Hartley: Right exactly.

00:48:01.530 –> 00:48:03.570 Joseph McElroy: Okay, great itinerary right there.

00:48:03.870 –> 00:48:14.970 Joseph McElroy: yeah so what’s the future for the for the blue Ridge heritage area, the craft trails and music trails me this stuff, what do you guys got planned coming down the pipe.

00:48:15.630 –> 00:48:31.740 Leslie Hartley: yeah well, a lot of our energy is focused on the blue Ridge craft girls right now and getting that completed it’s always going to be a work in progress, because it it’s digital lives on blue Ridge crafts COM and, as you can imagine.

00:48:32.880 –> 00:48:40.470 Leslie Hartley: We will always be looking for artists who want to be a part of it and who fit the criteria.

00:48:40.890 –> 00:48:58.770 Leslie Hartley: But anyway, so, but right now we’re working on on developing it as fully as we can and we’re having each one of the counties of the 25 counties represented on the website with a profiles of those artists and galleries and suggested itineraries.

00:48:59.790 –> 00:49:09.360 Joseph McElroy: that’s fabulous yeah well besides so let’s give let’s you have any anybody want to thank for helping do this along the way, and he.

00:49:09.360 –> 00:49:10.050 Leslie Hartley: Oh wow.

00:49:10.290 –> 00:49:10.920 Joseph McElroy: You did mention.

00:49:12.330 –> 00:49:12.810 Leslie Hartley: So many.

00:49:14.040 –> 00:49:15.990 Leslie Hartley: Yes, so many good partners.

00:49:17.070 –> 00:49:35.220 Leslie Hartley: First, starting with the Appalachian Regional Commission, which has been a major funder of this program and the Cherokee preservation foundation Community foundation Western North Carolina and I probably can’t list think of everyone, thank all of them.

00:49:36.450 –> 00:49:39.750 Leslie Hartley: To to all of the arts council’s you know.

00:49:40.770 –> 00:49:52.080 Leslie Hartley: In the tourism development authorities and the chamber of commerce’s that have really helped us find these wonderful hidden gems in in the small towns of Western North Carolina.

00:49:52.530 –> 00:49:59.100 Joseph McElroy: cool I know you mentioned some websites, but you also face book and Instagram accounts right.

00:49:59.280 –> 00:50:00.180 Joseph McElroy: that’s true.

00:50:00.570 –> 00:50:12.300 Leslie Hartley: yeah yeah that’s true you can find us on Facebook under blue Ridge national heritage area, as well as on instagram blue Ridge national heritage area if you search for that.

00:50:12.960 –> 00:50:23.760 Leslie Hartley: you’ll find us we keep we have some beautiful images, as you can imagine that we get to share on our Instagram account it’s worth following definitely.

00:50:24.000 –> 00:50:33.210 Joseph McElroy: looks fabulous well, I thank you very much for being on this show it’s been wonderful find out about this it’s a great resource, I look forward to seeing it.

00:50:33.900 –> 00:50:45.480 Joseph McElroy: continue to develop I think it’d be great for people wanting to visit the area, to use your websites and accounts and itineraries to make things a wonderful experience for them.

00:50:46.410 –> 00:50:55.710 Leslie Hartley: Thank you, Joseph, and thanks for all you do and helping get the word out about our area and the valuable work that you do got to come to visit your placing.

00:50:55.980 –> 00:51:03.570 Joseph McElroy: You do I’ve got a I got a couple to shout out to my own do.

00:51:04.440 –> 00:51:14.070 Joseph McElroy: So, and then i’m going to talk about a couple of things to come to see so I want you to imagine a place that’s evocative motor quotes in the past and modern modern environment.

00:51:14.490 –> 00:51:22.320 Joseph McElroy: The sheep appalachian feel a place for adventure and for relaxation imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain heritage trout stream.

00:51:22.770 –> 00:51:38.640 Joseph McElroy: grill the catch on fire and need a company by fine wine or craft beers imagine in place with old-time music world cultural sounds imagine a place with Snowden being smoky mountain heritage events there is no other place like the middle aren’t motel and Maggie Barry.

00:51:40.950 –> 00:51:43.830 Joseph McElroy: Your smoky mountain adventure starts, where you said.

00:51:45.150 –> 00:51:47.760 Joseph McElroy: that’s my place the middle or motel calm.

00:51:48.810 –> 00:51:53.010 Joseph McElroy: We announced that we have the mental Arc smoky mountain heritage Center.

00:51:53.610 –> 00:52:03.480 Joseph McElroy: we’re building out with Bob plot, you know notice historian, and you know family who brought the plot hound American roots in the state of dog of North Carolina.

00:52:03.990 –> 00:52:19.050 Joseph McElroy: And so, our first event is going to be a plot fest reunion weekend July 7 or the eighth and it’s the weekend the heritage steam activities pertaining to the plot Pal the state of North Carolina and the plans to get the plot hound festival started again.

00:52:20.280 –> 00:52:30.810 Joseph McElroy: It will be there’ll be a Friday night meet and greet with you know, music and bonfire and hosted by bod pod who regale you with lots of stories than the Saturday.

00:52:31.170 –> 00:52:44.070 Joseph McElroy: And you’ll see things like the original pot family gun and accouterments and headed doing spoken display there’ll be a plot dog program that will be a mechanical pair bear bait DEMO with Gary Bowen.

00:52:44.460 –> 00:52:53.610 Joseph McElroy: there’ll be a bench show DEMO with eugene Walker Gary baby and Gary bowen there’ll be a present presentation awards and and.

00:52:54.270 –> 00:53:05.610 Joseph McElroy: And, with a special more than one by winners designed by Cory Plott and same pot and there’ll be conversations with legends and then there’ll be a raffle items.

00:53:06.360 –> 00:53:12.330 Joseph McElroy: donated by Gary baby in GTA hunting supplies and a book signing the bar plot and Jacob about and.

00:53:12.900 –> 00:53:25.560 Joseph McElroy: Then a whole time planning tunes in balance with William runner and there’ll be a separate break and then there’ll be fellowship and brainstorm as well into the evening, and then you might do some karaoke if somebody wants to.

00:53:26.550 –> 00:53:31.290 Joseph McElroy: So should be a nice event, you if you stay at the hotel you get in free.

00:53:32.610 –> 00:53:43.170 Joseph McElroy: Then there’s going to be on the 17th this is exciting talking about balsam range there and Nicholson of balsam range will be having a bluegrass band camp and concert.

00:53:44.700 –> 00:53:50.310 Joseph McElroy: So it’s an exclusive event for aspiring musicians to learn and interact with some of the best artists in the business.

00:53:50.790 –> 00:53:57.690 Joseph McElroy: culminating in an all star concert so it’d be banned workshops with their Nicholson ADI but boy a lot.

00:53:58.020 –> 00:54:10.680 Joseph McElroy: Eric Ellison read Jones assigning songwriting workshop with their Nicholson and friends and then they’ll be an instrumental workshop with me the mandolin with the dare advantage over their guitar with.

00:54:11.550 –> 00:54:16.320 Joseph McElroy: dinner break and then there’ll be an all star concert that sounds fantastic no too late.

00:54:18.150 –> 00:54:32.910 Joseph McElroy: So please reach up an alarm calm to experience those things, I also have another sponsor smokies smokies is plural and it’s information and listings about the smokies focused on outdoor recreation.

00:54:33.960 –> 00:54:46.050 Joseph McElroy: With and outdoor life events like weddings and adventures, along with providing similar information about lodging and entertainment and events and conventions and how he moves and stuff like that.

00:54:46.830 –> 00:54:55.560 Joseph McElroy: It has it has it has a lot of books and maps available for purchase or download to help you experience your smoky mountain adventure.

00:54:56.580 –> 00:55:00.930 Joseph McElroy: This podcast you can find out more information on.

00:55:02.190 –> 00:55:05.190 Joseph McElroy: On gateway to the smokies fun.

00:55:06.600 –> 00:55:15.810 Joseph McElroy: And it’s parked in the podcast can be seen line on WW Facebook slash gateway to the smoke these podcasts.

00:55:19.530 –> 00:55:41.220 Joseph McElroy: See it’s also available on talk radio dot NYC and the podcast you hear live on talk radio dot nyc and they also have a Facebook page where they’re streaming live so look for talk radio on Facebook talk radio dot NYC on Facebook and you’ll be able to see it live there.

00:55:43.230 –> 00:55:53.850 Joseph McElroy: And next week we’re going to have a guest named Dale Stewart is a known nationally, known as a naturalist and solo explorer ethanol just a natural sounding board.

00:55:54.240 –> 00:56:02.280 Joseph McElroy: And syndicated radio radio radio program nature beds aims to immerse the listener in the wonderful surprise and importance that is nature.

00:56:04.020 –> 00:56:14.880 Joseph McElroy: So, and again I want to mention talk radio dot mcs and network we air on live and as a lot of wonderful shows try listening to the one after this about New York City the.

00:56:17.160 –> 00:56:21.150 Joseph McElroy: And I look forward to seeing you next week same time same BAT channel.