As I watched the Williams sisters at the Fed Cup in Asheville a few weekends ago, I was struck by how Asheville seems to be gaining a lot of national and international attention of late. In addition to tennis, important events are upcoming in biking, equestrian showing, and glass sculpture. Knowing the fine qualities of the western NC mountains, I cannot say that I’m surprised by all of this attention. It’s getting more difficult to keep our secret of this very special place.
The Fed Cup in Asheville is news unto itself, but it was particularly exciting as it marked Serena Williams’ first return to competitive tennis since the birth of her first child last autumn. While the match had been decided in favor of the US prior to her arrival on the court, it was still exciting to watch as Serena and Venus played doubles before a sold out crowd.
Next on tap is the opening of the “Chihuly at Biltmore” on May 17. Dale Chihuly’s large-scale glass sculptures, set up in historic Biltmore Gardens, includes special “after-dark” viewings that promise to be spectacular. The exhibit remains in place until October 7th so there’s ample time to take it all in. That same weekend, May 18-20, Haute Route, a European cycling event, comes to Asheville. More than 300 international riders will take to the streets, with each of the stages beginning and ending in Asheville.
In September, more international riders will come to the Asheville area, however, these riders will be on horseback. The FEI World Equestrian Games will settle into Tryon, about 45 minutes southeast of Asheville, from September 11-25. This event may welcome a half million people from around the world into the area. Competitions at this event include jumping, dressage, endurance, vaulting and reining.
A quick glance at these activities really does encapsulate what’s so special about Asheville and its environs. Sure the mountains are peaceful, the views are incredible, and the pace may be a little bit slower than some larger cities. But the activities and events illustrate the broad interests of the area and offer residents a chance to experience a truly cosmopolitan life. To see other upcoming events, please check out Greybeard Realty’s event calendar. Asheville is more than just a pretty place.