A World of Culture Comes to North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains at Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF)

Families and festival-lovers, grab your party hat and your dancing shoes - it's time once again to celebrate spring's warm weather at Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF)! From May 9-12, 2013, LEAF lights up the grounds of former Black Mountain College in gorgeous Western North Carolina with attractions ranging from lively performances of world music to invigorating activities such as yoga, kayaking, and hiking.

Here's a few awesome reasons to spend a spring weekend at Black Mountain's LEAF:

1.  Three days of music and dancing! This year's line-up includes Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Mavis Staples, reggae legends Steel Pulse, the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, the funky "culturemashers" Ozomatli, Zimbabwean Oliver Mtukudzi and The Black Spirits, and many, many more stellar musicians. Take a whirl around the dance floor with that special someone!

2. Fun for the whole family! Discover Kid's Village, a large section of the festival grounds that's dedicated solely to kids' activities, including a performance stage, a craft tent, and a costume tent. Juggling, face painting, puppet shows, games, puppies, balloons, the kid's market... There's so much for kids to do, they'll be at it all day!

3. The Healing Arts Area will nourish your body and soul! Ease your aches and pains with yoga, massage, and chiropractic adjustment. Over 40 healing arts workshops are offered throughout the weekend free of charge, including Partner QiGong, Ecstatic Dance Wave, Flow Yoga, and the Roots of Bellydance, plus the Earth Skills series with workshops such as Wild Mushroom Walk and Finding Your Plant Allies. Get your body feeling good!

4. Kick off summer fun with outdoor activities at LEAF! The lake offers opportunities to swim, canoe, kayak, and paddleboard, and all equipment is available for rent on-site at very affordable hourly prices. Group games include ultimate frisbee and soccer, plus the Rock the Quarry Run & Walk. What's the best outdoor activity at LEAF? Many folks agree it's simply sitting in the shade and people-watching. 

5. Gourmet food, international food, local food: LEAF is a culinary delight!  Over 20 vendors prepare all food fresh on-site. Enjoy smoked BBQ, vegetarian fare, creole delights, hot pizza, kettle corn, and handmade popsicles, plus locally-brewed beer and kombucha. The Culinary Passport is also available, entitling you to five excellent meals from Morning Glory Cafe, served buffet-style in the dining hall.

6. LEAF renews with relaxation and rejuvenation! A deep quarry lake provides the central focus of a 600-acre site that's nestled in a verdant mountain valley. Make a splash zip-lining into the lake! Shake your worries away in the contra dancing barn! After an evening of live music, visit the late-night mountaintop bonfire! Inspiration is yours when you open your heart to LEAF. 

7. Discover beautiful handcrafted wares at LEAF's Juried Arts Fair. Featuring over fifty artisans displaying their contemporary and folk creations, this is the ideal place to purchase original artwork, jewelry, pottery, baskets, clothing, soaps, musical instruments and much more. You're sure to discover something funky that perfectly suits your unique style!

8. Express yourself! The Southern Fried LEAF Poetry Slam is a treasured tradition amongst festival-goers. A Grand Prize of one-thousand dollars assures attendees that the competition gets stiff. These performers stir deep waters with moving literary masterpieces. And especially for the younger poets, there's a Youth Slam in the Kid's Village.

9. Tickets are still available! Day tickets for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday offer an alternative way to experience LEAF without camping. Kids under 10 get a free pass and kids under 18 enjoy discount tickets. Get your tickets soon: attendance is limited to 6,000 people on site per day, making LEAF one of the best small festivals in the world. 

10. LEAF is a great excuse to visit the Asheville area! Spring has arrived in the mountains with blue skies and bright green trees. Whether your passion is fueled by biking, eating, shopping, or experiencing Beer City USA, make a journey up to the Blue Ridge Mountains and discover for yourself why Asheville, NC continues to gain popularity as a vacation destination. 

Take advantage of your time in the gorgeous North Carolina mountains by staying in a local vacation rental cabin. Carolina Mornings offers discount tickets to area attractions, personalized concierge service, and a complimentary Mountain Discovery Pass. Enjoying your own luxury log cabin is a terrific alternative to staying in an Asheville hotel!

Shown here: the incredible views from Sunset Haven, located just minutes away from LEAF.

Treat your family to LEAF ~ Reserve your North Carolina cabin by calling Carolina Mornings today! 

Check out this video about the Lake Eden Arts Festival!