• Learn more about the biology of WNC as Gregg Tepper leads a presentation on the sensory appeal of native plants at the Highlands Nature Center, 930 Horse Cove Road, Highlands. Free, but parking is limited. 7 p.m. Info: 526-2221.
• From an REI event page, "Do you want to make easy and fun meals at camp but feel unsure how to cook them? Would you like tips on what to bring and how to make the most of cooking in the outdoors? Join REI for an introductory class on campsite cooking. We have years of experience to share, and we'd like to help you learn how to create easy and fun meals. This is your way to tasty eating outside. No experience necessary! This class will not focus on backcountry cooking." Free, but registration required. 31 Schenck Parkway in Biltmore Park Town Square. 6:30 p.m.
• "For four days each July and October, the US Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C., comes alive with fine traditional and contemporary crafts," according to a Southern Highlands Craft Guild post. "More than 200 craftspeople fill the two levels of the center, selling their works of clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, mixed media, natural materials, paper, wood and jewelry." 87 Haywood St. Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $8/free for children under 12.
• Local experimental rock duo Albert Adams are known for their quirky and fun-loving performances. This week, the duo joins The Luxury Spirit and Oulipo for a performance at Emerald Lounge, 112 N. Lexington Ave. 9 p.m. $5.
Check this promotional video the duo produced specially for the show:
Friday, July 20
• Every week, Blue Ridge Parkway Rangers host free guided hikes, leaving no excuse to avoid the great outdoors. This time it's an easy, 1.5-mile excursion to Fryingpan Tower to view summer wildflowers. Trip departs from MP 409.6. Bring water and hiking shoes and be prepared for inclement weather. Free. Info: 298-5330.
• Hendersonville's Hamboree Festival promises "lots of fun and entertainment for the entire family," with live music, arts and crafts, local food, clothing and jewelry, a children's play area and more. Held at Green Meadows at the intersection of Maple Street and 7th Avenue. Festival runs through Sun., July 22. Free. Info: 697-9698.
• From an Xpress blog, "Twang On Festival is set for two days of free live music at Geneva Riverside Lodging, Tiki Bar & Grill, 3147 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure. The lineup includes The Whiskey Gentry (pictured), Have Gun Will Travel, Black Iron Gathering and DJs Rhine Stones and Kevy Duty. The event runs Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21. From a press release: 'Bring your swimming gear and sit poolside/riverside under Historic Chimney Rock while twanging out under the sun. All ages. No cover. Donations accepted and encouraged for bands. Make reservations for rooms in advance at Geneva Riverside Hotel on site. Limited rooms available. More lodging available within walking distance throughout Lake Lure."
Saturday, July 21,
• Having trouble with garden pests? Extension master gardener volunteers are here to help. Bring samples and questions to a "Plant Clinic" at the WNC Farmers Market, 570 Brevard Road, for assistance identifying problems and advice to avoid future issues. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Info: www.buncombe.ces.ncsu.edu or 255-5522.
• Tour Hop'n Blueberry Farm, one of North Carolina's first commercial hop farms, and enjoy a tasting of "Burnette's Fresh Hop Beer," a unique offering by Pisgah Brewing Company, at the Hop Harvest Festival, 24 Middle Mountain Road, Black Mountain. 1-2:30 p.m. $8. Info: 664-1166.
• If you're interested in On the Take's backstory, you're in luck. The band's bio is a detailed (and entertaining) history that dates all the way back to 1999. But, for our purposes, the last paragraph will suffice: "On the Take played their first show and it was sold out, just like all their subsequent shows have been and all of their future shows will be. Who knows what the coming years have in store for this fine group of talented young songcraftsmen? One thing is for sure: On the Take plays pop-tinged rock with hints of synth and can be compared to Guided by Voices, Brainiac and the Unicorns. Also, they like to say that their glass is 'half full.'" Catch them at The Boiler Room, 11 Grove St., with The Spiveys, VIA and Razorbread. 9 p.m. $5.
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