Blowfish Emporium fosters the talents of budding artists in structured art classes and also houses the work of more than 60 local and regional artisans. Cultivate your canvas-covering skills and discover decorative items other than bronzed fruit in The Grape Easel painting event. On entering the class, each student receives a canvas, a selection of paints, and various brushes, which unite to re-create the evening’s scheduled artwork of choice. Subjects vary by class and include such topics as abstract nature works, vibrantly colored musical instruments, and toothpaste-painted re-creations of 1930s toothpaste ads.
A driver curls his fingers around the steering wheel, takes a deep breath, and places his foot onto the peddle, bringing a mechanical beast to life. The screech of burning rubber, roar of an 500-horsepower engine, and the silent rush of adrenaline block out the rest of the world, allowing the driver to focus entirely on the run. As he battles the g-force, the realization hits that he has just achieved a lifelong dream: He is a drag racer.
Doug Foley first noticed the lack of a comprehensive drag-racing training center in 1997, and he took it upon himself to fill the void. Along with a team of instructors, Foley lets novices ride shotgun or drive themselves to taste drag racing for the first time. Once the new racers are hooked, a lineup of beginner to advanced classes licenses students for everything from junior dragsters, to door cars and A-fueled dragsters. Through these efforts, Foley and his team ready drivers to compete in professional races and fulfill a dream.
Former professional driver and expert instructor Randy Baker and his team have been guiding drivers toward greatness for more than 20 years; past pupils include Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jeff and Ward Burton, and the shadowy pit mechanic known only as Racer X. At SpeedTech Auto Racing School, Randy combines a fleet of super-speedy rides—authentic, metal-bodied vehicles boasting 650-horsepower V-8 engines—with a serious emphasis on safety to prepare drivers for any mishap on the track. Gearheads, speed junkies, and people who still sleep in a racecar bed despite their adult children's protestations soak up Randy's knowledge during one of SpeedTech's many race programs, varying in length from 3 laps to more than 100. With the school's built-in HD video feeds, drivers can commemorate their laps or prove to the family car it's been cheating on them with the hotel's valet.
The PCIA-certified climbing instructors at Rock Dimensions lead guests through a variety of vertical activities that range from the in-air discovery course to half-day or full-day rock-climbing excursions. Using their years of rock-climbing experience and local expertise, they teach all levels and ages, and equip guests with harnesses and helmets for all vertical activities.
Each of YMCA of Western North Carolina's five branches and 19 childcare sites remains true to its lasting mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, caring, responsibility, and respect as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, basketball courts, and personal-training sessions. They’ve also filled their fitness centers with free weights, cardio equipment, and weight machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during cardio-dance and aerobics classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead more than 200 programs, including children’s day camps, after-school programs, and dance classes.