April Adventures in Franklin, NC

April showers bring May flowers, and boy are we looking forward to all of that vibrant color! But while it’s raining this month, you can stay dry at Gracious Plates on Main. Join us all month long to celebrate our 2nd anniversary with lots of great specials! Whether you’re dining inside or outside on our covered Main Street patio, you’ll find that our friendly service is the perfect finishing touch for any meal. In fact, Gracious Plates On Main is open 7 days a week with all of your favorite Farm-to-Table dishes, unique cocktails, and specialty wines. And we’re committed to exceeding your expectations.

Check out our list of local happenings below to see what else you’d like to do around town before or after you enjoy your next meal at Gracious Plates On Main!

Local Highlights

AT110 Celebration – Happy Trails to You
Gracious Plates On Main
April 20 ~ 11:00am-3:00pm

Franklin, North Carolina was the very first ATC designated Appalachian Trail Community, and Franklin takes its status as a trail town very seriously. Each year, the first day of spring signals the beginning of what will be a month-long celebration of all things Appalachian Trail. Dozens of local business, volunteers, trail organizations, and town representatives work together to honor the town’s connection to the Trail and to serve the hundreds of hikers that will call Franklin home for a night or two on their journey northward. During the weeks-long celebration event that runs from the Spring Solstice to Earth Day, you’ll find hiker-focused events being held throughout the town. Many local businesses will offer hiker-specific discounts and freebies, and local volunteers and organizations alike will host hiker-feeds.
Gracious Plates On Main will be hosting the Happy Trails to You event on April 20 to celebrate hikers! Featuring a special buffet for just $15.

– Mixed Greens Salad
– Pasta with Truffle Cheddar Fondue or White Wine Sauce (add chicken $5)
– Layered Lemon Cake with Raspberry Coulis

Weekly Wine Tasting
Gracious Plates on Main
Wednesday Evenings ~ 5:30-7:30pm
Every Wednesday, Gracious Plates On Main welcomes a guest Sommelier from a different wine distributor and offers a guided wine tasting at individual tables throughout dinner service. Joining Wine Club and attending the tastings are both free.

Thursday Painters – FREE
Uptown Gallery
Thursdays ~ 10:00am-2:00pm
Join MCAA Member Artists at the Uptown Gallery from 10am-2pm every Thursday for a fun time! Bring a bagged lunch and your art project that you would like to work on. Bring your own art materials, as this is a free and open to the public event. Contact Pat Mennenger at 28734pm@gmail.com for any questions.

Rathskeller Coffee Bar & Pub
Wednesday Evenings
Rathskeller Coffee Bar & Pub hosts Trivia every Wednesday evening, and the proceeds from the fun always go to a local nonprofit chosen by the winning team! They offer a full espresso bar, an array of craft beers, and fresh baked goods.

Yarn & Fiber Classes
Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Various dates
Silver Threads & Golden Needles is a friendly and fiber obsessed yarn shop located in the Historic Downtown shopping area of Franklin, North Carolina. Whether you are a local or taking a vacation in the Smoky Mountains, we are your one stop destination for all things yarn and fiber!

Book Club
A Novel Escape
April 4 ~ 6:30pm
On the first Tuesday of every month, A Novel Escape hosts Book Club. It’s a fun group that delves into a variety of different genres, with each month’s book selected by popular vote. And to make it even better, each month’s chosen book is 15% at the bookstore!

Intro to Seed Starting
Winding Stair Farm & Nursery
April 6 ~ 10:00am
Learn how to start seeds and produce delicious vegetables for the season. Tolvin, our new farmer, is leading this class from his own farm propagation hoop house. Each guest receives an 8-cell Vego seed tray with lid (long life, highly recommended) that they can fill during the class. $25 to attend.

Pasta Making Class
Cowee School
April 6 ~ 11:00am
In this hands on class, learn how to make your own fresh pasta by hand using different techniques. Mix, knead, roll and make several different pasta shapes and learn to make sauces that compliment.
We will do a small tasting at the end to try the pasta we make. Each participant will take home a batch of their own pasta to make their own dish at home.
Class includes:
– Instruction and recipes
– Dough Scraper
– 25 oz Jar Bona Furtuna Puttanesca Sauce
– Pasta tasting
– Fresh Pasta Dough to take home
We are offering 2 separate class times:
11am-1pm & 3pm-5pm

Tim Hawkins – Live in Concert
Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts
April 6 ~ 7:00pm
Catch Tim Hawkins Live in Concert! The parody singer-songwriter of favorites like “Things You Don’t Say to Your Wife” and “Cletus Take the Reel” provides nonstop laughter with funny bits about the church, homeschooling, and more. Load up your van with all your kids, your small group, and anyone else who loves a good joke to experience this night of hilarity with Tim Hawkins! A limited number of VIP tickets including Early Entry and a Meet & Greet and photo with Tim are available for each show. An Awakening FDND Event.

The Drifters
Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts
April 12 ~ 7:30pm
From their inception in the early 1950’s and up until recently THE DRIFTERS has a symbiotic relationship with Rock & Roll.
Through an historical journey, which included no less than 5 legendary lead singers, including Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Clyde McPhatter and Ben E. King the group’s ongoing story has covered the entire spectrum of Rock & Roll. They were the first musical group to include string instruments into Rhythm & Blues music with their hauntingly beautiful song, “There Goes My Baby”. They were the first musical group to sell 2 million records with their pop classic, “Up On The Roof”. They were the first African American vocal group to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Along with fellow inductees the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Supremes, the Drifters were in the first class of Rock & Roll legends to be initiated into the Hall of Fame. Their classic tune “Under The Boardwalk” is the most played R & B record of all time. 20 other million sellers followed.
Their songs have been penned by such historic songwriters as Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Carol King, Jerry Goffen and Phil Spector. They have played at the White House on 3 different occasions, give a benefit concert in Berlin the day the wall fell, performed for the Pope, the Queen of England, Nelson Mandella and toured the world for the USO in 3 different war zones from Korea to Iraq.
Once again THE DRIFTERS return to their roots with their latest American tour for a monumental celebration of their 50 year catalog which includes great titles such as: On Broadway, There Goes My Baby, Dance With Me, This Magic Moment, Under The Boardwalk, Some Kind of Wonderful, Up On The Roof, Stand By Me, Please Stay, Saturday Night At The Movies, Spanish Harlem, Sweets For My Sweet, Save The Last Dance for Me, I Count The Tears and so many more.

An Introduction to Mountain Gardening
Winding Stair Farm & Nursery
April 13 ~ 10:00am
New to the Mountains and/or New To Gardening? Come learn some tips and tricks for a lush and colorful mountain garden. We’ll learn how to use the unique personality of this place to our advantage in crafting beautiful home gardens here in WNC. Hosted by Arielle McIntyre – a local plant designer and native plant lover!

Artisan Alley Downtown Market
The Gem & Mineral Society and Museum
April 13 ~ 11:00am
With over 35+ vendors all located on Phillips Street in Downtown Franklin from 11am till 5pm. We have quilts, candles, resin art, baked goods and so much more. All locally handmade right here in Macon County. So, bring your friends and family and browse the Artisan Alley Market and see what goodies you can take home.

Trees and Texture Encaustic Class with Donna Persinger
Uptown Gallery
April 13 ~ 11:00am
Cost: $55 members/$65 nonmembers + Materials Fee $35
Come learn about the exciting ancient art of Encaustic painting now presented with a modern twist with Instructor Donna Persinger. Students will create a forest landscape utilizing melted wax and pigments. Students will learn the basic skills in the application of encaustic painting as well as developing techniques for creating texture and adding personalized touches with stencils, oil sticks and Pan Pastels. Each student will complete one completed tree landscape on a panel style of their choice. All necessary tools and supplies will be provided by the instructor.
Instructor will supply heated pallets, encaustic paint, oil sticks, Pan Pastels, wooden panels, and all tools needed to successfully complete the project. Contact Donna Persinger at heartrootsarts@gmail.com if you have any questions. Payment for class and spots can be reserved at Uptown Gallery 30 East Main Street, Franklin, NC 28734.

Exploring Precious Metal Clay with Kathleen Woodring
Uptown Gallery
April 15 ~ 11:00am
Join our jewelry artist Kathleen Woodring to explore working with silver metal in clay form. She will help you design a perfect piece for you to enjoy or to give as a special gift. You will have enough clay to make 2 pieces or a lovely set. $45members/$55nonmembers. Materials Fee: $60 (provided by instructor materials include: clay, findings and chain. Class limited to 5 participants. Contact Kathleen Woodring at kathleenwoodring@gmail.com for any questions or to reserve your spot!

Spring Ornaments (Heart or Circle) with Carol Lynn Johnson
Uptown Gallery
April 16 ~ 12:00pm
Class Project: Spring Ornaments (heart or circle – your choice). Class fee : $80 MCAA members/$90 non members (includes instruction, all materials and 1 kiln firing). Location: artist’s home studio
Join Fused Glass artist Carol Lynn Johnson for an introduction of and experience in glass fusion. In this class you’ll learn about glass safety, the different types of fusible glass, project design and you will create 3 spring ornaments. Email cljohnson0632@gmail.com to preregister as space is limited.

Community Day of Giving – REACH of Macon County
Gracious Plates On Main
April 18 ~ 11:00am-9:00pm
We are proud to announce that we’ll be hosting a Community Day of Giving to benefit REACH of Macon County on Thursday, April 18. All Apps will be Buy One, Get One 1/2 Off and 10% of all sales from the day will go directly to the nonprofit. So come out and eat for a good cause. Make your Reservation now.

Silent Book Club
A Novel Escape
April 18 ~ 6:30pm
Here’s something new for 2024 – Silent Book Club! Join us for an hour once a month and read silently amongst your fellow book lovers! There will be a “settle-in” period from 6:30-7pm, silent reading from 7-8pm, and a short exclusive shopping period from 8-8:30pm. Bring your pillow, blanket, or any other items to help you feel comfy while reading. Don’t forget your book!

The Barricade Boys
Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts
April 25 ~ 7:30pm
The Barricade Boys West End Party! Get ready to have your socks knocked off and your heart racing with The Barricade Boys! These four dazzling performers are taking the world by storm with their electrifying show that will have you tapping your feet, belting out your favourite tunes, and grinning from ear to ear. From the heart-wrenching emotion of Les Misérables to the toe-tapping harmonies of the Jersey Boys, The Barricade Boys will take you on a musical journey like no other. Throw in a mix of the greatest pop, rock, swing, and Motown hits of all time, and The Barricade Boys create the ultimate West End party musical mashup! But it’s not just about the music – these four superstar performers will also share hilarious and inspiring stories from their time on stage touring the world and also in some of the biggest shows in the West End, including Wicked, Billy Elliot, The Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, Joseph and the Techincolor Dreamcoat and more. So get ready for a night you’ll never forget, filled with jaw-dropping vocals, sensational dance routines, and more fun than you can shake a stick at. Don’t wait – grab your tickets now and get ready for the ultimate ‘West End Party’ with The Barricade Boys!
“Sen-Bloody-Sational! From start to finish, the Barricade Boys are responsible for one of the slickest, most professional, best put-together concerts this writer has seen on either side of The Atlantic.” – Broadwayworld.com

Always Olivia: An Olivia Newton-John Tribute
Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts
April 26 ~ 7:30pm
Always Olivia is a tribute to one of the most celebrated and beloved pop culture icons of all time, the late Olivia Newton-John. Who sold over 100 million records worldwide, had 10 #1 hits, earned 4 Grammys, numerous music awards, and starred as Sandy with John Travolta in Grease – a role which catapulted her to superstardom.
Always Olivia authentically captures the essence and sounds of Olivia’s timeless music. The show stars Annie Aiello, a celebrated singer who has been captivated by and studied Olivia Newton-John ever since Annie was 7 years of age. This show, with its all star band of musicians, lovingly incorporates five decades of Olivia’s music, dialogue about Newton-John’s history, humor, audience participation, costume changes and video projection with stimulating visuals. Expect to hear Olivia’s oh-so-memorable hits spanning the 70’s to the present day including: Hopelessly Devoted, You’re The One That I Want, Physical, Magic, Xanadu, If You Love Me Let Me Know, Let Me Be There, Don’t Stop Believin’, Grace & Gratitude and so much more! Performed to a live band or tracks, Always Olivia is in perfect lock-step with authentic Livvy.

Artisan Alley Downtown Market
The Gem & Mineral Society and Museum
April 27 ~ 11:00am
With over 35+ vendors all located on Phillips Street in Downtown Franklin from 11am till 5pm. We have quilts, candles, resin art, baked goods and so much more. All locally handmade right here in Macon County. So, bring your friends and family and browse the Artisan Alley Market and see what goodies you can take home.

Private Tour of the Mountain Farm
Winding Stair Farm & Nursery
April 27 ~ 10:00am
Meet the sheep and their baby lambs, enjoy a tour of our beautiful mountain farm and get to see a live demo of our splendid gristmill with 18-ft-diameter water wheel. Located on the Nantahala River, 12 miles west of Franklin.

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Days and hours of operation

Monday - Friday from 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday from 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sunday from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm