Rock on before the pet parade

Paul Clark
Black Mountain News
Throughout summer, residents and visitors (and their dogs) have been enjoying the rocking chairs that will be auctioned Oct. 28.

Coming up is a chance to own one of those oak rocking chairs you’ve seen all over downtown.

“The Little Town That Rocks” annual silent rocking chair auction is 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 28 on Town Square, prior to the super-cute, not-to-be-missed, volunteer-run Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade (bring your camera). To be sold are 25 rocking chairs whose backs have been adorned with the work of local photographers depicting scenes that include the natural world that attracts people to the Swannanoa Valley.

Minimum bids are $75. The chairs, bought at a discount, retail for $199, organizers said.

The Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce has conducted the auction for half a dozen years now. The money raised through the auction pays for the rockers, the artboards and a bit of advertising, chamber executive director Bob McMurray said. Any profits support chamber functions.

The chamber alternates between inviting the services of artists and photographers each year. The adorned rocking chairs have been out in front of downtown businesses since May and have been a welcome respite for shoppers, visitors and residents who want to rest a while.

‘“Shop and rock,’ that’s the idea,” McMurray said.

The first year the auction was held, the money helped support the Town Square project. The event is held before the pet parade because one year organizers did it while the parade was going on, “but people were more interested in the pets than the rockers,” McMurray said, laughing.

Lauronda Morrow and her dog Ollie won the Howl-O-Ween grand prize in 2015 as Little Miss Muffet and the spider that sat down beside her.

Registration for the Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade, held the last Saturday of October in Black Mountain, is 1-2:30 p.m., with the parade through downtown being at 3 p.m. Held since 2002, the parade is a dress-up affair for both pets and their peeps (costumes encouraged). Prizes are awarded for the best costumes. Everyone is welcome to participate. Learn more at