The mountain scene around Asheville, NC, buzzes with activity in the winter. Local businesses use any excuse to get people out of the house and bring them together. Now you can share these activities The mountain scene around Asheville, NC, buzzes with activity in the winter. Local businesses use any excuse to get people out of the house and bring them together. Now you can share these activities with the locals. Here are the best Asheville events for January 2015: Polar Plunge at Lake Lure Since most of the visitors to Asheville come from the Southeast region, it’s a sure bet no one has experienced — or witnessed — a polar plunge. This annual event at nearby Lake Lure on January 1 raises money for local firefighters. Go watch otherwise sane people do something insane. You may never get another chance. Find out what the Polar Plunge is all about. imgres Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding Winter tourists from five states come to the Western North Carolina mountains to ski. Our nearby ski lodges are open all month. You can ski all day and then come home to your warm cabin in the woods. Get lift tickets for Beech Mountain, Cataloochie or Wolf Ridge. images Downton Abbey Dinner Theater Starting on January 4 and on every Sunday of the month, Lex 18, a downtown restaurant that bills itself as an “Appalachian Fine Dining Supper Club and Moonshine Bar, hosts a five-course meal ($56) with period cocktails ($85) with actors representing the Crawley family of the show. After dinner, everyone can watch the live broadcast. Get more information and buy your tickets.  American Kennel Club Agility Trials If you’re a dog-lover, you may enjoy this weekend Asheville event. On January 17–18 at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, more than 400 purebreds compete on obstacle courses, jumps and other agility drills. Admission is free. Read more about the dog agility trials.  Asheville Restaurant Week 2015 From Tuesday, January 20 until Thursday, January 29, you can get special meals and special deals at area restaurants. This annual event, sponsored by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, encourages locals to eat out, but you can enjoy the prix fixe menus at discount prices, too. Peruse the list of participating restaurants.  imgres Asheville Fringe Arts Festival Asheville has a “fringe” culture, and this fest — modeled after the first and most famous fringe festival in Edinburgh, Scotland — boasts highly original and uncensored (read: adult) performing arts. On January 22–25, you’ll see things you’ve never seen before and may never see again. Of all the Asheville events this month, this one promises to be the most unique. Learn more about Asheville’s Fringe Arts Festival. Winter Warmer Beer Festival A month without a beer festival in Asheville is a lost opportunity for the many breweries in and around the city. From 3:00 to 7:00 pm on Saturday, January 24, Asheville Beer Fest presents Winter Warmer at the U.S. Cellular Center. More than 40 breweries and a few live bands will entertain guests for $48. Get the details about the Winter Warmer Beer Fest.  images Asheville events in January reflect the independent spirit that resides in this mountain town. From the Polar Plunge to the Fringe Festival, Asheville shows its unusual character in the winter. Some people claim it’s the “Keep Asheville Weird” crowd. Others believe that in Asheville, normal is weird. Decide for yourself when you visit Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds in January.