High Country Press

Published Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm
  • 94th Annual Singing on the Mountain This Sunday; “Whosoever Will May Come.”


    June 18, 2018. Singing on the Mountain has been welcoming one and all for the past 94 years, and this year is no different. On Sunday, June 24, all are welcome to join in a free gospel music festival set in MacRae Meadows at the base of Grandfather Mountain. The 94th annual Singing on the Mountain will return to Linville, N.C., with a full lineup of gospel music sensations, including: The Collective, The Cockman Family, Michael Combs, Patricia Smith and New Covenant.  / Read more…



  • Blood Sweat and Gears Bike Ride Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary This Saturday, June 23


    June 19, 2018. A 100-mile bike ride and a 50-mile bike ride will start off Blood Sweat and Gears (BSG) at Valle Crucis Elementary School early Saturday morning. The High Country can expect a change from routine this day as cyclers and their families and friends flood in for the ride. With so many people coming to the High Country, residents can expect the usual boost to the economy that the Blood Sweat and Gears bike ride brings each year. By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • Cal Ripken Baseball Tournament Update: Boone Equip 8U and 9U Teams Add Victories


    June 22, 2018. Both the 8U and 9U Boone Equip baseball teams picked up wins in their games on Thursday. The 8U team won its second game of the tournament, blowing out Fairview by a 17-0 score. The 9U team played its first game on Thursday and came away with an impressive 14-0 win over North Buncombe in the first round.  By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • DAILY TUNES: The Outdoor Music Scene
    Best Cellar’s Friday Night Music on the Lawn, Tonight: Lucky Strikes


    June 22, 2018. Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High Country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over! Two miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway, in historic Blowing Rock, there is a little inn that hosts live music on Friday nights. On these cool summer nights, crowds of families and locals come to the Inn at Ragged Gardens,  for their Music on the Lawn. The patrons unfurl their blankets under the large tree in the grassy space in front of the inn, as the music is performed from a little stage. The 39-year-old inn is lit up at night, and with all of the surrounding greenery and flowers, it looks like a fairytale hideaway. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • FORUM with Lees-McRae Has it’s Second Performance of the Summer this Monday, June 25


    June 22, 2018. In Banner Elk, Lees-McRae has been organizing FORUM as a way to bring cultural programs to the area for over 38 years.  The events of FORUM are spectacular at bringing the High Country community together, in an enjoyable and entertaining way. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • What’s Happening this Saturday at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market


    June 22, 2018. Come share the excitement at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market this Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon at Daniel Boone Park, Horn in the West parking lot in Boone. It’s been a scorcher this week but Saturday morning looks like perfect outdoor shopping weather at the optimal temperature of 76 degrees. This week, the farmers’ market is excited to have the Cane Mill Road band performing on the main stage, along with the Kids Mini Market and other fabulous live music! Can’t say it enough but the Watauga County Farmers’ Market is the place to be on Saturday mornings. You don’t want to miss it so see you Saturday!  / Read more…



  • Return of Avery County’s Wine and Beer Festival is Saturday, June 30 at Sorrento’s Dining Complex


    June 21, 2018. As the summer flies by, celebrate the end of June at the Avery County Wine and Beer Festival! On June 30, the Avery County Chamber of Commerce is hosting the festival from noon to 5 p.m. at Sorrento’s Dining Complex in Banner Elk. All afternoon guests are invited to indulge in beverages from wineries and breweries of the High Country and surrounding area. Admission includes a complementary glass with the purchase of a $20 ticket in advance, or $25 ticket at the door. This ticket also grants you a “flight of tastings” per wine and beer participant. By Savannah R. Watts / Read more…



  • Watauga County Deeds – June 14-20: 54 Deed Transfers With a Total Value of $11,898,000.00

    June 21, 2018. A look at the recent deed transfers in Watauga County. The information comes courtesy of the Watauga County Register of Deeds. Compiled by Debbie Carter / Read more…



  • Boone Equip Sports Teams Competing in Cal Ripkin Baseball League Tournament


    June 21, 2018. The next two weeks will be full of baseball action across North Carolina as the annual Cal Ripkin Baseball League Tournaments are underway. The Boone Equip Sports 7U, 8U, 9U, 10U and 12U teams will all be in action. The 7U, 8U and 9U tournaments started started play on Wednesday with all three of the Boone Equip teams on the road while the 10U and 12U teams will begin play next Thursday, June 28, playing in Boone. The 10U team will play at the Appalachian State University softball field while the 12U team will play at the field at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church. The 8U Equip team already earned a victory in their first round game on Wednesday, blasting Hominy Valley by an 18-0 score. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • DAILY TUNES: The Outdoor Music Scene
    The Inn at Crestwood’s Thursday Night Concert Series, Tonight: Handlebar Betty


    June 21, 2018. Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High Country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over! Down the bewitching Shulls Mill Road lies a charming inn, home to the Inn at Crestwood Summer Music Series. If you enjoy more classy and sophisticated music events, attend one of the Thursday night events at this elegant inn in Blowing Rock. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Just Out of High School, Kelsey Day Publishes Debut Poetry Book “the last four years”


    June 21, 2018. High school is seldom strictly a period of education, of classrooms and pencils, or of scantrons and red pens. Those four years leading up to adulthood, to leaving the nest, are sometimes the most important when it comes to everything else– to unwellness, love, discovery, and healing. Kelsey Day Marlett’s debut poetry book, “the last four years”, chronicles the growing pains that come with being a teenager. Through poetry, Kelsey Day, Marlett’s pen name, is able to transform years of being into art that an audience can not only read, but feel. Day has been a writer ever since she can remember. By Andrea Rodrigues-Ortiz / Read more…



  • Ensemble Stage’s Presents Its First Kids Summer Saturday Show “Marmalade Gumdrops” June 23


    June 21, 2018. This Saturday, June 23, Ensemble Stage Company in Banner Elk, NC brings its Kids Summer Saturday Theatre. Marmalade Gumdrops will be showing at Ensemble Stage in the Old Historic Banner Elk School at 11:00 a.m. Marmalade Gumdrops was written by Carol Lauck and is subtitled “where imagination comes to life.” This kid-friendly show invites families and children to explore their imagination alongside 10-year-old Walter K. Hampton (Wally). As Wally tries to clean out his old toy box, he is assisted by some of his furniture. Wally’s clean-up becomes an adventure as he is led through fun-fill antics with the help of Governor Winthrop, his gumdrop popping desk; Libby Bibliophile, his instructive bookcase; Clair Beam, his not too bright lamp; Bedilia Cotter, his yawning bed; and Windsor, his stuffy chair. Wally moves briskly through delightful experiences that include wind-up dolls, and old-fashioned melodrama, a circus, storytelling, and even a time machine! By Savannah R. Watts / Read more…



  • App State Announces 2018 Athletics Hall of Fame Class

    June 21, 2018. Appalachian State University Athletics and the Former Athletes Association have announced the 2018 Hall of Fame class. In alphabetical order, Mark Fee (wrestling, 1999-2003), Anna Freeman Healy (women’s basketball, 2009-13), Wes Hobson (baseball, 2007-10), Corey Lynch (football, 2003-07) and Marques Murrell (football, 2003-06) are the 2018 inductees. This is the 44th class in the history of the Appalachian State Athletics Hall of Fame. The group will be inducted in a ceremony on Saturday, September 15, ahead of the Mountaineers’ home football game against Southern Miss. For tickets and reservations to the Hall of Fame ceremony, contact Virginia Falck at falckv@appstate.edu or by calling 828-262-3109. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Appalachian Voices’ Home Energy Makeover Contest Shines Light on Weatherization Grants and Energy Co-ops


    June 21, 2018. With the High Country’s cold winters a poorly insulated house can leave precious heat seeping outside and utility bills skyrocketing. While there are federal weatherization grants for low-income families and loans for more wealthy families, many middle-income families fall between the cracks of weatherization funding. That’s why Appalachian Voices created their Home Energy Makeover Contest–to raise awareness about the issue of home energy efficiency, and for one lucky winner to deviler $4,000 worth of home-energy improvements.. By Joe Wiswell / Read more…



  • Jeff Little Trio Scheduled for Rare Avery County Appearance June 30 at Mountaineer Equipment


    June 21, 2018. He’s been on stages across the world and is well known for his amazing talent as one of the greatest pianists to ever place his hands on a keyboard. His unique style can’t be explained, but once you see and hear Jeff Little, you will never forget the experience. As part of the Jeff Little Trio, with Steve Lewis and Josh Scott, Little will be featured in a special indoor concert on Saturday, June 30 beginning at 7 p.m. at Mountaineer Equipment in Pineola, near the Blue Ridge Parkway and a short drive from anywhere in the High Country. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Colonnade Will Soon Become Centerpiece of Banner Elk’s New Park, “Corner on Main”


    June 21, 2018. A rock colonnade framed with a timber roof is now under construction at the Corner on Main park. The colonnade will serve as the park’s centerpiece, providing shaded public seating on streetscape benches in the heart of downtown Banner Elk. Construction began in early June and is expected to conclude by the end of July. The project also includes the installation of a bicycle repair station and bike rack. “Not only will the colonnade be the centerpiece of the park, it will become a focal point for the entire town,” said town manager Rick Owen. Funding for the colonnade was provided by donations from Ron and Kathy Assaf, and Elaine J. Wold. Funding for the bicycle repair station and bike rack was provided by local cycling enthusiasts. / Read more…



  • Summer in the Northern Hemisphere Officially Arrives at 6:07 a.m. Thursday


    June 20, 2018. Based on the temperatures this week in the High Country, it has certainly felt like summertime already. However, the official summer solstice won’t be until 6:07 a.m. on Thursday morning. The changing of season is marked by the day that the sun reaches its highest and northernmost point in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere, meaning it is the day of the year with the most daylight as well. Strangely enough, however, even though it is the longest day of the year, it does not have the earliest sunrise of the year, or the latest sunset of the year. The week prior to the summer solstice always has the earliest sunrise time. The official sunrise time one week ago on June 13 was 6:08 a.m. The official sunrise time for Thursday will be 6:09 a.m. Sunset on Thursday will be at 8:47 p.m. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, June 11 – June 18

    June 20, 2018. Looking to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your neighborhood? Want to keep an eye on criminal activity in your area? Take a look at these recent incident and arrest reports from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone Police Department. Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • DAILY TUNES: The Outdoor Music Scene
    Old Hampton Store’s Thursday Night Concert Series, this Thursday: Shelby Rae Moore


    June 20, 2018. Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High Country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over! On a pleasant little Thursday afternoon, a crowd of people begins to gather behind the historic Old Hampton Store and Barbeque in Linville for their summer concert series. If you follow the charming little brick path to the back of the store, there is a stunning wooden pavilion in front of a large grassy area, perfect for stretching out on a blanket and listening to music. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Sunset Drive in Blowing Rock Set to Receive a Facelift in 2019; Plans Will Be Discussed on Monday


    June 20, 2018. Blowing Rock Town council members will meet on Monday for the annual mid-year retreat in Blowing Rock with potential road improvements for Sunset Drive at the top of the list for discussion. According to Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers, plans for the roadwork will be presented by Town Manager Ed Evans in Monday’s meeting and will likely be voted on in July’s regular town council meeting. Sunset Drive travels from Highway 321 to Main Street and sees its fair share of traffic day in and day out. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Avery County Commissioners Adopt New 2018-19 Budget

    June 20, 2018. By a unanimous 5-0 vote, the Avery County Commissioners approved a 2018-19 fiscal year county budget of $29,638,311.00 during their bi-monthly meeting June 18. A highlight of the budget is that there is no tax increase from the past fiscal year. All Commissioners–Martha Hicks (Chairperson); Blake Vance (Vice-Chairman); Wood Hall (Woody) Young, Jr.; Tim Phillips; and Faye Lacey were present. Other top county officials attending included: County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr.; Finance Director Nancy Johnson; Assistant County Manager and Clerk to the Board Cindy Turbyfill; and County Attorney Michaelle Poore. Approximately 25 others were present at the meeting. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Watauga, Avery Obituaries – June 19, 2018

    May 22, 2018. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland. / Read more…



  • Today’s Email Announcements

    What’s going on in your community? Here’s a brief update on the emails we received today. Check back each day for an updated list of events going on in the area. As always, please feel free to email us about your event or update.

    Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • Mountain Electric Begins Construction of Sugar Mountain Transmission Line


    June 20, 2018. The mission statement of Mountain Electric Cooperative reads that it “will strive to fulfill our member’s needs for affordable electricity, utility related services and community support.” And the latest major manner its officials believe that Mountain Electric is fulfilling those objectives to those who use its services in Northern Avery County is through installation of a new transmission line. Mountain Electric has begun construction on the Sugar Mountain 69,000 volt (69 kV) Line that will connect a new electrical substation in the Village of Sugar Mountain to its 69 kV electrical grid near its Banner Elk Substation. The new substation will be called the Sugar Mountain Substation. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Outdoor Dining —The Perfect Recipe for Summer


    June 20, 2018. With the temperatures taking on a distinct feeling of summer, many of us are beginning to enjoy those traditional backyard barbecues and dinner on the deck. The cooler evenings, surrounded by the ever-changing scenes of nature at its best, make for a perfect time to take advantage of outdoor dining. Let’s try a few simple ideas to make the event one to remember — without a lot of fuss. – Grilled Salmon with Creamy Pesto Sauce – Fresh Mozza-Mato Salad – Quick Cheesey Potato Bake – Frozen Candy Bar Pie. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • St. Mary of the Hills Choir Returns from Studying Abroad for Evensong on June 24


    June 20, 2018. The St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church choir has returned from its latest study trip to England and will sing Evensong at the church in Blowing Rock on Sunday afternoon, June 24th at 3:30 p.m. The choir studies each triennium with a leading English choral director, and this year worked with Tim Brown, Director Emeritus of the Clare College choir in Cambridge, U.K.  Brown, one of the leading proponents of using female voices in place of pre-adolescent male trebles, is well-known from his choirs’ many recordings of traditional Anglican music. / Read more…



  • Jerry Burns’ Day Held in Honor of Former Newspaper Editor in Blowing Rock


    June 19, 2018. The Blowing Rock Historical Society came together on Monday to host the annual Jerry Burns’ Day to honor the former editor of the Blowing Rocket who passed away in 2010. The gathering took place at the Edgewood Cottage with Blowing Rock Historical Society President Rita White serving as introductory speaker and moderator of the event. Each Jerry Burns’ Day has guest speakers to talk about not only their memories of Jerry, but also their own personal family stories. Speakers often answer questions from the crowd in attendance. Blowing Rock Mayor, Charlie Sellers, and his mother, Peggy Sellers, were the featured speakers for Monday’s event. Peggy is the daughter of the late Grover Robbins Sr., who leased and developed the land for the Blowing Rock attraction and the sister of the late Grover Robbins Jr., who purchased Tweetsie Railroad from actor and singer, Gene Autry. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Unveiling of Team Sunergy’s Newest Solar Car, ROSE, on June 22 at Holmes Convocation Center


    June 19, 2018. Team Sunergy, Appalachian State’s solar car team, will be unveiling their newest solar car, ROSE, on June 22nd before they head off to the races with her. ROSE, which stands for Running on Solar Energy, is the first solar car that Team Sunergy has built completely from scratch. She is 100% their own, and they can’t wait to take her to the two races that they’re competing in this summer, the Formula Sun Grand Prix and the American Solar Challenge. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • DAILY TUNES: The Outdoor Music Scene
    BackStreet Park’s Friday Night Concert Series, this Friday: The Crooked Road Ramblers


    June 19, 2018. Daily Tunes will be bringing you live music performances in the High Country area for every day of the week. Get out there and enjoy the cool breezes and relaxing music of summer before it’s over! On Friday nights in the small town of West Jefferson, down the little road behind South Jefferson Avenue, nicknamed BackStreet, there’s a little park where all the action of the night is. Locals and visitors alike gather with chairs, coolers, and children in tow to spread out across the small park and listen to music from BackStreet Park’s summer concerts. There’s a little wooden pavilion where the band plays, and behind the pavilion is an interesting piece of decor—an entire train caboose. By Elly Murray / Read more…



  • Horn in the West Opens for Its 67th Season on June 22 with $10 Admission for Watauga Locals


    June 19, 2018. Imagine yourself as a frontiersman raising a family somewhere deep in the mountains of the High Country during the fight for independence. Starting this Friday, take a visit to the past when you watch Horn in the West. This 67-year-old production follows the harrowing story of the settlers who came to the Blue Ridge Mountains “seeking freedom and escape from British tyranny.” Specifically, this production follows none other than Dr. Geoffrey Stuart, a British physician, his wife, Martha, and their son, Jack. Watch as Horn in the West brings to life the story of Daniel Boone By Hailey Blevins / Read more…



  • LifeStore Bank to ‘Buy Boone Lunch’ on Wednesday June 20, 2018 at F.A.R.M. Café

    June 18, 2018. On Wednesday June 20, between 11 AM and 2 PM, all are welcome to join F.A.R.M. (Feed All Regardless of Means) Café at 617 West King Street as LifeStore Bank sponsors a ‘Buy Boone Lunch’ event. In sponsoring this event LifeStore has covered the café’s basic cost of operation on Wednesday. As is the case with F.A.R.M. Café’s regular lunch service, patrons will utilize the ‘donate-what-you-can’ model. Because of LifeStore’s generous support, each and every donation from patrons will be put to use by the café in its mission to fight food insecurity in the High Country.  / Read more…



  • “The Family that Plays Together Stays Together,” JSMHM Presents the John Cockman Family


    June 19, 2018. Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music is pleased to announce as a part of its 25th Anniversary 2018 Season, the John Cockman Family will appear in special matinee concert on Thursday, June 21st at 2:00pm. The show is titled “The Family that Plays Together, Stays Together”. This performance will take place at the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue in Boone and it marks the opening of the JSMHM Matinee Series, which will feature four other afternoon concerts during this Silver Anniversary Season. / Read more…



  • New Mountain Biking Trails Open June 30th, and Other Events, at Sugar Mountain Resort


    June 19, 2018. Sugar Mountain Resort is revamping its mountain biking scene this summer. Its trail system has been undergoing a substantial expansion and will be opening on June 30 with new beginner and intermediate downhill mountain biking trails and rebuilt expert trails. The object is to make Sugar Mountain into a destination for downhill mountain biking in the region with trails accessible for all skill levels.“We’ve taken the old mountain bike trail system and expanded and rebuilt it,” says Sugar Mountain’s director of marketing Kim Jochl. The old mountain bike trail system was renowned back in the 1990s and early 2000s. It hosted two NORBA National Championships and one collegiate national championship race. By Joe Wiswell / Read more…



  • Movie Review: ‘Incredibles 2’ Everything You Want From a Pixar Movie – Heartfelt

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    June 19, 2018  Although Pixar has never made anything I’d call a “bad” movie, they’ve had mixed results with their sequels. The second and third “Toy Story” movies are just as beloved as the original, and “Finding Dory” is the highest-grossing animated film of all time. But “Monsters University” was an addendum that seemingly nobody wanted, and the two “Cars” sequels are considered the black sheep of the studio. Still, fans were clamoring for a follow-up to “The Incredibles”, the 2004 family-of-superheroes adventure that opened the door to a world that clearly needed more exploring. It’s been a 14-year wait, but yes, this is every bit the sequel that fans have been craving. By Bob Garver. / Read more…



  • 2018 Home and Garden Tour Will Highlight Blowing Rock Properties


    June 19, 2018. The 2018 Watauga County Home and Garden Tour on Saturday, June 30, will feature sites in Blowing Rock, including a hundred-year-old and well-preserved vacation property, a recently renovated and updated get-away, a 1,500-sq ft bungalow that became a 3,000-sq ft showplace, an imposing family gathering place that sits on the Eastern Continental Divide, and two abutting gardens that feature some of the finest in native plant material and original garden statuary. / Read more…



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