July 6, 2022. The third Sunday of July is National Ice Cream Day, but someone understood that this delectable treat deserved more than just one day in its honor. That “someone” was none other than President Ronald Reagan, who in 1984, designated the entire month of July as National Ice Cream Month. Aren’t we glad he did? But, we also have to thank Kentucky Senator Walter Dee Huddleston for initially introducing a resolution for the proclamation, or we might never have been able to celebrate such an occasion. It is estimated that at least 90 percent of the country’s population enjoys ice cream in some form or fashion. And, of course, in most locales, July is the perfect time to indulge. Statistics tell us that nearly three-fifths of all ice cream is produced and consumed in July, followed closely by June and May. If you ask some folks, however, any day is a good day for ice cream. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, in 2021, ice cream makers in the U.S. churned out more than 1.3 billion gallons of ice cream. The majority of U.S. ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturers have been in business for more than 50 years, and many are still family-owned businesses. Also, the IDFA shares, that while ice cream makers are seeing increased demand for non-dairy ice creams and plant-based ingredients, consumers rank these at the bottom of the list for most-consumed types of ice cream and frozen desserts. It is estimated that the average American eats about 20 pounds of ice cream each year, or about four gallons. By Sherrie Norris
July 6, 2022 West Jefferson’s Ashe Civic Center will come to life when singer, songwriter, and musician Clint Roberts takes the stage on Saturday, July 9. Roberts hails from Asheville, and his combination of Folk, Americana, and Roots-rock music will have something for everyone to enjoy. Roberts was born and raised in Brevard and went to school at App State for an extensive time before moving to Asheville. “This is my first show coming back to the App State area. I know it’s Ashe County, but it’s my first time coming back to West Jefferson, and it’s great to come back,” Roberts said. “It’s been a long time since I have come to the High Country of Western North Carolina. I wanted to come back because there’s a sense of home with it being my college town. I spent some time in West Jefferson myself, and I think it’s really beautiful there. I figured it’s about that time to start going back to where a lot of my musical roots came from.” By Harley Nefe
July 5, 2022. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland.
July 5, 2022 The Avery County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on June 29 at the Avery County Community Center in Newland, to discuss the current vacancy of Sheriff and to appoint a new Interim Sheriff. The commissioners approved appointing Mike Henley as Interim Sheriff, which also was approved by the Avery County Republican Party (GOP) Executive Committee. Various family members, friends, associates and colleagues of Henley’s were on hand to witness him being sworn in. By Tim Gardner
July 5, 2022 If you were in the crowds observing the Town of Boone’s Fourth of July parade on Monday, you may have seen some familiar faces amongst the cars and floats in the procession. As a continuation of the celebration of Boone and the town reaching a milestone of 150 years, former mayors were invited back to participate in the festivities. Former mayors including Wade Wilmoth, Larry Keeter, Loretta Clawson, and Andy Ball could be seen in the parade in addition to many former and current town council members and town staff. The Grand Marshal was none other than Rufus Edmisten, an attorney who has served as North Carolina Secretary of State, Attorney General, and was the Democratic nominee for Governor in 1984. By Harley Nefe
July 4, 2022 As cars filled the parking lots, and people packed the sidewalks in all of their patriotic attire, the Town of Boone’s annual Independence Day celebration continued with the 4th of July parade on Monday. Kick-off for the parade started at 11 a.m. while attendees found their favorite spots along King Street. Floats, marchers, and performers in lots of reds, whites, and blues entertained the crowds while passing out candy and other goodies. Smiles could be seen all around, and after the parade, many people gathered at the Jones House to enjoy some refreshing lemonade, watermelon, and cake.
July 4, 2022 Two artists will share Edgewood Cottage from July 4th through July 10th: Earl Davis, who works primarily in oils, and Tim Larson, who designs and creates epoxy furniture art. Earl is mainly a painter of landscapes in oil — local Blue Ridge scenes, memorable landscapes from hiking vacations in national parks and woodlands. While Earl is inspired by and paints the beauty that calls out to him, he is especially inspired to interpret the effects of light. As paintings emerge on the canvas, Earle enjoys the fulfilling challenge of learning. Come enjoy Earl’s work from July 4th through July 10th at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock.
July 4, 2022 The nearest communities from our mountain cabin on Rebwin Mountain are the small mountain townships of Spear and Plumtree, sporting a family population of about 750. This is the epitome of conservative America, and patriotism runs high. During the last few days as we have driven through many mountain communities like these, we have been amazed at the flag displays and other patriotic decorations that these mountain folk display during this week of celebrating our Declaration Of Independence. By James Nipper
July 3, 2022 Hundreds of people gathered on Main Street in Blowing Rock on Saturday, July 2, to kick-off 4th of July celebrations. Families, musicians, organizations, and characters all came together to create another patriotic procession full of costumes and decorated vehicles and floats for everyone to enjoy. For the second year in a row, the annual Main Street Parade was held with the street clear of parked cars. To improve audience safety and experience, Main Street was closed to parking in the morning. Once the parade and spectators had cleared, parking reopened for the public before noon. Another change that was made to the beloved event last year and continued this time was that the parade had an earlier start time of 10 a.m. After the parade, attendees were encouraged to visit Memorial Park for an afternoon of games and music to continue the celebration of Independence Day.
July 1, 2022 Folks are invited to Grandview Restaurant in Banner Elk to join the staff in celebrating 45 years of business. The restaurant will be hosting a 70s themed party in recognition of reaching this milestone on Saturday, July 2 at 5 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their favorite 70s attire to embrace the celebration. The Grandview Restaurant opened on July 2, 1977, under the ownership of Greg and Debbie Cairns, and a lot has changed over the years as their children have now been stepping into roles to give new life to the restaurant.
July 1, 2022 Grandfather Mountain, the not-for-profit nature park run by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, has announced that the new Wilson Center for Nature Discovery is now open to the public. Admission is included with your entrance ticket. The facility nearly doubles the size of public space in the current Nature Museum with 10,000 square feet of education space, including state-of-the-art museum exhibits, three classrooms, an ADA-accessible theater and expanded capacity for hosting conferences and community events (up to 300 people, seated).
July 1, 2022 The long and storied tradition that is the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games returns to MacRae Meadows beginning Thursday, July 7 and lasts through Sunday, July 10. This year’s iteration of the beloved and historic celebration of Scottish ancestry and heritage marks the 66th anniversary of the popular festival that brings a “wee bit o’ Scotland” to the High Country. Throughout the weekend of events, guests can bear witness to the awe-inspiring spectacle of traditional Scottish athletic competitions, which includes a 5-mile footrace up Grandfather Mountain, Scottish heavy athletics, track and field competitions, Highland wrestling, the Grandfather Mountain Marathon and more.
July 1, 2022 Ever since 1776, July 4th has been celebrated as Independence Day. Common festivities to celebrate the holiday include family and friends gathering to enjoy barbecues, attending parades, or viewing fireworks. Across the High Country, all of these activities will be taking place this weekend as there are a variety of events to choose from.
July 1, 2022 The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum will host their annual Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival from August 16-20, 2022, concluding in the Wet Paint Sale on August 20, 2022, from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Be on the lookout August 16-20th and you may notice scores of artists painting outdoors in the fifth annual Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival. “Plein Air” is a French term referring to the practice of painting from life and nature in the great outdoors. BRAHM will once again welcome 120 artists from over fifteen states to draw and paint the area’s many sights and splendors. In addition to watching artists at work over the course of the 5 day festival, BRAHM invites the public to view and shop the Wet Paint Sale on Saturday, August 20th, from 11 AM – 5:00 PM. Tickets are free, but timed entry spots must be reserved online. The sale will be held in BRAHM’s Alexander Community Gallery, located at 159 Ginny Stevens Lane, off Main Street in Blowing Rock.
July 1, 2022 For the month of June 2022, the WCHS is delighted to announce that the Lyons Brothers—Leslie, Clarence, and Earl—have been named as the next inductees of this inaugural class of the WCHS Hall of Fame. Best remembered as master stone masons who constructed numerous homes and institutional buildings throughout Watauga County during the 1930s and 1940s, the Lyons Brothers (who frequently spelled their last name interchangeably as “Lyon”) were three of the six children of William Coy Lyons and Martha Victoria Hodges Lyons of Boone. Little is known about the education or early careers of the brothers. Leslie McDonald Lyons (1900-1957) appeared in the 1920 Federal Census as a timber worker, but his whereabouts and those of his brothers—Clarence Manleth Lyons (1903-1981) and Earl Jones Lyons (1912-1984)—for much of the 1920s are unknown. By 1928, however, all three men were in Durham, North Carolina, where they remained during the late 1920s and early 1930s, completing masonry work on Duke Chapel (cornerstone laid 1930, completed 1932) as well as other buildings at Duke University.
July 1, 2022 Artist Kent Paulette, recently donated a large bear painting to Grandfather Mountain. It hangs permanently on the wall at Grandfather Mountain above the entrance to the newly redesigned Nature Museum at The Wilson Center for Nature Discovery. This project has been in the works since 2019 when artist Kent Paulette first proposed the idea of making and donating an original painting of a bear for Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. He met with Jesse Pope and Lesley Platek, and they discussed the upcoming large expansion of the Nature Museum and possible spots for the painting to hang. This would be the biggest painting Paulette had ever done, 10 feet wide and 7.5 feet tall.
July 1, 2022 A biopic of Elvis Presley is an absolutely perfect fit for director Baz Luhrmann. The filmmaker is known for a garish visual style that, while not “ugly” per se (and in fact can be quite beautiful if seen with the right eyes), always screams “excessive.” He captured the spirit of flashy rebelliousness in the party scenes in “The Great Gatsby” in 2013 and turned the “Moulin Rouge!” into a paradise of hedonism in 2001. Elvis, or at least his onstage persona, was all about exploiting rebelliousness and hedonism, and looking like the most ambitious kind of eyesore in the process. It’s a shame that Elvis and Luhrmann were professionals in different eras, because one wonders what they could have created if they had worked together. As it is, we have to settle for Luhrmann simply creating this lengthy tribute to Elvis. All the expected pieces of the music biopic are covered here. We follow Elvis (Austin Butler) from his well-meaning early days on the carnival circuit to a successful tour where he picks up some bad habits to superstardom and cockiness to a humbling decline to a roaring comeback to misplaced complacency to the utter destruction of his life. Rise and fall, rise and fall, tragic end. The closest thing I’d say this movie has to an “insight” about Elvis is a scene where he confesses that he fears that he won’t be remembered. His fame has been well-established at this point, and if he were thinking more clearly, he couldn’t possibly mean what he’s saying, but still, it’s a powerful reminder that everyone thinks like this sometimes. By Bob Garver
June 30, 2022 Amid the sights and sounds of a High Country summer, Boone’s classic outdoor drama, Horn in the West, returns for a milestone 70th season this year. Since its debut in 1952, this North Carolina tradition has drawn locals and visitors from far and wide for an atmospheric night of music, drama, and American heritage. The nation’s oldest Revolutionary War outdoor drama, Horn in the West, depicts the legendary Daniel Boone and courageous High Country settlers who played a vital role in America’s War for Independence. The show opens July 1st and runs through August 13th every night except Mondays. Gates open at 7:30 p.m., and the two-hour production begins at 8 p.m.
June 30, 2022. The following are recent obituary notices from Austin and Barnes and Hampton funeral homes in Boone and Reins-Sturdivant in Newland.
June 29, 2022. Celebrating the independence of our country is not something to be taken lightly. During the past couple of years, especially — more than ever before — we have been reminded of how precious our freedom really is, and how quickly it can be taken from us. As we pause to pay tribute to this grand country of ours, let us not forget the foundation on which it was built. It was true then and it remains true today: We are one nation under God. Hopefully, those next few words that have been recited countless times over —indivisible with liberty and justice for all — will once again become a reality, rather than just a memory. And, there is much to be said for the phrase: “United we stand, divided we fall.” Again, we are reminded daily of how those words ring true. With much celebration in the air, literally, in the next few days, we also want to remember the Town of Boone during its 150th birthday and all the special commemorations surrounding this important milestone. There have been, and will continue to be many fun, informative and entertaining events throughout the year; hats off to the folks behind the scenes who have worked so hard, already, to provide a top-notch festival, musical and theatrical productions and other crowd-drawing show-stoppers that the area and its visitors have been able to enjoy. A shout out especially to Mark Freed, his staff at the Jones House and those serving on the 150th committee for all the time and effort they are putting into these events. One of the biggest — Monday’s Independence Day Parade —is coming up next! The Jones House and staff serve as the town’s hub for all things entertaining, which many people do not realize. There’s a lot that goes on in that lovely house on the hill! Make sure to say “Thanks” next time you are in town. We hope you enjoy this patriotic holiday with those who are dear to your heart and life, remembering always the ones who gave their lives to make our freedom possible. When you see Old Glory waving in the breeze, don’t take it for granted this time. Stand up for what’s right — and be proud! By Sherrie Norris
June 28, 2022 A domestic dispute has left three people dead following a Monday afternoon shooting in Jonas Ridge. A call came in to Burke County Emergency Dispatch about the incident at approximately 5:30 p.m. on June 27, according to Burke County Sheriff Steve Whisenant. Polly Ann Keller, age 56, of the home, died at the scene. Emergency personnel attempted to transport Jeremy Dean Clark, age 32, of 7253 Parkway Road, Newland, and Anthony Simon Franklin, age 33, of 42 George White Lane, Newland, to Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville. However, both died during transport and were pronounced dead on arrival, the press release stated. By Tim Gardner
June 28, 2022 Karolyn Martin, a recent graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, was named Miss North Carolina 2022 this past Saturday, becoming the second Mountaineer in a row to attain the celebrated honor. Carli Batson, Miss North Carolina 2021 and, like Martin, a May 2022 Appalachian graduate, crowned her successor at the conclusion of the festivities in the High Point Theatre. A third App State grad, Hannah Harvey, Class of 2020, was named Miss Congeniality 2022.
June 28, 2022 The Avery Board of Commissioners have approved the county’s budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. The new budget is $32.4-plus million with an exact amount of $32,431,887.00. Taxes for Avery County residents will not increase for the upcoming fiscal year. In fact, in a milestone happening, there is a .15 cents tax decrease from the last fiscal year of 2021-2022. The county’s general fund tax rate is .40 cents per $100 valuation. That valuation comes from the county’s tax rate of 34.5 cents and 5.5 percent fire tax rate to comprise the .40 cents per $100 valuation. By Tim Gardner
June 28, 2022 In March, they were performing at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland, known as one of the largest, if not the largest, events of its kind in the world. In just a few days, cloggers representing High Country Dance Studio in Boone will be reaching another incredible milestone as they travel to Washington DC to perform in the 2022 National Independence Day Parade. What better place and time to celebrate America’s birthday than in the nation’s capital? The dancers are so excited, said Vanessa Minton, who along with her daughter, Amber Hendley, continue to lead this troupe to greater heights than ever before. By Sherrie Norris
June 27, 2022 On June 25, 2022, the Town of Boone partnered with the High County Audubon Society (HCAS) to host a tree planting event at the Bolick Property. The Town of Boone originally purchased the Bolick Property in 2016, and has permanently conserved approximately 31 acres of the 54 acre property. The partnership HCAS began when the town, working with New River Conservancy and Watauga County, embarked on a restoration of the South Fork New River flowing by the Bolick Property.