June 21, 2021. Two artists will greet visitors at Edgewood Cottage from June 21 through June 27: Lauren Waterworth, Oils, and Cathy Futral, Watercolor and Acrylics. Lauren Waterworth grew up in Watauga County and has lived in Western North Carolina most of her life. She minored in Studio Art at Appalachian State while pursuing a major in Geology. She earned a Master’s Degree in Geology from Texas A&M University and a JD from Tulane University Law School. Lauren takes inspiration from the landscape and the natural world around her. In her painting, she tries to capture that joyous, incongruous feeling of familiarity and surprise, of being very much at home and yet being somewhere else. Come explore and enjoy Lauren’s art this week at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock.
June 10, 2021. Two artists will greet visitors at Edgewood Cottage from June 14 through June 20: Mike Koenig, landscape photographer and Evenlight Eagles, leather artisan. Mike Koenig is a nature and landscape photographer located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. His work has been published in magazines including Blue Ridge Country, Smoky Mountain Living, WNC, and the official North Carolina Wildlife Magazine. Mike’s work most recently graced the Spring cover of Carolina Mountain Life (CML). Many of his original images represent years of traveling and shooting in and around the Blue Ridge Mountains. Mike would enjoy talking with you about his art and travels from Monday, June 14th through June 20th at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock.
June 10, 2021. Woodlands Barbeque Restaurant in Blowing Rock was filled with sounds that left attendees tapping their feet to the tunes of a performance from the old-time string band The Corklickers on the evening of June 6. The Corklickers made an appearance from 4 to 6 p.m. as part of a special event for former High Country resident Julian Monroe Fisher who returned to Blowing Rock for the day to reunite with familiar faces. The Corklickers play old-time music from the 1920s-1930s, and the band started in 1976. Fisher was an original member of the band along with brothers Mark and Gil Adams who hadn’t seen Fisher in 40 years before the reunion. By Harley Nefe
June 7, 2021 Over 25 different talented artists will show their work to include oils, pastels, watercolor, mixed-media, fiber-art, pottery, leather works and turned-wood creations. Fiber-artist Susan Sharpe finished her week at the Cottage on Sunday and is followed by the High Country Modern Quilt Guild beginning today, June 7. With a current membership of 25 quilters, the Guild’s mission is to support and encourage the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community. Eight members have been juried to present this week at Edgewood Cottage. Their work will include modern design quilts, wall hangings, handbags, baskets and fiber arts. Come learn more about the Guild and these eight artists this week at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock.
May 27, 2021 Dr. Anthony (Tony) Zeiss will be the guest speaker at the American Legion’s annual Memorial Day Program in Blowing Rock’s Memorial Park on Saturday May 29, 2021, at 11 a.m. The community is invited to attend. Dr. Zeiss, one of the nation’s most outstanding educators, was the President of Charlotte’s Central Piedmont Community College for 23 years until his retirement in 2016. During his tenure, Dr. Zeiss built CPCC from one campus to six campuses serving 70,000 students per year. Under his leadership, CPCC became the nation’s most outstanding educational institution for workplace development. This focus on workplace development enabled Charlotte to attract many international and national firms to locate facilities in the area. This was a major boost to Charlotte and North Carolina’s outstanding economic growth during Dr. Zeiss’ Presidency. Dr. Zeiss’ advice is often sought by national leaders on educational issues.
May 26, 2021 Families should take note of the revamped weekly programs of Afternoon Art for ages 6-12 every Tuesday at 3:30, and Doodlebug Club for ages 2-5 Fridays at 9:30. Each program requires online registration up to two weeks in advance. Weekly youth programs are free for BRAHM members at the household level and above, or just $8 per session for the general public. Other youth programs this summer include the new Palette Pals, which is similar to our longstanding Cork & Canvas program, but aimed at child/adult pairs to work side by side on their own paintings. Palette Pals are scheduled for Friday, June 18, Friday, Jul 9, and Friday, Aug 6, 2021 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Cost per pair is $85 general admission per pair or $75 for BRAHM members
April 26, 2021 Students attending the celebratory party marking the end of the school year got to see their college campus in a new light. Lees-McRae held an end-of-semester event for students on April 15. The Bobcat Blast featured food, games, a beer garden from a local Bobcat-owned brewery, and the world premiere of Red Bull’s “Back to School Urban Snowboarding” Rail Report with Luke Winkelmann, which was filmed in February on the Lees-McRae campus. In the video, Winkelmann and fellow snowboarders Judd Henkes and Alex Caccamo slide down stair rails on their boards, landing jumps into mountains of snow. The video shoot took place over three days in February. Appalachian Ski Mountain carted in the snow and the Lees-McRae ski and snowboard team helped the athletes build the jumps, turning the college campus into a temporary playground for some of the best snowboarders in the country.
April 13, 2021 The much-anticipated sidewalk project to connect Main Street to Bass Lake and the Blue Ridge Parkway is just a few short weeks from being completed, that according to both Mayor Charlie Sellers and Blowing Rock Town Manager Shane Fox. “The sidewalk to Bass Lake has taken many years to reach its fruition. The DOT and the town have collaborated and now it is something that should be completed in early summer, which further enhances the walkability of our town,” said Mayor Sellers. “We have had a lot of great things that have happened in the town in the last few years and more things to come.” According to Fox, the cost of the project was an estimated $1.3 million. An E-FLAP (Eastern Federal Lands Access Program) Grant covered 80 percent of the cost while Blowing Rock had to cover the other 20 percent. “Essentially we got a grant that ties the walkway from town property to federal property, which is the Blue Ridge Parkway,” said Fox. By Nathan Ham
August 14, 2020 Despite some tough times for towns during this COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Blowing Rock found plenty of positive project updates and town news to share. Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Charles Hardin shared data that showed people are still interested in Blowing Rock and wanting to see what all is going on in the High Country. In 2019, there were approximately 47,000 visitors came to the numerous events the town has to offer. There were also 47 new members that joined the Blowing Rock Chamber, bringing the total to 543. There were 461,000 unique visitors to blowingrock.com and a total of 15,111 followers on social media. In addition to the data, Hardin pointed out some of the things that the chamber has played a role in developing over the last year. Continued advocacy for the Blue Ridge Parkway and its importance to the community finally paid off with Congress passing the Great American Outdoors Act that will provide $500 million for the Blue Ridge Parkway to address deferred maintenance issues. By Nathan Ham
August 5, 2020 The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Community, Government & Education Committee in partnership with the Town of Blowing Rock invite all residents and business owners to attend the annual State of the Town event Thursday, August 13 at 5:30. Due to indoor meeting restrictions, this year’s event will be held virtually. The Town of Blowing Rock will issue a link to anyone who wishes to view the event online. This event will be broadcast live as a YouTube video from the Council Chambers in Town Hall. Join us to learn about exciting current and future projects in the Town of Blowing Rock as well as look at the economic indicators. The Town’s report will be presented by Mayor Sellers and Town Manager, Shane Fox. Charles Hardin will update the audience on the current projects and initiatives of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and the Village Foundation.
July 27, 2020 I want to thank all of our citizens for adhering to the Governor’s mandate for wearing face coverings while in public areas. This being said, I have noticed some visitors to our community not wearing face coverings while in public areas and many of our merchants have been kind enough to offer face coverings. I have spoken with some of our visitors and they have stated how kind the merchants and citizens have been during their visits. We must keep in mind that we have visitors from all over the country and they may not be aware of the guidelines so it is detailed below for those people that might not be aware of his mandate. Governor Cooper’s mandate issued June 26 requiring protective mask be worn by employees and visitors in private and public buildings in the State of North Carolina and any area outdoors that six-foot social distancing can not be maintained. The people exempt would be those with health conditions that wearing a mask could affect their health in a negative manner, families walking together outdoors (must social distance from non-family members), and children under the age of 11.
July 13, 2020 As your mayor, I strive to keep all our citizens informed. This will include decisions made in our community and updates to ongoing and future projects that will positively affect our community. My upcoming memos will address how our community is progressing during the coronavirus outbreak. I remain positive with the direction our town is taking and feel that the current situation will delay some of our projects but I feel confident they will progress on a revised schedule. I’m looking forward to continued service to our great community. COVID-19 Update: Governor Cooper’s mandate issued June 26 requiring protective mask be worn by employees and visitors in private and public buildings in the State of North Carolina and any area outdoors that six-foot social distancing can not be maintained is still in effect. The people exempt would be those with health conditions that wearing a mask could affect their health in a negative manner and children under the age of 11.
May 20, 2020 The Blowing Rock Historical Society has announced the cancellation of this year’s Artist in Residence at Edgewood Cottage program (AiR). The cancellation is the result of uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and our concern for the health and safety of our artists, visitors, and volunteers. An outstanding group of 26 high-country artists had been selected to present their work in Edgewood Cottage. Selected artists include Randy Blake Clontz, David Collins, Earl Davis, Evenlight Eagles, Linda Elksnin, Tunde Afolayan Famous, Nathan Favors, Fredrick Craig Franz, Kelly Gross, Lee Harper, High Country Modern Quilt Guild, Mike Koenig, Amy Lowery, Cathy McCoy, Cindy McEnery, Pat Moritz, Scott Pearson, Lisa Pepper, Kathryn Regel, Susan Sharpe, Waitsel Smith, Ineke Thomas, Zan Thompson, Lauren Waterworth, David Westmeier, and Linda White. Each of these talented artists has been invited to participate in next year’s 2021 program.
May 11, 2020 Many people were happy to be out of the house and able to enjoy a sunny but chilly afternoon on the streets of Blowing Rock. Shoppers had a chance to visit their favorite retail stores after Governor Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order was lifted and Phase 1 of reopening the state began at 5 p.m. on Friday. “Families were glad we were back open, and we were glad to be able to help them start their summer wardrobe,” said Corinna Dietrich, owner of Almost Rodeo Drive. People were shopping with a purpose, going in and picking out new clothing items, and happily making their purchase before going to the next store on their shopping list. Monkee’s of Blowing Rock, owned by Jessica and Kenneth Wehrmann, were definitely ready to be back open. “It was a lot busier than we anticipated. People were ready to get out and shop. I think people were respectful of each other for the most part,” said Jessica. “We are just trying to do all we can to keep everybody safe. We’re being extra careful and extra clean and I am encouraged that we are headed in the right direction.” By Nathan Ham
May 11, 2020 The Blowing Rock Town Council will be holding its next meeting remotely. Public comments received by 4:00 P.M. on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, will be available to be read by the Mayor/Manager during the public comment section of the Council Meeting. Town Council Members will have the ability to hear and potentially respond to any public comments. The public will not be able to speak during the meeting. All public comments must be received prior to 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The video stream of the meeting can be found here.
March 3, 2020 Note: Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers will be providing the High Country Press with news and updates on projects in Blowing Rock. This week, Mayor Sellers shared updates on the reopening of the Legacy Trail, Middle Fork Greenway and Blowing Rock TDA Revenues. Legacy Trail – is now back open!! Handrails and signage are up and approved by the League Of Municipalities. Thanks to our Public Works Staff for completing this project for approximately $700. Thanks to our BR citizens for being patient while we worked through logistics reopening the stairway. Sunset/Main – intersection model – McGill has provided staff this week with an overlay of the intersection of Sunset/Main with pedestals and crosswalks. We will have complete cost numbers early in March from both the DOT and McGill. The council will be looking at different options for mastheads and lighted crosswalk signage. It is possible this may become reality by summer of 2020.
January 15, 2020. Sunset Drive’s fresh new look in Blowing Rock received a lot of praise and positive reviews as the town gathered on Tuesday afternoon for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the finished product. “This project has needed to be done for many years. It’s done, it’s now a focal point of our town. It has taken us to a new level and hopefully, we will have more of this to come,” said Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie sellers. “This is the first street you come up where you have a view of the park. This accentuates the park, this accentuates the gazebo. Turning off of Valley Boulevard onto Sunset, you look up this street and it’s a world of difference. I’ve heard nothing but positive comments about how good it looks and how it means so much to the presentation of the town of Blowing Rock. The mayor extended his gratitude to the contractors including Iron Mountain, Greene Construction and McGill engineering for the work that they did up and down the street and doing their best to “make things as bearable for the business owners as possible.” By Nathan Ham
January 14, 2020 Note: Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers will be providing the High Country Press with news and updates on projects in Blowing Rock. This week, Mayor Sellers shared updates on some items discussed at the town council’s annual retreat. Town of Blowing Rock Council Retreat was held on January 6, 7 and 8 at Blowing Rock Art and History Museum. Listed below are the top ten items that are the focus of the council and Department supervisors over the next 12 months and items that were discussed that were previously approved and are ongoing projects.
November 29, 2019 Note: Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers will be providing the High Country Press with news and updates on projects in Blowing Rock. This week, Mayor Sellers shared updates on the Sunset Drive Project, Planning Board meeting and a reminder of holiday events coming up. Sunset Drive Project – Paving is COMPLETE!!!! Striping and landscaping were completed this week. After the striping and landscaping, we will have the typical minor punch-list items to complete. But the project is in the final few days!!!! Planning Board – The Planning Board met November 21 and approved the Blue Ridge Hotel project on Main Street by unanimous vote. The proposed project is located across from Mountainaire Inn and Cabins. This project will come before the Council on December 10.
November 29, 2019. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce will not host SAVOR Blowing Rock in the Spring of 2020. SAVOR Blowing Rock, originally known as Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival, ran for 12 consecutive years as a four-day festival celebrating food and wine. From its inception, it was a festival designed to bring visitors to the High Country during a shoulder season month. In the past few years, this was not drawing the numbers of attendees that it was intended to do. The festival has undergone several changes including, rebranding the festival name to SAVOR, moving the date into May and moving the venue of the Grand Tasting event to Main Street. Despite the Chamber’s best efforts, there has been a steady decline in ticket sales for several years. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce is committed to bringing visitors to the town during the “shoulder seasons” and will re-imagine a new SAVOR event over the next year.
November 4, 2019 Note: Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers will be providing the High Country Press with news and updates on projects in Blowing Rock. This week, Mayor Sellers shared updates on the Sunset Drive Project, Bass Lake Sidewalk Project, Valley Boulevard landscape plantings and money collected through the Blowing Rock TDA Occupancy Tax. Sunset Drive Project: Next week (11/4-11/8) the remaining sections of concrete work will be completed. This work will conclude the sidewalks, curbing, and gutter. On Tuesday the sod will be delivered for the landscaping areas and later in the week, weather permitting, the trees and plantings will be delivered. Street signs are scheduled to be installed throughout the week along with some additional smoothing and filling in work. Maymead is scheduled to begin milling the week of November 11th, with paving to begin immediately following the week of November the 18th. We continue to work on schedule and within project completion dates.
October 28, 2019. Tuesday is the final chance for citizens to provide their own personal input to the town of Blowing Rock for how the Valley Boulevard/Highway 321 corridor should look in the future. Earlier this year, the Town of Blowing Rock formed an Ad Hoc Committee to study the portion of Highway 321/Valley Boulevard that travels through the town. The Town also hired Benchmark Planning to assist the committee in creating a vision for how Highway 321 should look. Much of the feedback provided should be focused around land uses, landscaping and beautification, site design, building design, and community appearance. The first meeting was held on October 15 and the final meeting will take place this Tuesday, October 29 at Blowing Rock Town Hall. By Nathan Ham
October 24, 2019. Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Charles Hardin was recognized for his outstanding work in the Blowing Rock business community by being named the 2019 North Carolina Chamber Executive of the Year. The award was presented by the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (CACCE) at their annual management conference that was held earlier this month at the Embassy Suites Oceanfront Resort in Myrtle Beach. In an essay acknowledging the selection of Hardin for the award, he was described as the symphony conductor rather than the “obnoxious lead singer in the band.” “When the Blowing Rock Chamber Board of Directors selected Charles Hardin as President, many people in our own town said ‘he’ll never make it! He’s way too introverted.’ But that’s exactly why Charles has been the best Chamber leader Blowing Rock has ever seen,” the essay continued. By Nathan Ham
October 23, 2019. Downtown Blowing Rock will be filled with monsters, ghosts, ghouls and creepy, crawly creatures this weekend for the annual Blowing Rock Halloween Festival. All events are free and will make for a family-friendly and fun Saturday afternoon and evening. The day starts off with a special Creepy Crafts hands-on activity at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) from 2-3 p.m. After that, numerous games and activities for kids will begin at 3 p.m. in Memorial Park, including an inflatable airwalk that will be set up until 8 p.m. From 4-8 p.m., hayrides will be offered to travel through Blowing Rock. More Halloween events kick off at 5:30 p.m. with the Monster March on Main Street. Everybody in their costumes is invited to line up at the American Legion building to begin the match. Trick-or-Treat begins downtown at 6 p.m. as does the Trunk-or-Treat event at Blowing Rock First Baptist Church. By Nathan Ham
October 9, 2019 Following last week’s candidate roundtable sponsored by the Blowing Rock Civic Association, residents in the community have one more opportunity to hear four town council candidates and Mayor Charlie Sellers answer questions on a wide variety of topics. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a candidates’ forum on Monday, October 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Blowing Rock School auditorium. The forum is produced by the Blowing Rock Leadership Challenge alumni group that has about 90 different alumni members inside and outside the Blowing Rock area, according to Charles Hardin, the President of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. Hardin said that the event will last an hour and a half and is the first organized event to be held in the Blowing Rock School auditorium since some new upgrades had been made inside the building. By Nathan Ham