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Blowing Rock Art & History Museum to Host Fifth Annual Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival

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.

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Jack Hamrick is the Artist in Residence This Week at Edgewood Cottage Through June 12

June 6, 2022. Artist Jack Hamrick will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock as part of the Artists in Residence program. Art history, life experience, nature and fellow artists are ready sources of inspiration for Jack’s vividly expressive paintings, many inspired by the Appalachian mountains. Having painted all around the world, Jack finds western North Carolina’s High Country to be the perfect muse by which to paint and live.  Come learn more about Jack’s paintings and his work with children using art as therapy, from June 6th through June 12th at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock. 

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Blowing Rock Art & History Museum to Host Summer Luncheon Featuring Rebecca Vizard

May 26, 2022. BRAHM (Blowing Rock Art & History Museum) is pleased to welcome textile artist and entrepreneur Rebecca Vizard as the 2022 Summer Luncheon speaker. The Luncheon will take place at Blowing Rock Country Club on Friday, June 24. Doors to the Clubhouse open at 10:15 am and the lecture will begin at 11:00 am. Entrepreneur, author, and antique textile pillow designer, Rebecca Vizard is based in the small Delta town of St. Joseph, Louisianna and regularly bounces from the idyllic country life to the hustle and bustle of the big city. Over the last 30 years, her enterprising endeavors have afforded her the option of both lifestyles. From her children’s clothing line to her tenure as an interior designer, to her current work designing and constructing bespoke antique textile pillows, she appreciates the contrast of both cultures. She is also the author of Once Upon A Pillow (published by Pointed Leaf Press) which is a visually stunning tome that weaves a magical story of textiles, creativity, and tenacity.

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Oasis Shriners to Return to Blowing Rock June 3 through June 5 for Major Meeting

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May 23, 2022 Oasis Shriners, one of the largest organizations in Shriners International, will return to Blowing Rock, N.C. June 3-5, 2022 for a major meeting that will be attended by hundreds of Shriners. Oasis Shriners includes thousands of members from the fifty Western counties of North Carolina including the cities of Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Asheville. Oasis has for many years been the most generous contributor to Shriners Hospitals for Children contributing millions of dollars to provide superb medical treatment for orthopedic problems, burns, spinal problems, cleft lips and palates, and other serious conditions for thousands of children regardless of the family’s ability to pay for treatment. A number of High Country children have received treatment over the years at Shriners Hospitals. You can access this great treatment program for a child by calling 800-237-5055.

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Blowing Rock’s 2022 WinterFest Kicks Off January 27 and Goes Through January 30 Offering Cool Lineup of Activities

January 26, 2022 Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s 24th annual WinterFest will begin Thursday, January 27 and go through Sunday, January 30, offering opportunities for residents and visitors alike to celebrate the fun side of the chilly winter season. “We have a cool lineup of activities, food specials and events going on all weekend,” said Suzy Barker, Events and Communications Specialist and WinterFest Coordinator for the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. Interested participants are encouraged to check out WinterFest’s website that has been remodeled since previous years. The site now organizes events based on categories such as “Outdoor Fun,” “Food & Drink,” “Kids & Family,” “Arts & Entertainment,” “After Dark” and “All Events.” The full schedule of events for the weekend is still available as well. By Harley Nefe

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Bass Lake Sidewalk Ribbon Cutting Postponed Until Further Notice

January 11, 2022 The ribbon-cutting event celebrating the completion of the sidewalk connecting Main Street to Bass Lake and the Blue Ridge Parkway that was scheduled for today, January 11, at 4:30 p.m., has been postponed until further notice, according to Blowing Rock Town Manager Shane Fox. Fox said that the Town of Blowing Rock decided to postpone the event due to COVID-19 protocols. The final cost of the work was $1.25 million and 80% of that was paid for by an E-FLAP (Eastern Federal Lands Access Program) Grant. The remaining total of approximately $250,000 was paid for by the town.

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Blowing Rock Receives Rough Draft of Sustainable Tourism Management Plan Which Features Ways to Address Parking Concerns

December 13, 2021. A comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Management Plan was shared with citizens of Blowing Rock on Wednesday after months of research, data collection and analysis. The plan, put together by Roger Brooks and his staff at Roger Brooks International, offered a detailed look at tourism in Blowing Rock and how to alleviate some of the issues that both residents and visitors have experienced in the town. “We did comparative research of other cities and towns what they do by season. So we spent months doing research and the main thing that we took into consideration was what citizens of Blowing Rock said. That was our number one priority,” Brooks said Wednesday evening. “We came up with 25 recommendations and they’re not cheap, but I think they’re necessary. And in this, there are five primary components to this whole plan. Number one was dealing with parking and traffic. Number two was the pedestrian experience and safety. Number three was converting day visitors to overnight visitors. Number four is can we bolster the shoulder seasons. Number five is better communication with residents. All of these came from locals and local businesses.”   By Nathan Ham

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Chetola Resort Festival of Lights Provides Holiday Cheer Through Jan. 30

November 30, 2021. Chetola Resort once again welcomes folks to its drive-through tour known as the Festival of Lights. The display includes close to 30,000 lights throughout the resort and around Chetola Lake. The Festival of Lights is free and open to the public. Drive the resort’s main thoroughfare and see lighted displays of carolers, a Nativity scene and other holiday symbols. Park and walk around Chetola Lake and the property, or just roll down the window to hear a merry melody.

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Blowing Rock Hosting a Weekend Full of Christmas Fun Friday and Saturday

November 23, 2021. Blowing Rock’s traditional Christmas celebrations are back this weekend with plenty of fun on Friday and Saturday. Each year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Blowing Rock invites residents and visitors to come out and be a part of the Lighting of the Town on Friday followed by the annual Christmas Parade on Saturday. Events begin at noon on Friday with a chance to get your photo made with Santa Clause until 3 p.m. Carnival games in Memorial Park start at 1:30 p.m. and will last until 4 p.m. Live music begins at 2 p.m. and will continue through 6:30 p.m. The main event of the evening will be the Lighting of the Town at 5:30 p.m. All events will be held at Memorial Park.   By Harley Nefe

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Town of Blowing Rock Lifts Mask Mandate After 3-2 Town Council Vote

November 18, 2021. On Tuesday night, the Blowing Rock Town Council voted 3-2 to lift the current State of Emergency, ending the town-wide mask mandate. The decision was made in part due to the fact that the Watauga County positivity rate has remained below 5% for over two weeks. The 3-2 vote included the option to reconvene and discuss if the Watauga County positivity rate rises above 5% for at least 7 consecutive days. The Council was split and Mayor Sellers cast the deciding vote. The cancellation of the current SOE and mask mandate still allows for businesses to make the decision to require masks in their business if they choose to do so. The Town will support any business that chooses to require masks of customers and employees.

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Blowing Rock Civic Association Creates Video Interviewing Candidates for the Blowing Rock Town Council

October 19, 2021. The Blowing Rock Civic Association put together a video with three of the four Blowing Rock Town Council candidates seeking to be elected on November 2. Pete Gherini, Doug Matheson and Melissa Pickett took part in the interview. Candidate Nancy Collins did not participate due to a prior commitment. “We felt unsure about whether to have our traditional in-person forum because of the uncertainty around COVID,” said Tim Gupton, President of the Blowing Rock Civic Association. “It struck us that this would be a really effective way to do a better, in-depth job of asking specific questions and getting the candidates on the record. We think that helped because the questions were important to us as a homeowner group. I think we got some good responses.” Gupton said that the questions were sent to the candidates in advance so that they could better prepare their thoughts. He added that the video interview format may be what they move to going forward with future candidate forums.  By Nathan Ham

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Blowing Rock Town Council Presented with Petition About Speeding and Noise Concerns; Blowing Rock Chief of Police Addresses Traffic Enforcement Issues

October 13, 2021. At Tuesday’s meeting of the Blowing Rock Town Council, a petition with 298 signatures was presented to the council about concerns over speeding and noise on Valley Boulevard/Highway 321 traveling through Blowing Rock. Lorry Mulhern, general manager of the Green Park Inn, spoke during public comment and presented the petition to the town council. “This petition at its core is a compilation of suggested action that individuals have been offering to town government for years,” Mulhern said. “The residents, taxpayers and business owners who have signed this petition have united behind it in the hope that some additional, different actions might be taken in order to address this matter and we hope that the Blowing Rock town government will unite with us in this cause. Many stand ready to assist in any possible way, just ask.” Blowing Rock Police Chief Aaron Miller was there to answer questions and shared a brief overview with council members and citizens in attendance about what the police department is doing in terms of traffic enforcement. Right now, the department has 13 full-time officers, 10 of which are assigned to traffic patrol and seven of those are certified to operate a radar.  By Nathan Ham

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Blowing Rock Citizens Sign Petition Over Concerns of Speeding and Noise on Highway 321

October 8, 2021. Several concerned citizens in Blowing Rock have been vocal about the amount of speeding and noise on Highway 321 going through Blowing Rock. Now, a total of 286 people have signed a petition that will be delivered to the Blowing Rock Town Council for them to “use every tool at its disposal, and take substantial, active measures to alleviate the noise, and speeding (contributory to the noise) along Rt. 321.” Lorry Mulhern, the general manager at the Green Park Inn, said the current plan is to present the petition to the council at their October 12 meeting. “I and others have approached the town over a period of years. I addressed the issue of speeding and Jake Brakes by 18 wheelers when JB Lawrence was still mayor. I stood up and asked why the police couldn’t pull them over and ticket them. JB’s answer was you can’t pull over 18 wheelers, there’s nowhere to pull them over,” Mulhern said. By Nathan Ham

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Amanda Lugenbell Completes STS Marketing College, Earns ‘Travel Marketing Professional’ Certification

October 6, 2021. Amanda Lugenbell, Assistant Director of the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority (TDA), has completed the three-year program of the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College and earned certifications as a Travel Marketing Professional (TMP) and Festival and Event Planner (FEP). For fifteen years, as Assistant Director of the Blowing Rock TDA, Lugenbell has worked her way up to manage Communications and Public Relations while also developing Social Media guidelines and strategies for the destination marketing organization. Lugenbell first came to the TDA in 2004 as an intern from the Hosptality and Toruism Management Program at App State. She is well respected throughout the High Country tourism community as well as in media circles across the country. 

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Blowing Rock Candidates’ Forum Happening at 5:30 p.m. this Evening at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium

October 4, 2021. Blowing Rock Town Council candidates and Mayor Charlie Sellers will all be present this evening at 5:30 p.m. for the Blowing Rock Candidates’ Forum happening at the Blowing Rock School auditorium. The evening will feature candidates speaking on issues that are important to the Blowing Rock community, as well as musical entertainment from Ben Parker and Owen Parker from 5-5:30 p.m. for those that arrive early. There will be complimentary popcorn and even a best-dressed contest for Most Patriotic Blowing Rock School Student. Students that are participating in the contest need to have their parents accompanying them and stay for the entire event. Each student will be entered into a contest to win a $50 gift card from The Speckled Trout. Mayor Sellers is running unopposed for re-election this year. There are four candidates running for three seats on the Blowing Rock Town Council.  Nancy Pitts Collins, Pete Gherini, incumbent Doug Matheson and Melissa Pickett are seeking election to the town council. 

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Early Voting for Municipal Elections Begins in Two Weeks; Blowing Rock and Boone Hosting Candidates Forums Next Week

September 30, 2021. Municipal elections are about a month away and early voting begins in two weeks on October 14 for town council seats in Boone, Blowing Rock, Seven Devils and Beech Mountain. Boone’s town council will be made up of at least four brand new members and possibly all five seats could have new representation from the previous council. Only Jon Dalton George, who was appointed to fill a vacated seat left by the resignation of Dustin Hicks, and Virginia Roseman, who was appointed to fill a vacated seat left by the retirement of Loretta Clawson in February, are seeking to return to the council. Roseman, George, Todd Carter, Benjamin Ray, Adrian Tait and Eric Woolridge are all running for three open town council seats. Eric Brown, Christy M. Cook, Rebecca Nenow and Edie Tugman are all running for two unexpired terms that will end in 2023. Connie Ulmer, Sam Furgiuele and Nancy LaPlaca all chose not to seek re-election. Blowing Rock’s town council has three open seats with four people on the ballot. Nancy Pitts Collins, Pete Gherini, Doug Matheson and Melissa Pickett are seeking election to the town council.  By Nathan Ham

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Zan Thompson is the Final Artist in Residency This Week at Edgewood Cottage Through September 19

September 14, 2021. Watercolor artist Zan Thompson will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through September 19 as part of their Artists in Residency program. This is the final week of the program for 2021. Watercolor artist, teacher and observer of place, Zan grew up playing and experimenting with art in his parents’ Atlanta studios. Of all the mediums, he was most attracted to watercolor but found it more difficult than other medium. It was this love for watercolor that would bring him back again and again until he found the joy and excitement he had always expected. Today, Zan paints strictly in watercolor, is a signature member of Watercolor Society of North Carolina and teaches classes in watercolor. Zan’s themes include landscapes, seascapes/fishing, botanical, still lives, and abstract art. Come meet Zan from September 13th through September 19th at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock. Zan’s residency concludes this summer’s Artist-in-Residence program.

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Linda Elksnin, Lisa Pepper and Bob Meier are the Artists in Residency This Week at Edgewood Cottage Through September 12

September 7, 2021. Artists Linda Elksnin, Lisa Pepper and Bob Meier will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through September 12 as part of their Artists in Residency program. Linda’s colorful, whimsical paintings are inspired by eclectic sources such as textiles, self-taught and outsider artists, and mainstream artists such as Mark Rothko, Romare Bearden and Marc Chagall. She incorporates symbols, shapes, and subject matter from a variety of cultures, including those of the American South, Appalachia, and Haiti, as well as the aboriginal people of Panama and Australia. Linda uses a variety of media (acrylic, watercolor, gouache, color pencil, pastel) to work on paper, canvas, and wood. Whether abstract or loosely based on reality, the common thread of all her work is color and graphically pleasing design. Her work is often described as whimsical and happy. Want to see art to make you smile? Come meet Linda from September 6 through September 12 at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock.

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Fredrick Craig Franz is the Artist in Residency This Week at Edgewood Cottage Through September 5

August 30, 2021. Artist Fredrick Craig Franz will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through August 29 as part of their Artists in Residency program. A 42-year resident of Western North Carolina’s High Country, Frederick ‘Craig’ Franz’s home in Avery County is a landscape artist’s dream. His home is at the foot of rugged Grandfather Mountain and on the northern border of the Pisgah National Forest. Four true seasons visit the High Country each year and provide Craig with unlimited inspiration from which to paint. Working in soft pastels and oils, his award-winning paintings are created both plein air and in the studio.

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Town of Blowing Rock Brings Back Indoor Mask Mandate Starting on Friday, August 27 at 5 p.m.

August 25, 2021. In an emergency Blowing Rock Town Council meeting on Tuesday evening, the council voted unanimously to reinstitute a mask mandate for all indoor areas in Blowing Rock, beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 27. There will be a two-week grace period before anyone will be written any citations. That grace period will end on Friday, September 10 at 5 p.m. This is the second local municipality to bring back required face coverings inside public buildings. Boone instituted a similar mask mandate on August 10. In addition to town mandates, a board of education mandate requires all Watauga County students to wear masks indoors.  By Nathan Ham

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Town of Blowing Rock Holding Emergency Meeting on Tuesday to Consider Additional COVID-19 Restrictions

August 23, 2021. The Town of Blowing Rock Town Council will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 beginning at 5:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting will be to gather an update on COVID in the Town and the County and possibly discuss further restrictions within the Town. The public may attend or access this meeting by video by accessing the Town’s YouTube Channel, no active participation during the meeting will be allowed. Access the meeting via this link: http://www.townofblowingrocknc.gov/meetings

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David Collins is the Artist in Residency This Week at Edgewood Cottage Through August 29

August 23, 2021. Artist David Collins will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through August 29 as part of their Artists in Residency program. A self-taught artist and art teacher, David was born in Sebring, Ohio. Having contracted polio as a young child, he passed time drawing, coloring, constructing and painting with watercolor. As an adult, David was able to move forward with his passion for creating and successfully operated an art studio in Lakeland, Florida. In addition to street art in Lakeland, David offers plein air landscapes and studio acrylics.

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Kathryn Regel is the Artist in Residency This Week at Edgewood Cottage Through August 22

August 16, 2021. Artist Kathryn Regel will be spending this week at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock through August 22 as part of their Artists in Residency program. Kathryn has been described as a weaver of stories; her work, a unique combination of art, memories and ancestry. Technically, Kathryn combines old family photos with current-day prints to make a story—either real or imagined. She adds images of maps, news clippings, advertisements, sewing patterns, stamps and anything else that she feels go with the stories. She then paints the layers together with acrylic paint to make it seem like a seamless picture. A native of Wisconsin, Kathryn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art from the University of Texas and currently resides in North Carolina.

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Blowing Rock Town Council Passes Resolution Honoring Woodlands Barbeque

August 13, 2021. Woodlands Barbeque in Blowing Rock received a special honor from the Blowing Rock Town Council as they passed a resolution celebrating the historic 40-year run that the restaurant had since opening as Woodlands in 1980. Butch and Gina Triplett, and Jim and Peggy Houston founded the restaurant in 1977 and it was originally known as Grubstake before the name and menu changed to the iconic Woodlands Barbeque three years later. The restaurant survived an arson attempt in 1990 and came back stronger than ever. In addition to the millions of food orders they have filled over the years, Woodlands was known for the multiple charitable causes that they supported over the last 44 years, including Hospitality House, the Hunter and Health Coalition, Blowing Rock Community Foundation, Rotary International, the Kiwanis Club and programs at Appalachian State University. By Nathan Ham

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Town of Blowing Rock to Require Masks be Worn in Town-Owned Buildings; Businesses Can Determine Masking Policy

August 12, 2021. On Tuesday, the Town of Blowing Rock issued its own masking guidance requiring everyone to wear a mask inside town-owned buildings, including town hall, the police department, and the American Legion Building. The State of Emergency went into effect at 5 p.m. yesterday. The masking policy does not require that people wear masks indoors in privately owned businesses, however, the town “strongly encourages” store patrons and employees to do so and businesses also have the right to determine their masking policies, according to the declaration. The policy will remain in effect until further notice, according to the town. By Nathan Ham

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