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Happy WinterFest 2014! Check Out Our Schedule for The Celebration to Help You Plan the Perfect Weekend

by Madison V. Fisler 

Jan. 24, 2014. Blowing Rock’s Annual WinterFest starts today, and that means tons of exciting events for the entire family are coming your way.

Join the town of Blowing Rock for an extended weekend of spectacular events, including live music, competitions, charity drives and much more.

Check out our updated calendar to see what WinterFest has in store for you this year, and make it an extended weekend to remember.

Thursday, Jan. 23

  • The Blowing Rock WinterFest kicks off with the WinterFEAST! Blowing Rock’s most talented culinary masters will come together in this highly anticipated annual event which takes place at Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola, where guests can enjoy a mouthwatering menu prepared by the best of the best. This year’s participating restaurants include Timberlake’s at Chetola Resort, Canyons, Blowing Rock Ale House, Best Cellar, the Chestnut Grille, Meadowbrook Inn, Foggy Rock, The Table at Crestwood, Bald Guy Brew, Bistro Roca, Restaurant G, The New Public House, Stick Boy Bread Company, Rowlands Restaurant at Westglow and Woodlands. Tables are available for purchase for $600, seating 8-10. Call Billie Rodgers at the Chamber of Commerce for reservations. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. 
  • Shop ’til You Drop: Shop in Blowing Rock’s quaint downtown shops and Tanger Outlet Shoppes on the Parkway.  Blowing Rock offers an abundance of shopping possibilities from art galleries to fine antiques, apparel to bookstores, great restaurants to spas, you can find it all here! 
  • Cocoa on Canvas: Join the BRAHM Cocoa and Canvas to celebrate WinterFest with the entire family. Cocoa and Canvas is a fun, two-hour art class in which participants will work with a professional art instructor to create a painting that they will take home at the end of the class. The class will be light-hearted, and no previous art experience is necessary. The cost is $40 for non-members and $35 for members. BRAHM will provide drinks and light refreshments, as well as all of the art supplies. Children over age 10, accompanied by an adult, are welcome.
  • WinterFEAST After Party: Join Twigs Restaurant for the WinterFEAST after party starting at 8 p.m. Live music will be provided by Klee and Mike until midnight with no cover charge. 

Friday, Jan. 24 

  • Shop ’til You Drop: Shop in Blowing Rock’s quaint downtown shops and Tanger Outlet Shoppes on the Parkway.  Blowing Rock offers an abundance of shopping possibilities from art galleries to fine antiques, apparel to bookstores, great restaurants to spas, you can find it all here!
  • Chilling with the King Bees: The King Bees will perform at Blowing Rock School Auditorium at 8 p.m. Tickets are available on Ticketweb for $10 each or you may purchase your tickets through the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and avoid the service fee. 
  • Live Music at Canyons: Blu-Bob a Bela Fleck and the Flecktones Tribute Band will be playing at Canyons at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. 
  • WinterFest Family Night at App Ski Mtn: App Ski will present a special Winterfest Family Night on Friday, January 24. Learn to Ski / Learn to Snowboard packages will be offered through French-Swiss Ski College with special pricing.  A special IceSkating  session with S’mores Roasting by the Rinkside Bonfire is offered for the “gliders” who love the ice. Reservations are required. 
  • Winter Fashion Show: The Fashion Show will be hosted by the Meadowbrook Inn. Blowing Rock retailers join forces to bring you the finest ladies apparel and accessories during theWinterFest WinterFashion Show. The newest winter and spring fashions will be featured from the area’s top retail stores including DoncasterMonkeesTazMaRazCouture by Finley House, JW Tweeds, and more!  The show starts at 11 a.m. and admission is $25 per person. 

Saturday, Jan. 25

  • The Chilly Chili Challenge: Taste all the chili you can possibly fit in your tummy and enjoy live music by Mountain Radio to help the chili go down starting at 11 a.m. and going until the delicious chili runs out. Three classes of competition: Freestyle (chef’s best recipe, anything goes!), Restaurant, and Business.  Freestyle competitors receive a bountiful basket of goodies valued at $500, $250 and $100 respectively. Restaurant winners will receive the Traveling Chili Trophy, a handmade sculpture by artist, Alex Hallmark, to display in their business until next year.  The Business category winner will receive a Blowing Rock School Sponsor Banner to be hung in the gymnasium.  Every winner gets bragging rights! Don’t forget to come out and vote for the “People’s Choice Award” and all of the proceeds go toward Blowing Rock School to purchase new playground equipment for the kids.
  • Polar Plunge: A favorite activity in the WinterFest, the registration for the Polar Plunge will begin at 9 a.m. at Chetola Lake. Some folks just don’t have good sense!   But they do have good hearts!  Watch fearless contenders take the Plunge.  The Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake is one of the highlights at WinterFest.  Chetola starts cutting through the layer of ice well in advance so Plungers can feel the full impact! Agonize with your favorite “Plunger”, most in costume, while enjoying the antics and one liners of our new plunge emcee, John Carter!  Judges will award the famous “Golden Plunge” award to the best costumes. Plungers begin jumping at 10:00 am but get there early for good viewing!  Proceeds will benefit local charities Western Youth Network and Watauga Humane Society. 
  • Wine Tasting and Charity Auction: Located at the Green Park Inn, the Tasting begins at 2 pm on Saturday; Charity Auction immediately follows at 4 pm. Register for the auction as wine will be only one of the many types of items on the bidding block, including a Blue Ridge Mountain Club Basket, Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival Basket with lodging & tickets, and more! Starting bids for some items are amazingly low! And be sure to purchase some of the heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by the Green Park Inn. They are fabulous and may prevent you from walking funny on your way out!
  • Bonfire: Join the town for the annual Bonfire at Memorial Park, weather permitting. Make your own toasted marshmallows or s’mores. All supplies provided. Sing along with campfire music by a local musician. Warm your toes and your heart! At dusk on Saturday. Presented by the Blowing Rock Boy Scouts Troop, the event will not take place in high wind, rain, or extreme cold.
  • Ice Carving Demo: Starting at noon, come see the U.S. Army Special Forces Ice Carving Team turn blocks of ice into works of art! Participate in the family friendly ” Wet T-Shirt Contest”.  You’ve never seen one like this before!  You’ll be amazed at the creations these guys do.  A definite “Must See” event! The ice carving demos will finish up at 4 p.m.
  • Activities with the Girl Scouts: There is sure to be fun for all ages at the Blowing Rock Parks and Rec Center beside Memorial Park and behind the Police Station.  Starting at 11:00 Saturday, the High Country Girl Scouts will be hosting activities for the little ones. And don’t forget to stock up on everyone’s favorite cookies while you’re at it at the Parks and Recreation Center. 
  • Silent Auction and Raffle: The Silent Auction and Raffle is located in the Blowing Rock School Cafeteria on Morris St.  Look for signs on Main Street, Morris Street, and Sunset Drive.  The Silent Auction takes place from 10am-4pm; the raffle ends at 3pm on Saturday, with prize pick up later that day. You will find items ranging from lodging at area hotels and inns, spa day packages, packages to area parks, massage and wellness certificates, outdoor adventures, fly fishing lessons, theatre subscriptions, art work by local artists, gift certificates to area restaurants, and many, many more!  In addition, buy raffle tickets for baskets of goodies from your favorite shopping stops.
  • Cross Country Ski and Snow Exhibition: Join Blowing Rock Realty and SweetGrass for a cross-country ski and snow equipment exhibition on the beautiful grounds of SweetGrass in Blowing Rock (just off 221, approx. 6 miles outside of Blowing Rock). Enjoy games, prizes (including gift certificates to First Tracks in Boone), a snowdog building contest, hot chocolate and cookies.


  • Winter Paws Dog Show: Join the Watauga Humane Society at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium at 1:30 p.m. for the cutest dog show around. Winner from each category goes on to compete for the title of Best in Show and the Grand Prize and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the Humane Society. $10 entry fee for first two categories; $15 for three or more categories. Categories include Most Mysterious Heritage, Best Wiggle Butt (Tail-Wagger), Most Clever Dog Trick, Best Dog/Owner Look-a-like, Best Winter Wear and finally, Sweetest Face.