• This Week at An Appalachian Summer Festival, July 14-19; Film, Visual Arts, Live Music and Theatre Take the Virtual Stage this Week


    July 14, 2020 Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts event, An Appalachian Summer Festival, enters its third week of the all-virtual month-long series with a stellar genre-spanning lineup: a highly decorated foreign film, thought-provoking visual art, live streamed local bluegrass, an award-winning regional theatre company, a Tony-winning playwright/comedienne, and a piano performance brought to you live from somewhere in Europe. All events are free. The all-virtual festival runs daily through July 31. Take your seat at appsummeronline.org. / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Hosting First Art in the Park and Concert Event of the Summer on July 18-19


    July 10, 2020 Previous Art in the Park events have had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the one scheduled for next Saturday, July 18, will go on as scheduled with some changes to how the event operates. “We are in the 58th season of Art in the Park,” said Suzy Barker, the event and communication specialist for the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. “This show has a limited number of artists, so we will have about half of the artists we typically do, meaning about 40 artists will be here.” Barker says that booths will be spaced out 10 feet apart and masks will be required by artists and visitors. Masks will be available for those that do not have one when they arrive. “I encourage folks to expect something a little different than what we are used to, but we have some really high-quality artists coming and we’re really excited to have a sense of normalcy in Blowing Rock right now. We are ready to do events again,” said Barker. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Avery Fine Art and Master Crafts Festival is Still Happening July 17-19 and August 14-16


    July 10, 2020 With special safety measures in place, the nearly 30-year tradition of the Avery Fine Arts and Master Crafts Festival will proceed as planned on the weekends of July 17-19 and August 14-16. The event, sponsored by Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria, will be happening at Sugar Mountain Resort and will feature some wonderful works of arts and crafts from local artists and crafters as well as other artists from all across the country. Sugar Mountain Resort is a new location for the festival. Everything will be set up in the parking lot below the resort lodge. Melynda Pepple, the Executive Director of the Avery County Chamber of Commerce, says that the festival will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 17. Sugar Mountain Resort will also be open during this time with golfing, mountain bike activities, the chair lift ride, and dining throughout the weekend. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Inspire EdVentures Announces Virtual Summer Camp; Inspiring Adventure and Discovery in Your Own Backyard for 3rd to 5th Graders

    July 10, 2020 It’s the height of summer, but with summer camps canceled across the United States, kids and parents alike are looking for something to do with the long summer vacation. This is why Inspire EdVentures, in partnership with WAMY Community Action Center, has established an exciting new program for the summer: Virtual Summer Camp, a program created for 3rd to 5th graders (but open to all ages) to find adventure, joy, and discovery in the natural wonder of their own backyards! / Read more…



  • An Appalachian Summer Festival Update: Canadian Brass Performance on Sunday Wraps Up This Week’s Series of Virtual Events


    July 8, 2020 This week continues another busy round of virtual shows and performances for An Appalachian Summer Festival 2020, concluding with a performance by Canadian Brass on Sunday Afternoon. The online festival features numerous live-streamed and specially pre-recorded concerts, live chats with artists, film screenings, and virtual tours. All events are free and will be streamed via the website as well as the festival’s YouTube and Facebook channels. Film screenings require pre-registration, as registration capacity is limited. Some events will be archived for later viewing; others are only available for the scheduled date and time. Full descriptions about each event and how to access them are available at www.appsummeronline.org. / Read more…



  • What’s Happening Around the High Country This Independence Day Weekend


    July 2, 2020 Despite several 4th of July events being canceled due to the coronavirus, there are still some fun events taking place throughout the HIgh Country for folks to enjoy this weekend. On Friday evening, the Blowing Rock Country Club will be holding a fireworks display at dusk. Parking at the club will be for members only, however, the fireworks will be able to be seen from other places in the town. There will be a drive-in fireworks show near the parking lot of Minneapolis Baptist Church in Avery County around 9:30 p.m. on Friday night Onlookers are asked to stay in their vehicles to watch the show. Sugar Mountain Resort will host its fourth annual Summit Crawl that will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 4. That kicks off a day of events at the mountain where families can enjoy chair lift rides to the top of the mountain, food and refreshments, live music, mountain biking and more. / Read more…



  • Appalachian Summer Festival 2020 Virtual Events Underway with a Jam-Packed July Schedule


    July 2, 2020 Appalachian Summer Festival 2020 has started its month-long list of virtual events to give folks some entertainment throughout the summer during the COVID-19 pandemic. The online festival features numerous live-streamed and specially pre-recorded concerts, live chats with artists, film screenings, and virtual tours. All events are free and will be streamed via the website as well as the festival’s YouTube and Facebook channels. Film screenings require pre-registration, as registration capacity is limited. Some events will be archived for later viewing; others are only available for the scheduled date and time. Full descriptions about each event and how to access them are available at www.appsummeronline.org. / Read more…



  • Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music Welcomes Friends and Fans to Join in a Virtual Celebration


    July 2, 2020 Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music welcomes friends and fans to join in a virtual celebration of traditional music, song, and dance with a series of greetings from members and artist friends. The first batch of the “Mountain Home Music Virtual Greeting Cards” will premier this Friday, July 3rd on Independence Day weekend. In lieu of our traditional July 4th Bluegrass and Brass Concert – an idea Joe Shannon conceived many years ago to combine bluegrass musicians with a patriotic brass band – the first series will feature photographs from Lonnie Webster set to an audio recording from a Bluegrass and Brass performance from years ago / Read more…



  • Hickory Ridge Living Museum to Hold Fourth of July Celebration from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.


    June 30, 2020 The Southern Appalachian Historical Association is celebrating the Fourth of July in a revolutionary way at the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum on Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can begin the celebration with a tour of Hickory Ridge’s historic 18th and 19th century cabins and see how life was back then in the High Country. In order to follow social distancing guidelines, Marrena Greer, who is the operational manager said Hickory Ridge aims to break the event up into two separate groups, putting about 25 people together in the first group and another 25 in a second group around 2 p.m. Individuals have the opportunity to be welcomed to a continental army encampment, see a black powder rifle demonstration and colonial magic show and participate in a tomahawk throw and tavern activities. Actors from the Horn in the West Outdoor Drama will give the reading of the Declaration of Independence, and 13 toasts will be made to represent the thirteen colonies. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Country Club to Hold Fireworks Display on July 3 Beginning at Dusk


    June 30, 2020 A spokesperson from Blowing Rock Country Club confirmed the country club will be holding a fireworks display on its own on July 3 beginning at dusk. However, there will be no parking available on the Blowing Rock Country Club properties, as the parking is reserved for members. As one of the favorite places people have watched fireworks in the past, Blowing Rock Country Club typically has prepared fireworks in conjunction with the Town of Blowing Rock. However, this year, the Town of Blowing Rock canceled its Fourth of July festival and parade. The Blowing Rock Country Club has also never set off fireworks on the Fourth of July, as the country club usually prepares them for the weekend after Independence Day. However, as July 4 falls on the weekend this year, the Blowing Rock Country Club decided and committed to holding its fireworks on July 3. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Sugar Mountain Resort’s Fourth of July Activities Summit Crawl and Fireworks on Schedule


    June 29, 2020 Sugar Mountain Resort’s July 4 activities are set for this upcoming weekend. It’s a vast outdoor setting that families can enjoy including chair lift rides to the top of the mountain, food and refreshments, live music, mountain biking and more. “The safety of Sugar Mountain Resort guests and employees has always been our top priority. We continue this commitment during the public health crisis by following guidance from the CDC and state public health officials to promote a clean, healthy and fun environment. And we encourage people to go our website at http://www.skisugar.com/ to see what is required before visiting and to follow the guidelines and procedures while they are here in order for everyone to have a fun time,” said Kimberley Jochl, who is the vice-president and director of marketing for Sugar Mountain Resort. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • The 42nd Annual Valle Country Fair Will Proceed as a Virtual Fundraising Event in 2020 This Fall


    June 29, 2020 The 42nd Annual Valle Country Fair, originally scheduled for Saturday, October 17 in Valle Crucis, NC, will proceed as a virtual fundraising event in 2020.  “COVID-19 cases are on the rise in North Carolina,” stated Valle Fair Co-chair Bob Gates.  “The safety of the parishioners, volunteers, exhibitors, vendors, and community are our most important consideration as we make decisions for the 2020 Fair.”  Since it was founded in 1978 by Holy Cross Episcopal Church to raise funds for community outreach, the Valle County Fair has collected over $1 million dollars to help High Country families in need. / Read more…



  • Update on Fourth of July Celebrations: Some Cancellations but Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain and Newland are on Schedule


    June 26, 2020 Due to implications of COVID-19 and uncertainties regarding spreading the virus, issues surrounding proper social-distancing measures and precautions for large events, many Fourth of July celebrations throughout the High Country have been canceled. However, some still remain scheduled. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Ensemble Stage Gives Update on Summer Season; Four Productions Postpone, Maybe Some Theatre Production Later in the Summer


    June 26, 2020 Based on Governor Cooper’s announcement on Wednesday, and with the safety of our volunteers, artists, and audiences in mind, we have made the decision to further alter our 2020 summer season.  Our four professional summer productions have been postponed to our 2021 summer season and we have cancelled our 2020 Kids Summer Theatre Camp. Also, to help keep you entertained we’ve created an Ensemble Stage YouTube channel with audio/video recordings of some of our past staged radio plays and holiday shows and will be adding more selections periodically. / Read more…



  • Last Weekend for Free Scenic Lift Rides for Watauga & Avery Residents at Beech Mountain Resort


    June 25, 2020 This is the last weekend for free scenic lift rides for Watauga and Avery Residents at Beech Mountain Resort. The popular round-trip scenic lift rides to Beech Mountain Resort’s mountaintop will be available for all other guests for $12 per person. As a special thanks to locals from Watauga and Avery Counties, the resort has been offering free scenic lift rides for the month of June. / Read more…



  • The 2020 Back 2 School Festival Coming Up on Friday and Saturday, August 7 & 8 at Watauga High; Anticipating Even Greater Need This Year


    June 24, 2020 The 2020 Back 2 School Festival will be held over two days this year, on Friday, August 7, and Saturday, August 8th at Watauga High School. While we are still uncertain about how the children will learn, the Back 2 School Festival remains committed to making sure every Watauga County student returns for the 2020/2021 school year confident and prepared with the tools they need to succeed. “Watauga County Schools anticipates even greater need this year due to COVID-19” said festival president Kendra Sink. “Many parents have lost jobs or are working protracted hours while our economy continues to recover. A lot of families in our area may be facing challenges paying for food, housing, and other necessities for the first time. And school supplies are a huge expense they may not be able to handle.” / Read more…



  • Live Music Coming Up This Friday at Town Tavern with the Jangling Sparrows Beginning at 5 p.m.


    June 24, 2020 Live Music Returns to North Carolina when the Jangling Sparrows fly into Town Tavern, 1182 Main St., Friday, June 26. Showtime: 5pm-8pm. Free. Gig is outdoors; weather permitting. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Paul Edelman fronts Jangling Sparrows, whose salt-of-the-Earth, Americana-flavored Roots-Rock has been favorably reviewed by such national publications as Glide Magazine, The Alternate Root, and Music Connection, among others. Paul Edelman, singer, songwriter, guitarist, poet and performer, fronts Asheville, North Carolina-based group, Jangling Sparrows. Edelman can be found sitting comfortably in Roots Rock, Country, Folk, Soul or Storyteller. His lyrics have a way of making people feel understood and his emotional vocal delivery underscores that ability.  / Read more…



  • Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock Accommodates to Meet COVID-19 Guidelines, Events Continue


    June 24, 2020 Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock continues to host its First Friday Art Walk and Sounds of Summer live music with the same social distancing guidelines in place. First Friday Art Walk is a new local artisan market held the first Friday of the month, and the event features several of the High Country’s local artisans showcasing their unique, handcrafted goods. The event began June 5 and will go until Oct. 2, and it lasts from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. First Friday Art Walk is located in the central courtyard on Shoppes on the Parkway Road and is surrounded by food trucks, ice cream, a fire pit and lawn. Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock also hosts Concerts in the Courtyard every other Saturday that began June 6 and will go on until Oct. 10 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. The outdoor concert series includes everything from swing and oldies to folk, beach and shag music. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Behind the Scenes of a Community-Based Fundraiser Re-Energize Watauga: LIVE from the Appalachian Theatre!


    June 17, 2020 It is a rare occasion during these pandemic days when need meets opportunity through the arts, but that is exactly what happened in the creation of a unique fundraising event titled, “Re-Energize Watauga: LIVE from the Appalachian Theatre!” A collaboration between the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce and the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, this virtual event takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 20 and involves live performances by prominent regional artists on stage at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC). But what took place behind the scenes of this community-based fundraiser is noteworthy. / Read more…



  • This 4th of July Let’s Crawl to Sugar Mountain’s Summit Together for Fourth Annual Event


    June 15, 2020 Sugar Mountain Ski Resort, North Carolina. Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Run, hike, climb, or crawl to Sugar Mountain’s 5,300-foot peak by way of the Easy Street, Gunther’s Way, and Northridge slopes on Saturday, July 4 when Sugar Mountain Resort hosts its fourth annual Summit Crawl. The Summit Express chairlift operates from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. (for 4th of July fireworks viewing) and The Rockabilly’s jam from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger with food and refreshments in the base lodge all day long. Visit Sugar Mountain Sports Shop anytime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Return later for a spectacular fireworks show which can be viewed from Sugar’s 5,300’ peak and the Typical Mountain Boys perform on the deck of the base lodge from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. / Read more…



  • Boone To Celebrate 10th Annual Doc Watson Day Virtually With Never-Before-Seen Videos


    June 15, 2020 On Friday, June 19, the Town of Boone will observe Doc Watson Day, marking the tenth celebration of the occasion. Doc Watson Day is observed annually on the third Friday of June to honor the life and legacy of local guitarist and singer, Doc Watson. “Since we have not yet been able to hold our summer concert series as usual at the Jones House, we have been releasing clips of past performances online,” says Freed. “After the level of positive feedback and support we have received, we hope to continue doing this throughout the summer until it is safe for us to have concerts live and in-person.” Accordingly, Boone’s Cultural Resources Department will release never-before-seen videos of some previous Doc Watson Day shows, including a few of Doc’s performances from the very first Doc Watson Day Celebration in 2011. / Read more…



  • Banner Elk Chamber Announces that Chamber Sponsored Summer 2020 Events and 2020 After Hours Have Been Canceled

    June 11, 2020 Due to COVID-19 concerns, all Chamber-sponsored* Summer 2020 events and the remaining 2020 After Hours have been canceled. These include: Family Fun Fourth of July Parade and Festival, Summer Concerts in the Park series, Community Yard Sale as well as June through November 2020 After Hours member networking events. / Read more…



  • An Appalachian Summer Festival 2020 Announces Calendar of Online Events Beginning July 1


    June 11, 2020 Festival organizers for Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts event, An Appalachian Summer Festival, announce the complete programming calendar for this summer’s revised virtual series. The online festival features a month-long selection of livestreamed and specially pre-recorded concerts, live chats with artists, film screenings, and virtual tours. The pivot from in-person to online was created in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the cancellation of live events for the first time in festival history. App Summer, which typically draws more than 27,000 visitors to the High Country each summer, will present its 36th season of special programming daily July 1-31.  / Read more…



  • Artists Announced for Regional Benefit Performance Re-Energize Watauga: LIVE from the Appalachian Theatre on Saturday, June 20


    June 9, 2020 The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country for a unique fundraising event titled, “Re-Energize Watauga: LIVE from the Appalachian Theatre!” This virtual event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 20 and involve live performances by prominent regional artists on stage at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country. Proceeds benefit the Re-Energize Watauga Fund, which exists to provide a rapid source of financial assistance for our Watauga County based businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID19. / Read more…



  • 2020 Workshop Season Begins at Carlton Gallery with Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor-Gouache, Mixed Media Painting and Drawing Workshop Classes


    June 4, 2020 Carlton Gallery’s Workshop Season began on May 26th with “Social Distancing” and expanded space utilizing a delightful canopy-tent. Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor-Gouache, Mixed Media Painting along with Drawing Workshops are conducted by standing gallery artists who are outstanding instructors. These workshops are designed to inspire and lift spirits while highlighting everyone’s creativity. Typical classes begin on Tuesday through Thursday, 10:00 – 5:00 with a one hour lunch break. / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock’s June 13th Art in the Park Show Has Been Cancelled


    June 4, 2020 The Art in the Park show scheduled for June 13th has been cancelled due to outdoor gathering restrictions in the North Carolina’s Governor’s Phase II re-opening plan. Art in the Park is hosted by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce one Saturday a month May through October in downtown Blowing Rock. Each show includes over 90 artists showcasing wood, clay, jewelry, metal, glass, fiber, paintings and photography. The Chamber will make a decision month by month regarding the remaining Art in the Park shows based on guidelines from the state and local level. The next Art in the Park is scheduled for Saturday, July 18th  / Read more…



  • Town of Boone to Cancel the Downtown Boone July 4th Parade and Evening Fireworks Display


    June 3, 2020 Due to concerns related to COVID-19, the Town of Boone has decided to cancel the downtown Boone July 4th parade and evening fireworks display at Clawson-Burnley Park. With uncertainties about the spreading of the virus over the next month, the need for adequate planning time, and issues surrounding proper social-distancing and precautions for large events, the Town of Boone has decided to error on the side of caution for these events. “While we are disappointed to cancel this year’s traditional Independence Day celebrations, the safety of our citizens and visitors takes top priority,” says Mayor Rennie Brantz / Read more…



  • Watauga High School Class of 2020 Graduates Still Got a Chance to Celebrate with Friends and Family


    June 1, 2020 Saturday’s graduation ceremony at Watauga High School might not have been anything close to normal, but that did not keep the graduates and their families from celebrating their special moment. “Planning any graduation ceremony is a monumental undertaking that the staff at Watauga High School pull off admirably every year. With well over 300 graduates and their friends, family, and staff, the graduation ceremony is a feat of planning even when we have a secured venue and everything goes to plan. Planning for this year’s graduation was a combination of efforts from almost everyone at WHS — from planning for traffic management to organizing a live stream of the event, to our incredible community and local business support. So many people went above and beyond in an effort to make sure this year’s class was able to have the best graduation ceremony it was possible to offer them,” said Garrett Price, the Director of Communications for Watauga County Schools. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster Up and Running in Banner Elk


    May 29, 2020 High Country visitors and residents have another way to experience the Blue Ridge Mountains with the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster. Located at 3265 Tynecastle Highway near the Sugar Mountain Resort in Banner Elk, the coaster opened May 9 under Gov. Roy Cooper’s phase one reopening. The anticipated opening of the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster was originally scheduled for early January, but was pushed back. By Harley Nefe / Read more…



  • Masterclasses for the High Country: WAMY Begins Fundraiser Workshops on June 9th


    May 29, 2020 Chances are that by now you have seen an advertisement for Masterclass, or have heard someone else talk about it. WAMY Community Action, a local non-profit committed to helping break the cycle of poverty in Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey Counties, is bringing masterclasses to the High Country with the help of local masters through their WAMY Workshop Plus series. The WAMY Workshop Series consists of four core classes beginning the second Tuesday of June at 7 pm every week throughout the month, with a bonus kick-off workshop on the first Tuesday of June.  / Read more…



  • Locally Shot Movie ‘The Mountain Minor’ to Premiere on National Television on June 6th


    May 28, 2020 Almost three years after filming began in Ashe County, North Carolina, the award-winning movie “The Mountain Minor” will make its national television debut on The Heartland Network on Saturday, June 6, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The film will also stream that night at 8:00 p.m. on Heartland’s free Roku channel and www.watchheartlandtv.com. Loosely based on the true story of writer-director Dale Farmer’s ancestors, “The Mountain Minor” follows five generations of an Appalachian family as they migrate from Eastern Kentucky to Ohio, dramatizing the spread of mountain music throughout the United States. Much of the filming was done at the Willett Ponds Pioneer Homestead in Todd. “This film is about people leaving their homes and bringing their music and culture with them,” said Farmer, who lives in Southern Ohio. “They deserve so much credit for the music that eventually became country and bluegrass.” / Read more…



  • Chetola Resort Reopens to Guests and Locals


    May 27, 2020 Chetola Resort reopened to locals and guests May 22 after a two-month closure. The 78-acre resort, named after the Cherokee word for “haven of rest,” has long been known for its open spaces, fresh mountain air and endless activities. Enhanced safety measures are in place. Chetola is participating in the Count On Me NC public health initiative for restaurant and lodging businesses, and recently received the 2020 AAA Inspector’s Best of Housekeeping Award. / Read more…



  • The 33rd Annual Symphony by the Lake at Chetola Has Been Postponed to August 22nd


    May 26, 2020 The 33rd Annual Symphony by the Lake at Chetola has been postponed to August 22nd The Symphony by the Lake at Chetola has been postponed from the traditional fourth Friday in July to Saturday, August 22nd, 2020. This year’s program will feature musical selections from previous Symphony by the Lake performances and will be comprised of the “best of the best.” Charles Hardin, President / CEO of the Blowing Rock Chamber says, “After careful consideration of all the factors, we feel that the Symphony would be a great path forward for the community as so many consider this event to be the social centerpiece of Blowing Rock’s summer. While some more vulnerable residents and visitors will not be in attendance, we feel that there will be many who will participate in a socially distanced manner.” / Read more…



  • Busch Drives App State-Branded Car To NASCAR Win at Charlotte Motor Speedway Monday Night


    May 26, 2020 The specially branded NASCAR Xfinity Series car driven by Kyle Busch produced a familiar finishing position for App State: first place. The Black and Gold No. 54 car featuring App State logos as well as a congratulatory message for App State’s graduating seniors in the Class of 2020 made a dramatic last-lap pass and crossed the finish line first Monday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, giving Busch a win in the Alsco 300. Holding the checkered flag during his on-track interview with FS1, Busch delivered another message to App State’s recent graduates and even referenced the historic upset of Michigan from 2007. / Read more…



  • Carlton Gallery is Open and Celebrating 38 Years with Spring Group Exhibition this Saturday


    May 22, 2020 Carlton Gallery opens its 38th Spring Group Exhibition this Saturday, May 23 which features “The Essence of Abstraction Beyond Limits”. At this time there will be no Artists’ Reception; however, our large gallery space allows for comfortable and safe viewing of all artwork. This exhibition showcases non-objective abstracts in acrylics by Tonya Bottomley and Mary-Ann Prack, along with Prack’s figurative sculpture in clay and mixed media. Laura Hughes’ exhibition of contemporary horse paintings are fused with color and whimsy, while figurative paintings by Warren Dennis are in his recognized cubist style. / Read more…



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