July 23, 2021. The Banff Mountain Film Festival is returning to Boone, NC this fall! Appalachian State University UREC, organizers of this event, are excited to announce details regarding the upcoming Banff Mountain Film Festival return to campus on Friday September 10 and Saturday September 11, 2021. The Banff Mountain Film Festival will take place in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Both screenings will start at 7:30pm, with doors opening at 6:00 to the Schaefer Center lobby and at 6:30 to the auditorium. Sponsor booths will be set up outside in the upper parking lot area near the Schaefer Center, and the Schaefer Center lobby will be dedicated to concessions only. Continuing our tradition, live music will be performed both nights prior to the films.
July 23, 2021. The Watauga Arts Council will be hosting Jack Hamrick and Lindsay Carroll at the King Street Art Collective starting Jul 22, 2021 and continuing through the end of July. A reception will be held this Friday, July 23rd from 5:30 pm-8:30 pm at 585 West King Street, Boone, NC featuring Jack Hamrick and Lindsay Carroll.
July 21, 2021. Carlton Gallery’s 39th Mid-Summer Group Exhibition – “Exploring the Monumental Art of Landscape” is planned with a drop in Opening Reception on July 24, 11-5. Landscapes in many styles projecting the artists’ interpretation of the high country’s surrounding scenic vistas, waterfalls and the bucolic countryside fill the gallery.
July 21, 2021. A schedule change at the Cottage this week brings together two local artists you won’t want to miss: Earl Davis and Waitsel Smith. Both artists work in oils and both capture the beauty of natural landscapes but with very different effect. Come enjoy the contrasting work of both artists from July 19th through July 25th. North Carolina artist Waitsel Smith is a visual artist living in Lenoir with over 30 years experience painting the people and places of North Carolina. Waitsel works in oils and watercolors and is considered a master landscape, portrait and figure painter. Waitsel is also a magazine and television illustrator, including work for the Travel Channel. Come meet Waitsel at Edgewood Cottage from July 19th through July 25th to enjoy his N. C. Wyeth style of painting.
July 21, 2021. “Horn in the West,” the nation’s longest-running Revolutionary War outdoor drama, is celebrating its 69th season in operation. To demonstrate gratitude for local residents and those who share in the history of the southern Appalachian region, ‘Horn’ is offering a Friends and Neighbors discount on Wednesday evenings. Southern Appalachian Historical Association, nonprofit producer of the show, would like to extend an invitation to all residents of Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Wilkes, and Johnson counties to join them on the remaining Wednesday nights of July 21, July 28 and August 4.
July 20, 2021. Guests are invited to witness firsthand the Hickory Ridge Museum occupied by an encampment of British soldiers set in the summer of 1780 on Saturday, July 24. The museum, which typically is a serene homestead in the Daniel Boone Park, is hosting a special event to reenact British and settler tensions and fallout after pivotal battles such as the Battle of Kings Mountain, Battle of Cowpens, and the Battle of Guilford Court House. The event will feature a reenactment of Lord Cornwallis searching for supplies and hidden rebels in the backcountry of North Carolina. Guests can expect immersive experiences with ongoing scenarios, living history demonstrations, and weapons demonstrations as the Revolutionary War comes to life around them.
July 16, 2021. Family and friends can bring their lawn chairs and blankets out to Memorial Park on Main Street to enjoy live music from The King Bees for the next performance of Blowing Rock’s Concert in the Park Series on July 18. The King Bees is a Blues and American Roots music band founded in the High Country 34 years ago by Rob “Hound Dog” Baskerville and Penny “Queen Bee” Zamagni. Baskerville plays the guitar and keys while Zamagni plays bass and is a singer and songwriter. Together, the King Bees call the mountains of North Carolina home in Ashe County; however, they often spend their time traveling with their music. The King Bees have performed on festival stages in European capitals including Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Stockholm and London and have taken their internationally-acclaimed music across numerous countries including the U.S. But, they always return to their beloved mountains for concerts like this one. By Harley Nefe
July 15, 2021. Avery County’s Fine Art and Master Crafts Festival will return for its 30th year this weekend, from July 16-18, where approximately 60 hand-selected artisans will showcase their unique work for sale. The free event will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. After a successful festival last year, this is the second year that the event will be located at Sugar Mountain Resort. Everything will be set up in the parking lot of the resort lodge. A spokesperson from the Avery County Chamber of Commerce said the move has been really beneficial to the festival because Sugar Mountain Resort already draws in many people through its summer activities like the scenic lift rides, mountain biking, golfing and dining. In addition to those opportunities, the festival adds another experience for people to explore. By Harley Nefe
July 15, 2021. Casting Bread’s 6th Annual Ducky Regatta will be held virtually on Saturday, July 24, 2021, beginning at 11 a.m. The event features multiple heats of duck races on the Middlefork River that culminate with the championship race for a cash prize of $300. Sponsor duck entries for $5 each by visiting www.increasefoodsecurity.org. All proceeds benefit the work of Casting Bread to increase food security by providing food, compassion and community. “We plan to return to an in-person event next year, with a few special additions in the works,” reports Sam Garrett, Casting Bread’s executive director. “Even virtually, the Ducky Regatta is a lot of fun, and we look forward to hosting this exciting event for a great cause!” The race heats and championship race will be streamed on Casting Bread’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/casting-bread-food-pantry. Like and follow for the latest updates. Casting Bread is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2006. Each month, Casting Bread distributes an average of 19,000 pounds of food to 640 individuals, and it happens thanks to volunteers who work over 2,000 hours a month. To learn more about Casting Bread, visit www.increasefoodsecurity.org.
July 14, 2021. For over 60 years, High Country residents and visitors have been coming together to participate in the annual Blowing Rock Tour of Homes. What started with a group of women who had a desire to help the community has since continued to grow into an established event of the summer, raising thousands of dollars each year for local nonprofit organizations. The 2021 Tour of Homes is set for Friday, July 23, and similar to last year, it will be held virtually. “We were advised by health officials that it would be wise and best for it to be a virtual tour,” said Loy McGill, Chair of Tour of Homes. “And given the information about vaccination numbers in North Carolina and the fact that we have people coming to the High Country from all over, it was the only decision that we could make for the safety of the public.” McGill said last year’s virtual tour went very well, as it raised around $62,000 with 100% of the proceeds going directly to nonprofits in the High Country. By Harley Nefe
July 14, 2021. The Beech Mountain Bourbon Society invites everyone to come out to its annual Bourbon and Bacon fundraiser this Friday, July 16, starting at 6 p.m. Bourbon and Bacon is a yearly fundraiser of the Beech Mountain Bourbon Society. Beech Mountain Bourbon Society hosts a Premium Tasting Room at the Inn where guests can purchase a $75 ticket of which all proceeds go directly to charity. The room features bourbons that are difficult or impossible to find in North Carolina. The Beech Alpen Inn Restaurant will feature Bourbon and Bacon Tasting tickets of four bourbons from their top shelf. Tickets for this tasting are $40 with $5 going to our charity. Guests in attendance will also be treated to live music from The Sinners outside at Beech Alpen Inn’s gazebo. In case of inclement weather, the music will be moved inside. The Sinners are from Winston-Salem and play a wide variety of music. Bourbons donated by society members for the room include: Elmer T. Lee from Buffalo Trace, Makers Mark 101, Revival made from heirloom Johnny Red Corn from High Wire Distillery out of Charleston, South Carolina, and Heaven Hill 7 Year only found in the state of Kentucky.
July 14, 2021. Ensemble Stage in Banner Elk is opening its curtains to their main stage performances this summer season, starting with a special fundraising cabaret this weekend starring Laura Hodos that is benefiting the organization after a difficult year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The professional theater normally begins its main stage performances in the middle of June, but because staff were waiting for restrictions to ease up, shows are scheduled to start at the end of July this year. “The last year has been really difficult because of the basic cost of trying to put on a production in professional theater,” said Gary Smith, Artistic Director for Ensemble Stage. By Harley Nefe
July 13, 2021. A special benefit car show with classic muscle cars and modern-day machines along with a quilt show will be happening at Deerfield United Methodist Church in Boone on Saturday, July 24 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. All funds raised from the event will go to support Hunter’s Heroes, an organization founded in the name of Hunter Mast, the son of Deputy William Mast Jr. Deputy Mast was killed in the line of duty in 2013, just 17 days before his son Hunter was born. Ken Murray, who has helped organize this car show at the church for five years, said that the event used to support Watauga County Relay for Life until the relay ended in the county in 2019. “We were looking for some other way to do something for the community and have fun doing it. We were looking for something different to support so with the loss of the two officers in the line of duty this year, we thought that would be something nice to do. We talked to the president of the High Country Classics Car Club, and they are planning on doing a car show in August that is benefiting the officers, so we still wanted to do that, but we wanted to do it differently,” Murray said. By Nathan Ham
July 13, 2021. About this time every year, at least four youthful senior citizens in the area — and several others representing the younger generation — begin anticipating a special event for which they’ve been planning since the last one. Raymond Scholl, Lynn Castle, John Ray Hodges and Mack Hodges are today the only surviving charter members of the Carolina Flywheelers, which has hosted the annual High Country Crank-Up for over 40 years now. The four are still actively involved and couldn’t be happier to see their hard work continue to pay off. They’ve been joined through the years with younger members, for which they are thankful to have carrying on a long-held tradition started right here in these hills. By Sherrie Norris
July 13, 2021. A three-day annual event like no other in the High Country is just around the corner and promises a good time for all those who love hit-and-miss engines, antique tractors, tools and other farm equipment, and just good old-fashioned family fun. The Carolina Flywheelers’ 41st Annual High Country Crank-Up is scheduled for July 29, 30 and 31, and will be located just 5 miles south of Boone on Hwy. 421 across from Laurel Springs Baptist Church in Deep Gap. Last year’s event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year’s crank-up is expected to come back stronger than ever before, organizers say, with entries coming from Georgia, Florida, Ohio and New York. By Sherrie Norris
July 12, 2021. Folks gathered around the Jones House last Friday listening to live music, as the Town of Boone kicked off their 28th season of concerts on the lawn with performances by Shay Martin Lovette and City Dirt Trio. “It was great to be back and see all of our friends returning,” said Mark Freed, Director of Cultural Resources for the Town of Boone. Concerts organizer Brandon Holder agreed and said, “It was a long summer last year not being able to do this. Having a concert last Friday, having people come out, seeing people and giving the artists a chance to perform their music again — It felt really nice.” The weekly concert series showcases local and regional acts, with some familiar favorites joined by a few fresh faces. By Harley Nefe
July 12, 2021. A world-premiere musical about one of America’s most popular artists debuts during Lees-McRae Summer Theatre, July 25 to Aug. 1. “America’s Artist: The Norman Rockwell Story” showcases the life of a beloved painter who created more than 4,000 pieces of art. Rockwell captured the essence of America with each brushstroke, from Rosie the Riveter to The Four Freedoms. His Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations reflected small-town America at its most endearing. Written and directed by Janet Speer, Lees-McRae professor emeritus and Summer Theatre artistic director, the show transports audiences from Rockwell’s career beginnings in the early 1900s through his final years in the 1970s. Speer’s in-depth research included discussions with Rockwell’s granddaughter, Abigail Rockwell.
July 12, 2021. “Horn in the West” is welcoming home its alumni cast member and former Board Director, Rufus Edmisten, for its performance on Tuesday, July 13. Edmisten, a Boone native, formerly held the positions of North Carolina Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Deputy Chief Counsel for the Senate Watergate Committee and is a well-known political figure and attorney. The public is invited to join Southern Appalachian Historical Association (SAHA), the nonprofit producer of “Horn in the West,” in celebrating this special occasion. “We are honored to welcome Rufus and hope to have a packed amphitheater as we celebrate his return,” said Billy Ralph Winkler, Board Director and long-time supporter of SAHA. To commemorate the occasion, Carl White from “Life in the Carolinas,” a syndicated television show, will be documenting Edmisten’s trip to Boone and viewing of the performance. The crew is planning to capture an interview with Edmisten as he visits Daniel Boone Native Gardens, and “Horn in the West,” attractions located at the Daniel Boone Park at 591 Horn in the West Drive in Boone.
July 9, 2021. Graduation is one of the most memorable days for students who finished their academic requirements. However, wearing black and gold regalia, walking across the stage and receiving a diploma looked a little different for Appalachian State University’s Class of 2020. Typically, the cheers of family and friends are contained within the walls of the Holmes Convocation Center on campus, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, graduation celebrations took place virtually. A year and a half later, the Class of 2020 is being invited back to celebrate their achievements in-person. By Harley Nefe
July 9, 2021. Blowing Rock Art & History Museum is preparing for its annual fundraising gala on Friday, July 30, which is just three weeks away. This year’s gala is extra special as it is also a celebration of the museum’s 10th Anniversary. “All of our founders, members and long-term staff — everyone is amazed that 10 years have gone by and that we are already celebrating this big birthday,” said Jasmin McFayden, Executive Assistant for BRAHM. “The museum has certainly come a long way since 2011, so we’re excited.” Guests are invited to spend the evening with BRAHM enjoying live music, fine food, good company and a host of diverse and intriguing exhibitions on view throughout the event. By Harley Nefe
July 9, 2021. A tell-tale sign of a true artist is the ability to manipulate many different mediums and subjects to create something beautiful. As an artist evolves in their career, their focus and inspiration often shifts causing color palette, content and mediums to adapt alongside them. The Art Cellar represents over 50 artists of different backgrounds and styles. Some classically trained and some never formally trained at all. Each has a unique center and muse. One notable artist in the gallery known for his range in subject and medium is Tony Griffin.
July 9, 2021. While most people were stretching out their Independence Day holiday on Monday, July 5, Lauren Stansberry and her husband, Matt, were delivering comfort – one bag at a time to the local cancer center. It’s something Lauren has been doing for seven years, a ministry that has expanded way beyond Boone, and one that has lifted the spirits of cancer patients of all ages. It all started, Stansberry told High Country Press, after she began selling Thirty-One Gifts in February 2011. One of the main reasons she even started the journey, she said, was to give back something to her community, even if It took her a few years to get to a place where she could actually do that. By Sherrie Norris
July 8, 2021. Participants have arrived at Grandfather Mountain and are preparing for the 65th annual Highland Games, which is a return for the competitions after having a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Campgrounds on site are full with patrons all settled in for the 2021 Highland Games. The great Scottish traditions of music, highland dancing and athletic events will be taking place today through Sunday at MacRae Meadows. Today’s events include border collie sheep herding demonstrations, Celtic entertainment, running of “The Bear” uphill foot race and the opening ceremonies. “The Bear” puts hundreds of runners against the steep switchbacks of Grandfather Mountain in a five-mile run that climbs 1,568 feet from the town of Linville to the mountain summit.
July 7, 2021. The highly-anticipated Symphony by the Lake is returning to Chetola Resort for its 34th annual event of the summer on Friday, July 23. The event, which is produced by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, is just a little over two weeks away, and already, tickets have sold out. “We have sold out completely,” said Suzy Barker, Events and Communications Specialist for Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. “Over the holiday weekend, we sold out of our general admission tickets, and a few weeks prior, we had sold all of our audiophile tickets. Ticket sales went really well to have been sold out three weeks in advance.” By Harley Nefe
July 6, 2021. The Town of Boone’s Summer Concerts at the Jones House are set to begin, kicking off the 28th season of concerts on the lawn in downtown Boone on July 9 at 5 p.m. This popular weekly concert series showcases local and regional acts, with some familiar favorites joined by a few fresh faces. This year’s lineup features a variety of musical genres that will appeal to all types of music fans – bluegrass, jazz, folk, soul, gospel, and more. “We are really excited to carry on this longstanding downtown Boone tradition,” said concerts organizer Brandon Holder. “We did our best to support local musicians over the past several months by offering a weekly virtual concert series, but we are looking forward to having live in-person performances at the Jones House once again.”