• 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…



  • Let’s Have Fun Together! Sugar Mountain Resort’s Summer Season Begins Friday May 22


    May 22, 2020 The summer season may be unlike any other, but the spinning of chairlift bull wheels, the cascading wind wrapping around the speeding mountain biker, the calming view along the route aboard the Summit Express to Sugar’s peak and back, and the energy of Memorial Day and Independence Day have never been more welcome. On Friday, May 22, in accordance with Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 138, Sugar Mountain Resort’s Summit Express scenic chairlift rides and the bike park open for the summer. / Read more…



  • Native Plant Sale to Benefit Daniel Boone Native Gardens This Saturday; Over 300 Plants Offered

    May 21, 2020 The native plant sale to benefit Daniel Boone Native Gardens will be held this coming Saturday, May 23rd from 8am to noon.  The sale will take place at the Gardens.  Please notice that Mark donated 32 oconee bells, which normally sell for between $36-$45.  Some of the plants have less than 100% donation because of requirements at ASU.     The bulk of the Venus flytrap donation is going to support Fairy Day at the Gardens.  / Read more…



  • Daniel Boone Native Gardens to Cancel Annual Native Plant Sale But Will Have Saturday Sales By Individual Vendors Starting This Weekend


    May 15, 2020 The Daniel Boone Native Gardens had to cancel its annual native plant sale due to the pandemic, but we are attempting to provide native plant buying opportunities by inviting our vendors to set up individually on specific Saturdays at the DBNG parking area. The Annual Plant Sale has been “revised” due to Covid. Instead of all the vendors coming on one Saturday, we will have one plant vendor in our parking places outside the Gardens on several Saturdays. / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain Resort Set to Open for Summer Season on Friday, June 5


    May 14, 2020 Beech Mountain Resort opens for the summer season on Friday, June 5, offering scenic lift rides, mountain biking, hiking and disc golf. The resort will also have take-out food and beverage service that can be enjoyed at several outdoor locations on property. The resort will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Enhanced sanitation practices, social distancing policies and other safety measures will be implemented to follow state and local health guidelines. / Read more…



  • Avery Moves Virtual Walk/Run/Bike/MOVE! – Fundraising Event for this Saturday


    May 14, 2020 Avery Moves! is a Virtual Race (Walk, Run, Bike, Move) from your home or outdoors! Proceeds will be split evenly to benefit these five organizations that are meeting critical needs in Avery County in response to CoVID19, We bet one of them has made an impact on you personally! Avery County Schools, Feeding Avery Families, Cannon Memorial Hospital, Avery County Senior Center, Williams YMCA of Avery County. / Read more…



  • Canceled Events this Spring, Summer and Fall Across the High Country Keep Adding Up

    May 13, 2020 The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has continued to force the cancelations and postponements of numerous annual events, weekly and monthly events across the High Country. In Boone and Blowing Rock, some of the local events canceled include the always-popular Appalachian Summer Festival, Blowing Rock Horse Show Saddlebreds, Doc Watson Day, Art in the Park in Blowing Rock and Mountain Home Music. On Wednesday, it was announced that the 69th season of Horn in the West has been postponed for 2020 and will resume in 2021. Despite being the final county in North Carolina to not have a positive COVID-19 test, Avery County is keeping its precautions in place by canceling the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Lees-McRae Summer Theatre and Land of Oz June Tours. In neighboring Ashe County, they made the tough decision to cancel the annual Christmas in July Festival. Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Christmas In July Festival in West Jefferson Canceled for 2020


    May 1, 2020 In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and a decision by the festival board of directors, the 2020 Christmas in July Festival has been canceled. This family-friendly tradition will return in 2021. The Christmas in July Festival draws thousands of visitors each year and takes months to plan. Given the uncertainty for what the next few months hold with regards to this pandemic, and keeping the health and safety of everyone in mind, the festival committee made this very difficult decision to cancel for 2020. The festival was scheduled to be held on July 3 & 4, 2020 in downtown West Jefferson. While the committee is incredibly disappointed to not hold this annual summer tradition in our community this year, they understand the need to be extra cautious for the sake of our community. The festival also consulted with the Appalachian District Health Department who stated: “the event draws large crowds that feasibly cannot be supported over the next few months.” / Read more…



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