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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
April 29, 2020 The Watauga County Farmers’ Market has transitioned from its winter market to its summer market and will kick things off this Saturday at 8 a.m. with a different look than in years past. Due to COVID-19 social distancing and essential business regulations, the number of vendors will be fewer than normal with no artists or craft vendors for now. “We will have places six feet apart marks with tape where we want the customer to stand back from the vendor’s booth. We’re going to have directional sounds to route the crowd,” says market manager Mary Goodnight. “It’s going to look different.” The farmers’ market is considered an essential business, however, the arts and craft vendors are not. Goodnight says they had around 60 vendors last year but are expecting to have around 40 to start this year. By Nathan Ham
April 15, 2020 The next installment of the Virtual Dinner Concert Series will be happening on Wednesday night with a performance from Chuck Duncan at 7 p.m. All donations will go to the staff of Mike’s Inland Seafood. Michael Greene, the founder of the Virtual Dinner Concert Series, moved to Boone in October of 2019 and quickly became attached to the community. In mid-March, Greene was in Atlanta waiting to take a trip to Costa Rica when the news broke that the United States borders would be closing due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Greene chose to play it smart and not take the trip. Realizing all of the potential implications that would soon begin to take place with businesses being forced to close and social distancing measures taking shape, Greene spent his drive back from Atlanta trying to figure out how to help the town of Boone. “I thought what if we can find a way to give back to the restaurants? What if we host some virtual concerts and set up ways for people to donate money to distribute to the staff? I started doing some research to figure out how to pull it off and put it in motion, and now I think we’re up to about $8,000 in donations so far that we have collected,” said Greene. By Nathan Ham
April 8, 2020 Luke Combs fans will have to wait a full calendar year to see him put on a show at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Combs announced on Twitter at noon that the concert originally scheduled for May 2 will be rescheduled for May 1, 2021. “I’m sorry we’re having to do this, but the show at Kidd Brewer Stadium has been rescheduled to May 1, 2021. This was going to be a dream come true and still will be one year later. I will see y’all then,” Combs said. Tickets already purchased for the concert will be honored for next year’s date. Luke Combs is a multi-platinum, award-winning musician from Asheville, NC, who stormed onto the music landscape as one Country’s brightest stars. Combs attended Appalachian State University and got his music start right here in Boone playing local shows. By Nathan Ham
March 11, 2020. The organizers of The Banff Mountain Film Festival in Boone, NC are announcing details regarding the Banff Mountain Film Festival coming up on Thursday March 19, Friday March 20, and Saturday March 21. Tickets are on sale online for the Thursday March 19th screening. The Friday March 20 and Saturday March 21 screenings are sold out. All screenings start at 7:30pm. Doors open to the Schaefer Center on Thursday March 19 at 6:45, and the doors open to the Schaefter Center on Friday and Saturday at 6:15pm. As has become a tradition at the Boone screenings, we will have a special guest featured in one of the films this year in attendance at the Thursday and Friday night screenings this year. John Brosler is a 22 year old competitive climber from Dallas, TX. Former Boone locals David Hutchison & Shari Galiardi will also be in town during the week of Banff to share stories with the local community about their life on the road.
March 10, 2020 The sixth year of the Daniel Boone Rail Jam will feature new ramps, terrific spectator views and two teams battling it out for the championship. This year will feature the Appalachian Ski Mtn. team led by captain Kellen Baker taking on the Beech Mountain Resort team led by captain John Kevin Mullins. “We have a new setup and as it has been put together, we are realizing how many different options that competitors are going to have. They will have an allotted amount of time to do as many runs as they want and the show will get better as the night goes on with the more runs that competitors take,” said event coordinator Shauna Godwin. In years past, the ramp for the competitors went through the seating area at the Daniel Boone Amphitheater. This year, however, the ramp has been constructed at the stage. “The view of the slope is incredible from any point in the amphitheater, on stage or off. It will be a really nice night of competitors doing their best tricks and the community coming together, celebrating and watching while having a good time,” said Godwin. By Nathan Ham
March 10, 2020. The Schaefer Center Presents series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, is proud to feature L.A. Theatre Works: SEVEN on Tuesday, March 24 at 7pm. A documentary-style radio play, SEVEN is based on the lives of seven extraordinary women from around the world: women who faced life-threatening obstacles to bring about affirmative and heroic changes in the lives of women, families, and children in their home countries. Given the timely themes and important message of the celebrated production, and the opportunity if affords for global learning and awareness, SEVEN will be offered FREE of charge to everyone. Tickets are required. Reserve your complimentary ticket by calling or visiting the box office. Patrons are invited to stay for a post-show talkback with members of the cast immediately following the performance
What’s going on in your community? Here’s a brief update on the emails we received today. Check back each day for an updated list of events going on in the area. As always, please feel free to email us about your event or update.
- This Week’s Events at Lost Province Brewing
- Lees-McRae College Communication Arts and Design Juried Student Art Exhibition Monday, March 16
- Calling All Volunteers and Runners for the 9th Annual Casting for Hope April 3-5
- Prospective Students are Invited to Experience Lees-McRae During Open House April 25
- 13th Annual Early Bird Wildflower Walk and Plant Sale is May 2
- Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum Spring Excursion Returns May 16
Compiled by Nathan Ham