August 19, 2021. Festival organizers for MerleFest have announced updated safety protocol for this year’s event which takes place Sept. 16-19 in Wilkesboro, NC. MerleFest prides itself on being a safe environment for music fans to experience the joy of collectively celebrating the very best in Americana, bluegrass, folk, and roots music in a family-friendly environment. In the interest of safety for all participants—and at the recommendation of high-ranking public health officials and performing artists—all attendees to this year’s event must provide either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of entering the event. the driving factor in MerleFest’s decision to require proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of attending. “Safety first,” said festival director, Ted Hagaman. “After many conversations with public health officials, it’s clear that the smartest and safest change we can make is to require vaccinations or proof of a negative test.”
August 11, 2021. Avery County’s Fine Art and Master Crafts Festival will return for its second part this weekend, from August 13 through August 15, at Sugar Mountain Resort, where approximately 60 hand-selected artisans will showcase their unique work for sale. The first part was held July 16-18, establishing the 30th year of the festival. 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. 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. By Harley Nefe
August 11, 2021. The return of the High Country Beerfest is slated for Saturday, August 28 at the High Country Fairgrounds with a couple of big changes in store for the in-person event. On Tuesday, festival organizers announced on social media that due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the High Country, festival-goers must have proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the beerfest. Each person will need to present their vaccine card, photo of their vaccine card or a digital copy of the card along with the event ticket and identification at the entrance. Each person must have had their final vaccine shot at least two weeks prior to August 28. Last year, the High Country Beerfest was held virtually due to the virus and unfortunately, new positive cases have started ramping up again in the area. By Nathan Ham
March 21, 2018. Easter Sunday will take place on April 1 this year. For those who are deciding how to celebrate Easter, here is a list of Easter Sunday Services and egg hunts to attend. Some egg hunts are taking place this coming weekend, others will take place on Easter weekend. By Kate Herman
Feb. 28, 2018. Who has the hottest lips in the High Country? During the first few weeks in February, Haircut 101 invited the community to compete in their Hot Lips Competition. Competitors paid one dollar, and kissed a napkin. A variety of lipstick colors and styles were used in order to select the most outstanding kiss. By Kate Herman – Photos by Ken Ketchie
Feb. 12, 2018. “Shamrock floats” take on a new meaning this March, as the Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources Department presents the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Boone, and be part of a new tradition! Events begin Saturday, March 17, at 2:00 P.M. on King Street in Boone with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade will start at the Poplar Grove Extension traveling east on King Street through Boone.
Feb. 7, 2018. Appalachian State University’s Playcrafters, a student organization affiliated with the university’s Department of Theatre and Dance, will present their 2018 New Play Festival in the I. G. Greer Studio Theatre on Feb. 15, 16, and 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for the general public and will be sold a half-hour prior to each performance.
Feb. 8, 2018. On the 18th eve of the month of February in the quaint little village known as Blowing Rock there will be held a festive celebration filled with merriment, dancing, music, and festive attire. This event, known as the Mardi Gras, is being put on by the Watauga County Arts Council and will be held at the Meadowbrook Inn, located at 711 Main Street in Blowing Rock.
Feb. 6, 2018. The “The Schaefer Center Presents…” performance series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, continues its 2017-18 season with a performance by the world’s foremost all-male comic ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo on Friday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m. at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for Appalachian faculty/staff and retired faculty/staff and $15 for students and children. For more information, call the Schaefer Center Box Office at 800-841-ARTS (2787) or 828-262-4046, or visit http://theschaefercenter.org/.
Feb. 2, 2018. Wit Tuttell, the Executive Director of Visit NC, announced the 2018 Cycle North Carolina “Mountains to Coast” Route with the help of town representatives in a pre-recorded video released at the Cycle North Carolina Route Announcement Party, held at Bond Brothers Beer Company in downtown Cary on Jan. 31.
Feb. 2, 2018. A musical showcase highlighting Black Roots of American folk music will take place this Saturday evening at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone. The concert is part of the on-going series of Black & Global Roots Concerts in collaboration with Dr. Cece Conway, exploring the West African influences upon American banjo music and later Piecmont blues.
Feb. 2, 2018. Do you want to build a snowman? Grab your hat and gloves, head to Beech Mountain and get creative on Feb. 3 from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m., for the Buckeye Recreation Center’s annual snowman building competition and, new this year, the inaugural snow angel decorating contest!
Jan. 31, 2018. Now halfway through its 3rd. season, Boone’s Winter Farmers’ Market continues to provide area residents with access to fresh, local produce and handcrafted products through the winter months by offering indoor retail space to High Country farmers and producers. The market happens from 9 a.m. to noon every first and third Saturday, December through April, at the Watauga County Agricultural Conference Center, located at 252 Poplar Grove Rd. in Downtown Boone. The next upcoming market is Saturday February 3rd, 2018!
Jan. 29, 2018. Blowing Rock’s WinterFest Celebration is always a good time had by all. Winterfest 2018 ringed in the new year with record breaking numbers, while raising thousands of dollars for local nonprofit organizations. By Kate Herman – Photos by Ken Ketchie
Jan. 24, 2018. Winter enthusiasts are traveling to the High Country this weekend in celebration of Blowing Rock’s Annual Winterfest, which takes place this Thursday Jan. 25- Sunday Jan. 28. The Green Park Inn, a member of Historic Hotels of America, welcomes guests to stay, dine and join in celebration of Winterfest’s finer festivities. The Green Park Inn is serving as an event host for the Jazz at Winterfest on Friday and Saturday. For those who desire shopping opportunities, The Green Park Inn will host Wintertastings and Auction at The Green Park Inn on Saturday Jan. 27. By Kate Herman – Photos by Tommy White
Jan. 19, 2018. An elk, a Girl Scout, two cougars and a bagpiper walk onto Grandfather Mountain… The punchline? It’s 2018 at the Linville, N.C., nature preserve and attraction. No joke.
Jan. 19, 2018. MerleFest, presented by Window World and slated for April 26 – 29, is proud to announce five additions to the 2018 lineup: The Mavericks, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Mandolin Orange, Alison Brown, and Brandy Clark. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest has already announced over 75 artists for 2018, including Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Rodney Crowell, Rhiannon Giddens, Elephant Revival, The Devil Makes Three, aMidnight Jam hosted by Town Mountain and Jim Lauderdale, and many more. The rest of the distinguished lineup for MerleFest 2018 will roll out over the next few months.
Jan. 3, 2018. On Saturday, Jan. 6, Beech Mountain Resort will host their annual Winterfest Beer Festival, which will feature several North Carolina Craft Breweries and Cideries and will have two live bands. There will be over 50 ales and ciders to taste. Tickets are still available, and can be purchased in advance for $25. At the door, tickets may be purchased for $30. Tickets for designated drivers are available for $15. The festival is a fundraiser for the Beech Mountain Ski Education Foundation. By Kate Herman – Photos by Beech Mountain Resort
Nov. 27, 2017. The High Country’s new holiday tradition is here! Celebrate the joy of the season when Tweetsie Railroad transforms into a winter wonderland for Tweetsie Christmas. On Friday and Saturday evenings from November 24 through December 30, guests can experience countless holiday delights at North Carolina’s first theme park.
Dec. 11, 2017. On Friday, December 15, at 7:00 p.m., the curtain goes up on our annual holiday musical variety show, An Ensemble Christmas. With 24 musical numbers containing all or parts of over 30 yuletide songs, including performances by the Carolina Snowbelles and Western Carolina Youth Ballet, this fast-paced tribute to the Andy Williams and Bing Crosby television holiday shows of the 60’s and 70’s is sure to rejuvenate your holiday spirit. An Ensemble Christmas will also be performed on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7:00 p.m., and on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2:00 p.m.
Dec. 11, 2017. MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce new artist additions to the lineup for MerleFest 2018, which will be held April 26 – 29, 2018: Elephant Revival, Rhiannon Giddens, Rodney Crowell, and Shinyribs. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. The newest additions to the lineup join over 75 artists that have already been announced, including Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Robert Earl Keen, The Devil Makes Three, Balsam Range and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble, Mission Temple Fireworks Revival featuring Paul Thorn & Band, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and the McCrary Sisters, a Midnight Jam hosted by Town Mountain and Jim Lauderdale, and many more.
Dec. 1, 2017. The Town of Boone is pleased to announce this year’s holiday events: The Jones House Christmas Tree Lighting and the Boone Christmas Parade. These events are free and open to the public. All are invited to join us for our holiday celebrations. Happy holidays!
Nov. 27, 2017. As the Christmas season arrives, Banner Elk gets in the holiday spirit the first weekend of December with A Small Town Christmas, Dec. 1-3. The three-day event takes place throughout town, beginning with a classic holiday play on Friday; continuing with a full day of crafts, shopping and a parade on Saturday; and concluding with a visit to an Avery County choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm on Sunday.
Nov. 20, 2017. Join Banner Elk for the annual Small Town Christmas celebration, December 1st, 2nd and 3rd. This year’s Small Town Christmas kicks off Friday evening with Ensemble Stage’s staged radio performance A Christmas Carol. Saturday is filled with fun family events located through out town. When the sun sets on Saturday, Main St will be filled with lights in the Parade of Lights!
Nov. 22, 2017. If you visit Blowing Rock between Thanksgiving and New Years, you’ll find great natural beauty, a Norman Rockwell-esque downtown decorated and lighted for the season, unique shops and restaurants, and numerous holiday-themed events filling the calendar. And if you’re lucky enough to be in Blowing Rock on Thanksgiving day, you’ll find several restaurants and eateries open and offering Thanksgiving fare (reservations are required for those with seating times). For a list of participating restaurants and contact information, go to blowingrock.com/thanksgiving-day-dining/.