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Blowing Rock Tour of Homes Returns to In-Person Gathering on Friday, July 22

Photo submitted.

The Blowing Rock Tour of Homes, returning to an in-person gathering after two years as a virtual event, kicks off at 9 am on Friday, July 22 and brings so much more to this charming mountain town than a peek inside five of Blowing Rock’s loveliest homes.

The homes on this year’s Tour are all within walking distance of St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, so patrons will want to stop by the Tour Café for lunch ($15). This year, the lunch is catered by the F.A.R.M. Café, Boone’s non-profit café (Feed All Regardless of Means), known for serving locally-sourced, delicious meals at Boone Drug’s former King Street lunch counter. You’ll have a choice of Chef’s Salad, Chicken Salad Plate, or Turkey Wrap, along with a soft drink and a desert “small bite” plate of all four of our most popular desserts from years past.

As always, this will be a Zero Waste Tour – recycling or composting nearly everything used by Tour patrons – through a partnership with Born Again Dirt (B.A.D.), a Boone composting cooperative. B.A.D. members have their home table scraps and leaves picked up on a regular schedule, after which it becomes rich, garden-ready dirt, rather than producing greenhouse gases (methane) in our local landfill. Urban composting is becoming common all across the U.S., from Burlington, Vermont to Portland, Oregon and San Francisco.

On St. Mary’s front lawn, you’ll find the Timeless Treasures tent, featuring beautiful stoneware by Hadley Pottery of Louisville, KY – real treasures, now that Hadley has announced they’re shutting down their kilns after more than 80 years. You’ll find other treasures as well, including artwork, china, glassware, weavings, small furniture pieces, baskets, galvanized tinware, and 60 handpainted dessert plates (8″) – signed and certified – at below-market prices.

Before you end the day, you’ll want to stop by the Fabulous Bake Sale tent for homemade cakes, pies, bread, muffins, cookies, jams, and savory snacks to take to your own home.

The Tour has been a much-anticipated fixture in Blowing Rock summers for 64 years. Sponsored by St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal church, with volunteers from around the community, 100% of the net proceeds are given as grants to local agencies who feed the hungry, provide shelter and sanctuary, care for children, and offer educational resources. Those agencies included Hospitality House, WAMY, OASIS, Habitat for Humanity, Blowing Rock CARES, and the Watauga Children’s Council.

Tickets are available now at $30 at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, through the Chamber’s website ( loveblowingrock.com ), or through the church website ( stmaryofthehills.org/tour. Tickets will be $35 on the day of the Tour. The Tour will be held rain or shine. Unfortunately, the homes are not handicapped-accessible, nor suitable for children under six. The Tour runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; the last start-time is at 3:00.

Courtesy of Blowing Rock Tour of Homes.