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Don’t Hibernate, Celebrate! with Blowing Rock’s WinterFest, Coming Up Later This Month

By Hailey Blevins

From January 24-27, Blowing Rock will be bursting with activity as everyone braves the cold to celebrate the 21st annual WinterFest. The festival brings out the fun side of winter and gets families and friends together for some great memories. Regardless if whether it’s a nice 50 degrees or 30 degrees and snowing, attendees make this annual winter festival a must because of its variety of events and entertainment. “It draws people to the area in a slower time of the year,” noted Harrison Herbst.

Planning for the first WinterFest began in 1997, when Blowing Rock business owners got together and decided to create a festival to celebrate all fun things winter related. As WinterFest continued, it grew and become recognized by many. Travel Leisure magazine named Blowing Rock “one of America’s Prettiest Winter Towns,” AAA named WinterFest one of the “Top Pick” events, and Southeastern Tourism Society named it a Top 20 Event.

More events have been added since WinterFest began in 1998, however. Ice Carving demonstrations, live music and WinterPaws, a dog show, are just a few of the newer events. There is something for everyone at WinterFest! “There’s lots of events. Polar Plunge is a big one, there’s a fashion show, beer garden, wine auction and tasting, and events and seminars throughout town,” says Herbst.

For the shopping savvy, many businesses in Blowing Rock are open each day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., for Shop Til You Drop. And for those seeking a thrill, there’s the Polar Plunge on Saturday at Chetola Resort from 8-11 a.m. Check out the complete schedule of events at the end to find the perfect event for you!

“It’s a lot of fun and is a very family friendly event. There’s a lot of free events in town, so you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to come up and enjoy Blowing Rock and some neat Winter activities.”

Not only is WinterFest a blast, it also serves as a great way to raise money to help various charitable causes, having raised thousands of dollars in past years.

While many of these events are free, some do require tickets. Be sure to check online and book your tickets for WinterFeast, the WinterFashion Show, Wine Tasting and Auction and WinterFest Beer Garden. WinterFest tickets can be purchased at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, located at 132 Park Avenue in Blowing Rock, via phone at 800-295-7851, or online.

Winterfest Schedule:

Thursday, January 24
Shop Til You Drop – 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Doodlebug Club at BRAHM (Morning) – 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Doodlebug Club at BRAHM (Afternoon) – 1-2 p.m.
WinterFeast – 5:30-10 p.m.
Bonfire, S’mores and Entertainment at Chetola Resort – 7-10 p.m.

Friday, January 25
Shop Til You Drop – 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Pancake Breakfast at Sunny Rock – 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
WinterFashion Show 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
WinterFest Sip and Stroll – 4-7 p.m.
Cork & Canvas at BRAHM – 4-6 p.m.
Hands-On Ice Carving – 4-6 p.m.
WinterFest Ice Stroll – 5-7 p.m.
Music on the Lawn – 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Jazz at WinterFest – 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Bonfire, S’mores and Entertainment at Chetola Resort – 7-10 p.m.

Saturday, January 26
Shop Til You Drop – 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
BrrrrARM (Free Admission) – 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Pancake Breakfast at Sunny Rock – 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Polar Plunge at Chetola Resort – 8-11 a.m.
Silent Auction & Raffle – 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Hayrides – 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cork & Canvas at BRAHM – 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Hands-On Ice Carving – 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Rotary Charity Chili Challenge – 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
K9 Keg Pull – 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ice Carving Demonstrations – 12-4 p.m.
Arctic Art at BrrrAHM – 1-2:30 p.m.
WinterFest Beer Garden – 1-4:30 p.m.
Wine Tasting & Auction at The Green Park Inn – 3-5 p.m.
Jazz at WinterFest – 6-9:30 p.m.
Bonfire, S’mores and Entertainment at Chetola Resort – 7-10 p.m.

Sunday, January 27
Shop Til You Drop – 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday Brunch at Foggy Rock – 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
WinterPaws Dog Show – 1-3 p.m.