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Email Announcements Received Today:

1) Town of Beech Mountain Sledding Hill Report

The Beech Mountain Sledding Hill is ready for MLK Weekend, Jan. 17-28. We will have extended hours on Monday, Jan. 19, and will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The sledding hill holiday hours are Friday, 1-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday and MLK Day 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

2) New Official Appalachian Trail Mileage is 2,189.2 Miles

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited to announce the official mileage of the Appalachian Trail this year:2,189.2 miles, which is an increase of 3.9 miles over last year’s 2,185.3. Every year, the latest mileage and shelter information is updated from volunteers who are constantly improving the trail with volunteer Daniel D. Chazin of Teaneck, N.J leading efforts since 1983.

3) January Programs at Grandfather Mountain State Park

  • What’s That Cloud?: On Jan. 18, from 3-4 p.m. How many times have you looked up into the sky and seen a cloud that resembled an animal or some kind of object? Kids and adults love to use their imagination to create cloud pictures so why not join Ranger Sicard to learn more about the clouds in the sky that creates those images. During this PowerPoint program, we will talk about the types of clouds in the sky, how they are formed, what kind of weather is associated with them, and you can create your own poster of clouds made from cotton balls to take home with you as a reminder of what you learned at the Park Office. This program will take approximately one hour and is open to all ages.
  • Amphibians for Beginners: This program will take place on Jan. 31 from 3-3:30 p.m. Do you know what it takes to become an amphibian, would you like to learn more? Join Ranger Sicard to cover the basics of what an Amphibian is and where you would find them. During this PowerPoint we will cover the life cycle, habitats and types of amphibians that can be found in the Grandfather Mountain State Park area and possibly in the areas you live too. This program is suitable for ages 9 and older. This program will last approximately 30 minutes.

4) Master Gardener Course Begins March 5

Master Gardener Course starting March 5, 2015. Thursdays from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. for 12 weeks. 40 hours of training in subjects including botany, plant propagation, pruning, insects, diseases, weeds,, flowers, native plants , fruits, vegetables and landscape design. To complete certification you must give back volunteer hours. Course fee $115 For application contact Paige Patterson, Consumer Horticulture Agent at 828-264-3061 or paige_patterson @ncsu.edu.

5) Watauga Community Band Holds Open Rehearsal Tuesdays

The Watauga Community Band invites anyone with a musical instrument to join in for rehearsals. The band meets every Tuesday night from 7:30-9 p.m. in Spencer Rehearsal Hall room 119 in the Broyhill Music Center on the campus of Appalachian State University. No auditions or fees are required to join, just a love of music. All skill levels are welcome. For more information, visit www.wataugaband.org. Come join us for music, friends and fellowship.

6) Momentum Dance Showcase Presented Jan. 23-24

Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present the 2015 Momentum Dance Showcase Jan. 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Varsity Gym Dance Studio on campus. Ticket prices are $5 for students and $7 for adults and are available in Plemmons Student Union at the Momentum contact table the week of the showcase, as well as at the door 30 minutes prior to each performance. Momentum is a campus-wide student dance organization. The annual dance showcase will feature seven original works choreographed and performed by Appalachian students. Other clubs that are part of the theatre and dance presence on campus join the production, including ASU Elite Dance Team, NouN Improv Troupe, Entropy Dance Crew and Swing Dance Club. “The Momentum student dance club provides students with a wonderful opportunity to explore creative expression through the choreographic process and to gain valuable experience as choreographers and as members of a production team.  Since the showcase is informal and student-directed, students often feel more freedom to indulge in personal aesthetics and take creative risks,” said Emily Daughtridge, associate professor of dance studies and faculty advisor for Momentum. Choreographers whose works will be featured during the 2015 Momentum Dance Showcase are Jennie Flowers, Sarah Patrick, Madi Pratapas, Casey Rogers, Anne-Catherine Rossi, Fallon McKeon and Abbey Stuckey. Patrick said, “I joined Momentum my freshman year and had the opportunity to dance in the Momentum Showcase. It was a great experience, so I decided to get more involved this year and become an officer as well as a choreographer for the showcase. This is my first time choreographing and it has been challenging, but I’ve been fortunate to have a wonderful group of dancers to work with. This has been a really exciting year in Momentum for me.” Senior choreographer Fallon McKeon added, “Momentum has greatly affected my dance career at Appalachian. I first danced in the showcase my freshman year and it is one of the main reasons I decided to major in dance. I have always loved the open and free atmosphere the showcase provided me as a dancer. Now as a choreographer, I have also noticed the passion that comes from everyone involved.” Varsity Gym is located at 530 Rivers St. Parking for the showcase is available to patrons at any available parking lot or garage on campus after 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and at all times on weekends. Covered parking is conveniently located in the Rivers Street Parking Deck directly across the street from Varsity Gym.