1) Ashe County Farmers Market in West Jefferson Presents Tomato/Salsa Contest Day Aug. 16
Saturday, Aug. 16 will be Tomato/Salsa Contest day at the Ashe County Farmers Market. The contest is open to all residents of Ashe County, part time or permanent. The Tomato Contest will consist of the best tasting tomato, the prettiest tomato, the ugliest tomato and the biggest tomato. The Tomato Salsa Contest will consist of best tomato salsa, must use locally grown produce and taste (hot or mild). The contest is open to all residents of Ashe County. Produce used must be grown in Ashe County and entries are unlimited. The judging for the Tomato Contest will take place at 9:30 a.m. and the Salsa Contest judging will take place at 10:30 a.m. Local judges will conduct the judging and you must be present to win. To enter, bring your tomatoes and salsa to the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, Aug. 16 between 8:30 and 9:15 a.m. There will be a table set up under the tent in the grassy area. There will be entry forms available at the table under the tent. One winner will be selected from the entries of each category in the Tomato contest and will receive a $10 Ashe County Farmers’ Market gift certificate. One winner will be selected from the entries from the salsa contest and will receive a $10 Ashe County Farmers Market gift certificate. The gift certificates are good through Oct. 25 and can only be redeemed at the Ashe County Farmers Market. For more information call 336-877-4141.
2) Goodbye Summer at Vintage Valle Music Aug. 17
As our community prepares for back to school, Baird’s Creek Presbyterian Church prepares to say goodbye to summer with a musical finale on Sunday, Aug. 17, from 4-6 p.m. In tribute to our community school, we ask our neighbors who come to share our Vintage Valle Music to bring along a few school supplies as a gift to help the students, teachers and staff of Valle Crucis School have a successful school year. Neighbors who are sharing their gift of music with us this month are the Pineola Bell Ringers, the Kraut Creek Ramblers and Turkey Tracks Trio. Handbells are not just for Christmas. Come, watch and listen to some of your Avery and Watauga County neighbors, the Pineola Handbell Ringers, as they share beautiful music made simple by counting, rhythmic “twists of the wrists,” and paying close attention. Bet you’ll come away from this performance saying, “That was so pretty, I’d like to try that.” From Ashe and Watauga Counties comes yet another type of community music to our Vintage Valle Music, the Appalachian dulcimer. The Kraut Kreek Ramblers, a group of mountain dulcimer players, will share their love of mountain music on these traditional, often handmade instruments that are so much a part of our cultural heritage. After a few folk tunes, the Kraut Creek Ramblers will lead us all in a sing-along of some favorite hymns. Back by popular demand and appropriately billed on a back-to-school edition of Vintage Valle Music, Turkey Tracks Trio – two teachers, Jennifer Gillenwater and Mary Mays, and volunteer librarian Linda Miller from Mountain City Tenn. will entertain us with a comfortable mix of old-time, original and familiar country, bluegrass, gospel and folk songs played on a variety of traditional mountain instruments. This lively group has produced a CD since their last engagement at Vintage Valle Music, and they’ll be available for purchase after the show. Baird’s Creek Presbyterian Church is located at 2147 N.C. 194 in Vilas.
3) Second Annual Corey Anne Celebration of Women in the Arts Held Through Month of August.
The Florence Thomas Art School will host the Second Annual Corey Anne Celebration of Women in the Arts during the month of August. A month-long exhibit opens on Aug. 8, featuring the works of five women artists. In addition, a symposium on Saturday, Ayg. 16 from 10 a.m.-noon will include a History of Women in the Arts by guest speaker Lillian Goudas, an Art History professor with Appalachian State University. The event features five artists: Jennifer Gardner, Mary Goslen, Cheryl Roberts, Joni Ray and the late Florence Thomas. Each artist has strong ties to the High Country. Jennifer Gardner, a professional potter, moved to Ashe County from the Seagrove area in 1976. She creates unique pieces that include images of the human form and is hand thrown in her studio in Creston. Mary Goslen, an Ashe County native, was born in Crumpler and now resides in Winston-Salem. She is known for her striking colorful serigraphs and is a founding member of the Piedmont Craftsmen. Cheryl Roberts, an accomplished traditional fiber artist, lives in Ashe County and provides private instruction from her home studio in Creston. She dyes her own wool and spins her own yarn for her one-of-a-kind rug hooking pieces. Joni Ray grew up in the Blue Ridge and has been passionate about the arts from her youth. She studied sustainable development and studio art at Appalachian State University and strives to integrate sustainability into her pieces. In addition to her paintings she will be creating an installed work with wheat paste beginning Aug. 8 and continue until its completion prior to the symposium on Aug. 16. The symposium will be followed by a three-hour indigo dying workshop with Janine LeBlanc and Susan Oliver Fennell. The exhibit and symposium are free to the public. The workshop cost $30 all materials included and registration is required. Space is limited to 15. This event is designed to celebrate and remember Corey Anne Cosidine’s life by examining and celebrating women and their influence in the arts while supporting and nurturing young female artists. Corey Anne Considine passed away in a vehicle accident in California on June 6, 2013. A native of Ashe County, she would have celebrated his 30th birthday in August 2013. From her youngest days, she was a passionate advocate for women and girls. Corey had a passion for drawing, painting, dance and design. She was involved in the healing arts and was a great nurturer. She was launching a new line of herbal face creams under the brand of Napa Valley Beauty using photo of her late grandmother as the model on the label. For more information call 336-846-3827.
4) Registrations Continue for Caldwell Summer JAM Camp Through Aug. 11
Hey kids, pick up an instrument or put on your dancing shoes this summer and come JAM with us. Regardless of experience, Caldwell Summer JAM Camp is offering you a chance to have fun and learn a tune or two in old-time and traditional music. Cost is $40. Instrument rentals are available for $15. Scholarships are available-please inquire. You may register on site at 9 a.m. on Aug. 11 at St. James Episcopal Church on College Avenue in Lenoir. Registration forms are available on our website. Caldwell Summer JAM Camp will be held Aug. 11-14 in downtown Lenoir and on Aug. 30 at the Happy Valley Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention. Students will perform what they learn on stage at the Happy Valley Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention. Camp will be open to any child age 7-17. Classes will be taught in fiddle, guitar, mandolin and dance based on interest. For more information call 828-754-2486.
5) Third Annual Jim Greene Memorial Concert Held Aug. 9
The third annual Jim Greene Memorial Concert will be held at Avery County High School Gym from 11:30-3 p.m. Admission for the event is free, but there will be a barbecue supper asking $8 donation per plate. The event will feature Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Ernie Penley, His Mercies, Purpose Quartet, Elvis (John Greene) and more. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy a great day of fellowship, food, Gospel and bluegrass. For more information call 828-733-0188.
6) Boone Country Dancers Host Contra Dance Aug. 16
The Boone Country Dancers will be at the Apple Barn in Valle Crucis for its next community contra dance on Saturday, Aug. 16. Everyone is welcome to attend the contra dance regardless of dance experience. The evening will begin with a beginner’s workshop from 7:30-8 p.m. The goal of the workshop is to teach the fundamentals of contra dance with a focus on having fun. After the workshop, the regular dance will run from 8-11 p.m. with a waltz break at 9:30 p.m. The dance will feature the lively band Contraforce from South Carolina and the caller will be Dean Snipes.