1) April Programs at Elk Knob State Park
- Trail Work Days: Every Saturday through November, staff and volunteers will meet at the Summit Trailhead at 9 a.m. and work until approximately 3:30 p.m. weather permitting. Tools are provided, but volunteers should wear closed-toed shoes and bring work gloves, lunch and water. Most of the time will be spent building our new one mile loop trail, the Beech Tree Trail, with some repair work on the Summit Trail.
- Star Party: On Saturday, April 5 at 7 p.m., join us for our second Statewide Star Party. Come enjoy the dark skies of Elk Knob as we focus on the moon. We will use the park’s 8″ Celestron telescope to enhance viewing of celestial objects. If you have a pair of binoculars, please bring them. It is likely to be cold at this time of year so dress appropriately for the weather. In the event of inclement weather we will move inside the park office and use the Stellarium.
- Butterflies and Moths: on Sunday, April 13, come learn about butterflies and moths.
- Trout Lily Hike: On Sunday, April 20 at 2 p.m., come hike and see and learn about our trout lilies, a nice beginning to spring!
- Build-a-Butterfly: On Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m., come learn about what kind of animal butterflies and moths are. We will discuss body parts, life cycle and metamorphosis and see a ranger transformed into a butterfly.
2) Irish Music Ensemble Performs April 17
An Irish Music Ensemble comprising students will perform April 17 at 6 p.m. in Crossroads Coffee House in Appalachian State University’s Plemmons Student Union. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.
3) Registration for Henderson Guitar Competition Nears End
Guitarists who want to compete at the 20th annual Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition only have a little time left. Applications must be received by May 1. The winner will go home with a handmade Henderson Guitar. A maximum of 20 contestant applications and 10 alternate applications will be selected. Other prizes are second place, $200; third, $150; fourth, $100; and fifth, $50. The family-friendly festival will be held Saturday, June 21, rain or shine at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. Vince Gill tops the lineup along with Bill Kirchen, Dale Jett and Hello Stranger, the Snyder Family Band, Kazuhiro Inaba and Wayne Henderson and Friends. Children’s events and music are scheduled too.
4) Wine for a Reason: Fundraiser for the Autism Society April 26
Wine for a Reason! Come join us at Linville Falls Winery on Saturday, April 26 from 12-6 p.m. Enjoy a day of wine, food and music at our lovely vineyard while supporting an important cause. Music starts at 3 p.m.The fundraiser will benefit the Autism Society of North Carolina. A portion of all wine sales, tips and donations that day will be donated. Non-alcoholic beverages will also be available. For more information, call 828-765-1400.
5) An Earth Evening at High Country United Church
In honor of Earth Day, the High Country United Church is hosting a free potluck, film screening and discussion at 6 p.m. around the critically acclaimed “Chasing Ice.” The film focuses on National Geographic photographer James Balog’s time-lapse photography.
6) Poetry Reading Event at Watauga Library
Poetry-lovers of all ages may present a favorite poem, a poem of their own or be the audience during the Poetry Reading Event on Saturday, April 26, at 11 a.m. at the Watauga County Library. Light refreshments will be available.
7) Country Breakfast at the Post April 19
The Watauga American Legion Post #130 will host the Country Breakfast at the Post on Saturday, April 19 from 7-10 a.m. Cost is $8 per person for an all-you-can-eat country breakfast with menu items including country ham, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, homemade biscuits and gravy, hash browns, grits, cooked apples and fresh fruit, orange juice and coffee, regular and buckwheat pancakes and take out is available. The breakfast is open to the public and supports local veterans and veteran programs. The post is located at 135 Junaluska Trail in Boone.
8) Fiddler’s Grove Ole Time Fiddler’s and Bluegrass Festival
n 1924, H.P. Van Hoy, a schoolteacher and fiddler, thought of an innovative way to raise money for Union Grove School; he would hold a fiddler’s convention. The convention became a tradition, carried on in recent years by Harper A. Van Hoy, H. P. Van Hoy’s son. On May 23-25, 2014, the fourth generation of Van Hoy descendants will open the gate for the 90th iteration of that acclaimed musical institution: a weekend of competition, performances by invited musicians, workshops, jamming, and the renewal of years-long friendships. This is the oldest fiddler’s contest in North America, acclaimed a Local Legacy by the Library of Congress, icon of the genre, and not to be missed. The Fiddler’s Grove Ole Time Fiddler’s and Bluegrass Festival is held at 1819 West Memorial Hwy., Union Grove, NC. The weekend kicks off on Friday evening. The audience will hear from past winners and legendary musicians. Special entertainers for the weekend include performers with strong ties to this festival: The Cockman family, Master Fiddler Robin Warren, Danny Wicker and Mel Jones, The Edwards Family, Sally Spring, The Shiver Show, Don Pedi, Lissy Rosemont, Taylor Dunn, the Laurel Creek String Band, and Storyteller Steve Houser. The festival has joined forces with the Green Grass and Cane Creek Cloggers to add to the music with a Barn Dance. Saturday offers a day of competition for youth musicians in individual categories. This emphasis on youth competition is in keeping with the mission of the festival. Since 1924, Fiddler’s Grove has enjoyed a long tradition of preserving old time and bluegrass music, and passing the legacy on to future generations. On Saturday morning you’ll be able to attend workshops in numerous instruments, and clogging with the Green Grass and Cane Creek Cloggers. The afternoon will feature youth competition on the Youth Stage, a children’s show, and Twin Fiddle and adult fiddle competition on the Main Stage. Many things take place on the Main Stage Saturday evening. After a moving tribute to founder Harper A. Van Hoy, you will see some special entertainment, clogging, and, perhaps the highlight of the evening, the Fiddler of the Festival Playoff. Also returning is the popular “Hot Licks” competition, where musicians in all instruments will compete for the title “Best Jammer” of the festival. In a long-standing tradition, Sunday morning is a lazy day of listening to gospel and good music under the trees “in the Grove” – a perfect ending for the weekend. Fiddler’s Grove Campground, the bucolic setting for this annual gathering of music lovers, is nicely suited for the execution and enjoyment of these great American musical traditions. The stated purpose of this festival – to preserve, promote and perpetuate traditional American music – is carried out in a fashion that invites every ticket holder to be a part of the grand continuum. Novice or expert, listener or competitor, youngster or otherwise: everyone can find a niche at Fiddler’s Grove.