1) Watauga Soil and Water Board Meeting May 28
The Watauga Soil and Water Conservation District Board will hold its regular board meeting on Wednesday, May 28 at 8 a.m. in the District Office at 971 West King Street. The public is invited to attend.
2) Missions Possible Festival and Barbeque Held May 24
Enjoy a day filled with live music, food, crafts, a bake sale, silent auction and more held on Saturday, May 24 from 12-7 p.m. Barbeque dinner will be served from 5:30-7 p.m. Plates are $10 each and include barbeque, sides, dessert and a drink. All proceeds will benefit missions. Located at Howard’s Creek Baptist Church at 240 Howard’s Creek Church Rd. in Boone. For more information about this event call 828-264-1908.
3) Grandfather Mountain Otter Habitat Reopens
After a two-and-a-half-month closure for renovations, the otter habitat has reopened at Grandfather Mountain. Otters Nottaway and Luna have relocated back into the public eye, allowing their adoring fans to watch their antics from a renovated underwater viewing area. The habitat closed in late February to allow maintenance staff to repair the water-resistant membrane above the underwater viewing area. Water flow under the damaged membrane had caused cracks and crumbling in the cement and mortar of the structure. Alex Johnson Construction Company and Grandfather Mountain maintenance staff replaced the membrane and the structure’s entrance walls and plan to landscape the area in the coming weeks. While the renovations are underway, the habitat staff introduced the adult otters Nottaway and Luna to the youngest otter, Nova, in an off-display habitat called The Plaza. Nova and Nottaway, an older, male otter became fast friends but as keepers feared, the introduction between Luna and Nova was not as smooth. Despite two attempts and combining the two females, dominant Luna would not tolerate Nova’s presence. For the time being, Luna and Nottaway will return to the public display, while Nova will remain at The Plaza. The habitat staff has also resumed the otter enrichment sessions daily at noon and 3 p.m. During these sessions, keepers offer the otters special snacks or toys to keep them amused and intellectually stimulated. “They’re back to their old routine,” said Habitats Curator Christie Tipton. “They’re happily moved back in.” The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a nonprofit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park in the public interest and participate in educational research activities. For more information, call 800-468-7325 or plan a trip at www.Grandfather.com.
4) Lawnmower Race Held May 31
The Rotary Club of North Wilkesboro will host the first lawnmower race of the season on Saturday, May 31, at Worth Evan Tomlinson Rotary Park in North Wilkesboro. The event is a fundraiser for the club. The Rotary Fairgrounds is located beside West Park off of D Street in North Wilkesboro. Gates open at 1 p.m. Inspection is from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Practice begins at 4:30 p.m. and racing starts at 6 p.m. Admission is $7 with children five and under admitted free. THis is a Rednecks and Rebels Mower Racing Association Event. Food vendors will be on site. For more information, call Mike Staley at 336-902-7052.
5) Elk Knob State Park Participates in the Great American Backyard Campout June 28
Novice campers are invited to join the rangers at Elk Knob State Park for an enjoyable night of camping on Saturday, June 28 beginning at 3 p.m. This is the sixth year that Elk Knob has participated in the campout which is offered to introduce families to the joys of camping without the expense of buying equipment. It is a great event for two main reasons: it allows participants a night of supervised camping at Elk Knob State Park and we provide the tents, dinner, s’mores and interesting programs to fill the night with entertainment. Participants should bring snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, breakfast for the morning and their own sleeping bags or blankets. The campout is free but registration is required by June 23. You may register by calling 828-297-7261. Space is limited to the first seven families. Children should be six and older and accompanied by an adult.
6) Free Violin Recital May 30
Maura Shawn Scalin of Vilas will be giving a free violin recital at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 30 at the Rosen Recital Hall of the Broyhill Music Center located at 813 Rivers Street on the campus of Appalachian State University. The recital will include works by Bach, Bruch and Kreisler, as well as traditional and original compositions. She will be playing with Allison Gagnon, head of the collaborative piano department at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Maura Shawn has been playing violin since the age of three and currently studies violin with Lucy Chapman at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Her previous teachers have included Nan Stricklen of Banner Elk, Nancy Bargerstock of ASU and Sarah Johnson on UNCSA. Maura Shawn has won several concerto competitions in the state and has appeared as a soloist with the Charlotte Youth Symphony and the Asheville Symphony. In 2012, Maura Shawn was selected to be concert master of the NC All-State Honors Orchestra and last spring, her String Quartet at UNCSA was one of 12 groups to be selected for the semi-final round of the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition.