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Looking Ahead in 2020: Dates Set for Favorite Events Across the High Country

Compiled by Nathan Ham

A new year has just started, but it’s never too early to take a peek at some of the events happening in and around the High Country coming up in 2020. 


Winterfest Beer Festival

January 11, 5-9 p.m.

Beech Mountain Resort

Come celebrate winter indoors with an array of beers and good music at the 2020 WinterFest Beer Festival. Over 40 different regional beers and ciders will be available to sample. Live music by The Harris Brothers and The Common Heart. 

Tickets: $35 in advance, $45 day-of, $15 designated driver tickets


Martin Luther King Day Celebration

January 20, 7-9 p.m.

Ashe Arts Center, West Jefferson

The Ashe County Arts Council will be sponsoring a community celebration in honor of Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 20 at 7:00 pm at the Ashe Arts Center in West Jefferson. The celebration will highlight the message of Dr. King and his teachings of peace, unity, and equality in our society. This event is free and open to the public. For more information please call 336-846-2787.

Blowing Rock Winterfest

January 23-26

Blowing Rock celebrates winter with four days of fun and events for the whole family from the Polar Plunge to Ice Carving, hayrides to wine tasting.


The Kruger Brothers

January 25, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Ashe Civic Center, West Jefferson

Ashe County Arts Council will bring the trio the Kruger Brothers to the Ashe Civic Center on Saturday, January 25 at 7:30 pm. Kruger Brothers performances are exciting, entertaining and spontaneous, reflecting their sheer joy in playing music. Their virtuoso playing combined with the manner in which they interact with each other and with their audience makes their music uniquely special. Tickets are $27 and $5 students. Tickets may be purchased at www.ashecountyarts.org or by calling 336-846-2787.

Whitney Houston Tribute – The Greatest Love of All

January 30, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

The Walker Center, Wilkesboro

Whitney’s musical legacy is brought to life in this critically acclaimed stage show described as “mind-blowingly spot on”. Be stunned by the breathtaking vocals of Belinda Davids who has performed alongside the likes of Keri Hilson, Keyshia Cole and Monica. With the accompaniment of a five-piece live band, two backing vocalists and four choreographed dancers, plus state-of-the-art sound, lighting, vision and theatrical effects.



Lyle Lovett

February 1, 7-9 p.m.

Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, Boone

A singer, composer and actor, Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers.



February 5, 7-9 p.m.

Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, Boone

The mission is under the artistic direction of choreographer Kyle Abraham, is to create an evocative interdisciplinary body of work. Born into hip-hop culture in the late 1970s and grounded in Abraham’s artistic upbringing in classical cello, piano, and the visual arts, the goal of the movement is to delve into identity in relation to a personal history.


Beech Mountain Retro ‘80s Weekend

February 20-23

Each February, the Town of Beech Mountain and Beech Mountain Resort come together to create a righteously rad celebration of all things ’80s. The eighth annual Retro ’80s Weekend features live ’80s music nightly, retro skiing daily, and plenty of throwback activities in between. Hop in our “ski slope machine” to revisit the New Wave era of big hair, leg warmers, and Members Only jackets. This year’s lineup of events is looking to be totally radical.


Trinity Irish Dance Company

February 22, 7-9 p.m.

Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, Boone

It’s everything you expect, but like nothing you’d imagine. A fusion of Ireland’s vibrant and longstanding dance form and elements of American innovation, Trinity Irish Dance Company (TIDC) dazzles audiences with its hard-driving percussive power, lightning-fast agility, and aerial grace. Minutes into watching the awe-inspiring precision of its dancers, TIDC expands whatever notions you may have about Irish dance, revealing its limitless possibilities through a performing arts lens.



The Haggard Brothers Tribute to Merle Haggard with Emi Sunshine

March 13, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

The Walker Center, Wilkesboro

Ben and Noel Haggard take the stage performing all of their dad Merle’s hits. Emi Sunshine opens the night with an eclectic sound that only she presents. This is a great night of music!


Daniel Boone Rail Jam

March 14, 6 p.m.

Daniel Boone Amphitheater, Boone

6th Annual Daniel Boone Rail Jam, a unique ski and snowboard competition. 


Banff Center Mountain Film Festival

March 20-21

Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, Boone

Boone celebrates the return of one of North America’s largest screenings of the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour, bringing stories of remote journeys, ground-breaking expeditions, and cutting-edge adventures told through the eyes of adventurers, authors, photographers, and filmmakers from around the globe.


Meltdown Games

March 21-22

Appalachian Ski Mountain, Blowing Rock

Winter isn’t over until we say it is. Come enjoy Appalachian’s classic end of the winter celebration on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22. A full weekend of crazy events and cash prizes you won’t see any other time of the year, with lots of snow, sun, and skin.


L.A. Theatre Works: “Seven”

March 24, 7 p.m.

Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, Boone

Seven is a riveting documentary play by seven female writers based on personal interviews with seven remarkable women who faced life-threatening obstacles before bringing heroic changes to their home countries of Pakistan, Nigeria, Ireland, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia and Cambodia.


Don’t Look Back – The Boston Experience

March 26, 7:30 p.m.

The Walker Center, Wilkesboro

If you remember the 70’s, there was one band that stood out amongst all others, with its powerful guitar melodies and incredible vocals, that band would be the famous rock group BOSTON. DON’T LOOK BACK the Boston experience is an incredible re-creation of the rock band BOSTON back in the 70’s complete with all the looks, costumes and sound. It’s the only show of its kind in the world.



Tweetsie Railroad Opening Day

April 3, 9 a.m.

Blowing Rock

Tweetsie Railroad will open for its 2020 season with daytime operations beginning April 3, 2020, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 9 am – 6 pm. The park will be open daily beginning Memorial Day weekend.


41st Annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby

April 4, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Broyhill Lake, Blowing Rock

For four decades, Blowing Rock has been celebrating the opening of Trout Season with friendly competition and prizes. The annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby is a much-anticipated early springtime event in the village. Prizes for kids and adults, with free entry and participation.


Easter EGGstravaganza

April 4, 2-4 p.m.

Watauga County Public Library, Boone

The Annual Downtown Boone Easter Eggstravaganza is a fun, family-friendly event for all ages, held on Saturday a week before Easter. Egg Hunts will start at 2pm, along with crafts, face painting, Twist the Balloon man and snacks. In addition to the egg hunts and activities at the Watauga County Public Library, there will also be a scavenger hunt for downtown. Plan to pick up your card at the library and see if you can complete the hunt! Prizes will be given for completed cards when they are dropped off at the library.


Rosanne Cash – She Remembers Everything

April 4, 7 p.m.

Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, Boone

Rosanne Cash is on tour with She Remembers Everything, a poetic, lush and soulful collection of songs that reckon with a flawed and intricate world. She Remembers Everything follows Rosanne’s triple-Grammy winning 2014 album, The River & the Thread, and marks a return to more personal songwriting after a trio of albums that explored her Southern roots and family heritage. In the wake of the latest tsunami of survivor stories, Cash has embraced women’s narratives in this powerful material.


Easter Bunny at Tweetsie Railroad

April 10-12

Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock

The Easter Bunny joins Tweetsie for plenty of Wild West fun! Meet & Greets scheduled throughout the day.



April 23-26

Wilkes Community College, Wilkesboro

MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event.



Avery Chamber Golf Classic

May 8

Linville Golf Club, Linville

The Return

May 8, 7:30 p.m.

The Walker Center, Wilkesboro

The Return are 4 boys from small-town Griffin, GA that have performed all over the world. They recorded in Abbey Road Studios in London, England, where the Beatles made some of the most memorable albums of all time. They have performed at the world-famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, England where the Beatles and many other great bands of their time got their big break.


Art in the Park

May 23

Blowing Rock

Art in the Park was created in 1962 by a handful of area artists and craftspeople to showcase local talent. Today, Art in the Park is host to 94 fine art and craft vendors at each show. Some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography, painting and more. Art in the Park’s high standards and professional jury attract artisans from all over the Southeast to exhibit in a series of six shows, May through October. The quality of work exhibited draws thousands to the area each month.



The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble

June 1-7

Grandfather Mountain, Linville

From June 1-7, a series of 20-minute walks will highlight Grandfather Mountain’s rhododendron species and blooms. On Sunday, June 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., guests can meet the park’s naturalists at the Nature Museum to obtain a map and information on where to find the most beautiful blooms, with special programming throughout the day highlighting this High Country jewel.


Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show – Saddlebred

June 4-7

Blowing Rock


Animal Birthday Party at Grandfather Mountain

June 10, 9 a.m.

Grandfather Mountain, Linville

Grandfather Mountain celebrates the birthdays of all the animals in the park with games, contests, crafts and surprises. The mountain’s habitat staff is planning a fun-filled day for guests, including special programs to celebrate Grandfather’s furry and feathered inhabitants. Included with park admission. For more information, call (828) 733-2013, or email events@grandfather.com.


Day Out with Thomas the Tank

June 12-21

Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock

Day Out With Thomas is an annual event that offers children and their families the unique opportunity to take a ride with Thomas, the No. 1 blue engine, and enjoy a day of fun-filled Thomas & Friends themed activities. Meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway, and enjoy crafts, storytelling, videos, train play tables, coloring, temporary tattoos, amusement rides, Deer Park Zoo, panning for gold, and much more! Train rides behind Thomas depart every 30 minutes, rain or shine. Departure times begin at 9:30 AM through 5:00 PM each day of the event. 


Doc Watson Day Celebration

June 19, 4 p.m. 

The Jones House, Boone

The Jones House and the Town of Boone celebrate Doc Watson Day with a free concert dedicated to his memory. Every year, the Jones House invites musicians who played with Doc and who are inspired by his work to the lawn to perform at the annual Doc Watson Day Celebration.


Horn in the West 

June 19 – August 8

Horn In The West is our nation’s longest-running Revolutionary War outdoor drama. The play brings to life the story of the hardy pioneers who, with the help of famed frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Cherokee allies, settled in the Blue Ridge wilderness as they sought freedom from British tyranny. The performance runs nightly except Mondays at 8 p.m. The house gates open at 7:30 p.m. Arrive earlier and tour the Hickory Ridge Living History Museum. The museum is open during the day (except Mondays) for 45-minute tours, and during the evening from 5:30 until showtime.


Avery County Wine & Beer Festival

June 20

Sorrento’s Dining Complex, Banner Elk

Singing on the Mountain

June 28, 9 a.m.

Grandfather Mountain, Linville

The all-day gospel sing and fellowship returns to MacRae Meadows at Grandfather Mountain for its 96th year!! Top gospel groups will perform, and audiences can expect a sermon from a well-known speaker. Admission is free. In a spirit of faith and community, all are welcome to enjoy picnics and musical performances together.



Christmas In July

July 3-4

West Jefferson

Sharing our Mountain Heritage! The Christmas in July Festival is one of the best, old fashioned summer festivals in the South drawing thousands to historic West Jefferson, NC each July! The Festival began in 1987 as a celebration of the Christmas Tree Industry Ashe County, NC is known for.


4th of July Festival and Parade

July 4

Main Street, Blowing Rock

Fireworks Extravaganza at Tweetsie Railroad

July 4, 9:30 p.m.

Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock


Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

July 9-12

Grandfather Mountain, Linville

Blaring bagpipes, astounding athletes, delicate dancers, rocking Celtic music and a spectacular highland setting make this colorful celebration of Scottish culture one of the most highly acclaimed highland games in the country. $5-75. For more info, visit gmhg.org, call 828-733-1333, or email gmhginfo@yahoo.com.


Cool Summer Nights at Tweetsie Railroad

July 11, July 18, July 25

Avery Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival

July 17-19

Sugar Mountain Resort

K9s in Flight Frisbee Dogs at Tweetsie Railroad

July 18-26

Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock

These incredible dogs have delighted audiences nationwide at halftime shows and on television. Don’t miss them live at Tweetsie Railroad! Shows at 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. Saturday evening show at 7:00 p.m.


Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show – Hunter/Jumper

July 21-26

Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock Tour of Homes

July 24, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Blowing Rock

The tour will include entrance to several beautiful Blowing Rock homes. Transportation will be provided. Walking to the homes will be an option for guests. The tour begins at 9:00, the last tickets will be sold at 3:00, and the houses close at 5:00.


Symphony by the Lake

July 24, 5-9 p.m.

Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock

Enjoy a night of pop and classical performances by the Symphony of the Mountains under the evening sky. Bring your own picnic, make reservations for the patio, or enjoy a boxed dinner for the lawn from Chetola Resort. The fireworks finale brings the night to an exciting close.


Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show – Hunter/Jumper 2

July 29 – August 2

Blowing Rock


The Denim Ball

August 7, 6 p.m.

Blowing Rock


Riders in The Sky at Tweetsie Railroad

August 8-9

Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock

Performances at Noon and 3 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday. An annual event! Come hear Grammy Award-winning music and comedy from America’s Favorite Cowboys.


Avery Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival

August 14-16

Sugar Mountain Resort


August 21, 6-10 p.m.

Blowing Rock Art & History Museum

Fundraising gala for the Museum


High Country Beer Fest

August 22, 3 p.m.

High Country Fairgrounds, Boone

The 13th annual High Country Beer Fest is set for another amazing lineup of approximately 50 regional and national craft breweries serving up new as well as favorite beers, a mind-blowing lineup of musicians, and a delicious display of food vendors. Tickets are limited, so get them while you can.


Railroad Heritage Weekend

August 29-30

Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock

A Once-a-Year Event for Railroad Enthusiasts of All Ages! Celebrate the golden age of steam locomotives behind Tweetsie’s historic coal-fired, steam locomotives. Special attractions for rail fans, plus enjoy all of the Wild West adventure Tweetsie has to offer!


Groovy Nights

August 30, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Blowing Rock Country Club

Everyone’s favorite variety show event is back! We’ll close out the 35th Annual Community Days with Groovy Nights! Held at Blowing Rock Country Club. The public is welcome!



Groovy Nights

September 1 and September 4, 7-9 p.m.

Blowing Rock Country Club

Everyone’s favorite variety show event is back! We’ll close out the 35th Annual Community Days with Groovy Nights! Held at Blowing Rock Country Club. The public is welcome!


Blue Ridge Relay

September 11-12

The Southeast’s premier 200-mile team running relay through the mountainous backroads of the Blue Ridge and Black Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. Teams of 4-12 runners start in Grayson Highlands State Park, VA and finish at Highland Brewing Company, Asheville, NC. “We are thrilled to be laced-up for another go at a race that should be found on EVERY southern runner’s annual must-do list.” 200 team field limit.


Blowing Rock Music festival

September 19, 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The Blowing Rock Attraction

Outdoor event, rain or shine, at The Blowing Rock Attraction! Americana, Blues, Folk, Rock, and Jazz. Tickets will be sold at the Blowing Rock Attraction, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, and the Boone Chamber of Commerce. VIP tents available, lawn chairs and coolers welcome. Gates open at 9 am, music begins at 11 am.


Ghost Train at Tweetsie

September 25-26


Ghost Train at Tweetsie

October 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 30-31

Sugar Mountain Oktoberfest

October 10-11

Sugar Mountain Resort

Enjoy a two-day Oktoberfest in the North Carolina Mountains.


Valle Crucis Country Fair

October 17

Food, crafts, music and lots of family fun


43rd Annual Woolly Worm Festival

October 17-18

Downtown Banner Elk


Tweetsie Christmas

November 27-28

Blowing Rock Christmas in the Park

November 27, 3-8 p.m.

Memorial Park, Blowing Rock

Santa, hot chocolate, carols, and music! Entertainment in the park and family fun all afternoon.


Blowing Rock Christmas Parade

November 28, 2-3 p.m.

Annual parade on Main Street



Tweetsie Christmas

December 4-5, 11-12, 18-20, 25-27