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Memorial Day Events in the High Country: How You Can Celebrate Our Heroes This Weekend

How will you spend your Memorial Day weekend? It’s a great chance to enjoy a long weekend with your family and friends, but let’s remember what it’s all about — paying tribute to the men and women who haven given their lives for our country over the years. Freedom is never free, and these loyal people have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure we will have it for generations to come.

The High Country will play host to a variety of Memorial Day observances throughout the weekend, so take a look at the list below and make plans to celebrate veterans who gave their lives for us.

Students from Blowing Rock Elementary participate in the town's Memorial Day ceremony and festivities in 2015. Photo by Lonnie Webster.
Students from Blowing Rock Elementary participate in the town’s Memorial Day ceremony and festivities in 2015. Photo by Lonnie Webster.

Watauga Community Band Salute: Sunday

The Watauga Community Band will honor veterans with their annual Memorial Day Concert Sunday, May 29 at 4 PM. The performance will be held at the Rotary Gazebo in Blowing Rock Park. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the American Legion building on the back side of the park.
Under the direction of Bill Winkler, the band will play a number of patriotic pieces including The Ultimate Patriotic Sing-Along, a series of familiar tunes arranged by Jerry Brubaker, and two John Philip Sousa marches, The Washington Post and The Stars and Stripes Forever. The band will honor our servicemen and women with the Armed Forces Salute. This piece, arranged by Bob Lowden, features the anthems of each branch of the armed services as well as the Coast Guard. Members of each branch are encouraged to stand and be recognized when they hear their anthem.
The Watauga Community Band will also honor its late members with a special ceremony andThe Mansions of the Lord, the theme from the movie We Were Soldiers.
This concert is free, although donations to the Watauga Community Band are welcome. Everyone is encouraged to come out and honor our military personnel.

Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys Salute: Sunday

The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys were a mainstay for years at the Mountain Home Music concerts held throughout the High Country during it’s first 20 years, serving as Joe Shannon’s house band. Back in the day, this quartet made up of some of the High Country’s best nationally recognized pickers were the glue that held Shannon’s folksy concerts together.

This Sunday’s May 29 Memorial Day Salute marks the return of the original members of The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys(MHBB) for the first time in three years. Joining them on stage will be their neighbor and musical friend, Willard Gayheart, another JSMHM favorite on guitar and vocals. This much-anticipated show kicks off the JSMHM 2016 Summer Indoor Concert Series at the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue in Boone, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Student tickets are $10. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.mountainhomemusic.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s Mercantile on Beech Mountain, Stick Boy Bread Company(345 Hardin St, Boone), The Blowing Rock Market and Pandora’s Mailbox both on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock.

Military Officers of America at Boone Mall: Monday

The High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), in conjunction with the Boone Mall, is proud to invite all veterans and the general public to the premier Memorial Day Observance in the High Country.

This is the time for all citizens to remember those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom and the security of our country.

When: Memorial Day, Monday, May 30

Where: The Boone Mall, Blowing Rock Road

  • 10:30 a.m. Medley of patriotic music by Watauga Community Band
  • 11 a.m. Program begins

The program will include:

  • Posting of Colors, Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, Invocation
  • Introduction of Honored Guests
  • Chimes/Memorial Music, Watauga Community Band
  • Guest Speaker
  • Service Theme Songs, Watauga Community Band
  • History and Playing of Taps
  • Retire Colors and Closing

Appalachian State University Ceremony: Monday

Appalachian State University will hold a Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 30 at 9:00 a.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial on the west side of the Dougherty Administration Building. The public is invited to attend.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Dougherty Administration Building.

Activities include a flag-raising ceremony followed by a brief program. A reception will take place in the administration building lobby following the ceremony.

At 11:00 a.m. in the Boone Mall, the High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America will hold a ceremony, to which the university community, as well as the public, is invited.

For more information, call the Office of the Chancellor at (828) 262-2040.

Avery County Ceremony in Newland: Monday

The annual Avery County Memorial Day Ceremony and dedication of the new Veterans Monument will be held on Monday, May 30, beginning at 2 pm on the square in Newland. The program will feature the Avery High School Band,  rifle salute and “Taps,” guest speakers and a ceremonial raising of the flags at the monument. Everyone is invited.