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Only Three Days Until Opening Night at the Appalachian Theatre; Limited Tickets Still On Sale Friday Afternoon

By Nathan Ham

Volunteers are still hard at work Friday afternoon putting the final touches on the Appalachian Theatre in preparation for Monday’s grand reopening.

The newly-renovated 1938 downtown Boone landmark will welcome guests back at 7 p.m. on Monday with a performance featuring John McEuen, the founder of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and his new band, The String Wizards.

“We have a handful of tickets left as of Friday afternoon. We’re working hard and it’s going to be a great show,” said Laura Kratt, the Executive Director of the Appalachian Theatre.

John Cooper, the chairman of the Appalachian Theatre’s Board of Trustees, was on hand Friday afternoon pitching in with the final details of work.

“We’re excited, the community is excited, it’s going to be a fabulous gift and a gem for the community,” Cooper said. “A lot of volunteers are putting the finishing touches on the theatre. It will be a sellout crowd for the opening event and it will be an amazing concert.”

Cooper added that they recently received their temporary Certificate of Occupancy from the town of Boone to make sure everything is good to go.

“A few things need to be touched up and finished but we are able to be open and excited for this coming Monday,” he said.

Additional programming will be announced at least twice each month and will include community-based events and outside rentals, such as the Appalachian Opera Theatre performing “Die Fledermaus” on November 8 and 10, and the Carolina Snowbelles on December 13 and 14. Kratt said members of the theatre’s e-mailing list will be the first persons notified once programs are announced and go on sale.

Jane Lonon, the former Executive Director of the Ashe County Arts Council, is now a member of the Appalachian Theatre’s Board of Trustees. She was in the building on Friday and had a hard time hiding her enthusiasm for what’s to come at the theatre.

“It has been a fabulous restoration and a strong addition for the whole High Country,” says Lonon. “I feel very strongly about all of the arts and the strength of what arts, theatres, venues, programs and events can do to strengthen the entire High Country region. I’m happy to bring some of that information and connection from outlying counties to keep it strong.”

Before serving on the board of trustees, Lonon was a part of the advisory board representing Ashe County and helped add a lot of input to the revitalization of the Appalachian Theatre.

When asked for some final parting words before the crowd arrives on Monday, Kratt had six simple words: “Let’s go on with the show.”

To learn more about the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, sign up for their mailing list or to contribute to the annual fund, visit their website at www.apptheatre.org.

These photos were taken on Friday afternoon as last-minute preparations continue for Monday’s opening night.