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Today’s Email Announcements

1) Transportation Museum Train Excursions Set for Oct. 31, Nov. 1

Now in its ninth year, one of the N.C. Transportation Museum’s most popular offerings combines the romance of rail travel, a great destination and the convenience of a day trip. Autumn Train Excursions offer the rare opportunity to take a daylight train trip on vintage rail cars through beautiful countryside. Trips typically sell out, so those wishing to purchase are urged to act quickly.

These excursion trains will carry nearly 1,000 people to Asheville Saturday, Oct. 31, and to Charlottesville, Va., Nov. 1. Excursions are presented by the N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation and the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum, and act as fundraisers for both organizations.

The Blue Ridge Autumn Special will travel through the western North Carolina Piedmont, into the foothills and on to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Departing Spencer at 7 a.m., the train will roll through the cities of Statesville, Hickory, Morganton, Marion, Black Mountain and Swannanoa, climbing the famed “loops” of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the way. The train will pass through several tunnels and by the Andrews Geyser, a spectacular sight, before arriving in Asheville at noon.

Passengers will have nearly three hours for an outing at Biltmore Village. Established in the late 1890s as a planned community near the entrance of the Biltmore estate, Biltmore Village offers shopping in unique, locally-owned boutiques. Passengers can dine in restaurants and walk along brick sidewalks that parallel tree-lined streets. All of this will be enjoyed alongside spectacular views of the North Carolina Mountains. Departing Asheville at 3 p.m., the Blue Ridge Autumn Special will return to Spencer at 8 p.m.

The Virginia Autumn Special will depart Spencer, NC at 7:00 am Sunday, November 1, there will be a second passenger pick-up at the Greensboro Amtrak Station at 8 a.m., allowing for a more convenient boarding opportunity for those living in the Triad. Passing through the North Carolina cities of Thomasville, High Point and Reidsville, and the Virginia cities of Danville, Lynchburg and Oak Ridge, passengers will experience the Piedmont countryside and rolling hills of Central Virginia. Spectacular views of the Dan, Roanoke and James Rivers will also be seen as the train crosses above. The train will even pass by Schuyler, the mountain town fictionalized in the television show “The Waltons.”

At noon, the Virginia Autumn Special will arrive in Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia.  Travelers will have nearly three hours to explore the historic downtown area.  A short walk takes you to the Charlottesville Historic Downtown Mall, considered one of the most beautiful and successful pedestrian malls in the nation. Unique shopping and dining opportunities can be found in boutiques, specialty wine, coffee and tea shops and outdoor dining spots.

Departing Charlottesville around 3 p.m., the train will drop off Greensboro passengers shortly before 7 p.m., and will arrive back in Spencer around 8 p.m.

Tourist Class seating features the comfort and convenience of modern passenger cars. Two seats, with adjustable backs, are on each side of the center aisle, with a window at each row. The cars are climate controlled and have rest rooms. The Souvenir and Cafe cars are located near the Tourist Class section. Tourist Class tickets are $160/person.

A gourmet boxed lunch will be available for those wishing to use their time at our destination for shopping and sightseeing. Available for $15/person, lunches include includes turkey, Swiss cheese & cucumbers with buttermilk ranch dressing on a croissant with pasta salad, cookie and a drink in a reusable souvenir tote.

Commemorative T-shirts will also be available. Featuring the unique Autumn Rails logo, these shirts can be added to the ticket purchase and received as passengers arrive for the journey. T-shirts are available in sizes from adult small to XXXL. T-shirts are $20/each for all sizes.

Due to a change in state law, state sales tax will also be applied to ticket purchases .

For information or to order tickets, please call (704) 636-2889, ext. 224 or 237.

More information and tickets can be found at www.nctrans.org

About the N.C. Transportation Museum

The N.C. Transportation Museum, located in historic Spencer Shops, the former Southern Railway repair facility is located just five minutes off I-85 at Exit 79 in Spencer, N.C., and about an hour from Charlotte, Greensboro or Winston-Salem. The museum is part of the Division of Historic Sites and the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan W. Kluttz, NCDCR’s mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.

2) Johnson Co. Community Theatre to Perform at Courthouse in Mountain City Oct. 8-11

Johnson County Community Theatre will present the classic courtroom drama, NIGHT OF JANUARY 16TH by Ayn Rand, October 8th thru 11th in the Johnson County courthouse at 222 West Main Street in Mountain City, TN. Is Karen Andre guilty of murder, or did one of the richest men in New York commit suicide?

Come join us as we celebrate our 30th year of community theatre in Johnson County. In fact, the audience must play a large part in this play, as members of the jury will be selected from the audience and they will render the verdict each evening.

Performances will be at 7pm Thursday through Saturday and on Sunday at 3pm. Tickets will be sold at the door on a first come, first serve basis, $10 for adults and $5 for students 18 and under.

3) David Smith Guitar Performance Set for Oct. 7 at CCC&TI in Watauga

David Smith will give a live performance of new and old instrumental guitar music on Wednesday, October 7th at noon. David is a graduate of both UNC Charlotte and App State Music programs.  He is also the music instructor at Caldwell Community College in Boone, NC and Emory & Henry in Emory, VA.  The concert is free and open to the public.  Don’t miss this exciting mix of acoustic music at the Watauga campus of CCC&TI October 7th at 12pm in room 112.  For more information call 828-297-2185 or visit cccti.edu.

4) October Events at Blowing Rock Art and History Museum

Annual Alexander Arts Lecture: American Impressionism and Realism, Tales of a Collector with Jack Huber. Sunday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. $10 members/$20 non-members.

Exhibition Opening Reception for “Black and White and Art All Over.” Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 5-6:30 p.m. Free for everyone.

Scholars and Scones: Sharing Jean Ritchie’s Legacy and Love for Appalachian Music with Dr. Susan W. Mills. Thursday, Oct. 8 at 11 a.m. Free/$5 suggested donation.

Terror in the Hills: Appalachia in Horror Films and Ghost Shows in the High Country. Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 7-9 p.m. Free/$5 suggested donation.

Coffee with the Curator: The Picture Man: Photographs by Paul Buchanan. Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 11 a.m. Free for members and regular admission for non-members.

Third Thursday: Hoedowns, Reels and Frolics: Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance with Phil Jamison. Thursday, Oct. 22 at 4:30 p.m. Free for members/$5 for non-members.

Family Friendly: Spooky Stories and Creepy Crafts. Saturday, Oct. 31 from 2-3 p.m. Free.

Weekly Children’s Art Classes:

Every Tuesday, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Afternoon Art Club. Ages 6-10. Free for members/$5 non-members. Registration required.

Every Thursday, 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m. Doodlebug Club. Ages 3-5. Free for members/$5 non-members. Registration required.

Visit BRAHM online for more information.