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Today’s Email Announcements

The Mountain Alliance Dining Guide is Available for Purchase Now

Don’t miss your chance! The Mountain Alliance Dining Guide is available for purchase. There are 28 amazing High Country restaurants participating in our 
BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE dining guide which contains over $300 in savings!

A set number of dining guides are printed each year-once they’re gone, they’re gone! Act now!
Buy one today at:
Or purchase online NOW on the Mountain Alliance Website! 
Proceeds support transformational experiences and support available to all high school students in Watauga County regardless of means. Mountain Alliance transforms the high school experience by sponsoring inclusive service learning, outdoor adventure, leadership development and tutoring programs.

Buy a dining guide today to enjoy great savings and to support the growth of high school students in Watauga!

Johnson City Omnium Hits Twelfth Year, June 3-4

With less than two weeks to go, registration for the twelfth Johnson City Omnium is 76% above last year. So far cyclist are coming from eight states. The international competition includes the Colombian Women’s National Team. This should guarantee another year of exciting competition with photo finishes and omnium leader changes.

The first races, Carter County Roan Groan, will begin Saturday June 3 at Cat Island Park in Elizabethton at 9:00am. There will be six categories, from amateurs to professional, starting five minutes apart. The first group off will be the pro men, who will race 80 miles through Carter and Unicoi counties finishing in Carvers Gap. Their race covers 6846 feet of climbing and is one of the hardest races in professional bicycle racing in the USA. Brent Bookwalter, who just finished 4th over all in the 2017 Tour of California, finished second on the Roan Groan his first year on the BMC professional team.

The pro women will start second and race for 55 miles. Though going a shorter distance they will still climb 5443 feet. Competitors to watch in this race will include the renown climbers of the Colombian Women’s National Team, Steph Nave, a Milligan Collegiate Team Champion who finished third in the Omnium last year, Karen Ostergaard, who finished 2nd on the Roan Groan in 2016, and this year’s Ohio Road Race Champion, Lori Nedescu.

Saturday afternoon all the categories will compete in an individual time trial held on Temple Hill Road in Erwin. The Tupleo Honey Time Trial is 3.2 miles long with a one mile climb. The pro men winner averaged 26.7 miles per hour last year on this course. Finish times were separated by fractions of a second. The points the racers earn in the time trial are added to their points from the Roan Groan to determine who is leading the omnium in each category going into the final.

The finials are Sunday June 4 on the Franklin Woods Community Hospital Criterium course. The course is 1K of Downtown Johnson City roads that are closed to traffic. Designed in a horse shoe shape the criterium has eight exciting turns. The spectators have lots of choices of where to watch the races develop, including going to the start/finish line on State of Franklin Road for the finish. Another option for many, is dining al fresco at multiple restaurants and breweries on the course. The first amateur race starts at 8:00am with a total of 10 separate category races. The free Kids Blue Pedalers Race, for children 10 and under, starts at 1:25pm, followed by the professional women’s race at 1:50 and the professional men’s at 3:00. Several of the race finishes last year had only inches between the first and second place winner and the 2017 criterium could be just as close.

Full details on the flyer on www.jcomnium.com


June Programs at Elk Knob State Park

Nature Hike                       

Come walk with a ranger along the Beech Tree Trail and learn the natural history of the area.  Meet at the trailhead parking lot Saturday, June 3 at 2 p.m.


Natural Pigments                           

Paint didn’t always come in a tube from a factory.  Find out how the artists of old got their colors and try it out yourself.  Meet at the outdoor amphitheater Saturday, June 10 at 2 p.m.  Weather dependent.


Old-time Mountain Music Jam                               

Celebrate Southern Appalachian music with local musicians as they play traditional, Old Time and Bluegrass. All musicians are welcome, so bring your instrument and join in, or enjoy the view and entertainment. Participants will meet at the Outdoor Amphitheater from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Sunday, June 18. All programs are free and open to the public.


Great American Backyard Campout           

Novice campers are invited to join the Rangers at Elk Knob State Park for an enjoyable night of camping on Saturday, June 24 beginning no earlier than 2:30 pm. This is the ninth year that Elk Knob has participated in the campout which introduces families to the joy 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 their own snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, breakfast for Sunday morning, and their own sleeping bags or blankets. The campout is free but REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED by June 19. You may register by calling 828-297-7261. Space is limited to the first 7 families who have never camped before. Adults must accompany children. Children must be 6 years and older.


Violin Recital at St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church on Sunday, May 28

Watauga High School Senior Mallory Coston will present a recital in celebration of her graduation this Sunday, May 28th at 2 pm at St. Mary of the Hills Church in Blowing Rock.  Mallory, who grew up at St. Mary’s where she has also sung with the St. Cecilia Choir, will major in Music Performance at UNC-Charlotte beginning next Fall.  She began her studies at age 4 with her mother, local violin teacher Laura Coston, and has been studying more recently with ASU’s Nancy Bargerstock.  She has played with the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra, with the NC Western Regional Orchestra for the past five years, and with the NC All-State Honors Orchestra.  A multi-talented musician, Mallory sang with the Presbyterian-Methodist Children’s Choir under the direction of Dottie Sykes for six years, and has attended the Royal School of Church Music at Queens University.

The recital program includes music by Bach, Seitz, Thais, and Kabalevsky, and will be followed by a small reception.  St. Mary’s is located on Main Street in Blowing Rock.  Please call the church office at (828) 295-7323 for more information.