National Storytelling Festival to Celebrate 46 Years of World-Renowned Storytelling
Tickets are on sale now for the nation’s premier storytelling event, the National Storytelling Festival, held October 5-7. In the age of fast-moving technology, it seems unlikely that thousands of audience members could spend a weekend spellbound by storytellers, but that’s exactly what happens in Tennessee’s oldest town during the first full weekend of October each year. A beloved tradition since 1973, the three-day celebration of the world’s oldest art form is expected to draw more than 11,000 fans from across the country.
The Festival’s core programming consists of meticulously produced storytelling shows held beneath big-top tents scattered across downtown Jonesborough. Those performances will run from10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. The diverse lineup includes Japanese-Korean storyteller Alton Chung, who grew up with the stories, superstitions, and magic of the Hawaiian Islands; Brazilian born dynamo Antonio Rocha; Cowboy poet Andy Hedges; and Chirine El Ansary, internationally known for her performances of The Arabian Nights, the Banu Hilal epic, and Sufi tales.
This year’s featured tellers also include perennial southern favorites such as Donald Davis, Connie Regan-Blake, and Bil Lepp. By showcasing oral traditions from the South and all over the world, the Festival inspires unexpected connections and promotes cultural understanding.
To complement the Festival’s signature storytelling concerts, many of the special events scheduled throughout the weekend are included in the price of the ticket, including Exchange Place, a concert focusing on new talent; the Swappin’ Ground, where anyone can tell a story; and a Story Slam competition that offers cash prizes.
Separately ticketed events include two pre-Festival concerts also held on the Festival grounds: celebrated storyteller Donald Davis, on Wednesday, October 3, and internationally-known and locally loved band The Black Lilies on Thursday, October 4. A blend of folk, soul, country, blues, and rock, the band’s sound crosses both generations and genres. Both all-ages shows begin at 7:30 p.m., and tickets can be reserved in advance or purchased on site for as long as supplies last.
Visitors can also expect two nights of ghost stories, which are told in the open autumn air beneath the stars. On Friday night, our Midnight Cabaret will feature award-winning raconteurs of mountain life, Sheila Kay Adams and Josh Goforth, for an evening of toe-tapping music and tales.
Three workshops led by nationally-known artists will also be held on Thursday, October 5, in Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall: Collecting and Preserving Family Stories with Elizabeth Ellis, Essential Stories for Effective Communication with Tim Lowry, and Rock the Flock, a workshop aimed at motivating others through story with Geraldine Buckley.
All tickets for the National Storytelling Festival, including separate ticketed events, can be purchased online at www.storytellingcenter.net, at the International Storytelling Center (ISC) in downtown Jonesborough, or on the Festival grounds.
The National Storytelling Festival is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Tennessee Arts Commission, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. For more information or to make reservations, call ISC at 800-952-8392, ext. 221.
Affordable Community Art School Launches; Mountainside School of Mentoring and Art begins October 10
A new community art school is launching this month with classes for all ages. Mountainside School of Mentoring and Art will hold its first classes October 10 at Galileo’s on King Street with such offerings as beginners crochet, a children’s creative writing class, specialized theater programs for pre-k through high school, and private guitar lessons.
While at first classes will be held after 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, the school plans to expand. Next semester, they hope to offer various dance classes, toddler programs, and more. The goal, according to Mountainside Community’s children’s director and theater teacher Sherri McCready, is to provide affordable classes to all who want to learn a new skill.
“My family couldn’t afford art or dance lessons for me. I was the kid peering into the window of dance studios wishing,” she said. “It is so helpful to a community when we are willing to pass our skills along to someone else, whether it is life skill stuff or some sort of art. We all benefit from sharing what we have learned.”
McCready, who has spent the last 30 years performing, writing, directing, and teaching theatre, founded another art school almost ten years ago in Asheville before moving to Boone. Elevate School of Life and Art originally started with nine after school programs and has grown to offering more than 100 classes a semester including dance, a circus school, musical theater program, and academic tutoring. She hopes Mountainside will grow in a similar way to bless the community.
“We hope to join the beautiful art community already here in Boone by adding our color and flavor to the mix,” McCready said.
While the art school will be under the umbrella of Mountainside Community Church, participants of all backgrounds are welcome. In addition to the after school program, there will also be a special morning session for a screen-free childcare program from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday.
For more information on Mountainside School of Mentoring and Art visit www.MCBoone.com/school.
Haunted Horn and Daniel Boo! Get Underway on October 12
Haunted Horn: The Accused
Dates: Friday/Saturday nights October 12-27
Times: 8:00-11:00 pm
*The Accused: $13 online/$18 at the door (not recommended for those under 13)
Haunted Horn: The Accused, a unique outdoor escape challenge, will take you back to a time when a simple lie could have you burned at the stake! A small mountain settlement has been rocked by accusations of witchery and sorcery. Are all of the women truly witches or innocent bystanders of a more sinister plot?
Use your intellect and wit and to help Luna Langsten, a young girl trying to escape the settlement. To maneuver through, you will need to solve puzzles and disarm diabolical traps. Can you save Luna and the other women of the settlement without getting caught by the guards and other maniacal characters? Or, will you be forced to sacrifice some of them in order to save yourself? Do you think you have what it takes to solve the puzzles and escape the traps to uncover the truth to behind the hysteria?
In addition to the main trail, we also have Daniel Boo!, which is catered to families with children. During the Daniel Boo! hours (6:00-7:30 pm), guests of all ages can come enjoy some spooky, not-so-scary fun. Both children and parents alike can play fall-inspired games, win prizes, wander through the Wacky Woods on an interactive scavenger hunt, and much more! Also new this year is Witch Craft, a beer garden featuring local breweries.
*Daniel Boo!: $10 for ages 3-17. Parents are FREE with purchase of child’s ticket, 2 and under also free. (If parents wish to come back after dark for our main haunt, they can upgrade their ticket at the door for $10).
Betsy Crafts and Drafts Festival Slated for October 13-14
Go Betsy, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation announces Carter County’s newest festival: the Betsy Crafts and Drafts Festival.
Betsy Crafts and Drafts will occur on October 13 and 14 at Joe O’Brian Riverside Stadium in Elizabethton, Tennessee, the home field of the Elizabethton Twins.
Crafts and Drafts will feature more than 30 fine art and master craft vendors over the weekend, as well as music, food and children’s’ activities. The food court will feature Pizzaria, Gregs Pizza, Freddy’s, Johns Funnel Cakes, and more. Also present will be Tri-cities Space Walk with inflatables, an escape room, and other activities.
Craft beer lovers will be thrilled to discover that on October 13, there will be a special one-day craft beer garden on premise featuring regional breweries showcasing hard-to-find varieties not normally available in the Tri-cities, along with perennial favorite brews. Special guest Appalachian Sun Brewery, Elizabethton’s forthcoming first microbrewery, will be providing advance samples of specialty brews ahead of their grand opening. Participating beer garden breweries include Bearded Iris, Catawba Brewing, Depot Street Brewing, Gypsy Circus Cider, Highland Brewing, JRH Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Studio Brew, Blackhorse, Greenman, Bells, JRH, Boldrock, Fanatic, Foothills, Country Boy, Founders and Crown Valley and Wolf Hills Brewing.
The festival is made possible by Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial and Grindstaff Automotive Group. Media sponsors are the Elizabethton Star and WQUT Radio. Admission to the two-day festival is FREE, while beer garden attendees will find single drafts for $6 and a five-beer flight for $25. Beer Garden advance tickets are available at GoBetsy.ticketleap.com.
Watauga County Public Library Hosting Book Discussion on ‘Elder Care: A View From the Front Lines’ October 17
On Wednesday, October 17 from 7-9 p.m. in the Evelyn Johnson Meeting Room, a book discussion on “Elder Care: A View From the Front Lines” will be taking place.
Participants need to register for the book discussion in advance by October 5 to receive a free copy of the book. Registration is limited to 20 people. To register, email Andrew Scott at [email protected].
The discussion will be facilitated by David Russell and Ed Rosenberg. The event is co-sponsored by Belk Library and Information Commons, the Beaver College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences and the Honors College.
Meet the Candidates Forum Happening October 23 at Watauga County Courthouse
Candidates running for US House of Representatives, State House & Senate, and Watauga County Commissioner, Board of Education, and Sheriff have been invited to participate. In addition, Court System candidates (Judges, DA, Clerk) and candidates for Watauga County Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor will be given a chance to briefly introduce themselves to the audience.
The event is free and open to the public. RSVP is not required, but please note that seating is limited in the courtroom. The event will be simulcast live, in its entirety, on WATA (1450 AM / 96.5 FM).
Schedule of Candidates:
5:30 – Welcome & Introductions
5:35 – Candidates for US House of Representatives
6:20 – Introductions of Court System candidates (Judges, DA, Clerk)
6:40 – Candidates for Watauga County Commissioner
7:25 – Candidates for NC Senate, NC House of Representatives
8:10 – Introductions of Watauga Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor candidates
8:20 – Candidates for Watauga County Board of Education
9:05 – Candidates for Watauga County Sherriff
Candidate RSVP’s (Updated 10/1):
US House of Representatives:
DD Adams (D)
Sen. Deanna Ballard (R) (I)
Rep. Jonathan Jordan (R) (I)
Ray Russell (D)
Watauga County Commissioner:
David Blust (R)
Larry Turnbow (D) (I)
Billy Kennedy (D) (I)
Tim Hodges (R)
Tommy Sofield (R)
Charlie Wallin (D)
Watauga Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor:
Watauga County School Board:
Gary Childers (I)
Jay Fenwick (I)
Jason Cornett (I)
Watauga County Clerk of Court:
Diane Cornett Deal (I)
Watauga County Sheriff:
Len Hagaman (I)
Blue Ridge Parkway Association Hires New Executive Director
The Blue Ridge Parkway Association (BRPA) announced today at its fall meeting held at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest near Lynchburg, Virginia, that Frederick “Tubby” Kubik has been hired as the new Executive Director of the association to succeed Tom Hardy. Mr. Hardy is retiring from this position after 36 years with the Association. Mr. Kubik began working October 1, and will work alongside Mr. Hardy for a period of time before Mr. Hardy ceases employment with the association later this year.
Mr. Kubik once served as Secretary of the Blue Ridge Parkway Association and later as President, as well as on the Board of Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and on the Board of the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association. He is a graduate of the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College and worked for many years in the printing industry.
In announcing the selection of Mr. Kubik to this position, Sergei Troubetzkoy, President of BRPA stated: “Mr. Kubik’s background and tourism industry connections throughout the region served by the BRPA and his strong background in sales and printing are strengths that he brings to this position, and we are excited about the future of our association under his leadership.”
“Tubby has very large shoes to fill as he follows in the footsteps of Tom Hardy,” Troubetzkoy added, “and Tom Hardy will certainly be missed after the many years that he has served as the face of our organization.”
The Blue Ridge Parkway Association, established in 1949, is a membership organization responsible for marketing the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is the most-visited National Park in the entire National Park system. The BRPA manages the website, mobile app and various publications that promote travel to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the surrounding communities.
Mr. Kubik lives in Roanoke, Virginia but will be spending time on a regular basis in the association offices located in Asheville, North Carolina. BRPA has members throughout the pathway of the Blue Ridge Parkway that runs through portions of Virginia and North Carolina, as well as members in communities near Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Foundation Provides Equine Sanctuary for Hurricane Florence victims
The Broyhill Equestrian Preserve is proud to report its role in providing sanctuary for horses evacuating from Hurricane Florence. Horses located to the Preserve from as far away Wilmington, Jacksonville and the rural areas of Pitt County in North Carolina. Camden and Fort Mill in South Carolina were also represented. Some horses came from as close as Lenoir just 20 miles away. These near-by horses were escaping rising waters from local rivers and streams impacted by the locally heavy storm related rains. Horses began arriving early in the day, on Tuesday, September 11 and continued throughout the night for another 24 hours. Over 63 evacuated horses were stabled at the Preserve.
A deeply discounted stall fee was charged to help the Foundation recover a small portion of the maintenance costs. As the storm’s impact rolled on for many days, the Foundation made the decision to cap the fees at a modest level regardless of the amount of time the evacuation lasted. Many of the horses from the hardest hit areas of the Carolinas stayed in Blowing Rock for two weeks.
Lyn Boyd, Chair of the Preserve Committee said, “What happened to the equestrian community in the areas affected by Hurricane Florence was a tragedy for many horses and their owners. It is our responsibility, and indeed our pleasure, to make the Preserve available when a need like this arises. We have been available to help in past emergencies and will be available whenever crises occur.”
Shona Pascoe of Wilmington brought 21 horses to Blowing Rock for 14 days. She said this about her experience: “Ladonna and the staff at the Preserve were so friendly. Everyone went above and beyond to help us through a very scary time. We made two trips with over 13 hours of continuous driving to get all the horses out of danger. The stalls at Blowing Rock are a good size for us, and the entire facility was very clean. We got to ride the horses some, and being so close to town made everything very convenient. We really felt like we were home”. She continued, “We actually made a little mini-vacation out of our time on the mountain which helped relieve the stress of the situation. We’ll definitely come again when we can have a more leisurely visit. We’d love to be here for your horse show.”