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Today’s Email Announcements

What’s Happening This Week at Lost Province Brewing Company

Wednesday, August 21

7 pm – 9 pm Trivia Night: Beginning at 7 pm, Lost Province will be hosting Trivia Night. Compete on your own or on a team! The competition gets started at 7pm so come a little early for a pizza and a pint and get your seat!

Thursday, August 22

$3.00 Thursday and College Night-$3.00 pints on all Lost Province brewed beers (except high gravity).

7:30 pm – Close: Leonardo Faillace. Leonardo Faillace is a singer/songwriter and freelance guitarist from Charlotte, NC. His main inspirations include Neil Young, Santana, Pink Floyd, and John Coltrane. He is currently working on his major of international business at Appalachian State.

Friday, August 23

7:30 pm – Close: Tim McWilliams and William Ritter. Tim McWilliams & William Ritter met in Boone, NC while both were attending Appalachian State University, pursuing their M.A. in Appalachian Music. While they picked together all of the time in the High Country, they did not start performing together until 2019. When you see and hear Tim McWilliams and William Ritter playing together, one thing is immediately clear: They are having a heck of a good time. Tim’s flatpicking and bluesy vocals blend with William’s harmonies and old-time infused fiddling to offer up a distinctive and infectiously fun sound. Their shows feature classic fiddle tunes, bluegrass, and lots of music by their heroes: Doc Watson, Ray Price, Hank Williams, Tim O’Brien, Norman Blake, and others.

Saturday, August 24

7:30 pm – Close: Folk and Dagger. Folk and Dagger are a folk-rock group from Boone, NC, whose original trio formed in 2007. The band includes singer-songwriter Doris Bazzini Crothers on rhythm guitar and vocals, Colin Crothers on lead guitar, and Colleen Tarantino Utter on vocals. Originally singing as a church choir group, the band was joined by Charlie Ochoa and then Jimmy Puchalski on percussion, followed by John Fulkerson. The most recent addition is Allan Duncan on drum. The band’s soulful harmonies and Crothers’ acoustic lead guitar style have been likened to “Indigo Girls meet the Beatles.” Bazzini Crothers’ songs focus on love and life’s dramas including annoying co-workers, juggling marriage and children, and the occasional need to carry whiskey in one’s purse.

Watauga County Republican Women’s Club to Meet August 28

The Watauga County Republican Women’s Club (WCRWC) will have its next monthly meeting on Wednesday, August 28 at the Sagebrush Steakhouse in Boone. The meeting will begin at noon. All interested in furthering the Republican cause in the High Country are welcome to attend and are invited to join. Call 828-832-6864 for more information. The WCRWC meets the last Wednesday of each month. See us on Facebook and learn more.

Friends of Roan Mountain 2019 Fall Naturalist Rally Happening Labor Day Weekend

It is nearly time for the Friends of Roan Mountain 2019 Fall Naturalist Rally. The rally has its usual array of excellent hikes, appealing to nearly every aspect of a naturalist’s interests. But this year’s evening presentations are especially intriguing, including the showing of the documentary The Truth About Trees, by award-winning documentarian Ross Spears, on Friday night, August 30. 

Since it is unfortunately over Labor Day weekend (it usually takes place the following weekend), there are no cabins or campsites available at Roan Mountain State Park, unless there have been cancellations. So carpooling from the High Country is advised, and you can reach out to others in the Plant Society. Hope to see you there! 

Strings & Suds Festival Brings Roots Music To Black Mountain

Organizers of Jam In The Trees, The Pisgah Brewing Outdoor Stage Series, and HoosierDevil are proud to bring Strings & Suds to Black Mountain, NC. On August 23rd and 24th, Pisgah Brewing Company’s legendary taproom and outdoor stage will host Tex-Mex troubadours The Mavericks, roots music mainstays Donna the Buffalo, double-neck guitar-slinger Junior Brown, the King of Americana himself Jim Lauderdale, and mandolin-wielding songstress Sierra Hull. Additionally, Strings & Suds will feature Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, YARN, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, Danny Burns, East of Monroe, and Ashley Heath and Her Heathens.  Fans should be sure to expect special artist collaborations and sit-ins each night. 
“We wanted to combine years of concert experiences from some of Western North Carolina’s most notable independent promoters while focusing on the crossroads of Americana music,” says Pisgah Brewing’s talent buyer, Benton Wharton. “We also wanted to keep some of the performances intimate, allowing fans to really hone in on the songs that make this music so great.” Festival consultant and co-founder, Steve Johnson adds, “My family has been involved in promoting music festivals and events in North Carolina for as long as I can remember. Strings & Suds is a way for me to continue that tradition, build on all the musical experiences I’ve gained over the years, and experiment with combining artists, art, and aesthetics to create an event where unexpected artist collaborations can occur and attendees feel like they are part of the event’s fabric and not just a ticket holder or a face in the crowd.”
The event will host an intimate evening on the Pisgah Taproom Stage on Friday, August 23rd. Saturday will see Strings & Suds spill out into Pisgah’s stunning Outdoor Stage, in addition to Taproom shows, giving fans an idyllic day to sip on Pisgah Brewing Company beer while listening to their favorite Americana artists. For good eats on-site, visit any of our local food trucks with options for all taste preferences and dietary needs. In addition to food, local artisans and craft vendors will set up and fans can take a brewery tour inside Pisgah Brewing. For those not wanting the night to end, the After Hours Jam will be hosted by Jim Lauderdale and feature artists from Saturday’s lineup, as well as other special guests, on the Taproom stage. VIP ticket holders will receive early entry, preferred parking, a private bar, private port-a-lets, artist meet-and-greets, a VIP event laminate, and a commemorative event poster. VIP ticket holders will also be able to bring a chair into the VIP section and will get to enjoy one of three guided brewery tours and tastings throughout the day on Saturday. Visithttp://www.pisgahbrewing.com/ for more information.

Blue Ridge BuskerFest Returns to Abingdon August 31

The popular street festival BuskerFest returns this Labor Day weekend with a new name and a more interesting and diverse line-up than ever before.  Presented by Blue Ridge Auto, Blue Ridge BuskerFest takes place Saturday, August 31 along Main Street in downtown Abingdon, with jugglers, aerialists, magicians, stiltwalkers, musicians and more.  The fun starts with kids activities at the Imagination Station at 11:00 am, then street performers are scheduled for 12:00-5:00 pm.  Adults 21 and up are invited to Buskers After Dark, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Abingdon Market Pavilion.

Also new this year is presenting sponsor Blue Ridge Auto, which has allowed Blue Ridge BuskerFest to expand, bringing in even more world-class performers. 

A busker is simply a street performer who plays for tips, and Abingdon Music Experience has recruited weird and wonderful artists from all over the country to perform. New artists for 2019 include Brittany Sparkles, a 12-year veteran circus performer, who has been called “America’s Circus Barbie Sweetheart,” breakdancer Teflon Yak, and “The Statue of New England,” a living statue from Massachusetts. Visitors will also see some returning favorites, including Miss Kitty’s Cosmonauts, Jonathan Austin, Jalopy Junction Vaudeville Theatre, and Mekkah Jael bellydancing.  A full schedule can be found at https://www.blueridgebuskerfest.com

Kids of all ages will find something to enjoy at the family-friendly Blue Ridge BuskerFest. In addition to performances along Main Street 12 pm to 5 pm, William King Museum of Art is sponsoring the Imagination Station, including free interactive art activities and a live glass-blowing demonstration.  Younger children will also enjoy the ball pit provided by Play Date at Lois H. Humphreys Park across from the Abingdon Post Office.

For adults looking for a different kind of experience, Buskers After Dark is the official after-party for BuskerFest.  Guests are encouraged to come in carnival costume and mingle with the performers of Imagine Circus. Emcee Tony Steinbach will greet the guests at 7:00 pm, and the performance by Imagine Circus begins at 8:00, with aerial artists and a fire finale.  Ages 21+ only, with photo ID (no exceptions). Suggested $5.00 donation at the door for the programs of Abingdon Music Experience.

Visitors are encouraged to park at the Abingdon Municipal Lot (238 W Main Street) or Roses near exit 19 (751 E Main Street). Shuttles will run to downtown Abingdon 11:30 am to 5:30 pm.


11:00 am – 3:00 pm Imagination Station                Barter Square

12:00 pm – 5:00 pm Buskers on Main Street          From Court St. to Russell Rd.

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm Buskers After Dark                 Abingdon Market Pavilion

For more information, visit blueridgebuskerfest.com, or email Event Coordinator Sara Saavedra at ssaavedra@abingdon-va.gov.

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Receives $125,000 in Grants

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership (BRNHA) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission and a matching $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The new funding is designated to continue the critical work of the BRNHA’s latest initiative, the Blue Ridge Craft Trails.

Designed to launch a system of drive-able trails for 25 Western North Carolina counties featuring 200 craft sites, the Blue Ridge Craft Trails project celebrates the region as a vibrant center for traditional and contemporary handmade crafts through the promotion of craft artisans, arts organizations and heritage tourism.

“Our goal is to increase income for traditional and contemporary artisans, enhance cultural tourism and improve local economies,” explained Angie Chandler, executive director of BRNHA. “We are building on Western North Carolina’s history as a leading center for craft production and education in the United States.”

The project began in 2017 after receiving an initial $90,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission and a matching $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.

“We are so grateful for the support we’ve received,” said Chandler. “We have seen progress already, and with these new grants, we can move forward to make an economic impact on the full 25 counties. Other major support for this initiative has been provided by the NC Arts Council, The Conservation Fund: Resourceful Communities Program, The Community Foundation of Henderson County, and the Cherokee County NC Tourism Development Authority.”

Development of the Blue Ridge Craft Trails to date includes a new website (blueridgecrafttrails.com), marketing research and planning, regional listening sessions, a pilot project encompassing Clay and Cherokee counties, a map brochure, rack card, and the launch of a regional grassroots marketing initiative.

Over the next 18 months, the Blue Ridge Craft Trails will evolve to highlight more than 200 craft artisans and cultural sites across the region. Travelers will also get tips on rounding out their experiences with nearby foods, breweries, music, outdoor activities, scenic views and places to stay.

Since its inception in 2003, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has supported all 25 counties of Western North Carolina by developing programming and initiatives to benefit rural communities through the creation of cultural trails, grants making, preservation projects, visitor services, and tourism marketing and promotion.

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, designated by Congress in November 2003, works to protect, preserve, interpret, and develop the unique natural, historical, and cultural resources of Western North Carolina for the benefit of present and future generations, and in so doing to stimulate improved economic opportunity in the region. National Heritage Areas are locally-governed institutions that encourage residents, non-profit groups, government agencies, and private partners to work together in planning and implementing programs that preserve and celebrate America’s defining landscapes.

The views and conclusions contained in this news release are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Foxx Requests Sec. Wilkie Continue IFB Solutions Contracts

Today, Rep. Virginia Foxx sent a letter to Veterans Affairs Department Secretary Robert Wilkie to request his attention to the jobs of disabled individuals under threat by the expiration of three VA optical contracts held by Industries for the Blind Solutions through the AbilityOne Program in Winston-Salem.

Rep. Foxx wrote, “I ask for your personal attention to ensure the VA continues contracting with nonprofit agencies that employ the blind and significantly disabled. It is my intent to work tirelessly with the VA and other parties to find a swift, permanent, and equitable solution to preserve current AbilityOne contracts and provide further contracting opportunities in the future.  Our blind and significantly disabled Americans deserve nothing less.”

Full text of the letter to Sec. Wilkie is below.

August 15, 2019

Dear Secretary Wilkie,

I am writing to follow up on the letter from July 11th signed by me and 33 of my House and Senate colleagues expressing support for the AbilityOne Program. As you may know, the AbilityOne Program provides employment opportunities to the blind or those who have significant disabilities, including veterans. Through partnerships with community-based nonprofit agencies, the AbilityOne Program serves federal customers, including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), by providing them with high quality products and services.

Due to recent legal challenges, several nonprofit agencies participating in the AbilityOne Program have been notified that they will lose current contracts with the VA. As a result, nonprofits across the country will have to eliminate job opportunities for the blind and significantly disabled, including in my district. IFB Solutions, a Winston-Salem based nonprofit agency that is the largest employer of the blind in the United States, has several contracts with the VA to provide prescription eyewear. The loss of these contracts will likely result in 137 jobs currently filled by blind Americans being eliminated by the end of October.

It is disappointing that your schedule prevented you from speaking to me personally about this important matter. While this issue continues to be litigated, I ask for your personal attention to ensure the VA continues contracting with nonprofit agencies that employ the blind and significantly disabled. It is my intent to work tirelessly with the VA and other parties to find a swift, permanent, and equitable solution to preserve current AbilityOne contracts and provide further contracting opportunities in the future.  Our blind and significantly disabled Americans deserve nothing less.


Virginia Foxx