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Weekend Roundup: Exciting Things to Do This Weekend; Check ‘em Out and Make Plans June 13-15

by Madison V. Fisler

June 13, 2014. The High Country has so many exciting events to offer its community and visitors, especially on summer weekends! Check our site every Friday for something new and exciting to look forward to while you’re watching the hour hand crawl to 5 o’clock. Find live music down the street, explore a nearby town’s local secrets or try out a new square dancing class. There’s always something fun to do in the High Country.

Weekend-Long Events

Check out this week’s movie trailers and our weekly movie review of The Fault in Our Stars, click here.

Watauga Humane Society Seeks Donations: The Watauga County Humane Society will host the 33rd annual Rummage Sale to benefit the shelter June 27-28, and the organization is seeking donations of items to help make the sale a success. Members of the community are invited to make donations of items to Blue Skies Storage located at 482 State Farm Rd. in Boone anytime until June 23. Donations will be accepted at that location from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Beginning on Monday, June 23, donations will be accepted at the National Guard Armory in Boone. For more information about this event click here

Thomas the Train at Tweetsie Railroad: Preschoolers will get the thrill of their lives when Thomas the Tank Engine steams across the country this year. When Thomas arrives in Blowing Rock for the Day out with Thomas: The Thrill of the Ride Tour 2014, he will not only take his fans for a ride, but also talk to them for the very first time on the tour! The event, which takes place June 6-15 will be hosted by Tweetsie Railroad and presented by HIT Entertainment and sponsored by MEGA Brands, a leading toy company and all inclusive Hard Rock Hotels. For more information about this event click here.

Lees-McRae Summer Theatre Tickets on Sale: Get ‘em while they’re hot – Lees-McRae Summer Theatre tickets are now on sale at www.LMC.edu/SummerTheatre. With three fantastic musicals scheduled from June 29-Aug 10, you’ll have plenty of chances to enjoy the thrills of Broadway in your own backyard. This year’s productions are Kiss Me, Kate; A Grand Night for Singing; and Monty Pythons’s Spamalot. For more information about tickets click here.  

The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble: To showcase and describe the beauty and significance of the plant, Grandfather Mountain will host the Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble from June 1-16. These short, guided strolls held at 1 p.m. daily allow visitors to observe the ostentatious blooms and learn from naturalists about their history, characteristics and roles they plan in the Mountain’s ecological communities. The programs are free with cost of admission. For more information about this event click here

Friday, June 13

To Build a Fire at Grandfather Mountain State Park: On Friday, June 13 at 3 p.m. Fire is one of the cornerstones of human civilization that many of us take for granted in today’s modern lifestyle. Could you build a fire if necessary? Join a park ranger at Grandfather Mountain State Park to learn techniques on fire building and emergency fire starting for camping, heating and survival. Participants will learn about fuel sources, alternative fire starters and some of the science behind fire. This program will last approximately one hour.

Mercury Dames at the Jones House: Starting at 5 p.m., the Mercury Dames will perform during Concerts on the Lawn at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone. 

Wilkesboro’s Weekly Open Air Market: The Open Air Market is scheduled May 2 through Sept. 19, 2014 on a weekly basis. The regular market is open every Friday from 4-8 p.m. The vendor selling are farmers with locally grown fruits, vegetables, plants and local art & craft vendors, baked goods, plus many other vendors. This market will take place in the town owned parking lot across from the 50’s Restaurant and Royall’s Framing on Main Street in downtown Wilkesboro.

Elk Knob Spider Hunt: Bring the kids up to the mountain for a night time spider hunt. Bring a flashlight, jacket, and sturdy hiking shoes as kids and parents will experience a night hike. Stories, music, s’mores and hot chocolate will be provided. Participants will meet at the Summit Trail Parking Area on Friday, June 13 at 9 pm. Please call the park office to sign up at 828-297-7261.

Music on the Lawn: The weekly Music on the Lawn at the Best Cellar will present The King Bees beginning at 5:30 p.m. in downtown Blowing Rock.

Saturday, June 14

Watauga County Farmers’ Market: Join us for the 40th anniversary season of Watauga County Farmers’ Market! The farmers’ market has been Boone’s Town Square since 1974.The market takes place from 8 a.m.-noon in the Horn in the West parking lot in Boone. 

Ashe County Farmers’ Market: We will have everything from fresh produce and meats to plants and crafts all under one roof! The market takes place from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Backstreet in West Jefferson. 

The Cub: The Cub, a.k.a. “Valle Crucis 7-Miler,” showcases the beautiful mountain community and countryside of Valle Crucis. This 7-mile mountain road race will begin and end at the Valle Crucis School and is the first race in the 2014 High Country Triple Crown series. Other races in the series are The High Country Half Marathon on Aug. 30 and The Knob/The Bonk on Oct. 10.

Hickory Ridge Living History Museum: Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, located on the grounds of “Horn in the West,” is an eighteenth-century living history museum highlighting the daily lives of our mountain ancestors. See live demonstrations of a various pioneer skills, such as hearthside cooking, flintlock rifle, blacksmithing, spinning and weaving, etc. Open Saturday mornings, May – October (during Farmers Market on site), and evenings before “Horn in the West,” Tues. – Sun., late-June through mid-August. Admission to the museum is by donation.

Elk Knob Volunteer Trail Work Day: Warmer weather has finally returned along with the Volunteer Trail Work Days at Elk Knob State Park. Every Saturday beginning April 5 and running through the middle of November (except June 28 and September 13), staff and volunteers will meet at the Summit Trailhead at 9 am and work until approximately 3:30 pm, weather permitting. Tools are provided but volunteers should wear close-toed shoes and bring work gloves, lunch and water. Most of the time will be spent building our new one mile loop trail, the Beech Tree Trail, although we may include some repair work on the Summit Trail. If you would like to be involved in a fulfilling project that will fill you with a well-deserved sense of pride, then join us on Saturdays at Elk Knob State Park. For more information please call 828-297-7261.

Johnson County Farmers’ Market: The main work of the Johnson County Farmers Market is to help strengthen a sustainable local agricultural and food economy. We do this by providing education, engaging in community and economic development, and promoting the availability and benefits of local food and agriculture.

Tom Dooley Hike: Did Tom Dooley murder Laurie Foster in the shadow of the Blue Ridge? Join a ranger on Saturday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m. as he dispels myths and stereotypes associated with the legend. Participants will learn about the murder and music of Tom Dooley. Hiking attire to include boots is recommended. Program is weather dependent. Meet at the summit trailhead.

National Get Outdoors Day at Grandfather Mountain State Park: Celebrate National Get Outdoors Day. Join a park ranger as he presents an interactive program on how trails should be built to be sustainable. Participants will learn what the steps are to building a trail from the idea/concept to the finished product. Participants will also get an idea of how trail is repaired if it is damaged or was not built from a sustainable plan to begin with. After the presentation, participants will be given the opportunity to use a virtual mountain to plan their trail route and have it critiqued by the ranger on how sustainable it looks to be. After the presentation and virtual exercise participants have the option to hike with the Ranger and look at some real trail damage and repaired areas as well as some sustainable areas of trail.

Ashe Arts Council Gallery Crawl: The Ashe County Arts Council will again sponsor Gallery Crawl on June 13 from 5 to 8 pm. Crawlers are invited to stroll the streets, visit the galleries, view the downtown murals and take advantage of the downtown restaurants.
Sixteen galleries will be open after hours to showcase the latest exciting artwork of talented local and regional artists. The participating galleries include: Acorn Gallery, Ashe Arts Center, Ashe Custom Framing and Gallery, Backstreet Beads, Bohemia Gallery, Broomfields Gallery, Catch-Light Gallery, Everything Has a Story, Florence Thomas Art School, French’s Art Galley, Originals Only Gallery, Quilt Square Girls, Ripples Gallery, RT Morgan Art Gallery, Shoemaker Studio, and The Artists’ Theatre. Gallery Crawl is a free event and is sponsored by the Ashe County Arts Council in cooperation with the West Jefferson Business Association, the West Jefferson TDA and is funded, in part, through a Grassroots Arts Program Grant of the North Carolina Arts Council. Watauga Arts Council Second Saturday: On Saturday, June 14, The Watauga County Arts Council will host the monthly Second Saturday Celebration at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace. Check out the exhibits that are in store for you this month! This month’s exhibition is “Petal Pushers,” a revival of an exhibition which the Arts Council sponsored many years ago and remembers quite fondly. For more information about this event click here.

Family Movie Night at Honey Bear Campground: Come enjoy Yogi Bear on our outdoor screen this Saturday night. Like always, we’ll have the fires blazing, just bring your family and some chairs! Only $5 per car for parking. Concessions sold!

Mountain Home Music: Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music will present a concert by the Junaluska Gospel Choir on Saturday, June 14 at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Choir has roots in Boone’s historic Black community and brings a distinctive soulful sound to Gospel. For more information about this event click here.  

Bottoms Up, Beech Mountain: When you join us for yoga, you’ll take the chairlift up to the top of the mountain where you will engage in an hour of invigorating and restorative Yinyasa Flow yoga on the deck in front of a stunning view of the mountains. After class, you can enjoy the rest of your day on the mountain or continue your relaxation with a delicious pint of cold beer brewed on-site by Beech Mountain Brewing Company. For more information on this event click here.

Art in the Park: The second Art in the Park event of 2014 will take place on Saturday, June 14 in downtown Blowing Rock. The featured artist for this month is Jim Spires. Spires is a self-trained studio potter and sculptor that has honed his craft over more than 35 years of experience. For more information on this event click here.

Storytelling Festival: Grandfather Home for Children is hosting a storytelling festival this Saturday, June 14 from noon to 4 p.m. featuring many famous regional storytellers, including Orville Hicks, Glen Bolick, Rhodyjane Meadows and Rick Ward. In addition to storytellers, the festival will feature food, crafts, vendors, games, inflatables and various other activities. Admission is free. For more information about this event click here.  

High Country Wine and Beer Festival: The Second Annual High Country Wine and Beer Festival will be held on June 14. The event will take place at Linville Falls Winery from 12-6 p.m. Enjoy samples, food and fun at the winery, with beer and wine samples from Banner Elk Winery and Villa, Erick’s Cheese & Sine, Blind Squirrel Brewery, Plumtree Valley Vineyards, Beech Mountain Brewing Company, Grandfather Vineyards and Linville Falls Winery. For more information about this event click here

WHS Graduation: On Saturday, June 14 at 10 a.m., hundreds of students from Watauga High School will cross the stage at the Holmes Convocation Center at Appalachian State University in celebration of their graduation from High School. Speaking at the graduation ceremony will be valedictorian Sidney Wiswell and salutatorian Christopher Allen. The guest speaker at the event will be last year’s Teacher of the Year Clay Anderson. For more information about this event click here. 

The Great Outdoors at Grandfather Mountain State Park: On Saturday, June 14 at 2 p.m., join a ranger for National Get Outdoors Day. Details of the program will be posted closer to the program date.

The Over Mountain Men and the Battle for Beech Mountain: The Blue Ridge Parkway will offer an evening program on Saturday, June 14 at Linville Falls Campground Ampitheater at Milepost 316. At 7 p.m., the Overmountain Men and Battle of Kings Mountain program will be presented for free and the event is open to the public. In the fall of 1780, the prospects for victory in the Revolutionary War looked pretty bleak for the Patriots. Hope for independence was fading fast until the citizens of the Overmountain country banded together and marched over the mountains to face the threat posed by the British. Join the Ranger and a special guest speaker from the Overmountain Victory Trail Ronald Lail to learn more about these true American heroes. This program will be approximately 45 minutes in length.

Community Plant Sale: The Watauga County Annual Community Plant Sale, held on Saturday, June 14, will feature a number of mountain heritage apple trees that were specially grafted last year for this event at Big Horse Creek Farm in Ashe County. The Sweet Dixon, the Jarrett and the Lewis Green apples were all discovered in Watauga County and have been grafted from scions of known survivors, many collected by the late Inadeen Hampton. These apple varieties are unique to Watauga County and extremely hard to find for sale anywhere else. The Plant Sale will get underway at 7 a.m. at 375 Old 421 S., home out Aunt Pymm’s Table Antiques. All the private gardens at Aunt Pymm’s Table will be open to the public that day. The sale is hosted and sponsored by the Watauga County Democratic Party. Also featured in the Plant Sale will be a large number of nursery-grown, native perennial flowers and shrubs, many hard to find on the market. Kentucky wisteria, New York ironweed, the “Henry Eilers coneflower, penstemon “Huckster Red,” “Jacob Cline” red bee bald, “Major Wheeler” honeysuckle and the rosemallow that Thomas Jefferson grew at Monticello are among the unusual natives that will be available. “We’ll have everything, from trees to houseplants,” said Pam Williamson, owner of Aunt Pymm’s Table and an organizer of the sale. “Even a few vegetables, plus many container plantings, miniature gardens, rare vines and a huge selection of named dahlias, oriental and Asiatic lilies and other hard-to-find garden plants.” “Everything will be sold that day,” said Williamson. “About 7,000 plants and they’ll be sold at bargain prices, as you probably know.” Coffee and breakfast muffins will also be available at the sale.

Sunday, June 15

Vintage Valle Music: Every summer, Baird’s Creek Presbyterian Church hosts Vintage Valle Music, a free musical get-together done in the spirit of old-fashioned community gatherings. Several local musicians will perform, playing an eclectic mix of folk, gospel, country, bluegrass, Americana, traditional and original songs. For more information about this event click here

Pastured Pork Workshop: Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) announced a workshop and potluck focused on Pastured Pork production as Springhouse Farms. This workshop is a perfect introduction oh how to produce pastured pork on a small scale – for your farm or your family. The workshop and potluck will take place from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, June 15 at Springhouse Farm in Vilas. Amy Fiedler owns and operates Springhouse Farm, a certified organic farm in Vilas. Amy received a Mary Boyer Sustainable Food and Agriculture Grant this spring to diversify her farm after intense flooding wiped out most of her crop in 2013. She intends to offer an alternative to factory-farmed pork by starting her own Certified Humane pastured pig and pork operation. Springhouse Farms aims to become a premier local source of feeder pigs and an instructor to local farmers on humane pastured pork production. This informational workshop will be a comfortable setting for those who are new to pastured pork production to learn more about how it can be done on a small scale. Whether you want to raise a handful of pigs for your family or a larger number for sale, this workshop will introduce you to the important aspects that need to be considered. Don’t miss this opportunity to see how an area farmer has integrated pork production into other farm activities. The workshop is free but attendees are encouraged to bring a potluck food item to share. The workshop will begin on June 15 at 4 p.m. at Springhouse Farms located at 433 Silverstone Rd. in Vilas. Please RSVP to Suzanne Fleishman at [email protected] or 818-386-1537.

Boone Country Dancers Contra Dance: The Boone Country Dancers will be at the Apple Barn in Valle Crucis for its next community contra dance on Saturday, June 14. Everyone is welcome to attend the contra dance regardless of dance experience. The evening will begin with a beginners’ workshop from 7:30-8 p.m. The goal of the workshop is to teach the fundamentals of contra dance with a focus on having fun. After the workshop, the regular dance will run from 8-11 p.m. with a waltz break at 9:30 p.m. The dance will feature the band Bare Knuckle Quartet and teh caller will be Dean Snipes. Dancers of all ages are encouraged to attend and no partner is necessary. Come as you are and wear clean, soft-soled flexible shoes for dancing. As always, our dances are smoke and alcohol free. Admission to the dance is $7 for adults, $5 for high school students and free to anyone 12 and younger. For further information please visit the Boone Country Dancers webpage at BooneCountryDancers.org.

Blowing Rock Concert in the Park: Bring a chair or blanket to enjoy this free concert by Owen Poteat. Owen has received many awards both for his blues music and for his “one man band” show – drums, guitar and harmonica. American Legion Hall is the backup venue in case of inclement weather.

Alpen Inn Summer Concerts: The Beech Alpen Summer Concert Series showcases the best in local music with breathtaking views! Featured bands perform a variety of music including Classic Rock-n-Roll, Beach, Motown, Soul, Country/Bluegrass, Swing, Jazz and Blues. Concerts take place on the lawn of the Beech Alpen Inn Pavilion every Sunday 5-9 Memorial Day thru Labor Day. Seating is provided or bring your own chair/blanket. Special lawn menu is available from the Alpen Inn Restaurant. Concerts are free and open to the public. Pets on leashes are welcome. Please – no outside food or coolers. For more information, please visit www.beechalpen.com or call 828-387-2252.