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High Country Offers Summer Events for All to Enjoy

By Greg Hince

June 18, 2012. The North Carolina High Country has so many wonderful events to offer. Every Friday evening beginning at 5:00, there’s free “music on the lawn” in almost every town and hamlet around. Explore the unique heritage of the area through a seasonal festival, a train ride or a hometown parade. Celebrate the arts during gallery crawls. Be entertained at local theaters and a historic outdoor drama; see a concert, or try out an art workshop or a square dancing class. Compete in an athletic competition where it’s always cooler. There’s always something fun to do in the High Country!

“Horn in the West” opened for the season on June 15, and runs nightly except Mondays. Its on-site living history museum, Hickory Ridge, is open 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. before the show. On Saturday mornings too, you can find Hickory Ridge open during the adjacent Watauga County Farmers Market, 9:00 a.m. – 12 p.m. Call 828-264-2120 for information.

On June 24, the 88th Annual Singing on the Mountain fills the hills with gospel music at MacRae Meadows, at the base of Grandfather Mountain. 

July begins with a “bang” as patriots of every age celebrate the anniversary of the nation’s birth. Hickory Ridge Living History Museum in Boone will hold “The Burning of the Effigy of King George” twice this year. Join museum volunteers at 6:30 p.m. on July 4 and July 7, read aloud one of the thirteen toasts provided, hear a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and thrill at the thirteen gun salute. End by witnessing the burning of the effigy of the unpopular King George!

Parades in every town offer several chances to join in the celebrations, from Banner Elk and Blowing Rock to Boone, Jefferson and West Jefferson, to name just a few. Some are held as early as June 30!

“Christmas in July,” on Saturday, July 7, is in its 26th year in downtown West Jefferson, where visitors will discover arts, crafts, music and a Civil War re-enactment, as well as plenty of food and fun.

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games celebrates 57 years of Scottish athletic and dance competitions, celtic music, piping and drumming, and all things Gaelic, July 12 – 15.

MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove began 15 years ago to celebrate the music of Doc Watson. This year his fans, along with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Kruger Brothers and more, will honor the beloved master of flat-picking. Don’t miss this down-home music festival which happens in the small hamlet of Sugar Grove near Boone on July 13 and 14.

Southern Appalachian Historical Association invites children to join in as actors in a participation production of Alice in Wonderland. The production will be held at Daniel Boone Amphitheater in Boone for five Saturdays this summer, July 7, 14, 21, 28 and August 4. Become part of The Forest, The Jury and The Tea Party with the Mad Hatter! 

And, Blowing Rock hosts the Hunter-Jumper portion of its 89th Annual Charity Horse Show, July 24-29, and July 31 – August 5.

There’s something fun for everyone this summer in the cooler High Country, so head on up to the mountains and join us! For information on these and other events, visit www.highcountryhost.com or call 800-438-7500.