• Sugar Mountain Sees One of Their Largest Crowds Yet For The Weekend Oktoberfest


    October 15, 2019. This past weekend was full of Oktoberfest celebrations at Sugar Mountain Resort. In fact, this year’s events gathered one of the largest crowds yet for Oktoberfest; many people even made trips from several states over just to attend the annual family-friendly beer festival at Sugar Mountain. “It was one of our top Oktoberfests ever for sure,” said Kim Jochl, Vice President/Director of Marketing and Merchandising for Sugar Mountain Resort, “We don’t do a head count because we don’t charge admission, but all of our vendors did very well. The lift rides did amazingly well too; there were also a lot of kids playing in the children’s fun center. We sold a lot of beer and a lot of bratwurst. The parking lots were full and the buses were going back and forth all day long!”
    By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Large Parts of the High Country Sees Frost and Cool Temperatures Tuesday Morning


    October 15, 2019. Several parts of the High Country, particularly in the valleys, woke up to frost and the first really chilly temperatures of autumn on Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service reported the morning low at Watauga Medical Center at 32 degrees. Foscoe recorded a low of 30 degrees and data provided by Ray’s Weather Center shows that Valle Crucis also dropped to 30 degrees around 8 a.m. this morning. In Ashe County, Jefferson did not drop quite as low but still fell to 37 degrees. West Jefferson reached a low temperature of 35 degrees and Warrensville fell to 34 degrees. In Banner Elk, the low was 30.7 degrees around 7:45 a.m., and temperatures dropped to 30.9 degrees in Newland. Looking ahead to the rest of the week, Ray’s Weather Center is predicting even cooler temperatures heading into the area on Wednesday. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Avery County Advocate, Business Woman and Trailblazer; Martha Guy Dies at 97


    October 14, 2019. Martha Guy was known as a trailblazer, a forward-thinking business woman who went against the grain as she completed her formal education and followed her father into the banking business. Her death on Saturday, October 12 at the age of 97, has left a void that none will ever fill, but has left many reflecting on a life well lived and the countless contributions she made in this area and beyond. She died quietly at her home, leaving the world much like the way she had lived it — with peace and grace. Guy never wavered in her love for her hometown of Newland, always ready to serve in any capacity she could to make life better for others.. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain Resort Unveils Snowmaking and Lighting Improvements for Upcoming Season


    October 14, 2019. The slopes at Beech Mountain Resort will be whiter than ever this winter thanks to major upgrades to the snowmaking system. The resort is in the final stages of phase one of a two-phase project to enhance its ability to produce larger amounts of snow in shorter periods of time, while reducing energy consumption. Upgrades in place for the upcoming season include a new water pumping system housed in a completely renovated pump house. The Torrent Pump Skid automatically engages additional pumps as more guns are needed on the mountain. / Read more…



  • Valle Crucis Activists Send Out Over 1,500 Information Postcards and Create TV Ad Airing on 18 Cable Channels

    October 14, 2019. The activist group Residents & Friends of Historic Valle Crucis is doing everything they can to try and change some people’s minds about the location for constructing a new school in Valle Crucis. According to information provided by the group, information postcards have been or will be sent to a total of 869 property owners, landowners and residents of The Valle Crucis Historic District, and residents of the Valle Crucis area, as well as to 139 publishers, editors and reporters of the 10 biggest daily newspapers in North Carolina from October 6 through October 15. On October 16, the second mailing of 723 postcards will be sent to state government officials, North Carolina watchdog agencies, local and statewide media, state agencies and non-profit organizations with a stake in clean water, environmental, heritage and outdoors tourism, historic and cultural preservation. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain’s Annual Oyster Roast on Saturday Served Over 3000 Oysters, Lots of Fun


    October 14, 2019. It’s the end of the fall season at Beech Mountain. The resort’s annual oyster roast marked an end to the mountain bike season with over 3,000 oysters devoured on a beautiful Saturday in the High Country. “We had a big turnout with a lot of bikers and a lot of people getting one last day at 5506 Skybar. The oyster roast was really busy, we ran out of oysters a lot quicker than we anticipated, but that’s a good problem to have. All the customers seemed pretty happy,” said Talia Freeman, the Director of Marketing for Beech Mountain Resort. “We’re definitely going to have to order a lot more oysters for next year!” The oyster roast featured music from the band Virginia Ground and everybody had a great time. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Post Offices and Financial Institutions Closed for Columbus Day; App State on Fall Break Until Wednesday


    October 14, 2019. You might notice a few extra parking spots downtown and a little less traffic for the next couple of days. Bankers, federal government employees and Appalachian State students all received an extended weekend with banks and post offices closed on Monday for Columbus Day. Appalachian students get another day off on Tuesday as part of the annual fall break from classes. Classes resume as scheduled on Wednesday. For the fall of 2019, Appalachian State has a total of 19,280 total students with 17,518 of those being undergrads and 1,762 enrolled in graduate programs. Looking ahead to the rest of the fall academic calendar, early registration begins on November 1 and lasts through November 14. Thanksgiving break is from November 27-29, the last day of classes is December 3 and final exams begin December 5 and last through December. Fall commencement ceremonies will take place on December 13. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Watauga County Mourns Loss of Former Commissioner, Educator and Businessman, Carl Fidler Who Passed Away October 7th


    October 14, 2019. As news of the October 7 death of Carl Fidler began circulating on social media early Tuesday morning, it proved that Watauga County had not only lost a valued educator and civic leader, but also a dear friend and mentor to many. Not only was Fidler a beloved coach and school principal who touched many lives in and around Watauga County during his storied lifetime, but he was also a veteran who served his country with honor during World War II. Many people expressing their condolences on Facebook shared how FIdler was an encourager, one who could be trusted with anything, a mentor, a fine gentleman who truly cared about his students — and so much more. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Ten People Charged After Federal Warrants Break Up High Country Drug Ring


    October 11, 2019. Sheriff B. Phil Howell announces the interruption of a complex and far-reaching narcotics trafficking network based in Ashe County. The federal conspiracy began and ended in Ashe County with ten individuals being arraigned in Federal & State court. “Horton Hears a Who” is the operation name for the conspiracy named by local and federal investigating agencies assigned to this case. “Our investigation began in December of 2018 jointly between the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation. After a few months, many of our local agencies joined forces to assist us in the entire investigation. West Jefferson Police Department, Jefferson Police Department, Boone Police Department, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, Wilkesboro Police Department, North Wilkesboro Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) played a huge part in bringing our investigation closer to being finished,” Sheriff Howell said. / Read more…



  • Only Three Days Until Opening Night at the Appalachian Theatre; Limited Tickets Still On Sale Friday Afternoon


    October 11, 2019. Volunteers are still hard at work Friday afternoon putting the final touches on the Appalachian Theatre in preparation for Monday’s grand reopening. The newly-renovated 1938 downtown Boone landmark will welcome guests back at 7 p.m. on Monday with a performance featuring John McEuen, the founder of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and his new band, The String Wizards. “We have a handful of tickets left as of Friday afternoon. We’re working hard and it’s going to be a great show,” said Laura Kratt, the Executive Director of the Appalachian Theatre. John Cooper, the chairman of the Appalachian Theatre’s Board of Trustees, was on hand Friday afternoon pitching in with the final details of work. “We’re excited, the community is excited, it’s going to be a fabulous gift and a gem for the community,” Cooper said. “A lot of volunteers are putting the finishing touches on the theatre. It will be a sellout crowd for the opening event and it will be an amazing concert.” By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild Donates ‘Fidget’ Quilts to the Foley Center


    October 11, 2019. A group of ladies from the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild made a touching donation on Wednesday morning by bringing “fidget” quilts to the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge in Blowing Rock. Fidget quilts have become very popular over the last few years, particularly for elderly residents and patients across the country with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These quilts feature pieces of textile fabrics and ornaments such as zippers, buttons and ribbons that can be fidgeted with and give these patients something to do with their hands. The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild was founded over 30 years ago in 1987. They focus on promoting the appreciation and education of the fine art of quilt making. Members of the club meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone. Guest speakers often come to share their quilt stories and many members show their most recent projects with group members. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • AppHealthCare, Mediation & Restorative Justice Center and Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Receive Funding to Respond to Opioid Epidemic

    October 11, 2019 AppHealthCare and the Mediation and Restorative Justice Center (MRJC) were among the 2019 recipients awarded funding through the federal Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program (COAP) under the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice (more information about the COAP here). This award is a three year allocation that will provide long-lasting positive change in our community and reflects a paradigm shift in our community’s readiness and capacity to respond to the opioid epidemic within our local criminal justice system. Over the past two years, AppHealthCare, MRJC, and the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), along with many other community partners, have worked together to build a coalition to strategically address the opioid and substance use disorder crisis in our communities. / Read more…



  • LETTERS / We See Growth at Any Cost Without Regard to What We Call Infrastructure

    October 11, 2019 Letters to the Editor. BY CRAIG DUDLEY / Dear Editor, In the opinions I’ve sent to the local ‘news’ outlets over the years, I’ve avoided speaking of ‘local’ politics having learned in West Virginia how convoluted that topic can be, but some things are so obvious that even Ray Charles could see them. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot, is how the song goes, and when you look around Boone, you can see the song’s message clearly displayed in the last twenty years. Frequently Boone is a parking lot, and occasionally a flood zone, all of which has been shaped by those who tell us they work for us. Every day you see more large building projects with no place to put the rising numbers of vehicles. Your daily pursuit of happiness is markedly slowed for the profit of a few, enabled by ‘our’ government. Read more…



  • Alpine Ski Shop at Appalachian Ski Mtn. Holding Annual Preseason Sale and Swap October 11-20


    October 10, 2019. It’s that time of year to head to Appalachian Ski Mtn. for the annual Preseason Sale and Swap at the Alpine Ski Shop located in the downstairs lobby at the base lodge. This is the 22nd year of the sale and it gives customers a chance to come in and find some great deals on things they need on the ski slopes. “We have all of last year’s ski and snowboard clothing, outerwear and base layer, on clearance and lots of great brands of ski and snowboard equipment,” said Brenda Speckmann. The sale also features accessory items like helmets, goggles and gloves and customers can expect to save up to 70 percent on some of these items. “We also have a ski and snowboard swap for equipment only. Customers have brought their equipment in and we help price it for them and whatever that equipment sells for, they receive that credit in the ski shop. We don’t take any commission from the sales,” said Speckmann. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Weekly Crime Reports: Activity and Arrests in Boone and Watauga County, September 30 – October 7

    October 10, 2019. Looking to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your neighborhood? Want to keep an eye on criminal activity in your area? Take a look at these recent incident and arrest reports from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone Police Department. Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • High Country Home Sales Continue to Accelerate; 274 Homes Sold in September


    October 10, 2019. Local Realtors® sold more homes in August and September than any two-month period in at least 15 years, according to the latest real estate report by the High Country Association of Realtors®. The one-two punch powered sales for the year. They have grown 8 percent compared to 2018, and 20 percent compared to 2017. The brisk business occurred as interest rates remained near record lows and inventory continues to turn over quickly. Through the end of September Realtors® sold 1,859 residential and multi-family homes worth $572.06 million, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It records all activity by Realtors® located in Ashe, Alleghany, Avery and Watauga counties. That’s well above the 1,776 homes worth $476.24 million sold in the first nine months of last year. The median sold price so far this year – the midpoint at which half of all homes sold above or below this year – is $237,000. / Read more…



  • Oktoberfest Celebration Returning to Sugar Mountain Resort October 12 & 13


    October 10, 2019. Grab your beer stein and put on your lederhosen or your dirndl, because Sugar Mountain Resort is gearing up to host its 29th annual Oktoberfest celebration on October 12 and 13 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair) that is held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany from around mid September to the first Sunday in October; more than six million people from around the world attend the event every year. Sugar Mountain’s version of Oktoberfest in the High Country is family-friendly and people of all ages are invited to join in the celebration. By Joe Johnson / Read more…



  • Full House for Blowing Rock Civic Association Candidate Forum Held October 3rd

    October 10, 2019 Interest in the November’s municipal elections in Blowing Rock filled the American Legion building for the October 3rd Blowing Rock Civic Association candidate forum. With the non-partisan election soon starting early voting, the three incumbents and two challengers made their own points about their candidacies and what issues were important to each personally. None of the candidates were strangers to the gathering, each serving the town in recent years—nor were they strangers to each other, having served Blowing Rock in a number of ways. Former Council member Ray Pickett, who has also served on the planning board, expressed his hope for continued prosperity for the town, while Albert Yount , current incumbent, expressed his optimism in the town’s direction under new Town Manager Shane Fox, who Yount said “truly gets it.” He lauded Fox’s outreach to county government on behalf of Blowing Rock, and encouraged citizens to reach out to the town manager. By Steve Frank / Read more…



  • Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Hosting Candidates Forum on October 14

    October 9, 2019 Following last week’s candidate roundtable sponsored by the Blowing Rock Civic Association, residents in the community have one more opportunity to hear four town council candidates and Mayor Charlie Sellers answer questions on a wide variety of topics. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a candidates’ forum on Monday, October 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Blowing Rock School auditorium. The forum is produced by the Blowing Rock Leadership Challenge alumni group that has about 90 different alumni members inside and outside the Blowing Rock area, according to Charles Hardin, the President of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. Hardin said that the event will last an hour and a half and is the first organized event to be held in the Blowing Rock School auditorium since some new upgrades had been made inside the building. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Avery County Commissioners Hear Report on Domestic and Sexual Violence

    October 9, 2019. Details of the past year’s work of OASIS, the organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Avery and Watauga counties was the headline topic of a light workload during the Avery Commissioners meeting on October 7. Commissioners–Martha Hicks (Chairperson); Blake Vance (Vice-Chairman); Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr.; Tim Phillips; and Dennis Aldridge were present. Other leading county officials attending included: County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr.; Finance Officer Tim Greene; Assistant County Manager and Clerk to the Board Cindy Turbyfill; and County Attorney Michaelle Poore. OASIS stands for Opposing Abuse with Service, Information, and Shelter, and is a private, non-profit entity. Its spokesperson Tiffany Moon gave the annual report to the commissioners, which is considered fitting as October is Domestic Awareness Month. By Tim Gardner / Read more…



  • Watauga Commissioners Holding Public Hearing on Proposed Amendments to Valle Crucis Historic District Ordinance


    October 9, 2019. The ongoing decision-making process for constructing a new school in Valle Crucis will undoubtedly be a topic of conversation next Tuesday when the Watauga County Board of Commissioners hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the Valle Crucis Historic District Ordinance. In a previous meeting of the county commissioners on September 17, there was a proposal put forth by the board to amend the ordinance to include a section on school construction. The original ordinance that went into effect on September 1, 1990, did not include any language addressing the construction of any academic facilities. Although the previous ordinance did not make any inclusion for school construction, the current Valle Crucis School was “grandfathered” in as the building has been a part of the community for over 80 years. There have been some disagreements between Valle Crucis residents, visitors and those involved with the county in this decision-making process on where to construct the new school. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Fire Prevention Week Brings Awareness to Safety and Planning for Fire Emergencies


    October 9, 2019. In recognition of 2019 Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 6-12, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey is urging everyone to uphold this year’s campaign theme, “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape.” Beyond just their motto, however, those such as Fire Marshal Mike Causey has organized a statewide fire drill. At 1 p.m., fire sirens will sound across the state to remind people to plan and practice their fire escape route. “Once a fire alarm goes off in your home, you may have less than two minutes to safely escape,” said Commissioner Causey. “That’s why I’m asking all families to come up with a fire escape plan – practice it – and learn two ways out of your home.” Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. By Colby Gable / Read more…



  • Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Fresh Cabbage – A Mountain Staple


    October 9, 2019. Fresh cabbage is a mountain staple and usually harvested in abundance around the High Country this time every year. A vegetable native to England and northwestern France, cabbage is grown throughout Europe, Asia and America. Of the three types of cabbage — white, red and Savoy —white is the most popular in the United States. We love it raw, cooked, boiled, fried — and pickled, as in sauerkraut. We’ve just recently made our annual fall “run” of kraut and waiting patiently to make sure it turns out just right. Country girls know you’ve got to follow “the signs” when making sauerkraut – and I can assure you, I wouldn’t do it any other way. (I’ve tried and it ended in disaster!) It’s not something I can explain, but I know it to be real. Belonging to the mustard family, cabbage is closely related to other leafy vegetables including turnips, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Cabbage often gives off an unpleasant aroma while cooking, but adding a celery rib or several lemon wedges to the pan will eliminate the smell. A cabbage head, cut into a shell, with its center hollow out, makes a great “bowl” for a vegetable dip, coleslaw or potato salad. It’s just another wonderful vegetable with a variety of ways to be enjoyed. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Today’s Email Announcements

    What’s going on in your community? Here’s a brief update on the emails we received today. Check back each day for an updated list of events going on in the area. As always, please feel free to email us about your event or update.

    Read more…
    Compiled by Nathan Ham



  • Motorcycle Chase in Ashe County Leads to Late Night Felony Arrests


    October 8, 2019. Ashe County Sheriff B. Phil Howell reports the arrests of two individuals related to a motorcycle chase and crash that occurred just before 5 pm on October 7. Trooper Denny Parunak, of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, observed a motorcyclist traveling at a high rate of speed and the motorcycle did not have a registration plate displayed. Capt. Josh Hodges of the West Jefferson Police Dept. observed the motorcyclist go through the intersection of US Hwy 221/163 and attempted a traffic stop and a vehicle chase ensued. The motorcyclist led law enforcement on a short chase and crashed near the intersection of Ira Miller Drive and Mulatto Mountain Road. The motorcycle’s operator, later identified as Derek Wesley Scism, 28, of Blowing Rock then fled on foot. After a search, officers were unable to locate the suspect. / Read more…



  • ASU Alum Finding “Sweet” Success with Her Immune-Boosting Remedy


    October 8, 2019. Stephanie Rickenbaker graduated from Appalachian State University in 1999 with degrees in marketing and Spanish, a minor in international business. A long-time Charlotte area resident, she “absolutely loves” the High Country and has a few specific reasons for visiting here, at least monthly. In addition to finding rest and relaxation in her family’s mountain getaway, Rickenbaker takes delight in the personal delivery of her immune-boosting “remedy” that sells well on local shelves — and at numerous locations across the southeast. “The High Country is such a special place,” she said. “As soon as I get there, it’s like I can breathe easier and I don’t have a care in the world.” And, breathing easier is something she desires for everyone, which is one reason for the success of her “Sweet’s Syrup” business that has taken her by storm in the last three years. By Sherrie Norris / Read more…



  • Grab Your Copy of the October Edition of the High Country Magazine

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    October 8, 2019 The October/November edition of the High Country Magazine is officially back and ready to pick up at your favorite businesses across the High Country, or at our office located at 1600 Highway 105 in Boone. You can also read the magazine cover to cover online if you are not in the area. Our cover story for this fall features the reopening of the Appalachian Theatre. The iconic theatre returns after closing 12 years ago with its opening show on October 14 featuring John McEuen, founder of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and his current band, The String Wizards, for a concert titled, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.” Tickets are $32 and are now on sale to the public. The theatre property was purchased in 2013 by a non-profit group named Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC) with the intention of one day returning the stage to its glory days. After many fundraisers and lots of hard work by passionate fans of the original Appalachian Theatre, the doors will now be open again. In addition to the story on the Appalachian Theatre, there are stories about Rufus Edmisten, John Mena and Haircut 101, Jordan Nelson,”The Drone Guy”, Cecil and John Gurganus and the Appalachian Trail and Boone resident, Mary Helen Cole turns 100. / Read more…



  • A First Time Visit To Blue Deer Cookies; A Review by Asha Batchelor


    October 8, 2019. As I walked into the Blue Deer Cookies location I instantly saw a silver camper!  Which I thought was cool because a camper is so unique, hotdog stands have a cart, restaurants or stores are inside in a building, but Blue Deer Cookies is located in a camper! So, this was my first time being there but really I regret not going there before! Its was astonishing! The taste the smells the presentation! The food is definitely Instagram worthy! So I had an interview with the owner! During the interview with Justin Northern he answered some of my questions I was wondering! By Asha Batchelor / Read more…



  • Beech Mountain Club Announces Non-Property Owner (NPO) Membership Now Available

    October 8, 2019 After fifty (50) years of operation with property ownership as a requirement for Club membership, the Beech Mountain Club is now offering a limited number of memberships to Non-Property Owners (NPO). The Beech Mountain Club is a private, social club located on beautiful Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Our 1,250 member families enjoy cool summer temperatures, outstanding amenities, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, winter sports opportunities and the services of a professional staff dedicated to providing our members with all the activities and programs you would expect at a mountain retreat.. / Read more…



  • Boone Drug Celebrates 100th Anniversary on Saturday and Unveils Latest Store Logo


    October 7, 2019. The Town of Boone gathered together on Saturday for a special 100th-anniversary celebration of one of the longest-standing businesses in Boone. Dr. George Kelly Moose founded Boone Drug, which first opened its doors in 1919. Since then, the family-owned business has changed hands a few times over the years. One thing has never changed, and that is the commitment to the community and its people. The Richardson, Miller, Furman and Stacy families have all had an owner’s stake in the company at one point or another, but as owner and president Corey Furman said during the event on Saturday at the Jones House, Boone Drug has meant just as much to the community as it has its owners. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • Small Earthquake Hits the High Country Just South of Blowing Rock Early Sunday


    October 7, 2019. A small earthquake with a magnitude of 2.1 was reported approximately 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) south of Blowing Rock at 12:55 a.m. Sunday. The report put together by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that the quake occurred at an approximate depth of 4.8 kilometers (2.99 miles) below the earth’s surface in Caldwell County. The USGS interactive map has an earthquake located in an area known as Winding Stairs Mountain, roughly three miles off of U.S. Highway 321 near the Happy Valley community. According to the USGS, earthquakes under a magnitude of 2.5 are rarely felt at the surface. The report for this quake has one resident that reported feeling it. By Nathan Ham / Read more…



  • High Country Toastmasters Celebrated Their 10th Anniversary in Boone with a Special Gathering


    October 7, 2019. On October 1st, High Country Toastmasters celebrated their 10th anniversary in Boone with a special gathering, and featured actor David Andrews as a guest speaker for the event. At a Toastmasters event, members learn by speaking to groups and working with others in a supportive environment. An average High Country Toastmasters club is made of around nine to twelve people who all meet once a week for just over an hour. Each meeting gives members the chance to: learn how to plan and conduct business meetings, give one-to-two-minute impromptu speeches about various topics, present prepared speeches, offer constructive evaluation, and interaction with a flexible learning program which gives you the option to pick which skills you want to focus on. By Colby Gable / Read more…



  • October Exhibits at Blue Ridge ArtSpace Feature the Work of Earl Davis and John Audish; 2nd Saturday Celebration to be Held October 12


    October 7, 2019. The Blue Ridge ArtSpace, a community arts hub filled with four galleries, classrooms, and a Gift Shop, is the home of the Watauga County Arts Council. During the month of October, the Main Gallery features the work of Earl Davis and John Audish. As an artist, Davis enjoys oil painting, focusing mostly on landscapes with a sprinkling of portraits and impressionism thrown in. However he also enjoys lamp working (glassblowing), piloting aircrafts, writing books, and still continues as an interim pastor after having retired from his career as a minister. He recently shared his work through the Artist in Residence Program at the Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock. John Audish has always loved to draw. During his military service, his quick sketch of General Westmoreland became the general’s favorite. After a military career, John became a businessman and lives in Hickory, NC with his wife Sandy. John’s work in watercolor and oil is found throughout the Carolinas.
    / Read more…



  • 64th Annual Farm City Banquet Happening November 7

    October 7, 2019 The 64th Annual Farm City Banquet will be held on Thursday, November 7 at 6 p.m. at the Boone United Methodist Church located on New Market Boulevard in Boone. The theme for this year’s banquet is “High Country Grown: Who’s Your Farmer?” to celebrate Watauga County’s farmers and the community and town folk that support them. The banquet and awards ceremony is organized annually by the Town of Boone, ASU, and N.C. Cooperative Extension of Watauga County. This year, the program includes special guest Sheri Castle, award-winning professional food writer, cook and storyteller who hails from Watauga County, and music from Will Willis, a local singer & songwriter. Following a dinner supplied from local farms, awards will be presented to those in the farming, civic, and business community who have made significant contributions to the agricultural economy. Commodity groups also will award their respective producers of the year, and the Watauga Soil and Water District will present the Farm Family of the Year award. The Boone Chamber of Commerce will present the “Tuckwiller Award” to recognize achievements in Community Development in memory of the late Lake Ernest Tuckwiller, past Watauga County Farm Agent. / Read more…



  • Holiday Originals Artists Wanted for Blue Ridge ArtSpace; Application Deadline is October 19


    October 7, 2019. Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner with less than 80 days remaining until Christmas! To help local shoppers find unique, locally crafted, and unforgettable gifts, the Blue Ridge ArtSpace and Watauga County Arts Council are once again presenting Holiday Originals. They are seeking to add even more new work to this sales event and are inviting interested local artists to apply. The show will officially open on November 9th and will run until December 21st. The application deadline for artists who would like to participate in the event is October 19th. No participation fee is required, but participating artists must be (or become) current members of the Blue Ridge Art Space/Watauga County Arts Council. Membership allows artists to participate in this and many other offerings throughout the year and begins at $35. Commission rates range from 25% to 40% depending upon the level of volunteer participation of the artist. / Read more…



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