Start Your Engines: 39th Annual High Country Crank Up set for July 26-28

Published Friday, July 27, 2018 at 7:57 am

By Nathan Ham

The Carolina Fly-Wheelers are back for the 39th Annual High Country Crank Up on U.S. Highway 421 in between Boone and Deep Gap.

Each year, antique engines, tractors and other farm equipment are celebrated as a piece of history in a region where farming has been such an important part of the heritage.

“It’s a neat show that has been going on for a lot of years. People come from all over to see this stuff and it’s really interesting for just about anybody,” said Lynn Castle, who is one of the many volunteers helping to organize the annual event. “It’s so interesting, yet it’s not something everyone thinks about with these 100-year-old engines. Electricity kind of made them obsolete, but before that, people had to have those engines for pumps, mills, grinders, lots of things that use electric motors now.”

This year’s event is scheduled for July 26-28 with gates opening each day at 9 a.m. There will be numerous exhibits, vendors and food available as well. Handmade crafts will also be available for purchase as part of the three-day event.

“People like to keep some of the old stuff alive, we’ll have maybe a couple hundred different engines there,” said Mack Hodges, who also helps organize the High Country Crank Up. “If the weather is good, we have a pretty good turnout most of the time.”

The admission cost is $5 for one day, $6 for a two-day pass or $8 for all three days. Children 12 and under get in free and senior citizens can get in on Friday for just $3.

Primitive on-site camping spots are available for those that are visiting the High Country and want to stay on the grounds of the event. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

This annual event is sponsored by the Carolina Fly-Wheelers, a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the history and tradition of antique gas-powered engines, tractors and other farm equipment.

“With the old farm equipment and old gas engines, we’ve usually got anything from the 1900s on up to the 1940s,” said Hodges. “Some people are getting into old tractors and we have a few old tractors there as well built in the 1930s and on up.”

Castle says that one of the biggest selling points of coming to this event is the mountain air.

“People want to get away from that hot air down the mountain. I always tell people to bring a jacket with them for when it gets dark,” Castle said.

He added that hooded sweatshirts are always a big seller at the event with people coming from other warmer places buying those to try and stay warm when the sun goes down.

The event will take place across from Laurel Springs Baptist Church on U.S. Highway 421.

For more information on the High Country Crank Up, call Betty Hodges at 828-264-4977, Mack Hodges at 828-964-0049 or Lynn Castle at 828-964-2945. Information about the Carolina Fly-Wheelers can be found on their Facebook page.

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