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Weekend Roundup: Things to Do This Weekend in the High Country; Check ‘em Out, Make Plans April 4-6

by Madison V. Fisler

April 4, 2014. The High Country has so many exciting events to offer its community and visitors. 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 Noah, click here.

A Part Equal: Appalachian’s Women’s Theatre Troupe presents this original work by ASU’s own theater lecturer and in-house mastermind Derek Davidson from April 4 to 6. “A Part Equal” explores the effect Shakespeare had on the lives and works of prominent women such as Virginia Woolf, Sarah Bernhardt, Fiona Shaw and Hallie Flanagan. This student-run production hits the stage at the intimate I.G. Greer Studio Theatre on ASU campus at 7 P.M. Friday and Saturday and 2 P.M. on Sunday. Tickets are $5 for students and faculty and $8 to the general public and are available at the door one half hour prior to each performance.

The Sound of Music: Watauga High School is putting the finishing touches on their production of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, their of choice spring musical for this year.  The curtains will rise in WHS’s Ross Auditorium April 3-5 at 7 p.m. For more information, click here

Appalachian Guitar Fest and Solo Competition: The 19th annual Appalachian Guitar Fest and Solo Guitar Competition will be held April 4-6 at Appalachian State University. This year’s featured artists are the Texas Guitar Quartet, Adam Kossler, the Aron/Berkner Duo an the competition’s Guitar Orchestra. For more information regarding this event, click here

Free Developmental Screenings: Parents of Watauga County children who will be 4 years old on Aug. 31, 2014 are urged to bring their child to a tree developmental screening available April 4-5 by appointment. Appointments can be scheduled by contacting Renee Battle at 828-264-7190 between now and April 2. On April 4, appointments will be offered from 7:45 a.m.-2:25 p.m. at four schools: Cove Creek, Green Valley, Hardin Park and Parkway. On April 5, appointments are available only at Hardin Park School between 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.watauga.k12.nc.us and choose the Parent Links heading. 

Grandfather Mountain Dollar Days: All those who work or live in Mitchell, Avery, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany or Wilkes counties, along with guests traveling in the same vehicle, can visit Grandfather Mountain for only $3 during April with proof of local employment or residency. The discount is also extended to students attending colleges and universities in the High Country. Please present a driver’s license, college ID, or local utility bill as proof of High Country residency. An employee identification badge or pay stub can be used to show employment at a High Country business.

Friday, April 4

International Art Night: International Art Night at Hardin Park, hosted by Hardin Park Elementary School, is a celebration of creative expression from all around the world including artwork, food, crafts, culture, performance and even a silent auction fundraiser. The event, held on April 4 from 5-8 p.m., is Hardin Park Elementary School’s second largest fundraiser of the year that is held every spring. For more information, click here.

First Friday Art Crawl: On Friday, April 4, downtown Boone will be taken over by the third Art Crawl of the year. Like always, this month’s crawl will feature food, drinks and live music with work and exhibitions from local artists. And as usual, everyone is invited to come out and enjoy some Friday night fun. If you’ve never experienced First Friday Art Crawl, here is your chance to get in on what the locals already know! Head on down to downtown Boone and enjoy a Friday night out on the town. For the First Friday Art Crawl listings, click here.  

Free Tax Assistance at the Public Library: The Watauga County Public Library is proud to participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (V.I.T.A.) program. V.I.T.A. is an I.R.S. grant supported initiative which offers free income tax help to people making $52,000 a year or less. All volunteer tax preparers are certified and have received training to prepare basic tax returns.

F.A.R.M. Cafe Benefit: Join F.A.R.M. (Feed All Regardless of Means) Café on Friday, April 4, for it’s latest fundraising event. Harvest House in Boone will host the affair from 7pm-11pm that will include food, live music, dancing, raffles, and auctions. Not only will this be a great way to support the Cafe’s fight against hunger in the High Country, but also a “Real. Good. Party!” For more information about this event, click here

Brown Mountain Lights Film Screening: Coming soon to a theater near you: North Carolina’s mysterious Brown Mountain Lights. The lights, a natural phenomenon seen for centuries near their namesake mountain, play an integral role in Alien Abduction, a highly-anticipated sci-fi thriller hitting the big screens April 4. The independent movie was filmed in Burke, Avery and Watauga Counties in 2011 and will hold its world premiere Tuesday, April 1 at Marquee Cinemas in Downtown Morganton.

Trash N’ Fashion Show: Trash n’ Fashion is a runway show where designers are tasked with making something beautiful out of a business’s refuse. Items like paper, plastic and other dumpster-bound items are remade and repurposed into incredible pieces of wearable art, and all benefitting a great cause. The runway event will take place during the April First Friday Art Crawl in Downtown Boone on April 4. For more information regarding this event, click here. 

GOP Lincoln-Reagan Fundraiser: The Watauga County Republican Party holds its Lincoln-Reagan Day Fundraising Dinner on Friday, April 4, at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock. RSVP by March 31. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a social, and at 7 p.m. the dinner and evening’s program – which includes a 50/50 raffle, pie auction and other fun – starts. For more information about this event, click here

Spring Wildflower Hike: On Friday, April 4 at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 8 at 10 a.m. and Thursday, April 10 at 2 p.m., Friday, April 18 at 10 a.m., Sunday, April 20 at 5 p.m., Tuesday, April 22 at 1 p.m, Wednesday, April 23 and Thursday, April 24 Wednesday, April 23 at 1 p.m. the moist, rich coves surrounding the Profile Trail produce an astonishing array of spring wildflowers. Join a park ranger in weekly explorations of the trail to see what new spring flowers have emerged. Wear sturdy hiking boots, bring a jacket, water and snacks.

Environmental Humanities Symposium: An Environmental Humanities Symposium will be held Friday, April 4 at Appalachian State University in Plemmons Student Union’s Price Lake Room. Sponsored by the university’s Humanities Council, the day-long symposium begins at 9 a.m. with opening remarks followed by a keynote address by New York University Professor Dale Jamieson who will speak on “Ethics in the Anthropocene.”

ASU Spring Game: Saturday’s scrimmage was Appalachian State’s second of the spring and was held in a steady downpour. Head coach Scott Satterfield said that he and his staff decided to hold the two-hour scrimmage in the rain as opposed to inside the Sofield Indoor Practice Facility to give Appalachian’s young squad experience with game-like conditions in inclement weather. For more information click here

Beer Camp at the Blowing Rock Ale House: Stay at the Blowing Rock Ale House for Beer Camp and experience a weekend full of fun! Your package includes a room for the weekend, a gift certificate to the Ale House Restaurant, and a class with our Blowing Rock Ale brewer in the on-site brewery. For more information about this event, click here

Saturday, April 5

Blowing Rock Trout Derby: The 35th Annual Blowing Rock Trout Derby will take place in and around North Carolina’s Prettiest Small Town on Saturday, April 5 from sunrise to 4:30 p.m. First-place winners will receive trophies in five divisions: Men, Women, Girls (12-14), Boys (12-14) and Small Fries (11 and under). No entry fees are required and no preregistration is necessary. For more information about this event click here

Journal Making Workshop: The Watauga County Arts Council is sponsoring a creative journal making workshop for girls ages 13 to 17 under the leadership of instructor Lexie Danner. It will take place at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace at 377 Shadowline Drive in Boone from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 5. The fee is  $20 for a three-hour session with a $5 material fee.

Free the Optimus at Boone Saloon: Free the Optimus will be back at Boone Saloon on April 5, playing yet another show in the High Country with Toon and The Real Laww. The show will take place at Boone Saloon on King Street at 10 p.m. The show is for guests 21 and up and there is a $5 cover charge for the night. Free the Optimus is a hip hop collective of artists with emcees who provide vocal content, producers who offer layering, singers, live musicians and visual artists. For more information regarding this event, click here

Trail Work Day at Elk Knob State Park: Every Saturday beginning April 5 and running through the middle of November except for Sept. 13, staff and volunteers will meet at the Summit Trailhead at 9 a.m. and work until approximately 3:30 p.m., 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.

MS Walk Wilkesboro: Walk MS connects people living with multiple sclerosis and those who care about them. It is an experience unlike any other – a day to come together, to celebrate the progress we’ve made and to show the power of our connections.

Spring Exhibition Celebration: The Turchin Center opens its doors for the Spring Exhibition Celebration on the first Friday of April as part of downtown Boone’s First Friday Art Crawl. Mark your calendars for the biggest art party to kick off spring in the High Country, where art lovers can “engage, discover and connect” through the arts!

Program at Mt. Jefferson State Park: Mount Jefferson State Natural Area in Ashe County will hold a free program on Mount Jefferson geology at 2 p.m. April 5; meet at the picnic shelter. Meet a ranger for a 1.3-mile hike. Bring a coat and wear sturdy shoes.

Democratic Convention: The  annual county convention of the Watauga County Democratic Party will convene at noon on April 5 in the lobby of Courtroom No. 1 for the traditional pre-convention potluck luncheon and delegate check-in. The convention program will begin in the courtroom at 1 p.m., with party Chairwoman Diane Tilson presiding.  Keynoting this year will be Sharon Breitenstein, a 34-year veteran teacher from Watauga County who will speak on the topic of “Being an Upstander for Public Education, Not a Bystander.” The convention will also hear from Democrats who are on the ballot this year and will consider several resolutions submitted from the precincts.

Sunday, April 6

Farm to Table Dinner: The New River Organic Growers (NROG) will offer High Country residents and visitors a unique culinary experience on April 6 at The New Public House in Blowing Rock. The New Public House will host six renowned local chefs in a dinner fundraiser for NROG, where each chef will prepare one of six courses for dinner guests from locally grown produce. And the best part is that guests will get to meet the farmers providing the ingredients for the meal. For more information, click here

Brass Ensemble Performance: An April 6 concert at Appalachian State University features brass chamber ensembles from the Hayes School of Music. The 6 p.m. performance will be held in Broyhill Music Center’s Recital Hall. Admission is free. The program includes “Suite from the Monteregian Hills” by Morley Calvert, an arrangement of “Nice Work If You Can Get It” by George Gershwin, the overture to “Ruslan and Ludmila” by Mikhail Glinka, Contrapunctus IX from “Art of Fugue” by J.S. Bach and “Quintet No. 3, Op. 11″ by Victor Ewald. The student musicians are Omar Colon and Christopher Jackson Jr., euphoniums; Courtney Russ and Doug Poteat, horn; Josh Louie and Reece Jennings, trombone; Matthew Dickson, Jason Grimes, David Marvel and Mitchell Townley, trumpet; and Stephanie Lumpkin and Chris Dylan Scaringelli, tuba.