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Weekend Roundup: Things to Do This Weekend in the High Country; Check ‘em Out, Make Plans Dec. 20-22

by Madison V. Fisler

Dec. 20, 2013. The High Country has so many exciting events to offer its community and visitors, especially as the blustery Christmas season is already upon us. 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 what’s playing this week at the movies here

Festival of Lights: Chetola Resort’s annual Festival of Lights will continue through the holidays until Jan. 26. The “Festival of Lights” features thousands of brilliant illuminations weaving throughout the resort.  As you drive around scenic Chetola Lake, view illuminated ice skaters, “Rudolf” catching a big fish, strolling carolers and many more captivating holiday scenes all done up in lights. 

Christmas Story Walk: The Downtown Boone Development Association and the Watauga County Library are once again partnering to bring a special Holiday StoryWalk to Downtown Boone for the month of December. Pages of the StoryWalk will be displayed in the store windows of downtown businesses. The StoryWalk begins at the library then moves down Depot St. and back up W. King St. Participants are encouraged to visit Youth Services at the Library to pick up their map. If the Library is not open families can still enjoy the StoryWalk by following the directional signs attached to the story book pages.

GOTR Registration: Local girls in grades 3 through 8 are invited to participate in Girls on the Run of the High Country (GOTR).  Registration for the spring session is open now at www.gotr.appstate.edu . The program will begin the week of Feb. 3, 2014. For more information about Girls on the Run of the High Country, visit www.gotr.appstate.edu to learn more. 

Carlton Gallery: The 31st Winter Group Exhibition continues as Carlton Gallery celebrates this beautiful holiday season. Gallery owner, Toni Carlton, extends an invitation for everyone to visit and enjoy fine art in a “Small Works” exhibition featuring original artwork in all mediums, styles and price ranges in a stress free environment with attentive service. To view the article on this event, click here

Friday, Dec. 20

Fresh Friday: The Appalachian Terrain Park (ATP) at Appalachian Ski Mtn. has been drawing huge crowds to their signature event, Fresh Fridays, since the event first began in 2006 due to the tireless effort of their design and build team who has been pushing the limits of the North Carolina terrain park scene over the last few years with cutting-edge custom designs. To view the article on this event, click here

Caroling at the Boone Mall: A Bethlehem & Beyond Annual Event. Local choirs/music groups to sing Christmas carols & music for shoppers and visitors. Follow the music to the location….you can’t miss it! Be ready to sing along with your favorite Christmas carols.

Christmas Play: A Christmas play will take place at 6 p.m. Dec. 20 at Shulls Mills Baptist Church, located off N.C. 105 near the entrance to Hound Ears resort.

Lions Club Dance: Friday Night Chilhowie Lions Club Dance – For a great time, fellowship and clean family fun, come listen and dance to the music of a different band every Friday night(7:30-10:30).

Saturday, Nov. 21

Breakfast with Mrs. Claus: Enjoy breakfast with Mrs. Claus at Beech Mountain on Dec. 21. A light breakfast will be served free of charge, but donations are appreciated.  This holiday event is family friendly, and will take place at 9 a.m. at the Buckeye Recreation Center.  For more information, please call 828-387-3003.

Christmas Expo: “Last Minute Christmas Shopping Expo” will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 21 at Faith Fellowship Church in Jefferson. Vendors will include   Paparazzi, Decadent By Design, Pampered Chef, 31, Times Past Toys, VintageMe! Dcor, Our Heart’s Desires, Magnetabilities, Mountain Man Wood Designs, Tastefully Simple, Pink Zebra and more. Doors will open at 11 a.m. and there is no entry fee. Gift wrapping will be available for a donation to the Train up a Child Ministries Youth Program. 

Immanuel: The Promise: Mark your calendars and join SHINE Dance Ensemble for our 4th annual Christmas production, Immanuel: The Promise. The story of the birth of Christ comes to life through music, dance, and pageantry and the full reason for the birth of Immanuel is revealed in the second act, “She will give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel which means God with us.” (Matthew 1:23) Saturday, December 21st at 7:00pm at the Ashe Civic Center. Admission is free; a love offering will be gratefully received. For more information or to reserve seats please contact shinedanceensemble516@gmail.com or visit www.shinede.org.

LongJohn Carolers: Area residents are invited to join in the 41st annual Gathering of the Long John Carolers on Dec. 21. The group will meet at the Horn in the West parking lot in Boone at 5 p.m. and go immediately from there for a night of caroling around town. Each December in Boone for the past 40 years, a  group of folks have donned scarves, toboggans and long underwear to go out and spread cheer among people caught up in the last-minute Christmas rush. 

WordKeepers: The next Wordkeepers event will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Ashe County Arts Council at 303 W. School St., West Jefferson. At 3 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 22

Winter Tree Identification Hike: Participants will learn how to identify local trees without the aid of leaves by learning differences in bark, limb, bud and branching patterns. Participants are encouraged to bring field guides to local trees. Program will last approximately two hours and hike 2 to 2.5 miles. Difficulty: Easy

Retreat: International spiritual leader and the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, will host a weeklong, “An Enlightening Holiday with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,” Dec. 22 to 29 at the Art of Living Retreat Center in Boone.