September 19, 2023 VALLE CRUCIS, NC — “The Fair was an idea that came from our beloved Polly Capps,” said Dedy Traver, a Holy Cross Church member and worker bee for the first Fair. “A small group of parishioners sat on the porch of Bob & Polly Capps’ house to do some brainstorming. Whenever Polly came up with an idea, we knew it would happen AND we would have to work!”
August 21, 2023 VALLE CRUCIS, NC — The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of Holy Cross Church in Valle Crucis are holding a “Hidden Treasures” sale in the church parish hall at 122 Skiles Way, Banner Elk on Saturday, August 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Benefitting the mission work of the church, the sale is designed to be an organized, well-curated version of the rummage sales that the churchwomen hosted in the past.
June 26, 2023 Find women doing outstanding work in their field via Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, a female-led organization dedicated to fostering a sustainable and fair food scene in the High Country. To do this, the organization bolsters local producers and creates connections among the community that contribute to knowledge and excitement of eating farm-grown food—ultimately upping the local demand and desire for local fare. By Anna Beth Adcock
April 24, 2023 Valle Crucis- On Saturday, May 13, 2023, friends, family, and members of the public will gather to celebrate what would have been flatfoot dance legend Robert Dotson’s 100th birthday. The event at the Historic Apple Barn in Valle Crucis, NC, will feature workshops, a documentary film showing, a potluck supper, a square dance, and performances by the Green Grass Cloggers.
March 15, 2023 The Watauga County Board of Education’s Monday, March 13, meeting was highlighted by the announcement of a new assistant superintendent and an update on the new Valle Crucis School. Dr. Chris Blanton, current principal of Watauga High School, will replace Stephen Martin who is retiring at the end of June. Blanton’s tenure will start on July 1. “I believe he is very well qualified for this role,” superintendent Scott Elliot said. “I have the highest confidence in him. He is extremely accomplished and skilled and understands our culture and process.” By Zack Hill
February 20, 2023 BOONE, NC — Valle Crucis School Principal Dr. Bonnie Smith has been named Watauga County Schools 2023-24 Principal of the Year. Smith was presented the award by a group of family, peers and Watauga County Schools staff in a surprise visit to her school February 20. Smith said she was honored to have been recognized by Watauga County’s other school principals across the district with the award.
February 1, 2023 BOONE, NC –The 2023 class of the Watauga Leadership Institute kicked off their coursework with an all-day retreat at Valle Crucis Conference Center January 25th. The event marks the beginning of a 12-week community development program that includes 44 total participants between two cohorts. Courtesy of Boone Area Chamber of Commerce
October 10, 2022 VALLE CRUCIS, NC — For 44 years the Valle Country Fair has been honored that country, gospel, folk, and bluegrass groups from all parts of the High Country have given up a mid-October Saturday to provide the soundtrack that makes the overgrown church bazaar an authentic celebration of mountain life expressed through crafts, food and music.
October 7, 2022 We all know that food is a huge draw to most festivals, but there’s just something extraordinary about the food that goes hand-in-hand with a country fair. Valle Country Fair, always held on the third Saturday in October —and falling this year on Saturday, Oct. 15 — is no exception, and as one of the state’s premiere events, attracts thousands of visitors from near and far. By Sherrie Norris
August 29, 2022 “Tennessee’s Premier Traditional Irish Band,” Four Leaf Peat from Knoxville in the Volunteer State, will make their highly-anticipated return engagement to the High Country as part of the Summer Concert Series at historic St. John’s Church in Valle Crucis at 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 4, 2022. It will mark their first performance since they dazzled a standing-room-only audience in 2018.
August 15, 2022 VALLE CRUCIS, NC — The Episcopal Church Women of Holy Cross Church in Valle Crucis are holding a “Hidden Treasures” Sale in the church parish hall at 122 Skiles Way, Banner Elk on Saturday, August 27 from 9 am to 3 pm. Benefitting the mission work of the church, the sale is designed to be an organized, well-curated version of the rummage sales that the churchwomen hosted in the past.
July 25, 2022. The popular Summer Concert Series at historic St. John’s Church in Valle Crucis continues in early August with a performance by the Raleigh Flute Choir. The highly-acclaimed chamber music ensemble, based in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, will be marking their debut performance on the concert series.
The eight member ensemble graces the chancel at St. John’s at 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 7, 2022. It will be their farewell concert immediately prior to the group’s departure for Chicagowhere they will be performing at the National Flute Association’s Annual Convention.
March 3, 2022. The Valle Crucis Community Park has hired Gardner Hoover as its new Executive Director, effective mid-February. Hoover has lived in Watauga County since 1996, when he moved to Boone from Roanoke, Virginia to study at Appalachian State University, drawn to the area in part by his love of the North Carolina mountains and all the outdoor recreation opportunities in the High Country. He completed a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management with a minor in Appropriate Technology in 2001. Following his graduation, Gardner worked for Project Challenge North Carolina, a wilderness therapy program administered through the state’s Juvenile Justice Prevention Council, for about seven years. In this role he worked with teens from around the state, working first as a wilderness guide and eventually running the program. Since that time, Hoover has worked in a variety of capacities in the area, including significant involvement with non-profit agencies. He was part of WAMY Community Action’s Weatherization program for seven years. He has been affiliated with the local Habitat for Humanity organization for over 17 years, first as a volunteer, later as a board member and, most recently, as manager of Habitat Restore of Boone, a job he held for five years until accepting the position at Valle Crucis Park.
October 12, 2021. The Valle Country Fair is back after a “virtual” fair last year due to COVID-19 and will feature around 150 craft exhibitors for the 43rd year of the event. Each year, the fair takes place on the third Saturday of October on the grounds of the Valle Crucis Conference Center off of Highway 194. As always, admission to the event is free and parking is $10 per vehicle. Locals and tourists alike gather in Valle Crucis each fall for the fair, and after a year off from the traditional event, people are ready to get back out to one of the most popular fall events in Watauga County. “The fair is so much about community and community celebration. Being together is a really important part of that experience. You don’t get that full sensation of community without connecting with other human beings,” said Catherine Morton, who helps organize the event each year. By Nathan Ham
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
August 14, 2019. The historic town of Valle Crucis is soon to be home to a brand new school. The location of that school, however, has raised the eyebrows of several residents and town visitors over the proposed location on the Hodges property that the Watauga County Schools currently has under contract. The property is located within roughly a quarter of a mile of the current Valle Crucis School, but according to Lyle Schoenfeldt, the former owner and operator of Mast Farm Inn, the property is within 100 feet of the inn and is within similar flood plain constraints as the current school that has had to deal with its own fair share of flooding over the years. Lyle and his wife owned the inn from 1996 until 2006. By Nathan Ham
June 10, 2019. Steady rains arrived on Thursday and hung around the High Country all weekend long, bringing along with it some serious flooding issues in Watauga, Avery and Ashe counties. Many roads were closed and even some of the main highways in and out of Boone had brief lane closures, including Highway 421 in Deep Gap where a mudslide closed one lane. One of the hardest hit areas in Watauga County was Valle Crucis where approximately seven inches of rain fell and left much of the Valle Crucis Community Park underwater. and many side roads closed. Valle Crucis Elementary School was also hit hard again in the storm as is typical for large rainfall events such as this one. “We saw impacts from this weekend’s storms across the county affecting several of our schools in different ways. Valle Crucis was affected most directly. We saw flooding there that’s unfortunately very typical for this type of storm at that school. Several classrooms in the lower lying areas of the school were flooded with groundwater,” said Garrett Price, Director of Communications for Watauga County Schools. By Nathan Ham
April 24, 2018. Valle Crucis Community Park will offer masks and snorkels for visitors to explore local waterways this summer, thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. The snorkels were provided by Two World Divers of Boone, and will be available for checkout from the park office. According to Kevin Hining, Northern Mountain Education Specialist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, “The snorkels will provide an excellent opportunity for park visitors to better explore the many unique aquatic critters in the Watauga River.” Snorkel users should exercise caution when moving rocks or other aquatic habitat so as not to disturb these vital ecosystems. “Moving too many rocks can change the environment in ways that could potentially harm delicate species such as salamanders and insect larvae. Carefully turning over rocks to see what lies beneath is the goal,” according to Andy Hill, Watauga Riverkeeper and Valle Crucis Community Park Board Member.
July 26, 2017.Valle Crucis Community Park is a local treasure in the High Country. “The Park,” is a nonprofit organization that survives on donations. All are encouraged to join in the community effort of supporting the Valle Crucis Community Park through the 34th Annual Valle Crucis Community Park Benefit Auction. There is a wide variety of donations from local stores, restaurants, retailers, artists, attractions, and so much more! All proceeds go to help maintain the park.
June 1, 2017. On Saturday, June 3, the Mast Stores in Boone and Valle Crucis will welcome the Blue Ridge Conservancy (Valle Crucis) and the New River Conservancy (Boone) to the stores in celebration of Land Trust Day. Volunteers will answer questions about the organizations, and will offer information about the benefits of protecting land. Mast will donate 20% of the day’s sales to support conservation efforts.
May. 9, 2017. Visitors to Valle Crucis Community Park this spring will notice a new structure in the corner of the park behind the Visitors Center. It looks like a wooden chimney on metal legs and is designed to serve as a nest site for some of the park’s chimney swifts.
Sept. 19, 2016. Join Apple Hill Farm in discounted walking tours of the farm for the ‘Alpaca Farm Day’ this Saturday and Sunday. Guests will have the chance to get up close and personal with alpacas, llamas, guardian donkeys, angora goats, horses, and more! By Emily Willis
Sept. 21, 2016.Impressionist oil painter Amos Westmoreland is also a Colorist, and he’s bringing the colors of autumn into Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis with a new show, “All Nature Sings.” The public is invited to meet the artist and hear his story at the show’s opening reception on Saturday, September 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Aug. 17, 2016.Get ready to dance at the Apple Barn in Valle Crucis on Saturday, Aug. 20! Whether or not you know how to contra dance, everyone is encouraged and welcomed to come out and have a turn at it, starting with a beginners dancer workshop at 7:30 p.m. and the dancing continues from 8-11 p.m. By Emily Willis
July 21, 2016. As the weekend approaches and you find yourself searching for fun things to do, try checking out one of the High Country’s many free concerts! Several towns and organizations in the area host a weekly summer music series, and these events are perfect for relaxing on a summer evening, socializing with the community and listening to some great live music. See our guide below for details about this weekend’s concerts.