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Irish Band ‘Four Leaf Peat’ to conclude Summer Concert Series at St. John’s – Celtic Music Quartet Performs at 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 4th

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.

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Hidden Treasure Sale Saturday, August 27 at Holy Cross Episcopal Church Valle Crucis

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.

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Raleigh Flute Choir Next Summer Concert Series Event at St. John’s Acclaimed Chamber Ensemble Performs on Sunday, August 7th

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.

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Valle Crucis Community Park Welcomes New Executive Director Gardner Hoover


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. 

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Valle Country Fair Returns for the 43rd Year This Saturday with Crafts, Music, Food and More; Over $1 Million Put Back Into the Valle Crucis Community

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

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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

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Valle Crucis Visitors and Residents Share Concerns About Possible New School Location


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

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Heavy Rains Across the High Country Cause Major Flooding Issues Over the Weekend


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

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Get Your Head Wet at Valle Crucis Community Park; American Fisheries Grant Promotes Aquatic Exploration

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.

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34th Annual Valle Crucis Community Park Benefit Auction Held August 26 at the Apple Barn


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. 

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Mast General Store of Boone and Valle Crucis to Host Land Trust Day this Saturday, June 3

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.

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SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: Alpaca Farm Day Tours at Apple Hill Farm

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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

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Summer Concerts in the High Country: Your Guide to Enjoying Free Live Music This Weekend

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.

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Explore the Outdoor Labyrinth at Valle Crucis Conference Center at March 18 Retreat

March 10, 2016. Have you ever wanted to check out the breathtaking grounds of the Valle Crucis Conference Center? Here’s your chance. Located on more than 450 acres of wooded mountains and farmland, the campus is centered on the historic Mission School and draws in many large and small groups of guests every year. Its countless programs, safe housing, healthy food, reasonable costs and beautiful grounds make it a great place for retreats and get-togethers, but you’ll have a chance to see it for yourself at the Lenten Labyrinth Walk on Friday, March 18. This one-day retreat will take you on a “modern-day pilgrimage” and teach you how the simple outdoor labyrinth on campus can be used to transform your Lenten experience. The Rev. Rebecca Husband-Maynard of Stacking Stones Ministry, an ordained minister in the Baptist tradition, will lead the labyrinth walk.

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Coopers Donate 21 Acres of Pristine Valle Crucis Farmland to Blue Ridge Conservancy

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Jan. 7, 2016. Local residents and conservation advocates John and Faye Cooper recently donated to the Blue Ridge Conservancy more than 20 acres of pristine Valle Crucis farmland, ensuring the property’s future as a valuable part of the community and an educational resource. The Coopers, owners of The Mast General Store, purchased the property in two parcels — the first in the early 1990s and the second almost 10 years later — and knew from the beginning that they needed to protect the land. By Jessica Isaacs.

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