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28 - Mountain Times Publications

Thursday, June 28, 2018

An ‘event-full’ place Blowing Rock has celebrations all year long BY THOMAS SHERRILL

A few decades ago, Blowing Rock was known primarily as a summer destination. About 1,000 people lived year-round in Blowing Rock and its surrounding neighborhoods and life during the other three seasons was relatively uneventful. Not anymore. If anything, Blowing Rock has become an “event-full” place, with annual festivals and get-togethers occurring all year long. Get your hands on a calendar and a pen, because you’re going to need them. Here’s a sampler of what you can expect during a typical year in Blowing Rock:

WINTERFEST For four days each January, Blowing Rock invites the rest of the world to come and play in its winter wonderland. Events such as the Polar Plunge at Chetola Lake, the delicious WinterFeast dinner, the chili cookoff, wine tasting and auction, hayrides and ice-carving competition make Winterfest one of the top visitor draws of the entire year, enticing families to visit us again and again.

BLOWING ROCK’S BIRTHDAY Each year in March, local residents get together at Town Hall and celebrate Blowing Rock’s birthday. First incorporated in 1890, the town celebrated its 128th birthday in 2018. During the celebration, the presentation of new historic markers takes place and distinctive plaques are given to buildings and places that have made our town so special all these years.

TROUT DERBY No town celebrates the opening of trout season like Blowing Rock. Each year in

FILE PHOTO Foggy and rainy conditions greeted more than 140 jumpers, many in costume, who took park in the WinterFest Polar Plunge in January 2018.

April the town invites new and experienced anglers to take part in the Blowing Rock Trout Derby, held at Broyhill Lake, Bass Lake, Trout Lake, Price Lake and on the Middle Fork of the New River. Trophies and other prizes are awarded for first fish caught, biggest fish, and other categories. It’s the perfect way to start a new hobby or keep up with an old one.

EASTER FESTIVAL Some of Blowing Rock’s annual events are aimed at giving our youngest citizens a chance to have fun and enjoy themselves. The Blowing Rock Easter Festival features fun and games at the Parks and Recreation building, a chance to have pictures taken with the

Easter Bunny, and a giant Easter egg hunt in Blowing Rock Memorial Park.

SAVOR BLOWING ROCK Formerly the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival, Savor Blowing Rock is a four-day foray into the world of fine dining, wine, brews and cocktails. Now held in Blowing Rock in early May, Savor has become one of the largest such events in the state. The festival, presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, features the Grand Tasting, wine and food workshops, live music events and much more.

ART IN THE PARK For more than 55 years, Art in the Park has been Blowing Rock’s monthly

gathering of between 80100 artists along Park Avenue in downtown between May and October. During the height of the summer season, Art in the Park features nearly 100 artist booths and is visited by almost 7,000 people looking for that one of a kind gift or keepsake. Free shuttle services from parking lots at Tanger and Food Lion in Blowing Rock is offered during the event. Art in the Park is presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.

honey and bakery products from Watauga and the surrounding counties.

In conjunction with Art in the Park weekends, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce hosts a number of free concerts in Blowing Rock Memorial Park the Sunday after Art in the Park. These shows always attract a crowd and feature everything from steel drum bands to Oktoberfest bands. Shows start at 4 p.m.

the longest continuously running annual horse show in the eastern half of the country, running strong for more than 90 years. This event brings horse lovers to town for three weeks each summer and the usually quiet Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve becomes its own little town filled with competition and pageantry. The first week in early June features Saddlebred competition, while the final two weeks in July and August are devoted to Hunters and Jumpers.




The Blowing Rock Farmers Market is held on Park Avenue from 4-6 p.m. every Thursday between May and October. Enjoy some of the finest vegetables, meat,

Named one of the Top 10 hunter shows in the country by the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame, the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is home to

Every June 19, folks gather at the Edgewood Cottage on the corner of Ginny Stevens Lane and



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Blowing Rock My Hometown 2018  

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