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2020

Retail ∙ Entertainment ∙ Restaurants ∙ Events ∙ Important Numbers Utilities ∙ The Chamber of Commerce ∙ Civic Groups and Much More! Supplement to


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BLOWING ROCK MY HOMETOWN

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Letter from the Mayor

Letter from the Chamber

Welcome to our fine town of Blowing Rock. In 2019, our community was involved with the major reconstruction of Sunset Drive, which was an inconvenience to some of our businesses. Now in 2020 we are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which will change how we travel and socialize. Unfortunately, many events have been canceled, but in Blowing Rock we are blessed to have many outdoor venues, including Memorial Park, Broyhill Park, Glen Burney trail, Bass Lake trails, Robbins Community Swimming Pool and Price Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Summer of 2020 will mark the completion of the new playground for our children in Memorial Park, and the Blowing Rock Historical Society will complete the renovations to the 1888 Museum, providing new exhibits and addressing ADA accessibility. Despite COVID-19, the majority of our restaurants and retail businesses are open and looking forward to serving your needs. During your visit to Blowing Rock, I hope you will enjoy every moment and observe the guidelines for social distancing, wearing masks and frequent

Resident or visitor, I am sure you are familiar with the charm of Blowing Rock. Our historic Main Street area is a picturesque backdrop for our community. The Village of Blowing Rock has been serving guests for more than 125 years. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce started a partnership with The Blowing Charles Hardin Rocket to produce “Blowing Rock My Hometown” in 2010. The goal of this publication is to showcase all Blowing Rock has to offer year-round. From shopping, fine dining,

PHOTO BY ABBY WHITT Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers stands in Memorial Park, which received new playground equipment in 2020.

hand washing. We will get through this unfortunate situation and be stronger and smarter in the future. Charlie Sellers Blowing Rock mayor

outdoor recreation and events our town has myriad things to do. For the outdoor enthusiasts, the cool summer temperatures, the beautiful fall colors, the spectacular springtime rhododendrons and the winter sports offer many opportunities to safely enjoy the great outdoors. Blowing Rock is bordered on three sides by protected federal park land. The Chamber has been supporting the Blowing Rock business community since 1927. We take pride in our members and their commitment to being the best that Western North Carolina has to offer. Please join us at one of the Chamber’s signature events: Art in the Park, select Saturdays May through October, Symphony by the Lake in late summer and WinterFest in January. Charles Hardin Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce President/CEO

On the cover: A family excursion in Blowing Rock, photo courtesy of Todd Bush Blowing Rock TDA.


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Important numbers of Blowing Rock (All numbers reside within the 828 area code, except where noted) Any Emergency 911 Blowing Rock Police Department (non-emergency) 295-5210 Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue (non-emergency) 548-2800 Blowing Rock Urgent Care 572-4706 Blowing Rock Chamber (800) 295-7851 Blowing Rock Post OfďŹ ce 295-3589 Blowing Rock Sewer Plant 295-5226 Blowing Rock Water Plant 295-5225 Blowing Rock Town Hall 295-5200 Grover Robbins Poll Complex 229-7525 Parks and Recreation 295-5222 Blowing Rock School 295-3204 Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge 386-3300 Harriet and Charles Davant Medical Clinic 386-3350 Village Pharmacy 295-3482 U.S. 321 Widening Hotline 964-3260 High Country Council of Governments 265-5434 High Country Workforce Development 265-5434 Blue Ridge Energy 264-8894 High Country Host/Welcome Center (800) 438-7500 Appalachian Energy 262-3637 Carolina West Wireless (336) 973-5000 Spectrum Business (888) 692-8635 Skyline Membership Corporation 963-1350

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PHOTO BY ABBY WHITT The Blowing Rock Police Department is located at 143 Park Avenue in Blowing Rock.

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PHOTO BY J. SCOTT GRAHAM 2019 Moses Cone Manor is a history-rich estate along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The home was completed in 1901 to be a summer residence for Moses and Bertha Cone.

Blowing Rock: 131 years of history BY ABBY WHITT

Now sitting on 3.05 square miles of land tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the town of Blowing Rock was founded in 1889 with a population totaling 300, according to Blue Ridge Heritage, a regional organization that was created in 2003 to recognize the unique character of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are several natural attractions near Blowing Rock, including the Blue Ridge Parkway and Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, which is named after a textile entrepreneur who moved to Blowing Rock with his wife, Bertha. Moses Cone was a notable conservationist who advocated for protecting the land and ecosystems of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which included constructing and annually stocking Bass Lake on the Cone estate, before his death in 1908. His and Bertha’s home, Flat Top Manor, named after Flat Top Mountain, began undergoing renovations in 2017 to begin replacing worn fixtures including windows, columns and banisters, courtesy of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority. The renovations are continuing this summer, but there is still much to see at the manor and on the

estate. The 2019 Denim Ball, hosted by the foundation and TDA, took place at the manor for the first time and raised more than $200,000 to refurbish the home. The annual event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Local talent is showcased around every corner in Blowing Rock, including several established art galleries such as the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, Historic Martin House Gallery, Crown Gallery and Main Street Gallery. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce hosts monthly Art in the Park events to appreciate and showcase local artists, and each Sunday following Art in the Park are Concerts in the Park to highlight musicians. Locally owned retail stores and restaurants line both sides of Main Street in Blowing Rock, offering something for everyone, both residents and visitors alike, and an undeniable charm Each winter, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce hosts WinterFest, a four-day event complete with a Polar Plunge, Winter Fashion Show with local retailers and WinterFeast, a cruise-style dinner provided by local restaurants. In 2019, according to N.C. Hometown Locator, the population of Blowing Rock was 3,245.

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Award-winning Blowing Rock BY ABBY WHITT

The town of Blowing Rock’s attention to detail and preservation of history has won the town several notable awards from state and national publications, including Our State Magazine, USA Today and Southern Living. Blowing Rock was listed as one of USA Today’s “Best Small Towns for Adventure” in 2019 for the second consecutive year. “Those looking for a mountain escape have been coming to Blowing Rock since the 1880s. Today, this North Carolina village sits directly on the Blue Ridge Parkway and serves as a gateway to adjacent Pisgah National Forest,” stated USA Today. Blowing Rock received a 5-star rating and special recognition in September of 2018 during the annual America in Bloom National Awards program that took place in Lexington, Ky. Earlier that year, in July, Stephen Patagas and Laurie Potier-Brown, America in Bloom judges, spent two days touring the town and meeting ȯcials, residents and volunteers that keep Blowing Rock oral. “All program participants were evaluat-

PHOTO BY LISE JENKINS 2018 Blowing Rock is often recognized for its beautification, especially in its Main Street area.

ed on seven criteria: overall impression, community vitality, environmental efforts, heritage celebration, urban forestry, landscaped areas and owers,” said the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce in a statement announcing the town’s achievement. “Additionally, they were

judged on their community involvement across municipal, residential and commercial sectors. America in Bloom is the only national awards program that sends specially trained judges to personally visit participants. Each participant receives a detailed written evaluation that can be

used as a guide for future improvements.” In April 2018, Blowing Rock was named by Southern Living as one of “The South’s Best Small Towns In Every State 2018,” stating that the town “is named for the famous Blowing Rock, where you can drop a handkerchief and it will either oat away or blow right back to you because of an unusual air current.” Travel + Leisure named Blowing Rock’s Westglow Resort and Spa as one of the top spa resorts in the nation in 2017, as well as naming Blowing Rock “One of America’s Prettiest Winter Towns” in 2012. In 2013, Blue Ridge Country awarded Blowing Rock a number of readers’ choice awards, including Platinum for Art in the Park/Best Arts/crafts Show, Gold for Best Main Street and Silver for Best Arts Town and Best Shopping. Competitors in the same category included towns from Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. Additionally, in 2013, Blowing Rock was named on a list of “Great Places in North Carolina” for its Main Street area by the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association.

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BLOWING ROCK MY HOMETOWN

Celebrate summer with Art in the Park Blowing Rock’s Art in the Park events are monthly showcases of local and regional artistry displayed on Park Avenue in the town from May until October, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., hosted by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. A tradition that began in 1962, popular items that are regularly showcased include jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography and painting. According to the chamber, it “takes pride in working to support and showcase top talent over a variety of mediums at each show” and “the quality of work exhibited draws thousands to the area each month.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, which stretched into the summer of 2020, the Blowing Rock Chamber was making decisions about hosting the Art in the Park events on a month-by-month basis. “Art in the Park has become an integral part of the social and economic fabric of Blowing Rock. The chamber produces this event six times each season which brings thousands of art consumers to downtown. These visitors fill our hotels and restaurants, provide much

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

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FILE PHOTO Cristy Dunn of Mountain City, Tenn., poses with her art and her honorable mention ribbon at Blowing Rock’s Art in the Park on Oct. 5, 2019.

needed income for many non-profits, and considerable revenues for retailers in Blowing Rock” said Charles Hardin, president and CEO of the Blowing Rock Chamber. For the 2020 season, Art in the Park events are scheduled to take place on SEE ART ON PAGE 12

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Blowing Rock Art & History Museum BY ABBY WHITT abby.whitt@blowingrocket.com

Blowing Rock Art & History Museum memberships

The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum in Blowing Rock has been a hub of local artistry since its opening at its current location in 2011. The museum highlights the importance of Blowing Rock seasonal resident Elliot Daingerfield, who was a prominent figure in the American art scene at the turn of the 20th century, according to the gallery’s website. A statue of Daingerfield painting outside can be found at the front of the building, facing Edgewood Cottage, which was Daingerfield’s home in Blowing Rock. An art collector from Charlotte first began organizing the concept behind the museum in 1999 while trying to find a place to house his collection of Daingerfield’s work. The museum was incorporated in 2001. Now the museum hosts a number of regular programming events, including Coffee with a Curator, Scholars & Scones and Movies at the Museum. Currently on display in the galleries of BRAHM are exhibitions that are scheduled to last until the end of summer, but as of June 1, the museum is closed to the public due to COVID-19.

While admission to the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum is free, the gallery offers a paid membership option for discounts on some programming and events throughout the year. A membership also comes with a 10 percent gift shop discount. Memberships are separated by levels of yearly donation, from $10 per year to $500 per year. Additional information about BRAHM’s memberships and how to join, can be found at https:// www.blowingrockmuseum.org/membership.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WCU OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION Cherokee artist and educator Davy Arch poses with his ‘Seven Clans’ carving, which is set to be featured at BRAHM during the Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual: Tradition and Innovation exhibit that begins Aug. 29.

Terra Ludis: Play Ground “Terra Ludis: Play Ground” is in the Atwell Gallery until Nov. 28. The exhibition highlights outdoor recreation in the High Country captured by photographer Daniel Gajda, a Boone resident. The online exhibit features audio interviews with the 19 subjects of the photos, who

are largely High Country residents, and a map showcases recreational opportunities across the High Country. Branching Out: Works in Wood from North Carolina “Branching Out: Works in Wood from North Carolina,” which is on display until Aug. 9 in the Fort Gallery, is a collaborative exhibit

featuring artists across the state who work in wood both functionally and decoratively. Exhibiting artists include Roger Atkins, Derrick Beasley, Kim and Paul Fuelling, Mark Gardner, Aspen Golann, Craig Kassan, Jim Oleson, Brent Skidmore, Bob Trotman, Anthony Ulinski, Joël Urruty, Zak Weinberg and Erik Wolken, according to the exhibit page on the museum’s website. Philip Moose A permanent collection at BRAHM, “Philip Moose” is displayed on the second floor of the museum. Philip Moose is a late Blowing Rock resident of more than three decades who received the Pulitzer Prize in 1948, SEE BRAHM ON PAGE 12

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BRAHM CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

according to BRAHM’s website, and was awarded “dozens of awards for his teaching art and paintings.” Two upcoming exhibitions are previewed on the museum website: “Marjorie & Louis” and “Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual: Tradition and Innovation.” Marjorie & Louis “Marjorie & Louis” is a collection of photos expected to be displayed beginning in “summer 2020,” according to the BRAHM website, but no definitive date is set. The photos tell the love story of Marjorie Daingerfield, Elliot Daingerfield’s daughter, and her second husband, Louis Lundean. Both were artists — Marjorie in sculpting, mainly with bronze, and Louis in illustrations — and the couple spent several summers in Blowing Rock. Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual: Tradition and Innovation Set to be displayed at BRAHM from Aug. 29 until Jan. 30, 2021, “Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual: Tradition and Innovation,” has been developed by Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center, showcasing several Native American

PHOTO COURTESY OF BLOWING ROCK ART & HISTORY MUSEUM/DANIEL GAJDA A part of BRAHM’s ‘Terra Ludia: Play Ground,’ this photo, titled ‘The Gift’ was captured by Boone resident and photographer Daniel Gajda.

artists with Cherokee roots. The exhibit will highlight the artistic practices, innovations and developments in regard to Cherokee art and its transformation through centuries. Some artists that will be showcased include Joel Queen, Karen George, Fred Wilnoty, Geraldine Walkingstick and Davy Arch, according to the exhibit’s preview online. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, BRAHM launched BRAHM at Home to make several of its programs and activities acces-

sible remotely. “For youth, BRAHM will be offering four different ‘backpack’ art camps (during the summer of 2020) which include all materials and instructions for five to six art lessons,” said Courtney Baines, marketing and communications director at BRAHM. “The backpack art kits available include collage-making, print-making and two different nature themes.” The retail value of each kit is $55, Baines said, but will be provided to the community for discounted rates, courtesy of grants from the

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 Environmental Educators of N.C. and the Watauga County Arts Council, which is based in Boone’s Blue Ridge ArtSpace. BRAHM members can purchase kits for $25, EBT cardholders can purchase them for $5 and the general public can purchase a kit for $30. According to Baines the inspiration behind BRAHM at Home is to continue interacting with community members, highlighting the arts and Appalachia, specifically. “Of course,” Baines added, “we continue to offer a variety of online content, including weekly art lessons for kids of all ages, through BRAHM at Home. Parents can sign up for these lessons to be delivered to their inbox.” Find BRAHM at Home videos, gallery tours, online-exclusive exhibits and exhibit explanations online at https://www.blowingrockmuseum.org/athome. New programming is uploaded twice weekly. “Featuring a variety of artistic challenges, deep-dives, unique gallery tours, program highlights, youth engagement and more, BRAHM at Home aims to provide some creative light to these uncertain and challenging times,” the museum stated in its announcement about the series.

PHOTO BY THOMAS SHERRILL Hundreds turn up for Blowing Rock’s Art in the Park, as seen here in June 2018.

ART CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8

July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 12 and Oct. 3. Each Sunday following Art in the Park events, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce hosts Concerts in the Park in Memorial Park, bordering Park Avenue. Concerts are free, beginning at 4 p.m., and showcase local and regional musicians. Updates and next season’s schedule are provided as they become available at https://blowingrock.com/calendar/ events.


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Mountain music in Blowing Rock Since Blowing Rock is home to a rich history and generations of talent, there is no lack of music floating through the mountain air. Local restaurants and venues often host musical guests to draw audiences and create a sense of unity through unique melodies. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state-issued closures and gathering limits, venues have not been able to host their regular musical talent since March, but some have opted to stream events and encourage takeout in place of in-person gatherings. Outside of the COVID-19 pandemic, Woodlands Barbeque in Blowing Rock hosts live music beginning at 6 p.m. with a regular lineup consisting of The Neighbors on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and Phil Stinson on Fridays. The Inn at Crestwood regularly showcases local musicians each year with its Summer Music Concert Series, which traditionally lasts from May until October from 6-9 p.m. The High Country Jazz Society performs live concerts that are

FILE PHOTO The Concerts in the Park series draws music lovers to the Rotary Gazebo at Blowing Rock Memorial Park.

open to the public every second Saturday of each month from May through October at the Meadowbrook Inn. Reserved seating begins at 6 p.m., with music beginning at 7 p.m. An outdoor concert series, Music

on the Lawn, is traditionally held at the Inn at Ragged Gardens in Blowing Rock. The Harris Brothers, Soul Benefactor and King Bees are just a few of the bands that play during the series. Concerts are from 5:30-

8:30 p.m. on Fridays from May through October. Town Tavern, a locally owned restaurant in Blowing Rock, showcases local talent regularly, outside of the COVID-19 pandemic. Performance dates and start time

vary, but can be found online at http://www.towntavernbr.com. Broyhill Park’s Monday Night Concert Series invites community members to bring a lawn chair or blanket to the park’s gazebo for free musical entertainment beginning at 7 p.m. every Monday night in July. Broyhill Park is located at 173 Lakeside Drive in Blowing Rock. No official announcement regarding the Monday Night Concert Series had been made as of June 19. The town of Blowing Rock and the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce will make month-bymonth decisions regarding its monthly Concert in the Park events that take place in Memorial Park on Main Street. Concerts last from 4-6 p.m. on Sundays from June until October. Angela Easterling is scheduled to perform during the July 19 Concert in the Park, Ashley Heath is scheduled for the Aug. 16 show, Down the Mountain is set for Sept. 13 and the Handlebar Betty band will take the gazebo’s stage on Oct. 4.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

BLOWING ROCK MY HOMETOWN

Departments and Officials Current elected officials holding office in Blowing Rock include Mayor Charlie Sellers, Mayor Pro-Tem Sue Sweeting and Town Council members Albert Yount, Doug Matheson, David Harwood and Virginia Powell. Commissioners meetings take place at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in Blowing Rock Town Hall. These meetings are open to the public. Town Manager Shane Fox is assisted by finance officer Nicole Norman, customer service representative Holly Autry, town clerk/tax collector Hilari Hubner, payroll administrator Tonda Spear, accounts payable clerk/receptionist Linda Steen and accounts payable specialist/admin support Tasha Johnson. The administration department can be reached by calling (828) 295-5200. The Blowing Rock Public Works Department is made up of the street division, sanitation/recycling division and water/ sewer field operations division. Department employees include Public Works/Utilities Director Christopher “Matt” Blackburn, sanitation collector Brian Clark, sanitation collector Kyle Earp, sanitation equipment operator Barry Ford, equipment operator Chris Geis, equipment operator Sterling Lewis, equipment operator Justin Mullett, fleet mechanic Steve Norris, street division employee Brandon Norris, crew leader Mark Presnell, field operations employee David Watson, equipment operator Dustin Watson and equipment operator Tim Williams. Contact the public works department at (828) 295-5200.

Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue is chartered as a private organization separate from the town, however, the two work closely together. Volunteers make up Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue, and ensure it is staffed 24 hours a day. Emergency Services Director and Chief Kent Graham, Deputy Chief Matt McGuire, President Rob Slack and Vice President Michael O’Connor lead Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue. Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue can be reached at (828) 548-2800. The Blowing Rock Police Department is led by Chief Aaron Miller, 10 other full-time sworn officers and one civilian support services coordinator. A seasonal parking enforcement officer and part time-reserve sworn police officers supplement the fulltime staff. To reach the police department, call (828) 295-5210. Blowing Rock Parks and Recreation is staffed by Director Jennifer Brown, recreation programs specialist Baker Stanley, recreation and facilities coordinator Thomas Steele, landscape specialist Chris Pate, parks maintenance worker Tyler Rodden and landscape assistant Cody Bowers. The department can be reached at (828) 295-5222. Blowing Rock Water and Sewer Plant and Field Operations is headed up by senior plant operator Tim Everhart, plant operators Bud Burwell, Trathen Greene and James Townsend and plants supervisor Douglas Lee. The water plant can be reached by calling (828) 295-5225 and the sewer plant can be reached by calling (828) 295-5226.

Clubs, Nonprofits and Civic Organizations (All phone Numbers are in the 828 area code, except where noted) American Legion Hall 295-5222 American Red Cross 264-8226 Appalachian Women’s Fund 264-4002 Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce 295-7851 Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show 295-4700 Blowing Rock Civic Association 295-3199 Blowing Rock Community Foundation 295-3048 Blowing Rock Art and History Museum 295-9099 Blowing Rock Young Professionals 295-7581 Boy Scout Troop 101 Girl Scout Troop 02252 Blowing Rock School PTO 295-3204 Blowing Rock Garden Club 295-3171 Blowing Rock Community Library 295-7000

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High Country Jazz Society 264-6860 Blowing Rock Women’s Club 414-9900 Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation (866) 308-2773 High Country United Way 265-2111 Blowing Rock American Legion 295-5222 Rotary Club of Blowing Rock (336) 354-6375 Watauga Humane Society 264-7865 Dylan’s Hearts (336) 365-2334 O.A.S.I.S. (Opposing Abuse with Shelter, Information and Service) 262-5035 Habitat for Humanity 268-9545 Hospitality House 264-1237 Watauga Arts Council 264-1789 Western Youth Network 264-5174 Wine to Water 355-9655 Samaritan’s Purse 262-1980

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Blowing Rock’s healthcare facilities Blowing Rock offers quality healthcare and many opportunities to maintain a healthy lifestyle for both citizens and visitors alike. Here is a list of healthcare facilities that includes Boone’s Watauga Medical Center. PHOTO BY ELIAS PHOTOGRAPHY The faculty and staff of the Blowing Rock School pose for a photo in the early spring semester of 2020.

Blowing Rock School BY ABBY WHITT

The Blowing Rock School, located at 165 Morris St. in Blowing Rock, is a K-8 school in the Watauga County Public School system that enrolls “an average of about 350 students” per year, according to the school’s website.

Patrick Sukow is the principal of Blowing Rock School, Kelly Baruth is the school’s guidance counselor, Heather Holbrook is the school’s social worker and Brooke Kidwell is the school’s nurse. The school’s resource officer is Lt. Lance Dotson. While the COVID-19 pandemic presented a fair amount of chal-

lenges to students and teachers alike, the faculty and staff of Blowing Rock School are looking forward to a new school year. In May, Dotson said that the work he does as an SRO brings unique challenges and solutions to students’ situations. “I have spent many hours in the

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councilor’s office doing anything from playing Candy Land with a kindergartner with a difficult home life to talking to a former student (current at the time) whose mother passed away from cancer,” Dotson said. “In fact, two sixth graders lost SEE SCHOOL ON PAGE 20

Blowing Rock Medical Park PLUS Urgent Care 8439 Valley Blvd. (828) 295-3116 The Harriet and Charles Davant Medical Clinic 623 Chestnut Ridge Parkway (828) 386-3350 The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge 621 Chestnut Ridge Parkway (828) 295-3136 AppUrgent Care 2146 Blowing Rock Road (828) 265-5505 Watauga Medical Center 336 Deerfield Road (828) 262-4100


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High Country Host offers insider info to visitors BY ANNA OAKES

The rolling peaks and valleys of the Blue Ridge Mountains are what make the High Country area so scenic, and they also make for plenty of winding, curvy, two-lane roads, making a road trip a destination in itself. But that means those two destinations you see on a map may not be as “close together” as you would imagine, and travel time takes longer than it would in flatter areas off the mountain. That’s where a stop or call to the High Country Host regional welcome center comes in — they can help you plan your day trips so that you’re not spending big chunks of your vacation in the car. “People don’t realize that in the mountains, (destinations are) farther apart than in the city,” said Candice Cook, executive

SCHOOL CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18

parents this year. One of those was before the COVID-19 outbreak, and I went as the SRO to the funeral in Apex to support my student. The other was unfortunately after the stay at home order was issued, and so I came into town and participated in the parade that the school and community had organized for him.” Additionally, Dotson noted that he was at every home basketball game possible during the 2019-2020 school year, and, in his tenure, he has only had to intervene in legal

marketing director for High Country Host. North Carolina High Country Host operates the Official Regional Welcome Center located between Boone and Blowing Rock, within view of N.C. Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost Exit 291. The Welcome Center provides maps, brochures, coupons, upcoming event handouts and travel counselor support, as well as clean public restrooms and an area to walk your pets. The center is housed (but not affiliated with) as part of Appalachian Ski Mtn.’s visitor kiosk. For 40 years, High Country Host has represented destinations in five counties, including the towns of Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, West Jefferson, Wilkesboro and Sparta. High Country Host offers insider information and updates that many visitors won’t find anywhere else. In addition to helping you plan your day trips with travel

time in mind, High Country Host can advise on which hotels and lodging facilities have vacancies. “On busy weekends, we call around and see what’s available,” said Cook. The visitor center staff can also advise on group size limits at various establishments and whether you can walk in the day of your visit or need to book several days in advance, Cook said. With the potential for COVID-19 to continue impacting operations at parks and tourism businesses, as well as the peace of mind of area visitors, the visitor center’s services are more useful than ever. The center will keep updated lists of which businesses and events are open and canceled, or are operating at reduced capacity. High Country Host is also working to provide information about what area attractions and hotels are doing to keep

people safe. At the center itself, the staff are taking extra precautions. Hand sanitizing stations are provided and restrooms will be rotated and cleaned every hour. More materials will be provided in outdoor take-home boxes. And if visitors do not feel comfortable entering the visitor center, they can call and staff will bring materials out to visitors’ vehicles. “We welcome people back to the High Country, and we look forward to seeing our returning visitors,” Cook said. The High Country Host Official Regional Welcome Center is located at 6370 U.S. Highway 321 South in Blowing Rock, N.C. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call (828) 264-1299 or 800-438-7500 or visit highcountryhost.com.

actions “a couple of times, but you never know what the day will bring.” Dotson said that, as an SRO, police officers “will spend nights and weekends worrying about their students, work with staff to provide the best learning environment possible and teach students things that aren’t necessarily in any curriculum. They will give up days off to see students achieve success (even) outside of the classroom.” “It is the most rewarding, demanding and dynamic position I have ever had, and I miss it,” Dotson said. In an end-of-year statement, Blowing Rock School faculty and staff shared a group photo that was taken at the beginning of the

spring 2020 semester, before the COVID-19 pandemic prompted school closures and a switch to remote learning. “Thank you to all the parents and caregivers who partnered with us at home to remote teach,” faculty and staff said in a collective statement. “We appreciate all your efforts.

Thanks, too, to our students for doing their best while remote-learning. While we miss seeing our students, coming to know our Blowing Rock families in new ways is a silver lining. Have as safe and relaxing a summer as possible. We’ll ‘see’ you this fall!”

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Blowing Rock real estate: An important part of Blowing Rock’s heritage

H

omes and real estate in Blowing Rock are an intrinsic part of this town’s rich and unique heritage. The town of Blowing Rock started largely as a summer area where the wealthy built homes to retreat from the heat of the south. The beautiful views, cool breezes and warm charm of the area continue to attract both visitors and those wishing to buy a primary or second home. Blowing Rock is one of the most desirable zip codes in the southBy Leslie Eason east, but it is no longer only the wealthy who purchase homes here. Given recent events including the COVID-19 pandemic and racial unrest, Blowing Rock and the overall High Country are becoming even more PHOTO SUBMITTED SEE REAL ESTATE ON PAGE 23

Homes in Blowing Rock are tucked into nature, much like the town itself.

537 Main Street Open Monday - Saturday 10:00am - 6:00pm MUSEUM GRADE MINERAL SPECIMENS & FOSSIL SPECIMENS RARE GEMSTONES - FINE JEWELRY - LAPIDARY SERVICES


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SLOW DOWN A LITTLE. As fast as ever. 1126 Blowing Rock Rd. Boone, NC 28607

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have a pre-approval letter from a lender ready.

REAL ESTATE

TYPES OF PROPERTIES

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21

attractive destinations. Blowing Rock offers a range of properties to meet most budgets, from efficiency condos under $100,000 to incredible Mountain homes with sweeping views in the seven figures. In fact, home and condo sales prices during the past year ranged from $62,750 to more than $3 million. The Blowing Rock Real Estate Market is healthy in spite of the slowdown in sales seen from the COVID-19 pandemic. As of this writing, the challenge is a low inventory as sellers decide whether to put their homes on the market. This issue is being seen throughout the U.S. We anticipate that homes will be going on the market later this year than usual and that normal inventory levels will resume. The homes you see walking or driving around town are just a fraction of what Blowing Rock has to offer. Blowing Rock has a broad geography to explore. There are many neighborhoods and pockets of homes both in the town limits and throughout the Blowing Rock zip code and several of them are

PHOTO SUBMITTED Blowing Rock homes often have picturesque views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as seen here from a home on Gideon Ridge in Blowing Rock.

noted below. If you are interested in learning more about the market or seeing some properties, be sure to check with a High Country REALTOR. For the Blowing Rock zip code (28605), here is what you can expect if you are curious about purchasing a home.

MARKET DATA Market data for this article is for the period from June 16, 2019, through June 15, 2020. PRICING: The median sales price for the past year in Blowing Rock is $410,000, a 6.5 percent

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increase above the same period last year. One of the striking factors of the past year was a 46 percent increase in sales of luxury homes more than $1 million. Twenty-two homes were sold in this price range, versus 15 the year before. This is out of 218 total homes sold. During the past year, the average sales price per square foot was $236. Pricing ranges from less than $100 per square foot (for homes or condos in need of updates) to more than $600 per square foot for the new Chestnut at Blowing Rock luxury condos.

TIME ON MARKET: Median days on market has decreased to 75 during the past year, with an average of 109 days on market. Note that this includes time while under contract. Luckily for buyers, homes do not sell with the immediacy of homes in metropolitan markets. However, we are seeing very quick sales for popular types of properties, some with multiple offers. While buyers have a little breathing room to arrange for house hunting visits, they need to be prepared to move quickly for popular listings. It is recommended that buyers

Luxury homes Blowing Rock is well known for its gorgeous mountain homes, both newer and historic. Several of these homes have been featured in magazines and on tours and have entertained visitors including U.S. presidents, dignitaries and celebrities. These homes can be found in town in the historic Mayview and Laurel Park neighborhoods and along Main Street, as well as in nearby gated neighborhoods such as Timber Creek and Firethorn. For buyers looking to build a custom home, this area boasts some excellent builders and offers many options for land purchases. Condominiums Condos generally offer a less expensive way to enter the market while relieving the owner of home maintenance worries. Condo and townhome developments include Royal Oaks, Glen Burney, Village on the Green and Chetola Resort, which also boasts a hotel, fine dining restaurant and spa. There are some nicer condos with views in the Mayview area of Blowing Rock as well as in the Blue

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Ridge Mountain Club (noted below). The most recent addition to the condo market are the luxury condos called Chestnut at Blowing Rock, starting at $1.2 million. Chetola Resort and Royal Oaks are the only two locations within the town limits that allow short term vacation rentals, making them an excellent investment as well. Otherwise, vacation rentals are only available outside town limits. Second homes Well more than half of the homes sold in Blowing Rock are second homes. Buyers look here to escape the summer heat or live here for half of the year. With Charlotte a two-hour drive and Raleigh/Durham three hours away, the high country is a convenient escape for buyers from North Carolina, as well as a seasonal destination for buyers from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Many buyers purchase a second (or third) home in Blowing Rock with plans to make it their retirement home. Vacation rentals A strong and growing segment of the Blowing SEE REAL ESTATE ON PAGE 26


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Food Truck

Award-Winning Luxury Interior Designer Opens New Design Studio in Downtown West Jefferson

A Designers Touch by Lauren Serving the High Country and Beyond...

LUXURY DESIGNER FOR THE DAY BRINGING CLIENTS TO THE HICKORY FURNITURE 4(9;‹+,:0.5;6:,33/64,:;(.05.‹+,:0.5*65:<3;05.:,9=0*,-69 /64,)<03+05.‹9,+,:0.5‹(3(*(9;,+,:0.5‹*6369*65:<3;(5;

"I'm excited to become an entrepreneur and look forward to using my years of experience to help my clients realize their dreams," says Lauren Brown, the founder of the company. Lauren has recently been a featured guest on the Nationally Recognized Design Podcast, The Wingnut Social, featured guest on Boone Chamber Podcast Series "Mind Your Business", Jefferson local Radio Station WKSK, and Casart Wall Coverings featured Blog Post "Expert Stay at home Interior Design Advice from A Designers Touch by Lauren". Inspired by her time living in Japan, her trademarkk hat designs aim to create a tranquil environment that or, incorporates elements of nature through color, er water features and artwork. Brown began her lly career providing design services nationally and internationally for major retailers in na. High Point and Hickory North Carolina. ed She was consistently recognized lle by the President of Thomasville Furniture as the runner up for he top designer of 350 in the ally Corporate Stores nationally. The District Manager of Thomasville selected her to mentor other designers on the importance of being authentic, approachable and designing with passion. The American Consulate to the Saudi Arabian Government sent a letter of appreciation and commended her for three villas she designed for the Sheik of Bahrain and the excellent service she provided the Sheik and his wife. Her work has been featured in The Charlotte Observer, Architectural Digest, and Boca Raton

Magazine, and has been in the "Million Dollar Club" for twenty -seven years Brown says her greatest joy is the relationships she has developed with her clients. "I like to work in a very collaborative way with my clients, using my skills, experience, and passion for designing to allow them to realize their vision and dream." “I’ve been blessed to do what I love and I feel it's important to "Pay It Forward" both Personally and Professionally. That is why for the Month of June, I will be offering my 1 hour Consultation Service FR FREE as my way of giving back to my Community, Th High Country of North Carolina. Speaking of The Co Community, it has been wonderful to see how giving giv and loving and compassionate we've be become. Let us never forget how kindness ch changes lives during the valleys and the mountaintops! I would love to ass assist you with your Dream Home to create the Stunning, Inviting, Pe Peaceful Retreat you so desire. A Designers Touch by Lauren Lau is a full-service interior design firm offering Concept to Completion Design/New Home Construction, Luxury Designer for the Day bringing bringing Clients to The Hickory Furniture Mart, Design to Sell Home Staging with services including 3D virtual tours, 360 Video & Photos provided by one of my Trade Partners, Premier Images, as well as Color Consulting and Ala Carte Services. For more information Lauren's website is adesignerstouchbylauren.com Follow her on Social Media: Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


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REAL ESTATE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23

Rock Real Estate market is second homes that can also be used as vacation rentals to help pay for the cost of owning and maintaining the home. Vacation rentals are big business in this area and are quickly surpassing hotels in lodging volume. Note that vacation/short term rentals under 28 days are not allowed within town limits and in some subdivisions. However, there are several areas in Blowing Rock where vacation rentals are popular, including the Ski Mountain area and Misty Mountain subdivision. There are several excellent vacation rental management companies in the area that can manage the entire vacation rental process. If you are looking for a home that can also be used as a vacation rental, be sure to ask your REALTOR whether vacation rentals are

allowed in that location.

AREAS OF TOWN: In the Town Blowing Rock: The town of Blowing

Rock is known for its grand homes along Main Street and in historic Mayview and Laurel Park as well as cottages around Ransom

Street and Chestnut Drive. There are also condominium developments such as Royal Oaks, Glen Burney, and Chetola Resort.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 Across Hwy. 321: Cross Highway 321 (Blowing Rock Blvd) to Echo Park, Green Hill Road, Wonderland Woods and areas surrounding the Blowing Rock Country Club and Golf Course. There is a wide variety of home styles and sizes in these quiet neighborhoods. Hwy. 221 Southwest: There are several neighborhoods on either side of Highway 221 headed southwest, some oďŹ&#x20AC;ering great Grandfather Mountain and St. Johns River Gorge views. These include Misty Mountain, Fair Mountain Acres, Saddle Hills and Sweetgrass, a newer development with trails and a lake. Hwy. 321 north (toward Boone): One of the largest residential areas in this direction is Appalachian Ski Mountain, with many mountain and log homes close to skiing. This is a popular location for vacation rentals. Also along 321 are the luxury gated communities of Firethorn and Timber Creek, as well as the log home community

Friendly Mountain Acres. Blue Ridge Parkway North: There are several established neighborhoods with mid-range to high-end homes along this route. This general area is referred to on maps as the Aho area and includes the neighborhoods of Sorrento, Greystone, Blackberry, Goshen Valley, Summit Park and Brown Stone Ridge, to name a few. Some of these neighborhoods are in the Boone zip code but are considered the Blowing Rock area from a Real Estate standpoint. Also in this direction is the Blue Ridge Mountain Club, a newer and impressive development with timber frame homes and many lots available. BRMC oďŹ&#x20AC;ers trails, a gym, restaurant and clubhouse facility. For the roster of local REALTORS, visit www. highcountryrealtors.org. Leslie Eason is a Realtor with Keller Williams High Country Realty, and is owner of the Leslie Eason Real Estate Team.

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Blowing Rock’s Churches Blowing Rock Methodist Church 1314 Main Street (828) 372-7009 Church of Epiphany Catholic Church 163 Galax Lane (828) 264-8338 FaithBridge United Methodist Church 194 Aho Road (828) 295-8333 First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock 350 Sunset Drive

(828) 295-7715 First Independent Baptist Church Possum Hollow Road Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church 1218 Main Street (828) 295-7675 St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church 140 Chesnut Drive (828) 295-7323 Sandy Flats Baptist Church 1776 Hwy. 221 S., Blowing Rock

PHOTO SUBMITTED Tweetsie Railroad has drawn crowds to the High Country since 1957.

Tweetsie brings Wild West experience to the NC mountains BY BAILEY LITTLE

The history of “Tweetsie” dates back to 1866, when the Tennessee legislature granted the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad company permission for the construction of a railroad. At the outset, the ET&WNC line (which mountain humorists dubbed the “Eat Taters & Wear No Clothes” or “Every Time With No Complaint” Railroad) was to operate from Johnson City, Tenn., to the iron mines just over the state line at Cranberry, N.C. The narrow-gauge railroad began operations in 1882 after 50 miles of track was laid through the rugged Blue Ridge chain of the Appalachian Mountains that divide the two southern states. Later, additional tracks were laid to Boone, N.C., and in 1919 rail service extended to that mountain community. The new line added passenger service to the formerly isolated area and brought lumber out of the mountains. The nickname “Tweetsie” was given to the railroad by local folks who became accustomed to the shrill “tweet, tweet” train whistles that echoed through the hills. The name stuck, and the train has been known as Tweetsie ever since. Unfortunately, the affection felt for Tweetsie by the mountain people could not protect it from a changing economy. The construction of modern roads made the mountain communities more accessible, and Tweetsie felt the competition from automobiles and

trucking companies. Severe floods came in August of 1940 and obliterated sections of the line, ending service to Boone and hastening the demise of the mountain railroads. On July 13, 1950, the ET&WNC Railroad ceased all narrow-gauge operations. Locomotive No. 12 was the only one of the original 13 narrow-gauge ET&WNC steam engines to survive the scrap heap — and was now the only locomotive left to carry on the “Tweetsie” name. No. 12 was purchased by railroad enthusiasts and moved to Harrisonburg, Va., in 1953, to operate as the Shenandoah Central Railroad. Her stay there was cut short just a year later when Hurricane Hazel swept through the state and wiped out the train tracks. The next buyer for No. 12 was movie cowboy and musician Gene Autry, who intended to ship the locomotive to California to use in films. Blowing Rock native Grover Robbins Jr. decided that it was time to bring Tweetsie back to the mountains where it belonged. Robbins purchased the rights to “Tweetsie” from Gene Autry for $1, and in 1956 the little engine headed back to Robbins’ hometown in the mountains of North Carolina to be rebuilt and put back in operation. In the summer of 1957, “Tweetsie Railroad” debuted with No. 12 at its new location just a couple of miles away from the old railroad station in Boone. People came from all over the South to welcome the famous whistle back to the mountains, and to take a one-mile trip to

a picnic area and then back up to the station. The following year, the final section of the three-mile rail loop was completed. In 1960, Tweetsie Railroad acquired another steam locomotive, No. 190 “Yukon Queen” from Alaska’s White Pass & Yukon Railway. Locomotive No. 190 was built in 1943, also by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, for service during World War II. In the following years, Tweetsie Railroad evolved from an excursion railroad into North Carolina’s first theme park. The track was expanded into a three-mile loop, and an authentic western town was built up around the station. The Wild West theme park has added attractions over the years and features live shows, amusement rides, Gem Mine, the Deer Park Zoo and numerous special events including the Ghost Train and Tweetsie Christmas. Tweetsie also operates a complete steam locomotive shop, repairing and restoring steam locomotives for other theme parks and for museums. Meticulously maintained and now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Tweetsie Railroad’s No. 12 locomotive continues to delight rail fans, children and tourists who visit the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. For more information about ticket sales, upcoming events or general information call the park at (800) 526-5740 or visit the website at www.tweetsie.com.

Blowing Rock’s Restaurants Whether a tourist or local, Blowing Rock offers a myriad of restaurants to try when in town. Whether it’s American diner fare, bistro fare or brunch, Blowing Rock is sure to have it. Here’s a guide to the restaurants that Blowing Rock offers. The Best Cellar 203 Sunset Drive (828) 295-3466 Bistro Roca 143 Wonderland Trail (828) 295-4008 Blowing Rock Ale House and Inn 152 Sunset Drive (828) 414-9600 Blowing Rock Market 990 Main St. (828) 414-9322 Cafe Violet 1132 Main St. (828) 414-9989 Chestnut Grille at Greenpark Inn 9239 Valley Blvd. (828) 414-9230 Divide Tavern and Restaurant 9239 Valley Blvd. (828) 414-9230 El Rincon 870 Main St. (828) 414-9784 Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub 8180 Valley Blvd. (828) 295-7262 Grilled Cheese Cafe 1179 Main St. (828) 279-3466 J&M Produce and General Store & Grill 117 Shore Drive (828) 414-9149 Mellow Mushroom 946 Main St. (828) 295-3399 Moon Thai Sushi 7179 Valley Blvd. (828) 414-9905

New Public House and Hotel 239 Sunset Drive (828) 295-3487 Outback Steakhouse 8280 Valley Blvd. (828) 295-6283 Papa Joe’s Italian American Restaurant 8062 Valley Blvd. (828) 295-3239 The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge 202 Gideon Ridge Road (828) 295-3644 The Ridgeline 8960 Valley Blvd. (828) 414-9922 Savannah’s Oyster House 155 Sunset Drive (828) 414-9354 Speckled Trout Restaurant 922 Main St. (828) 295-9819 Storie Street Grille 1167 Main St. (828) 295-7075 Subway 8433 Valley Blvd. (828) 295-7827 Sunny Rock Eggs and Things 8146 Valley Blvd. (828) 414-9636 Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola 185 Chetola Lake Drive (828)295-5505 The Town Tavern 112 Main St. (828) 295-7500 Twigs 7956 Valley Blvd (828) 295-5050 Village Cafe 146 Greenway Court (828) 295-3769 Woodland Barbeque and Pickin Parlor 8304 Valley Blvd. (828) 295-3651


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Finding the best views on the Blue Ridge Parkway BY KAYLA LASURE

To make the most of your time in Blowing Rock, take the opportunity to travel along the second most visited U.S. National Park Service site of 2019 — the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile scenic route that stretches from Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina — with two access points from Blowing Rock. According to the National Park Service, there were 14.9 million visits made to the Blue Ridge Parkway last year. The parkway receives so many visitors for its beautiful views, hiking and camping opportunities as well as other nearby amenities. According to the Blue Ridge Parkway Association, Blowing Rock is the home to the original locating and claim engineer and consultant for the Blue Ridge Parkway, R. Getty Browning. It was primarily Browning who convinced federal officials to move the Parkway alignment to North Carolina from its original route through Tennessee. Additionally, Blowing Rock is the only full-service town on the parkway. To access the Blue Ridge Parkway from Blowing Rock, take U.S. 321 north towards Boone and you will quickly find the on ramp to the Parkway. If visiting downtown Blowing Rock, travelers can take U.S. 221 west out of town and find a sign within a few miles for the Parkway. Drivers may want to use the concrete mileposts along the sides of the road for navigation, as GPS capabilities may not be accessible to find trailheads and attractions off the roadway. However, the parkway does have a “Blue Ridge Parkway Travel Planner” app available for smartphones that is helpful for navigation before a trip begins. The Blue Ridge Parkway is broken up into four regions: ridge, plateau, highlands and pisgah. The portion that runs through Blowing Rock is in the highlands region, and includes many of the parkway’s frequently visited locations. One of the first stops on the parkway from Blowing Rock is Moses Cone Park and the Flat Top Manor at Milepost 294.1. The Flat Top Manor is a home developed in the 1890s and early 1900s by Moses Cone and Bertha Cone. The 23-room Colonial Revival mansion was lived in by the Cone family — a successful denim and textile business family who donated their homestead and more than 4,000 acres to the National Park Service. The 4,000-area park includes the Fire Tower Overlook Trail (a 4-mile round trip path), trails that encircle both Bass Lake and Trout Lake, Rich Mountain Carriage Trail as well as the Watkins and Black Bottom Trails. There are 25 miles of pathways in the park, as well as some apple orchards along the way. Adjacent to Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

PHOTO BY KAYLA LASURE Rough Ridge is a frequented hiking destination along the Blue Ridge Parkway that offers great views of the mountains.

at Milepost 296.7 is the 4,200-acre Julian Price Memorial Park at the foot of Grandfather Mountain. Price Park offers opportunities for camping, boating and hiking. It provides access to the Tanawha Trail, Boone Fork Trail, Price Lake Trail and the Mountains-to-Sea trail. For more information on parkway trails in North Carolina, visit www. blueridgeparkway.org/hiking. For a hike or for a lovely view, visit Rough Ridge Trail at Milepost 302.9 or the Yonahlossee Overlook Trail that runs alongside and underneath the world-famous Linn Cove Viaduct at Milepost 304. The Linn Cove Viaduct Information Center and the Beacon Heights Trail are located at milepost 305. At Milepost 305, you will also see the exit for Grandfather Mountain State Park. At milepost 316, you will find the Linville Falls Visitors Center, campground and picnic area. For more adventurous hikers, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area provides many moderate to difficult trails to explore. When hiking in Linville Gorge, however, hikers are encouraged to prepare properly and pack right so your hike will remain safe and fun as it truly is a wilderness area. For an extended day trip, travel south along the Blue Ridge Parkway to visit spots such as Crabtree Falls, the town of Little Switzerland, the Museum of North Carolina Minerals or the live music venue known as the Orchard at Altapass. Drivers will eventually travel into the pisgah portion of the parkway into Asheville, which is an approximate three hour drive from Blowing Rock. Due to COVID-19, different parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway may be operating at a different capacity than it typically would. Check www.blueridgeparkway.org for updates on parkway operations.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020 SPRING GROUP EXHIBITION Continues – July 15 MID-SUMMER GROUP EXHIBITION “Appalachian Impressions of Landscapes” by Egidio Antonaccio, Linda Apriletti & Freeman Beard Opening Reception

July 25, 11-4 AUTUMN GROUP EXHIBITION Circle of Friends - Intuitive Presence of Art

Opening Reception October 10, 11-4 Social Distancing Practiced For information on 2020 Workshops please call 828-963-4288 or visit www.carltongallery.com


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Shows, festivals and markets Blowing Rock, its businesses, and seasonal and year-long residents are lucky to live in the mountains where most of the seasons are mild enough to enjoy several events annually. The ability of the town to hold such grandeur events has earned it a kind of notoriety for having something for every age all throughout the year. Note that the global pandemic has suspended some of these activities for 2020. Check with the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at https://blowingrockncchamber.com or High Country Host at https://highcountryhost.com for current information.

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.

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 130th birthday in 2020. 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 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.

MADE IN THE MOUNTAINS QUILT EVENT Hosted by The Blowing Rock Quilt Cooperative, the Made in the Mountains Quilt event offers three days of workshops, shopping and all-things quilting.

EASTER FESTIVAL Some of Blowing Rock’s annual events are aimed at giving local

kids 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.

ART IN THE PARK For more than 55 years, Art in the Park has been Blowing Rock’s monthly gathering of between 80-100 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.

FARMERS MARKET 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, honey and bakery products from Watauga and the surrounding counties.

RUMMAGE SALE Hosted by the Blowing Rock Women’s Club, the annual rummage sale offers residents and visitors a chance to look at thousands of different items, from table decor to books to chairs and much more. All proceeds go to local scholarship opportunities. The event takes place in late May and early June.

CONCERTS IN THE PARK 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 feature everything from steel drum bands to Oktoberfest bands. Shows start at 4 p.m.

CHARITY HORSE SHOWS 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 the longest continually 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.

JERRY BURNS DAY Every June 19, folks gather at the Edgewood Cottage on the corner of Ginny Stevens Lane and Main Street to remember Jerry Burns, the longtime editor of The Blowing Rocket who passed away in 2010, through a telling of stories about the rich and colorful history of the town. Known as “Mr. Blowing Rock,” Burns embodied the spirit of the village and his love of its history and legacy.

music and numerous instructional seminars. So grab your kilt and bagpipes and join in the fun.

SYMPHONY BY THE LAKE Summer just wouldn’t be summer in Blowing Rock without the astounding Symphony by the Lake at Chetola, held in 2020 on Aug. 22. This event brings world-class music to an outdoor stage at Chetola Resort. Regularly attracting several thousand music lovers to a beautiful picnic setting for food, great live music and fireworks.

ART AND ANTIQUES SHOW The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum hosts a three-day antique show the first weekend of August. The show features high-end antiques from all over the Southeast, as well as other special event.

MEMORIAL DAY ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE For the last several years, the Blowing Rock Historical Society has hosted a summer artists-in-residency program at the Edgewood Cottage on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock from late June through the end of July During that time, folks are invited to stop by the cottage and meet with the different local artists and discuss their work and techniques. You might even find that perfect piece of art for your home.

MOVIES IN THE PARK During the summer months when the kids are out of school, the Blowing Rock Parks and Recreation Department holds its Movies in the Park series in Memorial Park on Thursday nights in June and July. Enjoy a free family-friendly movie with the kids in a beautiful outdoor setting.

MONDAY NIGHT CONCERTS Presented by Amy Marie Productions and Blowing Rock Parks and Rec, the Monday Night Concert Series takes place at Broyhill Lake on Monday evenings in July. The free concerts start at 7 p.m. with a rain location at the American Legion Hall.

HIGHLAND GAMES The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are held the second weekend of July in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain itself. The annual gathering of the Scottish clans sees thousands take part in traditional games, dancing,

Blowing Rock never forgets to remember Memorial Day. More than 100 people gather in Blowing Rock Memorial Park to hear veterans’ stories of how they made it home after defending our freedoms, even as some of their comrades did not.

again. The Blowing Rock Parks and Rec will host trick-or-treating with the downtown merchants, a monster march of costumes, a scavenger hunt by Broyhill Lake and much more.

THANKSGIVING KILN OPENING Traditions Pottery and Bolick Pottery, both located in the Blackberry community just south of Blowing Rock, host two great kiln openings a year: one in the middle of the summer and one on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Folks come from miles around to watch the beautiful pottery being removed from the special wood-fired kiln and then scrap like they’re at sale at Macy’s to get their favorite pieces.

FESTIVAL OF TREES The annual Festival of Trees at Chetola Resort during the holiday season is a fundraiser for the Western Youth Network. Come and bid on a variety of pre-decorated Christmas trees and wreaths, donated by the High Country Association of Christmas Tree Growers and decorated by local businesses and organizations.

HOMETOWN HARVEST SUPPER FASHION SHOW Going strong for more than 40 years, the Blowing Rock Charity Fashion Show and Luncheon is an annual fundraiser, formerly for the Blowing Rock Hospital, now for the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge. The event is held during the summer at Blowing Rock Country Club.

COMMUNITY DAYS The Blowing Rock Community Foundation hosts several fundraising events each summer including a golf tournament, tennis tournament and the Groovy Nights talent show. Proceeds from the events go toward local nonprofits and college scholarship funds for students from Blowing Rock.

ROTARY AUCTION The Blowing Rock Charity Auction is held each August at the American Legion Hall. The event features both a live and silent auction with hundreds of items up for bid. Proceeds from the event go toward local causes.

HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL The Blowing Rock Halloween Festival is another of those events where you’ll wish you were a kid

For the past few years, Blowing Rock has hosted one of the best potluck dinners the world has ever witnessed. The Hometown Harvest Supper takes place at Blowing Rock Fire Station No. 1 on Valley Blvd. the second weekend in November. Complete with cake decorating contest, this is a true taste of what small town living is all about. The event is also used as a fundraiser and food drive for local food banks trying to fill their shelves before Thanksgiving.

CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK Blowing Rock wastes little time starting the holiday season. Each year the town celebrates its Christmas in the Park and Lighting of the Town celebration on the Friday after Thanksgiving. And it hosts its annual Christmas parade the next day on Saturday. Christmas in the Park features fun, games, hot chocolate and cider and plenty of live music in Memorial Park.

NEW YEAR AT ASM Celebrate New Year’s Eve with some nighttime skiing at Appalachian Ski Mtn. The event includes a special holiday menu, torchlight parade and fireworks at midnight.


32 - Mountain Times Publications

BLOWING ROCK MY HOMETOWN

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

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Blowing Rock My Hometown 2020  

Blowing Rock My Hometown 2020  

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