Issuu on Google+

2014

my BLOWING hometown scenic beauty and gracious,

ROCK

comfortable mountain living

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

Supplement to


Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 2

June 26, 2014

Sandblasted wooden signs and old fashioned stonework are a trademark of the village. PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

Blowing Rock: A Little History By JEFF EASON editor@blowingrocket.com

T

he town of Blowing Rock was chartered and incorporated on March 11, 1889, with “Uncle Joe” Clarke serving as the town’s first

mayor. Before the town was officially a “town,” however, it was already a summer destination for folks attempting to escape the oppressive heat of Raleigh, Charlotte or Atlanta. And since the 1700s, the area has been home to settlers from Germany, Britain, Scotland and other countries. The first population growth of any note came during the Civil War, when many men sent their families to the mountains to seek refuge from more war-torn areas of the South, and then joined them up here afterward. By the late 1800s and early 1900s, Blowing Rock had established itself as a summer resort community and the people who lived here full time established comfortable hotels, inns and cabins for the “cottagers” who returned every year. Two fires that whipped through the town in the early part of the 20th century led

many business owners to rebuild their structures with the distinctive bluish gray stone that is found in the high country. More durable than wood, and cheaper than bricks, it was used extensively during for homes, hotels and businesses along Main Street, giving downtown Blowing Rock its classic “stone” look today. Kids in Blowing Rock attended the local school from kindergarten through twelfth grade until 1965 when all of the high school students merged into the newly constructed countywide Watauga High School. Today, Blowing Rock School goes from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Today Today, approximately 1,200 people live year round inside Blowing Rock city limits, with that number multiplying by five or six in June, July and August. The economy of Blowing Rock is most definitely tourism driven, with tens of thousands of visitors coming to the area each year to enjoy the culture, scenery, shops, restaurants and attractions of Blowing Rock.

Blowing Rock Town Hall is where the village celebrates its birthday every March 11 and where the town council meets with the public on the second Tuesday of every month. PHOTO BY JOHN GAITHER

About the cover:

Aerial photo by John Gaither of Images Aloft, Precision Aerial Video and Photo, Blowing Rock, NC. Contact: imagesaloft@gmail.com Copyright 2014.


June 26, 2014

Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 3


Page 4

Blowing Rock My Hometown

What makes Blowing Rock unique? Special by Blowing Rock TDA

T

he Town of Blowing Rock is a unique, year-round mountain destination in North Carolina’s High Country known as the Crown of the Blue Ridge. At 4,000 feet in elevation, it sits astride the Eastern Continental Divide, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and from the top of Blowing Rock (yes, there IS one) there are commanding views of layer upon layer of gorgeous mountain scenery. Blowing Rock features four distinct seasons: It’s a festival of wild blooms in the spring, cool in the summer, dazzling with color in the fall and a Currier and Ives portrait in the winter. Activities such as hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, mountain and road cycling, rock climbing, fishing and hunting are close at hand, along with skiing and other snow sports in the winter. Blowing Rock has been welcoming visitors since the 1880s. Reminiscent of a small New England village, it has a population of just 1,500 that grows to nearly

8,000 during the summer and fall months. It’s unique as a tourist destination, with virtually no chain hotels, fast-food places or strip malls. Lodging and dining venues are locally owned and operated, many in historic buildings constructed with local natural materials. Accommodations for overnight guests are diverse; visitors can choose from among a variety of small inns, rustic cabins, and bed & breakfasts, along with the famous Chetola Resort. The acclaimed Westglow Resort & Spa is nearby as well. Blowing Rock’s sophisticated small-town atmosphere inspired best-selling author and former resident Jan Karon to pen her famed Mitford series. To celebrate the much-loved series, two Mitford Days festivals were planned and presented for fans. The events were well-attended and the neighborly atmosphere proved that Blowing Rock really is Mitford in spirit. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the heart of the area, and it connects Blowing Rock UNIQUE – Continued on Page 7

June 26, 2014

Welcome to

Blowing Rock

A

s Mayor of Blowing Rock it is my pleasure to welcome and thank you for choosing our lovely village as your vacation destination or maybe even your new address! Prepare yourself to enjoy fine dining, unique shopping, superior accommodations and year-round activities for everyone in your family. Our state of the art Blowing Rock Art and History Museum is a must see to fully appreciate the great history of our town. The Ensemble Stage Company provides professional theater for your enjoyment. Whether taking advantage of the many things to see and do or just sitting and letting the beauty of the mountains of Western North Carolina sink in, our hope is that you will find the beauty and charm that make Blowing Rock the special place it is. Once again, on behalf of the citizens and merchants of Blowing Rock we welcome you to enjoy our piece of heaven! Sincerely, J. B. Lawrence Mayor


June 26, 2014

Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 5

Summer Savings SHOP WITH US – CHECK OUT OUR WEEKEND SPECIALS!!! Bedroom, Dining Room, Living Room, Recliners

Lots of LEATHER! 2 LOCATIONS

Hwy 321 • Granite Falls • 828-396-2900 4.5 Miles North of Hickory Just a short 40 min. drive from Boone Mon-Sat 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. • Sun 1 - 5 p.m.

Open Sunday 1-5 p.m.

COFFEYFURNITURE COFFEY FURNITURENC.COM

The Spice & Tea Exchange® Purveyors of Fine Teas, Gourmet Salts and Sugars, Hand Mixed Blends, Spices, Herbs and Gifts. 1087 Main Street, Unit 4 | Blowing Rock, NC | Locally owned & operated | 828-3722-7070 spiceandtea.com/blowingrock


Page 6

Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014

Blowing Rock Estate Jewelry Distinctive Antique, Estate & Fine Jewelry • Quality Diamonds & Colored Stones • Family Owned Since 1988

167 Sunset - 1/2 Block Off Main St., Blowing Rock, NC

828-295-4500

… Blowing Rock − your dream address.


Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014

Page 7

How did you sleep last night? We have the

largest selection of mattresses in the High Country. We carry only the

best brands available We are the only

Spectacular views dominate our mountain scenery. PHOTO SUBMITTED

UNIQUE FROM PAGE 4

with miles of beauty, cultural and historical sites, and recreation. Within easy Parkway driving distance is Grandfather Mountain, a spectacular biosphere reserve with a mile-high swinging bridge, wildlife habitats and incredible views (grandfather.com). Other area attractions include Tweetsie Railroad, Linville Caverns, Mystery Hill and the town of Boone, home of Appalachian State University. Ten years in the making, the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) is located in the heart of downtown, where it hosts exhibits, educational programs and classes that promote the visual arts, history and heritage of the mountains of Western North Carolina. The building blends with the surrounding natural environment, incorporating architectural elements that include 16-inch Douglas fir timbers bound by iron banding, river stone and cedar siding. BRAHM opened to the public on October 1, 2011. Events enliven and enhance the visi-

tor’s experience throughout the year, such as the long-running Saturday Art in the Park, May through October. Now in its 50th year, the renowned Art in the Park series features the works of juried artisans in watercolor, oil painting, fiber, metal, wood, basketry, glass, clay, jewelry, photography and more. Blowing Rock is also well known for its fine art galleries, most of which are within a few blocks of each other. Arts entertainment is provided by Ensemble Stage Company, a professional theater group. Numerous concerts and music series provide even more opportunity for fun and enjoyment. Blowing Rock as a time-honored destination, replete with high-end retail shops, unique restaurants, upscale retreats and charming inns, renowned artists and cultural events, verdant cottage gardens and trails in which to roam, in close proximity to exhilarating outdoor adventures and parks. Blowing Rock has attracted the affluent and the artistic to its tranquil environment for more than 100 years, and history continues to repeat itself as more and more visitors make the journey to discover the lure of Blowing Rock for themselves.

dealer in the High Country Whether you are looking for a luxurious nights sleep for yourself or if you need something inexpensive for a guest bedroom we can ďŹ t every need and budget. Come and visit either our new location inside the Boone Mall or in Foscoe beside Foscoe Fishing and see why we are Blowing Rock's choice for a new mattress and Stressless Furniture.

$

100 OFF

your entire purchase of $599 or more. Bring in this ad or coupon. Expires 10/31/14

828-528-4161 Go to BLACKBERRYMATTRESS.COM and join our Savings Club for money saving coupons.

Rest Well Live Better


Page 8

Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014


June 26, 2014

Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 9


Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 10

June 26, 2014

Take a stroll around Bass Lake in Blowing Rock or bring your fishing rod. PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

The ‘burbs Blowing Rock’s outlying areas feature scenic beauty on a grand scale By JEFF EASON editor@blowingrocket.com

S Come to our house for dinner.

ure, downtown Blowing Rock is swell, with its shops, restaurants, parks, churches and everything. But sometimes, you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown activity. Well, that’s one of the wonderful things about our area. Head off in any direction and chances are that you’ll be in the scenic countryside in a matter of minutes. Blowing Rock has a number of outlying neighborhoods—suburbs, if you will—that deserve exploring while you are here. With exotic names such as Blackberry, Aho and The Globe, these areas are full of their

history and mystique. And they are all just minutes from downtown Blowing Rock. If you head out of town on U.S. Hwy 221 toward Grandfather Mountain, you’ll find a wealth of small communities such as Boone Fork and Hodges Gap. Many of the areas in that direction boast some of the most beautiful views in all of North Carolina. Perhaps that’s why legendary 20th century painter Elliott Daingerfield chose it for his stately manor, now home to Westglow Resort and Spa. Many of Blowing Rock’s outlying neighborhoods, such as Aho and the Shulls Mill Road area, feature easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway and its popular destinations such as Julian Price Park, Bass Lake, Moses Cone Estate and Thunder Hill.

– ROWLAND’S SUMMER MENU – STARTERS Soup Du Jour Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho Summer Kale Salad Bonnie’s Heirloom Tomato Salad Eggplant and Ricotta Ravioli Pan Seared Duck Foie Gras Tiger Prawn King Salmon Sashimi Charcuterie and Local Cheese Board Roasted Vegetable Plate

ENTRÉES Seared Dry Pack Scallops Butter Poached Lobster Miso Marinated Mero Sea Bass Seared #1 Tuna Grilled King Salmon Joyce Farms Sundried Tomato and Goat Cheese Chicken Roulade Espelette Marinated Rack of Lamb Seared Rib Eye

DESSERTS Carrot Cake Strawberry Crostata Peach Cheesecake Beggars Purses S’mores Chocolate Earth Mountain Berry Crisp Trio of House Made Ice Cream Champagnes, Fine Wines and Cocktails also available

828.295.4463 | WESTGLOW.COM

828.295.5141 | BLOWING ROCK

Important Phone Numbers in Blowing Rock (All numbers in the 828 area code, except where noted). Any Emergency ............................................................................................................... 911 Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue ..................................295-5218 (non-emergency) Blowing Rock Police Department ..............................................295-5212 (non-emergency) Blowing Rock Post Office ................................................................... 295-3589 Blowing Rock Town Hall .........................................................................................295-5200 Planning and Inspections .................................................................. 295-5240 Grover Robbins Pool Complex .................................................................................295-5224 Parks and Recreation ......................................................................... 295-5222 Blowing Rock School ..............................................................................................295-3204 The Blowing Rocket Newspaper ......................................................... 295-7522 Blowing Rock Hospital ............................................................................................295-3136 Village Pharmacy .............................................................................. 295-3482 U.S. 321 Widening Hotline ......................................................................................964-3260 High Country Council of Governments ................................................. 265-5434 High Country Workforce Development Board .........................................................265-5434 Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation ....................................... 264-8894 Appalachian Energy ...............................................................................................295-9563 Blue Ridge Energies .......................................................................... 264-3521 Carolina West Wireless ...................................................................(336) 973-5000 ext. 1250 Charter Business .......................................................................(800) 314-7195 Skyline Membership Corporation ...........................................................................963-1350 Wireless Center/Verizon Wireless ........................................................ 406-4040


Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014

Page 11

A School of Excellence Blowing Rock School takes advantage of wealth of local resources

I

t’s one thing to claim that your town has good schools, it’s quite another thing to prove it. Last year, Blowing Rock School was named an Honor School of Excellence for the third consecutive year. It was the only school in the county to receive the state’s highest award. Why does Blowing Rock School, which includes grades kindergarten through eighth, continually rank among the state’s best each year? The reasons are many, but it begins with teachers and staff that are bright, dedicated and eager to give students the tools to succeed in the classroom and in life. Class sizes are relatively small at Blowing Rock School, allowing plenty of opportunities for individualized instruction. The school also takes advantage of its proximity to Appalachian State University by utilizing ASU student teachers, who are in turn rewarded with valuable on-the-job training. During the summer months, many of Blowing Rock School’s students attend the Mountaineer Summer Reading Program, a collaboration between ASU Athletics and the university’s Reich College of Education.

Speaking of reading, Blowing Rock School can lay claim as the place where the Operation Mama Gaye Book Program began. Blowing Rock School alumna Wendy Estes and Kim Hartley started the program several years back as a way of honoring their late mother, Gaye McDonald. Operation Mama Gaye holds events and raises money to make sure that every student in the school can purchase their own books. Now in its fifth year, Operation Mama Gaye has given more than 6,000 books to students in North Carolina and Alabama. Another resource that is unique to Blowing Rock School is its relationship with the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM). BRAHM’s Young at Art Program is an outreach program designed to augment the art curriculum of students from kindergarten through second grade at the school. Each class is treated to a monthly art class at the museum. In addition to the formal education the students receive at Blowing Rock School, they are also introduced to how volunteerism can be a positive force in their community. This past school year, 7th and 8th

Crews begin the work of demolishing the old playground equipment at the Blowing Rock School. The Blowing Rock PTO’s Playground Rejuvenation project is raising money to install new equipment.

SCHOOL – Continued on Page 12

PHOTO BY KRISTIN ESPINOSA

NEW STORE • BEST SELECTION IN THE HIGH COUNTRY

BLOWING ROCK FURNITURE GALLERY featuring Kincaid, Craftmaster, Riverside and many furniture lines made in America Hours: Monday - Saturday 10-6; Sunday 1-5 8486 Valley Blvd. (Hwy 321) • Blowing Rock, NC • (828) 295-7755


Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 12

June 26, 2014

Price Lake PHOTO SUBMITTED

Aw, shucks Blowing Rock just keeps winning awards and honors By JEFF EASON

B

editor@blowingrocket.com

lowing Rock doesn’t fish for compliments. It just lands them…and lots of them. It seems as if every time we pick up the phone, it’s some national or state organization calling to congratulate us on some recent award or accolade that has been bestowed upon Blowing Rock. Here’s a short list (compiled from a much longer list) of recent awards and honors Blowing Rock has received from folks who don’t even live here. Blowing Rock was named: • North Carolina’s Prettiest Small Town by a panel of Southeastern travel journalists, beating out places such as South Port and Southern Pines. • One of America’s Prettiest Winter Towns by Travel+Leisure magazine. • Favorite Mountain Destination by Our State magazine. • Best Mountain Town by Blue Ridge Country magazine. • Best Day Trip by The Winston-Salem Journal. • Platinum award for Art in the Park/Best Arts/crafts Show, Gold award for Best Main Street and Silver awards for Best Arts Town and Best Shopping in the 2013 Blue Ridge Country’s “Best of the Mountains” readers poll. Winners were selected from candidates in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. • A 2013 “Great Places in North Carolina” Award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association for Blowing Rock’s Main Street area.

From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, the Grover Robbins Swimming Complex in Blowing Rock is a central hub where families enjoy some fun in the sun, splash in the pool, and find out what’s going on in town that week.

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

SCHOOL

For more information, call Blowing Rock School at (828) 295-3204.

FROM PAGE 11

Local Wild Bird & Gift Store with an eclectic mix for indoor and outdoor decorating

... Not JUST A Bird Store!

FUDGE!

Hours: Mon-Sat 10-6pm; COME SEE US IN THE LANDMARK RED CABOOSE! Sunday 11-5pm

441 Shawneehaw Ave., in Downtown Banner Elk - in the RED CABOOSE • (828) 898-5008

graders in the school’s Beta Club volunteered at the Watauga Humane Society. The school’s Junior Beta Club spent time this past spring cleaning up the Gwen Tyrie Memorial Garden, located in the center of the school. Tyrie was a Blowing Rock School 3rd grade teacher who taught for 23 years before passing away in 2002. Ensemble Stage Company, the local professional theater company, regularly puts on its productions at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium. The company also works with the school to coordinate summer theater camps for children and anti-bullying plays during the school year. Blowing Rock School’s Parent Teacher Organization is one of the more active such groups in existence. They continually work with the school to ensure that resources are the best in the county and that event such as Spring Fling and the Halloween Festival run smoothly and provide plenty of fun for the kids. When students from Blowing Rock School eventually graduate from Watauga High School in Boone, they are eligible for the Blowing Rock Community Foundation’s scholarship program to help them attend colleges, universities and trade schools.

Playground Rejuvenation Project This past year, the Blowing Rock PTO began the Playground Rejuvenation Project. At the end of the school year, monkey bars and other equimpment that had been in place since the 1970s were removed to make way for new equipment. When completed, the new playground will feature state-of-the-art climbing equipment with a safe rubberized surface below. It will also feature a small amphitheatre for outdoor classroom work, plays and special presentations. The new playground was designed by professional landscape architect Ron Cutlip. The Blowing Rock PTO is currently working on several fundraising projects to pay for the new playground, including raffling off a 1931 Ford Model A Roadster. First graders from the school sold lemonade at two stands at the end of the school year and raised $1,117 for the new playground. For more information, or to donate to the Playground Rejuvenation Project, visit http://wataugasd.bres.schoolfusion.us/?SID&t.


June 26, 2014

Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 13

Parkway bound Blowing Rock just minutes away from Blue Ridge Parkway adventure By JEFF EASON editor@blowingrocket.com

T

he heart of no town lies closer to the Blue Ridge Parkway than Blowing Rock’s. Downtown Blowing Rock is less than five miles from the Southern Highland Craft Guild Center at the Moses H. Cone Estate (closer, if you walk from Bass Lake). Some of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s greatest assets are closer to Blowing Rock than anywhere else. The Thunder Hill Overlook, with its majestic views and wonderful hiking trails are located at Parkway Milepost 290.3. On the 4th of July you can see a number of fireworks displays from the vantage point of Thunder Hill. At Milepost 294, you will find the Southern Highland Craft Center and Moses Cone Memorial Park. The park features 25 miles of carriage trails for hiking and horseback riding, 16-acre Trout Lake, 22-acre Bass Lake, observation tower, and Flat Top Manor. Julian Price Memorial Park, with its

lake and fabulous campground, is found at Milepost 297. It includes a boathouse where visitors can rent kayaks, canoes and small rowboats. There are also plenty of overlooks and picnic areas on the Blue Ridge Parkway that are only minutes from Blowing Rock.

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is the primary and professional fundraising organization for the Blue Ridge Parkway. The role of the Foundation is to identify and cultivate the constituency of the Blue Ridge Parkway for philanthropic support. The Foundation only provides funding for those projects that enhance the quality of the visitor’s experience and have lasting value. In recent years, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has provided much needed funding for projects at Bass Lake and Julian Price Park. For more information, contact the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation at (336) 7210260.

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, with its trails, views and craft center, is one of the biggest attractions on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

PHOTO BY ROB MOORE


Page 14

Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014

Blowing Rock My Hometown By GINNY STEVENS

W

hen I am working at the 1888 Museum or Edgewood Cottage I find that our guests want to know what it’s like to live in Blowing Rock, which has made me think about all the components that have filled my life since we bought our house here in 1985, and there are many pieces of that puzzle. They all meld together to make our choice of Blowing Rock for our retirement years the best of all the options. We really enjoy the deer and turkeys that come through the yard daily, which will always be a distinctive pleasure of living here. First of all, the village and the surrounding mountains are not only beautiful to behold, but a nurturing place to call home. The beautiful scenery that surrounds us daily is an inspiration, both visually and emotionally. Winters in the snow are idyllic with the exception of ice storms,

and that makes it easy to stay home, snuggle in and read a good book. Snow is not usually a constraint to venturing out, as our road crew comes to plow at 6:30 a.m. and is pouring salt on the roads by 7:30 a.m. in our neighborhood, making the roads quite accessible….we do have fourwheel drive on both cars, however! Spring and fall are both colorful, with perfect temperatures, and we await the blooming jonquils, peonies, iris and other harbingers of spring or the colorful leaves and crisp breezes of autumn. Summers have always filled the village with guests who come to the delightful 75-85 degree temperatures and the attendant activities outside: swimming, hiking, exploring, tennis, golf, and the special events put on by the variety of organizations in town as well as Chamber of Commerce, Horse Show Board, House and Garden tours, BRAHM and Historical Society events as well as the Blowing Rock Foundation and Rotary activities. The churches also

play a very important role in this area, as does the Town’s Parks and Recreation Department. There seem to be far too many things to attend but there are a greatly increased number of people to host and entertain and the community arises to meet the need. All of these activities require a guiding hand and much camaraderie in gathering together to plan and present these activities, which leads me to talk about the people of our town, who work exceptionally hard to make the kind of activities that bring people to the village, as we are all very much aware that our economy is dependant upon bringing guests and visitors to the village. Thousands of volunteer hours are invested by the residents of Blowing Rock in the beautification of town and the organization and planning of activities presented by the village, to appeal to residents and visitors.

Main Street, with its unique shops and restaurants, is the heart and soul of downtown Blowing Rock.

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

HOMETOWN – Continued on Page 15


June 26, 2014

Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 15

Hanging out in front of Kilwin’s Ice Cream on Main Street is a rite of passage for generation of Blowing Rock youngsters.

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

HOMETOWN FROM PAGE 14

With all the pleasures of interesting shopping and eating in the exciting village restaurants, there is more than ample opportunity to enjoy the fellowship and leadership of our permanent residents. In the 1989 Town survey, 88% of the population stated that their primary interest was to keep the historic character of the village, and we are still working hard to maintain that goal. We have numerous people to applaud in that effort, Bill Brooks and Dean Bullis who own three stores on Main Street, and Rob Dyer and Lisa Stripling who own the Inn at Ragged Garden and have recently opened the Blowing Rock Ale House and the original children’s clinic on south Main Street, all historic buildings that have been saved by their selective choices. Many of the shop owners are choosing merchandise that appeals to our visitors, and that includes places like the Blowing Rock Market (which serves up gasoline, as well as great sandwiches, wine and selected specialty items.) The Blowing Rock Country Club has a full schedule of activities from May to October for its membership, and hosts many of the local organizations’ benefits and special events throughout the summer. This is a beautiful and popular venue for extraordinary fundraisers, hosted by the Blowing Rock Hospital and others who help support the community. The staff at Town Hall, under the leadership of Town Manager, Scott Fogleman, has a special place in the hearts of permanent residents, as they are every ready to assist and problem-solve. Tony Jones, our chef

of police, and his well-trained officers have a “can do” attitude, as does the entire fire department and emergency crew, with Kent Graham at the head. Each fall we have the Hometown Harvest Supper for the entire village in November, where we gather for fellowship and the chance to know each other a little bit better. This is popular celebration will be November 17, 2013 for the sixth time at the Fire Station. Our Mayor, J.B. Lawrence and wife, Lynn, lead our elected officials, and the board of five commissioners are responsible for the Town’s well being, and the boards under their tutelage. These elected officials have a difficult job of pleasing everyone all the time, and for the most part have done an excellent job of keeping the town alive and well. We have a number of special celebrations around the Christmas holidays, with a parade the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the lighting of the huge tree in front of town hall. (I forgot to mention the Independence Day parade, a typical Norman Rockwell celebration of our town, with bicycles, horses, floats and much merriment including our town clown, Bobby Ball). There is certainly more to do than one could possibly do alone, and I hasten to mention the kindness of our citizenry, now that I am using a cane, and have a constant barrage of folks asking to help me load things in my car, or assist in some manner. I know that would not be the case in a larger location, and am ever grateful that so many people stop to assist me, and feel this may be unique to the High Country and Blowing Rock. Living here is the best of all worlds as far as my husband and I are concerned. We have been nurtured and loved and found so

many treasured memories that are unique to Blowing Rock, its people, and the beautiful mountains that we feel we could have no better place to live; we count our blessings daily and know that we have made the best choice to share this “Shangri-la” with

all of the other residents who enjoy this paradise with us. Editor’s note: Ginny Stevens is an active member of the Blowing Rock Historical Society and helps coordinate the Artists in Residence series at Edgewood Cottage.

New Fashions Arriving Weekly! Bring in this ad to receive

$25 Off Your Purchase One coupon per customer, per visit. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Not valid on merchandise discounted more than 70% off original price. Valid through December 31st, 2014.

Across from the Chetola Resort 537 North Main Street • Blowing Rock 828.295.4200 • Mon-Sat 10 - 5:30 & Sun 1 - 5


Page 16

Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014


June 26, 2014

Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 17

Top 40 reasons to live in the High Country #6 – HEALTHY LIVING

From the High Country Association of Realtors

The three counties of the High Country all ranked among the top 50 counties in North Carolina when it comes to the health of its residents, according to one national report.

W

e recently lost one of the most beloved disc jockeys of the 20th century when Casey Kasem passed away earlier this summer. Kasem was world famous for his American Top Forty broadcast in which he counted down the most popular songs in the land. The High Country Association of Realtors has come up with its own Top 40 list. It’s called “40 Reasons to Live the Dream in the High Country” and it lists, in no particular order, some of the many events, neighbors and intangibles that make the North Carolina High Country uniquely special.

#1 – THE NATURAL BEAUTY The beautiful view from the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain includes much of the High Country area.

#2 – THE GREAT OUTDOORS There’s hiking, biking, fishing, rafting and rock climbing, just to name a few. The opportunities for outdoor play are limitless.

#7 – MOSES CONE FIRETOWER TRAIL Beginning at Moses Cone Manor, it ends at its namesake, a firetower open to sightseeing. The trail is about 5 miles in length and includes a 1,000 foot elevation change.

#8 – MERLEFEST Held on a community college campus with more than a dozen stages and nearcontinuous music, Merlefest annually attracts a lineup of singers, pickers and players from all over the country. Hebron Rock Colony is one of the favorite waterholes to visit during the Summer months. You can access the falls from Price Park and the Boone Fork Trail Loob. PHOTO BY ROB MOORE

#3 – TURCHIN CENTER FOR THE VISUAL ARTS Located in downtown Boone, the center presents exhibitions, collections and educational programs open to the public.

#4 – A GREAT PLACE TO DO SOME BIRDING The Boone area, along with nearby Lin-

ville Gorge, are among the top 20 birding areas in North Carolina.

#5 – HICKORY CRAWDADS BASEBALL LP Frans Stadium is located about an hour south of Blowing Rock. It’s a straight drive down 321.

#9 – NEW RIVER MARATHON The course spreads over an elevation change of roughly 100 feet. It follows along the South Fork New River, one of only 14 American Heritage Rivers in the United States.

#10 – MOUNTAIN BIKE PARKS The list of outdoor activities available in REASONS – Continued on Page 18


Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 18

June 26, 2014

REASONS

#26 – OLA BELLE REED FESTIVAL The annual Ola Belle Reed Festival in Lansing features three days of music in honor of the late Ola Belle Reed, an acclaimed songwriter and musician.

FROM PAGE 17 the High Country got longer in 2011, thanks to the opening of two great mountain bike parks. One is in Boone, the other in Beech Mountain.

#27 – ASHE COUNTY Ashe County was the star of an episode of “Life in the Carolinas,” a 30-minute television program dedicated to celebrating all that’s good in the Tar Heel state.

#11 – RIDE SOME RAPIDS The High Country is home to many rivers, most serene. But one stands out for its pure kayaking magnetism – Elk River.

#28 – AVERY COUNTY FAIR The fair includes livestock shows, live music, kids events, petting zoo, beauty pageant and boxcar races.

#12 – THE HEBRON ROCK COLONY Located 20 minutes and a hike outside of Boone, it’s popular with locals who know all the best spots to splash and play.

#29 – HOWARD’S KNOB

#13 – NEW RIVER CANOE RACE One of the most popular summer events in Ashe County covers five miles of cool water.

#14 – BLOWING ROCK HORSE SHOW It was 1923 when equestrian enthusiasts first gathered in the High Country to celebrate their affections. 91 years later the show is still going on.

The Blowing Rock Horse Show is still going strong after 91 years of competition. PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

#30 – MORNING AT BASS LAKE #16 – APPALACHIAN ROLLERGIRLS One of the benefits of small town living – One person with one idea can make fun happen.

#18 – SINGING ON THE MOUNTAIN Held at the base of Grandfather Mountain, the Singing attracts thousands of gospel performers and fans for a outdoor celebration of music.

#17 – JULIAN PRICE MEMORIAL PARK #15 – HORN IN THE WEST Horn in the West has all the ingredients of a summer blockbuster. Fire dances. Gun fights. Emotional bonds. Duel loyalties. And drama.

Not many towns have the luxury of a penthouse observation deck. Boone is among the lucky few.

Located just outside Blowing Rock, the 4,200-acre playground includes a 47-acre lake, more than 100 picnic areas, several campgrounds, many hiking trails and a amphitheater.

#19 – AN APPALACHIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL One of the country’s largest regional arts festivals, attracts more than 26,000 people to its schedule of art, dance, music and stage.

#20 – THE BEAR The starting line is at the base of Grandfather Mountain. The finish line?Near the top of Grandfather Mountain. In between is five miles of road and 1,568 feet of elevation.

#21 – MUSICFEST ‘N SUGAR GROVE The two-day flow of top notch bluegrass is played out on the grounds of historic Old Cove Creek School about 20 minutes from Boone.

#22 – FIREFLY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD The High Country is home to legions of the lightning bugs. You see them most every summer evening.

#23 – LAND OF GREAT BOULDERING The High Country has plenty of challenges for those who enjoy bouldering. Large chunks of climbable rocks are dotted throughout the area.

#24 – THE MOUNTAINS-TO-SEA TRAIL The Mountains-to-Sea trail, North Carolina longest, slinks through portions of the High Country area.

#25 – BLUEGRASS AND OLD TIME FIDDLERS CONVENTION For 40 years some of the best and most dedicated fiddle players in the region have descended on the High Country to play, practice and learn a few new licks.

The Blowing Rock gem is ready made for early risers. It offers a trail for a peaceful jog, water for time with a fishing pole, and a natural silence for someone seeking to just get away for awhile.

#31 – VALLE COUNTRY FAIR/WOOLLY WORM WEEKEND The annual Valley Country Fair and Woolly Worm Festival have become a traditional autumn highlight of the High Country. Both events share the same weekend – the third Saturday in October – and both attract thousands of fall frolickers.

#32 – GHOST TRAIN Come the nights of October, Tweetsie Railroad theme park rises from the dead to offer scares, stares and bewares to those brave enough to walk its darkened grounds.

#33 – HALLOWEEN BOO IN DOWNTOWN BOONE Each year on All Hallow’s Eve, costumed candy cravers can cascade through downtown Boone for an evening of sugar-loaded fun.

#34 – HOME OF THE HOLIDAY SHOEBOX Operation Christmas Child, a time when hundreds of thousands of shoeboxes are packed with toys and treats for distribution overseas, begins- and ends – in the High Country via Samaritan’s Purse.

#35 – CHOOSE AND CUT YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS TREE Hundreds of people descended upon the many Choose and Cut Christmas tree farms here, not only to personally find that perfect family tree but to take part in an old fashioned holiday experience.

#36 – BEAUTY OF HIGH COUNTRY SKIING The ski mountains are not only fun to REASONS – Continued on Page 19


Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014

REASONS FROM PAGE 17 rush down, but also a marvel to view. All three resorts – Appalachian Ski Mountain, Ski Beech and Sugar Mountain Ski Resort – are visible from a distance from various angles in the county.

#37 – APPALACHIAN SKI MOUNTAIN App Ski Mountain has not just attracted thousands of tourists to the area but is a convenient winter playground for anyone with a sudden urge to make a run for the snow boarders.

#38 – BLOWING ROCK WINTERFEST Winterfest is a four-day annual event packed full of activities that could make even the most devout summer lover anxious for the end of January to arrive.

#39 – VALLE CRUCIS Valle Crucis is probably best known as the home of the original Mast General Store. But it’s also known for its picturesque beauty and phenomenal community park.

#40 – LAND OF THE OUTDOOR WEDDING The High Country of North Carolina offers such outdoor beauty, stunning enough to accentuate the largest – or smallest – outdoor wedding imaginable. And one more…

#41 – HOME OF A BEAUTIFUL ROUND OF 18 The High Country outdoors has plenty to offer, including more than one spectacular round of 18. The area is home to several golf courses, including Blowing Rock Country Club, Boone Golf Club Grandfather Mountain Country Club and Hound Ears Club.

Page 19

Weather or not By JEFF EASON editor@blowingrocket.com

T

he old saying “Everyone talks about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it,” is particularly apt in Blowing Rock. Visitors always ask about the weather in Blowing Rock but it is hard to give a definitive answer other that what the next few days will be like. For instance, four years ago we had one of the fiercest winters in recent memory. A Christmas day ice storm left many people without electricity for days, and that was after 18 inches of snow fell the week before. That entire winter was brutal and kids had to go to school well into June to make up for days missed during the winter. Three years ago, it looked like a similar scenario. We had lots of snow and cold weather prior to Christmas and area ski resorts opened earlier than they ever have. Then a strange thing happened. That winter ended rather early and spring temperatures rolled in. The winter we had two years ago may have been the weirdest of all.

Blowing Rock’s creeks and lakes turn into beautiful ice sculptures in the winter.

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

Folks around here are calling it “the winter without a winter.” Unusually warm temperatures permeated all winter long and we experienced the least amount of snowfall in decades. Oh, but we did get one good snow in April. Go figure. Last winter, while not unusually brutal, seemed to hang on forever. We even had a decent snowfall in May. If the weather in Blowing Rock is a little unpredictable, there are two

things you can count on. First, it’s going to be 10 to 15 degrees colder up here than in Charlotte at any time of the year. Second, we’re one of the few places in the South that truly experiences all four seasons. We do have our own weather station in the area at Grandfather Mountain and it is an excellent source for forecasts, fun facts and monthly updates. You can find out more at www. grandfather.com/planning_your_ visit/weather_conditions.php.


Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 20

June 26, 2014

Good Eats Blowing Rock filled with dining options By JEFF EASON editor@blowingrocket.com

B

lowing Rock is famous for a lot of things, not least of which is our incredibly wide variety of restaurants. If you are looking for fine dining with an elegant atmosphere, you have more choices than there are evenings in the week. If you are looking for a great burger or a deluxe pizza for the family, you can find it in one of the Blowing Rock restaurants. Here is a handy list of Blowing Rock restaurants and their phone numbers (all of which are in the 828 area code). A Taste of Italy ...............................................414-9698 The Best Cellar ...............................................295-3466 Bistro Roca ....................................................295-4008 Blowing Rock Ale House and Inn ...................414-9254 Blowing Rock Grille .......................................295-9474 Blowing Rock Market ....................................295-7373 Canyons of the Blue Ridge .............................295-7661 Cheeseburgers Grille .....................................295-0211 Chestnut Grille at the Green Park Inn ............414-9230 Divide Tavern and Restaurant ........................414-9230 Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub ...........................295-7262 The Gamekeeper Restaurant .........................963-7400 Jake’s Great Fast Food ....................................295-4988

Kojay’s Café and Coffee Shop .........................295-0015 Mellow Mushroom ........................................295-3399 Mi Carreta Mexican Grill ................................295-7204 New Public House and Inn .............................295-3487 Outback Steakhouse ......................................295-6283 Papa Joe’s Italian-American Restaurant .........295-3239 Restaurant G at Gideon Ridge .......................295-3664 Roots Restaurant ...........................................414-9508 Rowland’s at Westglow Resort and Spa .........295-4463 Six Pence Pub ................................................295-3155 Southern Comforts.........................................295-7114 Speckled Trout Café and Oyster Bar ...............295-9819 Storie Street Grille .........................................295-7075 Subway (Valley Blvd.) ....................................295-7827 Subway (Tanger Outlet) ................................295-8361 The Table at Crestwood .................................263-9176 Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort ....295-5505 Town Tavern ..................................................295-7500 Twigs .............................................................295-5050 The Village Café .............................................295-3769 Woodlands Barbecue and Pickin’ Parlor .........295-3651 For years Blowing Rock was the only place in Watauga County that wasn’t “dry.” As a result, most of the restaurants in town feature bars and all ABC permits. There are, however, a few restaurants that choose not to serve liquor, so it is always a good idea to call ahead to find out what’s on tap before heading out for an adult beverage.

Delicious barbecue, good friends and fun times are always on tap at Woodlands. PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

Music and Theater

I

2408 HWY. 105, BOONE, NC

t seems as if there is always something to do in Blowing Rock, especially in the summer. For some reason, a lot of talented folks end up in our Village and are constantly looking for an audience.

“Christmas in Blowing Rock,” a salute to the old TV Christmas specials hosted by Andy Williams and others. “Christmas in Blowing Rock” is a wonderful way to bring in the holidays with a couple hours of skits, dancing and holiday tunes.

Ensemble Stage

Blowing Rock Jazz Society

For the past five years, Ensemble Stage Company has been producing quality theater entertainment for all ages. This summer the company has four productions: The hilarious saga of Tuna, Texas continues with “Tuna Does Vegas,” followed by another comedy, “The Kitchen Witches,” then the murder mystery “Desperate Affection,” and concluding with “Completely Hollywood (Abridged),” which presents scenes from 189 movies in a 90-minute stage show. Ensemble Stage presents its productions at the Blowing Rock School auditorium. Ensemble Stage also hosts children’s theater camps and kids shows on the weekends. This December, Ensemble Stage will present its fifth annual production of

For the past decade, the Blowing Rock Jazz Society has been presenting monthly “Second Sunday” concerts at the Meadowbrook Inn. Pulling in talented acts from all over the Southeast, the BRJS concerts are a class act in a wonderful relaxing setting. You can also order food and drinks while you listen to pianos, saxes, bass and drums. Members of the Blowing Rock Jazz Society get to hear the shows for free.

Mountain Home Music Presented by musical host Joe Shannon, Mountain Home Music shows are presented on a regular basis at the Blowing Rock MUSIC – Continued on Page 22


Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014

Discover

Page 21

MORRIS STREET

GAINES KIKER Silversmith / Goldsmith

Immaculate Rooms Fireplaces/Jacuzzis Suites & Efficiencies Available Pet Friendly Complimentary WiFi Available LCD TVs / DVD Players

Specializing in Custom Design Working Studio and Gallery 132 Morris Street - Blowing Rock 828.295.3992

Organic Dog Treats Tough US Made Dog Toys Organic/Vegan Shampoos Stylish Collars, Leads and Harnesses Warm Winter Coats and Sweaters Also Equestrian Gifts

It’s a Dog’s Life 131-1 Morris Street Blowing Rock, NC 28605 828-295-8883

www.thebarkingrock.com

Mention This Ad For 10% OFF

Walking Distance to Restaurants and Shops!

Downtown Blowing Rock • 828-295-9559

www.homestead-inn.com


Page 22

Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014

Soul Benefactor, performing at one of the Friday afternoon concerts at the Best Cellar.

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

Find something for everyone at the...

MUSIC FROM PAGE 20 School auditorium. With an emphasis on regional musical styles, Mountain Home Music performances are your best bet for finding the finest musicians in the worlds of bluegrass, country, gospel, old-time, folk and Celtic.

Live music

Exhibits, workshops, programs, and events for all ages. Conveniently located on the corner of Chestnut and Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock.

159 Chestnut Street 828-295-9099 blowingrockmuseum.org

In Blowing Rock, you never know when somebody’s going to break out into song. But if that is too random and unpredictable for you, there are a number of surefire locales where you are bound to hear great music. Canyons of the Blue Ridge features live music on the weekends, usually starting around 10 p.m. The majority of the shows are free, but Bart occasionally books the big national act and charges a little bit at the door. You can also always count on Canyons for great live jazz music during its Sunday brunch. Woodlands Barbecue and Pickin’ Parlor is the perfect place to grab some grub and hear some live music. The upstairs of the restaurant features live music nightly, usually by some of the High Country’s best bluegrass and country musicians. The Town Tavern on Main Street is not only a great place to finish tasty burgers

The King Bees.

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

and wings, but it is also featuring plenty of live music acts, especially on the weekends. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how talented some of our local pickers and singers are. More and more restaurants are adding live entertainment to their offerings, especially in the summer. Call ahead to find out when they are playing. The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce presents a summer concert series called Concerts in the Park. About once a month, you’ll find a musical act performing to an audience of about 100, filling the warm Sunday atmosphere with beautiful music. Another outdoor concert series uses Mondays instead of Sundays and Broyhill Park instead of Memorial Park. The Monday Night Concert Series, organized by Amy Marie Young, features a wide variety of acts performing at the gazebo next to Broyhill Lake, behind the Blowing Rock American Legion.


Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014

Page 23

Green Park Inn offers music and fun for everyone

T

he Green Park Inn is one of the most historic structures in Blowing Rock. Construction on the hotel began in 1888 when the areas of Green Park, Blowing Rock and Mayview were three distinctive communities. The Green Park Inn first opened its doors to travelers and summer residents in 1891. For many years, the only operating U.S. Post Office in Blowing Rock was located in the Green Park Inn. Over the years, the Green Park Inn was the chosen destination of not just your average tourist, but of some of the big names in 20th century politics and entertainment. Guests have included sharpshooter Annie Oakley, John D. Rockefeller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. Not only did novelist Margaret Mitchell stay at the hotel, but she also wrote part of her Civil War masterpiece, “Gone with the Wind,” while staying there. These days, the Green Park Inn is still a place where visitors can

feel like they are in the lap of luxury while letting their hair down. The inn features two separate dining areas: The Chestnut Grille Restaurant and the Divide Tavern Lounge. In the restaurant, guests can dine on freshly prepared menu items that feature a decidedly Southern flavor. They include a black-eyed pea cake served over wilted greens and a tomato coulis, seared scallops, grilled pork flat iron with stewed apples, New York strip, pulled pork sushi and other items, including daily specials featuring locally produce and meats. The Divide Tavern, with its casual, laid-back atmosphere, offers wings, burgers, chicken pot pie and other bar fare. The piano lobby is a central meeting point where guests can meet and find out what is going on during their stay in Blowing Rock. Pianist Charlie Ellis, a legend in Blowing Rock, entertains guests in the lobby on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information on the Green Park Inn first opened to the public in 1891. Green Park Inn, call (828) 414-9230.

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

Your Hometown Restaurant For More Than 30 Years Catering Available for Special Events Luncheon Specials Weekdays 11am - 2pm Live Entertainment Nightly - No Cover All ABC Privileges Hwy 321 Bypass, Blowing Rock, NC www.WoodlandsBBQ.com | 828.295.3651

The Woodlands Barbecue & Pickin’ Parlor


Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 24

June 26, 2014

Homes in the Village Tour

I

f you would like to spend a Saturday this summer or fall looking at some housing choices in the Blowing Rock area, a new program this year is just the ticket. Real estate agents will be giving free tours of homes for sale from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays when the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce holds its monthly Art in the Park events. The self-guided tours lead to six open houses of real estate ranging from cottages to condos to grand designer homes. Six new homes will be shown each month. Maps and information will be available at the “Homes in the Village” booth at Art in the Park. Future Homes in the Village tours will be held July 19, August 16, September 6 and Oct. 4. For more information, call Pam Vines at (828) 963-0939.

Need a home? Take one of Blowing Rock’s Homes in the Village tours this summer.

PHOTO SUBMITTED

Classic Surroundings, Modern Amenities

Music on the Veranda Sundays at 5pm ESTD. 1882

Chestnut Grille

Divide Tavern

Patio Dining Available

www.greenparkinn.com 828.414.9230 | 9239 Valley Blvd Blowing Rock, NC 28605


Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014

Page 25

Shopping in Blowing Rock

T

here’s an old joke in Blowing Rock that after the Food Lion opened in town about a decade ago, some people never felt the need to leave town ever again. The funny thing about that joke is that it is true. Blowing Rock may be small when it comes to square mileage (3 square miles), but it is home to more than 100 shops, about two dozen restaurants, and nearly 20 inns and hotels. If you are looking for one-of-kind items such as artwork to decorate your home, Blowing Rock offers a number of fine galleries such as Main St. Gallery, Blowing Rock Frameworks and Gallery and Art & Artifacts Gallery. If you’re looking for

bargains on brand name clothes and other items, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway and its more than 20 outlet stores. Along with Food Lion, we also have other places to get food such as Blowing Rock Produce and Provisions and the Blowing Rock Market. And all of your prescription needs can be handled at the Village Pharmacy. Whether it is clothes, decorative items, furniture, books, camping gear or antiques, Blowing Rock’s got what you are looking for. Heck, we even have a hardware store. So, unless you are shopping for a new car, chances are you can find what you’re shopping for in Blowing Rock.

The Blowing Rock Farmers Market takes place each Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

Sales and Rentals in Whether you are buying or selling property, Jenkins Realtors® has many years of experience. Together with Jenkins Rentals®, Jenkins Realtors® offers full service offices capable of not only helping you find a “perfect vacation getaway,” but also your “dream home.” All of us at Jenkins Realtors® love living here in the beautiful High Country of North Carolina. We hope you will choose to make it your vacation destination or perhaps even your home!

800.438.7803 • 828.295.9886 • www.JenkinsRealtors.com


Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 26

June 26, 2014

Churches Serving Blowing Rock Blowing Rock Methodist Church (Summer only) 1314 Main St., Blowing Rock 295-6207

Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church 1218 Main St., Blowing Rock 295-7675

Blowing Rock Refuge Church Blowing Rock School Gym Morris St., Blowing Rock Sundays at 10 a.m. 773-6750

St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church 140 Chestnut Dr., Blowing Rock 295-7323

Church of the Epiphany Catholic Church (Summer only) 163 Galax Lane 264-8338 FaithBridge United Methodist Church 194 Aho Rd., Blowing Rock 295-8333 First Baptist Church of Blowing Rock 350 Sunset Dr., Blowing Rock 295-7715 First Independent Baptist Church Possum Hollow Rd., Blowing Rock

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church 5570 Blowing Rock Blvd., Lenoir 295-4750 The Temple of the High Country 1043 W. King St., Boone 264-8364 St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country Catholic Church 259 Pilgrims Way, Boone 264-8338 Sandy Flats Baptist Church 1776 Hwy. 221 S., Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock Methodist Church features one of the most spectacular choirs in the High Country. PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

Clubs, Non-Profits and Civic Organizations in Blowing Rock (All numbers in the 828 area code, except where noted). American Red Cross (Watauga County Chapter) .....................................................264-8226 Appalachian Women’s Fund ....................................................................................264-4002 Blowing Rock C.A.R.E.S (Children Are Really Extra Special) Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce .....................................................................295-7851 Blowing Rock Community Foundation ...................................................................295-3048 Blowing Rock Historical Society ..............................................................................295-6114 Blowing Rock Art and History Museum ..................................................................295-9099 Boy Scout Troop 101 Girl Scout Troop 4 Blowing Rock School PTO Blowing Rock Garden Club Blowing Rock Community Library ..........................................................................295-7000 Blowing Rock Jazz Society ............................................................................ (423) 727-0795 Blowing Rock Women’s Club ...................................................................................295-7656 Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation ................................................................... (336) 721-0260 High Country United Way .......................................................................................265-2111 Blowing Rock American Legion Middle Fork Greenway Association .........................................................................264-3754 Rotary Club of Blowing Rock ......................................................www.blowingrockrotary.org Watauga Humane Society ......................................................................................264-7865 Dylan’s Hearts ............................................................................................... (336) 299-6392 O.A.S.I.S. (Opposing Abuse with Shelter, Information and Service) ........................264-1532 Habitat for Humanity .............................................................................................268-9545 Watauga Arts Council .............................................................................................264-1789 Western Youth Network ........................................................................................264-51274 Wine to Water ........................................................................................................355-9655 Samaritan’s Purse ...................................................................................................262-1980


June 26, 2014

Blowing Rock My Hometown

Emergency Services

Page 27

Year Round Recreation There’s always something to do in Blowing Rock By JEFF EASON editor@blowingrocket.com

F

or more than a century, Blowing Rock has been a popular summer destination for folks looking to escape the heat of places such as Charlotte, Atlanta and pretty much all of Florida. But for many of us, Blowing Rock is our home all year round. You might think that when our summer visitors leave in the autumn that things slow down around here. Well, it’s true that we have a little less traffic on the highways during the winter months. But there are still lots of special events to enjoy. In fact, there is something going on every month of the year in Blowing Rock!

January Blowing Rock celebrates the dead of winter each year with a four-day celebration known as Winterfest. With the motto of “Don’t hibernate, celebrate!” Winterfest is a way of sharing our unique position in the Southeast as a skiing and snowboarding destination, coupled with lots Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue and the Blowing Rock Police Department are on call 24 hours a day. PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

RECREATION – Continued on Page 28


Page 28

Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014

Pre-parade festivities in Memorial Park and a 4th of July dance in the park highlight the beginning of festivities in Blowing Rock.

PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

RECREATION FROM PAGE 28 of special events. Highlights of Winterfest are the Polar Plunge into Chetola Lake, the Chili Challenge Cook-off, WinterFeast, silent auction, ice carving demonstrations, wine auction and tastings, the Winterpaws dog show, pancake breakfast, Little Miss and Master Winterfest Pageant, hay rides, bonfires and the Winterfashions runway show. Winterfest is presented each year by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.

February Every year in February, alumni from the old Blowing Rock High School gather together for a potluck supper and reunion. Blowing Rock High School, at the site of the current Blowing Rock Elementary School, was consolidated with other schools in the county in 1965 when Watauga High School opened in Boone.

March On March 11 each year, the Town of Blowing Rock celebrates its birthday. In 2015, the town will mark its 124th year in existence. To celebrate the occasion, folks will gather at Blowing Rock Town Hall for punch and cake. It is also the occasion where we announce the new set of historic markers that will be placed at historic sites, businesses and houses.

April

Folks line Main Street for its annual parades. PHOTO BY JEFF EASON

Trout season in North Carolina begins on the first weekend in April, and Blowing Rock kicks off the season with its annual

Trout Derby. The Blowing Rock American Legion Hall becomes Trout Derby Central and is the place where fish are measured and prizes and trophies are handed out. Younger anglers can take advantage of the newly stocked waters of Broyhill Lake, while older fishers can try to land trout from the Middle Fork of the New River and other hot fishing spots. In mid-April, Blowing Rock hosts the annual Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival. A giant tent is erected at the parking lot at Maple Street (between The Best Cellar and the Post Office), and a number of special events are held there including Grillin’ and Chillin’ (live music, food and wine tastings) and the Grand Wine Tasting on Saturday. The Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival also features “Uncork the Festival,” a celebration of the first day of the festival, and winemakers’ dinners, wine seminars and cooking classes, and special appearances by the celebrities of wine and food TV shows. The Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival is presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. Tweetsie Railroad and Wild West Theme Park has been entertaining families in the North Carolina High Country for more than a half-century. Each year in April, Tweetsie opens its gates for the season. The centerpiece of the theme park is the steam-powered locomotives that take riders on a 3.5-mile loop through the mountains where they travel back in time to see life in the old Wild West. Tweetsie also includes the Palace Saloon can-can show, amusement park, petting zoo, gem mine, clogging and bluegrass shows, and much more. Tweetsie is open from mid-April until the end of October.

RECREATION – Continued on Page 29


Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014

RECREATION FROM PAGE 28 In April, the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum begins its monthly Third Thursday lecture series. Each month, BRAHM will host an artist, celebrity or expert in a particular field who will entertain and educate visitors to the museum. The Third Thursday lecture series runs through October. From April through October, the National Park Services’ Cone Manor Estate and the Southern Highland Craft Guild has co-hosted crafts demonstrations on the front porch of the Cone Mansion. Visitors can meet with craftspeople and artisans as they created everything from hand-blown glass items to turned hardwood bowls. Demonstrations take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are closed for lunch at the artist’s discretion. For more information, call (828) 295-7938.

May For many people and events, the month of May is the true beginning of the “busy” season. It marks the beginning of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s weekly Farmers Market. The open air market takes place on Park Place next to Blowing Rock Memorial Park from 4 to 6 p.m. each Thursday. Art in the Park also begins in May. This monthly, juried art market is held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. one Saturday per month through October. It is held on the parking deck next to the American Legion Hall and features approximately 90 arts and crafts booths. On the Friday of each Art in the Park weekend, restaurants and galleries along Sunset Drive hold what they call a “Sunset Stroll,” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The event features new art exhibits, hors d’oeuvres and artist meet and greets. Also in May, the Inn at Ragged Gardens begins hosting its weekly music on the lawn series. On Memorial Day Monday, U.S. military veterans, their families and supporters gather at Blowing Rock Memorial Park to honor the fallen servicemen and servicewomen who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The service includes stories, patriotic songs including the “Star Spangled Banner” and the playing of “Taps.” At the entrance to the park is a plaque that honors all of the Blowing Rock servicemen who have died in battle since the Civil War.

June Now in its 91st year, the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is the longest continually running horse show in the eastern half of the country. The event takes place over

Page 29

three long weekends in the summer and includes a Saddlebred division and two Hunter and Jumper divisions. Held at the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve, the horse show is a must see event for all horse lovers.

our 4th of July celebration include giant fireworks displays at the Green Park Inn, Tweetsie Railroad and Westglow Spa and Resort, the pre-parade festivities in Memorial Park (including horse shoe tournament), and a 4th of July dance in the park.

For 44 years, Jerry Burns served as editor of The Blowing Rocket. But he also served on numerous boards around town, participated in the Blowing Rock Community Theater, and was generally known as the town’s biggest cheerleader. On June 18, each year, Blowing Rock celebrates Jerry Burns Day. It takes place at Edgewood Cottage on Main Street and serves as a day of celebration and reflection on the families that helped build Blowing Rock into what it is today.

Another longtime tradition for visitors coming to Blowing Rock is to drive to Grandfather Mountain and see the animal habitats and the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Grandfather Mountain attracts tens of thousands during its four-day Highland Games and Gathering of the Scottish Clans in July. It is truly a celebration of all things Scottish with lots of dancing, music, demonstrations, crafts, and games of strength and skill.

The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce holds its annual picnic in June. It is a great way to meet the other members of the organization and taste some of the best homemade dishes to ever come out of a kitchen. June is Gardening Month in Blowing Rock, celebrated with several “Bloom in June” events. The highlight of “Bloom in June” is the annual Mile of Flowers and Garden Tour, sponsored by the Blowing Rock Garden Club. It takes visitors on a tour of some of the most beautiful private gardens in town, as well as showing them places such as Blowing Rock Memorial Park where the garden club’s handiwork can be found.

The annual Blowing Rock Tour of Homes is a chance to see some of the most gorgeous houses in the High Country. Some are historic, some are brand new, but they are all breathtaking. Sponsored by the St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, the Tour of Homes is an annual fundraiser that raises money for a number of good causes around Blowing Rock. Simply put, the annual Symphony by the Lake at Chetola concert and fireworks show is one that should never be missed. Approximately 3,000 people attend the show each year and for the past several seasons it has been the Symphony of the Mountains from Kingsport, Tennessee

playing classical music and popular favorites to the crowd. A number of businesses set up booths for the event and it is a great opportunity to meet the movers and shakers of the High Country. The event is presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at Chetola Resort.

August The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum’s annual Art and Antiques Show is a first class fundraiser for the museum. Art and antique dealers from all over the Southeast travel to Blowing Rock for this event. BRAHM opens the event with a preview party on Thursday the Art and Antiques Show is Friday through Sunday at the museum on Chestnut Drive. The annual Blowing Rock Hospital Fashion Show and Luncheon serves as a fundraiser for the soon-to-be-constructed Appalachian Place at Chestnut Ridge. Operated by Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, the new facility will replace Blowing Rock Hospital. The fashion show and luncheon is held at the Blowing Rock Country Club and features local models striding down the runway wearing fashions from local clothiers. The event is held in early August each year. RECREATION – Continued on Page 30

For the past four out of five years, Blowing Rock has hosted the Oasis Shriners spring get-together. Representing the Shriners organizations in the 50 western counties of North Carolina, it is marked by dinner and strategy meetings. What most folks in Blowing Rock see, and love, is the Shriners parade that marches down Main Street. It features clowns, bands and more miniaturized vehicles than you can possible imagine. The Shriners is an organization dedicated to raising money for their children’s hospitals. In June, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce begins its monthly concerts in Blowing Rock Memorial Park. And the Monday Night Concert Series, hosted by Amy Marie Young, begins putting on shows at the gazebo at Broyhill Lake. Both series are free and open to the public.

July Spending the Fourth of July in Blowing Rock has become a family tradition for folks from all over the Southeast. That’s partly because of our small town charm, partly because of our “Norman Rockwell” style Independence Day parade and partly because that’s usually the hottest time of the year off the mountain. Highlights of

A North Carolina Tradition. Iconic Views and Unique Gift Shop 432 Rock Road, Blowing Rock theblowingrock.com 828-295-7111


Page 30

Blowing Rock My Hometown

RECREATION FROM PAGE 29 The Blowing Rock Community Foundation is a locally run organization that raises money for local non-profits and for scholarships for college students from the Blowing Rock area. It hosts several fundraising events in August including tennis and golf tournaments at Blowing Rock Country Club. For the past five years, it has also produced a variety lip synch show called “Groovy Nights.” Held for three nights in the country club’s ballroom, “Groovy Nights” is a chance to see your friends and neighbors pretend to be the singing stars of yesteryear. The Rotary Club of Blowing Rock is responsible for a number of good works, including blood drives for the American Red Cross and raising money to restore the American Legion Building. In August, the Rotary Club puts on a live auction of a wide variety of items to help raise money for its ongoing projects.

September As the weather begins to cool, but before it gets too cold, Blowing Rock hosts the annual Mayview Madness 5-K Race and Fun Run in mid-September. The annual event attracts some of the best runners in the High Country and begins and ends in downtown Blowing Rock. The Blowing Art and History Museum celebrates its birthday each year at the end of September. 2014 marks the third birthday of the new facility and will feature a celebration and Alexander Arts Lecture.

October October marks the last chance of the year to catch the Sunset Stroll, Art in the Park, Farmer’s Market, and Third Thursday lecture at BRAHM. Blowing Rock’s Halloween Festival, presented by Blowing Rock Parks and Rec, is fun for kids of all ages. It includes a monster and costume parade, trick-ortreating with the merchants of Downtown Blowing Rock, and a scavenger hunt down at Broyhill Lake.

November In early November, the Blowing Rock Appearance Advisory Commission (BRAAC) gets together for its annual planting day. Bulbs are planted around Town Hall so that they will magically appear the following spring.

June 26, 2014 On Veterans Day, local retired military personnel, their family and friends gather at the Blowing Rock School auditorium for songs, stories and a chance to socialize. Everyone is invited to attend. The Hometown Harvest Supper, held annually at the Blowing Rock Fire Department, is one of the area’s largest potluck dinners. Everyone brings a dish or two, plus canned food for the Hunger and Health Coalition. The meal is complemented by cake contests for adults and children. If snowmaking conditions are good, with crisp cool nights, Appalachian Ski Mountain will open prior to Thanksgiving. For more than 50 years skiers from all over the Southeast have been hitting the slopes of Appalachian Ski Mountain. The resort now features a terrain park, plenty of rental options, and a skating rink. The day after Thanksgiving, Blowing Rock celebrates Christmas in the Parka and the annual Lighting of the Town ceremony. Folks from all over gather in Blowing Rock Memorial Park to drink hot chocolate and hot apple cider, sing Christmas carols and plan some holiday shopping with the downtown merchants. Chetola Resort’s annual Festival of Lights runs from Thanksgiving until WinterFest, at the end of January. The resort will special holiday dinners, carriage rides around Chetola Lake, and a visit with Santa Claus. This may be the most photographed area in the High Country for people looking to make a personalized Christmas card. Traditions Pottery and Bolick Pottery host an annual holiday kiln opening on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Early in the morning, members of the extended Bolick family climb into the wood-fired kiln and empty it of its treasures. After each piece is cleaned and priced, the scramble is on to grab a perfect piece of pottery. The event also includes craft demonstrations, live music and traditional mountain food such as cornbread and pinto beans. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Town of Blowing Rock hosts its annual Christmas parade down Main Street. The parade features dignitaries, floats, cloggers, marching bands and much more.

December Former students from the old Blowing Rock High School hold an annual holiday party each year in December, as do members of the Blowing Rock Historical Society. Appalachian Ski Mountain annually hosts a torchlight skiing and fireworks display to celebrate New Year’s Eve.


June 26, 2014

Blowing Rock My Hometown

Page 31


Page 32

Blowing Rock My Hometown

June 26, 2014


Blowing Rock My Hometown 2014