Page 1


WINTERFEST Chili Challenge Polar Plunge WinterFeast Wine Tasting & Charity Auction Concerts Kids’ Activities Ice Carving

Thursday to Sunday January 24-27





Page 10


January 24, 2013

Taking the Plunge

WinterFest’s Polar Plunge to attract divers of all ages


By Jeff Eason

igning up for WinterFest’s annual Polar Plunge at Chetola Lake is the ultimate crapshoot. Yes, you are rolling the dice in a game of chance against Mother Nature. Some years, the temperature has been so mild that taking a dip in the lake is a

great idea and getting the plungers out of the water is the biggest problem organizers face. Other years, crews have had to bring out the heavy equipment just to cut a hole in the thick ice on the surface of the lake. During those years, such as in 2010, getting the plungers out of the water and back on dry land is no problem at all.

WinterFest’s 2013 Polar Plunge will take place at Chetola Resort beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 26. Registration for plungers begins at 9 a.m. Folks wishing to sign up for the plunge on the morning of the event may do so at the Highlands Recreation and Sports Center at Chetola Resort. This year, proceeds from the Polar

Plunge will benefit Samaritan’s Purse, the Watauga Humane Society and Western Youth Network. For the past several years, more than 100 brave souls have hit the water in cannonballs and belly flops during the Polar Plunge. Continued On Page 11

Polar Plunge emcee Tracy Brown introduces intrepid divers before they leap into Chetola Lake.



January 24, 2013

Page 11

Hundreds gather at Chetola Resort to watch as Polar Plungers take an icy dip.


Taking the Plunge Continued From Page 10

One of the aspects of the Polar Plunge that makes it such a crowd favorite is the sight of the costumed plungers who are in pursuit of the “Golden Plunger” award for the most creative costume. Then, there are the antics and one-liners of emcee Tracy

Brown as he introduces the brave divers to the crowd right before they take the plunge. For more information, or to sign up for the Polar Plunge, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851. Or you can find an online registration form at


10% OFF




Page 12

n e o t s a a r e b ele terS C in W e th

January 24, 2013











MSRP $1199


You Save $700! Find Us on

KINCAID Factory Outlet • 4900 Hickory Blvd • Granite Falls, NC 28630 • 828-496-2262 • Open Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. • Open Sunday 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Facebook

January 24, 2013


Taking the Plunge

Page 13

66 polar plungers, above, line up for a photo opportunity just before they take the plunge into the cold water.


This jumper to the far left decided that the belly flop was the best way to fight off the frigid cold.


The ‘Golden Plungers’ are the reward for jumping into the lake at Chetola.


Hayrides and hot chocolate


By Jeff Eason

hey say the best things in life are free. They (whoever “they” are) must have been talking about WinterFest’s hayrides, bonfire and hot chocolate. Hayrides through downtown Blowing Rock will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26. Take a leisurely ride around Blow-

ing Rock Memorial Park with your family and friends … and be sure to make some new friends in the process. The hayrides are sponsored by Country Boy Landscaping in Statesville. Some people believe that the word “bonfire” is from the French for “good fire.” Well Blowing Rock’s WinterFest bonfire is not just good, it’s great. That’s because the bonfire in Blowing Rock Memorial Park in-

cludes toasted marshmallows and s’mores. All the supplies are provided. The bonfire will be held beginning at dusk on Saturday, Jan. 26, weather permitting. Local musicians are urged to come out to the bonfire and lead the gang in a campfire or two. The WinterFest bonfire is presented by Blowing Rock Boy Scouts Troop 101.

Blowing Rock’s WinterFest will be offering free hot chocolate to folks on Saturday, January 26. Look for the big truck parked in front of Blowing Rock Memorial Park for your cup of delicious warmth and hospitality. For more information, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851.

Page 14


Caribbean Cowboys

January 24, 2013

bring the sound of the surf to WinterFest


By Jeff Eason

o you like the music of Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers? The Caribbean Cowboys know every one of their songs. How about some beach music or rhythm and blues? Hit the road, Jack, the Cowboys have that stuff covered. Maybe you are in the mood for some classic rock? Well take it easy, brown-eyed girl, they can play that funky music. The Caribbean Cowboys, with more than 20 years of professional playing experience and a set list of more than 1,000 songs, are riding into town for WinterFest. They will be performing at Canyons of the Blue Ridge beginning at 9 p.m. on Saturday, January 26. Admission is $8 per person. The Caribbean Cowboys features Steve Weams on rhythm guitar and vocals, Jack Nitterauer on percussion and vocals, Mike Rothacker on bass guitar and harmony vocals, and Mike Barnes

on lead guitar and vocals. In addition to the band’s wide variety of cover songs and tributes (Elvis Pressley, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong), they also play a number of original songs. Known for their ability to play anything by Jimmy Buffett, the Caribbean Cowboys are the official band of the Western North Carolina Parrot Head Club, a charter member of the P.H.I.P. Over the years, the band has opened shows for Eric Burden and the Animals, Dr. Hook’s Medicine Show, Skeeter Davis and Hwy 69, the Zack Brown Band, the Drifters, Greg “Fingers” Taylor, Larry Gatlin, Jo Dee Messina, Cravin Melon and others. The Caribbean Cowboys were voted “Best Popular Rock Band” in the 1995 Asheville Citizen-Times Reader Poll and “Best Local Band” in 1999 and 2000 in the Western North Carolina Mountain Xpress Readers Survey. For Saturday’s show, the Caribbean

The Caribbean Cowboys bring beach music and rhythm and blues to Canyons Saturday, January 26.


Cowboys will perform a number of classic rock favorites in addition to their beach-soaked numbers.

For more information on this special WinterFest show, call Canyons at (828) 295-7661.


January 24, 2013

Page 15

Have spoon, will travel 15th Annual Chili Challenge set for Saturday


By Jeff Eason

hili is one of the most adaptable foods known to man. If you are a vegetarian, there are hundreds of versions of meatless chili to be found. If you like hot and spicy, there are multiple ways to turn up the heat on your recipe. Some like it sweet, some like it tart, some even make their special recipes with secret ingredients such as mangoes or coffee. Whatever kind of chili you love, you are sure to find it at the 15th Annual WinterFest Chili Challenge. This year’s event will be held at the Blowing Rock School Gymnasium from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 26. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Once you’ve handed over your ticket, you’ll get a spoon for tasting more than 50 different styles of chili, some made by award winning chefs. WinterFest’s Chili Challenge is not just a forum for tasting chili, it is an official chili cook-off sanctioned by the Chili Appreciation Society. The event features three competitions: One for restaurant and catering professionals, one for amateurs, and one for CASI members. The amateur cooks will be competing for cash prizes including $350 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place. The professional cooks will be competing for the coveted “Traveling Chili Trophy,” a handmade sculpture by artist Blowing Rock artist Alex Hallmark, to display in their business until next year’s competition. The CASI members will be competing for trophies and chili points. The points are gathered at various chili cook-offs around the country and help earn them invitations to the annual International Chili Cookoff in

Terlingua, Texas. “The Chili Appreciation Society International’s mission is to promote chili and raise money for charity,” said a spokesman for CASI. “Involved in over 500 chili cook-offs a year, CASI raises more than $1 million annually for local charities.” There are also “people’s choice” awards that are determined by the tasting public, and an award for best table display.

Chili lovers will be in paradise this Saturday at the WinterFest Chili Challenge. Professional cooks will be competing for the Chili Hand trophy (below).



Page 16

Join Mary Kelly by the fire for lunch and dinner!

Pancake Breakfast to benefit High Country Women’s Fund


By Jeff Eason

ach year WinterFest’s Sunday Pancake Breakfast serves as a way for folks to spend a little time with each other before wrapping up the annual celebration of all things “wintry.” It also serves as a way of giving a little something back to our community. This year the WinterFest Pancake Breakfast will benefit the High Country Women’s Fund, an organization dedicated to helping at risk women and girls in the mountains of North Carolina. The WinterFest Pancake Breakfast will be held at the Blowing Rock School cafeteria from 8 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27. The meal will consist of pancakes, bacon or sausage, coffee and orange juice. The price of the breakfast is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12 and free for children younger than 2.

Specializing in winter comfort food. Join us for

Live Entertainment on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

The Neighbors

Come enjoy the finest local ales during our three day event Jan. 24-26. The festivities kick off on Thursday when beers from a number of NC breweries are featured from 6-9 p.m. Special Bar Tapas’ Menu Also Local beer craftsmen enthusiasts on hand. Featuring NC regional beers of the season.

Friday 5pm Saturday 4pm

Beer Flights Available and Special Giveaways!

Smokin Joe


Saturday 1pm Sunday 1pm

Live Painting Saturday 4pm

HCWF The High Country Women’s Fund was formed in 2006 and serves women and girls in Avery and Watauga counties. The mission of High Country Women’s Fund is to affect positive change for women and their families in Avery and Watauga counties. We endeavor to inspire, educate, and empower women moving toward self-sufficiency by connecting them with local resources and with other caring women in our community.

January 24, 2013

Mon: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm Sun: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Tues-Thurs: Closed 1182 Main Street | Blowing Rock | 828.295.9683


January 24, 2013

Page 17

We stay open no matter the weather! Stop By to Enjoy our Excellence in Courtesy and Customer Service.


Spa Day Packages include up to three luxurious spa treatments, gourmet spa lunch, fitness classes and use of all resort facilities. Call for reservations. 828-295-4463 Tax inclusive. Mid-Week packages apply Monday - Friday. Now through March 29, 2013. Excludes holidays.

14 Drafts Import & Micro Brews

828.295.4463 | WESTGLOW.COM


New Patio Open (Weather Permitting) Serve Menu: Sunday - Thursday 11am − 10:30pm Friday and Saturday 11am − Midnight Bar Always Open until 2am

Starters Apple Salad Pumpkin and Duck Salad Carmelized PEI Mussels Soup Du Jour Tasmanian Salmon Sashimi Prawn Mac & Cheese Charcuterie and Cheese Plate Entrees Osso Bucco Butter Poached Lobster Miso Glazed Mero Seabass Pan Roasted Duck Breast Pan Roasted Tasmanian Salmon Grilled Beef Tenderloin Vegetable Pot Pie Desserts Blackberry “Pie” Nanner Pudding Crumb Cake Chocolate Earth Spiced Crème Brûlée Berry Crisp

NAMED #1 ROMANTIC RESTAURANT in Western NC by Open Table

1121 Main Street • Blowing Rock 828-295-3155 •



Page 18

Deals and steals at WinterFest Raffle and Silent Auction By Jeff Eason


his year’s WinterFest Silent Auction and Raffle benefits Mountain Alliance, an adventure and leadership program for high school age youth in Watauga County. It will be held in the Blowing Rock School cafeteria (beside the Chili Cookoff) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26. You will be able to pay for and pick up your items between 4:00 and 5:30 p.m. Please bring cash or your checkbook. Mountain Alliance serves 120-170 youth annually, offering several trips per week, after school and on weekends. These trips are provided by trained staff at no cost to students. They perform community service, in addition to having the adventures of a lifetime: backpacking, hiking, camping, rock climbing, caving, mountain biking, and all sorts of outdoor activities. Check out their website at Mountain Alliance has over $15,000 of great items in the Silent Auction and Raffle. Raffle tickets will be on sale for $1 each. Silent Auction packages include: weeklong stays in Sunset Beach and Emerald Isle condos, a 2-night getaway at the Banner Elk Winery & Villa, Fly-Fishing and Sporting Clays packages at the Biltmore Estate, a group cooking lesson with Tina Houston of Reid’s Catering, and Behind-the-Scene tours of Grandfather Mountain. Paintings by local painters, Kevin Baker and Jay Winston, will be auctioned. They have lodging packages from many High Country inns and hotels, as well as gift certificates for local restaurants. Check out the WinterFest Official Guide for a more detailed list. Get fit and healthy with golf outings, massages, horseback riding,

Rolfing, a Calloway Chiropractic visit, and custom made orthotics from Boone Podiatry. Ski tickets and gear will be auctioned, and you will be able to bid on many other family activities, including a Blowing Rock pool pass, rafting, gem mining, fishing, and canoeing. Tickets to Dollywood, MerleFest, Linville Caverns, the Asheboro Zoo, and more will be available for fun on and off the mountain. Local craftsmen have donated handcrafted items and local merchants have donated many great items. And last, but not least, bid on the services offered all over the High Country: a simple will estate package from Andrea Capua, Esq. and other services from Boone Bike & Touring, Studio M, Appalachian Music Shoppe, Blue Ridge Vet Clinic, Blue Ridge Vision, and Dr. Adam Hill. There will be more than 200 items available for auction or raffle. This year, for the larger valued items, you will be able to put in a sealed maximum bid, so that you can spend more time in town and still increase your chances of winning. Check out the Winterfest Official Guide for a more comprehensive list of donors. Make sure to spend some time at the Auction and Raffle; by the time it starts, there will be even more to buy than is listed here. For more information, call Tammie Jolly at Rustic, (828) 295-9033, or email tjolly@

You’ll find everything from fine art to dinner packages at this year’s Silent Auction & Raffle.


ASU fans look for Mountaineer items.

At the WinterFest Raffle, you can try to win all sorts of great things.

January 24, 2013


January 24, 2013

Page 19

Now Serving Breakfast 990 MAIN STREET BLOWING ROCK P (828) 295-7373


SATURDAY TASTINGS Serving a Selection of Specialty Foods from the Carolina’s Paired with a Special Selection of Wines

SUNDAY TASTINGS INTRODUCING the Market’s NEW Expresso Bar • Now Serving • Sample Coffees from around the World


9am - 1pm

BEER, WINE AND FOOD SPECIALS ALL WEEKEND! Wine Shop · Gourmet Deli · Specialty Foods · Cigars · Craft Beer · Coffee Shop

Barker Realty Group



Meet Me at the Market for the Best Value Homes in the High Country. David and Karen Barker


Page 2

Welcome to


ot everyone in the South is able to enjoy winter, with snow and ice and dangerous driving, as we do here in the mountains. And for the past decade-and-a-half, folks in the mountains have been kind enough to share their unique winter situation with people from all over during Blowing Rock’s annual WinterFest celebration. This year’s event, presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled for January 24-27 and promises to be the biggest and best one yet. If shopping is one of the things you love to do while visiting Blowing Rock, WinterFest has just the deal you are looking for. A number of shops and boutiques in downtown Blowing Rock and at Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway have special “Shop ‘til You Drop” bargains during the four days of WinterFest. On Thursday, January 24, fans of fine dining will gather at Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort for WinterFeast. The annual dinner will feature a buffet style meal where you can sample some of the finest culinary creations from a number of area restaurants. This year’s participating restaurants include Timberlake’s, Rowland’s at Westglow, The Table at Crestwood, The Best Cellar, The Laurel Room at the Green Park Inn, Canyons of the Blue Ridge, Meadowbrook Inn and Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub. Tickets for WinterFeast are $25 in advance and $30 at the door (if available). Seatings are at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. To reserve tickets, call (828) 295-7851. After your delicious WinterFeast meal, join your friends at Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub on Valley Boulevard for the Winter Ales Craft Tasting. The event will feature a wide variety of North Carolina winter ales, presented by their distributors.

January 24, 2013


For more information, call Foggy Rock at (828) 295-7262. Friday’s WinterFest celebration kicks off with a brand new event. The WinterFashions Show will be held at Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort beginning at 11 a.m. Models will be strutting their stuff wearing fashions from Doncaster, Monkee’s, J.W. Tweeds, Sister Act, TazMaRaz, Celeste’s, the Fig Leaf, and Almost Rodeo Drive. Admission is $25 and features lunch and a wonderful fashion show of winter and spring wear from the ladies shops in Blowing Rock. To reserve tickets, call (828) 295-7851. The Blowing Rock School’s PTO will host a special spaghetti dinner and Bingo event on Friday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Join your friends in the cafeteria for a $5 spaghetti dinner that includes meat or vegetarian spaghetti, salad, rolls and drink. Then walk to the school’s gymnasium for $1 bingo cards that could win you all kinds of valuable prizes. All of the proceeds from the event will go to benefit ongoing and future projects at Blowing Rock School. To help celebrate WinterFest, the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum is offering discounted admission of $3 per person all weekend long. Currently, the museum features an exhibit by the North Carolina Watercolor Society, as well as other exhibits dedicated to woodworking and the Civil War in Western North Carolina. For more information, call BRAHM at (828) 295-9099. Live music will be on tap at two restaurants on Friday evening during WinterFest. From 5 to 9 p.m. bluegrass pickers The Neighbors will be performing at MK’s Southern Cooking (formerly Glidewell’s) on Main Street. Admission is free.

The Harris Brothers will be performing at Blowing Rock School auditorium beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person or two tickets for $25. The Harris Brothers are well known in western North Carolina for the virtuosity and wide range of material in the blues, rock, Americana and pop styles. To reserve tickets, call (828) 2957851. The Mountain Cottage on 257 Sunset Drive will be hosting a special WinterFest event on Friday called “Wine, Cheese, and Art!” Come by the gallery from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to see art from local artists and enjoy a glass of wine from Banner Elk Winery. For more information, call (828) 295-4622. On Friday, Appalachian Ski Mountain will offer special pricing on skiing and snowboard instruction from its world-renowned French-Swiss Ski College. Reservations are required. Call (828) 295-7828. On Saturday, Mountain oAlliance, a program to proing mote leadership and to bring outdoor activities to local al youths, will host the annual WinterFest Raffle and Silent Auction, located in the Blowing Rock School cafeteria. Dozens of items, including trips, ski packages, hotel packages, and restaurant packages, will be raffled off, and incredible deals will be available on all sorts of items at the silent auction. The raffle and silent auction takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. One of the highlights of WinterFest is the annual Polar Plunge at Chetola Lake. Watch as more than 100 brave souls jump into the frigid lake in an effort to raise money for their favorite charities. Some jumpers will be making their 15th annual plunge while others will be

taking the dip for the first time. The event begins at 10 a.m. at Chetola Resort and is free for spectators. The Watauga Youth Network will provide a safe and fun day for children on Saturday at the Blowing Rock American Legion Hall. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. parents are invited to accompany their children for activities such as crafts, reading, snowflake decorating and more. Following the children’s activities, kids and their families are invited to attend the wedding of snowman Chilly and snowwoman Crystal at the gazebo in Memorial Park. The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. and everyone is invited. The wedding is presen presented by the Associao Consultants and tion of Even Services (ACES). Events Wh you are at the While park be sure to take park, adva advantage of the free hay hayrides given through dow downtown. It’s the per perfect way to relax and wa watch the down go by. Th There will also be free h chocolate offered hot in front of the park. Blowing Rock Realty and SweetGrass will host a cross-co cross-country ski and snow demonstra equipment demonstration and exhibition at SweetGrass (6 miles outside Blowing Rock). The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Enjoy games, prizes, a snow-dog building contest, hot chocolate and cookies. Call (828) 295-9861 for details and directions. The 15th annual WinterFest Chili Challenge will be held at the Blowing Rock School gymnasium from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. It’s a great way to get warm— from the inside out. The event features three levels of competition: Professional cooks, amateurs, and contestants from the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI). For noncontestants, it’s a great way to taste the seemingly infinite ways there are to make chili. Admission is Continued on Page 4

WinterFest Sponsors Sponsors of the 2012 WinterFest celebration include Our State magazine, Chetola Resort, WNC Magazine, Lake Norman Currents, Charleston Magazine, the Blowing Rock Visitors Center, Green Park Inn, Ensemble Stage, Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue, 107.9-FM The Link, Charlotte Living magazine, Wine to Water and Mountain Times Publications.

See map on page 30.


Page 20

Military Serve-Ice

January 24, 2013

Army Ice Carving Team returns to WinterFest By Jeff Eason


nyone who has been involved with military operations knows that food service personnel are as important as anyone on the base. Whether a battle is raging or it is a time of peace, soldiers have to eat. One specialized unit of military food operations is the United States Army Special Operations Command Ice Carving Team. Leaders of the team are traveling to Blowing Rock for the second year in a row to participate in ice carving demonstrations. The WinterFest Ice Carving Demos will take place at Blowing Rock Memorial Park from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 26. The ice carvers will transform large blocks of ice into stunning works of art, right before your eyes. They will also participate in a family-friendly wet T-shirt contest, one like you have never seen before. The WinterFest Ice Carving Demonstrations are free and located next to the gazebo in the park. While in town for WinterFest, the USASOC Ice Carving Team will create an ice “liquor luge” on the veranda of the Green Park Inn.

The Ice Carvers Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeff Lein started ice carving in 2003 as an apprentice under Chef Rene Marquis. Lein carved for the military dining facilities for special events for a few years before deciding to seek formal training. Lein’s formal training was conducted

with 17-time world champion Steve Brice in Alaska with a special concentration on human anatomy, animals, faces, logos, competition carving, abstract and realistic designs. In 2006, Lein was the Hawaii State team captain for the World Ice Championships in Alaska and placed 19th out of 41 international teams. Since that time, Lein has honed his craft and earned numerous gold and silver medals in military and civilian ice carving competitions. Lein is currently the USASOC Ice Carving team captain for 2010-2013. In his spare time, Lein carves ice in his basement studio and inspects military dining facilities for the U.S. Army Special Forces Command. Master Sergeant Travis Jones started ice carving in 2004, like most carvers as an apprentice. Jones carved as an apprentice for about a year and then attended formal ice carving classes in San Diego under the strict tutelage of Mark Donovan. Jones studied the ice carving basics in San Diego and spent about a week every year with Mike Donovan for four years to gain more experience and prepare himself for competitions. Over the next few years, Jones perfected his technique, structure, fusing and presentation to amass 15 top ranking medals and become of the best ice carvers in the military, voted “Best in Show” for 2011-2012. In his spare time, Jones teaches ice carving classes and serves as a supply sergeant for the USASOC. Jones is a lead carver for the USASOC 2013 Ice Carving Team and fines deep satisfaction out of carving a sculpture that will be on display for people to enjoy.

Ice carving demonstrations have been a WinterFest tradition since the first year. The USASOC Ice Carving Team will show off their skills Saturday.



January 24, 2013

ESTD. 1882

Join us as we host the US Army Special Operations Command Ice Carving Team who will create a 23 foot ice bar & liquor luge.

Meet the team Friday and Saturday Evening. Special Green Tini Shooters.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Special Operations Family Foundation.

Page 21


Page 22

January 24, 2013

Grape expectations WinterFest Wine Tasting and Wine Auction return to the Green Park Inn By Jeff Eason


hether you like your wine white, red, blush or bubbly, there is sure to be something you will love at the WinterFest Wine Tasting and Wine Auction this year. The 15th annual WinterFest Wine Tasting and Wine Auction will be held at the historic Green Park Inn on Saturday, January 26. The tasting begins at 2 p.m. and the auction begins at 4 p.m. As you enter the Green Park Inn, be sure to visit the “liquor luge” created by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Ice Carving Team. Bartenders pour liquor, juice and other beverages into the top of the luge. By the time it arrives at the bottom of the luge, the mixture is ice cold and served in shot glass made out of ice. Proceeds from the liquor luge will go to benefit the USASOC’s Operation Warrior Foundation. Upon entering the grand lobby of the Green Park Inn, attendees will find their favorite wines arranged by country of origin. The French table will feature wines from the Bordeaux, Burgundy and South Rhone regions. The Spanish/Portuguese table will feature wines from Noval Cedro, Portugal and Campo de Borgia, Spain. The United States table will feature wines from Napa Valley, Sonoma County and Lodi in Califor-

nia as well as wine from Washington State. Other tables will feature wines from all over the world, including some from nearby Raffaldini Vineyards in Ronda, NC. The Wine Tasting will also feature heavy hors d’oeuvres created by award-winning chef James Welch at the Green Park’s Laurel Room Restaurant. Tickets for the WinterFest Wine Tasting are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. To reserve tickets, call (828) 295-7851.

Wine Auction

Attendees at last year’s Wine Tasting enjoy themselves in Green Park Inn’s Divide Tavern.


This year’s WinterFest Wine Auction will feature a number of items on the bidding block, including a Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival gift basket with lodging, tickets and other great stuff. This year’s auctioneer is former state representative Cullie Tarleton. Starting bids for many of the items at the auction are incredibly low this year. In addition to bottles of wine and wine related items, the auction includes a number of gift packages provided by local businesses. Attendees at the WinterFest Wine Tasting and Wine Auction must be 21 or older and have a valid ID. Proceeds from this year’s Wine Tasting and Wine Auction will benefit the local chapter American Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Wine reps provide information and insights to their products.


January 24, 2013

WinterFest Merchandise

Page 23

While you’re in Blowing Rock for WinterFest, be sure to stop by Sunset Tees and Hattery to pick up a few souvenirs. They have WinterFest T-shirts in sizes ranging from infant to XX-large and WinterFest ball caps.


Kids Activities at WinterFest Y ou may be asking yourself, is there anything at WinterFest for my children to enjoy? Well, the good folks at the Western Youth Network have established a “Kids Headquarters” at the Blowing Rock American Legion building on Wallingford Street, behind Blowing Rock Memorial Park. On Saturday, Jan. 26, the site will be home to games, dance lessons, crafts and snowflake decorating for children.

The event is free and open to all. The activities will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. At 3 p.m., all the children and their parents are invited to walk over the gazebo at Memorial Park for Chilly and Crystal’s wedding. The snowman and snowwoman who are the official mascots of WinterFest have been engaged for a year now and are ready to say “I do.” For more information, call (828) 2957851.

Always Great Savings OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK Monday - Saturday 10 AM - 6 PM Home Collections Sunday 1 PM - 5 PM Now Featuring Henredon, Lane, 8486 Valley Blvd. (Hwy 321) Laneventure and Maitland-Smith Blowing Rock • 828-295-0965

Page 24


WinterFest History

January 24, 2013

A collection of images from years past.

Timberlake’s Restaurant will host WinterFeast this year.


The Little Miss WinterFest Pageant contestants from ages one to teenagers.


The Blowing Rock School will host a spaghetti dinner and Bingo night on Friday.



January 24, 2013

Page 25

Screaming for more chili?


Getting a ‘cheeky’ snowman.

PHOTO SUBMITTED Serving up the wine with big smiles all around.


Selling the Blowing Rock Recipe book at the Chili Challenge.


Holding court by the lake.

Chomping down the chili.



Page 26


January 24, 2013


January 24, 2013

Dogs Allowed

Page 27

Winter Paws Dog Show on Sunday


By Jeff Eason

he final event of WinterFest 2013 is one the whole family can enjoy, even man’s best friend. Bring your dog to the Winter Paws Dog Show, to be held beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Blowing Rock School gymnasium (Morris Street entrance). It will be a great way for you to show off your pooch and meet other proud dog owners. Registration begins at 12:45 p.m. and the show begins at 1 p.m. The show will feature prizes in a number of categories including Cutest Dog, Most Mysterious Heritiage, Best Tail Wagger, Most Clever Dog Trick, Owner Look-Alike, Best Winter Wear and Sweetest Face. Registration for categories is $10 per dog for the first two categories, or $15 for three or more categories. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the WinterFest Winter Paws Dog Show go to benefit the Watauga Humane Society. All dogs must be on a leash. The show is sponsored by Victoria’s Paw Spa and the Watauga Humane Society. For more information, call (828) 2957851.

Anna Raines gives her dog a hug for good luck at the Winter Paws Dog Show.


Page 28


January 24, 2013

January 24, 2013


Page 29

Elvis was Spotted

Whole lot of splashing goin’ on. Elvis poses with Polar Plunge emcee Tracy Brown right before taking a dive.


January 24, 2013


Page 3


Page 30

1 mile 4


valley Blvd.

Sunset dr .

2 3

Main St.

a ol . et dr ch ke la


12 5

park ave.

yon ahl




10 s


ransom st.


. st




hill st.

e kl


ches dr. nut


church dr.




January 24, 2013



wall in


d rd .

Main S t.

oss ee rd.

globe rd.

WinterFest Key Locations

Blowing Rock


events Saturday, Jan. 26

Thursday, Jan. 24 3



Winter Ales Craft Beer Tastings

6:30 p.m. and on Foggy Rock Eatery & Pub (8180 Valley Blvd.)






5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Blowing Rock School Cafeteria and Gymnasium 12

Sunday, Jan. 27 12

WinterFest Chili Challenge

Ice Carving Demonstration

WinterFest Wine Tasting 2 p.m. Green Park Inn

CHILLIN’ WITH THE HARRIS BROTHERS 8:00 p.m. Blowing Rock School Auditorium

The Polar Plunge

Noon Memorial Park 11



Dusk (weather permitting) Memorial Park

WINTERFEST WEDDING 3 p.m. Memorial Park

WinterFest Pancake Breakfast 8 to 11 a.m. Blowing Rock School Cafeteria

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Blowing Rock School Gymnasium

11:00 a.m. Timberlake Restaurant (Chetola) 12


Children’s Activities

10 a.m. Chetola Lake


OLD FASHIONED INTERACTIVE MELODRAMA 4:30 p.m. Blowing Rock School Auditorium

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. American Legion Hall (behind Memorial Park)

Friday, Jan. 25 3


Raffle and Silent Auction 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Blowing Rock School Cafeteria

5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Chetola Resort (500 Main St.) 9

1 Tanger outlets shoppes on the parkway | morris st. 2 chetola lake | chetola lake dr. 3 chetola resort | chetola lake dr. 4 hayes performing arts center | valley blvd. 5 chamber of commerce | park ave. 6 memorial park | main st. 7 american legion hall | wallingford st. 8 BRAHM | CHESTNUT STREET 9 froggy rock eatery & pub | valley blvd. 10 holiday inn | valley blvd. 11 green park inn | valley blvd. 12 blowing rock elementary school | morris st.


Winter Paws Dog Show 1:30 p.m. Blowing Rock School Gymnasium


January 24, 2013

Page 31

Cross-country skiing demos at SweetGrass


By Jeff Eason

lpine skiing and snowboarding make up the majority of winter skiing activities in the United States. But cross-country skiing is enjoying a newfound popularity among skiers of all ages. Folks new to cross-country skiing have the opportunity during WinterFest to find out much more about the sport. Blowing Rock Realty and SweetGrass will co-host a cross-country ski and snow equipment exhibition on the beautiful grounds of SweetGrass, located off of U.S. Hwy. 221, approximately six miles south of downtown Blowing Rock. The event will include games, prizes, cross-country skiing demonstrations, a snowdog building contest, hot chocolate and cookies. For more information and directions, call Blowing Rock Realty at (800) 255-9861 or (828) 295-9861.

Cross-country skiing has found new popularity among skiers in the High Country.


this winter,

warm up at brahm



regular adult admission during WinterFest

year round programs for adults & children

NC Treasures exhibit

Watercolor Society traveling exhibition

celebrating 2 years!





Page 32

January 24, 2013

Green Park Inn Celebrate WinterFest

Join us at the Divide Tavern or Laurel Room Restaurant

• Host Site of Grand Wine Tasting Saturday, January 26th 2-4pm


Wine & Dine Package

• Wine Auction begins at 4pm Saturday January 26th. Proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, Western NC Chapter.

April 12th &13th, 2013 Prices starting at $300 (standard room, double occupancy, 2 nights)

• Visit the US Army Special Operations Command Ice Carving Team "liquor luge" on our veranda.

• Welcome Bottle of Wine Upon Check-In

• Enjoy Charlie Ellis on piano Friday evening & the legendary Charlie Ellis Jazz Trio Saturday evening.

• 2 Tickets to the Grand Wine Tasting on Saturday, April 13th ... and more!

ESTD. 1882

9239 Valley Blvd (RTE 321) Blowing Rock | 828.414.9230 |

Page 4


January 24, 2013

Schedule of Events

Thursday, January 24 • Shop ‘til You Drop • WinterFeast at Timberlake’s Restaurant, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. • Winter Ales Craft Beer Tastings at Foggy Rock, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Friday, January 25 • WinterFashions Show at Timberlake’s Restaurant, 11 a.m. • All Day Shop ‘til You Drop • Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, $3 Special Admission • Blowing Rock School PTO Spaghetti Dinner and Bingo, 5 to 7:30 p.m. • The Neighbors, Live at MK’s Southern Cooking, 5 to 9 p.m. • Wine, Cheese and Art at the Mountain Cottage, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. • Chillin’ with the Harris Brothers at Blowing Rock School Auditorium, beginning at 8 p.m.

• Appalachian Ski Mountain WinterFest Special Event • Winter Ales Craft Beer at Foggy Rock

• A WinterFest Wedding in Blowing Rock Memorial Park at 3 p.m. • Old Fashioned Interactive Melodrama presented by Ensemble Stage at Blowing Rock School Auditorium, 4:30 p.m. • Winter Ales Craft Beer at Foggy Rock • Caribbean Cowboys Live at Canyons, beginning at 9 p.m.

Saturday, January 26 • All Day Shop ‘til You Drop • Raffle and Silent Auction at Blowing Rock School Cafeteria, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • Polar Plunge at Chetola Lake, 10 a.m. • Children’s Activities at American Legion Hall, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. • Cross-Country Ski and Snow Equipment Exhibition at SweetGrass, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Hot Chocolate in Downtown Blowing Rock, beginning at 10 a.m. • Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, $3 Discounted Admission • Hay Rides through Downtown Blowing Rock, beginning at 11 a.m. • Chili Challenge at Blowing Rock

Sunday, January 27 WinterPaws Dog Show.


School Gymnasium, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. • Saturday Jam Brunch at Canyons, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. • Ice Carving Demonstrations in Memorial Park, noon to 4 p.m. • WinterFest Wine Tasting at Green Park Inn, beginning at 2 p.m.

Welcome to WinterFest

The Only Pharmacy in the Village. Full retail pharmacy, personal care items, gift items, Hallmark cards and much more!

828-295-3482 379 Sunset Drive | Blowing Rock | Mon-Fri 9-5 | Sat 9-2

• WinterFest Pancake Breakfast at Blowing Rock School Cafeteria, 8 to 11 a.m. • Sunday Brunch at Canyons with Todd Wright and Friends, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. • All Day Shop ‘til You Drop • WinterPaws Dog Show at Blowing Rock School Gymnasium, Registration at 1 p.m., Dog Show at 1:30 p.m. • Winter Ales Craft Beer at Foggy Rock

tion, call (828) 414-1844. At dusk, join your friends at the bonContinued From Page 2 fire at Memorial Park to make your own on Valley Boulevard. The event takes place toasted marshmallows or s’mores. All from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and is free. supplies will be provided. Event is weather The U.S. Army Special Forces Ice Carvpermitting. ing Team (yes, there is such a thing) will The annual WinterFest Pancake Breakturn blocks of ice into enchanting works of fast will be held at the Blowing Rock art from noon to 4 p.m. on SaturSchool cafeteria from 8 to 11 a.m. on day in Blowing Rock Sunday. Admission is Ice carver Travis Jones demonstrates some Memorial Park. $8 for adults, $5 for precision cuts on the ice sculpture. PHOTO SUBMITTED children ages 3-12, and The Ice Carving Team is also responfree for children 2 and un sible for building the under. Proceeds from this year’s ev “liquor luge” that will event will benefit the High Country W be on the front porch of Women’s Fund. the Green Park Inn on Canyons will host a WinterFest S Saturday. Enjoy an ice Sunday Jazz Brunch featuring T cold beverage in a shot Todd Wright and Friends from 11 glass made of ice before a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For informaattending the WinterFest tion or reservations, call (828) n Wine Tasting at the Green 295-7661. Park Inn. The tasting be- gins at 2 p.m. WinterFest’s closing event is the annual and will be followed by the WinterFest WinterPaws Dog Show on Sunday. Bring Wine Auction. The auction will feature an your furry friend to the Blowing Rock outstanding selection of wines and wineSchool’s gymnasium and compete in a related items. number of categories such as oldest dog, Ensemble Stage Company will present youngest dog, looks most like owner, etc. an old fashioned interactive melodrama Registration begins at 1 p.m. and the dog titled “Adrift in Blowing Rock” (or “Pure show begins at 1:30 p.m. Proceeds from as the Driven Snow”) at the Blowing the event will benefit the Watauga HuRock School auditorium at 4:30 p.m. on mane Society. Saturday. Tickets for this tale of treachery For more information on WinterFest, and treason are $10 for adults and $5 for call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Comchildren 16 and under. For more informamerce at (828) 295-7851.

January 24, 2013


Page 5

Page 6


January 24, 2013

Chilly and Crystal: A Love Story Begins

By Elizabeth Hempfling


he story begins 15 years ago in the quaint town of Blowing Rock North Carolina. It was January and the snow started falling heavily on the town. It was the season and time for WinterFest. The townspeople would celebrate this year as they have every year in the past. Wintertime had a way of bringing them together to celebrate the New Year. However, this year would be the first time the town had ever experienced this kind of snowfall. After many snowy days and nights the people could not stay inside any longer. Finally the snow let up and the locals started to peek out from their homes. Each and every resident made efforts to make their presence known. Some ladies were prepping for the fashion show. Others were getting the family pets ready for the dog show or shopping at the local mart for the best chili cook off supplies. Meanwhile, all of the gentlemen prepared themselves for the polar plunge in the lake at Chetola. The children spent most the day practicing for the talent shows and with activities involved with the parade. It was the evening before WinterFest, and the entire town made their way home to get rest before a big week of festivities in town. At sunset that night something interesting would happen in the park. It was almost like time was turning back and in fact it was. … The gazebo in Memorial Park was home

WinterFest introduces

to many birds that nested there. As the wind howled and the snow began to fall thick and heavy all around, two restless bird brothers, Robert and Andrew, who should have been in the nest for the night, decided to go out and explore. On this occasion they would go on an adventure that could never be recreated. Flying after one another in and out of every tree in Blowing Rock it started to become somewhat of a race or competition, I guess you can say. Without looking they found the biggest tree in town, the willow tree by Chetola Lake. They continued to play enjoying their freedom away from the nest. They flew in and around and out of the willow tree, playing hide and seek with one another. The playful game ended as they flew straight into one another tumbling over each other’s wings. The tree that was once covered heavily with snow was not anymore. As the snow came crashing down from the branches a large ball of snow began to form. This big ball of snow began to roll and it rolled for quite some time until there it formed a snowman. The two puzzled brothers decided the time had come to fly home to the nest. The next day at Chetola Resort a little boy named Jimmy Crippen woke early and decided to go out and find some fun in the snow. He discovered the ready-made form of a snowman. He found rocks to make a face and twigs to add as arms. As he ate his caramel apple from Kilwins he pondered the idea of giving his hat and scarf away to the snowman. After all he would need to keep warm too. Jimmy heard his name

For the past 15 years, Chilly the Snowman has been WinterFest’s most eligible bachelor. All that ends this Saturday when he weds the love of his life, Crystal the Snowwoman. The ceremony will take place at the gazebo in Blowing Rock Memorial Park beginning at 3 p.m. Everyone is invited to this special event and dress is casual (but stay warm). No gifts are required.


being called in the distance by his mother. He decided, yes he would leave his hat a scarf. He placed the hat and scarf on the snowman and made a wish. The wish was simple really, but nevertheless it was a wish that would change the town of Blowing Rock forever. Little Jimmy Crippen closed his eyes and made his simple wish: “Please come to life. Since I’m without my hat and scarf and I’m very cold I will call you “Chilly.” Chilly please come to life!” Jimmy wished. The next morning the town gathered to

see a snowman, a real live snowman moving around the lakeside. Word soon spread to the center of town that the snowman also had a snowwoman named Crystal with him. This year’s Winterfest would officially be the first to announce this splendid new addition for the 15-year anniversary. “It looks as if they had been sprinkled with gold dust and diamonds,” exclaimed J.B. Lawrence, the mayor of Blowing Rock. The town was overjoyed with excitement of the new beginnings. To be continued in 2014. …


Runway show and luncheon at Timberlake’s Restaurant January 25


By Jeff Eason

ach year WinterFest introduces a few new events to its lineup. This year, one of those new events should be of special interest to ladies looking to get a jump on the 2013 fashion season. The WinterFashions Show and Luncheon will be held at Timberlake’s Restaurant (formerly the Manor House) at Chetola Resort beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday, January 25. Blowing Rock retailers have joined forces

to present the finest in ladies apparel and accessories for winter and spring 2013. The newest fashions will be featured from the area’s top retail stores including Doncaster, Monkees, J.W. Tweeds, Sister Act, TazMaRaz, Celeste’s, The Fig Leaf, and Almost Rodeo Drive. The doors open at 11 a.m. with a cash bar available. The runway show begins at 11:30 a.m. After the runway show, enjoy a “winter warming” lunch of harvest soup, turkey

Thai noodle bowl, and light dessert. Tickets for the WinterFashions Show and Luncheon are $25 per person. Tickets are available by calling the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851, or by visiting Colorful spring fashions for 2013, such as these from Celeste’s, will be modeled at the inaugural WinterFashion event this Friday.



January 24, 2013

Page 7

A fabulous feast of fine food WinterFeast at Timberlake’s Restaurant this year


By Jeff Eason

isitors to the High Country marvel over the fact that Blowing Rock and the surrounding areas have so many high quality restaurants. The problem, of course, is that you can eat at only so many places in one weekend. WinterFest has solved that dilemma with WinterFeast, a buffet-style dinner featuring dishes from a dozen local eateries. WinterFeast 2013 will be held on Thursday, Jan. 24 at Timberlake’s Restaurant (formerly the Manor House) at Chetola Resort. Seatings are at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now. Participating restaurants at this year’s WinterFeast dinner are Timberlake’s

Restaurant at Chetola Resort, Canyons of the Blue Ridge, Rowland’s Restaurant at Westglow Resort and Spa, the Table at Crestwood, the Best Cellar, the Laurel Room at the Green Park Inn, Meadowbrook Inn, Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub, Six Pence Pub, Woodland’s Barbecue and Pickin’ Parlor, Bistro Roca and MK’s Southern Cooking. In addition to the mouth-watering culinary delights, WinterFeast will feature a wide selection of desserts. A cash bar is also available.

WinterFeast is your opportunity to sample the finest restaurants in the High Country at one sitting.


Tickets Advance tickets for WinterFeast are $25 per person. Tickets at the door (if available) are $30 per person. This year,

three tables will be available for the entire evening. Gather your friends, buy a couple bottles of wine, and make the most of the evening. A table for 10 people is available

for $500. To reserve your place at WinterFeast, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851.


Page 8

January 24, 2013


e High Country’s Year-round Farmers Market style retail store.

shoppes We carry Local farm raised meats, goat cheese, fresh bread, jams, honey, specialty Local food items as well as Local artists selections such as pottery and Locally produced soaps and lotions.


Locally roasted coffee and smoothies are also on sale. Also in our selection are many Craft beers and fine wines with emphasis on North Carolina producers. Open 7 days a week Hwy. 321 Blowing Rock, right beside Papa Joe’s Italian Check out our daily Specials on Facebook


A Mountain Salon With Modern Talent Framesi Color Highlights Wedding Updo’s Women’s, Men’s, & Children’s Cuts Bring in this coupon for 10%

If You Are Confiden Confident, You Are Beautiful



Studio M Salon

960 - 4 Main St • Blowing Rock, NC 828 - 414 - 9333 • Open Tues - Fri 9-5 & Sat 9-3

257 Sunset Dr., Blowing Rock (beside Crippens) 828.295.4622 •

Home furnishings unique to the High Country. Reclaimed wood furniture, s, all to bring rustic elegance to your home. Open year-round. We gladly ship anywhere in the United States. 915 Main St., Blowing Rock, NC (828) 295-9033


January 24, 2013


Page 9

with the

Harris Brothers Talented duo to perform during WinterFest

By Jeff Eason


or the past two years, the Best Cellar and Inn at the Ragged Garden has hosted an outdoor summer music series. Every Friday afternoon, folks bring lawn chairs and blankets to the front lawn of the Best Cellar and sit back and enjoy a few hours of great music. You can always tell when the Harris Brothers are playing there, because the place is packed with hundreds of music lovers, some of the overflowing to the other side of Sunset Drive. That’s the kind of enthusiasm that Reggie and Ryan Harris regularly inspire. Wherever they play, their fans find them. The Harris Brothers will present a special concert for WinterFest called “Chillin’

with the Harris Brothers.” The concert will take place at the Blowing Rock School auditorium at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25. Tickets are $15 each, or you may purchase your tickets through the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce for a discounted rate of $25 for two. The Harris Brothers’ repertoire is so large that you can see them again and again and always hear new songs. Some tunes, such as their amazing cover of Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing,” have become fan favorites. The duo also plays blues, southern rock, classic rock, folk music, pop and the occasional country or bluegrass tune. Over the past few years, the Harris Brothers have performed at MerleFest, Hickory Fest, and the Wayne Henderson

Reggie and Ryan Harris have created a following in Blowing Rock due to their huge repertoire and soulful harmonies.


Festival. They have shared the stage with accomplished musicians such as Vassar Clements, Bobby Hicks, David Holt, Peter Rowan, David Grisman and Laura Boos-

ing, just to name a few. For more information, or to reserve tickets, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851.

Join Us for Lunch or Dinner In Historic Valle Crucis

Just a 20 Minute Drive from Blowing Rock ~ To Step Back In Time . . .

Taste our Award-Winning Wine at the Winterfest Wine Tasting! Unforgettable Meals Prepared by Chef Sam Beasley (Formerly of The Gamekeeper) Lunch and Dinner: Thursday – Saturday Fabulous Sunday Brunch in our 150-year-old Farmhouse

Join Us For Valentine’s . . . Walk-ins Welcome! For Reservations: 828-963-6301

WinterFest 2013  

Your 2013 Official Guide to Blowing Rock's WinterFest Activities