The 21st Annual Blowing Rock WinterFest, January 24-27, 2019, is almost upon the mountain towns of North Carolina. Travel & Leisure christened Blowing Rock as “one of America’s Prettiest Winter Towns.” The popularity of the WinterFest has grown steadily over the past two decades, and this year will surely bring out the folks of the Blue Ridge Mountains–as well as the joyous visitors who make Blowing Rock their fabulous winter destination.
From the icy Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake, to the scrumptious WinterFeast and WinterBeer Garden–there will be plenty of reasons to attend! This festival has been chosen as one of the “Top Pick” events by AAA, and the Southeastern Tourism Society named WinterFest a Top 20 Event. This gorgeous region always has amazing events to draw the community together, and what better occasion than WinterFest– a crazy-fun long weekend to usher in the High Country’s 2019!
Here’s what’s happening during WinterFest’s snowy and beautiful weekend:
• Shop Til You Drop–A Community that shops local keeps their local town strong!
Thursday, January 24–10 am–Sunday, January 27, 2019—5 pm
Downtown, Main Street
“Put on a pair of comfy shoes and make room in your trunk! Blowing Rock is one of North Carolina’s premier shopping destinations!” Just some of the most awesome shopping possibilities:
Antiques & Collectibles–Blowing Rock Antique Center; Blowing Rock Estate Jewelry & Antiques; Carriage Trade Living; Hanna’s; Possum Hollow Antiques; Rug Company; Windwood Antiques
Apparel & Accessories—100 West Union; Almost Rodeo Drive; Blowing Rock Harley-Davidson; Celeste’s; Fig Leaf Ltd; Finley House Couture; J. Mclaughlin; J.W. Tweeds; Monkees; Sister Act; Sunset Tee’s & Hattery; Tazmaraz
Gifts & Crafts—Blowing Rock Cigar Company and Club; Brass Exchange; Cabin Fever of Watauga; Christmas in Blowing Rock; Cross Trade International; De Provence et D’Ailleurs; Final Touches; Gilded Lily by Patra; Handtiques; Heart of the Rock; High Country Candles; Last Straw; Marmalade; Mountain Laurel Floristry; Mountain Thread Company; Mrs., Brumbles; My Mountain Home; Neaco; Pandora’s Mailbox; Park Place Florist; Roey’s 12 Corners Custom Quilts; Rustic; Serves You Right; Take Heart; Tervis; Trillium; Unwound; We’re Good Sports
Galleries—Blowing Rock Frameworks & Gallery; Gaines Kiker Silversmith; Main Street Gallery/Expressions Craft; Martin House Gallery; Photos by Meta; Reinert Fine Art; Traditions Pottery
Home Furnishings—Almost Rodeo Drive; Blowing Rock Furniture Gallery; Cabin Fever of Watauga; Gilded Lily by Patra; Gregory Alan’s; Last Straw; Moody’s Handmade Furniture; My Mountain Home; Rug Company; Rustic
• Brrrrahm—Thursday, January 24 10 am-Saturday, January 26—5 pm; free admission; Take the “brrrr” out of the chill and come to the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM).
• Doodlebug Club at Brahm—Thursday, January 24, 10:30-11:30 am; or 1- 2 pm ;“preschool age children and a parent/guardian are invited to Doodlebug Club, a fun educational art program focused on basic art skills such as holding your paintbrush, the primary colors, or holding a pair of scissors while introducing them to different art mediums, from watercolors to clay. After clean up it is story time!” Free for Museum members, $5 for non-members. Space is limited. Call 828-295-9099 to reserve a spot.
• WinterFeast—Thursday, January 24, 5:30-10 pm; Chetola Resort; live music, cash bar, warm beverages will keep you entertained and happy, and after dinner the fun keeps on coming with desserts, coffee, tea and plenty more entertainment! This is the most delicious and satisfying restaurant crawl under one roof. Folks get to sample small plate selections prepared by the region’s top chefs for $40. 15 restaurants contribute mouth-watering fare to this event. Get your tickets in advance since WinterFeast has sold out the past six years. Three cruise-style seatings to choose from—5:30; 6:45 and 8 pm.
Participating Restaurants for 2019: Timberlake’s; Speckled Trout; Best Cellar; Chestnut Grille at Green Park; Bistro Roca; Restaurant at Gideon Ridge; Rowlands at Westglow; Town Tavern; Table at Crestwood; Six Pence Pub; Storie Street Grille; Outback; Fireflies
Participating Bakeries: The Backstreet Bakery; Timberlake’s; the Spice & Tea Exchange; WYNter Wonderland Cookies
• Bonfire, S’mores and Entertainment at Chetola Resort—Thursday, January 24, 7-10 pm; Friday, January 25, 7-10 pm; Saturday, January 26, 7-10 pm; keep warm by the firepit overlooking Chetola Lake; cash bar with drink specials; gourmet s’mores ($5), and live entertainment as well as giant board games for family fun.
• Pancake Breakfast at Sunny Rock; Friday, January 25, 7:30 am-1:30 pm; Saturday, January 26, 7:30 am-1:30 pm; $5; “Come to Sunny Rock – Eggs and Things for a fantastic pancake breakfast!” Tim’s outstanding pancakes served with one side of link sausage or bacon.
• WinterFashion Show; Friday, January 25, 10 am-1:30 pm; $35; hors d’oeuvres; mimosas, spritzers and cash bar accompany Blowing Rock’s retailers and the latest fashion for men and women; prize giveaways and gift bags for all attendees. “Come find out what you need in your closet and leave with coupons to go get it!”
• Cork & Canvas at BRAHM; Friday, January 25, 4-6 pm; Saturday, 10 am-noon; $40-$45; trained art instructors help attendees paint Wassily Kandinsky’s “Winter Landscape.” Take home your finished work of art. Canvasses, paint, brushes, and aprons provided. Wine, beer and light snacks are complimentary. Online ticket purchase required in advance for those over 21 with valid ID; under 18 artists welcome with an adult.
Contact Jennifer Garonzik at 828-295-9099 ext. 3004
• WinterFest Sip and Stroll; Friday, January 25, 4-7 pm; stroll Main Street and enjoy the amazing tastings along the way; participating businesses will be announced.
• Hands-On-Ice Carving; Friday, January 25, 4-6 pm; Saturday, 11 am-3 pm; Memorial Park; free admission; children and adults come and help artist, Cathleen Gallagher, create an ice sculpture with supplied hand chisels and safety goggles.
• WinterCraft: An Outdoor Handmade Market; Friday, January 25, 4-8 pm; Martin House; local artisans and the Mountain Thread Company look forward to seeing you!
• WinterFest Ice Stroll; Friday, January 25, 5-7 pm; 20 creative ice sculptures will be on display in front of businesses; a map of locations will be available.
• Music on the Lawn; Friday, January 25, 5:30-8:30 pm; local musicians will entertain you at the Inn at Ragged Gardens; food and drinks available for purchase; music to be announced.
• Polar Plunge at Chetola Resort; Saturday, January 26, 8-11 am; a tradition and highlight of WinterFest. Plungers wear costumes and“Golden Plunger”is awarded to the best costume. On-line pre-registration is advised (www.chetola.com); proceeds benefit local charities Western Youth Network and Hospitality House.
• Polar Plunge Brunch; Saturday, January 26, 10 am-noon; Timbers Room, Chetola Resort; live feed of Polar Plunge; $22 adults; $16 children 12 and under; drinks not included.
• Hayrides; Saturday, January 26, 10 am-4 pm; 132 Park Avenue; free!
• Silent Auction & Raffle; Saturday, January 26, 10 am-4 pm; American Legion Building; beautiful items and gift certificates donated by area retailers and businesses; proceeds go to Mountain Alliance to provide Watauga County high school aged kids a safe and supportive environment.
• Rotary Charity Chili Challenge; Saturday, January 26, 11:30 am-2 pm; $8—12 years and above; $5 for kids 5 and up; Blowing Rock School Gym; taste and vote!
• K9 Keg Pull; Saturday, January 26, 11:30 am-4 pm; American Legion Building; proceeds benefit Partners! (Canines). Dogs pull empty beer kegs on sleds; free to watch for all!
• Ice Carving Demonstrations; Saturday, January 26, noon-4 pm; Memorial Park; a must-see event!
• Artic Art at BrrrAHM; Saturday, January 26, 1-2:30 pm; free crafts for all!
• WinterFest Beer Garden; Saturday, January 26; 1-4:30 pm; $30; 15 vendors—local and regional breweries and distilleries “Hops and Barley Pops” outside the American Legion Building. “Can you think of a more unique way to celebrate winter than by enjoying beer and spirits while watching cute dogs compete and bidding on items to support a local charity–all in one spot? All attendees receive a commemorative WinterFest pint glass, while supplies last.”
• WinterTastings & Auction at The Green Park Inn; Saturday, January 26; 3-5 pm; $30; tastings followed by auction.
• Sunday Brunch at Foggy Rock; Sunday, January 27; 11am-3 pm; brunch and sangria specials!
• WinterPaws Dog Show; Sunday, January 27; 1-3 pm; $5; Blowing Rock Elementary School; sponsored by The Watauga Humane Society; “Show off your four-legged best friend or just come to see the cutest dogs around…” Proceeds go to the Watauga Humane Society, a local non-profit, serving approximately 2,000 abandoned animals each year; entertainment by The Carolina Snowbelles.
For those of us who live in our cozy mountain homes at The Coves, taking the pretty ride to Blowing Rock’s higher elevations can be a sweet excursion, especially when you get to return to your charming paradise at the end of an exhilarating day. Come explore the mountain towns of North Carolina and make sure The Coves is top on your real estate list.
Remember while you’re having a snowy blast at WinterFest in the mountain towns of North Carolina, you’re also making valuable contributions to many local charities. So as they say in the High Country, “Don’t Hibernate. Celebrate winter in Blowing Rock!”
WinterFest tickets can be purchased at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, 132 Park Avenue, by phone 800-295-7801 or 828-295-7851 or online.
Be sure to check the complete schedule and make the most of this year’s experience while helping to support our much-loved community.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.