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64th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

hikes near Asheville

Summer visitors to the popular Highlands towns of Boone, Blowing Rock and Banner Elk and even many of the locals who enjoy hikes near Asheville NC are probably not aware that in the 18th century the state was the most popular destination for thousands of Scottish Highlanders migrating to the American colonies in search of a better life.

The first of them arrived in 1729, escaping laws enacted by the British aimed at destroying their culture.  The clan system was already in decline, and disruptions of the agricultural system they had relied upon led to poverty and unrest.  Ten years later, Gabriel Johnston, the Royal Governor of North Carolina (and a native Scotsman himself) began taking steps to encourage more immigration – and a heritage was established.

Donald MacDonald and Hugh Morton held the first Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain in 1955. Now, over thirty-five thousand people attend the event each July, often taking time for a visit to the picturesque and historic village nestled at the exhilarating 4000-foot Blowing Rock elevation.

This year’s Highland Games, at MacRae Meadows near Linville, begin on July 11th and run through the 14th.  They provide a great opportunity to see why those who enjoy their summers in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Highlands towns and the foothills think it’s the best place to retire in North Carolina.

The area’s year-round mild weather is a bonus for anyone who enjoys outside activities.  Enthusiasts consider hikes near Asheville NC some of the best in the country, and the waterways offer world-class fishing.  Boating, swimming, biking and golf are even more enjoyable in this uniquely beautiful natural environment.

On your way to the Highland Games – maybe about the time you reach Blowing Rock elevation – you’ll start noticing how just breathing the fresh mountain air invigorates your body, mind and soul.

Plan to arrive early on Thursday for the whiskey tasting at  Best Western Mountain Lodge in Banner Elk.  Other activities on the first day include a picnic, sheep herding demonstrations and the torchlight Opening Ceremony.  You’ll hear traditional Celtic music performances, and over 800 runners will start up the Old Yonahlossee Road in the five-mile Assault on Grandfather footrace.

Friday brings a wealth of cultural events and entertainment for all ages, ending with a Celtic rock concert at MacRae Meadows and a Scottish Country Dance gala at Lees-McRae College.  Saturday and Sunday are packed with competitions, demonstrations and traditional music and dance.  You won’t want to miss the impressive and moving Parade of Tartans, where all members of the sponsoring clans are invited to march behind the massed pipe bands.

To make sure you don’t miss any Highland Games activities and presentations, be sure to check the detailed schedule at the event’s website for dates, times and parking information.

Anyone looking for the best place to retire in North Carolina needs to spend a few days exploring the Lenoir area.  It’s the ideal location for easy access to everything wonderful this part of the state offers its residents.  Grandfather Mountain State Park is just one example, with its incredible scenery and breathtaking ecological diversity.

Living at The Coves Mountain River Club means having a long menu of summer and winter sports, cultural celebrations and leisure activities to fill your time.  It’s all right there for the taking, with no long drives or traffic hassles to mar the experience.

This is the lifestyle you’ve dreamed of.  This is your reward for a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice.  Bring us your ideas for the home you’ve always wanted, and we’ll work with you to make it happen.

The design team at The Coves Mountain River Club is used to bringing dreams to life.  Take a tour and see examples of how our innovative designs both reflect and respect their surroundings.

Then, at the end of the day, kick back at our Pisgah Mountain Lodge with a glass of wine and watch the sun set over the mountains.

Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath.  Relax.

You’re at home!

Bullet point key events, what and when, Give tips on parking etc.

The connect the story to The Coves. Tell readers why The Coves location is excellent being so close to a broad variety of winter sports and summer mountain events.

Saturday, July 13th

6:30 AM Mountain Marathon begins in Boone, NC. Runners will arrive at Games track around 9:30 AM. Among the most strenuous marathons in the nation.

7:30 AM MacRae Meadows Opens

Amateur Heavy Athletic Qualifying Begins

Competition begins for Highland Dancing Atlantic International Championship, piping, drumming, Scottish athletic events, track & field events, Scottish country dancing and Scottish harp.

  • Scottish Fiddling Competition at Marathon Tent
  • Scottish Cultural Village
  • Children’s Highland Wrestling Competition
  • Sheep Herding
  • Massed Bands on track
  • Opening Ceremonies
  • History & Genealogy Studies at Clan Tents
  • Children’s Tent Activities
  • Celtic Grove Music
  • Highland Wrestling
  • Harp Competitions
  • Pre-Premier Highland Dance Competition
  • NC Provincial Gaelic Mod

4:00 Days events end. Preparation for Celtic Jam

6:30 – 10:30 PM Celtic Jam at MacRae Meadows.
$15 Adults / $5 Children age 5-12

Sunday July 14th

AM MacRae Meadows Opens

  • Scottish Heavy Athletic Demonstration and Clinic
  • Prelude Music for Worship Service Begins
  • Scottish Worship Service Outside main gate, bring a folding chair. Includes Kirkin ‘O’ the Tartans.
  • Scottish Cultural Village
  • Children’s Border Collie Demonstration on the main field.
  • Celtic Grove
    Entertainment Begins
  • Scottish Fiddling Workshop at the Harp Tent followed by a Jam session for fiddle and other instruments
  • Atlantic International Highland Dance Championship Competition

Competition takes place throughout the day for Scottish athletic events, sheep herding, kilted miles, children’s events, Scottish country dancing, Scottish harps, Clan Tugs-of-War. Celtic Grove entertainment continues.

History & Genealogy Studies at Clan Tents

Sheep Herding Demonstration

4:00 PM Closing Ceremonies

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.

Tags: Blowing Rock | Festivals

Come See The Blowing Rock Mile of Flowers

hikes near Asheville

This is the sixth year of Blowing Rock’s Mile of Flowers celebration, a self-guided tour of private gardens in glorious bloom on June 28, 9:30 am until 4 in the afternoon.  Flower lovers, and those who adore Blowing Rock real estate, will be welcomed at the quaint Rotary Gazebo, 1036 Main Street, and given a wrist band to gain entry into the private gardens, as well as a map for guidance.  The tour is relaxed, allowing participants to linger in local gardens and appreciate incredibly artful and vibrant settings.  It’s an opportunity to socialize with other gardeners and share a cup of tea while learning a few horticultural tips.

Don’t forget to take some photographs to inspire ideas for the flower beds that brighten your Carolina mountain properties. A boutique in the afternoon at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church affords the opportunity to purchase hand-crafted items, plants, and garden-themed products.  The afternoon tea is held in the American Legion Hall and is accompanied by an auction of hand-painted rocks by local artists.  Guides will be available to provide gardening information, and an entrance fee of $30 covers the tea as well as the tour.  A shuttle bus will be available although most of the gardens are easily walkable.  This popular event is an opportunity for the community to come together and share their gardening passion.

This region is renowned for its stunning beauty and there’s no question that the flowers and plants that adorn our Blowing Rock real estate contribute to its natural allure.  This beauty echoes beyond our own yards.  As locals and visitors experience the many majestic hikes near Asheville–some through Pisgah National Forest, an incredible lush expanse close to Black Mountain, and running alongside the Blue Ridge Parkway to the south of Blowing Rock—they are able to take in the inspiring landscape.

In addition to Pisgah’s 192,000 acres, Grandfather Mountain provides the highest vantage point of the Blue Ridge region.  Blowing Rock has been a sightseeing attraction for the better part of a century due to Grandfather Mountain, Hawksbill and Table Rock—all popular spots for those with Carolina mountain properties who never take the beauty of western North Carolina for granted.  Our homes are tucked into a natural expanse that provides us with top-notch recreation, amazing wildlife, and views that make us pause and truly embrace the moment.

Blowing Rock’s name was born from the landscape.  This rock formation perches 1,500 feet over the John River Gorge, and causes the wind to gust upwards, carrying leaves and petals up into the North Carolina sky.  Glen Burney Falls and Glen Marie Falls are also worth visiting in this gorgeous region.  This is the time of year to visit, while setting out on your hikes near Asheville, as it’s open daily through December.

And for those with horses who are living in their Carolina mountain properties, the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve allows riders a secure place to board their horses convenient to the trails that drift on for miles through the mountains.  Twenty-five miles of horse trails are groomed and waiting for enthusiastic riders.

Blowing Rock was recognized by the national non-profit, America in Bloom, for its spectacular community flowers.  The Coves Mountain River Club is also graced by residents who truly care about the natural beauty of the landscape that surrounds them–as well as growing healthy produce and developing gardening techniques.  From their carefully-tended properties and flourishing gardens, to Isabel’s Garden, a community project that brings folks together over vegetable and flower beds, The Coves’ residents share a passion for the simple and natural life.

When you are setting out for your hikes near Asheville, stop by and visit The Coves’ gorgeous Isabel’s Gardens.   And if you are searching for BlowingRock real estate, The Coves may just be the perfect place for you to build or buy your mountain dream home.

Call us now at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Blowing Rock | Greenways & Trails

Summer Music in the North Carolina Mountains Near The Coves

music North Carolina

There’s nothing quite like the sound of summer music in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.  Those of us who have some sweet down time during the long days of summer get to fill those relaxing hours with some of the many blissful things to do in Blowing Rock NC.  Taking in a concert or two on a serene night mid-summer is one of the many pleasures of the North Carolina season.

The Appalachian Summer Festival, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, is a popular annual celebration that has been happening faithfully in July the past thirty-five years in Boone.  To think this festival began as a small chamber music celebration and now many folks attend, heading to the diverse venues within the campus to catch an eclectic spectrum of music and dance.  There’s also theatre, film and visual arts happening within this vibrant academic community—no wonder this joyous festival has been selected as part of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast.”

Make sure you pin the 2019 summer schedule in a prominent spot on your bulletin board:

  • June 29; 8 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Ben Folds with the Winston-Salem Symphony conducted by Jacomo Bairos.  Ben Folds is a talented pianist, lyricist, composer and conductor who will open the festival with genre-bending music.

 

  • June 30; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; The Trio Takes Form in association with Reflections Series International will wow you with music spanning from Haydn to Beethoven to Mendelssohn.  Violinist Gil Morgenstern returns for his 35th year as Artistic Director of the ensemble.
  • July 2; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; Broyhill Chamber ensemble: Bridging the Classical and Romantic Divide in association with Reflections Series International.  For the first time take part in“Tuesday Talks with the Dean;” pre-concert insightful remarks by Hayes School of Music Dean James Douthit who will illuminate the end of one compositional era and the beginning of a new one, featuring works by Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann.
  • July 6; 10 am;Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; the Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists.  This Classical Music event, in association with the Hayes School of Music, is in its 9thyear, and proudly launches many of the state’s most promising young artists.
  • July 13; 8 pm;  Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Patti LaBelle, the queen of rock and soul, is also amulti Grammy Award-winning superstar singer and actress. There is nothing like seeing this performer live, belting out Lady MarmaladeWhen You Talk About LoveNew Attitude,  orOn My Own.
  • July 14; 7 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Maestro Gerard Schwarz with the Eastern Festival Orchestra presents an evening of symphonic music, featuring soloists Awadagin Pratt, piano, and Morgan Short, harp, playing Beethoven, Ravel and Debussy.
  • July 18; 7 pm; Mark E. Ricks Athletics Complex; the Eastern Festival Orchestra presents Awadagin Pratt, Tapas and Tesla, an evening of chamber music by the renowned quartet in an intimate café with note worthy and savory food.  Sip, dine and socialize while overlooking the panoramic views of the football stadium.
  • July 19; 8 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Chris Botti, multi Grammy Award-winning master trumpeter and composer will deliver an evening of stunning jazz, pop and rock. Botti is the largest selling instrumental artist in the U.S.
  • July 28; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble: The Four Bs in associationwith Reflections Series International; works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and contemporary composer Vytautas Barkauskas’ homage to Bach.
  • July 30; 7 pm; Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center; the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble: Potpourri in association with Reflections Series International;  “Tuesday Talks with the Dean” will begin with James Douthit’s enlightening remarks, followed by Robert Schumann’s piano quintet, Ernő von Dohnányi’s Serenade, and a seldom-heard work by Sergei Rachmaninov.
  • August 1; 8 pm; Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts; Punch Brothers’bluegrass quintet–mandolinist Chris Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny and violinist Gabe Witcher. The Punch Brothers’ critically-acclaimed T Bone Burnett–produced 2015 release, The Phosphorescent Blues,will put you in the mood for this magical night.
  • August 3; 7:30 pm; Holmes Convocation Center; The Temptations’ Concert and Dance Party; you won’t be able to sit still while listening to original member Otis Williams and singers Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Larry Braggs and Willie Greene Jr. crank out their popular hits–My Girl, Ain’t Too Proud, Papa Was a Rolling Stone and I Can’t Get Next to You.

No wonder why folks looking for things to do in Blowing Rock NC make sure this festival is on the top of their list.  The Appalachian Summer Music Festival is one of the country’s top regional arts festivals, celebrating the most prestigious music, dance theatre, visual arts and film.  The mission of the festival is to promote young American artists and to support the university in enhancing the cultural life of the Appalachian community through affordable access to its programs, as well as strengthening the local economy.  “Artistic Excellence, Innovation and Engagement” is the festival’s vision.  This is accomplished throughout the summer’s lectures, exhibitions, tours and workshops, as well as all the student internships and jobs to encourage learning and involvement with the arts.  Come visit the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, Broyhill Music Center, Valborg Theatre, Holmes Convocation Center, and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and discover the community’s commitment to the arts.

Life at The Coves Mountain River Club allows folks to frequent these summer concerts with ease and then return to their idyllic homes for a good night’s sleep.  When you call The Coves home, it’s possible to spend a day wandering the majestic peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, hiking, kayaking, rafting or biking, before heading out for a night on the town.  There are many things to do in Blowing Rock NC that will bring you and your family and friends together.  Summer in the mountain towns of the High Country means continuous concerts and festivals.  Make this the summer you discover the charming life in the North Carolina mountains!

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.

Tags: Blowing Rock | Festivals

2019 Savor Blowing Rock – Food, Wine & Fun

Savor Blowing Rock

It’s going to be an epic four days for wine lovers in the foothills, as “Savor Blowing Rock” returns to North Carolina’s prettiest small town. This year’s celebration will be from May 2 through May 5 and feature “Vintner’s Village” – a grand tasting on Main Street.  You’ll also be able to enjoy an expanded range of demonstrations, seminars, live music, visual arts, and events that showcase the area and its connection to food and drink.

If you’re fortunate enough to own Blowing Rock real estate or you live in the surrounding area, you know that there’s no shortage of interesting things to do and see there even without the added attraction of an event as special as this one.  At The Coves Mountain River Club, we consider ourselves fortunate to be close enough to take advantage of all Blowing Rock has to offer.

Attendees who aren’t local can take advantage of special lodging packages.  You can see all the details online at savorblowingrock.com  Also on the web site, you’ll find a comprehensive description of the many activities scheduled during the four-days of “Savor Blowing Rock”.

On Thursday,  Bennett Larson will talk about the wines of Portugal.  It’s one of many educational seminars to be held at the popular Sunset & Vine wine and cheese shop.  Others set for the same day include a discussion of the Amador vine region of the Shenandoah Valley and a presentation of pairing wine with food.

You’ll want to attend “TASTE!” at the Chelola Resort’s event tent, where you can sample foods from over a dozen High Country restaurants, hear live music and try local wines and craft beers.  And at the Blowing Rock Museum, musician, storyteller, and avid gardener William Ritter will be giving a music and humor-filled talk on the heirloom seeds and old songs he’s collected in North Carolina and beyond.

Friday will bring Danny Sanford, owner of Fine Wine Trading Company, to the Inn at Ragged Gardens to demonstrate the luxury of Riedel glasses and how using one made exclusively for a particular variety enhances the taste of wines.  At Sunset & Vine, Robert Novick of Sour Grapes Distributing will introduce you to the fine wines of Slovenia.  You can learn about the inexpensive Mediterranean-influenced wines produced in Catalonia’s Emporda region, courtesy of Epiphany Wine’s Brian Mockler.  And from winemaker Andrew Murray, hear about Rhône varieties from the Santa Ynez Valley in California.

At the American Legion Hall, don’t miss an incredible art show featuring work by Jacob Daniels and Sir Tom Foolery and a Bodewell wine tasting with Sommelier Jared Seitzer.  When you drink Bodewell wine or purchase an original art piece, you’ll be helping to provide clean water to people around the world.  Witness the power of clean water in one of two showings of the awarding-winning feature film “I Can. I Do.” You’ll want to be part of this inspiring evening!

Also on Friday at Sunset & Vine, you can learn all about the pinot noir grape and the characteristics of the regions where it’s grown and take part in a comparative tasting of wines from around the world.  Phil Doster of Associated Brands will host.  And Anne Prevatte, Fine Wine Manager at Empire Distributing, will guide you through the wine regions of Tuscany.

Saturday, explore the various tastes and styles of rosé with Advanced Sommelier Nick Demos at Sunset & Vine.  You can also attend sessions on the effect of oak on wine and the artisan reds and whites of Italy’s Piedemonte.  The Speckled Trout Restaurant & Bottle Shop will present a showcase of distilled spirits and craft cocktail mixing techniques.  And there’s an outdoor grilling class on the lawn at the Chamber of Commerce.   

That’s a long list.  But believe it or not, there’s even more to “Savor Blowing Rock”.  People from nearby communities, Blowing Rock real estate owners and first-time visitors alike will come away with some great memories and a better perspective on the world’s wines and what makes them special.

If you’re new to the area, we hope you’ll take the opportunity to stop by The Coves Mountain River Club and let us show you how wonderful living here can be.  You don’t have to buy Blowing Rock real estate.  We’re only twenty miles away, with easy access to exciting events like this and all the other many benefits of life in the foothills.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine.

Tags: Blowing Rock | Festivals

Summer Art Classes to Inspire at Frye Art Studio

Lenoir NC art classes

Summer means down time and those gorgeous long days in the Blue Ridge Mountains provide us with the extra hours needed to explore amazing things to do in Lenoir NC.  Those laid-back days give us plenty of opportunity to do what we love—whether it’s spending all day paddling down a lazy river, or finally exploring those charming antique shops and galleries.  For some of us, the dog days of summer means taking out your paints and brushes to capture the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Charlie Frye is a local and self-trained Lenoir artist with a big spirit.  His popular work is shown regularly all over the east coast.  He has an innate gift for creating the kind of heart-warming folk art that our communities in the mountain towns of Western North Carolina have cherished generation after generation.  He also understands the importance of teaching kids how to create art from their early years throughout adolescence.

Frye knows that creating art is a great way to have some plain old-fashioned fun, but it’s also essential to our children’s development.  There are many reasons parents and grandparents in Lenoir should feel great sending their kids off to the Frye Art Studio.

For starters, kids get to work on their motor skills while grasping a paint brush, and no matter our age– dexterity is essential. Creating art also helps our children develop language skills as they discuss with Frye the way an owl looks in the darkness of night, or the colors that will be used to make that owl come to life.

Creating art is also a way for our kids to work on problem-solving as they explore vibrant palettes of color, or a simple lump of clay that will be turned into a sculpture with a little imagination and Frye’s guidance. And it goes without saying that visual learning is more important now than ever as kids are immersed in hours of screen time. Spending time in the art studio gives kids a deeper perspective and draws them away from their personal devices.   Using their imaginations, inventing and creating are all part of the magic of the art classes in Frye’s studio.

Charlie Frye has the laid-back and fun personality that brings kids out of their shells and get them using all of their talents and skills–no matter the medium.   And speaking of mediums, Frye’s use of found objects shows how we can create incredible art from what’s been discarded or forgotten.

It’s clear from Frye’s own art that he has a deep affection and respect for those who have made their homes in the mountain towns.  The community comes together in his studio, and find his place to be one of the happiest to find things to do in Lenoir NC.

Here’s Frye’s Art Studio Summer Art Camps for the summer of 2019:

  • June11-13; 9-11 am; Intro toArt; ages 5-8; drawing, painting and small sculpture; $90 (snack and materials provided)
  • June 11-13; 1-3 pm; Farm to Zoo; ages 6-11; drawing, painting and small sculpture of all types of animals; $90 (snack and materials provided)
  • June 25-27; 9-11 am; Space Camp; ages 6-11; painting and sculpting a galaxy far far away plus its inhabitants; $100 (snack and materials provided)
  • June 25-27; 1-4 pm; Portrait Camp; ages 11-17; drawing and painting portraits from abstract to realism; $125 (snack and materials provided)
  • July 9-11; 9-11 am; Junkbot Camp; ages 10-17; build robots made of junk and found objects; $125 (snack and materials provided)
  • July 9-11; 1-4 pm; Wooden Sculpture; ages 12-18; build a driftwood sculpture for the Sculpture Celebration and make a small one of your own; $135 (snack and materials provided)
  • July 23-25; 9-12; Paint the Town; ages 12-18; a public space art project in conjunction with the city; $125 (snack and materials provided)
  • August 6-8; 9-11 am; Intro toArt; ages 5-8; drawing, painting and small sculpture; $90 (snack and materials provided)
  • August 6-8; 1-3 pm; Whoo Loves Owls?; ages 8-12; learn to paint owls likeCharlieFrye; $90 (snack and materials provided.

All Camps have 10 slots available; 5 slots required to hold camp; 10% discount for multiple children per household; call Charlie and Susan Frye for more info—828-320-7819

For those of us who have created amazing lives at The Coves, we have come to know Charlie Frye first-hand.  Some of us have enjoyed his work shops and all of us have seen his colorful creations throughout the mountain towns.  This region is rich in culture and art and the communities, like The Coves, come together to keep our heritage strong.

One favorite tradition is Blowing Rock’s Art in the Park.  Since 1962 Art in the Park has been gracing the downtown, and growing each and every year with visitors from near and far.  Over 90 artists now show their paintings, photography, jewelry, pottery and so many other fine crafts.   If you haven’t attended this popular event, and you’re searching for things to do in Lenoir NC, don’t miss the show this spring and summer on Park Avenue in downtown Blowing Rock.

  • May 25; 10 am-5 pm
  • June 15; 10 am-5 pm
  • July 13; 10 am-5 pm
  • August 10; 10 am-5 pm

Art in the Park continues in the fall as well—rain or shine!  Call 828-295-7851 for more information.

This is just a quick glimpse of the art classes and exhibits in and nearby Lenoir.

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.

Tags: Blowing Rock | Lenoir

Blowing Rock Winterfest – The Zany Side of Winter

mountain towns in North Carolina

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.

Tags: Blowing Rock | Festivals