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Swingin’ Wingin’ Moon in June Concert and More Summer Madness

things to do in Lenoir NC

Although the North Carolina High Country is famously known for its beautiful mountains and relaxed pace, many people who’ve built their dream homes in the gated communities near Asheville NC get to enjoy so many other perks of this amazing region.  The mountain towns in Western North Carolina have a deservedly rich music history with a undeniably strong beat that continues year after year.

From old-time music, to country, jazz, or indie rock, these mountain towns provide entertainment to their happy residents.  The Swingin’ Wingin’ Moon in June Concert in downtown Lenoir is proof that our musical heritage lives on, and plenty of folks will surely be there to kick off and celebrate the summer season.  Presented by COL Main St Program, Parks & Recreation, and Smoking in the Foothills, this concert will no doubt satisfy all your senses. 

Whether you want to feast on the scrumptious chicken wings, share in the friendly chicken wing cook off,  take part in a fun and challenging cornhole tournament, or dance the night away to Chad Triplett & Two Lane Blacktop, and Official Throwdown Jones, this is a free event not to be missed on June 7th from 5-10 pm.

Swingin’ Wingin’ Moon in June is part of the Summer Music Madness which is a bi-weekly Friday night series free to the public with lively bands and mini-festivals on the square.  This is the way to celebrate Caldwell County’s music heritage with your friends and family.  And be prepared to dance!  There will be a summer chock full of talented performers, so mark these concerts on your calendar and invite your friends and family from out of town to share our community spirit.

Some other noteworthy Summer Music Madness Concerts 2019:

• June 28–Cassette Rewind—80’s Night

• July 26—Lucky Pocket—Pop

• August 4—Luther Barnes—Gospel

• August 16—Crawford & Power–Country

Celebrations like these are woven into the lives of the folks who live in the gated communities near Asheville NC, like The Coves. The close-knit community at The Coves is able to share in the vibrant culture of the mountain towns and then head back to their charming homes where comfort is awaiting them. 

The High Country has too many music venues on stages, gazebos and verandas to list– with free live bands, jams, and local musicians to entertain your entire family.  No matter what your taste—grand opera, bluegrass, jazz, country, gospel, this area has an eclectic landscape that is well…music to our ears! So grab your outdoor chairs or cozy blankets and enjoy the melodies beneath the stars.  And visit The Coves and other gated communities near Asheville NC to discover the idyllic life that’s waiting for you in the mountains.

Call us now at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Festivals | Lenoir

Pretty in Pink – Spring Flowers Have Arrived in Western North Carolina

Asheville Biltmore Spring Flowers

Spring has arrived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and the folks who live in the gated communities near Asheville NC are surrounded by a palette of colors found only in nature.  What better way to celebrate spring than wandering through a vibrant sea of blooms? You may find the only challenge is deciding which gorgeous landscape to visit this spring, but put the Biltmore Estate on the top of your list to usher in this region’s glorious season.

If you haven’t yet visited the Biltmore, you will find an immense and grand estate with impeccable landscaping and gardens, and a winery and restaurants where you can enjoy some fine fare. There are reasons to journey to the Biltmore in every season of the year, but right now you’ll discover Biltmore Blooms—Tulips and Spring Flowers–an ongoing event that spans well more than a month from April 1-May 23, 2019.  With 100,000 bulbs planted on the Biltmore grounds, a profusion of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths bloom from the main entrance, to the walled garden.  Tropical plants and flowers also are grown inside the Biltmore House.  This is a tradition in honor of Frederick Law Olmsted and his stunning final project, the gardens at Biltmore.  To help you plan your Biltmore House excursion, here’s a bloom timeline:

Early April—the Spring Garden is lit up by towering forsythia; the Walled Garden is jam packed with 15,000 colorful daffodils and early tulips; other varieties to admire—flowering shrubs and trees like spirea and sweet flowering cherries.

Mid-April—peak tulip season mostly in the Walled Garden (74,000 blooms!)  Of course the Dogwoods and redbuds add to the scenic display.

Late April—the tulips keep on blooming in the Walled Garden as early azaleas and flowering shrubs burst open.  A stroll beneath the wisteria pergola is a sight you won’t soon forget.

Early May—peak azalea time!  20 acres of pink, white, purple, orange and red blossoms—the full spectrum will surround you, and be sure to meander along the walking trails…for the blooms continue!

Late May—this is the time for summer perennials and annuals in the Walled Garden; stand among the rose blossoms, take a deep breath, and you’ll never want to leave.

The Biltmore has many incredible Spring offers, promos, deals and discount tickets.  Once you’re at the Biltmore, you can visit the Winery, Antler Hill Village, Farm and Barnyard, gift shops and restaurants at no extra charge.  There are 8,000 acres of mountain to explore while you’re visiting the Biltmore.

When you’ve settled into one of the gated communities near Asheville NC, amazing opportunities to explore the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains are plentiful.   Those with mountain homes at The Coves are among the lucky locals who can spend their days in the great outdoors, breathing in that healthy mountain air while reveling in the stunning scenery.  Wildflowers abound in this region, with a wide array of flowering plants that can be seen along the Blue Ridge Parkway or in Pisgah National Forest or other protected parks. 

We are fortunate to have flowers blooming pretty much all year long—wildflowers in spring, berries in summer and fall and winter bring their own spectacular varieties of plants and flowers.  The colors of our landscape vary with the season and the profusion of blooms.  At The Coves, residents have the best of both worlds—surrounded by nature and all the flowers and trees that grace our landscape, as well as being able to enjoy Isabel’s Garden, where vegetables and flowers grow by the Johns River.  The growing season has already begun at Isabel’s Garden, and spring blooms are bringing bright color to the English-style community flower beds.

If it’s time for you to explore idyllic places for a vacation mountain home, or to retire, The Coves Mountain River Club is one of the gates communities near Asheville NC you need to discover.  Visit this spring, take a walk along The Coves’ trails, take in all the wild life, and the spectacular flora and fauna,  and you’ll know exactly where your next home should be.

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: Asheville | Festivals

NC Gravity Games Return to Lenoir NC

NC Gravity Games Lenoir

Now in its ninth year, the North Carolina Gravity Games continues to be one of the more popular things to do in Lenoir NC.  On Saturday, April 13, enthusiastic crowds will be downtown cheering on the racers and checking out the science booths, tech demos, food vendors and more.  It all begins at eight-thirty in the morning and lasts until about three in the afternoon.

This is the signature event of the North Carolina Science Festival, a multi-day celebration that highlights educational, cultural and financial impact of science in the State.  Sponsors include Google, Appalachian State University, the University of North Carolina and the City of Lenoir.  Teams from schools, Scout Troops, and Boys and Girls Clubs across the state use their hands-on skills to build the fastest and coolest gravity-powered cars and then race them through the downtown streets.

The 2019 North Carolina Gravity Games foster community engagement through sponsorship and will award prizes to the winning teams. The competition focuses on the design, construction, and operation of a potential energy-powered vehicle on a downhill course.

The goal is to provide an opportunity for our local students to apply the principles of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a practical and fun way.  Previous competitions

have drawn more than thirty teams of middle and high school students.  Teams from colleges and universities and corporate entities are welcome to enter as well.  There’s even an “open” category for adults who want to participate.  For more information regarding entry requirements and other rules, see the Frequently Asked Questions tab at http://www.ncgravitygames.com

Downhill derby-type racing events have a long history in this country, beginning to take shape in the very early twentieth century and first appearing on a national scale in 1934.  We’re fortunate to have the strong community interest and organizational support that have made the Gravity Games another of the great things to do in Lenoir NC.

Drivers must from seven to fourteen years old.  They’re required to have a parent or legal guardian sign a Participation Agreement on their behalf.  An ANSI-certified helmet is required, and protective clothing is recommended.  And of course there are standards that must be met for the weight and construction of the cars.  The Judging Committee will be responsible for inspecting all entries and the race track for adequate safety and security.  The deadline to register is Midnight EDT on March 13, 2019.

If you’re coming to town for the Gravity Games, why not stop by The Coves Mountain River Club and get a feel for how great living in the Blue Ridge Mountains can be?  It’s a great place to retire, surrounded by all the options for fun, adventure, culture, exploration and exercise you could want.

We’ve become a popular choice for people looking for the perfect combination of pristine natural surroundings and state-of-the-art modern convenience and energy efficiency.  With the help of our expert design team, they’re creating their ideal living environment and settling in to enjoy the many things to do in Lenoir NC and the surrounding area.

If you’re a golfer or plan to become one, you’ll love playing the golf courses.  They offer some of the most spectacular views you’ll find anywhere, with picture-perfect scenes at every turn.  Even on days when you’re not playing your best, Nature makes it all okay!

And, of course, the annual changing of the leaves is a show in itself – one that draws viewers from all over the country.  We have a guaranteed front row seat and the added advantage of being able to hike up and watch it develop in foliage at various elevations.

These are all things that make Lenoir a wonderful place to live, and we’d love to show you how building a home at The Coves Mountain River Club can make your retirement dreams a reality.

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Festivals | 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

Christmas in Lenoir – Toys, Santa and Selfies

things to do in Lenoir NC

This is the most magical time of year in the mountain towns in North Carolina, and Lenoir’s holiday traditions are well known for adding warmth and meaning to the folks who live in this charming region.  The City of Lenoir Main Street Program keeps the sense of community vibrant, and at this time of year keeps us all humming Christmas carols through the streets.  More than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities have come together to create an unusual bond—the Main Street America Program.  Initiated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the focus is to build amazing communities with hearty downtowns. 

What does this mean for all of us who are fortunate enough to live in Lenoir?  There is a never-ending list of celebrations and events throughout the year that provide us with a variety of things to do in Lenoir NC.  No matter what your holiday heart yearns for—it’s happening in Lenoir!  Shows, parades and breakfasts with Santa will be making this Christmas season merry and bright.  Check out all the holiday festivities in Lenoir:

Between November 27 – December 22 in the mountain towns in North Carolina, there are almost as many magical occasions to have a selfie with Santa as there are days of Christmas!  Downtown Lenoir  transforms into a holiday extravaganza that will warm the hearts of the young and old alike!  Made possible by our COL Main Street Program,  these are all the dates and places you, and the youngsters in your life, can visit with Santa. Be sure to let this jolly fellow spread his yuletide cheer:

  Tuesday, November 27:  6-8 pm—1841 Café

  Friday, November 30:  4-6 pm; Lenoir Christmas Parade

  Tuesday, December 4:  6-8 pm; Fercott Fermentables

  Friday, December 7:  5-7 pm; Piccolo’s Pizza

  Saturday, December 8:  4-6 pm; Walgreens

  Saturday, December 8:  6-7 pm; LHS Auditorium

  Friday, December 14; 5-7 pm; Side Street Pour House

  Saturday, December 15; 11 am-1 pm; Tybrisa Books

  Friday, December 21; 5-7 pm; Cookies and Cream

  Saturday, December 22; 6-8 pm; Shake-n-Dog

If you’re in the mood for a holiday performance, the Foothills Performing Arts will be presenting “The Adventures of Santa Claus” November 29-December 2 at JE Broyhill Civic Center, 1909 Hickory Blvd SE.  This musical production will entertain the entire family.  “Discover how Santa Claus became the legend we know today in a tale full of magic and whimsy.”

The performance on Friday, November 30 will include dinner and a show. And if you’re looking for things to do in Lenoir NC, why not enjoy a delicious holiday-themed dinner at 5:30, giving you plenty of time to appreciate the menu before the show: chef-carved honey-glazed Virginia ham, baked chicken and dressing with gravy, rosemary-roasted potato medley (Yukon Gold, red and sweet potatoes); southern green beans; rolls with butter; assorted desserts; coffee, tea, and warm apple cider—all for only $15 per person.

Performances:

11/29/2018 – 7 pm

11/30/2018 – 5:30 pm

11/30/2018 – 7 pm

12/1/2018 – 7 pm

12/2/2018 – 2 pm

Single Ticket Price $16.25 (includes tax) Group and child/student tickets are available; for more info contact 828.726.2404.

It’s impossible to think of Lenoir in December without conjuring up images of sugar plum fairies and the downtown parade!  The theme of this year’s Lenoir Christmas Parade, on November 30, 6:30-9:30 pm, is sure to warm your festive heart–“Home Sweet Home for the Holidays ~ Celebrating the Sweetness of Coming Home for the Holidays.” For those local folks who love taking part in the heart of the parade, decorate your own float—“choose your favorite holiday candy, sweet treat, or gingerbread creation and decorate your float to celebrate our flavorful holiday traditions!”

Hosted by Lenoir Parks and Recreation, with over 200 entries, this holiday parade is a cherished tradition.  University and high school bands create the festive music to accompany the floats, community groups, and, of course, Santa!  Don’t forget–streets close at 3:30 along College Avenue and Harper Ave for the parade line-up along Harper Ave, Mulberry St, Main St, Ashe Ave, and West Ave for the Parade Route.

But the fun this holiday season doesn’t end there in the mountain towns of North Carolina!  December 2, from 12:30-4:30, the Christmas Cruise-In & Toy Drive is presented by the Lenoir Cruisers on 801 West Avenue NW.  This is a fun-spirited and free event.  Make sure you participate by bringing along a new and unwrapped toy for a child aged two up to eleven,  and make his or her Christmas a little brighter.  The sight of Santa delivering your carefully-chosen toys to all the sweet little girls and boys of the area will certainly put you in the holiday spirit!

“Shine up those rides one more time and join us as we wrap up 2018 and celebrate the season of giving.”

There are boundless events when you and your family are searching for meaningful things to do in Lenoir NC to lift your spirits. Be sure to put breakfast with Santa, a worthy and joyful morning on your calendar: December 1; 8:30-10:30 am; at Fatz; 975 Blowing Rock Blvd, Lenoir, NC.

You can purchase your tickets at Second Bloom Boutique, 2301 Morganton Blvd in Lenoir to be sure you have a reservation.  This holiday affair will help support the Shelter Home of Caldwell County.  What better than to be helping those in need while enjoying a scrumptious breakfast of pancakes and sausage?  Children can celebrate and preserve the celebration with a keepsake photo with Santa! 

Now, if you’re feeling creative and crafty this holiday season, put Satie’s Holidays Workshops—at Caldwell Arts Council on your schedule!  Join in the fun as you Make-and-Take an Aluminum Wrap Ring with Ellen Ball on December 4 from 9-11 am; 601 College Avenue SW, Lenoir.  This is the time and place to “learn how to apply texture with hammers on pre-cut pieces of light-weight aluminum to create a forged wrap ring.” Tools and materials included; no experience necessary. Children 12 and up or mature children ten to twelve with an adult.

There’s more happening at the Caldwell Arts Council throughout the month.  Lenoir celebrates artisans December 7-8, 14-15, and 21-22 in true homemade fashion with its Hometown Downtown Holiday.  Fridays from noon to 7 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.

When the mood strikes to hunker down for a Christmas film, COL Parks and Rec and Main St Program will be showing Christmas with the Kranks at 7 pm on December 8 at Historic LHS Auditorium.  Come a little early (6 pm) with your little ones for a visit with Santa. The whole night is family-friendly and free!

Also on December 8, the Elfin’ Around Christmas Show at the JE Broyhill Civic Center from 10 am-3 pm–45 vendors will provide crafts, food and prizes.  Santa will be there to spread his joy and inspire the community to make donations to the needy families in Caldwell County.

Maybe your house needs a little sprucing up for Christmas?  Santara McGlynn of Santara Flowers will be returning for a live wreath-making workshop at the Caldwell Arts Council on December 8 from noon to 2 pm.  Those folks who have cozy homes at The Coves know how festive the perfect holiday wreath can look on their front door.  “Enjoy a creative time, complete with all supplies, finger foods, and a hot chocolate bar for only $75/person! 1828 Collective will be on hand to photograph participants with their wreaths.”

This is the sweetest time of year to visit The Coves and see the gated community with its idyllic mountain homes all decked out.  The celebratory and festive air of Lenoir is carried into The Coves where the folks create a tight-knit community.  They share the holiday spirit, and usher in the season with carols, hot cider and home-cooking—all while gathering around the hearth inside their charming homes.  Be sure to plan a winter outing to the mountains of North Carolina. 

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 | Lenoir

Smoking in the Foothills BBQ Festival and Competition

barbecue competition

BBQ is one seriously delectable pastime from coast to coast in the United States. Over the years the culinary tradition has migrated to places where folks were not reared on the saucy, finger-licking fare.  But for those of us who have roots in the mountain towns of North Carolina, we have adored this savory dish so far back we cannot remember. 

No wonder Steven Raichlen wrote “The Barbecue Bible” ( a best-seller), and gave a lecture at the Library of Congress, “Barbecue:  A History of the World’s Oldest Culinary Art.”  These days folks who live in NC mountain communities don’t just have dog-eared copies of our grandmother’s cherished BBQ sauce, we have recipes that have come from food programs and competitions, like the popular Smoking in the Foothills BBQ Festival & Competition in Lenoir, NC on October 19th and 20th, 2018.

This yearly event “combines the fun of a family-friendly festival with the excitement of a sanctioned barbecue competition!” for those of you who want to turn up the heat.  There’s so much more than sharing amazing and mouth-watering BBQ with your friends, family and neighbors…live music, poker run, corn hole, a wood-crafter’s showcase, kids’ activities, raffles, competitions and more will keep you more than happy during these gorgeous fall days.

The Festival Schedule at a Glance:

Friday, October 19, 2018; 5 pm-10 pm

• Festival opening with Mayor Gibbons; Smokey Barrel Beer & Beverage Garden; Cash Cow 50/50 Raffle; Kids’ Que Competition; Playful Piglet Kids’ Area opening; live music; Cook Team BBQ People’s Choice–Wings

Saturday, October 20, 2018; 10 am-10 pm

  10 am—Poker Run Registration

• 10:30 am—Poker Run

• 11 am—Smokey Barrel Beer & Beverage Garden Opens

• 11:30 am—Cook Team BBQ People’s Choice—Pork!

• 12-1:30 pm—Turn-ins for BBQ Competition

• 3 pm—Registration for Fling the Wing Corn Hole Tournament

• 4 pm—Fling the Wing Corn Hole Tournament

• 5 pm—KCBS Competition Awards Ceremony on the Downtown Stage

• 7 pm—Live Music; FracXured

• 8 pm—Cash Cow Winner Announced

• 10 pm—Festival Closing

Festival Music Line-Up

• Friday, October 19, 5-7 pm; Andrew Massey & the Midnight Americans

• Friday, October 19, 7-10 pm; Jim Quick & Coastline

• Saturday, October 20, 10-11 am; Terry Edwards

• Saturday, October 20, 11 am-1 pm; The Classics

• Saturday, October 20, 1-3 pm; Rooted

• Saturday, October 20, 3-5 pm; Chad Triplett & Two Lane Blacktop

• Saturday, October 20, 7-9 pm; FracXured

Fourth Annual Foothills Corn hole Tournament

• Saturday, October 20, 4 pm at the parking across from 1841 Café; $25 fee per team with cash pay outs.   50% of proceeds benefit local charity, and the remainder goes to first through fourth place winners.

Workshops; learn how to smoke, grill and carve meats like a pro, learn about new technology, or tour local furniture factories—it’s all there for residents and visitors in the mountain towns of North Carolina.

• Friday, October 19

   Where There Is Smoke, There’s Flavor!  A Smoking How-to Workshop

   Slice It Right—The butcher does it better!  A How-to Workshop on carving meats

   Seared and Sizzled—Our Lenoir Fire Fighters share their grilling secrets & fire safety tips

• Saturday, October 20; Workshop on new tech driving the furniture industry

   Furniture Factory Tours and Hayride

And of course it wouldn’t be the tradition festival for the NC mountain communities without the Professional BBQ Competition—a State Championship event sanctioned by Kansas City Barbecue Society.  Four categories include scrumptious—chicken, pork ribs, pork and beef brisket.  Come and win the $15,000 prize and be surrounded by KCBS judges and professional cook teams from across the country.

Professional BBQ Competition Schedule:

Friday, October 19

8 am–Cook Team Check In

10 am-4 pm—Meat Inspection

1 pm—Cook Team Lunch @ the Distillery

4 pm—Cook Team Meeting @ the Distillery

7 pm—Private Cook Team Social @ the Distillery

Saturday, October 20

7:30 am—Private Cook Team Breakfast

12 pm—Turn Ins for BBQ Competition

12:30 pm—Pork Rib Category

1 pm—Pork Category

1:30 pm—Brisket Category

5 pm—Awards Ceremony; Corn hole Winners Announced; 10-First Place Announced; Reserve Grand Champion Announced; Grand Champion Announced.

Contact Information:  Smoking In The Foothills–c/o Mike Kilby, 309 Sheldon Street, Hudson, NC; 28638; 828-310-2953, Festival Contact 828-757-4451, BBQ Competition Contact 828-310-2953

Venders are most welcome; download the application and mail in with fees as well as obtain your required permit.  Cooking spaces, ice and utilities will be provided.

For those of you lucky travelers coming to visit the mountain towns of North Carolina, the Comfort Inn in Lenoir is the host hotel for the festival and will provide you and your friends and family with a “foothills” discount.  Volunteers are also welcome!  The people who come together in the NC mountain communities are who make these festivals and events not only possible but also incredibly special.

Folks who have made The Coves Mountain River Club their home, nestled in the sweet and breath-taking Blue Ridge Mountains, live the idyllic life day after incredible day.  There’s no amount of time that will take away your gratitude when you awaken in your dream house and peer out upon the natural beauty that surrounds you—an inspiring vista no matter where you turn! 

And when the residents at The Coves venture out to the downtown of Lenoir, there’s plenty of community and goings on to fulfill their every desire.  Those who have settled blissfully into their custom home at The Coves get to enjoy the Foothills Barbecue Festival each and every year—a tradition that adds comfort and fun to all.  North Carolina has been a BBQ haven forever, with flavor and savory sauces that melt in your mouth.  Come and visit The Coves this fall, take part in the festival or simply dive into some of the most spectacular BBQ in the country.  You will find in just one tasty weekend why this is the place you should next call home.

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: Festivals | Lenoir