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A Happy Life Surrounded by Beautiful WNC Arts & Crafts

WNC mountain crafts

It’s time once again for the Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival, presented by the Avery County Chamber of Commerce at beautiful Banner Elk for the last 26 years.

This unique, juried event is known and highly anticipated by local owners of Carolina mountain properties for its eclectic array of presentations and pleasant ambience.  Visitors will find more than 70 vendors on hand offering hand-crafted wares, including – but certainly not limited to – photography, paintings, jewelry, sculpture and pottery.

The dates this year were Friday, July 19th through Sunday, July 21st and again August 9th through the 11th.

Locals also enjoyed the Fifth Annual Banner Elk DiscDogathon held on July 20th at the historic old elementary school. They saw all skill levels on display as teams compete for five places in the World Championships.  Any dog that is safe off-leash, was able to catch a frisbee and participate. All profits from the DiscDogathon benefit the Avery County Humane Society.

NC mountain communities enjoy so many wonderful art festivals and other events during the summer months.  At The Coves Mountain River Club, many of our retired residents have found a passion for creating artwork of their own in media such as watercolor, oil, metal sculpture, woodcarving, dried flowers and so many more.  And their interest provides welcome support for our arts community here in the foothills.

It’s fair to say that inspiration stems from happiness.  Once your mind is freed from the negatives of daily life, ideas can then start to flow and dreams can become reality.

Western North Carolina mountain properties offer a sea change from urban living and its many pressures.  Just being able to breathe fresh, clean air on a daily basis does wonders for your health and outlook.  As you settle into a new, far more peaceful environment, it’s as if a load is lifted from your shoulders.  And then you can think about what you really want to do with your life.

You can easily see the area’s natural benefits.  Hikers, bikers, water sports enthusiasts, photographers, campers and fishermen all take full advantage of our world-class trails, rivers, lakes, parks and scenery.

But for those who are less adventurous or unable to handle as much in the way of physical exercise, we have just as much to offer in terms of artistic, cultural, and educational opportunities.  You can stay as active and busy as you like and devote time to your own talents and personal growth.

It’s not uncommon for homeowners at The Coves Mountain River Club to dedicate part of their living spaces to their new-found artistic pursuits.  Our highly-experienced home design professionals are sometimes asked to include art studios, for example, that will incorporate plenty of natural light.

Living here, perhaps you’ll find a talent you weren’t aware that you had.  Sometimes, all it takes is one opportunity to see what others are doing.  NC mountain communities celebrate the arts in so many ways, and festivals are a great way to showcase the remarkable creativity that surrounds us.

Save the date for next year so you can enjoy the Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival.  And while you’re here, stop by The Coves Mountain River Club and let us give you a tour.  Stroll along our five miles of beautiful waterfront on the Johns River, play our golf course with its spectacular views around every turn, visit the Pisgah Mountain Lodge, relax and watch the sun set over the mountains…  We could go on and on.

Are you ready to see how great life in the foothills can be?

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Festivals | Lenoir | Shopping & Antique Hunting

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

The TGIF Summer Concert Series is Back!

things to do in Morganton NC 2019

Morganton’s foot-stomping concert series will be entertaining folks of all ages in the High Country throughout the glorious days of summer. The TGIF Concert Series has become a popular event for those who want entertaining things to do in Morganton NC—both locals and music lovers from afar. The TGIF event brings an average of 1,800 people to each concert. Crowds can double when there are special events that combine with TGIF.

This summer the free concert series runs from May 3-July 26th with a wide variety of performances to enjoy. The live bands perform from 7-10 pm. Arrive at six o’clock with a hearty appetite and you’ll find fabulous fare served up by the food and beverage vendors by the Historic Burke County Courthouse lawn. Spread out your blanket and gaze up at the starry night while the music fills the air. Rain or shine, the shows go on.

Here’s the amazing family-friendly TGIF line up:

• May 3; The Extraordinaires; Variety and Car Cruise In

• May 10; Grandmas Medicine; Rock n Roll

• May 17; Rooted; Americana

• May 24; Gotcha Groove; Soul

• May 31; Fox and Company; Dance

• June 7; Surf Cavalier; Indie Rock and Car Cruise In

• June 14; Sweet Revenge; Classic Rock

• June 21; Throw Down Jones; Rock

• June 28; Tuatha Dea; Celtic

• July 12; N-Spire; Party/Variety and Car Cruise In

• July 19; The Night Move Band; Beach

• July 26; Buick MacKane; Southern Rock

The twelve free concerts are produced by the Historic Morganton Festival, Inc., and its fifteen-member board, who work with gusto. In addition, the HMF produces the Historic Morganton Festival in September, farmers markets on Saturdays from May thru October, and various fundraisers for public art. HMF also collaborates with the community and other worthy organizations to offer the State of Origin Craft Brew Festival with Fonta Flora Brewery in June, and the October Oyster Outing with Burke Arts Councils each fall. The economic benefit to the local community is tremendous. Many volunteer to make these events happen, and any profit made is reinvested so that the community can continue to count on these cherished yearly traditions.

This sort of community spirit and camaraderie are among many reasons folks love Morganton. There is a pride in this town and a deep care for history as well as the charming town’s path moving forward. Morganton received the 2014 Great Main Street Award from the American Planning Association of NC. Stroll down Main Street and you’ll understand why folks cherish this quaint downtown with so much to offer and awesome things to do in Morganton NC. Whether it’s shopping, dining, sipping cocktails with your friends, catching professional entertainment, or attending an lively gala…there’s something for your every mood.

The Coves is just a town away from Morganton, which allows its lucky residents simple ease in attending all the town’s carnivals, festivals, food, art and brew crawls, parades, farmers markets, concerts, chili cook offs, fitness challenges and on! The Coves Mountain and River Club is a friendly gated community with a heart, and the folks who have made their home in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains sure do appreciate a good thing…like the mountain towns and communities that surround them.

Come and visit The Coves when you’re looking for things to do in Morganton NC and take the short drive to Morganton to discover why living in this region is truly idyllic. You’ll find plenty of unique handmade gifts and have an incredible selection of restaurants to choose from– Greek, Italian, American, French, Japanese, Sushi, and after your savory meal– tapas rolled ice cream or a Costa Rican bakery with fresh confections. If you’re thirsty there are cafes, breweries and wineries where you can relax and socialize with your friends. A visit to Morganton and The Coves will be the highlight of your summer.

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 | Morganton

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

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