Highland Games Grandfather Mountain NC

Starting July 12-15 2012 Grandfather Mountain will be premiering the Scottish Highland games, located near Blowing Rock and Boone NC. It is the 57th annual highland games held at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain. People from all over the world come to the beautiful western NC Mountains to participate and take on the festivities and events. Here are some of the activities that you do not want to miss.

On the first day there will be the bear run which is a 5 mile run. But it is not your typical 5 mile run; it’s a hard earned run. You start at an elevation of around 3712 feet and run to the summit of Grandfather Mountain, which is a total of about 1568 feet of elevation.

The music at the highland games is a not the typical North American music that you are used to. The Celtic music jam always gets a big crowd playing folk musical traditions of Western Europe. The Jam will include traditional style to more of contemporary style of music.

The Athletic events and music competitions are very popular to watch. There are Piping, drumming, fiddling and harp competitions. Also there is track and field events held at the oval track. Some of those events include 60 yard and 100 yard dashes, a 2m mile cross country race, high jump, pole vault, running broad jump, highland wrestling and tug of war.

There are many more events and activities that were left out, but you need to come yourself to see the beautiful High Country of NC and enjoy this wonderful event.

Upgrading Downtown and Park in West Jefferson

While shopping in downtown West Jefferson take some time and look at the great work that was done on the sidewalks. With a little landscaping and having the sidewalks done in brick and concrete gives downtown a new look. West Jefferson’s Historic town always brings people all over Western NC and this improvement will make local people and tourists love downtown even more.

Also come and enjoy the new track that was built at the town park. The new asphalt track runs around the whole park. Adults can take their kids around the track and stop at the different swing sets, slides, ball field, tennis courts and playground. To make the park become safer, lights were built along the track. Whether enjoying time with your kids or trying to stay in shape, these enhancements have improved this beautiful park.

Walls with a Story in West Jefferson

In the Historic town of West Jefferson NC there are 14 painted murals on the different buildings throughout West Jefferson. Each mural has a special meaning to it done by different artists, students and community volunteers. These murals give the town more excitement and more history. Check back for some pictures and History of the paintings.

The Mural located on the side of Regency Properties began in 1996 by an local artist named Jack Young. The mural is titled “History of Ashe Through the Ages”. The mural shows the county in different seasons.

Back when roads were hard to travel through the high country of NC, the trains and railroads were depended upon for supplies in Ashe County. In 2001 Stephan Shoemaker painted a mural on the Dollar tire building, with the title of “Cut at Devil Stairs”.

As there are many more murals to see and to talk about, you just have to come see them in person, to experience these beautiful buildings that brighten the town.

New Jobs Coming Soon!

A Goodwill building in Ashe County is currently in progress and soon there could be up to 12-15 full-time jobs. The store is planning on being finished around January 2013. The Store will be located between Community One Bank and Ashe County High School in West Jefferson. The store is not currently hiring at the moment but you can apply at www.goodwillnwnc.org. Goodwill is a not-for-profit organization that provides job training. A lot of goodwill’s funds come from other retail thrift stores which are also nonprofit as well. Goodwill will provide a place to donate clothes, shoes, books, furniture in good condition, household decorations, and electronics.

Appalachian State Baseball

Our Local college here in the High Country Mountains, the Appalachian State baseball team finished 29th overall in the National Rankings in Division I. This is the highest ranking that the mountaineers baseball team has had since joining the NCAA Division I. The Mountaineers finished the season with a school record of 41-18. Next year the mountaineer baseball team hopes to continue the success that they had this year, but will have to do it with a new staff. Chris Pollard took the head coaching job at the University of Duke. Billy Jones the assistant coach at Oklahoma State will replace Pollard. Jones has been at Oklahoma State for eight seasons. Jones was a big part in the cowboy’s staff; he was one of the top recruiters in the nation and helped out with the hitters and outfielders. Next year should bring in big crowds to the newly built stadium as the mountaineers try to go for another successful season.

Appalachian Summer Camp

Are your kids looking for something fun to do for the summer? Then send them to the Urec Camp at Appalachian State University. There is one more week left of camp, it’s July 23-27th. Students from rising 1st to rising 9th grade can enjoy this exciting and enjoying camp at Appalachian State University. The Urec camp staff is ran by the students of Appalachian State University, they provide a safe environment where the kids will enjoy variety of fitness, sports, outdoor and leadership activities during the camps. For more information about the camps and the activities go to the Urec website.

Adopt a Parkway

Adopt-a-Street, Adopt-a-Highway, Adopt-a-Stream and similar volunteer programs help decrease government costs and foster a sense of community pride and ownership. Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, families, businesses and organizations can adopt an overlook. There is more than 270 Overlooks that are considered for adoption. The requirements are to mow grass, sweep sidewalks and parking areas, clean signage and have a three year commitment to do all of these things. Already 133 are adopted during the first year. So that leaves with just a little over 50% overlooks left for adoption, ranging from Mt. Jefferson to Linville for the local folks around Ashe and Watauga County.

Droughts Ending by Big Storms

In the Southeast droughts about this time really can hurt the economy and especially farmers. But statistics have shown that during the big droughts in the summer either a tropical hurricane or a tropical cyclone hits. It’s great that it can end a drought but can come with great consequences. One reason why is because the ground is already dry and fast flooding can happen quickly. As much as 41 percent of droughts occurring in the southeast from 1955-2008 were ended by the storms. In Ashe County, we are in the lower percentage of droughts ending by storm. Big storms like this can cause up to millions and billions of dollars in damage. Right now, here in the High Country, the previous rain has helped out and hopefully will continue to keep the local farmers happy and growing strong.

New Things to do in the High Country

In Boone NC located just minutes from downtown is the new mountain bike park. The trails are made for beginners to advanced riders, with trails that are singletrack, rocks, jumps and flow. There are three shelters, picnic area, and an adventure playground. If you like to help out in your community then come to Rocky Knob bike park on “Dirty Thursdays” and help keep the trails maintained.

Also in Boone NC the Appalachian community has added a female sport call roller girls. It is a full contact sport that involves skates. The derby league is based in Boone and has a mission to encourage female athleticism, community awareness through activities, and charity involvement.
The new Blowing Rock Art and History Museum opened up in downtown Blowing Rock that promotes visual arts, history and heritage of the mountains. The Museum has nearly 30 collections of the popular pastime, and a commemorating the Civil War in western NC.

Restaurants in the High Country NC

Some of the new Restaurants in the High Country are Cracker Barrel, Woodhaven, Five guys, J&J’s chop house, Frontier BBQ. These are some of the new restaurants that have been built recently in the High Country. Cracker Barrel and Five Guy’s is located in Boone off of the Hwy 321, Cracker Barrel is a chained owned restaurant that serves country cooking through breakfast, lunch and dinner. Five Guys is also a fast food chained restaurant that is known for their large servings of hamburgers and fries. Woodhaven and J&J’s chophouse is located in Jefferson NC. Frontier BBQ replaced the name of Pappy’s BBQ in Banner Elk NC. Some of the other most popular restaurants in the High Country are the Dan’l Boone Inn off of Hardin Street in Boone NC. It serves up delicious family style meals for over 50 years now. The Game Keeper which is located in between Blowing Rock and Boone off of Shulls Mill Road. The Game Keeper is ranked top 100 U.S. Restaurants as ranked by over 7 million open table reviews. Game Keeper is not your ordinary restaurant they serve fresh game meats and fish grilled over a wood fire with seasonal vegetables. These are just a few of many great restaurants in the High Country, come out to support and enjoy these restaurants.