Back to School, Back in Boone

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Aug. 22, 2013 | Modified: Aug. 22, 2013

Summer 2013 is already becoming a distant memory.

Classes have resumed at Appalachian State University and Caldwell Community College.

While the continuous onslaught of showers and thunderstorms that have drenched the High Country might have diluted the memories made during summer vacation, the reality remains that school is back in session.

Commence the groans and sighs.

All is not lost, however. Warm weather still abounds, and so do opportunities for fun and entertainment in Boone and the surrounding communities.

Watauga County is a premier destination for the activities in the great outdoors.

When class is not in session, those 21 and older can check out Wined Down Wednesdays at Green Valley Park in Todd. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., join fellow kayakers for a float down the New River with a glass of wine and cheese to accentuate the flavor. Contact Kelly McCoy at (336) 877-3099 for more information.

Looking for something a little more fast-paced with your choice brew? Run into Howard Brewing Company in Lenoir on Thursdays for a weekly run and a brew. The group run starts at 6:30 p.m.
Don’t forget Salsa Dance Wednesday’s at Paolucci’s. Come learn how to move and groove to the sounds of Latin American music before hitting the dance floor. The cover is $5.

For something a little more heart-pumping, you might want to join one of several community bike rides. There are currently rides scheduled for the evenings of Monday through Thursday, weather permitting. Visit and click on the group rides link.

For ASU students, basketball, racquetball, swimming, running, weightlifting, conditioning and more await through University Recreation. Call (828) 262-8704 or the Quinn Center at (828) 262-3035. .
There are also several downtown venues that promise live music and entertainment in the evenings to let off a little stress from those early semester jitters.

Café Portofino on Rivers Street hosts live music at 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

Boone Saloon on King Street holds weekly concerts and live performances on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year. Check out for weekly lineups.

Fridays are also concert days at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center on at 604 W. King St. Visit for a complete lineup.

The university has also prepared several programs and offerings to ease students back into their busy schedules. The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts will host free tai chi lessons at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays. These 50-minute sessions, which focus on a form of “moving meditation,” are open to ASU students only.

From Thursday to Saturday, Aug. 22 to Aug. 24, the Appalachian Popular Programming Society will show “The Great Gatsby” at I.G. Greer Auditorium to help shake off those back-to-school blues. Admission is $1.

Regardless of the activity, university officials encourage students to be aware of their surroundings; if walking alone or at night, carry a cell phone; always try to walk with a friend after dark and always lock your doors, as well as walk in well-lit areas.

For more on what to do in the High Country, visit

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