Bluegrass fans will descend on Wilkesboro this weekend to attend MerleFest.
Meanwhile, roller derby fans will make the trek to Boone this Saturday to watch local favorites the Appalachian Rollergirls in action against the B-Dazzlers of Charlotte.
The roller derby action will take place at the George Holmes Convocation, beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 28. Tickets are on sale now.
The Appalachian Rollergirls (ARG) team is only two years old but already has become a force to be reckoned with in the world of women’s roller derby in the Southeast.
ARG finished the 2011 season with eight wins and three losses. So far this season, the team is undefeated with a 3-0 record. This will mark the second time the Appalachian Rollergirls face the B-Dazzlers, with ARG skating to a hard-earned victory in Charlotte last year.
Made up of High Country women from all walks of life, from former ASU students to local businesswomen, ARG and its impressive record is a testament to the hard work and dedication of its members.
“We have been so successful so quickly because we are extremely organized as a business, and we are all dedicated to learning about the growing sport,” ARG team member Jennele Vaquera said. “All the players exercise outside of roller derby. We are a very supportive of each other in endeavors outside of derby, as well.”
Anyone who has witnessed firsthand the speed, physical nature and competitive spirit of roller derby might be surprised to learn that there is a longstanding tradition of the host team showing the visiting team a good time after the match.
“It’s really fun to get to know your opponents after the game,” Vaquera said. “Roller derby is a very community sport, and we all support each other – maybe not while playing one another. There’s a lot of girl power and women empowerment going on. Women from all walks of life play. I have been fortunate enough to be on this roller derby team since we started up, and the relationships and friends I have made are immeasurable.
“There are lots of invitationals and mixed scrimmages and pick-up leagues in the Southeast. The big world of derby gets small after you’ve been involved for sometime.”
The ARG team evolved in February of 2010 by former ASU student Jordyn Coats and a few local businesswomen. The Rollergirls are in their second season, and Saturday’s match is their first home bout of the year.
ARG will host a total of three home bouts this year: April 28, June 23 and Aug. 4, all at the Holmes Center.
ARG is a non-profit organization and will be sponsoring the Watauga Humane Society for the April 28 bout.
“We’re happy to help and support local charities, like Watauga Humane Society,” said Ashley Tanner, aka Tan-her-hide, an ARG team skater.
“Roller derby offers something different for people to check out and have a good time. We always try to support community organizations, while at the same time putting on a great show for the public.”
Tickets for GerlesFest are $10 in advance/$12 game day and can be found online at http://www.theholmescenter.com. Fans 12 years and younger are admitted free. Tickets for ASU/Caldwell students are $5 with student ID. Doors open at 4 p.m., and the bout starts at 5 p.m.
Tickets can also be purchased at Boone retail locations: Black Cat Burrito, Lucky Penny, Woodlands Barbecue and Boone Drug at Deerfield.
The Holmes Center is located at 111 Rivers St. in Boone.
For more information, visit http://www.appalachianrollergirls.com.