Music at Ragged Gardens every Friday
This summer, Blowing Rock's Inn at Ragged Gardens is growing music.
Every Friday, the inn and its popular restaurant, The Best Cellar, are offering live music on the lawn, complete with a special menu of appetizers, a full bar and outdoor games.
"My partner (Lisa Stripling) and I were just sitting on the deck one day, looking at how everything is so pretty this year, I guess because of this past winter," Ragged Gardens co-owner Rob Dyer said. "Eighty percent of this property is yard, and 20 percent is the building. We really needed to do something that would be neat for the town, open for everybody and would just be fun to do."
Both agreed that they enjoyed listening to live music, Dyer said, but 10 p.m. shows just aren't feasible when raising a family.
"We thought it would be neat to do something here in the yard at 5 o'clock, right when people are getting off work," he said.
Like so, the complimentary concerts at Ragged Gardens run from 5:30 to 8 p.m., offering area professionals and visitors an early opportunity to enjoy live entertainment.
And it's been well received. Some come for dinner, others come for cocktails and music, but many come for all of the above.
The concerts started in June and will run every Friday through September, weather permitting, featuring local and regional acts, including Americana stalwarts The Harris Brothers, guitarist and pianist Holden Bare, bluegrass veterans The Zephyr Lightning Bolts and acoustic folk rockers Dry Hill.
"The Harris Brothers have a real large following, and the first time we had a concert, we had about 50 or 60 people," Dyer said. "Now we're getting around 100 to 125 people. There are a lot of inns within walking distance of us, and you can hear (the music) literally from a half-mile away."
Ragged Gardens has also set aside space to promote area nonprofits, with a different organization represented each week at an informational booth. "It's just a way for them to let the public know about them and their fundraising efforts," Dyer said.
This week's featured act is The Harris Brothers, and the nonprofit is Money for Moses, a grassroots fundraiser to offset the medical bills of Moses, an area child diagnosed with cancer.
Though scheduled through September, the music series could carry onward into October, Dyer said, provided weather and attendance are good.
"Only once have we been rained out," Dyer said, knocking on wood. "We've been blessed with some good weather."
The Inn at Ragged Gardens is located at 203 Sunset Drive in downtown Blowing Rock. For more information, call (828) 295-9703 or (828) 295-3466, or visit http://www.ragged-gardens.com.
July 2 - Harris Brothers
July 9 - Holden Bare
July 16 - Harris Brothers
July 23 - Holden Bare
July 30 - Harris Brothers
Aug. 6 - Zephyr Lightning Bolts
Aug. 13 - TBA
Aug. 20 - Dry Hill
Aug. 27 - TBA