Red, White and Blue Ridge

By Frank Ruggiero (

Article Published: Jul. 2 | Modified: Jul. 6
Red, White and Blue Ridge

Photo by Rob Moore

The High Country lets freedom ring this Independence Day, as July 4 weekend festivities add some red and white to the Blue Ridge. Here are some of this weekend’s highlights:

Banner Elk

Banner Elk’s annual Independence Day parade takes to Main Street at 11 a.m. Friday, July 4, starting at Lees-McRae College and continuing to Tate-Evans Park, where Fourth festivities await.

In addition, Dunn’s Deli on Main Street will host a pig roast and lawn party, featuring smoked pork and pit-cooked beef, hot dogs, hamburgers and corn on the cob, along with some beer samples from Flat Top Brewery.

For more information, call the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce at (828) 898-8395, or visit

Beech Mountain

Beech Mountain is taking Independence Day to new heights. Eastern America’s highest town is celebrating the Fourth on the Fifth with its 47th annual Roasting of the Hog festival July 5.

The fun will take place at the Alpine Village at the base of Beech Mountain Resort’s mountain bike park, with activities starting at 5:30 p.m. and continuing well into the evening.

Dinner music comes courtesy of the High Country Boomers, served alongside slow roasted, pit-cooked barbecue pork and smoked turkey breast (with all the trimmings). Other activities include face painting, a silent auction and a bake sale, along with a children’s play area, complete with bounce house, provided by Beech’s Parks & Recreation Department.

Fireworks are expected to begin shortly after dark, and the resort’s new Beech Mountain Brewing Company will be open, as well.

Advance tickets are $15 for ages 8 and older and $7.50 for ages 7 and younger. Those prices rise to $20 and $10 at the gate. Tickets are available online at For more information, call (800) 468-5506.

Blowing Rock

Tweetsie Railroad will light the skies with its annual Fireworks Extravaganza July 4.

The Wild West theme park will remain open until 9 p.m. July 4, with the fireworks — including more than 200 large-caliber mortar shells — starting at 9:30 p.m.

Parking for the extravaganza costs $5 per vehicle, although Tweetsie Golden Rail Season Pass holders will be admitted free. In the event of inclement weather, the display will be rescheduled for Saturday, July 5.

Tweetsie Railroad is located off U.S. 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock. For more information, call (877) 893-3874, or visit

The town of Blowing Rock will celebrate the Fourth on July 5, with a variety of events in and around Memorial Park in downtown Blowing Rock.

The celebration starts at 9 a.m., with children’s activities, live music, dancing, a parade and more continuing throughout the day. The parade starts at 2 p.m., and music will continue throughout the evening. At 9:30 p.m., fireworks will launch from the Blowing Rock Country Club.


The Bethel community’s annual Bethel Blast returns with a bang July 4, and all are invited to attend. The Fourth fun takes place in Bethel Park, just off Bethel Road, and features free food, live music and professional fireworks.

The celebration starts at 5 p.m. and continues until dark. For more information, visit


The town of Boone has a full day of activities planned to celebrate the July 4 holiday.

Activities begin at 11 a.m. on King Street in downtown Boone, with the annual July 4 parade, which will travel down King Street to conclude at Poplar Grove Extension.

Following the parade, the town will continue the celebration with cake and watermelon at noon, followed by a free concert at 1 p.m. on the lawn of the Jones House Cultural and Community Center, featuring Fat Face Band and Liz Hayes & Common Threads.

The fun continues later that evening at Clawson/Burnley Park, off of Hunting Hills Lane, with music at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. For a parade registration form, visit For more information about activities at the Jones House, visit


The ever-popular Liberty Parade, organized by the Elkland Art Center, returns to Todd this Fourth of July, and per tradition, community members young and old are invited to take part.

To do so, simply visit the corner of N.C. 194 North and Railroad Grade Road in Todd at 10:30 a.m. July 4 to get into costume and choose an instrument — all of which are provided by Elkand.

At 11 a.m., marchers will make their way through Todd, clad in costumes and functional, giant puppets that represent this year’s theme, “Sound.” The 45-minute parade will conclude at Walter and Annie Cook Park, where refreshments, festivities and live music await. For more information, visit

Sugar Mountain

Sugar Mountain Resort is sweetening the High Country’s Fourth of July offerings with chairlift rides to take in the spectacle.

The lifts will be open Friday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., specifically for the holiday. Starting Saturday, the lifts will operate every Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Labor Day. One-time ($12) or all-day ($25) lift tickets are available, and children 4 and younger ride for free with a ticketed adult. For more information, visit

West Jefferson

This weekend, West Jefferson’s annual Christmas in July festival promises seasonal fun aplenty.
Taking place on the West Jefferson Backstreet, festivities include live music, a puppet parade, Civil War reenactments, arts, crafts, children’s games, festival food and more.

Music runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, and, at 6:15 p.m., Elkland Art Center will present its puppet parade, starting at the Ashe County Public Library and marching to the main stage at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Main Street.

Saturday’s festivities include music and dancing, Civil War reenactments, Christmas tree grower demonstrations and competitions, more than 100 craft vendors and more. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit

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