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The Four Days of WinterFest



Article Published: Jan. 26, 2012 | Modified: Jan. 30, 2012
The Four Days of WinterFest

Taking a dive is one thing. Taking a dive into the icy waters of Chetola Lake is another. Sponsored by Chetola Resort, the popular Polar Plunge returns, drawing plungers young and old to make a splash for charity. This year, proceeds benefit Wine to Water, a Boone-based nonprofit that provides clean drinking water to impoverished countries around the world.

Photo by Amanda Lugenbell



The town of Blowing Rock is offering some winter advice: Don’t hibernate; celebrate!
It’s time for the 14th annual Blowing Rock WinterFest, hitting the High Country Jan. 26 to 29.

As the town encourages folks to explore the “fun side of winter,” WinterFesters can enjoy top-notch dining with Winterfeast, the sense-defying Polar Plunge, precocious pets at WinterPaws and more.

The activity-filled schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Jan. 26

Shop ’til You Drop
Every day

Shop in Blowing Rock boutiques and specialty gift stores and at the Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway throughout the day.

WinterFeast
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.,
Chetola Resort (500 Main St.)

An assorted array of culinary delights from Blowing Rock’s finest eateries come together at Chetola Resort (in the Evergreen Room on the second floor). The annual WinterFeast dinner serves as WinterFest’s official kickoff.
Participating restaurants include Timberlake’s (formerly the Manor House) at Chetola, Rowland’s, The Table at Crestwood, The Gamekeeper, The Best Cellar, Six Pence Pub, Canyons of the Blue Ridge, Foggy Rock Eatery & Pub, The Green Park Inn, Bistro Roca, Woodland’s Barbecue, Meadowbrook Inn, Kojay’s Café and Ooh La La Cupcakes. Advance tickets cost $25 and are available online, at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and Chetola Resort. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $30, based on availability. Seatings are 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Winter Ales Craft Beer Tastings
6:30 p.m. and on
Foggy Rock Eatery & Pub

Following each WinterFeast seating, Foggy Rock Eatery & Pub (8180 Valley Blvd.) has dessert on tap, namely an assortment of regional beers to sample, including selections from Catawba Valley Brewing and Olde Hickory Brewery, all paired with the eatery’s eclectic cuisine.



Friday, Jan. 27

Free Hot Chocolate
3 p.m.
Downtown Blowing Rock

Warm up a tad with free hot chocolate, courtesy of Blowing Rock Winterfest.

Spaghetti Dinner & Bingo
5 to 7:30 p.m.
Blowing Rock School Cafeteria & Gymnasium

Blowing Rock School’s Parent Teacher Organization invites WinterFesters to a $5 spaghetti dinner with bingo on the side (cards cost $1 apiece), located in the Blowing Rock School Cafeteria & Gymnasium, accessible from Morris Street, just off Main Street.

Bonfire
Dusk
Memorial Park (weather permitting)

S’mores and all supplies provided – what more can you ask for? The bonfire is hosted by Blowing Rock Boy Scouts.

Appalachian Ski Mountain Winterfest Special
5 p.m. to midnight
Appalachian Ski Mountain

Encouraging folks to “come and make the most of snow,” Appalachian Ski Mountain celebrates WinterFest with special pricing on ski and snowboard lessons (reservations are required).

Winterfest Blues
7:30 p.m.
Hayes Performing Arts Center

Beverly “Guitar” Watkins and Boone’s own King Bees bring the blues to the Hayes Center, located at 152 Jamie Fort Road, just off U.S. 321. Tickets cost $20 and are available online, at the Hayes Center box office (828-295-9627) or the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce (828-295-7851).



Saturday, Jan. 28

Raffle & Silent Auction
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Blowing Rock School Cafeteria

For the modest price of a raffle ticket, WinterFesters earn the chance to win an avalanche of prizes, including vacation and ski packages, ski equipment, restaurant gift certificates and more. There’s also an ongoing silent auction. Proceeds benefit Mountain Alliance, a Boone-based nonprofit that promotes leadership and outdoor appreciation to area youth.

Children’s Activities
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
American Legion Hall

It’s all fun and games for children at WinterFest. Face-painting, dancing, snowflake decorating and more await them and their parents at the American Legion Hall, located behind Memorial Park, with activities sponsored by the High Country Cloggers.

The Polar Plunge
10 a.m.
Chetola Lake

Taking a dive is one thing. Taking a dive into the icy waters of Chetola Lake is another. Sponsored by Chetola Resort, the popular Polar Plunge returns, drawing plungers young and old to make a splash for charity. This year, proceeds benefit Wine to Water, a Boone-based nonprofit that provides clean drinking water to impoverished countries around the world.

Free Hot Chocolate
10 a.m.
Downtown Blowing Rock

No go on a cup o’ joe? Try some free cocoa instead.

Isabella Propeller and the Magic Beanie
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location TBA

Author and resident Jonathan Graves hosts a special reading of his new children’s book, “Isabella Propeller and the Magic Beanie,” the tale of a young girl in Blowing Rock who takes to the air in a high-flying adventure. Graves will also sign copies of the book.

Winterfest Chili Challenge
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Blowing Rock School Gymnasium

WinterFest heats up with its annual Chili Challenge, a CASI-sponsored event for both amateurs (freestyle) and pros. Not keen on cooking? Enjoy all-you-can-taste chili from the High Country’s finest instead. Tickets are available at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, online or at the door.

Ice-Carving Demonstration
Noon
Memorial Park

Members of the U.S. Army Special Forces come to Blowing Rock on special assignment: ice-carving. The Army’s ice-carving team invites spectators to watch its elite soldiers turn blocks of ice into works of art.

Winterfest Wine-Tasting
2 p.m.
Green Park Inn

The Green Park Inn (9239 Valley Blvd.) uncorks this year’s Winterfest Wine-Tasting, offering festivalgoers samples from a wide selection of local, regional and international wines, with experts on hand to describe the varieties and answer questions. The tasting is followed by a wine auction at 4 p.m., and organizers are expecting a crowd. Tickets are available online or at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.

Snowflake Parade
3 p.m.
Downtown

Armed with snowflakes and winter spirit, kids are invited to take part in a dance down Main Street in a short, winter-themed parade, starting at the Blowing Rock Parks and Rec building (145 Park Ave.).

‘Minute to Win It’
3:30 p.m.
Blowing Rock School Auditorium

Got a minute? Ensemble Stage does, as the High Country’s professional theater company invites WinterFesters to participate in a live, staged version of the popular game show, “Minute to Win It,” for a variety of prizes. The fun takes place in the Blowing Rock School Auditorium, located on Sunset Drive. Tickets cost $5 and are available at the door.

Bonfire
Dusk
Memorial Park (weather permitting)
Return to the park for a second round of complimentary do-it-yourself s’mores.

John Cowan Band
7:30 p.m.
Hayes Performing Arts Center

If John Cowan promises a “jam-filled musical journey,” then that’s what you’ll get, as the celebrated rocker – who has performed with New Grass Revival and The Doobie Brotehrs – returns to the Hayes Center. Tickets are available online, at the Hayes Center box office or through the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.



Sunday, Jan. 29

Winterfest Pancake Breakfast
8 to 11 a.m.
Blowing Rock School Cafeteria

You bring an appetite, and Knights on Main will bring the pancakes. The WinterFest Pancake Breakfast delivers syrupy goodness for a cause, with proceeds benefiting Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue. Tickets are available at the door.

Ice-Carving Demonstrations
1 p.m.
Memorial Park

Carve some more memories on the last day of WinterFest, with more ice-carving demonstrations taking place in Memorial Park.

Winter Paws Dog Show
1:30 p.m.
Blowing Rock School Gymnasium

Call it a case of paws and effect, when the pups of Winterfest take the stage in the annual Winter Paws Dog Show. Registration starts at 1 p.m. , and the show is sponsored by the Watauga Humane Society.

For more information on the 14th annual Winterfest, including updates and ticket prices for certain events, visit http://www.blowingrockwinterfest.com. Also, look for our official WinterFest Guide at WinterFest and in this week’s issue of The Blowing Rocket.

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