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The High Country Goes Fourth

By Frank Ruggiero (

Article Published: Jun. 26 | Modified: Jul. 2
The High Country Goes Fourth

Photo by Rob Moore

There’s Independence Day, and then there’s Independence Day in the mountains.

Cool temperatures and clear skies make way for fireworks, music and parades aplenty, as the Fourth comes forth in the High Country.

Downtown Boone

On Friday, July 4, at 11 a.m., the annual Downtown Boone Fourth of July Parade will march onto King Street, featuring former Watauga Red Cross director Sonny Sweet and wife Brica as grand marshalls.
This year’s theme is “Life in Boone — How Sweet It Is,” and the parade will travel down King Street to conclude at Poplar Grove Extension.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. The Fourth celebration continues at 1 p.m. at the Jones House Community Center, featuring live music from the Fat Face Band and Liz Hayes & Common Threads.
At 7 p.m., the celebration moves to Clawson/Burnley Park, off Hunting Hills Lane, with activities and family fun, to be followed by a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.

For more information, call (828) 268-6200. To participate in the parade, visit to download a registration form, or call the Downtown Boone Development Association at (828) 268-6283.

Blowing Rock’s Fourth on the Fifth

Blowing Rock celebrates its freedom by hosting a parade on the Fifth of July.

The village’s Fourth of July celebration will take place Saturday, July 5, with a variety of events to take place in and around Blowing Rock Memorial Park.

The celebration starts at 9 a.m., with a horseshoe tournament (only those 18 and older may participate), featuring $75 first-place and $50 second-place prizes.

Kids needn’t miss out on any horseplay, though, as games and activities will take place in the park from 9:30 to 11 a.m., including a water balloon toss, watermelon-eating contest, face painting and more. The fun continues all day, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with an obstacle course, climbing wall and inflatable playgrounds.

For the grown-ups, live music and dancing in the park comes courtesy of area cloggers (10:45 to 11:30 a.m.), Buck Haggard Band (noon to 1:30 p.m.) and The Cockman Family (3 to 4:30 p.m.). There will be an intermission at 2 p.m., however, to accommodate the Blowing Rock Fourth of July Parade, which will march down Main Street at that time.

The Fourth-Fifth celebration will resume at 9:30 p.m., with fireworks at the Blowing Rock Country Club.

Blowing Rock will let freedom ring again on Sunday, June 6, with live music in Memorial Park from Diana and Sarvis Ridge (1 to 3 p.m.) and Sweet T (3 to 7 p.m.).

For more information, call Blowing Rock Parks and Recreation at (828) 295-5222.

Tweetsie Fireworks Extravaganza

The Fourth of July goes West at Tweetsie Railroad, as Blowing Rock’s Wild West theme park lights the sky with its annual Fireworks Extravaganza.

The 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 Tweetsie’s July Fourth Fireworks 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

Liberty Parade

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 not only invited to take part — they’re encouraged.

To join in the revelry, simply drop by the corner of N.C. 194 North and Railroad Grade Road in Todd at 10:30 a.m. July 4 to get into costume (or giant puppets, for that matter) 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 and festivities await, including live music from The King Bees and Kendra Warren.

For more information, visit

Christmas in July

This Fourth of July, Ashe County celebrates two holidays, with the annual Christmas in July festival, returning to downtown West Jefferson’s Backstreet July 4 and 5.

Activities include live music, a puppet parade, Civil War reenactments, arts, crafts, children’s games, festival food and more.

The music kicks off the festivities from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, with performances from Hard Tymes Band, Amantha Mill and Buck Haggard Band. 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, where the evening’s music will continue.

Saturday’s festivities include music and dancing on both the main and community stages, roving street performers, Civil War reenactments at Memorial Park, Christmas tree grower demonstrations and competitions, more than 100 craft vendors and a special installment of the Ashe County Farmers’ Market.

For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit

Banner Elk Independence Day

The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce presents its annual Independence Day parade in downtown Banner Elk on July 4. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m., starting at Lees-McRae College and continuing down Main Street to conclude in Tate-Evans Park.

Lineup starts at 10 a.m., and no registration is required. According to the chamber, the parade will take place rain or shine.

A Party in the Park will take place directly after, featuring a duck race and other family activities. The party is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, meaning all proceeds will benefit local children.

Meanwhile, 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.

The Independence Day Fine Art and Fine Crafts Show will also take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at A.C. Pride in downtown Banner Elk.

As for fireworks, nearby Sugar Mountain offers a prime vantage point at its 5,300-foot-high peak. The ski resort’s Summit No. 1 chairlift will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 4, allowing spectators to see many of the High Country’s fireworks displays.

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

Beech Mountain Hog Roast and Fireworks

This Fourth of July weekend, revelers are invited to head for the Beech.

On Saturday, July 5, at 6 p.m., Beech Mountain will host its 47th annual Hog Roast at the Beech Tree Bar & Grille (located at Beech Mountain Resort), featuring chopped pork barbecue and smoked turkey, served alongside potato salad, cole slaw and baked beans. The cherry on top? A Moon Pie.

A silent auction will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., featuring trips, gift certificates, dinners at area restaurants and a variety of other goodies. If that Moon Pie wasn’t enough, a variety of baked goods will be on sale, and kids can work off their meals with various activities, a bounce house and face painting. The High Country Boomers will provide the music, and the roast will conclude with a fireworks display.

Advance tickets cost $15 for adults (8 and older) and $7.50 for children (younger than 8) and can be purchased at the Visitor’s Center on Beech Mountain, Fred’s General Mercantile, the Beech Mountain Club, Buckeye Recreation Center or online at Day-of tickets cost $20 for adults and $10 for children at the gate. Those wanting to attend the festivities but not the dinner may be admitted for $5.

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