Article Published: Aug. 9, 2012 | Modified: Aug. 12, 2012
The 61st season of “Horn in the West” is coming to a close, but before the Daniel Boone Amphitheater shuts its gates, all local residents are invited to see the outdoor drama at a discounted price.
During “Horn’s” closing weekend, Thursday, Aug. 9, through Saturday, Aug. 11, all Wataugans will be able to purchase tickets for only $6 apiece.
“We appreciate the continued support of our neighbors in Watauga County, and would like to offer an exclusive ‘thank you’ during closing weekend for our loyal community,” board of directors member Steve Canipe said.
This outdoor revolutionary war drama is produced by the Southern Appalachian Historical Association (SAHA), a Boone-based nonprofit organization that strives to preserve the history and culture of early mountain settlers.
“Horn in the West” has stood the test of time, and, after 60 years, the drama is still performed on the same stage as when it debuted back in 1952. Other than some sprucing up over the years, much of the amphitheater has remained unchanged.
According to SAHA, the 2012 season started out strong, but rainy July nights took their toll on “Horn” and led to a dramatic decrease in ticket sales.
SAHA public relations director Virginia Roseman said the excessive rain this season has resulted in the most cancellations in recent years. Across the nation, many other outdoor dramas have suffered because of weather-related issues, even total loss of power, she said.
“This final week can make us or break us,” Roseman said.
“We need the support of our neighbors in Watauga County, especially during our closing weekend” said Katy Cook, a Boone native and SAHA intern. “Our show tells the story of our ancestors forming a tight-knit community in their fight for freedom. Now, it’s our turn to band together to preserve this historic treasure.”
The Hickory Ridge Homestead Living History Museum, also operated by SAHA, offers guests the chance to stroll through a series of historic log cabins that belonged to families in the area.
Tucked away from the busy streets of Boone and shaded by large trees, Hickory Ridge Homestead is nestled in a picturesque location and plays the part of a genuine mountain village. Costumed interpreters who specialize in Appalachian history offer brief lessons to guests, as well as traditional demonstrations.
“The museum offers an interactive way for visitors to step back in time to witness a piece of Appalachian heritage,” said Amanda Austin, the new office manager for SAHA and Hickory Ridge Homestead volunteer. “I feel truly blessed to be a part of this wonderful and special place.”
“The museum is maintained only by donations,” curator Dave Davis said. “These donations allow for the upkeep of the log cabins and enable the interpreters to do special demonstrations.
Like the early mountain settlers who journeyed into unfamiliar territory to establish a new community free of British rule, the “Horn in the West” team is determined to persevere.
“We need the help of every Watauga County citizen to fill the seats during closing weekend,” Cook said. “‘Horn in the West’ is about our heritage, and this is something we can’t give up on. Whether you bring just one friend or your whole church, visit us for Watauga County Nights for an exciting evening as the story of the birth of our nation unfolds.”
Roseman strongly encourages locals to come to the show during closing weekend. “It is because of our supportive community that we are able to continue our mission of preserving our past for the present,” she said. “We would like to thank our supporters by offering this discount during closing weekend.”
“Horn in the West” runs every night except Mondays through Aug. 11. Each night, the museum opens at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Regular tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for children, but during closing weekend only, Wataugans can purchase tickets for $6 each. Guests should show a driver’s license or utility bill for proof of residency. To reserve seats, call the box office at (828) 264-2120.