Happy 235th Birthday, America!
Fourth of the July in the High Country is like no place else on Earth.
While the rest of the country is sweltering in the midsummer heat, luring mosquitoes with the sweat of their brow, we watch our parades and fireworks in the relative cool of the Appalachian Mountains.
It's no wonder that so many flatlanders make an annual pilgrimage to our mountains for Independence Day. If you, dear reader, are one of those folks from off the mountain, we say, "Welcome aboard, patriot!"
Wherever you are from, there are plenty of things to do this weekend. Some High Country communities are celebrating their Fourth on the second, while many others are taking Monday the Fourth off of work and enjoying a nice long Independence Day holiday.
Here's a list of some of the things going on this weekend:
47th annual Hog Roast
Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce, Beech Mountain Resort and the Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department join forces to host the 47th annual Roasting of the Hog on Saturday, July 2, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Boasting some of the best barbecue in the world, the event also features live music and fireworks courtesy of Pyrotechnico Fireworks at dusk.
The event takes place at Beech Mountain Resort, and admission and dinner is $15 for adults and $7 for kids 12 and under. For more information, call the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce at (828) 387-9283.
Beech Mountain Independence Day
Celebrate Fourth of July at one of the highest elevations in the eastern half of the United States. The Beech Mountain Independence Day Picnic will be held on Monday, July 4, and will feature live music, games for all ages, and lots of great food. The event takes places starting at noon at the Buckeye Recreation Center. For more information, call the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce at (828) 387-9283.
Blowing Rock's Independence Day
The town of Blowing Rock will celebrate Independence Day on Saturday, July 2, with a multitude of great events from 9 a.m. to after 9 p.m.
The festivities begin at 9 a.m. with the Adult Horseshoe Tournament (18 years and up) at Blowing Rock Memorial Park.
Other events in the park include a water balloon toss and watermelon-eating contest (9:30-11 a.m.), face painting, climbing tower and air bounce (11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.), the Country Magic Cloggers (10-11 a.m.), the Vagabonds' patriotic sing-along (11 a.m.-12 p.m.), the Buck Haggard Band (12-1:30 p.m.), and The Cockman Family Band (3-4:30 p.m.).
At 2 p.m. the action moves to Main Street for the annual Independence Day Parade. And at 9:30 p.m., fireworks will light the sky over the Blowing Rock Country Club.
On Sunday the fun continues with live bluegrass music from Diana and Sarvis Ridge at Blowing Rock Memorial Park from 3 to 5 p.m., followed by the Park Dance with DJ music. For more information, contact Blowing Rock Parks and Recreation at (828) 295-5222.
Bluegrass and Brass
Mountain Home Music and Chetola Resort are teaming up to present a special outdoor concert on Sunday, July 3.
The concert, "Bluegrass & Brass, Bagpipes & Burgers," will feature The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys and the Mountain Home Brass Ensemble. The sound is akin to Dixieland, but with a Blue Ridge Mountain flavor. It's a five-piece brass band and three-piece bluegrass band.
This annual concert, always unique and exciting, includes a special salute to veterans. Come and enjoy a cookout and a musical celebration of our nation's birthday. For more information, or to purchase advance tickets, call Mountain Home Music at (828) 964-3392.
Boone's July 4th Celebration
The town of Boone will hold its annual Fourth of July Celebration on Monday, July 4. The event will include a parade down King Street at 11 a.m., free entertainment and free watermelon on the Jones House lawn at noon, dance music with DJ Carl at the Clawson/Burnley Park off Hunting Hills Lane (next to the Parks and Rec Swim Complex) at 7 p.m., and fireworks by Zambelli at the Clawson/Burnley Park at 9:30 p.m. For more information, contact Kim Brown at (828) 268-6200.
Eagles Nest Extravaganza
The sixth annual Fourth of July Celebration, the Eagles Nest Extravaganza will be held in Banner Elk on Saturday, July 2, from 3 to 10 p.m. The event will feature live music from Hadden Sayers and Gifford Ivan Cordova & EQ7, plus other musical guests. For more information, call (828) 898-8645.
Todd Liberty Parade
Todd's annual Liberty Day Parade will be held Monday, July 4.
With the theme of "Grounding Ourselves," the parade features props, large puppets and costumes for everyone, designed by Elkland Art Center for creative fun for the whole family.
New for this year's parade is the Earth Puppet, which takes 10 to 15 people to operate, and it represents local flora and fauna using a batik parachute and paper mache animal heads.
Participants should gather at 10 a.m. at the intersection of N.C. 194 and Railroad Grade Road to select costumes and props. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m., follows down Railroad Grade Road to the Walter and Annie Cook Park, to be followed by fun, music and creative entertainment.
Bean burritos, lemonade and other food will be available for a suggested donation.
For more information, call (336) 877-5016.
Tweetsie's Cool Summer Nights
Celebrate Independence Day Weekend Tweetsie-style on Saturday, July 2, when the famed Wild West theme park hosts its inaugural Cool Summer Nights event.
The park will remain open until 9 p.m., and guests can enjoy a variety of Tweetsie activities, including great rides, carnival food, entertaining shows and rides on the steam locomotive. Cool Summer Nights will feature a new evening train show, a chuck wagon dinner, and live music courtesy of bluegrass band Diana and Sarvis Ridge.
For more information, call Tweetsie at (828) 264-9061 or visit http://www.tweetsie.com.
Tweetsie's Fireworks Extravaganza
Tweetsie Railroad and Wild West Theme Park will host a July 4th fireworks show on Monday, July 4.
Parking for the event is $5 per vehicle, but Tweetsie Golden Rail Pass holders park for free. In case of severe inclement weather, the event will be held on July 5. The fireworks begin around 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.tweetsie.com.