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Article Published: May. 20, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Arts and Crafts Show returns
The crafts return to the Kmart parking lot in Boone May 28, and there's a woman in Tennessee who can't contain her excitement.

"I just get real excited when I get new people in ... a lot of people are changing this year. I've got new people with lotions and soaps ... and my broom maker is back. He's from Virginia and everybody loves his brooms. He makes them there at the show," Dolly Rice said.

For 13 years, the Sparta, Tenn.-based woman has been the brains behind the Arts and Crafts Show, an event she says is well-worth the drive to attend.

"We just love Boone," she said, "It's a tourist town, and we always have a real good crowd."
The show itself has been going on more than 30 years.

"It's been from promoter to promoter to promoter," she said.

Before its most recent promoters died, Rice was asked to take over and she jumped at the chance.

She presents four shows a year in the Kmart parking lot, and the May show promises to host some particularly interesting finds.

"We have baskets. I have a girl that lives in Boone and has ... aprons, pillows ... hair bows, there are afghans, tables and stuff made out of logs," and much more, she said.

So far, she has 28 crafters signed up and can take a total of 32.

If you're interested in displaying and selling your wares (at a charge of $75), call Rice at (931) 935-8610.

The show is May 28 and 29 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 30, and, if you miss out, Rice and the Arts and Crafts Show will be back in July.

- By Lauren K. Ohnesorge

ABC sale May 28-29 at Boone United Methodist
The United Methodist Women of Boone United Methodist Church will sponsor its annual ABC (Attic, Basement, Closet) Sale on Friday, May 28, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday, May 29, from 8 a.m. until noon.

The location is 471 New Market Boulevard (behind New Market Centre off U.S. 421 east).
Featured will be clothing, jewelry, housewares, books, plants and more.
In addition, bids will be received in a silent auction on Friday, May 29.
Proceeds from the sale will benefit local missions.

For more information, call the church office at (828) 264-9060.

Local sales-tax increase may go to referendum
Watauga County residents have voiced their desire for expanded recreational offerings, and they may soon decide whether they are willing to pay for them or not.

The Watauga County Board of Commissioners is considering a resolution that would allow residents to vote on a sales-tax increase. As proposed in the resolution, the quarter-cent sales tax would be dedicated to a new recreation center and a community center in the eastern portion of the county.

While a new indoor recreation center has been a priority on master plans for a couple of decades, the push for a community center in the eastern portion of the county is relatively recent, having emerged in the last two years.

The resolution will be presented during Tuesday night's regular commissioners' meeting and is the first step in the referendum process. County staff recommended that Aug. 31 is the latest date for the referendum to be scheduled, and if is passed by a majority of voters, then commissioners would then have to adopt a second resolution to levy the tax.

If approved, the tax would take effect on Jan. 1, 2011. A quarter-cent, local-option sales tax would generate an additional $1.3 million a year.

The commissioners had set aside a site for a recreation center near the new high school in Boone, but architects advised using space at the current high school to enhance marketability of the remaining property, make use of established parking and avoid challenges and costs associated with the steep slop of the other site. The total project is budgeted at up to $12 million.

No site or plan has yet been selected for an eastern community center. A group of people, including two former county commissioners, expressed support for the center during last month's meeting.

- Scott Nicholson

CSA prepares for 2010 summer season
With summer on its way, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs in the region are preparing to start their seasons.

High Country CSA, a food community made up of local eaters and multiple local farms, will begin its weekly pickups on June 1.

Community supported agriculture describes a direct relationship between local eaters and local farmers, in which community members sign up at the beginning of the season to receive food from a local farm all season long, a spokesperson for the High Country program said. CSAs typically involve weekly pickups of vegetables and fruit, and most CSA farms grow by organic standards. This provides eaters with fresh and healthy food, and builds the local economy by supporting local farms.

High Country CSA coordinates 18 local vegetable farms to provide a 20-week program that runs from June 1 through Oct. 13. Bare Essentials Natural Market in Boone is volunteering its outdoor space to the group for its weekly pickups, which will be held Tuesdays from 3 to 7 p.m .

Launched in 2009 by the nonprofit center for food and farming in Valle Crucis, Maverick Farms, High Country CSA has already provided more than 80 households in the area with fresh, local, organically produced food. A grant from the North Carolina Rural Center facilitated the expansion to a multifarm project, which is now moving toward financial self-sustainability.

The High Country CSA 20-week season begins Tuesday, June 1, so those interested in participating should contact the group as soon as possible. E-mail ( or call (828) 963-4656 for more information.

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