Deals on Snow Days at Area Ski Resorts for Students and Teachers

When school closes and you have the proper transportation, you may want to take advantage of the great deals at the area ski resorts.

Appalachian Ski Mountain

Appalachian Ski Mtn. offers special Snow Day rates to students, teachers and staff of all public and private preschools, elementary schools, and high schools when schools are canceled or released early due to snow or inclement weather. Snow Day rates apply to schools in Watauga County and the following adjacent counties: Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Johnson (TN), and Wilkes.

Use code SNOWDAY2020 to activate this special rate for a Flex Ticket, or LOCALSNOW2020 to activate the 9am-5pm ticket on our Online Reservations Platform. Pricing will be reflected on final cart review page of checkout.

 Ski Ticket (9am – 5pm) — $8
8-Hour Flex Ticket  – $10
Ski Rental Package*  — $6
Shape Ski Rental Package*— $10
Standard Snowboard Rental Package*— $15
Burton Learn-To-Ride Snowboard Package*— $18
Ice Skating Package*— $10

If school is rescheduled for Saturday attendance or rescheduled on a Holiday, and canceled due to snow, Snow Day rates do not apply. Snow Day rates apply to tickets and equipment rental sold between 8:30am and 4:00pm. Snow Day rates are not sold for night sessions.

College students are only eligible for the Regional Snow Day Flex Ticket when classes are cancelled for winter weather. Regular rental rates apply to college students.

Students should present a report card or other school ID from one of the listed counties. Teachers and Staff should present a pay stub or other employment identification. Home-school students may present a home-school authorization letter from the NC Department of Non-Public Education along with a parent’s driver’s license confirming the specific county residency. Home-school teachers do not qualify for Snow Day rates.

*Package includes helmet

Sugar Mountain Resort 

Special pricing available to K-12 students and teachers on days that school is cancelled due to winter weather. Pricing available to Ashe, Avery, Mitchell & Watauga counties in North Carolina and Carter & Johnson counties in Tennessee.

College students do not qualify for this special pricing but should refer to the College Discounts page for applicable discounts that may be available for them.

K-12 Student and Teacher Snow Day Pricing
Full Day or Half Slope/Lift Ticket 17
Ski Rentals 10
Snowboard Rentals 21 (deposit required)
Sugar Bear Ski School 58 (Full Day) or 45 (Half Day)
Polar Bear Snowboard School 96 (Full Day) or 58 (Half Day)
Ice Skating 10

2018 Back to School Festival – Saturday, August 4

Watauga County Families! We are talking to you. Please help spread the word.

Any family that is struggling to afford the high costs of back-to-school shopping please make plans to attend the 2018 Back to School Festival.

Saturday, August 4, 2018
10:00 AM 2:00 PM
Watauga High School
Go Pioneers Drive Boone, NC, 28607

A frequently asked question is what can families expect at the festival. We have information provided by the Back to School Festival team.

The festival will offer school supplies to help lighten the burden of back-to-school shopping. They plan to do their best to supply as many supplies as possible from backpacks, to pencils, erasers, and paper. You need it, we probably have it!

NOTE: The festival cannot guarantee that your child will get everything on their supplies lists. You may need to purchase additional items based on your child’s personal school list. Check your child’s teacher’s supplies list (usually available at their school) after you leave the festival to see what additional items you may need to purchase yourself. If there are items on your child’s list that you cannot afford and the festival cannot readily supply, a team member will take your name and school name and do their best to get these items to you within the first week of school through your school social worker.

Professional Stylists will be on hand to offer school kids a fresh new look! If you haven’t seen the High School Cosmetology Room than you are in for a big surprise. Kids will receive a new haircut compliments of local professional stylists.

Local agencies will be on hand to offer information about beneficial programs and services.

Free lunch will be provided to all students and families.

Information Booths will also host activities for your family to enjoy. Come enjoy festivities and get into the back-to-school spirit!

Blowing Rock Holds Fourth of July Festivities on July 7, 2018

Make plans to extend the Fourth of July festivities into this weekend!

Join the town of Blowing Rock for games, music, and fun! Free entertainment all day, plus the best small-town Main Street parade you’ll find anywhere. All events take place in downtown Blowing Rock, except the fireworks which will be held at the Blowing Rock Country Club. The public is welcome at the Club for the special event. Find the games and music in Memorial Park on Main Street.

Here’s the schedule for the 2018 celebration (times subject to change):

Saturday, July 7th, 2018:
9am-until: Adult Horse Shoe Tournament (18 years & up, prizes awarded)

Noon – 1:30 pm: Live music with Brian Collins

2pm: Independence Day Parade

3 pm – 4 pm: Live Music with the Cockman Family

3:30-4:30: Park Games (prizes awarded for 1st and 2nd place in all games!)

9pm: Fireworks at the Blowing Rock Country Club

Sunday, July 8th, 2018:
Watauga Community Band concert in Memorial Park

Summer Reading Program Hosts Free Magic Show

As part of the Watauga Library Youth Services: Summer Reading Program, families get to enjoy fun-filled events at our local library. This Tuesday (June 19), enjoy the Amazing Al motivational magic show at 1:00 pm.

While you are at the library, make sure to turn in your completed log for the week to pick out a prize. Don’t forget to fill out a raffle ticket to be eligible for the big weekly prizes!

Children’s Art Classes at Appalachian State University

Spring semester registration is now open for Blazing Easels at Appalachian State University.

Young artists will create art in a variety of mediums including collage, painting, drawing and three-dimensional art using found objects. Participants will explore line, shape, color, texture, value, space and form in a relaxed, inviting small group setting.

Date(s): February – April 2018
Location: Turchin Center fo the Visual Arts Room 3200
Audience: Children, ages 7 -12
Cost: Spring Semester Pass: $55 (11 sessions); Monthly Pass: $24 (Feb & March- 4 classes) $18 (April-3 classes); Single Class: $7. Pre-registration required.

All supplies are included in the class cost.

How to register
Call 828-262-3017, or stop by the front desk to register for any Turchin Center workshop.

Upcoming dates (All times 3:00-4:30pm)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday, April 27, 2018

NOTE: Classes will be cancelled for inclement weather if Appalachian State University closes

App Rhythm Announces New Addition

App Rhythm announces a new addition to the Spring semester. If you’re interested in ballet or musical theatre dance for the spring, please email or call Claire Duffle for more info and to sign up. Everyone will learn ballet fundamentals, but with a fun twist, and musical theatre will be a blast, with dancers learning all kinds of performing skills, cross-style dance technique, and being the characters. All classes will participate in AppRhythm’s Studio Spring recital!

Ballet (younger): Mondays at 4-4:30 pm, starting January 8th
Ballet (older): Mondays at 4:30-5 pm, starting January 8th
Musical Theatre: Thursdays at 7:15-8 pm, starting January 11th

Tuition rates:
$10 flat registration fee

30 min ballet class: $35 per month
45 min musical theatre class: $50 per month
Both: $80 per month

10% discount if you pay for the whole semester by the time of the first class!

*Ballet dancers will need pink ballet shoes.
*Musical theatre dancers will need black or tan jazz shoes.

Group Piano Lessons Offered in Watauga County

We received word in the last week of a unique type of piano lessons.

Laura Chu Stokes has been a pianist and music educator for forty years. A graduate of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in piano performance, Laura has taught hundreds of students in her private studio and as the director and an instructor at Appalachian State University’s Community Music School (CMS).

Playing piano and creating music can be one of the most personally rewarding activities you undertake. Mrs. Stokes objective as a teacher is to help students:
– establish a solid musical foundation
– foster a love for all types of music
– tackle challenges through patience and perseverance
– learn a skill that will ‘give back’ enjoyment for years to come

Why should you sign-up for group piano lessons?

  • there’s more of a social aspect
  • of peer-learning and a more active/higher energy environment
  • younger students often progress faster in the group (or team) setting
  • older youth and adult lessons are tailored to Recreational Music Making, a genre of lessons that focuses on learning foundational skills, allowing immediate song-playing with the usage of targeted materials and technology – there’s even an option for a Piano Club!

Please visit EZNOTES Piano Studio for more information on the types of lessons and rates.

The Jones House Offers Fall Music Lessons for All Ages

Fall Lessons at the Jones House will start on August 31, with group lessons meeting on Thursdays. If there is enough interest, a group or two may meet on Tuesdays.

Photo Credit: The Jones House

Photo Credit: The Jones House

The fall session is 15 weeks, ending with a recital on December 14. Group classes are 45-minutes long. Thursday groups will start at 4:30, 5:30, and 6:30. Tuesday groups (if needed) will start at either 5:30, 6:00, or 6:30.

The cost will be $75 for kids and $125 for adults. Instruments are available to rent for $25 for the 15-week session. Payment will be due in cash or check at the first lesson. There is some financial/scholarship assistance upon request.

The plan is to offer classes from beginner through intermediate levels in fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele.

To register for fall, please email Mark Freed ( the following information:
1. Name of student(s)
2. Age (if under 18)
3. Instrument(s)/class(es) of interest
4. If you are new to the program, please share past experience
5. Do you need a rental instrument?
6. Do you have any time/day constraints or requests?

Fourth of July Family Events in the High Country {2017}

High Country 4th of July

There are many great family events happening all weekend. We wish you all a wonderful fun-filled holiday weekend!


July 1, 2017

4th of July Festival & Parade in Blowing Rock (10:00am-9:30pm)
Join in the family fun at the 4th of July event on Saturday, July 1st, 2017. Activities include park games, airwalks, watermelon eating contests, music, and dancing! The parade will take place on Main St (3:00pm), and will be followed by fireworks on Saturday at Blowing Rock Country Club!

31st Annual Christmas in July in West Jefferson (9:00am – 7:00pm)

The festival features the very best in traditional mountain music and 
handmade crafts from throughout the Northwest Mountains
of North Carolina. Nowhere else will you find such an excellent 
array of food, fun and festivities for the entire family than at 
Christmas in July!

47th Annual Beech Mountain NC Roasting of the Hog (6:00pm – 9:30pm)

One of the High Country’s premier Independence Day celebrations is at the Beech Mountain Resort. The Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce, Beech Mountain Tourism Development Authority, Town of Beech Mountain and the Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department host this event.

After perfecting the seasonings and charcoal blends, our barbecue (pork and turkey) is arguably the best in the High Country. Enjoy music, dancing, games for the kids, face painting, tasty treats and more at beautiful Beech Mountain Resort. Take a scenic lift ride or dance under the stars.


July 2, 2017

4th of July Park Dance at Blowing Rock’s Memorial Park (1:00pm-7:00pm)
Live music and fun in the park for the Independence Day holiday!


July 4, 2017

The annual downtown Boone 4th of July parade starts at 11:00 a.m. This is a wonderful event for the whole family to enjoy. Find a spot on King St. to watch the parade travel through downtown. After the parade, join the Mayor of Boone for cake and refreshments at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center located at 604 W. King St. All community groups and organizations are encouraged to participate.

Later that evening, enjoy more festivities at the Clawson/Burnley Park off of Hunting Hills Lane starting at 7:00 p.m. with fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.

The Banner Elk Chamber’s 4th of July Parade

An all-American celebration takes place each Fourth of July in Banner Elk. It’s a day that makes Uncle Sam proud, starting with the Banner Elk Fourth of July Parade at 11:00 a.m. The parade begins at the Lees-McRae campus library and goes down Main Street. The parade concludes with a “Party in the Park” in Tate-Evans Town Park, where folks enjoy lunch from several vendors and traditional lawn games like the egg-toss and sack race. Banner Elk’s Duck Race, which features hundreds of rubber ducks racing down the creek in the park, makes this an event not to be missed!

Tweetsie Celebrates 60th Bday on July 4th with Biggest Fireworks Ever

Tweetsie Railroad will host the most spectacular Fourth of July celebration in the High Country in honor of the nation¹s birthday and the park’s 60th anniversary during this year’s July 4th Extravaganza. The park will stay open late for the family-friendly festivities until 9:00 p.m. on Monday, July 4; the parks biggest ever fireworks show will begin at 9:30 p.m.

A VIP experience will be offered to guests as part of the July Fourth Extravaganza, featuring a premium viewing area and an optional chicken and barbeque buffet at the Hacienda. VIP wristbands will be available on a first come, first served basis at the ticket office for $20 for adults and $15 for children ages 3 to 12; kids 2 two and under are free.

Parking is available during the July 4th celebration for $10 per vehicle, with no charge for Golden Rail Season Pass holders. In the event of severe weather, the fireworks show will be rescheduled for July 5.

Watauga County Arts Council Hosts Summer Fun Workshops

Let your child’s creative imagination run wild this summer at the Watauga County Arts Council. Check out all the fun workshops and sign up your child before it is too late!

Summer Art Classes Boone NC

Workshops Taught by Susan Payne – A retired art teacher, Susan strives to not just teach, but to inspire students through a thematic approach to incorporate a variety of techniques, media, and approaches to creating art. She feels a sampling of drawing, painting, collage, and printmaking encourages expression, skill development, and confidence in art production. Older students are offered complex challenges and guidance to develop a personal style of art.

Paint Like Picasso: JUNE 6, 7, 8, and 9 (Tuesday – Friday) 9 am – Noon | Ages 7 – 12 | $80
For emerging young artists: Explore the evolution of Picasso’s art styles through drawing, painting, collage and printmaking. From the Blue Period to Cubism and Abstract Collages, experience how a master artist creates.

Pet Portraits With Personality: JUNE 13 (Tuesday) 9 – Noon | Ages 7-11 } $35
Collect photos of your dog or cat and bring them with you to ArtSpace to transform your ordinary photo into an extraordinary array of pattern, collage elements, paint, and creative drawing. Highlight your pet’s best attributes and personality while capturing a likeness! Don’t have a pet? Cute photos will be available for visual adoption.

Train Your Brain to Draw: JUNE 27, 28, 29 and 30 (Tuesday – Friday) 9 – Noon | Ages 8 – 13 } $80
Develop technical drawing skills and experiment with a variety of drawing media to “train your brain” to draw! Explore a variety of subjects and stretch your imagination while exercising innovative approaches to drawing. Media explorations include wax resist charcoal and ink drawing, observational drawing, fingerprint value drawings, how to incorporate collage elements, rendering reflective surfaces, foreshortening and achieving realism with color. All of these skills can be achieved once you train your brain!


Workshops Taught by Julie DelRosso – Julie is a local artist and mom who has worked with the children here in Watauga county on various art explorations. Julie has worked professionally on projects involving puppet and set design for stop motion animation, film and television productions. She has earned a BFA
from SVA in NYC and has enjoyed collaborating on art projects for children here at the Watauga County Library, the Children’s Playhouse, and BRAHM as an effort to help expand a child’s concept of visual arts. Her experience in the many mediums of art such as hand building with clay, drawing for animation, mural painting and more has provided her the opportunity to guide those who are on a create path.

Stop Motion Animation for Kids Age 11 and up: JUNE 13, 14, & 15 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) 1:30-3:00 pm|   Ages 11 and up | $15
Children will learn basic beginner stop motion animation techniques incorporating the use of music as the narrative. The children will interrupt the lyrics of a song and tell their story in the format of stop motion animation. They will gain a hands on knowledge of what is involved in the creation of stop motion shorts. This workshop will touch on production equipment used ,puppet and set creation and Puppeteer techniques!

Clay With Kids: JUNE 26 and 28 (Monday and Wednesday) 12:30-1:30 pm|   Ages 5 and up | $12
In this workshop, children will be introduced to clay and will be learning basic handbuilding techniques for making decorative pottery.  They will be working with self-hardening clay and will learn coil-making, slipping and scoring techniques, slab throwing, and making pinch pots.  They will also be taught how common, everyday items can be used as tools to work with clay.

Stop Motion Animation for Kids Age 5-10: JUNE 29th (Thursday) 1:30-3:30 pm|   Ages 5 -10 | $10
Children will learn basic beginner stop motion animation techniques incorporating the use of music as the narrative. The children will interrupt the lyrics of a song and tell their story in the format of stop motion animation. They will gain a hands on knowledge of what is involved in the creation of stop motion shorts.   While this workshop is aimed at children 5-10, if your child is 4, please discuss it with us.

More details, visit their website.