On your mark, get set….go have fun.
Arguably the biggest weekend of the High Country is here.
Head in nearly every direction from the center of Ashe County and you will run into some kind of event taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Here is what is going on:
• Ashe Arts Council Gallery Crawl
The fun starts Friday night in downtown West Jefferson when the last Gallery Crawl of the fall kicks off at 5 p.m. and continues until 8 p.m.
The last crawl of the season will feature 11 galleries all decked out in their fall finery. Sponsored by the Ashe County Arts Council the Gallery Crawl showcases and promotes the varied artistic talents in Downtown West Jefferson.
New, creative, innovative works continue to emerge from local Ashe County’s artists. The galleries and shops are alive with colors, shapes and textures that invite the explorer to experience something new and exciting. This is the time to do that holiday shopping.
Participating in the October Crawl will be: Acorn Gallery, Ashe Arts Center, Ashe Custom Framing and Gallery, Backstreet Beads, Bohemia Gallery, Broomfields Gallery, CatchLight Gallery, Originals Only Gallery, Ripples Gallery, RT Morgan Art Gallery, Shoemaker-Hadley Studio, The Artists’ Theatre and Tin Roof Gallery.
Just in time for the October Gallery Crawl two new vibrant paintings by Lenore DePree and Joan Bell, “Dinner in the Garden” and “October Day” can be found along the way. Michael Bell will be providing live music.
For the crawl, Hoffman Pottery will have new pottery pieces and Tom Sternal will be showing his rustic furniture and folk art Christmas Trees.
The Ashe Arts Center will feature the juried exhibit the Best of the Blue Ridge. The opening reception will be coinciding with the gallery crawl. The announcement of the awards for best in show, first, second and third place will take place at 6 p.m. followed by a presentation by juror Hank Forman. Awards for the show are provided by corporate sponsor Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff. A People’s Choice Award will be added this year. For $1 a vote visitors to the exhibit may cast their vote for their favorite work of art.
Admission to crawl is free. Maps will be available at the Ashe Arts Center in West Jefferson and at other participating galleries and shops. For more information, call the Ashe County Arts Council at 336-846-ARTS
• Frescoes Foundation Benefit Concert
Some of the very best musicians from our area will be appearing at the Ashe County Civic Center at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, in a concert to benefit the Ashe County Frescoes Foundation.
George Hamilton IV, Wayne Henderson, Steve Lewis, and Brandy Miller will treat the audience to a memorable evening of lively music and entertainment. WKSK’s Jan Cadell will be the evening’s master of ceremonies. He might even possibly be persuaded to join in with his harmonica.
“We are so fortunate to have this caliber of musicians in our own backyard who like to share their music and help with a fundraising cause,” said Barbara Sears, president of the Ashe County Frescoes Foundation.
“The evening promises to be exciting one,” she said.
Tickets cost $12 per person and $5 per student. They are available at the Ashe County Arts Council. For more information, call 846-2787. Seating is reserved.
• Fall Field Day
Everyone is invited to a Fall Field Day scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Ashe County Ag Expo site on N.C. 163.
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., shows at 10 a.m. and games will be held from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The day will be filled with games, entertainment and rabbit and chicken shows (health records of chickens are required and may be obtained the day of the show at no cost to participants).
There will be displays and demonstrations: learning how to milk a cow and rope a steer. Games include tug-a-war, pie eating contest, pumpkin relay (teams of two), sack race, haybale stacking contest (teams of two), a seed spitting contest and much more. Also, participants are encouraged to bring a carved pumpkin for a chance to win a cash prize.
For additional information regarding the Fall Field Day, call the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Ashe County Center at 336-846-5850.
• Autumn Leaf Festival
Autumn is in the air and The Museum of Ashe County History and the Olde Town Jefferson Association are ready to celebrate with their Autumn Leaf Festival.
To get the celebration started put on your dancing shoes at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, and join the festivities at a square dance at the museum. Live music will accompany the dancing and refreshments will be available.
The Autumn Leaf Festival continues on Saturday at the museum with an all day event. From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. the museum grounds will be swarming with activity.
Special events during the day will include the opening of the new World War II exhibit entitled “Over Here, Over There.” This event includes displays and memorabilia involving Ashe Countians from the World War II period. Featured will be stories by local people describing their memories of life at home during this period as well as experiences of our soldiers from the war front.
Also during the day re-enactors of the 26th North Carolina Regiment will be discussing and demonstrating life experiences from the Civil War, both at home and on the front lines. Another very special event will be the official ribbon cutting to the Ashe County Sports Hall of Fame. This new permanent exhibit features memorabilia of local sports figures and highlights.
Many traditional crafts will be demonstrated and on display throughout the day. Weavers and quilters will perform their miracles with yarn and fabric. Basket weavers will be working their magic and corn husk dolls will come to life in demonstrations of an ancient craft skill. The sheep that charmed visitors at the Spring Gala will also make a return visit.
Live music by local gifted musicians will be heard throughout the day and fresh barbecue and other refreshments will be available.
• Festival of the Frescoes
The annual Festival of the Fresoces will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, on the grounds of the mission house at Holy Trinity Church in Glendale Springs.
This year’s main raffle item will be a handmade dulcimer by John Maddocks, a member of the parish.
Maddocks creates his treasures in Big Ivy Studio.
“Ivy was the name that early Scot and English settlers called mountain laurel (the “Holly and the Ivy” is really holly and laurel),” said Maddocks. “In our neighborhood the laurel grows to shadetree status, thus BIG ivy… the name of our community and studio.”
The dulcimer is made of ambrosia/tiger maple, Maddocks said. Ambrosia is the mineral streaks that add blues, browns, and red colors. Tiger is the wavy figure that runs across the grain. Tiger maple is the usual wood used for violins. The top is made of hemlock, the fret board is walnut. All the woods used come from the northwest mountains of North Carolina. The teardrop shape is the traditional shape for area dulcimers.
The carved face on the peghead is a fawn (a cross between a goat and man) who mythology reports to be skilled musicians, he said, adding that it takes about 35 hours to build one instrument.
Dulcimers are very easy to play, Maddocks said, and the raffle winner also get a free lesson if they wish.
The festival will include food by the men (barbecue chicken with fixins and hot dogs), many delicious pastries in the Frescoe Bakery and lots of stuff to rummage through in Granny’s Attic, plus the Church Artisans Booth with many handmade ornaments and art work by the church ladies. Outside vendors will bring their goods and there will be nice music on the grounds.
Admission is free. Parking is plentiful. Visit the fresco church while there.
• Todd New River Festival
A typically frosty morning gives way to the warmth of an Indian summer day for the annual Todd New River Festival Saturday, Oct 13.
Held each year on the banks of the New River, in the Cook Memorial Park, Todd New River Festival offers the best of an autumn festival in the high country, including mountain music, handmade crafts, homemade foods and children’s activities, all amid the spectacular colors of nature.
Enjoy a day of free entertainment in this relaxed mountain setting along Railroad Grade Road in historic Todd at the 19th annual Todd New River Festival from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13.
Held as their biggest fundraiser of the year, the Todd Ruritan Club organizes the festival and members cook up some tasty barbecue served all day beginning around 10:30 a.m. Come early and enjoy breakfast offerings of ham and sausage biscuits, doughnuts and coffee beginning at 9 a.m. as the first band, The Corklickers, kick start the day’s activities.
More music will be provided by the Norris Family, Creekside Grass, Amantha Mill, Upright and Breathing, the Wolfe Brothers and Left of Blue. There will be face-painting and other activities for children, an award-winning clogging group, and over 30 vendors offering arts, crafts and food.
A special presentation will be made on stage at noon as one of the community’s honored residents is surprised with the “Key to Todd.”
There is plenty of parking and a shuttle service to the festival site is available for a $5 fee.
Proceeds go to the Todd Ruritan Club for scholarships ($22,000 presented to date) and to help community residents in need.
For more information, call Barry Stevens at 828-964-1362 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• And for what is not listed, check out the community and church calendars…there is even more to do.