All posts in Carolina in the Fall

Carolina In The Fall

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Heart of Folk’s Carolina in the Fall™ presented by Wilkes Communications, Inc.

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Insider’s Guide to Carolina in the Fall™

Hello Festival fans! With Carolina in the Fall going into it’s third year in 2017, some of you know the ropes and some of you don’t! So, here is what we know today and this Insider will be updated regularly to get the latest info out to you.

Location

The festival is located in the heart of downtown Wilkesboro. Main Street is closed from West Street to East Street. Bridge Street is closed from South Street to North Street and Broad Street is closed from Main Street to North Street. Additionally, North Street is closed form West Street except for residents. Hope that helps!

The Carolina Stage (main stage) is located in the Open Air Market Park. The Foothills Stage is located right beside The Carolina Stage and will serve as a side stage during Carolina Stage evening changeovers.  The Hall of Fame Stage is located in The Heritage Museum(old courthouse) and will showcase mostly local bands.  The Great State Stage (located in Great State Auction Co.) will feature workshops, dancing and a kids showcase.

Food trucks will be lined up on Main Street from West Street to Bridge Street. The Beer Garden is located in a large tent in the Open Air Market Park. Vendors are set up along North Bridge Street.

Artists Scheduled

This year’s festival will feature some of Bluegrass/Americana/Roots music’s best bands. The Kruger Brothers will serve as the Festival’s host band and will feature prominently throughout.

Bands that were on the featured in the 2016 lineup included The Kruger Brothers, Infamous Stringdusters, The Steel Wheels, Symphony of the Mountains, Flatt Lonesome, Snyder Family Band, Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line, Front Country, Slocan Ramblers, Locust Honey String Band and many others.

The 2017 Carolina In The Fall Lineup is TBA.

Hours

The festival begins at 11:00AM each day and concludes at 10:30PM. Gates will open at 10:00AM. Seating is festival style and is first come first serve, so get there early for the best seats! For those that purchased a VIP ticket, The Carolina Jam™ sessions begin at 11:00PM at the Yadkin Valley Event Center at the Holiday Inn Express each evening. These sessions are scheduled for two hours, but you know musicians.

Parking

Downtown parking is available at area churches, public lots and private lots. My best advice is to take the Brushy Mountain Rd/ Oakwoods Rd exit off US Hwy 421 or the NC Hwy 268 exit onto Main Street. Each exit will bring you to downtown Wilkesboro. I am sure there will be lots of signage for parking, so pay attention and find the best spot.

What you can bring into the Festival

Like most other festivals… no coolers, no beverages, no drugs, no alcohol, no pets, no blankets. Bring your best folding chair, a jacket or sweater (this is Carolina in the Fall!), comfortable shoes and a camera to capture the memories.

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Food

The Carolina in the Fall Food Truck Championship™ will bring the region’s best food trucks to Main Street to serve up some great food to festival goers. There will be something for everyone as the Festival planners are working hard to bring trucks that serve every kind of food the region has to offer. Plan on NC Barbeque for lunch, fish tacos for dinner and some Thai for an evening snack! The next day, some southern fried chicken and turnip greens followed by some Italian creation for dinner. The food will be fun!

Of course, no one will stop you from bringing your own food in! Just remember… no coolers and no beverages can be brought in.

Beverages

All of your standard beverages will be available. A local coffee shop, Talia Espresso will be set up onsite to give you that shot of caffeine to keep you going all day and evening.

As this region has become home to some of the nation’s best wines and craft beers, there will be a beer and wine garden available for those of age to sip on locally made adult beverages while they take in their favorite bands.

Seating

This is first come, first serve festival seating at each stage.  Chairs will be available at The Hall of Fame Stage and The Great State Stage, you will need to bring your own chair to The Carolina Stage.

The Carolina Stage seating will fill up fast for the big name artists, so get there early and stake your claim. Regardless of where you sit, the sound will be amazing!

Where to stay 

Local hotels are offering festival packages. Local hotel rooms are very limited, so get your room now!! My best advice is to go online to the brand reservation website and give it a try. Camping is a great option and the Town of Wilkesboro is opening up Sewerfest for this event!! This is great news for all of the Merlefest® campers that want to come back in the fall and close out the festival season. To book your camping spot, go to http://www.wilkesboronorthcarolina.com/explore-wilkesboro-2/wfd-campgroundsewerfest and contact them to reserve a spot! They will begin taking reservations beginning in mid-July.

In Conclusion

The Festival organizers say that Carolina in the Fall ™ is about celebrating the region and the season. It is all about the music we love, the food we crave and the beverages that we share. This festival provides plenty of all three and more!

So what is Carolina in the Fall™?

My take on it is this… two days of Western NC magic that makes the other 363 days seem long. But then again, the wait makes it all the more special. The clock is ticking, the musicians are picking, the food trucks are cooking and the grapes are growing… see you downtown Wilkesboro the last weekend of September!!

A Leaf Lookers Guide to Fall in Carolina

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Leaf Looker”s Guide to Fall in Carolina

Each season brings a transformation to the Carolina landscape.  Winter brings white slopes. Spring buds with fresh green foliage and fields of wildflowers.  Summer is warm with sunsets that paint the sky.  Of all the seasons in Carolina, Fall is best of all.  As Autumn comes to the Blue Ridge Mountains each morning seems to reveal more and more change until all at once the mountains burst into vibrant color and leaf season is here!

Fall in Carolina

When and where to see the fall color

The show usually begins in the first days of October when the highest elevations are at their peak.  This is a great time to visit Grandfather Mountain where you can see how the mountains change color from top to bottom, from a hat of vibrant red and orange to a deep summer green skirt blanketing the foothills.  As the season progresses the color spreads down the mountain.  If you come late in the season, late October into early November, you will likely still find color in the foothills.  This is one of the main reasons why I think leaf lookers should begin their journey in the Key City (Wilkes) at the foot of the mountains.  From here you can begin a morning journey up the mountain (by way of HWY 421) and see every level of color.  With Wilkes County being so central, the hardest decision you will likely have to make from Hwy 421 is whether to take the Parkway North or South, drive on into Boone, up towards West Jefferson or down into Blowing Rock.  Each of these places has its own charm and you are sure to enjoy your experience therehuge water slides for sale.

Fall Travel Tips

  • Take your camera!  The views will be beautiful and will also make for great backdrops with family and friends.
  • Take it easy.  Don”t get too caught up in the idea of going to one destination for one great view.  The views will be all around you as you go. Take time to enjoy what you see as you see it and be prepared to stop for some unexpected photo opportunities. 
  • Dress for comfort.  Wear your walking shoes and dress in layers.  The temperatures will change from morning to noon and as you travel from higher and lower elevations. 
  • Read ahead.  The color varies from year to year as do the best spots to see it.  Reading color watch reviews online will help you to know when to be where.  You can also follow us on Facebook (Visit Wilkesboro NC) where we will be sharing some of the best color in our area.

 

Where to start and where to stay

I prefer to start my morning in Wilkes County.  Wilkes has long been know as the “Key City” or the “Gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains”.  There are two very nice and affordable hotels just off of Hwy 421, the Hampton Inn and the Holiday Inn Express.  Leaf Lookers have been staying at these two establishments for years.  This means that the staff knows what your needs will be and will be able to answer any questions you may have.  There are places to stay up the mountain but the prices and crowds rise with the elevation. 


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Visit Wilkes and enjoy Carolina in the Fall!

Fall in Carolina

Carolina in the FallWhy Visit Carolina in the Fall?

There is no better time for a visit to western North Carolina than in the fall. The temperatures are perfect, the skies are the bluest and the leaves are changing. Most of my life has been spent in the foothills of NC and I must be honest and say that there is no place I would rather be in October.

Whether you are taking a leisurely drive on the picturesque Blue Ridge Parkway, hiking the trails at Grandfather Mountain or descending into Linville Gorge, the crisp mountain air and the stunning colors of the foliage will take your breath away. For those new to the adventure, I will provide you with a few tips for success.

Tips for traveling Carolina in the Fall.

  • First, plan early! Lots of folks know about the amazing Octobers in western NC and they plan on being here. So, go on over to our link for accommodations and book your room NOW at the Wilkesboro Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express! Finding a hotel room on up the mountain will prove to be both costly and difficult. Wilkesboro is a beautiful 30 minute drive from the Parkway in several directions, US 421, NC 16 and NC 18.

 

  • Secondly, bring every type of clothing you have. : ) As Forrest Gump said, “You never know what you are going to get”. The weather this time of year is very… changeable. If you don’t like today, tomorrow will be different. I have had to wear winter coats and I have been out hiking in shorts, so come prepared for anything.

 

  • Thirdly, map out your trip. Knowing where to go and when to go will make the most of your days. Do some research ahead of time on some good websites for the area.  Be sure to visit the Parkway website and enjoy! www.blueridgeparkway.org Allow plenty of time, crowds and slow drivers will require more time than you might think.

 

  • Fourthly, Relax!! There is no better place to go to just relax and breathe in some refreshing. Take a moment right now… close your eyes, imagine you are standing at one of NC’s scenic overlooks, the leaves are a mix of yellows, orange and reds, the temperature is a crisp 55 degrees and all you hear is the sound of the wind in the trees. Yeah, I know… every day should be like that.

 

  • Lastly, enjoy the people! You are in a friendly part of the world. Don’t be afraid to talk to a stranger. Eat at the Daniel Boone Inn in Boone, NC and chat with your waiter. He/ she will make the meal feel like you are eating at Grandma’s house. Stop at one of the many roadside markets and purchase some sourwood honey, apples or some homemade jelly or jam. (you might even find a little mason jar for sale at some locations)

We look forward to your visit! Come on over; the music, the weather, the leaves and the people are waiting for you. Carolina in the fall… I spell it PERFECT! Check out our video on Youtube…