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Carolina In The Fall

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

 

Insider’s Guide to Carolina in the Fall™

Hello Festival fans! With Carolina in the Fall being a brand new festival for 2015, getting the inside scoop is all the more important! 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 Hall of Fame Stage (main stage) is located directly in front of the Heritage Museum (the old Court House). The Hometown Stage is located in the Open Air Market Park.

Food trucks are lined up on Main Street from West Street to Bridge Street. The Beer Garden is located in the Open Air Market Park. Vendors are set up along North Bridge Street and the Kidz Zone is on Broad 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. Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Balsam Range, The Secret Sisters are all headliners for 2015.

With over 100 awards, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage is the most award winning band in Bluegrass Music today. Balsam Range is the 2014 IBMA Entertainer and Vocal Band of the Year award winner. The Secret Sisters have been featured on late night television with David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon. They have been busy filming their own PBS special with Elvis Costello and Jakob Dylan, and recorded music for the platinum-selling soundtrack to The Hunger Games.

Other bands scheduled to perform are Mipso, Barefoot Movement (winner of 2015 IBMA Momentum Award), Lindsay Lou and the Flat Bellys, Zoe and Cloyd, the Snyder Family Band, The Hook and Bullet, the Idle Time Band, The Neighbors and Back Porch Bluegrass. Additional bands are to be announced.

Hours

The festival begins at 11:00AM each day and concludes at 9:00PM. 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 10:00PM 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.

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 at the food trucks. 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, an area will be set up to allow our guests to sample the regions offerings. Details are still being worked out, so stay tuned and check back often to get updates.

Seating

This is first come, first serve festival seating at each stage. The Main Stage seating is on the lawn of the heritage Museum and in the adjacent streets. The Hometown Stage seating is located on the parking lot of the Open Air Market Park.

The Main Stage seating will fill up fast for the big name artists, so get there early and stake your claim. Regardless of the stage or where you sit, the sound will be amazing and the worst seats at this festival are only 200 feet from the stage!!

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!!

Top 10 Things to Do in Wilkes

Welcome_County_Wilkes

Recently we were asked what the top 10 things to do in Wilkes were.  We have put our heads together and come up with the list!  Below are the things we feel Wilkes does best.

1.  Local Shops.  Wilkes has some really great locally owned stores.  Each has such great character, wonderful owners, and speciality items you won’t find anywhere else.  A few of our personal favorites include; Cook’s Sporting Goods, Ivy Ridge Traditions, Quick Frame, and Gloria Sews.

2. Get Outside.  Located by a beautiful body of water, Wilkes residents have access to fishing, boating, hiking, mountain biking, and camping!  W. Kerr Scott Lake truly has something to offer for everyone.  Whether you want to drive out to the lake for a low key evening of watching the sunset on the water, or an extreme day of jet-skiing on the lake, you can do that here!  The lake also has 30+ miles of mountain bike trails that can not only be used for biking, but hiking or trail running (just look out for mountain bikers!).

 

3.  Take in a Movie.  Wilkes is fortunate to have two theaters, both offering a different experience for movie-goers.  The Liberty is nestled in quant Downtown North Wilkesboro in an original downtown building.  The Liberty offers movie-goers a more traditional theater experience with two screens.  Two Rivers Cinemas is a brand new theater in Wilkesboro, with six movie screens and stadium seating.  Both have delicious popcorn, fizzy drinks, and candy available to munch on during your feature film.

www.libertytheatrenc.com

www.tworiverscinemas.com

4.  Visit a State Park.  Stone Mountain State Park is in the northeast part of the county and a huge tourist draw.  Visitors come from all over the state and country to hike, climb and camp at Stone Mountain.  Whether you are an avid climber or just a beginner level hiker, Stone Mountain has something for you!  Check out the link below for more info!

http://ncparks.gov/Visit/main.php

5.  Do a Tasting.  Wilkes is part of the Yadkin Valley, which is known for its’ wonderful vineyards and wineries.  Visitors can check out the Yadkin Valley Wine Trail and pick and choose which ones sound the best to them.  Most vineyards have set hours for tastings and tours.  They also sell their wine by the bottle and case.

http://www.yadkinvalleywinecountry.com

6.  Attend a Concert.  Due to the music history in this part of the state, Wilkes is known the ‘Heart of Folk’.  The last weekend of April brings a four day music festival to Wilkes known as MerleFest.  This festival is a tribute to Merle Watson and his father, Doc Watson. Americana and bluegrass music is the dominate genres to be heard at MerleFest, but there is truly a little bit of everything.  A new festival called Carolina In The Fall will begin in September 2015 and will be a celebration of the music, food and beverages of the region.  The festival will be hosted by The Kruger Brothers.  Music on Main is a concert series that features local and national bands once or twice a month.  This series features smaller shows at Talia Espresso in downtown North Wilkesboro, and bigger name bands at the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame at the Heritage Museum in Wilkesboro.

www.merlefest.org

www.carolinainthefall.org

www.heartoffolk.com

7.  Chow Down.  Most would assume since Wilkes is located in the south that we only have southern restaurants, but that is not the case!  We have Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Mexican, Italian, American, and several really great BBQ joints.  There are also several ice cream and frozen yogurt shops for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth.  Check out the link below for local eateries:

http://visitwilkesboronc.com/dine/

8.  Appreciate the Visual Arts.  Wilkes is lucky to have a great art gallery featuring talented artists.  The art gallery also does wine & paint nights for the community.  These events are every 1st Thursday of the month and can also be scheduled for private groups on other nights.  The art gallery also does birthday parties, wedding receptions, and corporate events.

http://www.wilkesartgallery.org

9.  Get Fit.  The Wilkes Family YMCA and the Wilkes Express YMCA have special classes available for individuals of all ages.  Whether you are interested in an intense pilates session or a beginner level swim class for kids, the Y has you covered.  There are leagues that also meet and play different team sports throughout the year.  Choose which activity sounds most like you and get active!

http://ymcanwnc.org/locations/wilkes/

10.  Tie the Knot.  Wilkes is home to several beautiful wedding destinations.  It seems that the newest trend in weddings is to have an outdoor ceremony and if this sounds like what you are interested in, Wilkes has lots of options.  With everything from our local vineyards and wineries, to outdoor chapels and rustic barns, Wilkes has something to offer everyone!

http://visitwilkesboronc.com/category/insider/wedding/