Category: News

Fly a Kite a Mile High on Beech Mountain this Labor Day Weekend

When is the last time you flew a kite? I don’t mean on a video game or an app on your smart phone. I mean standing in a field and watching the string stretch higher and higher as the colorful vessel soars into the sky.

Sounds magical, doesn’t it? Each Labor Day weekend, Beech Mountain hosts the Mile High Kite Festival. And it is pretty magical!

This year’s festival is Saturday, Sept. 2, and Sunday, Sept. 3, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free and the first 150 kids each day receive a free kite. Parking is $5.

The “mile high” part of the festival is no joke. With our town’s lofty elevation of 5,506 feet, you can easily fly a kite more than a mile above sea level.

I love sitting in my tree and watching all the kites waving in the breeze. It’s a beautiful sight and peaceful, too. Before we head into the busy fall season — you hustling around getting kids to school, me working my fuzzy little tail off collecting acorns — it’s nice to spend a weekend enjoying simple pleasures.

On Sunday afternoon, two kite clubs – the Richmond Air Force club and Charlotte’s Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society (WACKOS) – put on kite-flying demonstrations. Boy, can they do some fancy tricks!

Also on Sunday, prizes will be given for the best-decorated kites, most original kites and kites flown the highest.

The festival has all sorts of other activities for when you need a kite-flying break. There will be rides and face painting for the kids, and food and crafts vendors.

On Saturday night, don’t miss the all-ages street dance in the Visitors Center parking lot from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. It’s always fun to see the parents embarrass their kids with their best dance moves.

For more details about the Mile High Kite Festival, click here.

Yours truly,
Boomer the Squirrel

 

Mile High Fourth: 5 Days of Sizzlin’ Cool Fun in the High Country

It’s hard for me to pick my favorite time on Beech Mountain, but the Fourth of July might be it. Families come for a relaxing long weekend. They enjoy cool temperatures and plenty of activities for all ages.

For the second year, we’re joining our neighbors over in Banner Elk for five days of Independence Day fun with the Mile High Fourth of July celebration, June 30-July 4.

We will be groovin’ up here on the mountain with the fourth annual Blues on Beech, Saturday, July 1. Rhonda McDaniel, followed by the Part-Time Blues Band, will crank out the smooth tunes at Fast Eddie’s. On Monday, July 3, a talented regional band called The Rockabillys will play an outdoor concert at the Beech Mountain kite field, which is especially nice because all my squirrel buddies and I can enjoy the music, too.

Oh, and don’t miss the 47th Annual Hog Roast at Beech Mountain Resort on Saturday, July 1. They serve up some of the tastiest pork and turkey in the High Country. The kids will enjoy games and face painting — and maybe some adults, too. I say you’re never too old to show your patriotism with an American flag on your cheek! Once it gets dark, we’ll all watch the fireworks.

On Tuesday, July 4, head over to Banner Elk for the Fourth of July Parade. It’s a sight to see as all the folks in red, white and blue march down Main Street. Banner Elk’s Party in the Park follows that afternoon with lawn games and a rubber duck race on the creek. Go ducks!

For a full schedule of events across the five days, click here.

Our great lodging folks have all sorts of options for families, couples or groups of friends. Choose from comfy lodges, chalets or cabins.

I invited my cousin Darryl from Raleigh and my other cousin Darryl from Charlotte. We already booked our favorite treetop, but you guys better hurry to make your reservations for the big weekend.

See you soon for fireworks and fun!

Yours truly,
Boomer the Squirrel

Wanna Pedal Up a Mountain? Beech Mountain Metric is May 20

All right, cyclists. It’s time to get out the bikes, pump up the tires and grease the gears. Just in time to welcome the spring cycling season, the Beech Mountain Metric on Saturday, May 20, invites riders to challenge themselves with a mountaintop climb.

The 61-mile ride has 8,000 feet of climbing. Whew, talk about some leg burn!

If you’re not quite up to that distance, there’s a 43-mile ride with 5,700 feet of climbing. Or the newest addition to the event is a 23-mile loop without the steep climb. All three options begin at the Historic Banner Elk School in neighboring Banner Elk.

The metric also welcomes teams of five people. Round up some of your fit friends and ride together to score your time as a team.

I’m more of a spectator myself, taking in the view from the comfort of my favorite tree, but my cyclist friends love the metric because of the beautiful scenery and the warm welcome our town provides to visitors.

Many of our fine lodges, hotels, condos and vacation homes are available at a discount during the metric weekend. Get 20 percent off your lodging, or stay three nights for the price of two. A soak in one of those hot tubs will feel mighty good after a long bike ride.

Local restaurants are also offering a 10 percent meal discount. Enjoy dinner with a view at Beech Alpen Restaurant, some pizza at Bullwinkle’s, or wings and a pint at Famous Fast Eddie’s.

Registration for the Beech Mountain Metric is open now, so go ahead and make plans to meet me on the mountain May 20.

Yours truly,
Boomer the Squirrel

Free Youth Sledding Hill is Snow Much Fun!

One of Beech Mountain’s favorite traditions is back!

The free youth sledding hill in the middle of our little town is covered with snow and children zipping down on their sleds. Beech Mountain is the only place in the entire Southeast that has a free sledding hill run by the town, which we think is really cool (no pun intended).

The hill is right beside our Visitors Center, where you can step inside, warm up, say “hi” to the friendly staff and learn about all the great activities on the mountain. The Visitors Center also has restrooms and super duper Wi-Fi.

My good friend Kate Gavenus, Beech Mountain’s tourism director, watches the kids sled from her window.

“About half of the kids who come to the sledding hill haven’t experienced snow before,” Kate says. “It’s a great, relaxed way to play in the snow, and it’s cheap. It’s also a good introduction to all the fun winter sports offered on Beech Mountain.”

One upgrade this year is the addition of big foam pads, which provide a safe way to stop at the bottom of the hill.

The sledding hill is exclusively for kids age 12 and younger, although parents can accompany younger children on the sled. Kids can bring their own sleds (plastic only) or purchase them from nearby businesses. Beech Meadows Ski Shop and White Wolf Lodge also rent sleds for only $5 a day.

The sledding hill usually stays in good shape through mid-March thanks to the 90 inches of snow we get each winter and the snow gun that blows fresh powder. But you can double-check the conditions by calling (800) 468-5506. Sledding hill hours are Monday-Friday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

And don’t miss the special Cosmic Sledding session from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24. It’s part of our four-day Totally 80s Retro Ski Weekend, Feb. 23-26. The whole mountain turns back the clock with hair bands and cassette tapes and retro apparel. That reminds me, I need to dig out those leg warmers and start teasing my tail!

Yours truly,
Boomer the Squirrel

Beech Mountain Makes Ski Getaways Easy on Mom!

Skiers and snowboarders at Beech Mountain Resort in Beech Mountain, North Carolina

Hey moms: Beech Mountain is a family-friendly place. From lodging to activities to restaurants, this little town is designed for families to spend quality time together.

Squirrels like me are minimalists; we can pack our bags in no time. But I know traveling is a chore for moms (and dads), especially with little ones in tow. With that in mind, the good folks on Beech Mountain make it easy for traveling families. Consider these perks:

  • Plenty of rental options for families of all sizes. Choose from houses, chalets and condos with as many bedrooms/bathrooms as you need. Many have kitchens, too
  • Great restaurants with kid-friendly options. Famous Fast Eddie’s kids’ menu has hot dogs, grilled cheese and chicken nuggets. Or for family pizza night, try Bullwinkels or the Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria. Don’t forget breakfast at Fred’s
  • Rental apparel for the slopes! When it’s time to bundle up, Beech Mountain Resort ensures the whole family will be warm. The resort rents ski pants and coats, so moms don’t have to buy and pack all those bulky clothes
  • Learning to ski is easy breezy for families with experienced instructors offering private & group lessons at the ski resort. There are also two ski schools: Snow Kamp for ages 3-5 and Traxx for ages 6-14.
  • A nursery so Moms can have fun, too! If you have a little whippersnapper, the ski resort cares for infants and toddlers ages 6 months to 3 years.

 

While you’re at the resort, make sure to check out the ice skating rink and snow tubing park. Then pop in the souvenir shop for some sweet merchandise to take home. The View Haus Cafeteria serves quick bites and drinks to keep you going all day long.

Believe me, if you’re considering a trip up to Beech Mountain this winter, the folks on Beech Mountain make it as easy as possible. So get the family in the car, head this way and leave the worry to us.

Yours truly,
Boomer the Squirrel

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