Cultural Advisory Board discusses upcoming events, new initiatives

Emily Milano, Reporter

The Boone Town Council Cultural Advisory Board met Monday to discuss upcoming community events like concerts, holiday events and improvements to historic properties such as The Jones House. 

CAB appropriates funds from private and local organizations for local art and cultural organizations. It oversees The Jones House, Northstreet Park, App State performing arts and the Appalachian Theatre.

Mark Freed, CAB cultural director, works at The Jones House, a community center in the heart of downtown Boone. 

“More people have the confidence to go out and attend events. The event’s attendance was right back where it was pre-pandemic,” said CAB member Linda Miller, referring to the annual trick-or-treating event Boone Boo and attributing the shift to the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Jones House will host a concert featuring Erynn Marshall, a fiddler, and Carl Jones, a finger-picking guitarist, Nov. 21. 

“These are excellent musicians, and we are looking forward to this concert and expecting a good turnout,” Freed said.

Festive First Friday, a way for Boone to come together and celebrate the community, will feature carriage rides on Howard Street, food trucks, choirs and the annual tree lighting ceremony outside of The Jones House Dec. 3. That afternoon, the downtown holiday parade will embark from the county buildings and make its way down King Street, ending at Legends. 

During the CAB meeting, Laura Kratt, executive director of the Appalachian Theatre, announced the theater is open to the public with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. The theater is launching a Cinema Classics Pride Series filled with blockbuster movies bringing family and friends together to enjoy a classic movie night. 

“Tickets are selling slower than they have in the past, but with each event, we are selling more and more tickets,” Kratt said.

Candice Cook, CAB tourism marketing director, said surrounding counties, such as Banner Elk, Beech Mountain and Blowing Rock, are bringing back their holiday events such as holiday light displays and Christmas tree lightings.  

During the staff report Monday, Freed announced the recent renovation of some of Boone’s historic buildings and parks. 

The town installed new recycled lumber plastic picnic tables at The Jones House and gave the house a paint job for the first time in a decade. 

“The new tables are getting a lot of use. We are seeing people having meetings and hanging out at the tables,” Freed said.

Freed said the Daniel Boone Park is undergoing a water sewage project which will allow for sewage to run from the restrooms to the back of the house located in the park. The town crew is working to build new restrooms and add more recycling bins and trash cans for the Daniel Boone Native Gardens. 

The Rivers House Property, home to historic walking tours, is partnering with the Tourism Development Authority to seek funds for a historical exhibit and renovate the property. 

The North Street Park, a public park in Boone, will be renamed Mayor Brantz Park and feature a community garden, in honor of the former mayor.

Wednesday at 5 p.m., Eric Plagg, writer and recipient of the National Society Daughters of the Revolution Historic Preservation Award, read his new book “Remembering Boone” at The Jones House.