Theaters, musicians, performances and festivals that make the High Country, NC unique
There is no shortage of entertainment in the High Country. From national artists to local musicians, small theater groups to large-scale productions, the High Country venues have it all.
The area’s first evening entertainment for families is Horn in the West, performed in Daniel Boone Park since 1952. The show is one of three legacy outdoor dramas in North Carolina and is the longest-running Revolutionary War outdoor drama in America. The first act begins as the sun sets behind the hills, and just before intermission, the starry sky bears witness to a dramatic scene at a Native American village.
Performed in “the most beautiful outdoor theater in the East,” Horn in the West recounts events of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution through fictional characters as well as historical ones, such as Daniel Boone, Judge Richard Henderson, Dragging Canoe and Nancy Ward. In the story, Dr. Stuart, a prominent British physician, struggles between his allegiance to the Crown and his loyalty to fellow colonists.
His biggest conflict arises when his own son, Jack, aligns with their neighbors to join the Regulator Movement. As Nancy Ward of the Cherokee attempts to establish friendly terms with the settlers, another Cherokee, Dragging Canoe, goes on the warpath backed by the British. The story culminates in the Battle of King’s Mountain, where a major turning point in the Revolution occurred, October 7, 1780.
Next to the grounds of the theater is Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, where people wearing 18th century clothing demonstrate skills of the time, such as hearthside cooking, blacksmithing, spinning and hand-sewing. On July 4th at 5:30, Hickory Ridge commemorates Independence Day through a burning in effigy of King George III, thirteen toasts to thirteen colonies and a thirteen gun salute. The Daniel Boone Native Gardens are adjacent to both the theater and museum, and offer several garden “rooms” with native plants of the area.
The season runs from June 27 to August 16, Tuesday through Sunday each week. To order tickets, call 828-264-2120 or visit www.horninthewest.com. For more information on Hickory Ridge, see www.hickoryridgemuseum.com.
Appalachian State University is a gem for arts and theater lovers in the region. The university offers a plethora of performances throughout the year, which culminates with An Appalachian Summer Festival. The festival is a month-long celebration of the arts with performances by Grammy award-winning artists, world-renowned dance companies and classical musicians and art exhibitions at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts that entertains locals and visitors alike.
For a complete schedule of events, call 800-841-ARTS or visit www.appsummer.org. For a listing of other events held at Appalachian, visit the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts online at www.theschaefercenter.org. The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in downtown Boone provides the visual arts component to the festival and is open year-round rotating between 20-25 exhibitions through their six galleries. Admission to the center is always free and you can find out more at www.tcva.org.