Monday, June 20, 2016

Mile High Fourth: A Sizzling Cool 4th of July Weekend

Press Release
by Craig Distl

The mountain resort towns of Banner Elk and Beech Mountain have teamed up for a sizzling cool way to celebrate Independence Day weekend. The inaugural Mile High Fourth of July takes place July 1-4 and includes fireworks, barbecue, nine bands, a parade and much more.

Spread over four days in the two neighboring towns, this extravaganza offers a new option for the July holiday weekend. Highlights include a mile-high fireworks show Saturday night atop Beech Mountain and an all-American parade Monday on Main Street in Banner Elk.

“Banner Elk always holds its parade and ‘party in the park’ on the Fourth, while Beech Mountain always holds its fireworks and ‘roasting of the hog’ on the Saturday closest to the Fourth, so it seemed like a natural fit to partner on a larger celebration,” says Mike Dunn, chairperson of the Banner Elk Tourism Development Authority.

Both the fireworks show and the parade include other activities, such as family games, barbecue feasts and live music.

Speaking of live music, the weekend headliner will be Charlotte band Brandon Kirkley and the Firecrackers playing a 3 p.m. Sunday concert in the town meadow in Beech Mountain, which is Eastern America’s highest town at 5,506 feet in elevation. The aptly-named band will perform classic and modern rock and pop hits, many of which have a patriotic theme.

There is no admission charge for most of the nine bands playing at various venues across the four days, including the Sunday concert in the Beech town meadow.
Displaying Banner Elk Fourth Parade - CREDIT Todd Bush.jpg

Arts aficionados can take advantage of the four-day Art on the Greene fine arts and crafts show in downtown Banner Elk, as well as three stage performances of “Mary Poppins” by the Lees-McRae College summer theatre in Banner Elk.

Another activity is the two-day NatuRally Beech Weekend (Saturday and Sunday) hosted by the Buckeye Recreation Center. It includes educational programs, hikes, and workshops on the local environment.

A craft beer colla-brew-ration is on tap. Beech Mountain Brewing Co. and Flat Top Brewing Co. have teamed on a summer wheat IPA dubbed “Red, Wheat & Brew” which will be available at both breweries throughout the weekend.

For more details, go to or call 800-468-5506.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Complimentary Golf Awarded as Thermometer Hits 80°

News Release
by Craig Distl

Nearly two dozen golfers received a surprise visit during their round on Tuesday, June 14, at the Beech Mountain Club. Each was greeted by head golf professional John Carrin, informed that the temperature had reached 79.9 degrees, and presented a certificate for a free round of golf.
Beech Mountain’s Summer of 79° stay-and-play promotion guarantees that golfers will play in temperatures that do not exceed 79 degrees. On the rare occasions when it does exceed that mark, a complimentary round of golf is awarded.
“We tell all guests at Beech Mountain Club that we are the coolest place in the Southeast to play golf,” Carrin explained. “Anytime the temperature exceeds 79 degrees, we don’t call that ‘cool’ anymore so we give them a certificate to come back and play at no charge.”
Many of the 23 golfers who received certificates that afternoon were shocked. It was a pleasant, blue-sky day with light breezes and low humidity. They didn’t seem to mind that the officially recorded high that day was 80 degrees.
“As I handed out the certificates, I said: ‘This is on behalf of the Beech Mountain Club with our deepest apologies for the weather.’ They just laughed,” Carrin said. “There was a group from Florida and a father-son twosome from Dallas, Texas. They’re probably not going to see 80 degrees before October in either of those two places.”
The Summer of 79 program launched in 2012. In that first summer, the mercury exceeded 79 degrees three times, but it did not reach that threshold again until June 14 of this year.
Carrin, the long-time golf professional at Beech Mountain Club, hopes the recent 80-degree scorcher is the final one this summer: “Not because we don’t want to give away golf, but because we really love the cool temperatures we enjoy all summer up here. If history is an indication, it will be unlikely we get that hot again.”
The town of Beech Mountain is the highest incorporated town east of the Rockies at an altitude of 5,506 feet above sea level. The high temperature has exceeded 79 degrees only 12 times since a National Weather Service reporting station was installed in 1992.
For details about the Summer of 79 stay-and-play program, visit or call (800) 468-5506.