Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th

I had a migraine most of last weekend so I didn’t make it out to the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th as much as I wanted, but I did make it out to the Blue Ridge Music Center Saturday evening for the big show. I wish we could have gone to Cumberland Knob, but I wasn’t up to it.

While Chris walked around getting photos for work, I checked out the booths and listened to some of the old time music.

Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee demonstration traditional dances and songs (along with a few volunteers from the audience).

On the stage, we heard presentation by local officials, Cherokee dances and songs and more old time music.

The main attraction of the evening of Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. Stanley is a legend and I was bound and determined to see him perform. So, we did.

Here’s Stanley signing autographs way before the concert. That’s his grandson, Nathan, on his right. I had no idea Chris took this photo until I just went through them today.

The band opened up with “Man of Constant Sorrow” and ended on “I’ll Fly Away” (Allison Krauss and Gillian Welch version). They entertained us for over an hour with some familiar tunes and other stuff I didn’t recognize.

At one point, there were three Stanley generations on the stage — Ralph, son Ralph II and grandson Nathan.

Ralph Stanley mostly sang during the evening but did take up the banjo for one song. That was pretty cool.

Here’s some more photos from the event:

The audience got some flat footing lessons, thanks to Phil Jamison, before the main concert began.

The Buck Mountain Band provided the music for the flat footing lessons. My former editor, Amy, is playing the banjo. Hi, Amy!

The Round Peak Boys kicked off the evening concert.

Several classic cars cruised down the Parkway to the music center. The goal was to have 75 cars participate, but I don’t know if that many arrived at the center.

Area elementary schools in North Carolina and Virginia created birthday cards for the Parkway. The one in the upper right is my favorite: “I can’t believe you were open seventy five (sic) years. If I worked thier (sic) I would be exausted (sic),” written by Loxi, a third grader at a Virginia elementary.


Upcoming September events

Lots of events are coming up that are on my radar.

Carroll County (Va.) Fair
First off, this weekend is the Carroll County (Va.) Fair. I think Chris has to work some this weekend to cover it, so we might actually go.
(Please do not use any photos without permission.)
A girl pets a pig at the Carroll County Fair/Photo by Christopher Brooke
I’ve never been to the fair although it’s been held for a few years now. It’s really small, so there’s not much to it. But maybe it’s supposed to be small. I’ve never been to a county fair, only a state one. And state fairs are huge.
The county fair is held at the Southwest Virginia Farmers Market, right off I-77 at exit 14.
Hillsville’s Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show
Next weekend is Hillsville’s Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show. I know many, many people probably already have this on their calendars.
I wonder if this will be the largest flea market yet. I swear tents started popping up along U.S. 58 a week ago.
I’m looking forward to seeing if the market expands this year and seeing if the sidewalks and streets will be hard to move through because of the thousands of people wandering around booths.
Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th
One of the biggest events I’m looking forward to is the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary Festival, Sept. 10-12.
I know there have been several events throughout the year, but this will be the official celebration.
I want to go to the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, Va., and Cumberland Knob for the activities. I’m really looking forward to seeing Dr. Ralph Stanley at the music center that Saturday. I gotta see that man perform before he dies! (I’m not a big old time or bluegrass music fan, but I do enjoy some of it.)
If you go to the music center, check out the trail that winds up and down the peak behind the stage. It’s a nice, short hike.
You can check out the schedules and more information of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s 75th Anniversary website here.
Hillsville’s Downtown Celebrations
Don’t forget about Hillsville’s downtown celebrations, featuring arts and crafts, classic car cruise-in and beach music.
I wrote about that here. The next concert is Sept. 11.
Chateau Morrisette’s Black Dog Wine and Beach Music Festival
Chateau Morrisette, 287 Winery Road SW, Floyd, Va., will continue its music festivals Oct. 9 with the Black Dog Wine and Beach Music Festival. The winery is located at Milepost 171.5 off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We visited the winery Aug. 14 for the Black Dog Wine and Jazz Festival. The day’s music featured salsa, jazz and Caribbean music, courtesy of Beleza Brazil and Los Gatos. It was so much fun!
The price of a ticket gets you admission, free wine tasting and a free wine glass. It’s a pretty good deal.
The glasses of wine we got this year at one of the Chateau’s wine and jazz festival./Photo by E.A. Seagraves
We also enjoyed lunch in the winery’s restaurant. I had a delicious lamb chop, couscous and asparagus. The dessert was a heavenly chocolate cake with espresso ice cream. We enjoyed the meal with a bottle of Chateau’s Blackberry Wine, probably one of our favorites.
The next events are Oct. 9 music festival will feature The Embers and Key West Band.