When the temperature drops, the fun heats up in the High Country! Blowing Rock’s Annual WinterFest celebrates the season and it is sure to brighten up even the dreariest winter days! 

WinterFest is a weekend of winter fun for people of all ages. The entire downtown of Blowing Rock  transforms into a whimsical Winter Wonderland with cool ice sculptures and glimmering light  displays for those Insta-worthy moments!  

The weekend festivities include a WinterFest Beer Garden with local breweries, wine tastings,  auctions, a chili cookoff, ice carving demos, the adventurous Polar Bear Plunge, and so much more! WinterFest is truly a memorable event that you won’t want to miss!  

WinterFest Hendrick Hunt at Blowing Rock
Thursday, Jan. 25 – Sunday, Jan. 28: All Day
Find the four vehicles placed around Blowing Rock, scan the QR codes to earn entries, and post on Facebook to earn entries for the #HendrickHunt! One lucky winner will be awarded with a WinterFest Hendrick Hunt Prize.

Festival of Lights at Chetola Resort
Thursday, Jan. 25 – Sunday, Jan. 28: Dusk – 10pm
Free; Open to the public
Stroll or drive around Chetola Lake and enjoy thousands of dazzling illuminations, including ice skaters, “Rudolph” reeling in a big fish, strolling carolers, and many more captivating holiday scenes.

Local’s Night at Hellbender Bed and Beverage
Thursday, Jan. 25: Noon – 8pm

WinterFest Square Dance at Blowing Rock Art & History Museum
Thursday, Jan. 25: 6 – 8pm; Lessons: 6 – 6:30pm
Free; Donations for the Band Encouraged. Registration required.
Warm up Winterfest with a community square dance at BRAHM featuring local musicians and a live caller. No experience necessary; dancers of all levels are invited.

WinterFEAST at Green Park Inn
SOLD OUT: Thursday, Jan. 25: 5:30pm and 7pm
Enjoy a restaurant crawl featuring delicious selections from the High Country’s best restaurants under one roof. Unfortunately, this event is already sold out due to popular demand.

Guided Tours at Blowing Rock and History Museum
Friday, Jan. 26: All Day

Cork & Canvas: Konstain Gorbatov’s ‘A Winter’s Day’ at Blowing Rock and History Museum
Friday, Jan. 26: 4 – 6pm; Saturday, Jan. 27: 11am – 1pm
$50 General Admission/$45 Members; Registration required.
Learn to paint ‘step-by-step’ with a trained instructor in a relaxed atmosphere. Each participant will leave with a finished work of art. All materials provided; includes complimentary wine, beer, and light snacks.

Ice Stroll/Ice Carving Tour on Main Street
Friday, Jan. 26: 4 – 7pm
Enjoy Artisan Ice Sculptures – one of only five Master Ice Carvers in the country – as you stroll through Blowing Rock.

Polar Bear Plunge at Chetola Resort
Saturday, Jan. 27: 8am – Registration; 10am – Polar Bear Plunge Starts
Free for spectators; $35/person for participants – proceeds benefit local charities Take the plunge at the High Country’s “cannot miss” event! Judges will award the famous “Golden Plunger” to the best costume. Pre-registration is encouraged, but last minute “plungers” can sign-up the morning of the Polar Plunge in the Chetola Lodge 2nd floor foyer.

Rotary Chilly Chili Challenge at Blowing Rock School Gym
Saturday, Jan. 27: 11am – 2pm
$10 per ticket; Proceeds go towards a charity.
Taste and vote for your favorite chili.

Mountain Alliance Silent Auction & Raffle at the American Legion Hall
Saturday, Jan. 27: 10am – 4pm
Online bidding from Jan. 20 – 27; in-person bidding on Jan. 27.

WinterFest Beer Garden at The Meadowbrook Inn – Four Seasons Ball Room
Saturday, Jan. 27: 1 – 3pm
$35 per person
Experience the best local breweries!

Wine Tasting & Auction at Green Park Inn
Saturday, Jan. 27: 3 – 6pm (Auction from 5 – 6pm)
$35 per person; wristbands available at the event site check-in table
Experience local wine tastings and participate in the wine auction featuring great deals on rare finds. Register for the auction during the event, as wine will be only one of the many types of items on the bidding block, including vacation packages, glassware, and more!

The Speckled Trout Outfitters Humvee Hayrides at the Blowing Rock Chamber Office
Saturday, Jan. 27: Noon – 3pm
A fun hayride and a crowd favorite!

Ice Carving Demo in Memorial Park
Saturday, Jan. 27: Noon – 4pm; Ice Speed Carving Competition: 2pm

WFDD Photo of the Year Reception
Saturday, Jan. 27: 2 – 4pm
Vote for your favorite WFDD Photo of the Year. The WFDD 2023 Photo of the Year exhibition showcases all 52 submissions that were chosen as Photo of the Week last year and gives visitors the opportunity to vote for their favorites.

Girl Scout Cookie Fundraiser at the Blowing Rock Town Hall
Saturday, Jan. 27: Noon – 4pm

Family WinterFest Craft Time at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum
Saturday, Jan. 27: 2 – 3pm
Create accordion mini-books and other paper crafts for all ages.

Pancake Breakfast at the Blowing Rock School (Cafeteria)
Sunday, Jan. 28: 8 – 10am
$12 per person
Enjoy pancakes at the WinterFest Pancake Breakfast.
Do not miss your chance to grab some delicious pancakes at the WinterFest Pancake Breakfast! The event will be inside the Blowing Rock School (Cafeteria) on Sunday, January 29, 2023. The pancakes will be available from 8 am – 10am. Tickets are $12 and proceeds benefit Blowing Rock School PTO.

Winter Paws at the Blowing Rock School Gym
Sunday: Noon – 3pm
$5 or canned food donation; please check back soon to pre-register your dog(s). All proceeds after the event expenses will be donated to local law enforcement K-9 units. Canned goods will be donated to the Hunger and Health Coalition.
Show off your four-legged best friend or simply watch the excitement! The entry fee per category to compete is 3 canned goods or $5.

The Graystone Lodge, Ascend Hotel Collection®, is less than 20 minutes from the festivities, a few minutes from downtown Boone, and close to ski resorts if a day at the slopes is part of your itinerary too. Start each day with a complimentary hot breakfast and freshly-brewed local coffee. And when
the day is done, enjoy our outdoor fire pit or simply cozy up with your loved ones at our indoor grand fireplace.

Winter life is good. Come see what it’s all about in the High Country. Make your reservations now at www.graystonelodge.com