By David Rogers. January 27, 2017. BLOWING ROCK, NC — After giving us a balmy mid-January, Mother Nature pretty much gave Blowing Rock a wintertime exclusive for Winterfest 2017 on Friday. Snow covered all of downtown, as well as out on Valley Blvd., even while a mile or so out of town all they got was cold.
One shivering reveler with a big smile on her face declared, “It’s almost like there is this little cloud only above Blowing Rock, just for Winterfest!”
Two days ago, winter revelers might just as well be wearing Bermuda shorts with near 60-degree weather, but there was no denying that Old Man Winter had arrived on Friday. There were winter scenes aplenty as the clock ticked toward the time for the Appalachian State WinterFest Snowflake Parade. App State alum and “Mr. Fix It” in college athletics, Blowing Rock’s Oval Jaynes looked a bit like Robert Redford’s “Jeremiah Johnson” as he posed in his coyote fur coat with an admiring passerby in front of Blowing Rock Market, where a bonfire and portable space heaters were welcome relief to anyone who had been outside for very long.
If you didn’t already feel a little frostbitten in the “low 20s” temperatures, all you had to do was get a glimpse of the official Winterfest logo emblazoned on an ice sculupture in front of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce office on Park Rd.
Looking at the firemen serving as the parade color guard, we can only hope they were wearing longjohns underneath those uniforms.
The parade itself saw plenty of personalities walk or ride down Main Street, most bundled up to their chins and above.
Of course, the main attraction advertised for this parade was the Appalachian State football team, 2-time champions of the Camellia Bowl, and representatives from various university departments, including Dr. Sheri Everts, Chancellor, and several of her executive cabinet members.
If you were collecting big yellow styrofoam “noodles” with Appalachian State emblazoned on the sides, then the parade was the place you wanted to be. EVERYONE who had anything to do with App State, from the Chancellor on down, was throwing them to the crowd.
Head coach Scott Satterfield looked cozy in his ski parka and bright red Camellia Bowl toboggan cap as he cruised down Main Street in one of the many flashy new cars supplied by Winterfest banner sponsor, Hendrick Northlake Luxury Auto Mall, dealers of Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus and Audi automobiles.
Some of the players and coaches rode atop the old buses, smiling and waving enthusiastically, while others sat in enclosed university buses, peering out of tinted windows.
It was all great fun and the perfect way to get the WinterFest weekend going in earnest.
SLIDESHOW by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News