By David Rogers. January 30, 2016. BLOWING ROCK, NC — With an estimated 2,000 people jamming the length of Blowing Rock’s Main Street, the first annual Winterfest Snowflake Parade got off to a rip-roaring start, made just that more special by a rousing, first public celebration of the Appalachian State football team’s Camellia Bowl win in mid-December.
Of course it is a season for political campaigns ahead of the March primaries, so like every good parade there were both Republican and Democratic candidates. The former Director of the Watauga County Extension Service, Sue Counts, was on hand not only to sample chili in the morning, but also to drive along near the front of the parade. She is running for the Democratic nomination for the District 93 State House seat currently held by Jonathan Jordan of Ashe County. Her Democratic opponent in the March primary is Ronnie Marsh. The winner will face the Republican nominee in the General Election. The Republican candidates include Jordan, as well as a strong challenge from Boone’s Lew Hendricks.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of this inaugural Winterfest parade was the broad support exhibited by Appalachian State in its Camellia Bowl celebration. Not only were the vast majority of football players and assistant coaches on hand in double-decker buses and marching along behind, but the lead car from the App State group held Chancellor Sheri Everts, head football coach Scott Satterfield, and Director of Athletics, Doug Gillin. Also marching in the parade for Appalachian State was a contingent from the Marching Mountaineers (the North Carolina Band of Distinction), cheerleaders, members of the Board of Trustees and Board of Visitors, and representatives of nearly every academic department.