Category Archives: Wilkes County

Wilkes Candlelight Ghost Tours

Wilkesboro, NC—Historic Wilkesboro is said to be haunted by a variety of locales, and every year, folks check for themselves during the Wilkes Candlelight Ghost Tours. Local historians tour spectators through the town, peeking into the Old Wilkes Jail, the Robert Cleveland house, the Brown-Cowles cabin, the English Cottage, the Hubbard Home, and The Smithy Hotel. Visitors will hear tales of Tom Dooly, paranormal investigations, apparitions of ghosts in town, and sounds in the cemetery.

Admission for the Candlelight Ghost Tour is $7 for adults. Children under 5 are admitted free. Purchase tickets at the museum or by calling (336) 667-3171. Tour times are 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 9 p.m.

Dates: Sept. 10, Oct. 21-22, & Oct. 28


Music lovers unite; Come and enjoy this annual event in Wilke’s County that is sure to make you get up, dance and smile. MerleFest showcases some Virginia’s finest bluegrass musicians and artists from around the region. This event was founded in 1998 and has been a looked-forward to sensation ever since. Mark your calendars for April 28th thru May 2nd for this not-to-miss celebration. For more information regarding directions, the line-up and other amenities this festival holds, visit .

The History of Merlefest

If you enjoy listening to new music and attending festivals, then don’t miss out on Merlefest in Wilkes County, North Carolina. This festival was founded in 1988 in Memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College. The festival combines traditional and country with new country, a term Doc Watson called “traditional-plus”. Doc Watson himself described traditional plus as “the traditional music of the Appalachian region plus whatever other styles we were in the mood to play”. Don’t miss out on a great time and a unique experience! Visit the Merlefest website for a complete list of bands.

Whippoorwill Village

Take a step back in time by visiting Whippoorwill Village.  You can tour a one-room school house, a replica of Daniel Boone’s cabin, a blacksmith’s shop, and more.  They hold several events throughout the year.  The next event will be Daniel Boone Day on the second Saturday in May.  The village will be opening in April and will remain open through December on Saturdays and Sundays, but they also take appointments if needed.  This is a fun family outing and admission is free, so bring your friends and family and experience what it was like to live without today’s technology.

Raffaldini Winery

The Raffaldini family can be traced back to the year 1348 in Lombardy, Italy. Since that time, the family has owned and continued to live on the farm where the great poet-philosopher Virgil spent his youth. The Raffaldini family has shared its winemaking experience in the Swan Creek area of the Yadkin Valley. Employing skills that have been cultivated throughout the ages, this vineyard produces handcrafted Italian wines. The essence of the Tuscan countryside has been captured in North Carolina through its authentic buildings and homemade Italian wine. For more information, visit their website.

Wilkes Art Gallery

The Wilkes Art Gallery has experienced many transformations throughout the years. It was founded in 1962 in the parlor of art patron Annie Winkler’s home, and in 2004 the gallery moved into the newly renovated North Wilkesboro Post Office, located in the heart of downtown North Wilkesboro.  The Gallery’s 10,000 square foot facility includes over 3,500 square feet of exhibition space, an education center with a complete ceramics studio, painting and drawing studios, two multi-purpose classrooms, and a Gallery Gift Shop.  The gallery is dedicated to providing classes and workshops for all ages.  Adult classes are offered in ceramics, painting, knitting, watercolor, drawing, stained glass, and much more throughout the year. The Wilkes Art Gallery is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to providing quality experiences in the arts through exhibits, classes, workshops and field trips for all ages. If you’re in the area and interested in the arts, then the Wilkes Art Gallery is for you.

Christmas Tree Hotel Package

Area hotels in Wilkesboro, NC are offering a Christmas Tree Hotel Package this season for folks wanting an old-timey Christmas. The package includes a voucher for a tree up to seven feet tall when you book at least a one-night stay. Participating hotels include The Addison Inn, the Hampton Inn, the Holiday Inn Express, and the Red Carpet Inn. For info, visit at

Foothills Arts Council

If creativity is what you’re looking for, then head to North Carolina and let the Foothills Arts Council inspire you with art. Located in the heart of the Yadkin Valley wine region, the Foothills Arts Council is home to several cultural groups, such as the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild. The Foothills Arts Council wants to enrich the lives of Yadkin Valley residents through visual and performing arts, and in order to do this the council offers several workshops. Some of these workshops include quilting, nature poetry and painting without brushes. If you’re looking for something fun and different to do while visiting North Carolina, head to the Foothills Arts Council and get creative. For more information, visit this website.

McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks: Cider Festival

What a great way to celebrate the fall season in the Blue Ridge by celebrating it with a glass of hard cider. McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks will offer the opportunity to taste hard cider during their annual Cider Festival on Saturday, Sept. 25, from noon until 5 p.m. You’ll enjoy great hard cider, horseshoes, wine, food and entertainment.

McRitchie Winery will be pressing fresh cider from mountain-grown apples along with releasing their new hard cider. Winemaker Sean McRitchie will be conducting winery tours and discussing the 2010 harvest. McRitchie winery is also offering a Cider Festival special which includes 20 percent off case purchases of hard cider.


Quick List of Upcoming Events & Festivals for McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks:

At the winery:
November 13-14: Deck the Halls! Kick-off Open House in conjunction with Very Surry Wineries
November 27-28: Holiday Open House in conjunction with Upper Yadkin Wine Trail Wineries
December 4:  Holiday Food and Wine Pairing

October 10:  Briar Patch Wine Festival, Clemmons, NC
November 20:  Peabody’s Charity Wine Tasting at Broyhill Center, Boone, NC
December 11:  Holiday Festival at Round Peak, Mt. Airy, NC

Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2010 inductees into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame include

  • Clarence “Tom” Ashley in the “Pioneer Artist” category;
  • Etta Baker, “Master Musician and Tradition Bearer”;
  • “B” Townes, “Special Contributor/ Organizer/Promoter;”
  • Albert Hash, “Luthier”; and
  • Bobby Hicks, “Sideman and Regional Musician”.

The process of selecting inductees is made by nominations from people in the music industry and are voted on by music industry representatives plus hall of fame committee members.