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Features

  • HILLSVILLE — Carroll County got into the fall spirit for the annual Pumpkin Festival at the Southwest Virginia Farmers Market on Oct. 18.

    The festivities took place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and included fall-themed activities such as pumpkin carving, apple butter making, pumpkin cannons and a zombie trail ride.

  • Every autumn, the scenery changes colors.

    The leaves of some trees always turn one color. For example, the black walnut turns yellow. Other species, such as sweetgum, turn different colors, even on the same tree.

    Sunny days and cool nights are key to fall leaf displays. Bright, sunny days and cool, but not freezing, nights are required for vivid autumn shows. If there is an early frost, the leaves are likely to turn brown and drop.

    Although botanists understand the mechanics of some of these changes, other parts remain a mystery.

  • Outhouse racers battled for privy supremacy at the 32nd Annual Mountain Foliage Festival in Independence on Oct. 11.

  • Anthony Bourdain, in his seminal memoir “Kitchen Confidential,” describes people who work with meat as capable of obscene, irreverent jokes, while people who work with fish, he says, have no sense of humor at all.

  • The Galax Parks and Recreation Senior Talent Show was held last Thursday night at The Rex Theater and featured a multitude of performers.

    Many of the acts had a gospel theme. Mable Bryson was up first with a serene but heartfelt “Amazing Grace;” Carol Huffman performed two original songs, “Blue Ridge Mountain Music” and “Angels Were Watching Over Me;” Bobbie Taylor offered a charming “Bless the Beasts and Children;” and Nancy Wolfe, near the show’s end, sang a sweet rendition of “You Light Up My Life.”

  • By DON RICHESON, Staff

    INDEPENDENCE – Teams are already starting to form to vie for the $600 cash prize in the Grand Privy Race, the premier event in the 32nd Annual Mountain Foliage Festival set for Oct. 11.

    There should be many on hand to cheer the outhouse racers on. The festival is among downtown Independence’s largest events of the year and drew 3,000 people last year on a rainy day, so this year the crowds will likely be even bigger.

  • Mother Nature was unforgiving during Chateau Morrisette’s Second Annual Black Dog BBQ Festival last month, but that didn’t stop the Front Porch BBQ Team from breaking into the local circuit with a win for its first group competition.

    During the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) competition, the rain stopped for no brisket, whole hog or butt. Competitors were wet and miserable, but everyone was determined to serve a nice meal for the judges.

  • Carmen Sumner, formerly of Galax, has become a big name in Lincolnton, N.C. Sumner’s formal title reads “Administrative Support Specialist and Receptionist” at City Hall. But she is known by many as the eyes and ears of the city.

  •  

    Local congregations celebrated the third annual Christian Family Fun Day event on Saturday with a parade, a 5K and a day-long celebration at the Hillsville VFW. Churches from the Twin Counties and surrounding localities turned up to offer free food, games, entertainment and messages about Christianity. Everyone in the community was invited to attend, regardless of their personal beliefs.

  • HILLSVILLE — More than 100 runners turned out for the inaugural Twin County MS Walk at the Grover King VFW Post #1115 in Hillsville on Sept. 13.

    According to coordinator Regina Dalton, the walk raised around $7,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. “And, there are still more donations coming in,” she told The Gazette on Monday.

  • HILLSVILLE — For the past two years, the Christian Family Fun Day (CFFD) event in Hillsville has provided a safe and fun environment where everyone is welcome.

    For some, the event — set to return for a third year on Sept. 20 — is a fun place to mingle with the community and enjoy the free games and entertainment. But for others, the experience is much more profound.

  • When it comes to harmony, the members of The Preacher’s Choir have it down pat. Not only do their voices harmonize during their many performances, but they see harmony as a way of life.

    The Preacher’s Choir is a group of Galax ministers from all denominations. It was organized about four years ago through Jerry Watson, a church layman with a dream.

    “Mr. Watson dreamed of seeing a group of ministers from various church backgrounds coming together to sing gospel songs in the area,” said Pastor D.G. Fox, the designated leader of the group.

  • When it comes to harmony, the members of The Preacher’s Choir have it down pat. Not only do their voices harmonize during their many performances, but they see harmony as a way of life.

    The Preacher’s Choir is a group of Galax ministers from all denominations. It was organized about four years ago through Jerry Watson, a church layman with a dream.

    “Mr. Watson dreamed of seeing a group of ministers from various church backgrounds coming together to sing gospel songs in the area,” said Pastor D.G. Fox, the designated leader of the group.

  • Despite high winds and rain clouds, Joyfest, the annual “friend-raiser” for Joy Ranch Home for Children in Woodlawn, brought in an impressive crowd on Sept. 6. Guests were treated to helicopter rides, face painting, games, bounce houses and plenty of food. Performances included the Appalachian Children’s Chorus and Brad & Rebekah. The weather kept the planned hot air balloons from flying.

  • WOODLAWN — Joy Ranch is anticipating a large turnout for JoyFest, the Christian home for children’s annual “friend raiser” this weekend.

    “We’ve promoted it more intensely than ever, and we’re getting a good response,” says Brent Carrick, Joy Ranch Development Coordinator. “We’ve added some new attractions to our already exciting lineup, and it has greatly boosted interest.”

    The event is taking place Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

  • HILLSVILLE — Frilly-dressed princesses of all ages graced the stage for the 2014 Miss Carroll County beauty pageant at the Carroll County Agricultural Fair.

    Judges had the difficult decision of presenting awards to a selection of the contestants, aged from birth through 19 years old.

    This year’s Miss Carroll County winner is Bethany Welch, a contestant who also practices the science behind beauty as an employee of 58 Salon in Woodlawn. She is also a Skills USA award-winner, having earned a skill point certificate in nail care.

  • HILLSVILLE – The annual Carroll County Agricultural Fair gets underway Aug. 20 and continues through Aug. 24 on the grounds of the Southwest Virginia Farmer’s Market in Hillsville.  
    Registration for exhibits will be Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. with judging to follow.
    The fair will provide a variety of events for the entire family.
    Brinkley Entertainment from Walnut Cove, N.C., will provide carnival rides and shows during the fair.

  • The second annual Galax Rhythm, Brews & Vine Fest is coming Aug. 2 to Grayson Street, featuring 12 breweries and five wineries, along with four bands and two food vendors.

    The downtown festival will run from 2-8 p.m.

    The festival is being put on and sponsored by the Galax Downtown Association, Creek Bottom Brews and Macado’s.

  • HILLSVILLE — Bill “Doc” Copeland was chosen as July’s Citizen of the Month by Laurel Fork Council Member Greg Yonce at Hillsville Town Council’s July 14 meeting.

    “I find it very fitting that Bill Copeland receive the Citizen of the Month for July, as this is the month that Bill is retiring,” said Yonce as he presented the award to Copeland that evening.

    The Danville, along with his wife and three daughters, moved 90 miles west over the mountains to Hillsville.

  • Mike Dees is exactly the person you’d want to show you how to perform a difficult exercise move or figure out a complicated craft step: vigorous and competent, but also friendly and patient.

    In repose, he has a glow of health and the appearance of stored energy waiting to be used with steady economy: he’s at rest, but not because he needs to be.