BOONE — Local officials and event organizers in the area are taking steps to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus by canceling or postponing events.
The town of Boone decided on March 12 to cancel or postpone upcoming events of more than 100 people and meetings hosted by the town of Boone, including town council meetings, police forums, public hearings, town committee meetings and town board committees.
This includes the St. Patrick’s Parade and Daniel Boone Rail Jam, both scheduled for Saturday, March 14.
This comes as an effort to “limit possible transmission” of the COVID-19 virus, according to a statement released by Town Clerk Nicole Harmon on March 12.
“Effective immediately, all events with 100 or more participants, including those events sponsored by outside community partners on town of Boone property, are canceled or postponed until otherwise directed by the mayor/town manager,” the statement said. No new events of groups of 100 or more should be scheduled until further notice, it said.
“On or before April 13, the town will reassess this measure and provide an update concerning ongoing cancellations or rescheduling of meetings,” said the release.
In an effort to continue growing the event, the Daniel Boone Rail Jam has been tentatively rescheduled for Saturday, April 25, according to event coordinator Shauna Godwin.
“All purchased tickets will be honored on the rescheduled date,” said Godwin.
Alternatively, patrons seeking a refund can email Godwin at email@example.com.
Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is currently working with the health department and town of Boone regarding the Che Apalache performance scheduled for March 24, according to Executive Director Laura Kratt. If there is a change to the performance’s date or schedule, Kratt said that ATHC will reach out to those who have purchased tickets with additional details.
Events at Appalachian State University have also been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, as the university extended its spring break for a week and will follow other institutions in the UNC system by implementing all online-only classes when classes are set to return on March 23, according to a statement released from the university on March 11.
The App State Department of Theater and Dance will not be hosting its production of “Miscast” in the Valborg Theatre on campus on March 20-21, or its annual Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble on March 25-29.
Productions and shows at the Schaefer Center will also be affected.
In a statement on March 12, Director of Marketing and Public Relations Allison West said, “All events at the Schaefer Center have been canceled through April 5.”
This includes the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour scheduled from March 19-21. According to West, “efforts are underway to reschedule the screenings for the fall of 2020.” Tickets that have already been purchased will be valid for the event in the case of its rescheduling, which will not be confirmed until a later date.
Patrons who wish to receive a refund for the Banff festival must have their original ticket on-hand, and further instruction about refunds can be obtained beginning Monday, March 16, by calling the Schaefer Center Box Office at (828) 262-4046.
Additionally, the Rosanne Cash concert scheduled for April 4 at the Schaefer Center has been canceled, and ticket holders “will be contacted via email with options related to credits on their Schaefer Center account” and “requests for refunds will also be honored,” said West.
Wellness and Prevention Services at App State will not present the “y(our) Story” mental health production on March 24-25.
The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts on the App State campus will remain closed for spring break until March 23.
“In accordance with guidelines announced by Appalachian State University, all events with an estimated attendance of 100 or greater have been canceled,” according to a statement released by Director of Marketing Lynn Rees-Jones.
The affected events include the April 1 ArtTalk by Hui Chi Lee, the First Friday Art Crawl on April 3 and any workshops that were scheduled for March 16-20. Individuals that pre-registered for workshops that required pre-registration will be contacted and questions can be directed to Christy Chenausky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates will be posted at www.tcva.appstate.edu as they become available.
As of March 12, none of the ski resorts had any closures related to the COVID-19 outbreak and are planning on concluding their winter seasons regularly.
Beech Mountain Resort had planned to end its winter season on March 21, but announced March 14 that it would close for the season on March 15.
Sugar Mountain Resort announced March 15 that it would remain open, but ona day-by-day basis. The last day of the ski and snowboarding season at Sugar Mountain Resort is scheduled for Tuesday, March 31.
Appalachian Ski Mtn. announced March 15 that it will close on Monday, March 16.
Hawsknest Snow Tubing in Seven Devils closed for the season on March 8, its website states.
Students at Watauga High School are also seeing the effects of COVID-19 in their scheduled events.
The spring musical “All Shook Up” has been postponed with the intention of holding the show Memorial Day Weekend. All previously scheduled rehearsals, band practices and technical workdays are suspended as of 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, and tickets will not go on sale to the cast and crew on the weekend of March 13-15.
The 2020 Playhouse BuildFest, which highlights education in science, technology, engineering, art and math for children age 2-12, previously scheduled for March 21 at WHS, has been canceled.
“We are working to roll out other ways to support families in this challenging time. If people are isolated at home, they are going to need resources to combat cabin fever and keep kids learning,” said Executive Director of The Children’s Playhouse Kathy Parham.
Organizers are offering similar activities that would be featured at the event in an at-home format via its weekly newsletter. For more information, visit www.goplayhouse.org.
According to a statement released on March 12 from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, all high school athletics, including competitions, will be suspended beginning at midnight on Friday, March 13 until April 6, tentatively.
“As much as we would like this opportunity for our student-athletes, coaches and their communities, we know that ultimately any decision we make must err on the side of caution,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker.
As a result of these cancellations, there will be no sporting events, workouts, training, or practices involving Watauga, Ashe or Avery county schools until an update from NCHSAA is made available at www.nchsaa.org.
Also on March 12, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced the cancellation of the Division 1 men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, “as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.”
This includes Appalachian State University’s baseball, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, track and field, and men’s and women’s golf seasons for 2020.
Updates and changes on NCAA cancellations can be found at www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/news/ncaa-cancels-remaining-winter-and-spring-championships.
Organizers of the Sun Belt Conference announced that “regular-season competitions and conference championships in all sports are suspended indefinitely.”
The decision was made in consultation between “the league’s presidents, chancellors and directors of athletics,” according to the conference.