Things have gotten a bit more exciting this week.

It’s no surprise to anyone who has spent any amount of time in downtown Boone this week, but the town is once again growing.

This week marks the official move-in of Appalachian State University students for the fall semester, and our message to them is simple: Welcome back.

Boone and Watauga County take on a special type of vibrancy, a vibrancy whose absence is noted during the off-semester months, during this time of year. There is an energy and a heightened feeling of community that radiates from our local campus.

And, yes, there is also a bit more congestion, a bit more of a struggle to find that perfect parking place and a bit more of those crowded streets that can add a few minutes to a daily commute.

But the reward for a town that doubles in population due to its university is the offerings and activities, new neighbors, venues and choices that few towns and counties our size could otherwise expect to enjoy.

Again, welcome to our new freshmen and welcome back to those returning students, staff and professionals who call our community home.

We’re glad you’re here.

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