Jul 052011

The Historic Cove Creek School in the 1940s


Non-profit organization Cove Creek Preservation and Development (CCP&D) has held Musicfest ‘N Sugar Grove for the past 14 years to fund its mission to preserve and maintain the Cove Creek community, located in Watauga County, N.C. Proceeds from MusicFest support efforts to keep the Historic Cove Creek School and surrounding historic sites in working order and available for future generations.

When the Historic Cove Creek School closed down in 1995, CCP&D was formed as a non-profit, with a goal of preserving and utilizing the building. With the support of Appalachian State University’s Sustainable Development Outreach, the community, revenue from various events, and numerous public and private agencies, CCP&D rescued the building.

“When MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove was created in 1998, it started off not only as appreciation to Doc Watson, but as a fundraiser to restore the building,” says Tommy Walsh, director of Appalachian State University’s Sustainable Development Outreach and co-chair of MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove for 14 years.

CCP&D facilitated needed repairs to the Historic Cove Creek High School and had it registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Instead of going into disrepair or facing demolishment, the picturesque WPA-era stone building is now a community center and a business complex. The Historic Cove Creek School has proven to be a valuable asset to the community, providing jobs, commerce, recreation, and a museum.

The purpose of MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove is to maintain CCP&D’s funding of the Historic Cove Creek School and efforts of community preservation. CCP&D, along with Appalachian State University’s Sustainable Development Outreach, share the vision of maintaining the Historic Cove Creek Community.

Jul 012011

Doc Watson performing at the 14th Annual MusicFest 'n Sugar Grove Press Conference. Photo courtesy of Lauren Ohnesorge of the Watauga Democrat.

On Thursday, June 30th, MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove invited members of the press to an intimate question and answer session with Doc Watson. Doc was kind enough to share some of his life stories and perform several songs for a small group of people at the Historic Cove Creek School. We are forever grateful for his contribution to MusicFest and the Cove Creek community.

Thank you to the Watauga Democrat, Mountain Times, High Country Press, High Country Radio, High Country Press, Mountain Television, WASU-FM, and the Boone Chamber of Commerce for supporting and promoting the 14th Annual MusicFest.

To hear a portion of Doc’s interview and one of his performances from the press conference, click on the link below:

Doc Watson at the 14th Annual MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove Press Conference

Jun 232011

"Daisy" powers the MusicFest Solar Stage


In addition to the MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove main stage, the 2011 event will feature a secondary, solar-powered stage. Many talented acts are scheduled to appear on the MusicFest Solar Stage, including Upright & Breathin’, Sweetbriar Jam and Surefire. To see the full line-up, click here.

A mainstay of MusicFest since 2007, the Solar Stage is yet another way the festival promotes sustainability practices within the community. The sole power source of the Solar Stage is “Daisy,” which is provided by the Department of Technology and Environmental Design at Appalachian State University. “Daisy” is a miniature home that draws solar and wind power.

MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove uses the Solar Stage to lessen the impact on the environment and to educate festival attendees about alternative energies. The ongoing effort to make MusicFest a sustainable event is supported by Cove Creek Preservation and Development and the Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Program at Appalachian State University.