Hometown Happenings

January 30, 2020

Polar Bear Challenge 5K

Feb. 1 The Big Stone Gap Polar Bear Challenge 5k Obstacle Course is this Saturday. So if you want to run and get really hot and then go through ice and get really cold here is your shot. Packet pick-up and registration 12-12:45. Price is $40. Starts at 1 p.m. at the BSG Visitor’s Center.

Jazz Enemble

Appalachia Cultural Arts Center features music by the UVA Wise Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Donald Sorah Jr. on Saturday, February 15 at 6:30 p.m. Free admission.

Country Cabin

Country Cabin II in Norton features February 1 - Bluegrass Circle; February 8- Benny Jones & CMT Country from 7:30-10:30 p.m. $6 adults age 12 and over, $1 children age two through 11. Call 276/679-3541 for information. All events are sponsored by Appalachia Traditions, Inc., a non-profit organization.

Lays Hardware

Lays Hardware Center for the Arts, Downtown Coeburn, features January 31 - Benny Jones. February 7- Tim Coffey & Elkridge with Jarrod Church & Mark Salyers; 14 - High Test Grass. Doors open at 6 p.m. Music at 7 p.m. $5/adults, $1/children 6-12, under 6 admitted free. Call 395-5160.

Outdoor chat: Maple syrup production

Join Phil Meeks with Wise County Cooperative Extension and Chris Allgyer with the Virginia Master Naturalists’ High Knob Chapter for a conversation about local maple syrup production Thursday, Feb. 6 from 6- 7 p.m at the Norton Community Center, 201 Park Ave. NE. Talk will focus on the process for collecting sap and making syrup, as well as its potential as an off-season forest product. Other tree species that can yield usable syrup will also be discussed. Registration required. This is a free event. Contact Katie Dunn, katied@nortonva.org or (276) 679-1160, to register.

Winter Snack N’Paint

Join local artist Susan Mullins for a Snack N' Paint from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8. Cost is $30. Covers all needed art supplies, including a 16x20 canvas and sweet snack. $15 from each registration will benefit the Norton Friends and Farmers Market’s Kids Bucks and Senior Tokens programs. Class Size is limited to 20 adults. Registration Required. Contact Michele Knox, Norton Parks and Recreation Director, at (276) 679-0754 to register.

Trash Treasures

Join Norton Parks and Recreation Department and the Upper Tennessee River Roundtable for monthly Trash Treasures Workshops. The next workshop is Thursday, Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 12 and Thursday April 9. These workshops demonstrate reusing materials rather than discarding them. Cost: $7 per person. Pre-Registration Encouraged. Contact Michele Knox, Norton Parks and Recreation Director, at (276) 679-0754 for more information and to register.

Al-Anon meetings

A new Al-Anon Family Group meets in Norton on Mondays at noon at All Saints Episcopal Church in the Parish Hall, “The Parlor” room. Please enter at the back of the church. The church is located at 1025 Virginia Ave NW, Norton. The group also meets on Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. at the Wesley Foundation, 9304 Coeburn Mountain Road, Wise. Other meetings in the Southwest District of the Virginia Area will be listed at www.findanswer.com.

Natural Tunnel State Park

Questions: 1420 Natural Tunnel Parkway, Duffield, 276/940-2674. Free events.

Wild about Wildlife Home School Program

Natural Tunnel State Park has a variety of wildlife that can be seen and heard. During this four month long program, the importance of these animals will be covered. We will meet the first and third Tuesday of each month.
February 4 and 21: Frogs & Toads

March 10 and 24: Bats

April 7 and 21: Snakes

Cost: $3 per person per program or $20 per person for the entire 2020 homeschool series.

Elementary-aged children are encouraged to come twice a month to discover the unique animals in our state park. To register, or for additional information contact Cheyenne Mullins at Cheyenne.Mullins@dcr.virginia.gov or 276-940-1643. Meet at the Cove Ridge Center.

Sunday, February 9

5:30 p.m. - Full Moon Hike. Enjoy a guided hike to the Gazebo and be a part of a unique experience here at Natural Tunnel. This 1.2 mile hike will take place along a semi-moderate trail. Dress for the weather. Meet at the Blockhouse Parking Lot. Free

Saturday, February 15

 8:30 a.m. - Great Backyard Bird Count. Become a citizen scientist and learn about the birds in your backyard. Learn more about the bird count and have the opportunity to count birds found throughout the park. This event is open to all ages and skill levels. Beginners welcome. Event will be held rain or shine. Field guides and binoculars will be provided, but if you have your own, please bring them. (Limited supply) Meet at the Cove Ridge Center. Free

Saturday, February 22

3 p.m. - Winter Tree ID. Learn to identify some of our native trees during the dormant season. Participants will learn to use morphological traits such as branching pattern, bark color and texture to identify trees. This program will begin at the Cove Ridge Center followed by an easy walk to identify trees. Dress accordingly and wear footwear suitable for hiking. Free