The Liberty was jumping Thursday night as the Elkin Valley Trails Association (EVTA) held its 6th annual Trails Boogie. Folks from all over Elkin and Surry County came out for a night of music and food while supporting the Trails Association and its efforts to bring the outdoors to the community.
Social hour started around 5:30 p.m. giving folks a chance to catch up with friends and family from around the community before Doug Deming, Dennis Gruenling and the Jewel Tones took to the stage at 7 for a night of swing and blues.
“The Jewel Tones are great,” said Denise Lyon, secretary of the Elkin Valley Trails Association (EVTA). “They’re one of the draws of the boogie and are just great guys to listen to.”
A buffet of barbecue, slaw, potatoes and fried chicken was served courtesy of the Public House along with a bar full of wines and beers. A silent auction was available for people to bid on antiques and gifts from all around the community.
“The Boogie is a big fundraiser for the trails. Most of our donations come from a huge range of privates citizens including artists, potters, carvers, woodcutters, and staff builders,” said Dr. Bill Blackley with the Elkin Valley Trails Association. “We were donated a wide variety of gifts from birdhouses and paintings to tapestries and even Chinese bowls and chopsticks. All of the proceeds go right into the trail building.”
Local trails and outdoor organizations from inside and outside Surry County also flocked to the Boogie to promote their organizations to the public.
“We’ve been a nonprofit organization for close to ten years,” said Abigail Snow, intern with the Yadkin River Keepers. “We do a lot of paddling and kayaking in the summertime just to get the public out on the water and get them familiar with their river. I’ve had a lot of people come by the table and it seems to have caught a lot of interest. We’ve been an organization for close to ten years.”
“We’re excited to be here at the Boogie tonight,” said Betsey Brown with Friends of the Mountain to Sea Trail. “The Mountain to Sea Trail turns 40 next year and we’re going to bring our annual meeting here in February, plus we get to do a three-day event to celebrate. Elkin is such a great trail town and we’re just excited to show them everything that’s happening here.
“Everything the trails association does is so amazing and they’ve been a great support for us. The Mountain to Sea Trail is 1,150 miles long and crosses the whole state and Elkin is working hard on finishing the Surry County part of the trail and connecting Elkin to Stone Mountain. Even though the trail is 40 years old it takes a long time to build a trail and there are many parts of it that need to be completed. There’s a whole lot of momentum and excitement behind it in the EVTA.”
For Rob Libbert, the Boogie was an opportunity to promote the awareness of the construction of the new mountain biking trail and to get extra hands to come out and work on it.
“The mountain bike building team is part of the EVTA and we’ve been here since the beginning,” said Libbert. “We started what is known as Dirty Thursdays where anybody can come out to help us work on the trail. It’s a great trail opportunity for people to participate.”
For many locals the Boogie is just a great time to get together with friends and wind down.
“I’ve been a volunteer with the EVTA for the past couple of years working with them on the website updates,” said Randy Tulbert. “It’s a neat event. You see lots of people come in and almost all of them you recognize. The mayor is here. The people I go to church with are here. The band is fabulous. I love the music but my favorite thing is just getting to see the people.”
“This is my first Boogie and I love it,” said Justine Tilliland, bartender with the Public House. “I’ve really enjoyed the music and I look forward to eating once I get a chance.”
This year marks the Elkin Valley Trails Association’s sixth year of holding the Trails Boogie and bringing the town together. Many residents at the Boogie believe that the Elkin group has been a integral part of the town and appreciate their contributions to the community.
“My favorite thing is just supporting the folks who worked so hard on the trails to provide such an asset to the community,” said Cynthia Cothren with The Ark. “I love walking the trails and I always tell the folks who are visiting to come up and support the wine country and walk the trails. It’s just fun to see people in the community come out and support what they’re doing.”
“The Elkin Valley Trails Association, these people don’t mess around,” said Paul Carter of Yadkin River Adventures. “They really get the job done. It’s a fantastic group to have for the community of Elkin, Surry County, and the whole area here.”
Bill Blackley is grateful for the support of the EVTA and hopes that the Boogie will continue to be a success as it brings the community together.
“People seem very happy,” said Blackley. “I like to see people continue to love this event. All of us with the EVTA work for the common good of the community. Everything we do is free. The music tonight is free. You can walk the trails for free. The bike trail is going to be free. We just believe in trying to make good for everybody in our town. That’s our main thing.”
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.