Yes, Labor Day weekend has passed and the summer of 2019 is in the history books, but don’t fret! It isn’t really the end of the summer since we live in North Carolina, specifically in Rowan County, which is the perfect time of year for upcoming activities – county fairs, concerts, and still plenty of time to enjoy High Rock Lake.
Although it is a little early for pumpkin spice lattes and mums on the front patio, I wanted to take this time to reflect on some of the big moments of the summer as some of you may have enjoyed them all first hand, or if you haven’t perhaps you need to run out to get your 2020 calendar now and circle some dates!
This is my personal list of the best activities on High Rock Lake from this summer:
#1 Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival
The annual Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival is something the community looks forward to each year. This year, I jumped in with both feet to coordinate the food and display vendors on behalf of the Rowan Chamber of Commerce. So, I may be a bit biased, but boy did we have food options – BBQ, hot dogs, hamburgers, kettle corn, shaved ice, dumplings, Som’s Teriyaki Chicken, and Ya Ya’s Kitchen. YUM! I’m thinking all those options were complimented well by a beer selection from New Sarum Brewing.
The actual Dragon Boat Festival not only offers visitors great views of our beautiful lake and shoreline, but delivered downright hearty competition. We had 28 teams enter in this year’s event, with local team ‘Gator Bites’ taking the overall championship. Local musician and Catawba College student, Seth Pittman, played a couple of sets to bring more entertainment value to the event. With all of that and approximately 5,000 attendees, this is the must attend High Rock Lake event each summer. Mark your calendars for July 25, 2020!
#2 Fourth of July Fireworks Display
Who doesn’t love a Fourth of July fireworks display? For the past three years, the Spencer Moose Lodge and Campground hosted a phenomenal firework display over the main channel for the July fourth celebration. This year’s extravaganza, presented by Nazareth Child & Family Connection, took place on Wednesday, July 3. It delivered fantastic fireworks and a beautiful night!
Best viewing is always by boat near the opening of Swearing Creek, but there are many access areas nearby for spectator parking, or if you have a friend that lives on the lake, bring some food and they just may let you hang out and enjoy the spectacle.
#3 July 4th High Rock Lake Dock Decorating Contest
A new lake sight-seeing activity was presented this summer and delivered as promised – the inaugural July 4th High Rock Lake Dock Decorating Contest. High Rock Lake Association (HRLA) is a 55-year old membership-based non-profit organization that has been the voice for the lake residents in promoting safe recreational use and environmental welfare of the lake and Yadkin River in Davidson and Rowan Counties. The HRLA created a friendly competition among home owners to show their dock decorating skills during this past July 4th holiday. The winning dock owner received a four-foot antique carved oar trophy for the summer season, a $500 gift card for Rock Outdoors and of course, bragging rights.
More than 25 lakeside homes were decorated to the nines and many more joined in on the fun and showed off their patriotic colors. The winning dock was in Crane Cove (Rowan County) and owned by Kris and Randy Hall. I hear from a few of the participants that they are already starting to strategize their dock design for next year!
#4 Hill’s Minnow Farm Crappie Roundup
As you have read a time or two, this High Rock Lake blogger does not fish, but watching the beehive of activity at Hill’s Minnow Farm & Sporting Goods store surrounding their annual Crappie Roundup on High Rock Lake does make fishing a bit more appealing. The annual fishing competition was from March 16 through May 25. More than 700 tagged fish were released in several Rowan County watering holes.
More than 1,400 fishermen participated this time around looking for a Crappie payday. Where else can you say those words and feel good about it?
#5 Float the Goat
The final top summer experience on High Rock Lake was the ‘Float the Goat’ concert on Goat Island. Owner of Go Burrito, Mikey Wetzel, and Facebook group, High Rock Lake Life, created a new experience to entertain lake goers and to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on Sunday, June 23. Local singer and headliner, Darrell Harwood, said that the venue was ideal for summer lake entertainment and the money raised was for a worthy cause. The floating venue was comprised of three pontoon boats and a stage surrounded by concert goers in and on the water. If you missed it, check out this drone video by Mikey. Stay tuned for news on another concert in 2020.
High Rock Lake Clean Sweep
One of my favorite High Rock Lake summer moments in 2019 hasn’t even happened yet! It’s the High Rock Lake Clean Sweep happening on Saturday, September 21. If you interested in volunteering and providing a helping hand, we want to see you at the NC Wildlife Access Area off Bringle Ferry Road that morning starting at 7:30 a.m. Help keep High Rock Lake clean and get a free t-shirt and lunch! For more information, check out the High Rock Clean Sweep Facebook page. See you out on the lake.
Here in Rowan County there is still time to get out and enjoy what High Rock Lake has to offer as winter’s gloomy and cold months are still far away.
I would love to hear what your favorite summer moments on High Rock Lake were. Please email me at highrock@YourRowan.com.