BEECH MOUNTAIN — The town of Beech Mountain celebrated its 40th anniversary on May 1 with music, vendors, games and, of course, cake.

The town was incorporated in May of 1981.

The celebration took place at the Fred and Margie Pfohl Buckeye Recreation Center where hundreds gathered outside to celebrate the town. During the celebration, there was an Arbor Day tree planting, inflatables for kids to play on, door prizes and a meet-and-greet with town departments and businesses. The Beech Mountain Fire Department and Beech Mountain Police Department also faced off in a cornhole challenge.

The day was capped off with the sealing of a time capsule that will be opened in 20 years. Residents put notes and items in the box for those living in the community in 20 years to find. The time capsule will be buried at another event.

Despite the celebration, the town took a moment to remember two of their own: Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office. Both men were killed in Boone on April 28 while serving a welfare check.

Both men had ties to the Beech Mountain community.

Bob Pudney, the fire chief and Beech Mountain town manager, was emotional as he remembered the two men while honoring military veterans in the community. He said that Fox grew up in Beech Mountain, and become like a son to the community. Ward started his police career with Beech Mountain Police and always had a smile on his face.

Pudney said the town considered canceling the birthday party because of their deaths.

“We decided to continue on,” Pudney said. “We thought they would want us to do this and, of course, we wanted to recognize them.”

Two memorial wreaths were also created for Ward and Fox that were given to the WCSO.

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