Tweetsie hosts annual Ralifan Weekend

Head for the Boone/Blowing Rock area Saturday and Sunday if letting off steam is on your to-do list.

It's the annual two-day Railfan Weekend at Tweetsie Railroad, the train-themed amusement park famous for authentic, coal-fired locomotives.

Tweetsie will be open to the public as usual, but Railfan admission is required for the weekend's special events:

* All day Saturday, plus Sunday afternoon, Engine No. 190 – “Yukon Queen” – will haul an 1870s coach on nonstop trips around Tweetsie's mountain. Tweetsie Engine No. 12 will take visitors on a Wild West ride through the park.

* Saturday night, Railfan pass holders can attend a No. 190 photo op and take a two-lap nonstop ride around the mountain. Sunday morning, both locomotives will be teamed to jointly pull a train on the park's Wild West circuit.

* Other Railfan events include tours of the Tweetsie Railroad Train Shop, where steam locomotives from across the nation are repaired and restored.

* Railfan pass holders can also visit the special memorabilia room, which will showcase rare artifacts from Tweetsie's past.

The two-day Railfan Weekend pass is $46; $31 for ages 3-12.

Tweetsie Railroad is on U.S. 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock. Daily admission: $30; $22 for ages 3-12; 2 and younger, free. The park is generally open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday through Nov. 2.

Details: 877-893-3874;