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Events and Festivals happen throughout the North Carolina mountains both seasonally and year around and include North Carolina Art and Crafts Festivals,  mountain music festivals, horse shows, golf tournaments and outdoor activities and competition.  




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Holiday events and special celebrations make your mountain time even more interesting and exciting. Peanuts characters come to life for Easter and Halloween excursions on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Biltmore displays its "flower carpet" in spring and Candlelight Christmas events in December. July 4th fireworks light up the mountain skies from Lake Lure to Boone after picnics and family activities. Memorial Day Weekend offers fishing tournaments and outdoor fun for the entire family.
Nationally known festivals such as Merlefest and the Wooly Worm Festival draw 1000s of visitors every year.  The Southern Highland Craft Guild offers two annual 4 day craft fairs with 100s of exhibitors, heritage craft demonstrations and good old mountain music.
 
There are year around events held on the same day of each week as well as varying schedules each year. You can listen to the best in local music, see live theatre, attend art walks and show openings, buy produce and handmade goods from tailgate markets or participate in nature programs and hikes.
 
Tailgate and Farmers Markets
There are dozens of markets throughout the mountains offering local produce, foods, handmade products and crafts. Hours and days vary so check locally for details. 
Asheville Area
Asheville City Market Sat 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, April - December
Public Works Building lot,  S. Charlotte St.  Asheville, NC 
French Broad Food Coop Sat 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM, April - October
76 Biltmore Ave.   Asheville, NC 
Greenlife Tailgate Market
Sun 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM, May  - October 
At Greenlife Grocery, N. Merrimon Ave.   Asheville, NC 
North Asheville Tailgate Market
Sat 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM April - December 20 UNCA, take Weaver Blvd., Asheville, NC  
Riceville Tailgate Market
Sat 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, May  - September parking lot of the Riceville Community Center Asheville NC  
Wed PM Downtown Tailgate Market
Wed 2:00 PM - 6:30 PM, April  - December 23 76 Biltmore Avenue, next to the French Broad Food Coop, Asheville, NC  
West Asheville Tailgate Market
Wed 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM, April - October 28 grassy area at parking lot for West End Bakery and Haywood Road Market. Asheville, NC  
Bryson City
Bryson City Market
Friday 9AM - 1 PM,
May  - October 29 You'll find locally grown produce and other edibles, plants, flowers, crafts and more at the market.
Parking lot next to Fred's, Bryson City NC  
Black Mountain
Black Mountain Market Sat 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, May  - October 31
First Baptist Church, 130 d Black Mountain, NC  
Weaverville
Weaverville Market
Wed 2:30 PM - 6:30 PM, April - late October Behind the community center at Lake Louise Weaverville, NC   
Barnardsville
Big Ivy Tailgate Market Sat 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, May 5 - October 24
At the Old Fire Station, center of town Barnardsville, NC  
Sparta
Alleghany County Farmers' Market
Sat  8:00 AM-12:00 PM
County Fairgrounds, Hwy. 21 North, Sparta, NC  
Andrews
Andrews Farmers Market
Sat  8:00 AM - 12:00 PM First Street,
Andrews, NC
West Jefferson
Ashe Farmers Market Wed and Sat
8:00am-1:00pm
108 Backstreet
West Jefferson, NC
Blowing Rock
Blowing Rock Farmers Market
Thursday  4-6 PM
Wallingford Street
Blowing Rock NC
This week's Featured Event in the mountains:
Date:      November 17 - December 17, 2016
NC City:  FLAT ROCK
Event:     A Christmas Carol at The Flat Rock Playhouse 
Adapted for the stage by Richard Hellesen.  Original music with lyrics adapted from traditional sources by David De Berry.  By popular demand, Charles Dickens’ classic tale returns to Flat Rock Playhouse in 2016. The State Theatre of North Carolina will be presenting the hit 2014 production bi-annually. Seats from $15 - $40
Upcoming NC Events and Festivals
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Date:      November 4 - December 31, 2016
NC City:  BLOWING ROCK
Event:    Bonfire Nights at Chetola Resort  
Every Friday from 8-11 PM at the lawn fire pit with live music from 7-10 PM, S'mores packages ($5 each), and an outdoor bar with drink specials. No reservations are necessary. In the event of inclement weather, music will move indoors to Timberlake's Restaurant.
Date:      November 4, 2016 - January 7, 2017
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore
   Explore Biltmore House during holiday evenings when candles and fireplaces fill the grand home with a warm glow, accenting delicate ornaments and priceless treasures with metallic shine and sparkle, and music warms the heart. Your evening admission includes:  a Reserved evening visit of Biltmore House, Daytime access to Biltmore Gardens and Antler Hill Village & Winery on the same day or next day as your evening visit, Free parking.
Date:      November 4, 2016 - January 8, 2017
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:    Christmas at Biltmore
   The celebration that began on Christmas Eve in 1895 when George Vanderbilt introduced his family and friends to the newly completed Biltmore home, continues today.  This wonderful celebration allows all visitors to enjoy America's largest home decorated with dozens of Christmas trees, hundreds of wreaths, bows, and poinsettias, miles of evergreen garland, and thousands of ornaments.
Date:      November 11 - 12, 2016  (continues  select dates through Jan 1, 2017)
NC City:  BRYSON CITY
Event:     The Polar Express at The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
  The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story.  Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Enjoy singing Christmas carols during the trip back. Kids of all ages will believe in the magic of the Holiday season.
Date:      November 17 - December 17, 2016
NC City:  FLAT ROCK
Event:     A Christmas Carol at The Flat Rock Playhouse 
Adapted for the stage by Richard Hellesen.  Original music with lyrics adapted from traditional sources by David De Berry.  By popular demand, Charles Dickens’ classic tale returns to Flat Rock Playhouse in 2016. The State Theatre of North Carolina will be presenting the hit 2014 production bi-annually. Seats from $15 - $40
Date:      November 18 - January 4, 2017
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:    Winter Wonderland at The Grove Arcade 
The historic Grove Arcade is all dressed up in holiday style with 35 shops and restaurants in celebration mode. Gingerbread entries from The Omni Grove Park Inn are on display along with traditional winter wonderland decorations and shops filled with special gifts for friends and family.
Date:      November 18, 2016 - January 1, 2017
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum   
Winter Lights is a three-acre nightly walking tour of The North Carolina Arboretum's nationally-known gardens, including its Quilt Garden and Bonsai Exhibition Garden. Celebrate the holidays and discover the natural beauty of western North Carolina through lighted garden exhibits and landscapes. The 2015/2016 Winter Lights exhibit will also include animated displays that are programmed to illuminate to the sounds of musical holiday favorites. In addition, there will be several new displays and family-friendly activities that will be placed throughout the gardens. 
Date:      November 19 - January 3, 2017
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     19th Century Carolina Christmas at the Smith-McDowell House  
Asheville's oldest surviving dwelling is now a National Register property and a window into how life was lived here in the 19th century. Celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way. The Smith-McDowell House Museum's timeline of authentically decorated period rooms showcases the evolution of Christmas celebrations and decorations. This yearly exhibit, began in 1981, is a tradition for many regional families and tour groups. The mansion and local history museum will again be authentically decorated with fresh trees, garlands, ornaments and toys of the Victorian Period.
Date:      November 20 - January 1, 2017
NC City:  ASHEVILLE (Fetcher)
Event:    Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland at The Western North Carolina Agricultural Center
 A drive through 2 mile lights and music extravaganza show is open nightly from 6 - 9 PM. This award-winning maze maze filled with hundreds of thousands of LED lights performing in perfect synchronization with the Christmas tunes playing through your car radio. New this year, a large, fun display shows how Santa and friends enjoy a vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Open everyday, 6-10 PM, admission $20 per car, more for vans, limos and school buses.
Date:      November 22 - December 30, 2016 
NC City:  WEST JEFFERSON
Event:     Tree Fest and Christmas Miniatures Art Exhibit  
This Annual event includes beautifully decorated trees with handcrafted ornaments, holiday crafts, gift items and miniature paintings and photography. In addition, the gallery shop is full of handmade ornaments and other holiday gift ideas.  Free Admission
Date:      November 25 - December 24, 2016
NC City:  MARION
Event:     Blue Ridge Artisans Show and Sale 
 f
eatures crafts from local artisans, including woodwork, paintings, photography and various Christmas ornaments. The Show is held at the McDowell Arts Council Association Gallery, Main Street in Historic Downtown Marion.
Date:      November 24 - January 1, 2017
NC City:  ENNICE
Event:     High Country Lights  
Northwest North Carolina's premier animated light show features over 100,000 lights choreographed to your favorite Christmas tunes on 96.5 FM. This free light show, hosted by Glade Creek Volunteer Fire Department, can be seen nightly starting at 6 PM Thanksgiving through New Year's Day.  6374 Glade Valley Road, Ennice NC
Date:      November 26- December 30, 2016
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     The Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley Tour 
The Tour embarks from Biltmore Village on a festive 75 minute trip through the lights and sights of the season. Anyone and everyone up for a jolly good time is warmly invited to pick a date to see the prettiest scenes around town: sidewalks, storefronts, B&Bs and inns, parks and churches, all decked in their merry finest. You'll travel through Biltmore Village, Historic Montford, Grove Park and the Grove Park Inn, Pack Square and downtown Asheville. Enjoy stories of local holiday traditions, singing of classic carols and popular Christmas songs along the way.
Date:      November 27, 2016 - January 5, 2017
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:    The National Gingerbread House Competition and Display  
Contestants from across the country bring their architectural masterpieces to The Grove Park Inn for display over the holidays. Delight in the imagination shown in these sugar-and-spice creations, strolling through the competition is a sure way to be swept up in the holiday spirit. There is no admission charge to view the entries to the National Gingerbread House Competition. In addition to the gingerbread overload, see the beautiful holiday displays throughout and warm by the giant fireplaces in the grand lobby. Pick up a map in the lobby to find the various areas where the entries are displayed.
Date:      December 1-3, 2016  (continues  select dates through Jan 1, 2017)
NC City:  BRYSON CITY
Event:     The Polar Express at The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
  The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story.  Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Enjoy singing Christmas carols during the trip back. Kids of all ages will believe in the magic of the Holiday season.
Date:      December 1 - 23, 2016
NC City:  ASHEVILLE (Arden)
Event:     Lake Julian Park light Festival
 The drive through show is open nightly from 6 - 9 PM. The park is brightly lit with thousands of colored lights and over 50 animated and stationary light displays. The road circling the park becomes a magical journey through tunnels of dazzling lights.
Date:      December 2, 2016
NC City:  WEST JEFFERSON
Event:    
West Jefferson Gallery Crawl  (Special Holiday Crawl)  Stroll the streets of an historic mountain town, enjoy the cool mountain breeze while listening to the sounds of street musicians and "popping" in and out of West Jefferson's many galleries. Downtown West Jefferson  will celebrate the holidays with a  holiday crawl including seventeen galleries showcasing the latest artwork by Ashe County’s Favorite Artists.
Date:      December 2, 2016
NC City:  WAYNESVILLE
Event:     Art After Dark  
Downtown Waynesville transforms into into "an exquisite visual, culinary and performing arts center" with local galleries and studios remaining open until 9 PM.  The evening features special openings, demonstrations, artist receptions, and music.
Date:       December 2, 2016    
NC City:  ASHEVILLE  
Event:     Asheville Downtown Gallery Association Art Walk   
The Downtown Asheville Art District (DAAD) invites you to visit the more than twenty galleries that contribute to Asheville's reputation as a vibrant arts community and "The Paris of the South." Within a half-mile radius of Pack Square and the city's center, you'll find unparalleled diversity from fine studio crafts, to glass, photography, folk art and contemporary painting, metalwork, textiles, jewelry and more by local, regional, national and international artists.  A complete  Downtown Gallery Guide and map is available at any participating downtown gallery, the Chamber of Commerce, or Pack Place.
Date:       December 2, 2016
NC City:   BOONE
Event:      First Friday Art Crawl
   Shop, mingle and meet local artists from 5:30 - 8:30 PM at Boone shops and galleries and stay late for live music, food and drinks at one of the many fine restaurants. The Jones House Galleries are open Tuesday - Friday 12 - 5 PM.
Date:      December 2 - 3 (weekends through December 31, 2016)
NC City:  CHEROKEE
Event:     Cherokee Lights and Legends Christmas  
This holiday evening entertainment features a custom-designed light show by the Colorado based Holiday Artisans and has been designed to reflect Cherokee stories that were traditionally told during the winter months. There will be synthetic ice skating, carnival rides, a holiday bazaar featuring local craftsmen, local food vendors and, of course, Santa Claus.
Date:      December 2 - 3, 2016  
NC City:  BLACK MOUNTAIN  
Event:    
Black Mountain Christmas Celebration  Downtown Black Mountain shops are open Friday night 5 PM - 8 PM with refreshments, music, Santa and more. On Saturday the Christmas parade begins at 4 PM. After the parade head for Lake Tomahawk and the Circle of Lights and lights, bonfire, hayrides, music, Santa and more all in a beautiful lakeside setting.
Date:      December 2 - 3, 2016
NC City:  MURPHY
Event:    
Murphy Hometown Christmas Celebration   The annual tree lighting ceremony starts Friday at 6 PM in downtown Murphy.  Saturday's Celebration begins at 10 AM with a Christmas festival including arts, crafts and food. The parade begins at 2 PM.  Santa will be strolling around town and merchants will offer incentives to shoppers such as sales, snacks, etc.
Date:      December 2 - 3, 2016
NC City:  BANNER ELK
Event:     A Small Town Christmas in Banner Elk  
Enjoy 2 days of Christmas fun including a tree lighting ceremony, the parade of lights, train rides, light show in the park, a visit from Santa and more.
Date:      December 2 - 3, 2016
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:    The Nutcracker and The Mouse King   Asheville's classical Ballet Conservatory breathes new life into every child's favorite holiday tradition, emphasizing elegant ballet on a mysterious December's eve. Share an affordable family holiday experience with the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville performed at the Diana Wortham Theatre
Date:      December 2 - 3, 2016
NC City:  DILLSBORO
Event:     Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries 
Journey back to the days of yesteryear as Dillsboro presents its annual Festival of Lights and Luminaries. Experience the magic as the entire town is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter and song! 2500 luminaries light your way to shops and studios. Horse and buggy rides available each night from 5-8 pm (cost + tips). Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa. Carolers sing and children visit with Santa at Town Hall.
Date:      December 2 - 3, 2016
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     
Biltmore Village Dickens Festival  
Historic Biltmore Village transforms itself into a quaint Victorian village with entertainment for every age and interest. The main stage will be filled continuously with musicians, choral groups, singers, dancers and the Montford Park Players. This year the Festival will feature more than 300 performers who, after their stage segments, will rove throughout the Village entertaining on the streets and in the shops and restaurants. Friday and Saturday evenings will feature main stage concerts for the entire family. As dusk turns into evening, more than 250,000 white lights outlining the historic Village buildings will combine with the streetlights to enhance the ambiance. Shops stay open late with many of the shopkeepers dressed in Victorian-era garb. In addition, there’ll be horse-drawn rides through the tree-lined Village streets. Friday  at 6 PM there will be a tree lighting, Saturday hours are 1-7 PM. FREE event.
Date:      December 3, 2016
NC City:  FRANKLIN
Event:     Winter Wonderland Night 1  
Merchants will be open late with free refreshments and great gift ideas for the kick-off of the official start to the holiday shopping season on Small Business Saturday.  Meet Santa and Characters from "Frozen"; take a wagon ride around town; enjoy Historic Franklin's Tree Lighting Ceremony and a special candlelight service at 7 PM.
Date:      December 3, 2016
NC City:  CHIMNEY ROCK
Event:     Santa on Chimney Rock   
 How is Santa able to climb down millions of chimneys around the world in a single night? He practices, of course. Witness Santa’s daring stunt as he practices on one of the world’s largest chimneys with multiple 200-foot rappels! Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy live holiday music, hot cocoa, cookies and kids’ activities, plus meet live critters. Sponsored by Coffee on the Rocks in Chimney Rock Village. Buzzfeed recently ranked our rappelling Santa as one of the “8 Most Extreme Santas in the World.” Win a Free Climb with Santa’s Elves! Each day, one lucky guest will win free two-hour rock climbing lessons for two with Santa’s professional helpers, Fox Mountain Guides. Must be present to win the drawing. Included in Park admission.
Date:       December 3, 2016    
NC City:   ASHEVILLE  
Event:      Guild Artist Holiday Sale   Held on two consecutive Saturdays at The Folk Art Center, Milepost 382 on The Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville. There will be a different group of craftspeople participating each Saturday. Find handcrafted jewelry, pottery, glass, fiber, wood and more by members of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild with 10 - 50% off regular retail prices.
Date:       December 3, 2016    
NC City:   BLOWING ROCK  
Event:      Anniversary Weekend at Appalachian Ski Mountain    Celebrate the 53rd year of Appalachian Ski Mountain as they roll back the prices to 1962. Tickets are only $5 for the entire day from 9 AM to 4 PM.  Check the site for possible closures due to unfavorable weather.
Date:      December 3, 2016
NC City:  BOONE 
Event:     Annual Downtown Boone Christmas Parade   Join Santa Claus and all your friends and neighbors on King Street in Downtown Boone for the Annual Boone Christmas Parade. 11 AM - 12:30 PM.
Date:      December  3, 2016
NC City:  ROBBINSVILLE (Stecoah Valley)
Event:     Indoor Holiday Arts and Crafts Show   Christmas in the Mountains Held at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center Gallery from 10 AM to 5 PM, just in time for your Christmas gift shopping. The Center's cafe will be open all day.  Have breakfast with Santa for 9 - 11 AM and enjoy Pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee for only $5.
Date:      December 3 - 4, 2016
NC City:  MAGGIE VALLEY
Event:     4th Annual Cataloochee Ski & Snowboard Swap Shop   Say goodbye to your old gear and welcome the new by selling your "gently used" equipment and clothing from 8 AM to  5 PM on Saturday, 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM  Sunday. Registration and equipment drop off is 3:00 - 7:00 PM Friday December 5 and 7:00 - 9:00 AM on Saturday morning. More information is available online. 12/4 - Give back to the local community by bringing 24 cans of food or 2 warm winter jackets of good quality and receive your lift ticket on that Sunday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM for free.
Date:      December 3, 2016
NC City:  WEAVERVILLE
Event:    
Vance Birthplace Christmas Candlelight Tours   Experience living history from the 1830s with candlelight tours of the Vance Home from 4 - 7 PM.  The tours will have a Christmas season theme and traditional music will be provided in the Visitor Center by Primrose. Admission: $3 for adults, $1 for children (6-16 years old), and free for "Friends of the Vance Birthplace" members.
Date:      December 7-24, 2016  (continues  select dates through Jan 1, 2017)
NC City:  BRYSON CITY
Event:     The Polar Express at The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
  The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story.  Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Enjoy singing Christmas carols during the trip back. Kids of all ages will believe in the magic of the Holiday season.
Date:      December 9, 2016
NC City:  SALUDA
Event:     Hometown Christmas   Enjoy the Hometown Christmas Stroll in historic downtown Saluda from 6 PM - 8 PM sponsored by the Saluda Business Association. Events include live music.
Date:      December 9, 2016
NC City:  WEAVERVILLE
Event:     Candlelight Stroll   Celebrate the spirit of the holiday season in a small town way. Main Street will be lined with luminaries and alive with music and entertainment. Stroll through the shops and restaurants and see for yourself the “art of small town hospitality”. Take a horse and carriage ride though town, enjoy performances by Weaverville Dance Academy and the Southern Connection Cloggers, strolling carolers, and a special performance by the Weaverville Baptist Handbell Choir. The kids will enjoy story time with Jill Totman, the local librarian, and a visit with Santa.
Date:      December 9 - 10 (weekends through December 31, 2016)
NC City:  CHEROKEE
Event:     Cherokee Lights and Legends Christmas  
This holiday evening entertainment features a custom-designed light show by the Colorado based Holiday Artisans and has been designed to reflect Cherokee stories that were traditionally told during the winter months. There will be synthetic ice skating, carnival rides, a holiday bazaar featuring local craftsmen, local food vendors and, of course, Santa Claus.
Date:      December 9 - 11, 2016
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:    The Nutcracker Ballet    The Asheville Ballet presents a magically festive, full-length Nutcracker, featuring professional classical dancers and the Ballet Conservatory’s celebrated pre-professional company. A full production with impressive sets and costumes performed at the Diana Wortham Theatre.
Date:      December 9 - 10, 2016
NC City:  DILLSBORO
Event:     Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries 
Journey back to the days of yesteryear as Dillsboro presents its annual Festival of Lights and Luminaries. Experience the magic as the entire town is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter and song! 2500 luminaries light your way to shops and studios. Horse and buggy rides available each night from 5-8 pm (cost + tips). Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa. Carolers sing and children visit with Santa at Town Hall.
Date:      December 10 - 24, 2016
NC City:  SUGAR MOUNTAIN
Event:     Skiing with Santa on Sugar Mountain   Santa will be skiing, riding and talking with all the good boys and girls who enjoy the slopes on Sugar Mountain.
Date:      December 9 - 11, 2016
NC City:  SUGAR MOUNTAIN
Event:     Pre-Season Ski Clinic    Three days of non-stop individual instruction and attention from accomplished ski racers and certified instructors. Clinic includes a three-day lift ticket, coaching fees, tuning clinic, video analysis, and scrumptious Saturday night dinner. Daily participation is welcome or for the entire three days.
Date:      December 10, 2016
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam  
Held at the US Cellular Center (Asheville Civic Center) this one-of-a-kind, semi-structured marathon of music brings together old friends like an annual family reunion. Many consider this to be one of the top annual concerts in the region.
Date:      December 10, 2016
NC City:  CHIMNEY ROCK
Event:     Santa on Chimney Rock   
 How is Santa able to climb down millions of chimneys around the world in a single night? He practices, of course. Witness Santa’s daring stunt as he practices on one of the world’s largest chimneys with multiple 200-foot rappels! Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy live holiday music, hot cocoa, cookies and kids’ activities, plus meet live critters. Sponsored by Coffee on the Rocks in Chimney Rock Village. Buzzfeed recently ranked our rappelling Santa as one of the “8 Most Extreme Santas in the World.” Win a Free Climb with Santa’s Elves! Each day, one lucky guest will win free two-hour rock climbing lessons for two with Santa’s professional helpers, Fox Mountain Guides. Must be present to win the drawing. Included in Park admission.
Date:       December 10, 2016    
NC City:   ASHEVILLE  
Event:      Guild Artist Holiday Sale   Held on two consecutive Saturdays at The Folk Art Center, Milepost 382 on The Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville. There will be a different group of craftspeople participating each Saturday. Find handcrafted jewelry, pottery, glass, fiber, wood and more by members of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild with 10 - 50% off regular retail prices.
Date:      December 10, 2016
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:   
  Thomas Wolfe Memorial Holiday Open House   Free admission to guided tours of Old Kentucky Home is planned for children throughout the day. Make holiday ornaments in the visitor center, see Thomas Wolfe’s boyhood home and learn about Victorian holiday traditions. Dramatic Reading: The World of Thomas Wolfe. Children will be admitted to house tour free.
Date:      December 10, 2016
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Annual Monford Holiday Tour of Homes   Montford, Asheville's most historic neighborhood, showcases another offering of homes and holiday cheer this year. Explore eclectic architecture that has been lovingly restored or carefully constructed to reflect the neighborhood's historic past. Enjoy homes both old and new, and experience all the Holiday warmth and hospitality that Montford has to offer. Festive treats and entertainment will be on offer throughout the tour. This is a self-guided tour. With your ticket you will receive a map to all tour locations & information about the individual properties.
Date:      December 10 - 11, 2016
NC City:  SUGAR MOUNTAIN
Event:     SugarFest 2016    Consumer ski/snowboard equipment demos, live, straight-up, traditional North Carolina bluegrass music by Mountain Creek, fireworks, preseason adult ski clinic, EDGE of the WORLD mini games, appearances by Sweetie and Sugar Bear, and lodging specials are some of Sugarfest’s fun happenings. Indulge in a hot chocolate and whip cream bar, a soup safari and North Carolina BBQ
Date:      December 16, 2016
NC City:  BREVARD
Event:     Holiday Gallery Walk   Enjoy an evening stroll in downtown Brevard, NC as you explore the art galleries, art stores, retail stores and restaurants that are staying open late from 5 PM -8 PM.  Experience art, music and wine. Be sure to look for the animal sculptures and the murals located in downtown Brevard as well. Make an evening of it and stop by and have dinner in one of the downtown restaurants. A brochure for the gallery walks can be found at any of the participating galleries or at the Brevard/Transylvania Chamber of Commerce.
Date:      December 16 - 17 (weekends through December 31, 2016)
NC City:  CHEROKEE
Event:     Cherokee Lights and Legends Christmas  
This holiday evening entertainment features a custom-designed light show by the Colorado based Holiday Artisans and has been designed to reflect Cherokee stories that were traditionally told during the winter months. There will be synthetic ice skating, carnival rides, a holiday bazaar featuring local craftsmen, local food vendors and, of course, Santa Claus.
Date:      December 17, 2016
NC City:  FLAT ROCK
Event:    Christmas at Connemara   The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is decorated as the Sandburgs did, with traditional decorations, holiday music and programs. Take a leisurely stroll of the grounds and visit the goat barn. Christmas at Connemara features music with local musicians and storytellers. Music/storytelling will be held from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM in the garage adjacent to the Sandburg home. Hot cider and cookies will be served. Holiday craft-making will be offered from 10 AM to 1 PM. Christmas decorations will remain until January 2.
Date:      December 17, 2016
NC City:  CHIMNEY ROCK
Event:     Naturalist Niche: Winter Tree ID    
Enjoy a winter hike with amazing views while learning to identify leafless winter trees by their twigs, buds and bark from an expert naturalist. Dress appropriately for the weather, wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring water. Space is limited to 15, and advance registration is required, so call 800-277-9611 today to reserve your spot.
Date:      December 17, 2016
NC City:  OLD FORT
Event:     Classic Car Cruise-in   
Held the 3rd Saturday of every month. Bring your car, truck or motorcycle. Downtown Old Fort, 3-5 PM. A  free Sponsored by Route 70 Cruisers.
Date:      December 18, 2016
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Swannanoa Solstice   A tapestry of joyful and thoughtful seasonal reflection beautifully woven from the mountains' Appalachian, Scots-Irish and world influences. Celebrate winter's allure at a special 10th anniversary edition of this beloved holiday tradition. Bring family and friends to delight in each moment, from sharing a cup of wassail, to enjoying an enormous breadth of acoustic performers gathered on one stage. Award-winning recording artists Al Petteway, Amy White, and Robin Bullock are joined by the talents and voices of special guest musicians, storytellers, dancers, and host and founder of The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College,. Performed at the Diana Wortham Theatre.
Date:      December 25, 2016
NC City:  MAGGIE VALLEY
Event:    Ski with Santa at Cataloochee Ski Area  
Cataloochee will be open for skiing and riding with Santa from  1 PM  until 10 PM.
Date:      December 25, 2016
NC City:  BLOWING ROCK - LINVILLE
Event:    Christmas Day Photo Scavenger Hunt at Grandfather Mountain 
Join a park ranger for a guided Christmas Day Photo Scavenger Hunt. If you photograph at least 12 of the items on the list, you’ll be eligible to enter the NC State Parks Photo Scavenger Hunt drawing to be held in January.
Date:      December 26 - 31, 2016
NC City:  CHIMNEY ROCK
Event:     Family Animal Encounters  
Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s woodland friends or possibly the birds of prey, a Red-tailed Hawk and Great Horned Owl. A Park naturalist will explain each animal’s role in the ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on wha can be done to help protect wildlife. Family Animal Encounters meet at Grady’s Animal Discovery Den. Afterward, grab a Track Trail brochure at Grady’s Animal Discovery Den and round out the day with a hike along the Great Woodland Adventure trail with 12 interactive education stations.
Date:      December 26, 2016 - January 1, 2017
NC City:  BRYSON CITY
Event:     The Polar Express at The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
  The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story.  Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Enjoy singing Christmas carols during the trip back. Kids of all ages will believe in the magic of the Holiday season.  
Date:      December 30 - 31 (weekends through December 31, 2016)
NC City:  CHEROKEE
Event:     Cherokee Lights and Legends Christmas  
This holiday evening entertainment features a custom-designed light show by the Colorado based Holiday Artisans and has been designed to reflect Cherokee stories that were traditionally told during the winter months. There will be synthetic ice skating, carnival rides, a holiday bazaar featuring local craftsmen, local food vendors and, of course, Santa Claus.
Date:      December 31, 2016
NC City:  BRASSTOWN
Event:    Annual New Year's Possum Drop 
   Annual New Year’s Eve Possum Drop at Clay’s Corner in Brasstown. Ring in the New Year with a Miss Possum contest, bluegrass music, Little Brasstown Church Choir, the Blessings, cider and good clean fun. For more information call 828-837-3797.
Date:      December 31, 2016
NC City:  BEECH MOUNTAIN
Event:     New Year's Eve Celebration  Held at the Buckeye Recreation Center this is a family-friendly celebration with food, games, jamming music, a bounce house, a kid-friendly New Years Eve count down and more. Activities  run from 5 PM-8 PM, and are FREE.
Date:      December 31, 2016
NC City:  MARION
Event:     New Year's Eve Celebration   The celebration begins  in historic downtown Marion at 9:00 PM and continues through midnight to ring in the New year with music, food, carriage rides, the gold nugget drop and more. Downtown businesses will be open with their own form of entertainment including the McDowell Arts Council at 50 S. Main Street where you can enjoy “the oldies” and a dance floor for a little toe tapping. This is a free event on Main Street with street vendors and musicians providing entertainment for all ages.
Date:      December 31, 2016
NC City:  BLOWING ROCK 
Event:     New Year’s Eve Extravaganza at Appalachian Ski Mountain   Fireworks, torchlight skiing and more, Moonlight ice skating from 10 PM to midnight. Restaurant Specials also available from 9 PM to midnight.
Date:      December 31, 2016
NC City:  SUGAR MOUNTAIN
Event:    New Year's Eve Celebration at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort   Sugar’s New Year’s Eve party includes a romantic and beautiful torch light parade at 11:45 PM, an extravagant fireworks display at 11:55 PM, and live entertainment provided by: “The Johnson Brothers” from 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM. Free and open to the public.
 
 
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* Upcoming Holiday Special Events:
Christmas Events
now - 12/17 A Christmas Carol at The Flat Rock Playhouse   Flat Rock
now - 12/30 Tree Fest and Christmas Miniatures Art Exhibit   West Jefferson
now -12/31 Bonfire Nights at Chetola Resort    Blowing Rock
now -1/7 Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore   Asheville
now -1/8 Christmas at Biltmore    Asheville
now -1/1 The Polar Express at The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad   Bryson CIty
now -1/1 Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum   Asheville
now -1/3 19th Century Carolina Christmas at the Smith-McDowell House    Asheville
now -1/1 Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland   Asheville
now -1/1 High Country Lights   Ennice
now -1/5 The National Gingerbread House Competition and Display    Asheville
New Year's Eve Events
12/30-31 Cherokee Lights and Legends Christmas    Cherokee
12/31 Annual New Year's Possum Drop   Brasstown
12/31 New Year's Eve Celebration   Beech Mountain
12/31 New Year's Eve Celebration    Marion
12/31 New Year’s Eve Extravaganza at Appalachian Ski Mountain   Blowing Rock
12/31 New Year's Eve Celebration at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort 
**
Year Around & Season-long Events
Music and Live Theatre:
When:  Various Times
Where: NC Mountains and Foothills
What:   Blue Ridge Music Trails  
A guide to the traditional music of the NC Mountains and Foothills.
When:  Saturday 7 PM, June - Oct
Where: Bryson City Train Depot
What:   Music in the Mountains 
Regional talent is showcased in a relaxed, outdoor venue located in the heart of historic downtown. Bring a chair or blanket and settle in for an evening of great music. 828-488-3681
When:  Friday 7 PM, all year
Where: Old Fort NC
What:    Old Time Mountain Music -
for more than a decade, folks have gathered to hear and play bluegrass and traditional mountain music. Nobody’s paid, everyone’s welcome and coffee and sodas are still just a quarter!
When:  Saturdays 7:30 - 10:30 PM
Where: Old Fort NC
What:   Tracks Music and Dance -  
music and dancing at the Tracks Event Center located just outside Old Fort. The house band is, Rewind, playing a mix of 50s, 60s, 70s, a little country and bluegrass plus special requests! Free line dancing classes from 6:00 - 7:00 PM
When:  Sundays, 2 PM - 4 PM
Where: Old Fort NC
What:   Informal Jam on the Porch -
Bring an instrument or bring an ear! Happening each Sunday on the porch at the Mountain Gateway Museum in downtown.
When:  various times, all year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   Diana Wortham Theatre 
A variety of professional and touring music, dance and theatrical performances. Dining discounts and special performances offered.
When:  First Monday, Oct - May
Where: Brevard NC
What:   Brevard Music Center First Mondays 
Classical music performances by local and touring professionals.
When:  June-August
Where: Brevard
What:   Brevard Music Center  
An annual festival of classical, chamber and opera performances by students, faculty and guest musicians.  The Center is considered one of the premier summer training programs and festivals in the US.
When:  May-August
WWhere: Brevard
WWhat:   Sounds of Silvermont 
Local musicians in a jam session playing bluegrass, country, gospel and more.
When:  All year
Where: Asheville
What:   North Carolina Stage Company

Professional productions, with the best actors, directors and designers from Asheville and across the country.
When:  7-9 PM,  Thursdays, All year
Where: Marion NC, downtown Depot
What:   Bluegrass Music Jam 
Open to all musicians, no scheduled performers. Outdoors, bring chairs or blankets. Free
When:   7 PM Fridays
Where:  Marion
What:    Woody's Original Mountain Music 
An ever changing line up of musicians and musical styles! Join the fun along with Max Woody and friends.
When:   7 PM Fridays, June - August
Where:  Downtown Hendersonville
What:     Music on Main 
Concert series featuring " oldies rock, beach music, variety and top 40 music. Bring a chair and enjoy the music, admission is free
When:   Feb - Dec, various dates
Where:  Flat Rock, Hendersonville
What:    Flat Rock Playhouse
 The theatre season includes world premieres and standard Broadway musicals, comedy, and drama. Music on the Rocks concert series with pop to country.
When:  Most Saturday nights
Where: Saluda NC
What:   The Party Place and Event Center&  
LLive music with country, top 40's, oldies, beach, southern rock and a variety of good party music for listening and dancing.The facility and grounds are available for special events.
When:  All year
Where: Franklin NC
What:   Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts 
A 1,500 seat state-of-the-art facility presents the finest in performing arts to the surrounding towns.
When: Thursdays, 6:30 PM, 6-23 to 9-1
Where: Banner Elk NC
What:   Concerts in the Banner Elk Town Park 
Gathers in the town park for a summer concert. Performers range from bluegrass to beach, to country, to top 40, to blues, to jazz, to Motown, to big band
When:  Thursdays, 7:30 PM, June-Aug
Where: Black Mountain NC
What:   The Park Rhythms Outdoor Concert 
A variety of musical groups from throughout the region provide live music in the picturesque setting of Lake Tomahawk
When:  2nd Sun., 7-9 PM, April - Oct
Where: Blowing Rock NC
What:    Jazz Concerts 
Blowing Rock Jazz Society performs. General Admission is $20 for non-members, $5 for students and FREE to BRJS Members
When:  Fridays, 7-9 PM, June - August
WWhere: Canton NC
WWhat:    Pickin' in the Park. 
Free concerts with Live bands and clogging groups at the Canton Recreation Park.
When:  Fridays, 7PM, June - August
Where: Newland NC
What:   Friday Night Free Concert.
(Weather-permitting) held at the Riverwalk Bandstand local musicians perform. Food vendors available.
 
 
NC Parks, Nature Programs:
When:  All year, some closings
Where: Northwest NC Mountains
What:   Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  Events throughout the year. View the full calendar online.
When:  All year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   North Carolina Arboretum
   Touring and permanent exhibits, events and educational programs.
When:  All year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   Western North Carolina Nature Center  
Special events and programs, wild walks, Junior Naturalist program, wildlife workshops and more.
When:  various times, all year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   Grandfather Mountain
 Special programs with naturalists, Habitat tours, Special kids events, Junior Ranger programs, walks and hikes
When:  All year
Where: Chimney Rock NC
What:  Chimney Rock Park Nature
Programs and hikes  Learn the secrets and wonders of nature, attend photography or dulcimer workshops or enjoy special events and campouts.
When:  All year, Mon-Sat
Where: Brevard NC area
What:  Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education  
Exhibits, special programs, fishing, Nature Nuts and Eco Explorers
When:  All year, various times
Where: Nebo, near Marion NC
What: Lake James Park Programs  
Ranger conducted hikes, nature programs, boat trips and special events. Free to the public.
FastTrack 385ft  
 
Art and Crafts:
When:  All year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   The Folk Art Center
  Touring exhibits, craft demonstrations, special events, educational opportunities and workshops.
When:  All year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   North Carolina Arboretum
   Touring and permanent exhibits, events and educational programs.
When:  5 PM 4th Friday, May - Oct
Where: Brevard NC
What:   4th Friday Gallery Tour
An evening of Art, Wine and Food in Downtown Brevard
When:  All Year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   River Arts District 
daily open studio tours and special events.  Over 120 artists in an historic setting with restaurants and a brewery.
When:   May - Nov, 10 AM - 4 PM
Where: Blowing Rock NC
What:    Craft demonstrations 
Members of the renowned Southern Highland Craft Guild demonstrate traditional and contemporary crafts.
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Full Color Booklet & Catalog Printing 
 
Miscellaneous activities:
When:  All year, Mon - Sat
Where: Bryson City NC
What:   Marianna Black Library 
Special events, classic movies, Anime Club, Music programs, Artisan displays
When:  May - October
Where: Between Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland on Parkway
What:   The Orchard at Alta Pass
  Live mountain  music and mountain dancing, storytelling and hayrides, monarch butterfly raising, naturalist tours and birding walks, arts and handwork demonstrations, book signings and more.
When:  6 PM, 1st Fridays, May - Dec
Where: Sylva NC
What:   Sylva After Dark
   A night of arts, dining, music, refreshments, shopping and more.
When:  All year
Where: Mount Airy NC
What:   The Surry Arts Council
 Performing and visual arts events
When:  last Saturdays, 9-11 AM
Where: Black Mountain NC
What:  Cruz-N Black Mountain.
Classic and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles in downtown at the visitor center.
 
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