by Madison V. Fisler
Jan. 20, 2014. Many people dream of taking winter strolls and car rides through beautiful terrain lit up with thousands of twinkling lights. For many, it is just a dream. But for the people of the High Country, the dream comes true each year thanks to Chetola Resort’s annual Festival of Lights.
This year, the annual festival kicked off on Nov. 29 with tens of thousands of lights illuminating Chetola Lake bringing droves of High Country visitors to see the winter wonderland, and thousands more locals to once again experience the magic of Chetola around Christmastime.
Chetola Lake and the surrounding grounds are lit up each evening at dusk, and thousands of visitors over the years have enjoyed a stroll through the grounds or a drive around the resort to enjoy it.
But like all good things, the Festival of Lights can’t last forever. This year, the annual treat will come to a close on Jan. 26 to coincide with WinterFest Weekend in Blowing Rock.
Chetola Resort has been offering the Festival of Lights to delight visitors on the Chetola grounds since 1989. Since then, thousands upon thousands of people have taken in the sights and many return each year to see the lights once again. And best of all, admission to see the lights is completely free to everyone.
So if you haven’t had a chance to experience the Festival of Lights firsthand, there’s still time to take in the winter wonder for yourself. And if you have, this is your chance to experience it one more time before you are stuck waiting until next winter.
For more information on the Festival of Lights or other events at Chetola Resort, call 828-295-5500.
And don’t forget to visit Chetola for Blowing Rock WinterFest Weekend 2014. Chetola Resort plays host a few of the most highly anticipated events of the entire year: The Polar Plunge and WinterFEAST.
On Thursday and Friday, the groundskeepers at Chetola Lake will be cutting the ice at Chetola Lake to make way for the Polar Plungers during WinterFest, said Allison West of Chetola Resort.
This year’s polar plunge will take place on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. at Chetola Lake.
Blowing Rock WinterFest 2014 will kick off the days stuffed full with exciting events with the annual WinterFEAST. Blowing Rock’s most talented culinary masters will come together in this highly anticipated annual event which takes place at Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola, where guests can enjoy a mouthwatering menu prepared by the best of the best.
This year’s participating restaurants include Timberlake’s at Chetola Resort, Canyons, Blowing Rock Ale House, Best Cellar, the Chestnut Grille, Meadowbrook Inn, Foggy Rock, The Table at Crestwood, Bald Guy Brew, Bistro Roca, Restaurant G, The New Public House, Stick Boy Bread Company, Rowlands Restaurant at Westglow and Woodlands. Tables are available for purchase for $600, seating 8-10. Call Billie Rodgers at the Chamber of Commerce for reservations. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.