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A Small Town Christmas: Banner Elk Yuletide Fun is December 7-9, Vote for Best Decorated Tree

This year’s festivities are Dec. 7-9 with a variety of activities and traditional holiday events on tap. Photo by Todd Bush.

Unwrap a weekend of yuletide memories during A Small Town Christmas, Dec. 7-9 in Banner Elk. This charming village, framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, provides the setting for a traditional holiday getaway. Step into yesteryear with three days of small-town fun, beginning with a tree lighting and Christmas variety show Friday evening and continuing with activities, arts & crafts, shopping, a parade of lights and nighttime mini-train rides on Saturday.

“Every year we try to make A Small Town Christmas a little bigger and a little better,” says organizer Jo-Ann McMurray of the Banner Elk Chamber. “This year we have more lights in the park Saturday evening and more activities during the day Saturday. There will be cookie decorating, ornament decorating, storytelling, wreath making and all different kinds of things.”

Cast your votes for the Best Decorated Christmas Tree by Saturday before the parade. The winner will announced after the parade.

This year, as a part of Banner Elk’s Small Town Christmas, businesses are having a friendly competition for the best decorated Christmas tree! All around Banner Elk there are beautifully decorated Christmas trees! Find your favorite tree and cast vote at the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce. The winner will be announced after the Parade of Lights on December 8th.

The festivities kick off 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Corner on Main park with caroling and the lighting of a 15-foot tree from Elk River Evergreens. Afterwards is the ticketed variety show, “A Banner Elk Christmas” by Ensemble Stage just a block away at Historic Banner Elk School.

Saturday starts early with the YMCA Reindeer Run 5K at 8:30 a.m., then Santa drops by Dunn’s Deli at 9:00 a.m. for a pancake breakfast with all the boys and girls on his list. From there, it’s an easy walk to a day full of activities throughout town before everyone gathers along Main Street at 6:00 p.m. for the Parade of Lights.

“People decorate their cars and kids and dogs and march down Main Street. Some of them get a little carried away with the lights, so it’s really interesting,” McMurray says.

The parade concludes in Tate-Evans Park with train rides, luminaries, animated light Shows, music and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“It’s an old-fashioned, small-town Christmas,” says McMurray. “It reminds me of how nice Christmas was when I was growing up and how much we all looked forward to it.”

Sunday is a great day to relax and enjoy the many Choose and Cut tree farms in Avery County, check out Banner Elk’s local shops and another chance to see Ensemble Stage’s Banner Elk Christmas.

A variety of lodging is available, as well as choose-and-cut packages that include one night’s lodging, discounts at Banner Elk Café and tree vouchers for Elk River Evergreens.

For details about A Small Town Christmas in Banner Elk and lodging info, go to www.BannerElk.com or call (828) 898-8395.

See the light show at Banner Elk Christmas.

Schedule of Events:

Friday, December 7th:
6:30 p.m. Tree Lighting at the Corner on Main St.
7 p.m.  Ensemble Stages: “A Banner Elk Christmas” – A Holiday Musical Variety Show

There will be several chances to spot Santa and tell him your Christmas list!

Saturday, December 8th
8:30 a.m. 5k Reindeer Run in Tate Evans Park with Williams YMCA sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk
9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Pancake Breakfast with Santa at Dunn’s Deli
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Christmas At Apple Hill Farm
10 a.m.-4 p.m. New Opportunity School For Women Holiday Market at Lees McRae Cannon Student Center
10 a.m.-4 p.m. BE Artists Gallery will be open with a focus on original Christmas gifts
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Paw-licious Hot Cocoa at My Best Friend’s Barkery
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy a Holiday Treat at Banner Elk Olive Oil and Balsamics
11 a.m.-12 p.m. Story Time with Santa at the Book Exchange
12 p.m.-2 p.m. Community Christmas Jam at the Book Exchange. All ages and skill levels welcome! Sing Along books available
1 p.m.-3 p.m. Ornament Decorating at the Bayou Smokehouse and Grill
3 p.m.-4 p.m. Cookie Decorating at Banner Elk Café
3 p.m.-5 p.m. Wreathmaking Demo, Wassail and Fruitcake at Stonewalls
6 p.m. Parade of Lights

Following the Parade there will be fun in the park including: Luminary lighted train rides, special light show, Karaoke with DJ Pete Welter and Meet Santa! Also the winner of the Christmas Tree contest will be announced.

Sunday, December 9th
2 p.m. Ensemble Stages: “A Banner Elk Christmas” – A Holiday Musical Variety Show