By Hailey Blevins
December is a time for looking back on the year, gathering with friends and loved ones and remembering the reason for the season. This Friday, Blowing Rock is kicking off this season of good tidings with several events.
Blowing Rock will host Christmas in the Park, and its adjoining Lighting of the Town, on November 23. From 1-3 p.m., meet with Santa. From 2-4 p.m., there will be games and crafts in Memorial Park and hayrides through Blowing Rock from 2-7 p.m. From 2:30-7 p.m., enjoy live music. From 4-7 p.m., warm up with free hot cocoa and apple cider. At 5:45 p.m., there will be the Lighting of the Town, and Christmas in the Park will end with a Christmas movie at the American Legion at 7 p.m.
Chetola Resort will also be kicking off the season this Friday as well. Chetola Resort is hosting their annual Festival of Lights, which lasts until January 27. The Resort is also offering Carriage Rides and more on Friday and Saturday. On November 29 (7-9 p.m.) and 30 (12-8 p.m.) and December 1 (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.) and 2 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.), Chetola has their Festival of Trees event. This event will benefit Western Youth Network (WYN) with an array of sponsored trees and wreaths, decorated beautifully for everyone’s enjoyment! Each one will have a theme and will be up for auction.
Tweetsie Christmas starts this Friday and runs until December 29. Specific dates are: November 23-24 & 30 and December 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22 & 28-29. This is Tweetsie Christmas’s second year. You can meet Santa, see the Christmas lights, ride the train, listen to a Christmas musical, step into a life size snow globe, and roast s’mores. The live Christmas show performances are at 5:30, 6:15, 7:00, 7:45, and 8:30 p.m. Purchase a ticket for a specific night and train ride time. The train runs every half hour, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Advance tickets are required, as only so many can ride the train at one time.
On Saturday, BRAHM’s Christmas Season Celebrations continue. The first event, Gelli-Print Holiday Card Crafting, was on November. 17th. The next event, the Holiday Open House & Craft, begins around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, after the town’s parade ends. stop by BRAHM to for a free snowflake ornament craft, hot cider and cookies! The last event, Winter Exhibition Celebration, is on December 6 from 5-7 p.m.
On Saturday at 2 p.m., the Christmas Parade will start on Main Street. This parade is a holiday tradition that is filled to the brim with holiday cheer and Christmas spirit, along with fun costumes, floats, animals and more. A prize will be awarded to the best decorated float.
Finally, enjoy a holiday stroll in Blowing Rock on December 7 from 5-8 p.m. Spot Santa as he strolls around town, enjoy a Christmas Concert in the Gazebo by Watauga Community Band, watch a performance by The Snow Belles in SouthMarke at 6:30 p.m., enjoy impromptu sing-along sessions with wandering carolers, get your own Blowing Rock Commemorative Ornament signed by artist Bryan Koontz outside Blowing Rock Market, join The Speckled Trout Restaurant & Bottle Shop for marshmallow roasting and find something for you at the Outdoor Craft Market at The Martin House. Be sure to get in some holiday shopping as well at one of the many participating shops in Blowing Rock
If you haven’t chosen the perfect tree yet, Choose and Cut Christmas Trees are open now through December 24. Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Farms in Watauga include: Bluestone Greenery, C & J Christmas Trees, Circle C Tree Farms, Clawson’s Choose & Cut, Cornett Deal Christmas Tree Farm, Panoramic Choose & Cut, Poplar Grove Choose and Cut, RRR Tree Farm, Stone Mountain Farms, Swinging Bridge Farm and Walker Farm.
No matter where you find yourself in the coming weeks, remember that Santa is always watching as you spot him around Blowing Rock and the surrounding towns.
Pictures from the 2017 Blowing Rock Christmas Parade by Ken Ketchie: