By Harley Nefe
Blowing Rock is celebrating December and the Christmas season with various events and activities in the works including a Holiday Stroll and Christmas Cheer Contest.
“Blowing Rock has really transformed in the last couple of days into a Christmas wonderland,” said Suzy Barker, who is the Events and Communications Specialist for the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.
The town will be holding its Holiday Stroll on Friday, Dec. 4 from 4-8 p.m. This event will resemble a town-wide holiday open house, where shops will be open late for holiday shopping with many having special deals just for the season.
“The purpose of this is really just to promote the holiday season in Blowing Rock,” Barker said. “Despite some of the cancellations and restrictions that we are under, I still think everyone in town has the holiday spirit. We are very supportive as always of shopping local and supporting our merchants; during the winter especially is important.”
Participating retailers include:
High Country Woodworks
Monkee’s of Blowing Rock
My Mountain Home
Sunset Tee’s & Hattery
Serves You Right
The Spice & Tea Exchange
The Gilded Lily by Patra
*The Mustard Seed Market (located on 321) will be hosting their Holiday Market Dec. 4 & 5th from 10am – 6pm
The town will also be lit up in decorations as many of the retailers have holiday displays up because the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Christmas Cheer Contest for businesses wanting to show off their holiday spirit.
To be included in the contest, businesses can submit one photo to Suzy Barker by Dec. 9.
The holiday decorating contest will be live on Facebook from Dec. 11-24, and the public will be asked to vote by ‘liking’ the image or images of their choice. In the captions of the photos, there will be labels of which business is shown. The contest will be live for 12 days leading up to Christmas, and then awards will be given to a retail business for Best Window Display and to a business for Best Indoor or Outdoor display based on who has the most likes.
“We’re just hoping that the community will get involved and share their favorites and share from one Facebook page to the next the Christmas cheer,” Barker said.
Barker further said Blowing Rock used to do a holiday decorating contest, but this year it was moved online.
“I have found that everyone is just looking for any kind of Christmas spirit they can get because we’ve been deprived of a lot of fun and joy this year,” Barker said. “So, I thought it would be really fun. I’m hoping we get some really cool entries; I’ve encouraged everyone to be really creative with it.”
Barker said one window display that stands out by being different every year is at the Carriage Trade Living antique store, as the display is really cool in how it moves and is theatrical.
Dean Bullis and Bill Brooks are the creators behind the Carriage Trade Living window display.
“They’ve just been doing it for so many years and they just really love Christmas and everything about Christmas and what it really stands for,” said Teresa Wolfe, who works at Carriage Trade Living. “They’ve got an eye for decorating and for buying and putting it all together because they have to buy it in January for the next December. You have to think ahead of time in order to do it, and they just know how to coordinate everything. They know what they’re doing; they’re good at what they’re doing.”
Wolfe further said it’s beautiful to go by and see the windows, and they enjoy making people happy and getting them in a good mood for Christmas.
Another store in Blowing Rock that has their Christmas decorations up and ready is The Last Straw. From Labor Day until after Christmas, the florist shop is decorated for the holidays.
Julie Robertson from The Last Straw said they have seven different themed trees in the store.
One of the trees is woodland themed, “which has a lot of outdoor animals and the rustic look that is so popular up here in the mountains,” she said.
Then there is an arctic section where everything is frozen and snow covered, with whites, crystals and a lot of glass.
“We also have a whimsical room that’s full of everything that’s magical for a child, so you got elves, candy canes, gingerbread houses, snow globes and santas.”
More than just spreading Christmas cheer, Blowing Rock merchants are hoping that by their decorations and participating in the contest, it will encourage those who see the photos to visit downtown and see the displays themselves and do some shopping.
“I definitely encourage those that want to get out and experience some of the Christmas lights and window displays downtown to visit after hours or on a slower mid week afternoon,” Barker said. “We’re not experiencing as many crowds once the sun goes down. It’s really beautiful, and the Festival of Lights is going on as well at Chetola, so you can stroll Main Street, grab a hot chocolate and then drive through Chetola Resort and view their lights as well. So, we’ve got a lot going on here.”
Night time scenes from Main Street Blowing Rock:
Pictures From Carriage Trade Living Store:
Pictures From The Last Straw: