The Holidays are Here! Kick Off the Season in Blowing Rock This Thanksgiving Weekend

Published Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Blowing Rock Christmas Parade 2014. Photo by Ken Ketchie.

It’s official! The holiday season is in full swing here in the High Country. Life in the Blue Ridge Mountains gives us so many reasons to be thankful, and it’s time to celebrate them all.

If you’re ready to kick off the season, Blowing Rock is the place to be this Thanksgiving weekend.

The fun begins with Christmas in the Park festivities on Friday night and carries through the weekend with the town’s annual parade, holiday lights and special events at Chetola Resort, a feature presentation by Ensemble Stage and so much more.

“I think Christmas events in Blowing Rock are so popular because of the small town atmosphere — the park is right there and Main Street runs right through everything,” said Amanda Lugenbell, assistant director of the town’s tourism development authority. “It’s sort of an old-fashioned experience. A lot of people enjoy Christmas events, but they come to Blowing Rock to experience the small-town friendliness that maybe they’re not getting everywhere else.”

If you’re planning to join the festivities in Blowing Rock this weekend, there has been an important change in the schedule compared to the series

Blowing Rock Christmas Parade 2014. Photo by Ken Ketchie.

Blowing Rock Christmas Parade 2014. Photo by Ken Ketchie.

of events in the past. This year’s parade, which has been held in the afternoon in year’s past, will take place earlier in the day at 11 a.m.

For more information about the parade, call the town’s parks and recreation department at 828-295-5222.

Here’s everything you need to know about celebrating in Blowing Rock this Thanksgiving weekend:


Christmastime in Blowing Rock

Christmas in the Park: Friday. This annual holiday festival will feature free hot chocolate and cider, caroling and visits with Santa. All events will take place in Memorial Park on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock. Don’t forget to enjoy the town’s annual Christmas parade the following day beginning at 11 a.m.

  • Meet Santa in the Gazebo: 2-4 p.m.
  • Hayrides: 2-7 p.m.
  • Bounce Houses in the Park: 2-5:30 p.m.
  • Caroling in the Park with Live Music: 3-4:30 p.m.
  • Lighting of the Town: 5:30 p.m.
  • Bluegrass Christmas with Diana and Sarvis Ridge: 5-7 p.m.

Annual Christmas Parade: Saturday. This year’s parade will begin at 11 a.m., so make sure you find a good spot in town to watch it go by. If you want to join the parade, call the town’s parks and recreation department at 828-295-5222 for more details.

Miracle on 34th Street Radio Play: Saturday. Enjoy this treasured holiday story in the style of classic 1940s radio dramas. Sound effects will be performed live on stage along with special lighting effects and projections. Ensemble Stage brings you this performance at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium, 160 Sunset Drive, beginning at 7 p.m. Call 828-414-1844 or visit for tickets.


Thanksgiving Weekend at Chetola Resort

Thanksgiving weekend at Chetola is packed with ways to celebrate the season, including a buffet on Thanksgiving Day followed by music and oyster night, bonfire nights at the fire pit from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, live jazz music with Maureen Renihan from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday and so many fun Christmas festivities.

For more information on any regularly scheduled or special programs, visit Chetola online for more information, send an email to [email protected] or call 828-295-5000.

Festival of Lights: Nov. 27 – Jan. 31. Thousands of sparkling lights will illuminate the grounds of the resort beginning at dusk on Friday. A peaceful drive around the resort lake will give you a look at ice skaters, a train, a nativity scene, Rudolph’s “Holiday Catch” and so much more. This popular Christmastime tradition will bring out your holiday spirit and have you ready to celebrate the season. If you love the display and want to see it more than once, don’t worry! The festival of lights will continue through the end of January and Blowing Rock’s WinterFest weekend.

Horse and Carriage Rides: Friday and Saturday. Want to enjoy the lights in true holiday fashion? Nothing beats taking a horse-drawn carriage through the resort grounds during the Festival of Lights. Sign up at Timberlake’s Restaurant to take a ride around the lake. Registration opens at 5 p.m. and rides begin at 5:30 p.m. in front of the restaurant. Reservations cannot be made in advance, so get there early if you know you want to take a ride. Carriage rides are $18 for adults, $11 for children ages 3-12 and free for kids under the age of 2. Document your memory with a photo for $15.

Blowing Rock Christmas Parade 2014. Photo by Ken Ketchie.

Blowing Rock Christmas Parade 2014. Photo by Ken Ketchie.

Meet Santa in the Timbers Room: Friday and Saturday. That’s right! Old Saint Nick will be making a stop in Blowing Rock this weekend to meet you and your family! If you want to meet him on Friday or Saturday night, make your way to Chetola’s Timbers Room for hot cider, sugar cookies and a chance to show your wish list to Santa Claus. Visits with Santa are free, but photos will be available for purchase at $15 for two prints of the same pose.

Cookie Decorating at the Kid’s Camp: Friday and Saturday. What’s sweeter than celebrating the holidays with your favorite snacks? Get the kids ready to channel their creativity for this free cookie-decorating event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Kid’s Camp. Chetola will provide the cookies and everything your kids will need to make some seriously festive Christmas cookies. Santa will be here soon enough, so get a head start on your ideas for the perfect holiday cookie!

Carriage Ride Buffet: Friday and Saturday. With so much fun in store at Chetola, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Head over to the resort’s Appalachian/Blue Ridge Room between 5-8:30 p.m. to enjoy the carriage ride buffet, which will include chips, cole slaw, iced tea, hot apple cider and one of the following entrees: chicken tenders, beef sliders, pork sliders, grilled chicken wraps, grilled veggie wraps. Dinner will cost $12 for adults and $9 for children 11 and under. A cash bar will be available for the grown-ups, too.

Dinner at Timberlake’s: Nightly. Enjoy the regular dinner menu you know and love at Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola. Dinner is offered from 5-10 p.m. with nightly specials available. To make a reservation, call the restaurant at 828-295-5505.



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