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An Old-Fashioned Christmas Will Come to Life Under the Stars in Banner Elk on Saturday

Enjoy a perfect December day with old-fashioned Christmas traditions in the charming mountain town of Banner Elk on Saturday, and end it with an evening beneath the stars during the community’s Parade of Lights.

An assortment of back-to-back holiday events are slated for the day, providing something new for families and friends to do every couple of hours. When the sun starts to set, the town will come alive with holiday cheer, bright lights and fun colors as the Parade of Lights rolls through town and the 40-foot tree is lit during Christmas in the Park festivities.

Chris of Hunter's Tree Service places the star atop the community Christmas tree in Banner Elk on Nov. 28, 2015. Photo by Jim Swinkola.
Chris of Hunter’s Tree Service places the star atop the community Christmas tree in Banner Elk on Nov. 28, 2015. Photo by Jim Swinkola.

“The week after Thanksgiving a lot of folks come up the mountain to get their Christmas trees and this gives them something else to do,” says organizer Jo-Ann McMurray of the Banner Elk Chamber. “It’s like a scene from Currier and Ives – a real, old-fashioned holiday experience.”

The day’s activities, most of which are free, begin with Santa joining folks for breakfast at Dunn’s Deli at 9 a.m. From there, it’s a short walk across the street to Lees-McRae College for a special presentation of the holiday movie Frozen at 11 a.m.

Early afternoon activities include ornament making at Bayou Smokehouse from 1-3 p.m. and Christmas cookie decorating at Banner Elk Café from 3-4 p.m.

Throughout the day, folks can visit a Christmas market at the historic Banner Elk School and take complimentary tours of Apple Hill Farm, which will have hand-tied wreaths and tabletop Christmas trees for sale. The new Banner Elk Book Exchange also opens that day, and will have storytelling from 2-3 p.m.

The Parade of Lights begins at 5 p.m. at Lees-McRae College and travels down Main Street before heading over to the historic school for the tree lighting. Parade prizes will be awarded to the vehicle with the most lights and to the best float.

Christmas in the Park in Banner Elk.

“People decorate their cars, their kids, their dogs with lights and they’re all in the parade,” McMurray says. “The Avery County High School marching band leads the way and Santa arrives with Mrs. Claus on a fire truck.”

Once the parade ends and the massive 40-foot community tree is lit, a mini-train takes kids and adults through a path of luminaries into the town park. The day will culminate in the park with a nativity scene, bonfire, games and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

For more info on Banner Elk’s Christmas in the Park, call 828-898-8395 or visit www.BannerElk.org.




Breakfast with Santa: Dunn’s Deli, 9 a.m.

Grand Opening of the Banner Elk Book Exchange: 9 a.m.

Storytelling at Banner Elk Book Exchange: 2-3 p.m.

Reindeer Hunt: Tate-Evans Park

Christmas Market: Historic BE School, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mini Farm Tours and Christmas Gift Shop: Apple Hill Farm, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pet Holiday Cookies: My Best Friend’s Barkery

Christmas Movie: Frozen at Lees-McRae, 11 a.m.

Candy Canes: WingN It

Make Your Own Personalized Ornament: The Bayou Smokehouse, 1-3 p.m.

Sappy Holiday Beer: Flat Top Brewing Co., 2-10 p.m.

Christmas Cookie Decorating: Banner Elk Café, 3-4 p.m.

Holiday Happy Hour and Parade Viewing: Antler Realty, 4-6 p.m.

Parade of Lights: 5 p.m.

Tree Lighting and Christmas in the Park Festivities: Immediately following the parade



Check out these photos from last year’s

Christmas in the Park and Parade of Light festivities in Banner Elk:





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