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Wednesday, 13 December 2017 21:47

Christmas in Appalachia

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As the temperatures drop in Western North Carolina, the fun only heats up. The holiday season here is filled with events and activities aimed to celebrate the best way we know how — with friends, family and visitors alike.

Families can partake in wagon rides, iceless skating, craft sales and art demonstrations, all the while enjoying authentic mountain music, clogging and parades through several downtowns. These are just some of the innumerable activities to be had. Within every date, time and place found amid this section, the communities around the region once again opens their arms to share in the winter festivities.

It’s a winter wonderland out there. It’s yours for the taking, so reach out and enjoy all Southern Appalachia has to offer.


art waynesxmas

Christmas on Main Street

“A Night Before Christmas” will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 16 in downtown Waynesville. Main Street welcomes luminaries, holiday carolers, live music, artisan demonstrations, Santa & Mrs. Claus, and more.


art moses

Celebrate Christmas with the Annie Moses Band

The Annie Moses Band will perform a Christmas show at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.

The group blends fiddle, jazz, and classical music with folk-inspired vocals to create a refreshing and familiar sound that’s sure to delight in their magical show, Christmas with the Annie Moses Band. They will celebrate the season with such holiday favorites as, “O Holy Night” and “Carol of the Bells,” as well as original group songs such as, “When the Christmas Baby Cries.”

This five-member, string-playing group dates back three generations. Their tour takes the message of Christ and the legacy He’s given them beyond the walls of the Church. They travel nationwide sharing their talents, and have appeared on programs such as “Focus on the Family” and “The 700 Club.” They’ve also earned more than 700 hours of broadcast time on PBS stations throughout America.

Tickets are $25 each. To purchase tickets, visit or call 866.273.4615.



• The John C. Campbell Folk School Craft Shop showcases finely made gifts from over 300 talented craftspeople. The Craft Shop offers 15 percent off all items through Dec. 23.

The Folk School’s Holiday Kids’ Party always attracts a spirited group of young revelers. Planned for Dec. 16 from 1 to 3 p.m., this popular event includes holiday music and dancing, children’s activities, and a special visit from Santa Claus. At 8 p.m. that evening, local residents are invited to gather for the Holiday Contra & Square Dance Party. Singles and couples are welcome, including beginners. This free event features talented local musicians and callers, and dancers are invited to bring holiday desserts to share.

Free admission. 800.FOLK.SCH.


Bryson City

• A stage production of “A Christmas Story” will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 15-16 and 18, and 3 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Smoky Mountain Community Theatre. For ticket information, call 828.488.8227 or visit

• The “Polar Express” will depart on select dates throughout December from the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad depot. For more information on departures or to purchase tickets, visit

• “Letters to Santa” will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Dec. 23 at the Swain County Heritage Museum. Drop a line for Santa. Materials provided. Call the museum for Santa appearances: 800.867.9246.



• The annual “Christmas On the Green” celebration will run through New Year’s Day at The Village Green. The 13-acre park in the heart of Cashiers will feature thousands of twinkling lights. For more information, visit



• The Cherokee Christmas Parade will be Saturday, Dec. 16, in downtown. 828.359.6490.

• Cherokee Lights & Legends will be held Dec. 15-17 at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds. The celebration hosts a wide-array of holiday and family activities. For more information, call the Cherokee Welcome Center at 828.359.6490.



• Holiday gift making time for kids from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 16, 22-23 at The Art Room. $15 per child, which includes materials. Ages 8 and up. Preregister at 828.349.3777 or

• The sounds and stylings of “A Merry Motown Christmas” by the cast of “Motown and More” will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.

“Motown and More” takes showgoers on a musical journey through time as they recreate the characters, style, music, and energy of Motown, and the grooves of the 1970s and 1980s soul classics. The show features a cast of singers and dancers in glittering costumes and dazzling choreography, all backed by the superb musicianship of a live band.

This high-energy show celebrates the music, magic, and memories from a time when soul music was at its greatest.

Tickets are $15, with $30 VIP tickets available. To purchase tickets, visit or call 866.273.4615.



• The Highlands Cashiers Players will present their annual free holiday program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, at the Highlands Performing Arts Center.

For this year’s 22rd program, the theme is “It’s A Holly, Jolly Christmas” as the evening will include a funny holiday quiz for the audience and several amusing holiday stories, read by HCP actors. Holiday songs interspersed with the readings will be performed by a special 12-voice ensemble from the 50-voice Mountain Voices regional chorus, directed by Beverly Barnett of Franklin.

And to top off the evening’s entertainment, hot cider along with cookies and other refreshments will be served after the performance for the audience and performers in the PAC reception room.  And all of it is free of charge — it’s the Players Christmas gift to the community, co-sponsored by HPAC.



• The chancel choir at First United Methodist Church Sylva will present its annual Christmas Cantata at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, in the church sanctuary.

The cantata titled “Emmanuel” is comprised of a variety of musical selections that express the meaning of the season. Guest flutist Bruce Buchanan will accompany the choir in some of the selections. Tommy Ginn is director of the chancel choir.

Actors from the church will portray the nativity scene as the Christmas story is read from the Bible. Lynda Sossamon and Jessica Green will direct the production.

Following the cantata, heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served in the Christian Life Center as the Sylva Bells, a community hand bell group, and the First Methodist Brass Group play Christmas music selections. Lorie Meservey is director of the hand bell choir.

The public is invited to attend this program, First United Methodist Church’s gift to the community. For more information, call the church office at 828.586.2358.



• “Twelve Days of Christmas” will be Dec. 13-24 in downtown. Merchants offer specials throughout the holiday celebration.

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