Christmas in North Carolina-The Biltmore Estate in Asheville.
Southern Christmas Celebrations
In the beautiful state of North Carolina we are fortunate to have both the east coast ocean view and the mountains, on the west side of the state. While most towns and cities have their own listing of Christmas parades and festivals, the events that I have listed here are a few that I felt stood out. Not in any particular order, they are festivals and Christmas tree lighting from various areas across the state.
The Biltmore Estate, located in Asheville, a community of artists and holistic healers, has one of the most breathtaking Christmas displays you will ever experience. I became aware of the magnificent estate grounds recently, through a tour book. I made a decision at that time to visit the grounds during the holiday season.
Completed in 1895 and opened to family and guests for the first time on Christmas Eve, 1895, the Biltmore is a Chateau style home of George Washington Vanderbilt III. Travelling through the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina George fell in love with the area and decided that Asheville would be the perfect place for the estate of his dreams. After six years of construction he made that dream come true.
The original home had over four acres of floor space. It housed 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. Besides the servant’s quarters, the basement included a bowling alley, a swimming pool, and a gym. It stood on 125,000 acres.
Today, this glorious estate is still family owned and sits on 8,000 remaining acres of the original parcel. Over one million guests visit the estate annually. Countless events, weddings, concerts and festivities occur throughout the year. But, during the holidays the grounds are lit up with lights on thousands of Christmas trees, and the halls are indeed decked with garland.
Christmas Trees and Candlelight
Greensboro Winter Wonderland
Tree lighting ceremonies are held in most cities across the United States. Be sure to check with your local television or radio stations or the town newspaper to get the details of what is happening in your residence. In Greensboro, North Carolina, the tree lighting ceremony is held in Center City Park and includes food, music and a sing-a-long. The tree lighting will follow the festivities. You can depend on this joyous activity of the Festival of Lights each year during the first weekend of December. Save the link and check out the dates in November so you don't miss the event.
Included in the Greensboro festivities is a Winter Wonderland, where kids of all ages can meet Santa; a Story Tent; refreshments; and music. In Elfborough, children can have their photos taken with one of Santa’s elves, or join in the marshmallow roast. A musical stroll is planned for the city from 6-9 pm and residents are encouraged to participate.
The community Holiday Parade takes place the Saturday following the Tree Lighting ceremony.
McAdenville, Christmas Town
In Gaston County, NC McAdenville comes to life during the Christmas Holidays. Started in 1956 the ‘Christmas Town’ Festival has been featured on the Morning Show with Charles Kuralt, back in 1980; Good Morning America ; HGTV Christmas Special; Cable News Network MSNBC; Cable Network Turner South; and the 700 Club.
It began as a simple decoration of several trees and each year the event grew. Charles Kuralt paid homage to this small community during one of his reports and when G.M.A. came calling they broadcasted a live report right in town.
The Christmas Tree lighting ceremony begins at 4:30 pm on December 1, of EACH YEAR at the Pharr Family YMCA Center. The switch is pulled by a McAdenville Elementary School student who wins the annual raffle to pull the switch with the assistance of the town mayor.