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Christmas in North Carolina-The Biltmore Estate in Asheville.

Updated on November 1, 2012

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

Two Christmas events that begin before the month of December are:

'Christmas at Biltmore' and Candlelight Christmas Evenings

Asheville also hosts a Christmas parade in November.

For more events in Asheville go to


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.


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    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Audrey-thanks for taking a peek at the beautiful Biltmore Christmas of many. :) I'm hoping to get there soon.

      Hi Rebecca-glad to know someone who actually has been to McAdenville. :)

      Thanks for the 'push' Dianna. I'll have to make a solid plan to visit it next year. :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Denise, when we lived in Virginia, we visited it almost every year for Christmas. It is so worth the time and cost to tour this beautiful mansion. Well done!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      7 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have been to McAdenville. It was awesome. Thanks for sharing a post about a cool place in NC.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      While living in Nashville, Tn, my son and I made a couple of car trips to N.C, but we were always pressed for time and never stopped to see The Biltmore. Thank you for giving me a look at the beautiful Christmas Tree now.

      Love and hugs to you ~ Audrey

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Audrey, I have yet to visit this beautiful place, but it is on my list of places to go. I've heard nothing but grand things about it. Thanks for your comment. :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      8 years ago from California

      I bet this is just a gorgeous location to view Christmas lights--and it sounds like there are other wonderful places to visit as well--

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      That's what I would like, Cara, because then we could visit here in NC for a change, LOL Thanks for reading.

    • cardelean profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan

      It would be great fun to take the kids to the Winter Wonderland activities in Greensboro. This is a great account of the various Christmas activities in the area.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you so much, Stessily, for your thoughtful comments. I'm glad this hub brought some wonderful memories your way. Happy Holidays to you, my friend.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Denise, this is really lovely with your thoughtful presentation and the photo of Christmas trees at Biltmore. I fell in love with Biltmore as a child while watching Grace Kelly in "The Swan" on the telly with my Mum. The exterior staircase is so photogenic that I naively told my Mum that I wanted to live there some day! She gently explained to me about the Vanderbilts and their gorgeous estate in Asheville and that, in a way, it is everyone's house because it is open for visitors.

      I have yet to visit Biltmore, but in my heart sometimes I'm still that little girl who could not see enough of that fairy castle.

      Thank you for bringing back the fond memories that the words "Asheville" and "Biltmore" always evoke. And thank you also for the information on Christmas Town and Greensboro. There is a lot of natural and architectural beauty in North Carolina.

      Kind regards, Stessily

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi K9-thanks for reading and commenting. I have been in NC for 5 yrs now and shamefully have yet to visit this magnificent splendor. Trust me, when I do there will be many more photos and probably a video hub to show it off.

      Merry Holiday Love to you!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      9 years ago from Northern, California

      What a grand spectacle North Carolina must be in all its glorious seasonal splendor! You have captured the elegance and joy, just imagining a 1000 Christmas trees lit bright with colorful lights warms me holiday heart! Nice job, as usual!



    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for reading, Bud. Anytime you need a break from snow and cold just come on down...oh, wait, I forgot...THAT side of the state is the mountains and DOES get snow and cold! LOL You're always welcome anyway.

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 

      9 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Looks like North Carolina is a nice play to spend the holidays. Great hub! Good choice of pictures!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Richard, I was wondering where you were from. West Virginia has always been a state of beauty onto itself. Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a wonderful week.

    • Richard83 profile image


      9 years ago from West Virginia

      Denise, great hub! Being from West Virginia, I can relate to this. Sadly, my only visit was for a funeral, my wife's mother. We went to Morristown or Morrisville. I can't remember the exact name but is was beautiful. North Carolina is a true beauty.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Smitten-nice to meet you. Be sure to reserve a spot early, if you plan to actually stay at the beautiful Biltmore Estates. You may also want to check out my other travel hub about Mackinac Island. Best Resorts in MI is the hub name, I believe. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope to read your travel hubs this week.

    • SmittenWithTravel profile image


      10 years ago

      I'd seen your comment on another hub and thought I check out one of yours! I have a love of North Carolina and so I had to see this. Very well done. Now I'll have to most definitely visit during Christmas time.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Dear Mo-I was just thinking of you this morning, before opening my computer, wondering how you've been and how your holidays were. Good to see you again. I've been terribly amiss with reading your work these past weeks between the holiday visit to my family and my new challenge.

      On Jan.1st I started the 30 hubs in 30 day challenge. I know you've done this in a very short amt of time. I'm enjoying the writing, but the challenge for me is getting to the computer after work before I fall asleep, LOL.

      Thank you for your comments. NC is a beautiful state that lured me here when my parents were alive. It has much to offer and much to see. By all means, as they say in the south, "Come on down" There's plenty of southern hospitality to go around so be sure to let me know should you ever seriously consider it.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      10 years ago from UK

      I know Christmas is gone but I loved reading this and some great suggestions here. Makes me want to visit NC. Well written.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Micky-you had better put your long johns on for riding! LOL Stay warm and God bless you for your stamina! Thanks for reading my hub. :)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      10 years ago

      Denise! It's crazy cold! It never got over freezing today! God bless your Carolina Christmas!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Susan. Lucky you to have visited that beautiful city in the summer. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Denise nice to meet you. Small world I was in Asheville four or five summers ago on a road trip. Beautiful area! Really enjoyed reading this hub!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Gail, yes, the Biltmore is on my list as well. Unfortunately, I don't think it will happen this year for me. I'm heading north to share christmas with my grandkids and am just delighted at the prospect of being there when the two youngest get up in the morning.

      Happy Holidays to you and peace and joy to your family.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      10 years ago from South Carolina

      Hi Denise,

      I love all parts of North Carolina, but especially Asheville and the Outer Banks.

      I've seen the Biltmore Estate in fall, but never had the pleasure of seeing it decked out in all its holiday splendor. You've inspired me to plan my next visit there for December. Thanks for this beautiful hub.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Eiddwen, I sincerely thank you once more. You are awesome with your support. I'm heading out of town for a spiritual retreat but I promise to be a frequent visitor to your work when I return! Thanks a bunch. :)

    • Eiddwen profile image


      10 years ago from Wales

      Hi Denise,

      Thank you for this great hub. I learn something new everyday here on HP.

      I am so glad that I found you on here.

      Here's a thumbs up for many more hubs.

      Plus a awesome/beautiful and vote up.

      Take care.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Jo and Charlie-have been travelling and out of reach of my computer...Yes, the Biltmore sounds exquisite. However, my co-workers have just informed me that it comes with a hefty sticker tag. I'll have to budget this trip in, esp. since it isn't in my area.

      Charlie-I've heard of Lumdee, but I'm not sure where it is. NC isn't that huge of a state, but it has many smaller areas scattered all over. Hope you're doing well.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      My daughter live down there, Lumdee I think it is. I will share this with her so she can take the grandkids. thanks, Charlie

    • Jo Deslaurier profile image

      Jo Deslaurier 

      10 years ago

      The Biltmore sounds absolutely beautiful. If I ever get the chance to visit North Carolin it will definitely be on my must-see list.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Carrie, B & Danette, thanks for your comments. I love the four seasons also. I hope you get to Asheville sometime, Danette.

    • profile image

      Danette Watt 

      10 years ago

      NC is a pretty state and I would love to see Asheville at Christmas -- or any time! Nice hub, thanks for sharing.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      10 years ago

      Wonderful Hub, so rich and informative...Thanks for sharing.

    • carrie450 profile image


      10 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      Nice hub Denise,well written. I also love the four seasons we have here. Christmas a nnd winter with the snow are especially special to me.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      10 years ago from North Carolina

      Hey Fred, :), thanks for stopping by to read the hub and comment. Let me know if you make it over to any of these spots.

    • zzron profile image


      10 years ago from Houston, TX.

      Great info, thanks so much. I love Ashville.


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