Enjoy the coziness of the season in the North Carolina mountains during Hendersonville’s annual Home for the Holidays celebration.
Throughout November and December, this popular Blue Ridge town welcomes all with a series of holiday happenings and yuletide gatherings. More than 50 events take place, from carriage rides on Main Street to Christmas-themed shows at Flat Rock Playhouse, the state theater of North Carolina.
“Everyone pulls together to make it the most wonderful time of the year,” said Michelle Owens, executive director of Visit Hendersonville. “Merchants decorate storefronts, greenery markets pop up, and the arts take center stage with two multi-date productions at Flat Rock Playhouse. Residents join in the fun with a home decorating contest for visitors to vote on.”
One of the most anticipated happenings is on Black Friday, Nov. 25, as revelers gather downtown on the historic courthouse plaza for the lighting of the town’s 30-foot Christmas tree. A live band warms up the crowd prior to the arrival of Santa Claus, who flips the switch to illuminate the tree and twinkling lights along Main Street, followed by horse-drawn carriage rides.
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Santa returns to the square the evening of Dec. 2, as part of the Old-Fashioned Christmas celebration hosted by downtown merchants, which is another opportunity for people to enjoy carriage rides on Main Street and visit with Jolly Ol’ St. Nick.
More events include the Holiday Tour of Inns & Cookie Caper, the 16th annual Gingerbread Cookie Contest at Narnia Studios, the popular Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt, candlelight Christmas tours at Historic Johnson Farm and a holiday performance by Carolina Concert Choir.
A full listing of events is available at VisitHendersonvilleNC.org/calendar-of-events.
“Home for the Holidays is spread across multiple weeks to allow folks the flexibility to visit Hendersonville at a time that works best for their schedules,” Owens said. “It’s become a tradition for many families in North Carolina and beyond.”
The festivities close with a family-friendly New Year’s Eve Apple Rise on Dec. 31 from 5-7 p.m. on the plaza of the historic courthouse. Instead of dropping an item at midnight, the event pays homage to the local apple industry by raising a giant apple at 7 p.m., which allows families with younger children to celebrate an early New Year’s Eve countdown.
For information, call 828-693-9708 or go to VisitHendersonvilleNC.org/home-for-the-holidays.