See a comprehensive list below of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's events happening in Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga, and Wilkes counties. Events will continue to be added to this list, so keep checking back. Happy Holidays from High Country Radio! 


 

THANKSGIVING EVENTS


Turkey Trot 5k - Thursday, November 28th
The High Country Turkey Trot, the largest 5k in the High Country is on Thanksgiving Day in Boone. It will be at 9am at the Clawson-Burnley Park on the Boone Greenway Trail. The Turkey Trot 5k benefits Hospitality House, a non-profit that helps people in homeless, crisis and poverty situations. The pre-registration fee is $30 for adults & teens through November 17th and includes a race shirt. For kids 12 and under, it is $10 in advance and includes a commemorative magnet. If you're not a morning person but want to help the cause, there is a $30 Sleep-in-Option where you can still receive a t-shirt. Visit HCTurkeyTrot.org for full details or to register.


CHRISTMAS EVENTS

MULTI-COUNTY

The Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Project- November 18th-25th
The Operation Christmas Child Shoebox project from Samaritan's Purse will be collecting shoeboxes November 18-25. The annual project helps to bring some Christmas cheer to children around the world. To participate, start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately. Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, and the age category: 2–4, 5–9, or 10–14. Select a medium to large “wow” item such as a soccer ball with pump or stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies. If you donate $9 online, you'll receive a label to Follow Your Box and discover the destination of your shoebox gift.
You can drop it off at several locations, including West Jefferson First Baptist Church, Brushy Fork Baptist in Vilas, First Baptist of Mountain City, Waterlife Church in Lenoir, Oak Grove Baptist Church in Newland, or at the Boone Processing Center, 801 Bamboo Road. For more information and gift ideas and suggestions, visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org/ 

ASHE COUNTY

Annual Hometown Christmas in West Jefferson- Friday, November 29th
The Annual Hometown Christmas in West Jefferson is November 29th from 5-7pm at the West Jefferson Backstreet Park. There will be the official lighting of the community Christmas tree with Santa, carolers, and hot chocolate. This is a family-friendly event.

Holiday Gallery Crawl- Friday, December 6th
The Holiday Gallery Crawl sponsored by the Ashe County Arts Council will be on Friday, December 6th from 5-8pm in Downtown West Jefferson. Downtown will be decorated for Christmas, with galleries, shops and more open.

Saturday with Santa- Saturday, December 7th
Santa will be at the Ashe Arts Center from 8:30am-11:30am for pictures, and Mrs. Claus' Kitchen will be open with stories, arts and crafts, and milk and cookies. Children will receive a book and holiday gift bag. This event is free, but space is limited. Make a reservation to attend here.

AVERY COUNTY

Town of Elk Park's Inaugural Christmas Tree Lighting- November 26th
The Town of Elk Park is hosting their first ever tree lighting event on November 26th from 5-8pm. The tree is dedicated to the Town of Elk Park in loving memory of Calvin Winters. The tree will be beside the town hall on Winters Street. More detail on the event's Facebook page.

Holiday Market- Saturday, November 30th
You can get all of your gift shopping in one location, on Saturday, November 30th from 10am-4pm at the Buckeye Recreation Center gym. The Holiday Market will feature artisans and craftsmen, and a few commercial booths.

A Small Town Christmas in Banner Elk- December 6th- 8th
A very special all-weekend event celebrating the arrival of the Christmas season. Friday evening kicks off the festivities with the Town Christmas Tree lighting at 6:00 p.m and holiday theater performance at Ensemble Stage. Saturday activities include the YMCA 5K Reindeer Run, Breakfast with Santa Claus, cookie and ornament decorating at local restaurants, artisans and craftsmen selling holiday gifts at the BE Artists Gallery and Lees-McRae, storytelling and theater performances, the evening Parade of Lights, train rides in the park, synchronized light show, and of course, more Santa Claus. Sunday wraps up the weekend with one more opportunity to attend a holiday theater performance at Ensemble Stage.

Full Schedule of Events

Friday, Dec. 6

6:30 p.m. – Christmas Tree Lighting & Caroling at Corner on Main Park

7:00 p.m. – A Banner Elk Christmas musical variety show at Historic Banner Elk School

Saturday, Dec. 7

8:30 a.m. – 5K YMCA Reindeer Run in Tate-Evans Park

9:00 a.m. – Pancake Breakfast with Santa at Dunn’s Deli (through 10:30 a.m.)

9:00 a.m. – Holiday Market at Evans Auditorium at Lees-McRae College (through 5 p.m.)

10:00 a.m. – Christmas at Apple Hill Alpaca Farm (through 4 p.m.; tour purchase required)

2:00 p.m. – Banner Elk Polar Plunge at Wildcat Lake (plungers need to arrive at 1 p.m.)

6:00 p.m. – Parade of Lights on Main Street (ending with festivities in Tate-Evans Park)

Sunday, Dec. 8

All Day – Choose & Cut Christmas Trees at Avery County tree farms (get a free tree with Choose & Cut lodging package)

10:00 a.m. – Christmas at Apple Hill Alpaca Farm (through 4 p.m.; tour purchase required)

2:00 p.m. – A Banner Elk Christmas musical variety show at Historic Banner Elk School

For additional info about A Small Town Christmas in Banner Elk, call the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce at 828-898-8395.

A Banner Elk Christmas 2- December 6th, 8th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd
The Ensemble Stage of Banner Elk presents their annual holiday musical variety show, a Banner Elk Christmas 2. The show is patterned after the Andy Williams and Bing Crosby television Christmas specials of the 60's and 70's with women in beautiful dresses, guys in tuxedos, lots of singing, dancing, comedy sketches and more. For tickets, visit: http://www.ensemblestage.com/box_office_summer.html 

Williams YMCA 5k Reindeer Run- Saturday, December 7th
The 5k Reindeer Run starts at 9am at the Tate Evans Park in Banner Elk on December 7th. Early registration is $25 for ages 13 and up, $10 for ages 5-12, and free for ages 4 and under. If you register on the day of the race, it is $30. Sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk.

Town of Newland Annual Christmas Parade- Saturday, December 14th
The Town of Newland Annual Christmas Parade will be on December 14th at 6pm. More details to come.

Santa Comes to Beech Mountain- Saturday, December 14th
Santa's coming to Beech Mountain on December 14th from 2-4pm. Santa will be in the lobby of the 4 Seasons at Beech, 608 Beech Mountain Parkway, and will have cookies and candy canes for all, and photo ops. For more information, call 828-387-9283.

White Elephant Holiday Party- Thursday, December 19th
This will be at the Beech Mountain Ski Resort, from 6-8pm on Thursday, December 19th. To participate, bring a $10 wrapped gift to exchange. Also, come rocking your ugliest Christmas sweater for a chance to win an awesome prize. This event is open to the public and all ages are welcome. 

Santa Claus is Coming to Town- Saturday, December 21st
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at The Lodge at Beech Mountain Ski Resort on December 21st from 1-3pm. Featuring story time and photos with Santa. This event is open to the public and lift tickets are not required.

Holiday Cookie Party- Sunday, December 22nd
Beech Mountain Ski Resort will be hosting a Holiday Cookie Party on December 22nd from 4-6pm. This is a free event, with the supplies for decorating the cookies provided. It will be at the Beech Mountain Brewing Company (1007 Beech Mountain Parkway).

CALDWELL COUNTY

Light Up Lenoir- Thursday, November 21st
Presented by the COL Main St Program, Light Up Lenoir will have Santa from 4-6pm, School Performances from 4:30-6pm, and a Christmas Light Show from 6-10pm. All free and taking place in Downtown Lenoir (801 West Ave). The Christmas Light Show will continue nightly through January 1st.

Lenoir Downtown Christmas Tree Festival- Saturday, November 23rd
The Caldwell Rotary Club in partnership with the City of Lenoir and community sponsors, is hosting the a street festival in Downtown Lenoir from 10am-4pm on November 23rd.

The CCC&TI Chorus Presents: “An Irving Berlin Christmas”- December 4th and 10th
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Associate in Fine Arts – Music Program will host the final performances of the Fall 2019 Performing Artist Concert Series with two performances of a holiday-themed concert that are free and open to all students and the general public. The CCC&TI Chorus will present their annual Holiday Concert, themed “An Irving Berlin Christmas” on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. in the CCC&TI Recital Hall (B-100) on the Caldwell Campus in Hudson. The concert will feature favorite holiday songs from the songbook of American composer and lyricist Irving Berlin. A special encore performance of “An Irving Berlin Christmas” will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hickory, located at 547 6th Street NW.

Starry Night Christmas Parade- Friday, December 6th
The Lenoir Christmas parade in Downtown Lenoir (801 West Ave) will feature over 200 entries, including university and high school band performances, community groups and business floats, and of course the grand finale Santa float.

Holiday Film Night- Saturday, December 14th
Holiday Film Night will be at the Historic Lenoir High School Auditorium (1114 College Ave SW) from 6-10pm. Enjoy pictures with Santa and a Holiday Film that will start at 7pm. There will be hot chocolate, popcorn, and other refreshments provided. Hosted by the City of Lenoir Parks and Recreation and Main Street Program.

WATAUGA COUNTY

Tweetsie Christmas- November 22-23, 29-30, December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, & 27-28
Tweetsie Christmas begins the weekend of November 22nd and 23rd, and continues every Friday and Saturday through December. Enjoy a nighttime train ride among thousands of dazzling lights, meet Santa in his Gingerbread House, larger than life snowglobes to play in, a live Christmas show, and more. Get tickets here: https://tweetsie.com/special-events/tweetsie-christmas/

Holiday Scholarship Concert- Friday, November 22nd
The Hayes School of Music presents the 27th annual Holiday Scholarship Concert on Friday, November 22nd at 7:30pm. It will be at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, 733 Rivers Street in Boone. There will be performances from Steely Pan Steel Band, Brass Choir, Cello Ensemble, Trombone Choir, Treble Choir, Sax Quartet, Glee Club, Flute Ensemble, University Singers, Trumpet Choir, Chamber Singers, Guitar Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble. Tickets are $10, and you can buy tickets here, or by calling the Box Office at 828-262-4046.

Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town Blowing Rock- Friday, November 29th
This family-friendly event features entertainment in the park including Santa, hot chocolate, carols and music. It will be from 3-8pm on Friday, November 29th in Downtown Blowing Rock.

Blowing Rock Christmas Parade- Saturday, November 30th
The annual Blowing Rock Christmas Parade will be on Saturday, November 30th from 2-3pm on Main Street of Blowing Rock.

BRAHM Holiday Open House- Saturday, November 30th
After the Blowing Rock Christmas Parade on November 30th, you can stop by the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) for their Holiday Open House. Explore their winter exhibits, and enjoy a free snowman ornament craft and card-making, hot cider and cookies. For more information, contact Willard Watson by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or calling 828-295-9099 ext. 3006. You can also visit https://blowingrockmuseum.org/calendar.html/event/2019/11/30/holiday-open-house/265544

Make a Wreath and Make a Difference- Monday, December 2nd
Learn how to make a professionally designed wreath at Lost Province Brewing Company on December 2nd from 6-8:30pm.
The beautiful wreaths created at this workshop will be auctioned during Festival of Trees December 5th - 8th at Chetola Resort and will benefit the Western Youth Network. The cost is $20 and includes wreath instruction, materials, appetizers, and tea. Adult beverages are available for purchase. Space is limited, so you can reserve your spot now by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also see the Facebook event page here for more information. 

The Fifth Annual Festival of Trees- December 5th-8th
Western Youth Network hosts their 5th Annual Festival of Trees at Chetola Resort from December 5th- December 8th. All proceeds benefit Western Youth Network, a local youth serving organization.  Admission is a monetary donation to Western Youth Network at the door. You can buy a fully decorated tree or wreath for your home. No need to buy a tree or decorations–just come to Chetola and bid on your favorite fully decorated tree that even comes with presents.  This event us fun for the whole family!

Dates and Times:

Thursday, December 5 from 7:00pm-9:00pm

Friday, December 6 from 12:00pm-8:00pm

Saturday, December 7 from 10:00am-8:00pm

Sunday, December 8 from 10:00am-2:00pm

More information at: https://www.wynfestivaloftrees.com

Jones House Festive First Friday and Solar Tree Lighting- Friday, December 6th
The Jones House in Downtown Boone hosts their December Festive First Friday to herald in the Holiday season. Performances from the Appalachian Youth Chorale and the Watauga High School Honors Choir begin at 5:30 on the Jones House lawn. The Solar Tree Lighting will take place at 6:30 PM with the help of the Appalachian State University Sustainable Energy Society. Afterwards, hang around for a free reception with light refreshments in the Mazie Jones Gallery featuring the abstract landscape art of Rachael Van Dyke, accompanied by an indoor performance in the parlor from ASU a cappella group, the Enharmonix.

Holiday Stroll in Blowing Rock- Friday, December 6th
Finish your Christmas shopping in Downtown Blowing Rock, with a special Holiday Stroll on December 6th from 5-8pm. Santa will be there, along with carolers, music from the community band and more. Stores in downtown will be open later. Tanger Outlets will be participating as well, so after you visit downtown, go by the Tanger Outlets for more holiday deals.

6th Annual Lighting of the Tree- Thursday, December 12th
The Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center in Boone (338 Deerfield Road) will be hosting the 6th Annual Lighting of the Tree on December 12th from 6-7pm. There will be a lighting of the tree, refreshments, live music, and fellowship with Cancer Center staff and fellow community members. If you want to order a an ornament in honor and/or memory of a loved one, or for more information about this event, visit: https://apprhs.org/event/6th-annual-lighting-of-the-tree/ 

A Carolina Snowbelle Christmas- Friday and Saturday, December 13th & 14th
The Carolina Snowbelles are coming to the newly re-opened Appalachian Theatre in Downtown Boone. Tickets on sale now at www.apptheatre.org. Friday's performance is at 7:30pm, and Saturday's performance is at 3:00pm.

Boone Christmas Parade- Saturday, December 14th
The Boone Christmas Parade will travel down King Street on December 14th starting at 11:00am. Santa and the Christmas elves may even make a special appearance! After the parade, head up to the Jones House in Downtown Boone to warm up with hot cider and cookies.

Vintage Christmas Swing Party- Saturday, December 14th
Hosted by the Harvest House Dance Studio, the Vintage Christmas Swing Party is a fun night of dancing to classic Christmas songs. It will be at the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue (247 Boone Heights Drive) from 7-9pm on December 14th. There will be an hour of instruction, followed by a social dance hour. Tickets are $5 in advance and $6 at the door. To purchase advance tickets, click here, or visit the Facebook event page here

Longest Night Worship- Saturday, December 21st
The holiday season can be very hard for those mourning the loss of a loved one, sadness over broken relationships, health concerns, and other difficult circumstances. On the longest night of the year, from 6-8pm, High Country clergy will lead a worship service that will acknowledge grief this season and celebrate the light that shines in the darkness. It will be at the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center in Boone (232 Boone Heights Drive)

WILKES COUNTY

Light Up Downtown- Friday, November 22nd  
The annual holiday lighting and Christmas festival in Downtown North Wilkesboro will be from 6-9pm on November 22nd. Downtown shops will be open later, and there will be food and craft vendors on the street, live music, dance troupes, hayrides, train rides, a live nativity, and Santa Claus. 

Christmas Parade- Saturday, December 7th
The Christmas Parade hosted by Downtown North Wilkesboro Partnership will be in Downtown North Wilkesboro from 3pm-7pm. More info on the event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/543473192895778 

Christmas Carriage Rides- December 18th-21st
From 6-9pm December 18th-21st, enjoy a free Horse-drawn Christmas Carriage ride. No reservations are available, and pick up is on 10th Street in North Wilkesboro. Hosted by the Downtown North Wilkesboro Partnership. More info on the event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2506599786044344/


New Year's Eve/Day Events

New Year's Eve Party with Dr. Bacon- Tuesday, December 31st
Beech Mountain Brewing Company will have a New Years Eve Party with Dr. Bacon, from 7pm-2am. There will be live music from Dr. Bacon, a late night DJ, drinks, eats, fireworks and more. For tickets and more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/783130355476778/ 

Family New Years Eve Celebration- Tuesday, December 31st 
For the younger crowd, Beech Mountain Resort offers “Family Night” in the Lodge from 7 p.m. to midnight, free of charge! DJ Pete Welter will be spinning fun party tunes to get everyone moving. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Don’t forget to lace up your ice skates for a New Year’s Eve Late Night Ice Skate! Skate under the stars accompanied by festive music during an additional session from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. There will also be a fantastic firework show at midnight to ring in 2020!

New Year's Eve Extravaganza- Tuesday, December 31st
Appalachian Ski Mountain, 940 Ski Mountain Road in Blowing Rock, is hosting the New Year's Eve Extravaganza from 9pm-12am on December 31st. There will be fireworks, torchlight skiing, and more. Moonlight ice skating will be available from 10pm to midnight. There will also be Festive Restaurant Specials from 9pm to midnight.

New Year's Sunrise at Grandfather Mountain- Wednesday, January 1st
Ring in the New Year by watching the first sunrise of 2020 atop Grandfather Mountain. The sunrise is at 7:38am, on Wednesday, January 1st 2020, and the gates will open at 6:30am. There will be complimentary coffee, cocoa, and bearclaws for guests attending the event. Admission is $15, in addition to general admission, which means $35 for adults and $24 for children. Guests can remain in the park for the rest of the day, but if guests leave before 9:30am, they will have their general admission charge refunded. If you're a Bridge Club member, you only pay $10 for the event. The event caps at 100 participants, and to register, email Judi Sawyer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 828-733-2013. More information at https://grandfather.com/event/new-years-sunrise/