Celebrations abound in High Country
It’s a time for celebration, as area towns and communities mark the holidays with parades, concerts and special entertainment. Here are some highlights:
West Jefferson Tree Fest
Decorated trees, ornaments, holiday crafts and gifts and miniature paintings will be on display from Nov. 25 to Dec. 27 at the Ashe Arts Center, located at 303 School Ave. in West Jefferson.
An artists’ reception takes place Dec. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m., as part of downtown West Jefferson’s “Christmas Crawl.” For more information, call (336) 846-ARTS, or visit http://www.ashecountyarts.org.
‘The One and Only Santa Claus’
BeanStalk Little Theatre presents its holiday production, “The One and Only Santa Claus,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, and 7 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7, with all performances at the Harvest House in Boone.
Tickets can be purchased at Andrea McDonough’s State Farm Insurance office, located at 450 New Market Blvd., Suite 1, in Boone, and at the door one hour prior to each performance. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $5 for those 18 and younger. Refreshments and a holiday gift basket raffle will be available each night. Harvest House is located at 247 Boone Heights Drive in Boone.
The annual Todd community Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in Cook Park.Hot apple cider and caroling awaits all who gather for the lighting of the tree, which is donated for the holiday by Roger Critcher, according to Todd Ruritan president Barry Stevens.
Donors may sponsor a light on the tree in honor or in memory of a loved one for $5, with contributions supporting the Ruby A. Trivette Scholarship, which typically provides $2,000 per year to college-bound high school seniors. The tree-lighting also serves as a birthday celebration for Trivette, a longtime schoolteacher who will turn 99 that week, Stevens said. Contributions may be sent by mail to Todd Ruritan Scholarship Committee, c/o Larry Trivette, 10550 N.C. 194 North, Todd, N.C. 28684. Walter and Annie Cook Memorial Park is located at 3899 Todd Railroad Grade, across from the Todd General Store.
Boone Christmas Parade
The town of Boone’s annual Christmas parade starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, on King Street in downtown Boone, offering holiday cheer in the form of music, floats and special appearances. For more information, call (828) 262-4532.
Banner Elk’s Christmas in the Park
On Saturday, Dec. 7, the town of Banner Elk will celebrate the holiday season with a day full of events, leading up to the Parade of Lights and tree-lighting in Tate-Evans Park. All-day Saturday events are scheduled throughout the town, including three screenings of the movie, “The Polar Express,” cookie-decorating, pet photos with Santa (by appointment) and Fraser fir beer-tasting, courtesy of Flat Top Brewery. Starting at 3 p.m. in the park, the U.S. Army 2014 Ice Carving Team will begin working on a holiday-themed ice sculpture in the park. As they carve, team members will interact with audience members and host competitions. When the sun dips down at 5:30 p.m., the Parade of Lights will illuminate Main Street in Banner Elk. No registration is required to enter the parade, and lineup starts at Lees-McRae College at 4:30 p.m. The parade will end in Tate-Evans Park, where the tree-lighting ceremony will take place. Parade-goers can also enjoy a train ride through the park, which organizers said will be filled with luminaries. For more information, call (828) 898-8395, or visit http://www.bannerelk.org/christmas.
MHM’s ‘An Appalachian Christmas’
Mountain Home Music presents the Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys in a free Christmas concert. In place of admission, donations will be accepted, with all proceeds going to Santa’s Toy Box and the Hospitality House. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, located at 115 E. King St. in Boone. For more information, call (828) 964-3392, or visit http://www.mountainhomemusic.com.
Ashe Choral Society Holiday Concert
The Ashe County Choral Society’s annual Holiday Concert takes place Sunday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Ashe Civic Center in West Jefferson. According to organizers, the concert is both a tradition and a highlight of the holiday season in Ashe County. Tickets cost $12 for general admission and $5 for students and are available at the Ashe Arts Center, located at 303 School Ave. in West Jefferson, or by phone at (336) 846-2787.
St. Mary’s Lessons and Carols Service
The choir of St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church will present a traditional Lessons and Carols service Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m.The service will be held at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum in downtown Blowing Rock. In case of inclement weather, call the church office at (828) 295-7323.Made famous through BBC broadcasts from King’s Chapel in Cambridge, England, the service tells the story of the fall of Adam, the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus, as told in short Bible readings interspersed with carols and hymns. It has been sung in Anglican churches all over the world since the 1880s. The St. Mary’s choir has performed many times with various chamber orchestras, but its focus remains unaccompanied singing. James Bumgardner has been organist and choir director at St. Mary’s for more than 20 years and has led the choir on several trips to study with the foremost directors of Anglican choral music in Cambridge. The group has been choir-in-residence at Durham Cathedral in England twice and has sung services for St. Mary the Virgin in New York City, as well as representing North Carolina at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
‘(The Best of) Christmas in Blowing Rock (5)’
The “Christmas in Blowing Rock” series continues at Blowing Rock’s Ensemble Stage. The homegrown variety show, patterned after the Andy Williams and Bing Crosby TV specials of the 1960s and 1970s, features singing, comedy skits, dancing and more for a live “greatest hits” show, featuring crowd favorites from previous “Christmas in Blowing Rock” productions. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13 and 14, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $8 for children 16 and younger.For tickets and more information, visit http://www.ensemblestage.com, or call (828) 414-1844.