December 6-7 and 13-14, 2013
The Dillsboro Festival of Lights & Luminaries illuminates this mountain village the first two weekends in December. In an era of electronic gadgetry and LED lights, Dillsboro’s celebration is a throwback. Adapted from a Scandinavian custom of lighting the way for the Christ child, more than 2,500 candles in white bags line the streets with more than a dozen shops to explore.
Meanwhile, the festival starts a new tradition this year by providing snow. Cullowhee-based weather guru Preston Jacobsen plans to blow snow for the festival via his new company, Whee Make Snow.
Weather permitting, Jacobsen will create a winter wonderland at the corner of Front and Webster streets where children of all ages can make snowmen and play in the snow.
In addition to the luminaries and snow, the town’s merchant “elves” trim their buildings – many of which date to the late 1800s – in traditional white lights. Shopkeepers also stay open late and serve coffee, warm cider, hot chocolate and homemade goodies to visitors. There will be sing-alongs throughout town, horse-and-carriage rides, WCU students strolling the streets in renaissance costumes, children’s art in the courtyard, plus Santa and Mrs. Claus setting up shop in Town Hall.
The Festival of Lights & Luminaries begins each evening at dusk and runs until 9 p.m. There is no admission charge.
Dillsboro is located on the Tuckasegee River near Sylva at the crossroads of U.S. Hwy. 23/74 and U.S. Hwy 441 in Jackson County. The town is less than an hour west of Asheville.
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