December 31, 2018
What's better than the New York City Times Square ball drop to welcome in the new year 2018? Head to small town Marion (about 35 miles east of Asheville) to watch a 6-foot gold nugget drop into a 10-foot freshly baked donut that you eat! This free, fun, quirky celebration also includes a Comic Con costume contest, music, wagon rides and many local brews and wines. The celebration begins at 8:30 PM.
The 9th annual celebration on Main Street is centered about the Courthouse lawn (21 S. Main Street, Marion) with a main stage with a DJ playing music starting at 8:30 PM and costume contest at 10 PM. A 5K run and walk also begins at 8:30 PM (register in advance here). Find craft and food vendors in a blocked-off section of the street. The beer and wine garden will feature many nearby wineries and breweries. In addition, it's the grand opening of Mica Town Brewing (25 Brown Dr) just off Main Street. Refinery Taproom is around the corner at 13 N. Main St. Other restaurants and shops will stay open later.
Take a wagon ride for a small fee. Kids love the miniature train rides. The scavenger hunt has cash prizes.
The highlight of the night is the gradually lowering of the giant, lighted 80-pound gold nugget sculpture that stops inches above a massive 10-foot donut made by Mr. Bob himself (at his Main Street donut shop). Everyone can grab a bite of the donut after midnight during a sparkler display. The 6-foot gold nugget was built by local metal fabricator Turtle Labs. It's comprised of 300 triangles that frames internal lights and even has some gold flake to add more sparkle.
Why a gold nugget? The NC Gold Foundation is located in Marion. They preserve and promote North Carolina gold's history as the first state for gold discovery. Nearby, you can learn more about the gold history at the Historic Carson House or visit a real good mine at Thermal City about 12 miles from downtown Marion. Also, attend the NC Gold Festival in nearby Old Fort.
The event is free to attend and will conclude by 12:30 PM. From Asheville, it's an easy drive via I-40. Go to the McDowell County Website for nearby lodging.
Marion is one of our top small towns and has welcomed many new business downtown this year. See our Marion Guide for more info. Some of their other fun events include the Livermush Festival and the new Bigfoot Festival.
See more New Year's Eve and Day events in the Asheville area.