Holiday roundup

It’s that time of year. Now that Thanksgiving has arrived, so have holiday events — lots of them. If you have an event you want listed, send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



• Franklin’s Christmas Parade. Nov. 28. The town of Franklin welcomes the holiday season with the parade through downtown with Santa and Mrs. Claus and much more. 3 p.m. 524.1598.

• Canton Christmas Parade. Dec. 2 in downtown Canton. 648.2363.  

• Highlands Olde Mountain Christmas Parade in downtown Highlands will be Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. 526.2112.

• 36th Annual Bryson City Christmas Parade. Dec. 4. Billed as the “biggest little” Christmas parade in the Smokies, complete with clowns, an old time oompah band, floats, marching bands, Santa and more. 2 p.m. 800.867.9246.  

• Sylva Christmas Parade. Dec. 4. The Downtown Sylva Association puts together a parade complete with floats representing a broad spectrum of the community pictures with Santa Claus and more. This year’s theme is “The Wonder of Christmas Morning.” 3 p.m. on Main Street. 586.1577.

• Maggie Valley Christmas Parade. Dec. 4. Parade begins at 6 p.m. on Highway 19 in downtown Maggie Valley. 926.0866.      

• Evening Christmas Parade in Downtown Waynesville. Dec. 6. Parade starts at 6 p.m. on Main Street and features floats, music, Santa and Mrs. Claus and more.

• Cherokee Christmas Parade. Dec. 11. A theme-based parade featuring floats, music, Santa Claus and more. Parade begins at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Big Bear Exxon and ends at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds. 800.438.1601.

• Cashiers Christmas Parade. Dec. 11. Annual parade through downtown Cashiers. 1 p.m. 743.7710.


Holiday Activities

• Holiday Open House in downtown Waynesville. Nov. 21. A Holiday Tradition on Main Street. Enjoy the sights, scents and sounds as the holiday season begins in festively decorated shops and galleries. 12 to 9 p.m. 456.3517.

• Festival of Lights in Cherokee. Nov. 22-Jan. 11. View the Holiday Lights and visit in Cherokee’s many specialty shops. 866.433.6700.

• Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in Franklin. Nov. 26. Tree lighting on the Square in Downtown Franklin with free cider, cookies and music at 7 p.m. 524.2516.

• Christmas Time in the Mountains. Nov. 26-Dec. 23. A shopping event at the Inn at Half Mile Farm in Highlands. 526.8170.    

• Hard Candy Christmas at Western Carolina University. Nov. 26, 27. An arts and crafts show in the WCU Ramsey Center. Admission is $3 for adults. 524.3405.

• Annual Mistletoe Magic in Macon County. Nov. 26, 27. Event featuring quality artisans, strolling carolers, Santa Claus and elves, Christmas trees for sale, horse drawn wagon rides and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center.

• The Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association will sponsor a Meet Santa Claus event at the Village Green on Nov. 27. Cider and cookies will be available. Bring a camera to take photos with Santa. 1 to 4 p.m. 743.1630 or 

• Town Tree Lighting in downtown Highlands. Nov. 27. Gather together to light the Highlands Christmas tree at 6:30 p.m. 866.526.5841.

• The public is invited to cast their votes for the Bascom gingerbread House contest from Nov. 30-Dec. 10, on Tuesdays – Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The winners will be announced at 10 a.m. Dec. 11. 526.4949 or visit

• Christmas at Lambuth Inn at Lake Junaluska. Nov. 30 – Dec. 3. A special seasonal program for adult groups or individuals who wish to experience a meaningful preparation for celebrating the Christ in Christmas.

• Window Wonderland in Downtown Franklin. Dec. 3-10. A holiday celebration on town hill in Franklin that features “living” window displays of the season, carolers, and other sounds of the holidays, carriage rides, refreshments and more from 5 to 8 p.m. 524.2516.

• Festival of Lights and Luminaries in Dillsboro. Dec. 3, 4 and 10,11. The town is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles and song with 2500 luminaries that light the way to shops and studios. Shopkeepers will provide live music and serve holiday treats and children can visit with Santa at Town Hall. 800.962.1911.

• Live Nativity at Saunooke Village in Cherokee. Dec. 4. Nativity scenes with live camels and other animals, music and more. Presented by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia at 6 p.m. 631.4587.

• Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville will celebrate an Old Fashion Appalachian Christmas on Dec. 11. Enjoy traditional mountain dulcimer music and song, mountain stories, homemade treats and more. 7 to 8:30 p.m. 456.6000.

• A Night Before Christmas in downtown Waynesville. Dec. 11. A holiday tradition of caroling, live music, a live Nativity, Santa, old-fashioned wagon rides, storytelling, poetry and more. Main Street is lined with hundreds of luminaries and shops and restaurants open until 9 p.m.

• Spirit of Christmas in Bryson City. Dec. 11. Luminaries line historic Everett Street, the signature hemlock is lit with memorial lights, carolers and musical artists abound, photos with Santa and a living nativity. 800.867.9246.

• Cherokee Native Christmas at River Bend in downtown Cherokee. Dec. 11. The Cherokee Chamber of Commerce Annual event features Native arts and crafts, singing, clogging, storytelling and a visit from Santa with gifts for the kids. 866.433.6700.

• City Lights bookstore in Sylva will host music and a little comedy from duo Slim Christmas and Yuletide Carol on Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. in the store’s Regional Room. 586.9499.

• Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Polar Express Train Ride. Through Dec. 23. The popular children’s book “The Polar Express” comes to life on a journey to the North Pole. Read along with the magical story and meet Santa. Enjoy holiday caroling, hot cocoa and a special treat. Trains depart from the Train Depot in Bryson City. For schedule and rates call 800.872.4681.

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