The Dillsboro Festival of Lights & Luminaries will illuminate this mountain village the first two Fridays and Saturdays in December.
Dillsboro’s 29th annual celebration sets the town aglow Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 14-15 with more than 2,500 candles in white bags lining the streets. The luminaries are adapted from an old Scandinavian tradition.
Meanwhile, the festival starts a new tradition this year by the promise of 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 and lodging is plentiful with more than half of Jackson’s County guest rooms located in Dillsboro or within a 15-minute drive.
For information, go to www.visitdillsboro.org, or call the Jackson County Visitors Center at (800)962-1911.