For the 28th year, 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.
This year’s dates are Dec. 2-3 and Dec. 9-10. In addition to luminaries on the streets, the town’s merchant “elves” trim their buildings, many of which date to the 1800s, in traditional white lights.
Dillsboro Festival of Lights and Luminaries is adapted from a Scandinavian custom of lighting the way for the Christ child. This year’s festival runs Dec. 2-3 and Dec. 9-10, from dusk to 9 p.m.
Once Dillsboro is aglow, carolers fill the streets, musicians stroll through town playing Christmas favorites, and Santa visits with children at Town Hall. Shopkeepers add to the merriment by staying open late and serving coffee, warm cider, hot chocolate and homemade goodies to visitors.
For the second straight year, horse-drawn carriage rides will be available both weekends.
“Folks tell us every year how genuine this event is and how much they enjoy it,” says Julie Spiro, tourism director for Jackson County. “It’s a nice combination of cool winter weather and warm holiday spirit.”
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.