Arts Communities

Holiday Celebrations Abound in Black Mountain

Black Mountain has developed a reputation as a great place to celebrate the winter holidays, and after a year hiatus, the community returns in full Christmas spirit, with events taking place throughout the month of December. The Christmas season kicks off on Thursday, December 2, with the annual Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry (SVCM) Deck the Trees event.

Deck the Trees. Sassafras on Sutton

Headquartered at the Monte Vista Hotel, and hosted by sponsoring businesses, the event features trees throughout downtown decorated using Black Mountain Christmas as a theme. Viewers can vote for a favorite tree with their dollars which will support the Fuel Fund for those in need of winter heat assistance.

“Deck the Trees donates every cent it raises to the SVCM Fuel Fund,” says the event’s organizer Libba Fairleigh. “We have donated $151,083.95 over the past 10 years.”

The traditional evening shopping event, Holly Jolly, returns on Friday, December 3, with a visit from Santa at the Old Depot Gallery on Sutton Avenue. Merchants, with stores decked out in holiday trimmings, remain open for evening hours and sweet treats from 5:30–8 p.m.

One participant, Europa Fine Gifts, on Cherry Street, offers handcrafted Christmas decorations and ornaments from Europe, including German Moravian stars, nutcrackers and Advent candle pyramids, plus ornaments made in Poland, Scotland, Sweden, Norway and England. German brandy-filled chocolates, lebkuchen and stollen are just a few of the seasonal food items available for purchase. “Our favorite time to visit Europe is for the outdoor markets at Christmas, and we hope we can provide a taste of that for our customers,” says Europa co-owner Kim McMurtry.

Black Mountain Center for the Arts (BCMA) hosts a Pottery Market during Holly Jolly featuring ceramics created by both instructors and students of the BMCA pottery program. The Center will also have a Christmas tree in the lobby loaded with handmade, unique ornaments for sale and a ceramic arts show in the gallery with pieces available for purchase. BMCA dance troupes of all ages will perform on Sutton Avenue.

“Holly Jolly is such a magical night; it truly feels like a modern-day Norman Rockwell painting that comes to life,” says BMCA dance instructor Amy Maze. “You see the whole town come together to celebrate each other and the holiday season.”

On Saturday, December 4, at 4 p.m., the annual Christmas Parade will proceed along 14 blocks on State Street from the Super 8 Motel at Flat Creek Road to St. James Episcopal Church at Cragmont Road, with Santa as a special guest. Immediately following the parade, Circle of Lights will commence at Lake Tomahawk on Rhododendron Drive. The following weekend, on Saturday, December 11, Lookout Brewing Company will host its second annual Holiday Craft Market from 1–6 p.m. Throughout the season, visitors can stop by Town Square for a photo opportunity in a Christmas sleigh.

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