By Abbey Prevost
The village of Dillsboro will host the 40th Festival of Lights and Luminaries, embracing the color and spirit of the Christmas season. The festival will take place on December 1–2 and again the following weekend, December 8–9, from 5–9 p.m. Dilllsboro’s historic buildings will be adorned with thousands of white lights, and the streets will be lined with the soft light emitted from the luminaries. Each night, the merchants of Dillsboro will open their doors to the community, providing free refreshments and opportunities for holiday shopping. Local restaurants will also be open for the entire event.
In addition to the lights and shopping, visitors will be provided with musical entertainment. The White Triplets will perform all four nights, and Darren Nicholson will be performing two one-hour sets—at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.—on Saturday, December 9. There will also be glassblowing demonstrations from The Green Energy Park and craft vendors at Innovation Station Brewing on both Friday nights. Visitors can take old-fashioned horse-and-buggy rides, and children can share their wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Workshop at Dillsboro Town Hall.
David Marker, co-organizer of the event, says there are many reasons for visitors to come around. “I have many favorite parts, but probably my most favorite is the beauty of the village all lit up with white lights and luminaries flickering along the streets,” he says. “Seeing everyone smiling and having a good time is so special.” Marker notes that the event is completely free for visitors and has been for all 40 years, as it is funded by the Town of Dillsboro and The Dillsboro Merchants Association.
Dillsboro is located 45 minutes from Asheville. For more information, call the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 1.800.962.1911 or visit MountainLovers.com. Abbey Prevost is a senior at UNC Asheville and a fall intern for The Laurel.