Waynesville ushers in the holidays with two annual celebrations on consecutive weekends: a tree lighting on Friday, November 30, and A Night Before Christmas, one of the region’s oldest and largest holiday downtown events, on Saturday, December 8, from 6–9 p.m.
The Waynesville Christmas Tree Lighting takes place at a 60-foot balsam fi r in front of the Oak Park Inn and Kandi’s Bakes & Cakes on South Main Street at 6 p.m. Caroling and hot chocolate add to the festivities when hundreds of lights and a sparkling star light up the night sky downtown.
A Night Before Christmas features evening dining, shopping and entertainment, with the historic Main Street closed to traffi c. “Downtown’s Main Street is a Norman Rockwell picture,” says Buffy Phillips, executive director of the Downtown Waynesville Association (DWA). “Folks love being in the middle of it. They make magical memories and they relive past memories.” The event celebrates the economic viability of Haywood County’s largest city with its unique shops, galleries and restaurants. Downtown Waynesville has been a NC Main Street City since 1986. The DWA has expanded the event since 1997, when it fi rst began as a way for locals and visitors to enjoy the decorative lights. The evening includes horse-drawn wagon rides, a Bethlehem Marketplace with a live nativity and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Musicians and carolers contribute to the sounds of the season. “Dining and shopping during the evening is an economic booster for the businesses during the holidays,” Phillips says. “We are part of a team in downtown, meshing together to better our community.” To learn more, visit DowntownWaynesville.com or call 828.456.3517. The tree lighting will be held at 196 South Main Street in Waynesville.