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25 Great Holiday Events in North Carolina


Raleigh, N.C. (Nov. 16, 2007) Celebrate the holiday season with Christmas traditions and exciting New Year’s events in North Carolina. For those who are looking for something a little different, the elves at the North Carolina Division of Tourism have been working hard in Santa’s workshop assembling 25 great holiday events. Visitors can enjoy events ranging from family classics to the non-traditional and unique. For more goodies and stocking stuffers, go to .

Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Season
Now through Dec. 24, 2007
One of the most popular family holiday traditions in North Carolina is cutting down a live Christmas tree. Sip hot chocolate and take pleasure in the company of loved ones while joining in on this holiday tradition. Visitors chose and cut their own tree, enjoy sleigh rides, hayrides and other fun-filled activities. Contact the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association for more information. (800) 562-8789
Mountains: Various locations

Christmas at Biltmore Estate
Now through Dec. 31, 2007
Enjoy the magic of America's largest home filled with candlelight, blazing fireplaces and live holiday musical performances. Let Biltmore's extraordinary holiday décor, including more than 30 Christmas trees and miles of garland, inspire and rejuvenate your holiday spirit. (800) 411-3812
Mountains: Asheville, NC

The Polar Express at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Now through Dec. 29, 2007
The Polar Express comes to life in the Great Smoky Mountains when the train departs the depot for a special visit to the North Pole. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while listening and reading along with the magical story. Departs 11 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (800) 872-4681
Mountains: Bryson City, NC

National Gingerbread House Competition, Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa
Nov. 20-Jan. 5
More than 300 uniquely designed gingerbread houses will be on display. Awards will be given Nov. 12. Visitors can view all of these amazing houses at the historic Grove Park Inn. The event is free and open to the public. (828) 252-2711
Mountains: Asheville, NC

Holiday Lights at the Garden, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Nov. 23-Dec. 30
The Garden will feature more than 400,000 colorful lights throughout the gardens, holiday music, miniature mule team cart rides, nightly children's activities, carriage rides and more. 704-829-1240
Piedmont: Belmont, NC

Oriental Folk Festival
Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2007
The first annual Oriental Folk Festival will feature four outstanding singer-songwriter artists and their bands. Headliners include the everybodyfields, Arlington Priest, Carolina Herring and Coyote. Music styles include country, folk, bluegrass and rock and roll. The Folk Festival will include two concerts, Friday and Saturday nights with two performances each night starting at 7 p.m. 252-745-8186
Coast: Oriental, NC

Four Christmases for Children, Historic Bethabara Park
Dec. 1, 2007
At the first Moravian settlement in N.C., visitors can travel back in time to experience 18th century Christmas traditions when Bethabara was the main settlement on the Wachovia Tract. Create memories with your children while learning the history of the area. Explore four unique stations: A Christmas Bonfire in the 1754 Village, Children’s Love Feast Re-enactment, A Tavern Christmas and The Squire’s Christmas Dance. Advanced reservations are required. (336) 924-8191
Piedmont: Winston-Salem, NC

Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla
Dec. 1, 2007
Visitors will enjoy an evening parade of yachts and working boats decorated for Christmas along the Morehead City and Beaufort waterfronts. Waterfront merchants in both towns host open house in the afternoon. Enjoy cider, a delightful parade and dinner on the waterfront on this magical winter evening by the sea. (252) 728-1638
Coast: Morehead City, NC

Celebration of Angels
Dec. 1, 2007
Enjoy this celebration of the season and a chance to give back to the community of Historic Downtown Salisbury. This event features seven-foot-tall portraits of differently themed angels on marine ply board. Letters were sent to local artists giving them the opportunity to sketch their angel ideas and submit proposals to a panel of judges. Visitors can enjoy refreshments and entertainment while enjoying these great pieces of art. There is no admission fee for this event. Horse and carriage rides are available for a nominal fee. (704) 637-7814
Piedmont: Salisbury, NC

Santa Train, North Carolina Transportation Museum
Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 2007
Visitors will enjoy this Southern Railway tradition as Santa rides the train, passing out oranges and candy canes. Storytelling of classic Christmas tales and ornament-making activities are also part of this event. (704) 636-2889 or (877) 628-6386
Piedmont: Spencer, NC

A Tuna Christmas at Flat Rock Playhouse
Dec. 1-16, 2007
Celebrate the holidays with those crazy characters from Tuna, Texas. With quick-change artistry and quicksilver dialogue, two master comedians portray all of the 24 zany town citizens. Flat Rock Playhouse hosts over 90,000 patrons annually and is a major contributor to the local economy and the arts in North Carolina. (828) 693-0731
Mountains: Flat Rock, NC

Christmas By The Sea Festival
Dec 1-18, 2007
Celebrate Christmas on the Coast with a lighted boat flotilla, live music, arts and craft show, choral concert, hometown parade, tree lighting ceremonies, tour of beach homes on Oak Island and a tour of historic homes in Southport. (910) 457-6964 or (800) 457-6964
Coast: Southport, NC

Christmas Town USA
Dec. 1-26, 2007
McAdenville transforms into Christmas Town U.S.A. on Dec. 1. Visitors from all over come to be amazed by hundreds of thousands glittering lights. This small town was nicknamed “Christmas Town USA” by famous CBS TV announcer Charles Kuralt, who reported from McAdenville. The best time to view the Christmas Lights is Monday through Thursday. You also can enjoy the lights Friday through Sunday, but traffic is heavier on these days, and waits of 30 to 45 minutes are not unusual. (704) 823-2260 or (800) 849-9994
Piedmont: McAdenville, NC

Blue Ridge Craft Show and Sale
Dec. 3-20, 2007
Visitors from all over will enjoy the variety of feature crafts from local artisans, including woodwork, paintings, photography and various Christmas ornaments. (828) 652-8610
Mountains: Marion, NC

Lazy O Farm Christmas Dayz
Dec. 3-22, 2007
Enjoy Christmas at the farm with god old-fashioned fun and simple country pleasures like hot chocolate and apple cider. The barn will be decorated and holiday music will fill the air. Children can enjoy crafts and a visit with Santa. Evenings will feature hayrides, a campfire and marshmallow roasting. (919) 934-1132
Piedmont: Smithfield, NC

Holidays Around the World, Historic Oak View County Park
Dec. 4-9, 2007
There will be more than 20 decorated trees and displays featuring holiday customs of different countries from all over the world. Visitors can also enjoy a collection of homemade gingerbread houses and a snowman. Learn about the celebrations from all corners of the world. (919) 250-1013
Piedmont: Raleigh, NC

Lighting of the World's Largest Living Christmas Tree
Dec. 6, 2007
The 78th Annual Lighting of the World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree at Hilton Park. Holiday entertainment will begin at 6 p.m. with the arrival of Santa to follow. (910) 341-4602
Coast: Wilmington, NC

Annual Holiday Flotilla on the Pamlico
Dec. 8, 2007
Come watch this spectacular show of lights as boats fill the Washington waterfront in full holiday decor. Gather along Stewart Parkway for the best view. (252) 946-3969
Coast: Washington, NC

Santa and the Grinch Fire Truck Rides
Dec. 8, 2007
Visitors can ride on an antique fire truck with Santa and the Grinch. Great fun for the kids and kids at heart. Hours are 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and admission is free. Boarding is located on East Innes Street. (704) 637-7814
Piedmont: Salisbury, NC

An Early American Christmas at Malc
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