AVERY COUNTY — Looking for something to do around the holidays? Avery is full of festivities through New Year’s Eve, and the following is a list of things to do as we approach the the holidays and 2020.
Inaugural Elk Park Tree Lighting Ceremony (Nov. 26)
The Town of Elk Park will hold an inaugural tree lighting ceremony from 5 to 8 p.m. at town hall in memory of Calvin Winters. Families are encouraged to bring an outdoor ornament for the tree.
Beech Mountain Holiday Market (Nov. 30)
The holiday market will feature a chance to get some holiday shopping done ahead of time. The market will feature artisans and craftsmen with their wares on site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30, at Buckeye Recreation Center.
A Small Town Christmas (Dec. 6 to 8)
Banner Elk’s long-running holiday blowout is returning in 2019. The festival features a long list. The town will be brimming with events all weekend. The following is a full schedule of everything to do.
Friday, Dec. 6
- 6:30 p.m. — Christmas Tree Lighting & Caroling at Corner on Main Park
- 7:00 p.m. — “A Banner Elk Christmas” musical variety show at Ensemble Stage of the Historic Banner Elk School
Saturday, Dec. 7
- 8 a.m. — 5K YMCA Reindeer Run in Tate-Evans Park
- 9 a.m. — Pancake Breakfast with Santa at Dunn’s Deli (through 10:30 a.m.)
- 9 a.m. — Holiday Market at Evans Auditorium at Lees-McRae College (through 5 p.m.)
- 10a.m. — Christmas at Apple Hill Alpaca Farm (through 4 p.m.; tour purchase required)
- 11 a.m. to Noon — Christmas card and bookmark making at the Book Exchange at Historic School
- 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Pet photos with Santa at Banner Elk Chamber sponsored by Avery County Humane Society
- 1 to 3 p.m. — Christmas ornament decorating at Bayou Smokehouse and Grill
- 2 p.m. — Banner Elk Polar Plunge at Wildcat Lake (plungers need to arrive at 1 p.m.)
- 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. — Cookie decorating at Banner Elk Cafe and Lodge
- 6 p.m. — Parade of Lights on Main Street (ending with festivities in Tate-Evans Park)
- All day — Special treats for humans and pets at My Best Friend’s Barkery
Sunday, Dec. 8
- All Day — Choose & Cut Christmas Trees at Avery County tree farms (get a free tree withChoose & Cut lodging package)
- 10 a.m. — Christmas at Apple Hill Alpaca Farm (through 4 p.m.; tour purchase required)
- 2 p.m. — “A Banner Elk Christmas” musical variety show at Historic Banner Elk School
5k Reindeer Run (Dec. 7)
The annual run will begin at 9 a.m. on Dec. 7 at Tate Evans Park in Banner Elk. The registration cost for ages 13 and up is $25 and ages 5 to 12 is $10. Ages 4 and under race free. Registration on the day of the race is $30. For more information call Bonnie Clark at (828) 737-5500 and register online at ymcaavery.org.
SugarFest (Dec. 13 to 15)
SugarFest is Sugar Mountain Resort’s annual multi-day festival that takes place in mid-December. The festival will feature Olympic medalist Andrew Weibrecht for the preseason clinic. There will be a ribbon cutting, food, drinks, fireworks and more at the festival. For a full list of festivities visit the resort’s website by clicking to skisugar.com/sugarfest.
Town of Newland Christmas Parade (Dec. 14)
The parade will begin at 6 p.m. in town.
Santa comes to Beech Mountain (Dec. 14)
Kids can come tell Santa what they want for Christmas at the lobby of the Four Seasons at Beech from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14. There will be cookies, candy canes and the chance to take photos with Santa as well.
Santa Comes to Beech Mountain Resort (Dec. 21)
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Beech Mountain Resort’s Lodge from 1 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 21. The event is open to the public.
Holiday Cookie Party at Beech Mountain Resort (Dec. 22)
Visitors and residents can come by to enjoy this free event from 4 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 22. Supplies are included to decorate sweets and celebrate the holidays.
New Year’s Eve Celebration at Beech Mountain Resort (Dec. 31)
The events will include a family night from 7 p.m. to midnight at the resort’s lodge for no charge. D.J. Pete Welter be providing music for the evening with food and drinks available for purchase. There will also be a late night ice skate from 10 p.m. to midnight and a fireworks show to ring in the new year. An adult party open to patrons 21 and older featuring live music, a D.J., drinks, food and more. Tickets are available for purchase online.
New Year’s Eve Celebration at Sugar Mountain Resort (Dec. 31)
A torch parade will begin at 11:45 p.m. with fireworks at midnight, which is open to the public. There will be indoor festivities for a fee from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The third floor cafeteria is open to all ages, but the happenings at Last Run Lounge are for adults 21 and up. There will be live music performed by The Rockabillys for the indoor events. Tickets can be purchased by calling the resort at (828) 898-4521 ext. 261.