The magic of the holiday season is approaching. While retail stores have had holiday decorations in stock for months, actual festivities tend to pick up following Thanksgiving. Here are some ways to feel the holiday magic near Jackson County.
Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3 – Last Minute Productions will be playing “The Grinch” (2018) and “The Santa Clause” in the University Theater. On Friday, “The Grinch” will play at 6 p.m. and “The Santa Clause” will play at 9 p.m. The movies will switch show times Saturday with “The Santa Clause” playing first.
Saturday, Dec. 3 – WCU’s School of Music will present “Sounds of the Season” at 3 p.m. at the Bardo Arts Center. Tickets are $5 for students, $15 for faculty and staff, and $20 for community members. Tickets can be purchased at https://wcuarts.universitytickets.com/w/
Tuesday, Dec. 6 and Wednesday, Dec. 7 – Black Theater Ensemble will present “All Wrapped Up!” at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively at the University Auditorium.
Thursday, Dec. 8 – The Office of the Chancellor will host Holidays at the Plaza, a celebration that has previously featured a performance of “A Christmas Carol” and treats. WCU will illuminate the Christmas lights around the clock tower. The event will start around 4 p.m. and the lights will come on around sunset.
Friday, Dec. 9 – Campus Activities is hosting Holidays at the UC for the first time since 2019. Holidays at the UC will take place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Passes can be purchased for goers to stuff a toy animal, make a mug and hot chocolate ornament, get a printed photo with Santa or Santa Paws, and play putt-putt. Individual activities can be purchased a la carte.
Saturday, Dec. 10 – Catamount Motor Sports will hold a toy drive and car show at the football stadium from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Toys For Tots. Food trucks will be present. The cost of admission is an unwrapped toy or $10.
Friday, Dec. 2 – Sylva will hold a tree-lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at the Jackson County Courthouse. Special musical and dance performances will follow. Hot chocolate will be available for purchase.
Saturday, Dec. 3 – Jackson County’s Parks and Recreation Department will welcome Santa at the Cullowhee Recreation Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4 – Sylva’s Christmas Parade will take place at 3 p.m. The parade will go through downtown Sylva. The theme for this year’s parade is “My Christmas Story.” Sylva will be honoring those who have helped develop Sylva.
Friday, Dec. 16 – Sylva’s holiday fireworks will commence at 7:30 p.m. following a holiday concert by Terri Lynn Queen, Scott Baker, and special guests at 6:30 p.m.
First two weekends of December – Dillsboro will hold its annual Lights and Luminaries on Dec. 2, 3, 9, and 10 from 5 – 8 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3 – Innovation at Dillsboro will host holiday glass blowing from 5 – 9 p.m. with the Jackson County Green Energy Park.
Saturday, Dec. 3 – Cashiers’ Christmas Parade will take place at 6 NC 107 from 3 – 4 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17 – Sapphire Valley Resort will open its ski slopes for the season.
Sunday, Dec. 4 – Blue Ridge Roller Derby will host “Holiday Fight Show” at the Smoky Mountain Event Center at noon. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for ages 11 – 18. Children under 11 get in for free.
Monday, Dec. 5 – Waynesville’s Christmas parade will start at 6 p.m. on Main Street.
Saturday, Dec. 10 – Smoky Mountain Event Center will host the Winter Wonderland Market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., complete with small businesses, food vendors, and opportunities to meet Santa. The Mountaineer reported Waynesville’s Main Street will hold A Night Before Christmas from 6 – 9 p.m. and Main Street will be closed to traffic during this time. A Night Before Christmas will be complete with lit luminaries, horse-drawn carriages, and caroling. First Baptist Church in Waynesville will also hold a live nativity with history reenactors playing the role of Bethlehem villagers.
Sunday, Dec. 11 – ALP Systems is hosting a car show and toy drive from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. They will be accepting toys and event tickets (movie tickets, zoo, minigolf, etc). The event is located at 46 Allegiance Lane, Waynesville, NC.
Friday, Dec. 16 – Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church will hold its third annual live Christmas storytelling from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Friday will be a drive-through experience.
Saturday, Dec. 17 – The Mountaineer reported Waynesville’s Main Street will hold A Night Before Christmas from 6 – 9 p.m. and Main Street will be closed to traffic during this time. A Night Before Christmas will be complete with lit luminaries, horse-drawn carriages, and caroling. Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church will hold its third annual live Christmas storytelling from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Saturday will feature a walk-through experience.
The Polar Express has returned to Great Smoky Mountains Railroads and will be operating throughout the holiday season. Visit https://www.gsmr.com for more information.
Darnell Farms is doing hayrides through holiday lights and their Christmas Wonderland Wednesday through Saturday evenings until Dec. 23.
Bryson City’s drive-through Christmas Lights Spectacular will run from 6 – 10 p.m. daily throughout December. The drive-through lights cost $20 for personal vehicles and family cars. It features a comical spin on the 12 Days of Christmas.
Children can write letters to Santa at the Swain County Heritage Museum and Visitor Center daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center will have complimentary hot chocolate and cookies.
Artisan Holiday Markets will run every Friday and Saturday morning until Dec. 17 at 117 Island Street.
The North Carolina Arboretum will be displaying Christmas lights around the park until the end of December. Visitors can also attend Biltmore Estate for more holiday magic.