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Chetola’s Festival of Lights returns Nov. 25

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Article Published: Nov. 23, 2011 | Modified: Jan. 29, 2012
Chetola’s Festival of Lights returns Nov. 25

On Friday, Nov. 25, at dusk, Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock will flip the switch on its Festival of Lights.
Photos by Jim Greene

Chetola Resort will become a winter wonderland when it flips switch and kicks off the 2011 holiday season at dusk on Friday, Nov. 25.

The official opening of the Festival of Lights features more than 50,000 dazzling bulbs that illuminate Chetola Lake and its surroundings.

Thousands of visitors come to Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock each year to get into the holiday spirit and view the festive light display.

The Festival of Lights will remain up through Jan. 29, 2012, which marks the conclusion of Blowing Rock Winterfest (Jan. 27-29, 2012).

Thanksgiving weekend activities at Chetola

Is there a more fitting way to celebrate the season than to take a magical horse-drawn carriage ride around Chetola Lake?

Carriage rides are offered on Friday, Nov. 25, and Saturday, Nov. 26, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. The horse-drawn carriages travel around Chetola Lake to the resort’s main entrance where they turn around for the return trip. Rides are first-come, first-served, with reservations beginning at 5 p.m. on the day of the ride. The price is $16 for adults, $10 for children ages 2 to 12 and free for children younger than 2.

Kids will also enjoy a sugar rush of sorts by participating in cookie decorating, offered free both nights from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Appalachian/Blue Ridge Room (directly off Chetola’s main lobby).

And don’t forget to get those Christmas lists ready. All ages can visit with Santa in the lobby of the Manor House from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

All activities are open to the public.

Chetola also will be offering a casual dinner buffet on Nov. 25 and 26 from 5 to 9 p.m. that features assorted cold salads, chilled shrimp, carved roast prime rib, fried chicken, penne pasta, fresh vegetable medley, the chef’s selection of homemade desserts and more. Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. The buffet will be served in the Manor House Restaurant. Headwaters Pub will be open both Friday and Saturday evenings.

This year, Chetola will not be serving Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, as it moves forward with construction on its new restaurant, Timberlake’s, which is scheduled to open in early 2012.

In early August, the Manor House Restaurant had a small fire that damaged part of the kitchen area and required the restaurant and pub to close during renovation.

In keeping with Chetola’s commitment to maintain the history and heritage of the 19th century-constructed Manor House, the new restaurant will retain that charm, while also creating an even grander dining establishment.

Timberlake’s, which is inspired by artist Bob Timberlake’s culinary favorites, will be complemented by a bigger and better kitchen, Timbers, a new lakefront dining and banquet room, and Bob Timberlake’s décor and design throughout the historic restaurant.

The new restaurant will have a special viewing area of the kitchen that allows guests to enjoy the culinary “show” being performed by executive chef Michael Barbato and his staff, winners of 2011’s Fire on the Rock competition.

For more information, call Chetola at (828) 295-5500 or visit

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