There's plenty of time to get into the holiday spirit between now and Christmas. We've compiled a list so you can plan your holiday week.
Tree Fest, presented by the Ashe Arts Center (303 School Ave., West Jefferson), continues through Thursday, Dec. 30, with decorated trees, handmade ornaments and more. It happens at the center Monday through Friday from 9 to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (336) 846-ARTS.
12 Days of Christmas holiday luncheon
It's a holiday culinary tradition at the Broyhill Inn (775 Bodenheimer Drive), and it repeats until Friday, Dec. 17, from 11:30 to 1 p.m. in the Jackson Dining Room.
Getting into the spirit with a seasonal buffet costs $14.95 (tax and gratuity not included). Friday's entertainment includes Nathan and Lauren Jones on piano. Reservations are recommended by calling (828) 262-2204.
The Holiday Edition of the Blowing Rock Farmer's Market hits the American Legion Building on Wallingford Street from 4 to 6 p.m. with seasonal produce and crafts.
Chimes and Chorus at Hardin Park
Hardin Park's sixth-grade chimes and chorus bring in the holiday season at 6:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria (861 Jefferson Road). The seventh and eighth-grade chimes and chorus hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. The snow date is Dec. 20.
High School Chorale Christmas Concert
The High Country High School Chorale brings in traditional holiday music like "Festival Alleluia" and "Come, though fount of every blessing" Thursday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hayes School of Music's Rosen Concert Hall at Appalachian State University. Also in the repertoire? A Christmas Pops Trio with classics like "Winter Wonderland."
Wine to Water Dinner
From 5 to 9:30 p.m. at Peddler Steakhouse (1972 Blowing Rock Road), join Wine to Water for a special dinner. The event is to raise money to build a well in honor of a young girl who died in Ghana because she didn't have access to clean water. One-hundred percent of the gratuity from the event will go to the fund.
The Nativity Tour
Bethlehem comes to the High Country, weekends through Dec. 19 as the Bethlehem and Beyond Campaign, an initiative to center Christmas on Jesus Christ, brings nativity scenes from around the world to Boone.
"The sets are on loan from various people," organizer Barry Nealy said. "There's an olive wood set from Bethlehem or the Jerusalem area. Several of the sets from Europe are hand carved wood."
Highlights include a 44-piece set that captures, not only the central figures, but the entire village.
"We've got over 30 business partners and a number of churches in the area," Nealy said.
For more information, call (828) 264-4482 or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) Friday marks another chance to experience it at 5:30 p.m. at the Greenway Business Park, 643-G Greenway Road. Expect decorations, homemade cookies, cider, hot chocolate and, of course, nativity sets.
Traditional Mountain Music Fridays
As they do every Friday, the Cove Creek String band plays at the Western Watauga Community Center in Sugar Grove (1085 Old U.S. 421). Drop in musicians and visitors are welcome to join for some carols Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to noon. For more information, call (828) 297-5195. The music starts at 10 a.m.
A Bethlehem and Beyond-sponsored night of carols starts at 6 p.m. Friday at the Boone Mall (1180 Blowing Rock Road). Meet between Panera and Old Navy to experience Old-Fashioned Christmas Caroling led by choir groups. Bethlehem and Beyond is a regional project aimed at centering Christmas on Jesus Christ.
'Christmas in Blowing Rock 2'
A Christmas variety extravaganza premieres at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium (160 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock) Friday with music, dancing, comedy and spirit. The fun starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information, check out our Limelight, page 21.
The Swayback Sisters hit Canyons at 9 p.m. for a free show. See page 23 for more information.
Friday brings two opportunities to flex those caroling vocals as both Galileo's (1087 W. King St.) and Nick's (4501 Tynecastle Highway, Banner Elk) offer a night of karaoke.
Rock around a metaphorical Christmas tree at Black Cat Burrito (127 S. Depot St.) as a dance party rocks Boone's nightlife, starting around 10 p.m.
Porch Dog Revival
Gritmasters Porch Dog Revival play at Murphy's Restaurant and Pub (747 W. King St.) Friday at 10:30 p.m.
Pancake Breakfast with Mrs. Claus
Mrs. Claus herself breakfasts with Beech Mountaineers Dec. 18 from 9 to 11 a.m. The community pancake breakfast happens at Buckeye Recreation Center (206 Grassy Gap Creek Road) at a cost of $5 for adults and $3 per child under 12. For more information, call the center at (828) 387-3003.
Boone Christmas Parade
The community is invited to witness a display of holiday spirit Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Boone Christmas Parade. Viewers are encouraged to line up along King Street from Horn in the West Drive to Water Street. An after-parade party happens at the Watauga County Library with refreshments and music from 12 to 1 p.m. Look for The Mountain Times! We'll be at the parade with those stickers you like so much! Check out http://www.boone-nc.org for more information.
Crafty kids are encouraged to come out to the Little Red Schoolhouse (behind the Original Mast General Store) on N.C. 194 in Valle Crucis. While making the craft is free, a donation of a warm scarf or pair of mittens for Share the Warmth is suggested. Call (828) 963-6511 for more information. It happens at 11 a.m. Santa himself will be on hand until 3 p.m. From noon to 2 p.m. at the Original Mast General Store, live music from Naomi Isaacs and the Home Folks happens around the pot-bellied stove.
A s'mores party happens Saturday at Footsloggers (139 S. Depot St.) from 1 to 5:30 p.m. All the ingredients will be provided. The fun happens in the courtyard.
ASU vs. Robert Morris
The basketball game isn't the only thing to hit the Holmes Convocation Center at 3 p.m. Lips will pucker as a community celebrates United Way's Big Pig Kiss-off Challenge during half-time. See page 3 for details!
Winter Tree Identification
The folks at Elk Knob State Park (5564 Meat Camp Road) are hosting a program on identifying trees in winter. It happens at 4 p.m. Dress warmly.
Holiday Hand Bells
Ring in the holidays with the "Ding-a-Lings" hand bell choir. They'll present their Christmas concert at 7 p.m. at Bethany United Methodist Church (495 N.C. 194, West Jefferson).
Santa Claus himself hits Valle Crucis from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. He'll be at the Little Red Schoolhouse at the Mast General Store. He'll be back a week from Friday at 11 a.m.
From 12:30 to 2 p.m., you can fill your tummy and help the Karma Krew get to Haiti. For more information, check out page #########.
Santa visits Appalachian Antique Mall
Santa himself stops by the Appalachian Antique Mall (631 W. King St.) from 2 to 4 p.m.
The folks at Elk Knob State Park (5564 Meat Camp Rd.) host a program at 4 p.m. on birds that, like High Country residents, brave the cold weather and snow of the mountains.
Rockin' Holiday Zumbathon Toy Drive
Monday, Northwestern Sutdios (1474 N.C. 105) lights up with Zumba action. To join the class, bring one new, unwrapped toy to class. The drive benefits the Children's Council of Watauga County. For more information, visit totalzumbanc.com. It happens from 7 to 9 p.m.