Blue Ridge Country - March/April 2018 - 31
and Saturday nights in October at
Tweetsie Railroad (tweetsie.com) in
the High Country of North Carolina.
Down at Dahlonega, Georgia,
discover Gold Rush Days on Oct.
Just outside Roanoke, Virginia,
head to Franklin County, where you
can find both mules and moonshine
at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, held on Oct. 27 (blueridgefolkfestival.com). Or go to Pennington
Gap, Virginia, for the Lee County
Tobacco Fall Festival on Oct. 27
Also look for the Fall Festival
with hayrides and a cakewalk at Vogel State Park in Georgia on Oct. 27
In Georgia, the Fall Celebration at Hardman Farm runs 10
a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct 20 in Sautee
(helenga.org) while, in Virginia, the
Apple Butter Festival of Wade's
Mill celebrates autumn near Raphine on Oct. 20 (wadesmill.com).
On Oct. 20-21, North Carolina's
long-running Woolly Worm Festival (woollyworm.com) gathers lots
of laughs as woolly worms race in
downtown Banner Elk. By tradition,
the overall winning worm will win
exclusive forecasting rights for the
winter in the High Country!
Autumn also includes West Virginia's Official Bridge Day at the
New River Gorge Bridge of Fayette
County. Here, you'll find daredevils
jumping or rappelling. Of course,
you can also simply stroll the
3,030-foot-long bridge near Fayetteville to visit vendors (officialbridgeday.com).
Visit Home Craft Days in Big
Stone Gap, Virginia, on Oct. 19-21,
to witness old-time music, crafters
and food at Mountain Empire Community College (homecraftdays.org).
Just for thrills, check out the
Tweetsie Ghost Train on Friday
Capping the autumn season with
fall color on Clinch Mountain, the
Carter Family Memorial Festival & Craft Show happens at
Hiltons (carterfamilyfold.org) on Nov.
2-3 in Virginia.
This year, the Christmas at
Biltmore begins Nov. 3 with fanciful garland, light and ribbon (biltmore.com) and runs to early January,
largely coinciding on the calendar
with the Candlelight Evenings
at Biltmore in Asheville, North
Smoky Mountain Christmas
premieres Nov. 10 and runs through
Jan. 5, 2019 at Dollywood, offering a winter wonderland with four
million lights, holiday shows and
a wonderful steam-train ride (dollywood.com) in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Nearby, the three-month-long
Smoky Mountain Winterfest
(visitsevierville.com) returns on Nov.
5-with millions of lights seen on
the streets of Sevierville, Pigeon
Forge and Gatlinburg in the Great
Santa Claus makes an appearance
during the Lighting of the Village at Helen, Georgia on Nov. 23
Christmas in the Park &
Lighting of the Town rolls into
Blowing Rock, North Carolina on
Nov. 23-24 (blowingrock.com).
Always on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, Light up Blue
Ridge includes an appearance by
Santa and Mrs. Claus on Nov. 24, arriving on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway at the city park of Blue Ridge,
The intimate Wintertide rolls
back to Highland County, Virginia,
on Dec. 1 with cookies, chocolate
and the lighting of the community Christmas tree (highlandcounty.
org) at Monterey. On the same day,
you can discover the Damascus Christmas Parade & Trail
Town Christmas Festival at the
Rock School (damascus.org) in Damascus, Virginia.
Holiday cheer continues with
mini-train-rides and a breakfast
with Santa Claus during A Small
Town Christmas in Banner Elk,
North Carolina, celebrated Dec. 7-9
Then, on Dec. 8, 4-7 p.m., come
see the Christmas Tree Lighting at Vogel State Park (706745-2628), near Blairsville, Georgia,
where you can sing Christmas carols and have a meet-and-greet with
The Yuletide season always takes
on a warm glow in the tiny village
of Helvetia, West Virginia, where
the Feast of Saint Nicholas (helvetiawv.com) is held on the Saturday
closest to the fifth of December at
the Helvetia Community Hall in
Round out the season at Roanoke, Virginia, with the familyfriendly Dickens of a Christmas,
featuring a parade, costume contest,
Christmas tree lighting, roasted
chestnuts, carriage rides and street
performers. Mark your calendars for
Dec. 7, 14 and 21 (downtownroanoke.
org), and be sure to check out Hotel Roanoke's Fashions for Evergreens, running Nov. 22 to Jan. 1.
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