Region welcoming season
by Jeff Eason
On Friday, the town celebrated its annual Christmas in the Park and Lighting of the Town. The event included a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at the gazebo in Memorial Park, free hot chocolate and hot apple cider, live music from the Vagabonds and Diana and Sarvis Ridge, hayrides and the ceremonial lighting of the giant Christmas tree in front of Town Hall.
Later on Friday evening, families gathered at Chetola Resort to witness the opening weekend of the annual Festival of Lights. Santa Claus visited with children at Timberlake’s and folks enjoyed carriage rides around Chetola Lake.
Chetola’s Festival of Lights will continue through Winterfest weekend, ending on Jan. 27.
Saturday’s events also included the annual Thanksgiving Kiln Opening and Holiday Celebration at Traditions and Bolick Pottery in the Blackberry community.
Later, hundreds of people lined Main Street for the annual Blowing Rock Christmas parade. It included dancers, floats, live music, classic cars, dignitaries, and, of course, Santa Claus.
On Saturday afternoon, the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum hosted a special open house to close the exhibit “North Carolina Treasures.” Artist and author Bob Timberlake was on hand to sign copies of his book, “Life’s Lessons.”