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Jackson County holiday events

By Kristin Fox

This weekend, Jackson County will kick off the holiday season with two Christmas parades – the Sylva Christmas Parade and the Cashiers Christmas Parade. In addition, there are several other opportunities to enjoy some holiday fun in Jackson County.

Organized by the Main Street Sylva Association, the Sylva Christmas Parade will be held on Sunday,December 3 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The parade will be held rain or shine. Sylva’s annual Christmas Parade takes place downtown along historic Main Street and offers plenty of holiday cheer with marching bands, floats featuring community organizations and a chance to see Santa.

The theme of this year’s parade is “A Superhero Christmas,” honoring the Rotary Club of Sylva, the grand marshal of the Christmas parade. Floats will be judged during the parade, and a prize will be awarded based on the theme.

The parade will begin at Chipper Curve Road and West Main Street and continue west ending at Mark Watson Park. All vehicles/floats that are in the parade will need to enter the parade line up by coming down Hospital Road to Chipper Curve Road; Hospital Road runs down behind the EMS station. Main Street will be closed during the day of the parade, but all side streets will be open until closer to the time of the parade.

For more information, go to or contact Peters at or 586-2719.

Sponsored by the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce, the Cashiers Christmas Parade will be heldon Saturday, December 2 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The theme of this year’s parade is “Bright Lights, Big Christmas.” The Chamber works with local businesses, organizations and residents who join together in celebration of the holiday season.

The one-mile parade route starts on Highway 107 South from Cashiers School Road and heads northtowards the Cashiers Crossroads where participants are announced to the crowd. The parade then turns left to head West on US Hwy 64 and ends at the intersection of Frank Allen Road and the Cashiers Community Center.

Other Christmas events in Jackson County include:

Sylva Tree Lighting

Sylva will come to life with the town’s annual Christmas tree lighting on Friday, December 1 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The event takes place downtown at the foot of the historic Jackson County Courthouse.

The fourth annual holiday fireworks sponsored havebeen canceled due to the current drought situation. Plans are to continue the holiday concert featuring Terri Lynn Queen and Scott Baker on the front porch of the chamber on Friday, December 1 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event will feature free hot chocolate and vendors.

Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries

Dillsboro will be transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles and song with the Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries to be held Friday and Saturday, December 1-2 and 8-9 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

This year, Dillsboro will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the festival, an adaption of a Scandinavian custom of lighting the way for the Christ child.

The festival features the illumination of 2,500 candlesin white bags and twinkling white lights along the streets of Dillsboro. The event features carolers, live musical performances, complimentary horse and buggy rides, and the opportunity to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus. Dillsboro shop owners treat festivalgoers to complimentary cider and cocoa.

This year’s festival will feature Grammy-nominated and bluegrass legend Darren Nicholson on December 9. The White Triplets will perform on all four nights.

The Nutcracker featuring the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville
The Ballet Conservatory of Asheville will visit the campus of Western Carolina University on Friday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 9 at3:00 p.m. for two performances of the holiday favorite ballet, The Nutcracker. The Bardo Arts Center, 199 Centennial Drive, Cullowhee, will feature the full-length version of The Nutcracker featuring professional classical dancers and the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville’s celebrated pre-professional company.

The ballet tells the story of a young girl who while playing with her new Nutcracker doll at midnight on Christmas Eve is swept up in a fantasy of toy soldiers, giant rats, snow fairies, magic, and mystery. After saving her beloved Nutcracker from the King of the Rats, she is whisked away to an enchanted land and dances the night away, meeting a host of enchanting and exotic characters.

Visit to learn more about the event and purchase tickets. Tickets are $5.00 for WCU students, $20.00 for WCU faculty/staff, $25.00 for adults, $15.00 for students/children (Non-WCU), and $20.00 for senior citizens.

The Bardo Arts Center Box Office is open Tuesday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and one-hour before performances.

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