The most wonderful time of the year has come to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and there are plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit! Here are a few of our top event picks for the 2021 holiday season.
Please note: All event info is subject to change!
Marion Christmas Parade | Sunday, November 21, 2021
Come celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season in downtown Marion. The theme of this year's parade is "Christmas of Caring,” and the parade of local floats will travel down Main Street beginning at 3 p.m.
The Carolina Christmas Show | November 17-19, 2021
This heartwarming Broadway-style show will brighten your holiday season. Don't miss this year's event featuring performers from western North Carolina and special guest artists performing many of your seasonal favorites. The dazzling performances include dance, live music, and comedy.
Shop Local in the Blue Ridge
Don’t miss these opportunities to pick out a handmade or locally crafted gift for the loved ones on your shopping list:
Marion Shop Small Main Street Crawl | Saturday, November 27, 2021
Support local small businesses and artisans at this Small Business Saturday event on Main Street in downtown Marion. More than 30 vendors will be displaying jewelry, pottery, baskets, woodwork, ornaments, gifts and more! Stay tuned to the event’s Facebook page for up-to-date information.
Blue Ridge Artisans Craft Show | November 26-December 25, 2021
This annual show hosted by the McDowell Arts Council Association showcases the work of local artisans working in pottery, woodworking, jewelry, textiles and other fine arts. Every item is handmade right here in McDowell County! Open Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m.
Make Your Own Gifts at Old Fort’s Arrowhead Gallery & Studios
What better gift than something you made with your own hands! Sign up for a hands-on crafting class with one of the artisans at the Arrowhead Gallery & Studios in Old Fort, and you’ll walk away with a hand-painted silk scarf (Dec. 3), one-of-a-kind printed holiday cards (Dec. 18) or stained glass cardinal (Dec. 21) to share — or to keep for yourself!
Historic Marion Tailgate Fall Market | Tuesdays through December 14, 2021
When November arrives, the weekly tailgate market on Marion’s W. Henderson Street transforms into a fall market, perfect for holiday shopping or preparing for holiday meals. You’ll find locally crafted gifts and wreaths as well as fall and winter produce.
See the Lights & Sights
Enjoy holiday decorations and lights throughout the season at one of these holiday hot spots.
Carson House | November 18-December 5, 2021
The historic Carson House, built by the locally influential Carson family in the late 1700s, will be decorated in 19th-century Christmas splendor. Guided tours are available hourly, Wednesday-Sunday.
Christmas at Biltmore | Now through January 8, 2022
Visit America’s Largest Home to see dozens of decorated trees, miles of garland and thousands of sparkling ornaments displayed throughout the house. Buy a separate ticket to enjoy the magic of Biltmore’s Candlelight Christmas Evenings, and don’t miss the immersive Van Gogh Alive exhibit on display now.
Black Mountain Holly Jolly & Christmas Parade | December 3 & 4, 2021
Stroll the streets of picturesque Black Mountain as the town celebrates Holly Jolly on the first Friday evening in December. Shops stay open late and serve seasonal treats to shoppers, while street musicians and carolers wander the sidewalks and Santa Claus welcomes kids at the Old Depot. Return on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the annual Christmas parade.
Winter Lights at the N.C. Arboretum | November 19, 2021-January 1, 2022
Stroll among beautifully lit holiday displays featuring thousands of colorful, twinkling lights and a breathtaking 50-foot lighted tree placed throughout the gardens. Tickets available nightly, with entry times at 6, 7 and 8 p.m.
Marion’s Golden New Years Eve Celebration | December 31, 2021
Celebrate the arrival of 2022 at this family-friendly event in downtown Marion. At midnight, watch a giant gold nugget — crafted by the artisans at Turtle Laboratories — drop to welcome in the new year. Stay tuned to the event’s Facebook page for up-to-date information.