‘Intersection of merry and bright,’ city celebrates Home for the Holidays’
Hendersonville’s Home for the Holidays celebration begins the day after Thanksgiving with the Christmas tree lighting on the Historic Courthouse Plaza and ends with the New Year’s Eve Apple Rise.
“We like to say you can find us at the ‘intersection of merry and bright’ because there are so many holiday memories to be made here,” says Michelle Owens, Hendersonville’s tourism director. “Shopping, carriage rides, twinkling lights, peppermint bears and evergreens are all around, but most of all, it’s the spirit of the season that you will feel throughout town.”
The unofficial kickoff is Friday, Nov. 24, when Santa makes a Hollywood-style entrance, emerging from a limo onto a red carpet amid flashing cameras and search lights beaming across the sky. Along with Santa’s tree lighting, the evening includes carriage rides, Christmas choirs, music from the Peggy Ratusz & Friends Band and sweet treats.
A week later, on Friday, Dec. 1, Main Street again comes alive again with the festive Old-Fashioned Christmas. Stores and galleries extend their hours to serve holiday treats, and choirs and carolers stroll the sidewalks. Santa visits with kids on the courthouse plaza, while carriage rides return to Main Street. The llamas of Ellaberry Llama Farm dress in their holiday finest for festive photo ops.
Other Home for the Holidays events include a Christmas Farmers Market and the Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 2; Candlelight Christmas Tours at Historic Johnson Farm, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8 and 9; and Holly Jolly Train Rides with a pop-up market from Mountain Fresh Orchards on Main Street Saturday, Dec. 16.
Season-long activities include the beloved musical revue, “A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas,” staged for 31 performances Nov. 24-Dec. 21, and the Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt, from Nov. 24 to Dec. 23, leading people on a fun-filled downtown hunt to find Peppermint’s lost cubs, which are hiding in downtown businesses.
New to the scavenger hunt this year are frosty treats from two businesses located on the Hendersonville Ice Cream Trail — Celtic Creamery and Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt.
Also new this year is a nightly drive-thru light show at Marked Tree Vineyard (Nov. 25-Dec. 31). Additionally, the winery hosts holiday music events on Thursday and Saturday evenings, with performances by local musicians and the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra.
The holiday season wraps up with the family-oriented New Year’s Eve Apple Rise. Hendersonville pays tribute to its status as North Carolina’s Apple Capital by raising a giant apple high above the plaza of the Historic Courthouse. The free event features New Year’s Eve swag, a DJ dance party, games and hot cocoa, all leading up to a kid-friendly apple rise countdown at 7 p.m.
For more info about Hendersonville’s Home for the Holidays, call (828) 693-9708 or go to VisitHendersonvilleNC.org/home-for-the-holidays.