With the holidays getting ready to kick off, Burke County has many events planned to celebrate the season:

Thursday, December 19

» Christmas celebration

The city of Hickory will offer a Christmas celebration from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Bring your cameras and take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus on the new stage on Union Square. The HDDA Selfie Station will be open. Listen to carols being sung by the Tabernacle Baptist Church Youth Choir.

Friday, Dec. 20

» Senior Christmas party

The Burke County Senior Center will host a Christmas party for seniors at 11:30 a.m. The celebration will include bingo. Those who attend should bring a side dish or dessert to share, as well as a wrapped bingo gift. The center will provide ham. 

» A Banner Elk Christmas

The town of Banner Elk will present “A Banner Elk Christmas” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20, and Saturday, Dec. 21, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 22, in the Hahn Auditorium of the Banner Elk Cultural Arts Center at 185 Azalea Circle in Banner Elk.

“A Banner Elk Christmas" is a holiday musical variety show that has been a High-Country holiday tradition for the past decade. With 25 musical numbers containing all or parts of nearly 40 yuletide songs, this fast-paced tribute to the Andy Williams and Bing Crosby television holiday shows of the 60s and 70s, complete with women in beautiful dresses, guys in tuxedos, a kids’ chorus and lots of choreography, is sure to rejuvenate your holiday spirit.

 Tickets are $22 each for adults and $12 each for children 16 and younger. To purchase tickets, contact 828-414-1844 or visit http://bit.ly/2PzYTXt.

Saturday, Dec. 21

» An Appalachian Christmas

Earthshine Lodge in Lake Toxaway will celebrate “An Appalachian Christmas” this holiday season. This event is open to guests of the lodge and visitors from the community. The lodge will host a holiday market from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21, featuring local crafts, mulled wine, Appalachian music and llamas. People also are invited to Brunch with Santa at 9 a.m. on Sunday Dec. 22. Participants will enjoy a full brunch menu and time with Santa Claus.    All events are open to the public. For out of town guests staying at the lodge, meals and activities onsite are included in the weekend package. The new owners of Earthshine Lodge, Anna Bracco and Ali Holroyd Lien, are hosting the event as a unique and fun way to experience the holidays in the mountains, creating new family traditions, both on the mountaintop and at home. For more information, contact the lodge at 828-862-4207 or www.earthshinenc.com.

» Christmas dinner

Morganton First Church of God will offer a free Christmas dinner to the community from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 675 Summers Road in Morganton. The menu will include turkey, ham, green beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, dessert and beverages. 

» Christmas play

Symrna Baptist Church at 3500 Brown Mountain Beach Road in Morganton will present a Christmas play called, "Let's Keep Christ in Christmas" at 7 p.m. The play will be followed by a candlelight service and treat bags. Santa Claus may make an appearance.

Sunday, Dec. 22

» Christmas play

Chambers Chapel Missionary Baptist Church will present a Christmas play following its 11 a.m. service. Fruit bags will be given out.

» Adult choir cantata

Oak Hill United Methodist Church will present its adult choir cantata during worship at 11 a.m. 

Tuesday, Dec. 24

» Christmas Eve services

Oak Hill United Methodist Church will hold Christmas Eve candlelight services at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. 

» Christmas Eve service

Green Street Presbyterian Church will hold its annual Christmas Eve candlelight service at 7 p.m. 


Tanglewood Festival of Lights

The 28th Festival of Lights at Tanglewood Park at 4061 Clemmons Road in Clemmons, North Carolina, will be open from 6-11 p.m. nightly through Wednesday, Jan. 1, with the exception of Dec. 31, when Festival of Lights will close at 10 p.m. Santa Claus and all his helpers will be at Festival of Lights through Monday, Dec. 23. Santa will be at the show until 10 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Friday and Saturday hours are from 5:45 p.m. until the gift shop closes. Santa will offer hard copy and digital images. S’moresville, operated by Lowes Foods, will continue the marshmallow roasting tradition at the Gift Village, right outside the Gift Shop. Lowes will sell roasting sticks with marshmallows and s’mores kits onsite. Visitors to S’moresville may not bring their own sticks or food items for roasting. Other family-friendly activities will be held at S’moresville on select nights, including a New Year’s Eve event on Dec. 31. S’moresville will close each day at 10 p.m. and will be closed the entire evening of Dec. 25. The Gift Shop will have holiday crafts, wood workings, seasonal treats, and other gifts for sale made by local artisans. The Gift Shop will be open each night of the show and will close at 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, with the exception of Dec. 31, when it will close at 10 p.m. Tanglewood Farms is taking reservations for horse-drawn carriage rides and tractor-pulled hayrides. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 336-766-9540.

Nightly ticket prices are as follows:

» Family vehicles (cars, vans and trucks): $15.

» Commercial vehicles (vans, limos and mini-buses): $35.

» Motorcoaches and buses: $100.

» Christmas at the Lucas Mansion

Throughout the month of December, the Hiddenite Arts and Heritage Center at 316 Hiddenite Church Road in Hiddenite will feature their annual Christmas at the Lucas Mansion decorations and exhibits. The historic Victorian/Edwardian-era home is filled with lights, sights and sounds of the season set in this year’s theme, “Let it Snow: A Frozen Christmas.” 

Each room of the Lucas Mansion’s first floor Museum features lavish decorations that will spark the imagination of visitors and carry them into a frozen world. 

Guided tours of the museum are $4 for adults and $3 for senior adults and students.

“A Frozen Christmas” continues with the second floor Lucas Mansion Gallery exhibit, "Illuminations,” paintings and mixed media work by Catawba County artist Carolyn Hawes.

 The center’s third floor has been transformed into a frozen kingdom fit for any prince and princess. Frosty, shimmering decorations, colorful lights and trees compliment the center’s permanent exhibit of antique dolls and toys, delighting the young and the young at heart. The Emerging Artists’ Wall exhibit space features the work of Mona C. Woody.

Both the second and third floor exhibits and collections are free and self guided.

Lucas Mansion visitors can enjoy shopping new holiday additions to the Lucas Mansion gift shop, which features handcrafted, unique, and one-of-a-kind artistic gifts. Gift shop sales will benefit local artists, crafters.

“Let it Snow: A Frozen Christmas” is open to the public Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To learn more, contact 828-632-6966 or info@hiddenitearts.org, or visit www.hiddenitearts.org

If you have a Christmas event you would like to see on our calendar, send us an email at news@morganton.com.

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