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City offers a feast of festive traditions

Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas runs through Dec. 21 at the Playhouse. [PHOTO BY JEB PURCELL] Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas runs through Dec. 21 at the Playhouse. [PHOTO BY JEB PURCELL]

From Olde-Fashioned Christmas downtown to the family friendly New Year’s Eve Apple Rise at the Historic Courthouse Plaza, Hendersonville has plenty of holiday traditions to enjoy.

Here’s the roundup of holiday season events from start to finish:

Ongoing


Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas: Presented by UNC Health Pardee, Postero, Southern Alarm & Security, Andy Oxy, Highland Lake Inn & Resort and Knox Law, the holiday revue runs through Dec. 21. For tickets visit www.flatrockplayhouse.org.
Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt, through Dec. 23: a fun-filled hunt for 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.

Winter Lights, North Carolina Arboretum, through Dec. 31: The must-see walk-through holiday extravaganza features more than a million lights illuminating the arboretum’s gardens and woodland edge. For tickets visit ncwinterlights.com. Tickets, which are per vehicle, are sold in a three-tiered system based on the date guests want to attend. Pink, Blue and Yellow tiers offer a range of admission prices, with off-peak dates costing less than nights that are the most popular. Flex tickets allow guests to change the date of their visit as well. The Arboretum strongly recommends purchasing tickets in advance online, as nights at Winter Lights do sell out. Please leave pets at home.

Historic Johnson Farm Christmas tours, 3346 Haywood Road, Dec. 4-20: Guided tours start at 10:30 a.m. each day. While drop-ins are allowed, those with reservations take priority. Guided daytime tours are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors (65 and over) and free for those 4 and under. The farmhouse is open 1-3 p.m. each day for self-guided tours, no reservations needed. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors (65 and over), and free for those 4 and under. Candlelight Tours are Dec. 8 and 9. To make reservations call 828-891-6585, email jfarm@hcpsnc.org or visit www.historicjohnsonfarm.org.

Friday, Dec. 1


Olde-Fashioned Christmas, 5-8 p.m.: Downtown shops and galleries extend their hours to serve holiday treats while 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. Carolina Horse and Carriage offers free carriage rides at the Historic Courthouse from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Dec. 1-2

Holiday Greenery and Craft Sale, Bullington Gardens: The sale, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2, features premium Fraser fir trees in three sizes. The native trees, grown in the Western North Carolina mountains, are wrapped for protection during transport. Visit www.bullingtongardens.org or call 828-698-6104 to order.

Dec. 1-3

A Christmas Carol: A One-Man Ghost Story: Brevard College Theatre presents a faithful and poetic adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Faculty member Dan Toot brings Scrooge, Cratchit, Tiny Tim and all the rest to life in one body. Performances are 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Morrison Playhouse at the Paul Porter Center for Performing Arts on the Brevard College campus. Tickets can be purchased online at brevardcollege.eventbrite.com or at the door. Ticket prices are $5 for students and $10 for the general public. For more information visit brevard.edu/theatre/ or call 828-641-0605.

Saturday, Dec. 2

Land O’ Sky Garden Club Christmas Bazaar, J&D Produce, 221 S. Church St.: The sale offers a dazzling array of Christmas gifts and holiday décor, including handmade wreaths that can be embellished on the spot, terracotta pots of paperwhites and amaryllis bulbs, artistic Yule Logs adorned with the fresh local greenery and baked holiday goods of every kind.

Holiday Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Historic Train Depot, 650 Maple St.: More than 30 vendors offer farm fresh produce and other goods, local honey, hand-crafted delights created by local artists and more. 

Light up the Night Christmas parade, 6 p.m.: Releve Performing Arts Center will perform two new exciting routines. Studio owner Jamie Osteen partnered with The Sports Network to film one of the routines in the studio that will air at the start of the parade at 6 p.m. The other routine will be performed live in front of the Historic Courthouse. The city parking deck will offer a special event rate of $10 on Dec. 2.

Sunday, Dec. 3 and 10

Santa appears at Mast General Store 1-4 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10. Bring your own camera for a family photo op. Mast Store welcomes well-behaved four-legged friends and encourages families to bring their pet so it can claim its place in holiday memories.

Dec. 15-17


A Christmas Memory, St. John in the Wilderness Parish Hall,1895 Greenville Highway: Actor and theologian E.R. Haire Jr. performs Truman Capote’s beloved short story as a one-man show. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, and Saturday, Dec. 16, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17. The show is free to the public but seating is limited to 55 people per performance and RSVP is required. RSVP at bit.ly/christmasmem23 or www.stjohnflatrock.org.

Saturday, Dec. 16


Holly Jolly Train Rides: Kids can hop aboard the train while parents shop at the Mountain Fresh Orchards pop-up marke on Main Street.

Thursday, Dec. 21

Winter solstice walk: Join Conserving Carolina at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 to celebrate the longest night of the year with a winter solstice walk to Hooker Falls in DuPont State Recreational Forest. The stroll will be along a quarter-mile trail to the base of Hooker Falls. The walk is free. Pre-registration is required. RSVP at conservingcarolina.org/calendar

Sunday, Dec. 31


New Year’s Eve Apple Rise, Historic Courthouse Plaza: Hendersonville pays tribute to its status as North Carolina’s Apple Capital by raising a giant apple high above the courthouse plaza. 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.