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Tree lighting, Olde Fashioned Christmas, parade arrive soon

Carriage rides are among the traditions during Home for the Holidays festivities in downtown Hendersonville. Carriage rides are among the traditions during Home for the Holidays festivities in downtown Hendersonville.

Hendersonville’s collection of holiday events known as Home for the Holidays returns this year with festivities starting the day after Thanksgiving and running through year’s end.

Experience the most wonderful time of the year with a sleigh full of activities, including a tree lighting ceremony, carriage rides, greenery markets, Christmas shows at Flat Rock Playhouse and more.
The fun begins the Friday after Thanksgiving with the Downtown Street Lighting & Santa’s Arrival. Attendees gather on the Historic Courthouse Plaza and sing Christmas carols. Santa arrives at dusk and flips the switch to illuminate the tree and the holiday lights along Main Street, followed by horse and carriage rides.
Downtown merchants team up to host an Olde Fashioned Christmas the following Friday, Dec. 3. Shops stay open late; Santa hosts an event on the square, and carriage rides are available. The museum in the Historic Courthouse joins the merriment with extended hours and Christmas music from the Hendersonville High School brass ensemble plus refreshments and hot apple cider.
Flat Rock Playhouse, the state theater of North Carolina, presents its annual show, “A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas,” from Friday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, Dec. 19. There are 21 performances of this popular song and dance revue showcasing seasonal classics mixed with modern adaptations.
A newer tradition is the Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt, a free activity from Nov. 26 to Dec. 23. Peppermint, a momma bear, has lost her cubs, and kids of all ages are encouraged to pick up a scavenger hunt brochure at the Hendersonville Visitor Center and search for them at downtown merchants. When scavengers find a bear at a business, a store employee will punch their list and often provide a small prize. Once 12 bears have been located, the list can be returned to the Visitor Center to be entered into a drawing. A total of 20 prizes will be awarded via the drawing.
Home for the Holidays also includes a Luminary Night downtown on Friday, Dec. 10, and Main Street train rides on Saturday, Dec. 18, with train provided by Mountain Fresh Orchards.
Christmas markets are hosted at various locations throughout the holiday period, and a Jingle Jog 5k takes place Dec. 18. The festivities close with the family-friendly New Year’s Eve Apple Rise from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 31 on the Historic Courthouse Plaza.