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14 HOLIDAY EVENTS: Peppermint Bear, parade, Bounty volunteers, Christmas cookies

The iceless skating rink is back this year as part of the Home for the Holidays celebration downtown. The iceless skating rink is back this year as part of the Home for the Holidays celebration downtown.

Peppermint Bear joins yule activities


Christmas decorations, large wreaths with big red bows hang from streetlights, twinkling lights and decorations in the planters, an iceless skating rink, dining and more highlight holiday events this year.


A new activity this year, called the Peppermint Bear Scavenger Hunt, will take you on a fun-filled bear hunt through downtown Hendersonville. 

The Winter Wonderland in the Visitor Centers parking lot features an iceless skating rink. The synthetic surface is made from special polymers so it can be enjoyed year-round in any temperature. It also offers curling, the Olympic sport in which players slides stones on the ice toward a target. Enjoy roasting a marshmallow for a tasty s’more, taking a carriage ride around downtown or playing a game of cornhole or Jenga. 

Many restaurants in the greater Hendersonville area offer festive seasonal menus during the holidays. The Holiday Dining Guide list restaurants open on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Visit for dates, times and locations of each event and for information on Christmas tree farms and holiday dining. The free Home for the Holidays brochure available at the Visitors Center describes activities happening through New Year’s Day. For information call 828-693-9708.


Applications available for Christmas parade

Hendersonville Christmas paradeThe Hendersonville Christmas parade is Saturday, Dec. 7.The Hendersonville Merchants and Business Association will host the annual Christmas Parade at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, downtown. This year’s theme for the parade is “Home for the Holidays.” Everyone is invited to attend this special event and see Santa and beautiful floats, fire trucks and more from the community. Applications can be found on the Hendersonville Merchants and Business Association’s website or by calling (828) 692-4179. Entry deadline for applications is Monday, Nov. 25.

The Heritage Museum will serve cookies after the parade and host an antique toy exhibit. Also following the  parade the Train Depot on Seventh Avenue will host Santa's elf  reading The Polar Express to groups of children. The event is free and the first reading will start at noon. Hot chocolate will be served.


Bounty of Bethlehem seeks volunteer leaders

The Bounty of Bethlehem is seeking new leadership to assist in organizing this year’s celebration. There are a variety of areas needing assistance with leadership, to include decorations, breakout room organization, kitchen and dining room volunteer organization, dessert coordination, marketing, and toy collection. It takes the work of hundreds of volunteers about six days to organize this successful event, and the leadership helps organize and coordinate all the planning leading up to the day. 

The Bounty of Bethlehem Community Christmas Dinner happens on Christmas Day for the 37th year in a row. A special Christmas meal is provided for anyone and everyone who comes through the door. It provides folks a place to gather for fellowship and a warm meal — no matter who they are, how they worship, their income, or from where they come. The mission is that “no one be alone on Christmas Day.”

Hosted at Immaculata Catholic School, the dinner is served and supported by and for the community at large with 100% of the funding coming directly from our community through fundraising efforts. 

Donations can be made online at or by mail to PO Box 883 Hendersonville, NC 28793. Anyone interested in learning more about working with the leadership team may email Annamarie Jakubielski at or call Joanne Mummert at 828-702-1467.

Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast celebrates education

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast on Jan. 20 will highlight and honor alumni and faculty of Hendersonville’s Ninth Avenue and Sixth Avenue schools, which served as a beacon for the education of black Americans and as regional community centers from 1916 to 1965.

Ronnie Pepper, United Breakfast chair, will serve as emcee. As in years past, the 2020 celebration will also feature inspirational music and dance performances.
Keynote speaker is Dr. Vergel L. Lattimore III, president and professor of pastoral psychology and counseling at Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury. A former director of the master of arts in counseling ministries at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Lattimore is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and a published author. While in the Air National Guard, he served as assistant to the Chief of Chaplains, U.S. Air Force, Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., and was the first African American chaplain to attain the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force and the Air National Guard. He has received the Air Force Legion of Merit Medal and the State of Ohio National Guard Distinguished Service Medal.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast Committee is at Blue Ridge Conference Hall at BRCC. Breakfast is provided by Bojangles Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits beginning at 8:30 a.m. The program will follow at 9:15 a.m.
The 2020 program marks the 20th year of the Unity Breakfast. The education theme was influenced by King’s 1947 article, “Intelligence plus Character: The Goal of True Education,” in Morehouse College’s student newspaper The Maroon Tiger.
The Jan. 20 event is open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-12, and available at the door and at the Community Foundation of Henderson County, 401 N. Main Street, Suite 300.

Carl Sandburg Home hosts storytelling slam

The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site will host a community storytelling slam on Carl Sandburg’s birthday, Monday, Jan. 6. Storytellers from across the region will share true five-minute stories with a live audience at Henderson County Library Main Branch Kaplan Auditorium from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and suitable for all ages.

Storytellers are invited to share a true five-minute story reflecting the theme of “movement.” Stories can reflect the theme, like movement from place to place, movement of nature and seasons, or movement that causes change in ideas and policy. Storytellers should arrive by 4:30 p.m. to register. Names will be placed in a hat at check-in and picked randomly to determine order, for up to 12 storytellers.

A panel of judges will rate the stories, with first place awarded $100, second place $75, and third place, $50. Stories are to be family-friendly and respectful. All storytellers will receive a small thank you gift for participating. Park staff will emcee the event and share brief stories from Sandburg’s life.

“Carl Sandburg traveled across the country, worked with people from all walks of life, and learned from their perspectives,” Park Superintendent Polly Angelakis said. “His genuine interest and care for others is what made him such a strong voice for the people. This storytelling event, featuring everyday people, is a powerful way to celebrate his birthday and legacy,”

Support for the Slam is provided by the Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara, the park’s fundraising partner and Eastern National, the non-profit partner that operates the park store.

Mitten Tree is up at Trinity church

The Mitten Tree is up at Trinity Presbyterian Church through Dec. 17. Each Advent Season, Trinity puts The Mitten Tree up and invites the community to help decorate it with gifts of mittens and gloves, wool hats and stocking caps and socks and other small clothing items that children need to keep warm in the winter cold. The gifts on this special sharing tree will be taken to IAM and given to children in the community. who need and will appreciate them so much. The church is at 900 Blythe St.

Blue Ridge Ringers perform holiday show

The Blue Ridge Ringers, an advanced handbell group under the direction of Karen Grady, will present the “Christmas Around the World” program featuring holiday favorites from Mexico, the former Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, the Caribbean, Canada, England, Germany and France and a traditional Jewish prayer for peace, at performances in Henderson, Transylvania and Polk counties in November and December. The concerts, free and open to the public, are scheduled at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, at Fletcher United Methodist Church in Fletcher; 4 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 1, at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Brevard; noon Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Transylvania Library in Brevard; 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at Hendersonville Presbyterian Church; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, at Congregational Church in Tryon. There will be an additional performance at Tryon Estates in Tryon on Monday, Dec. 16, for residents and guests.

Bullington Gardens sells holiday greenery

Bullington Gardens, a horticultural education center and public gardens, holds its 15th annual Holiday Craft and Greenery Sale 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7.

The Holiday Craft Sale features nature-themed, handcrafted items, including free-standing owls and snowmen, holiday gnomes and ornaments. Wreaths and swags embellished with botanicals gathered on the Bullington Garden grounds and created by volunteers are ready for your home. Premium amaryllis, poinsettias, cyclamens and Christmas cactus plants are also available. 

The Holiday Greenery Sale features premium, freshly-cut fraser fir trees ranging in height from five to eight feet. These native trees come from the Western North Carolina mountains and are wrapped for protection during transport. Also available are premium garlands in a 25-foot length, plus unadorned 8-inch and 12-inch wreaths. Orders can be placed online at, by phone at 828-698-6104, or in person at Bullington Gardens. Holiday greenery must be pre-ordered by Tuesday, Nov. 26, as limited quantities will be available at the Holiday Craft Sale. Greenery can be picked up during the Holiday Sale, and weekdays thereafter. In partnership with local veterans and volunteers, Bullington Gardens also offers Veterans Wreaths for sale. A $16 donation to honor a fallen veteran will provide a 12-inch wreath, decorated with a hand-tied red bow, placed by a volunteer on a gravesite at the State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain. Veteran wreaths can be ordered at or purchased during the Holiday Craft and Greenery Sale. Bullington Gardens is located at 95 Upper Red Oak Trail. For more information, call 828-698-6104 or visit

Church announces holiday cookie sale

First Congregational Church welcomes the public to its eighth annual Holiday Cookie Sale from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in the Fellowship Hall, 1735 Fifth Ave. W., Laurel Park. The popular holiday event includes hundreds of homemade holiday cookies, many from heirloom recipes. Create your own assortments from the many trays of tasty treats to munch yourself or give to others. The Holiday Café serves complimentary beverages and luscious cakes amid holiday music. Browse the selection of fair-trade coffees, teas, cocoa and candy. Join in a raffle of creative, thematic gift baskets.


Holiday market offers produce, jams and crafts

SALUDA — Vendors will offer a selection of winter vegetables, jams and jellies, baked goods, honey and local crafts at the Saluda Holiday Market from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, in the town parking lot on West Main Street. 

Craft items are allowed to be sold at the Holiday Market but must be locally produced using natural content. Vendors should arrive by 12:30 pm Saturday to set up. For questions about vending, email or call Shelley DeKay at 828-606-5713 or Walter Hoover at 828-749-5846. The Saluda Holiday Market is sponsored by the Saluda Business Association Inc. and the city of Saluda.


Saluda troupe presents Christmas performance

SaludaMusical 2The Young Actors Krew presents “Abenezer Scrooge” on Nov. 30.The Saluda Historic Depot Theater Troupe will present “Abenezer Scrooge: A Ghostly Mountain Christmas Carol” at 7 p.m. Saturday Nov. 30, 2019 at the Party Place in Saluda. An adaptation of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” by Saluda writer Corinne Gerwe, the play conjures up visions of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come that will not only give Scrooge a renewed joyful Christmas Spirit but will help yours too.

Tickets at the door are $10 for everyone 12 years and older. Children under 12 will be admitted free. The Party Place & Event Center is at 221 Friendship Church Road, Saluda.

“The Young Actors Krew of the Theater Troupe brings together citizens of the community who are keen to be involved in the performing arts,” Gerwe said. “The local troupe provides a forum for students to learn and perform locally rather than have to travel to be in a production. In an effort to make YAK an ongoing effort we are fortunate that our first Patron of the Arts, Hilda Pace has donated the Mountain Page Community Center that is located on her land.”

Volunteers began work this summer to remodel the building through donations from local citizens and businesses. Net proceeds from the play will go toward play expenses and toward improvements in the new playhouse. For more information, contact Judy Ward at 828-674-5958 or or Corinne Gerwe at or 828-749-4803.

Laurel Park garbage collection is Friday

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, garbage and recyclable collection for Laurel Park residents will be on Friday, Nov. 29, instead of Thursday. Additionally, town offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, but as always the police will be on duty.

Those who choose toto tip Waste Pro employees during the holiday season are asked to leave those gifts at Town Hall to make sure they get into the right hands. If you have any questions, please call Town Hall at (828) 693-4840.

Methodist Church hosts party for youth

First United Methodist Church is hosting a “Gift of Giving Party” for the Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County 4-6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, and 4-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Almost 375 Club members from kindergarten through high school are expected to attend this festive party over two days. More than 200 volunteers support the event, including adult and youth members from First United Methodist and Grace Lutheran Churches plus community friends. The event is held in the Barber Christian Life Center.

Youth musicians perform on Dec. 6

The Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra and Youth Chorus will present a combined concert featuring music for the holidays at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in the Blue Ridge Conference Hall at BRCC.

Tickets for the performance are $10 for adults and free for students. All tickets will be available for purchase at the door beginning at 6 p.m.

The Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra, under the direction of Faith Foster, features 20 advanced music high school students from the area. The Orchestra rehearses weekly throughout the school year and is featured in annual concerts and special events. The orchestra will perform a variety of works including Beethoven’s “Contra Dances Nos. 1-3,” “Suite from Lord of the Dance,” Grieg’s “Norwegian Dances Nos. 2 and 3,” and more. Members of the Orchestra will also perform with the Youth Chorus on additional works, culminating in both ensembles performing the festive “Holiday Jubilee.”

The Hendersonville Symphony Youth Chorus, under the direction of Kelli Mullinix, also performs in several concerts and events throughout the region each year. At this concert, they will perform holiday classics like “Up On the Housetop,” “Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” Hanukah songs including “S’Vivon,” with Youth Orchestra oboist Alice Frisch, and holiday favorites like “Sleigh Ride,” with Jordan Reaves on percussion. The chorus will also debut a jazzy “Jingle Bells” featuring soloists Jamaria Kilgore and Sofie Cameron.