SPRUCE PINE – The Mountain Christmas Trail of Lights and Holiday Events begins in Mitchell County Saturday, Nov. 30, with events in both Spruce Pine and Bakersville.
The Trail of Lights and Holiday Events is a new project by the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the towns of Spruce Pine and Bakersville, and business owners and organizations throughout the county.
“It is exciting to see everyone rally around this project and come together as a county to create a festive celebration for both our community and visitors who will come to see the lights and take part in the events,” said Patti Jensen, director of the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce.
The Trail of Lights will go from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Bakersville and beyond, beginning Nov. 30 and ending on New Year’s Eve, along with a month of holiday events and happenings.
“We have visited every business from the Parkway to Bakersville to share information about the Trail and invited them to participate,” Jensen said. “We have asked all businesses and homeowners to call us at the Chamber to let us know they are participating so that we can add them to our online map. And it’s not too late to be added to the map.”
It’s important to remember that a business or homeowner can do as little or as much as they like to add lights to their property.
“The thought is that we want everyone to join in the fun in any way they can,” Jensen said. “This is a way for everyone to come together as a community, as a team, to create this special experience for our county. This project has been something we have been talking about for a year. We began discussing holiday plans with local organizations and leaders and focused on two things. There really wasn’t much planned in the county after the first weekend in December and we knew that if we could build out the month with holiday events, we could not only create a great holiday experience for Mitchell County families but also create an opportunity to bring more people into Mitchell County to shop with our local businesses.”
The trail will go from the Blue Ridge Parkway on Hwy 226 to Spruce Pine, travel down Summit Avenue then through downtown Spruce Pine, back out Roan Road to pick up 226 N to Bakersville and then on to Loafer’s Glory and Mine Creek. The Chamber will be providing a prize to the light display judged as the “Best of the Mountain Christmas Trail” this year for one business and one residence.
“We have recruited some amazing judges from our local Senior Center who will be traveling in the Trail of Lights van to view the lights and submit their scores,” Jensen said.
Also, the community has put together a full calendar of events for the holidays and is asking for local organizations, businesses and churches who are hosting a holiday event to send their information as soon as possible to the Chamber at email@example.com. “We have more than 30 holiday events and happenings on the calendar now, and it is packed full of things for locals and visitors to do as well as encourage people to create new holiday events this year from Thanksgiving until New Years,” Jensen said.
Jensen said it isn’t too late to call or email to add holiday and church events to the free calendar.
The Kickoff Weekend will begin Nov. 30 with Small Business Saturday in Spruce Pine and Bakersville. Spruce Pine’s events feature special shopping deals, the Polar Express Storytime, an Ugly Sweater Contest, a drawing for a Christmas, the lighting of the Christmas Tree and ending at 6 p.m. with the Spruce Pine Christmas Parade. Bakersville will be kicking off its “Christmas ‘Neath the Roan” season with a raffle and Small Business Bingo, an Art Walk, tree lighting and Christmas concert. Events continue in both towns every weekend until Christmas.
The Chamber is asking the public to follow the Facebook page for A Mountain Christmas Trail of Lights and begin to help spread the word. The website for the Trail is www.amountainchristmastrailoflights.com and features events, the trail map, a church event page and more. Call the Mitchell County Chamber at 828-765-9033 for information, to be added to the trail or add an event.
“The Trail of Lights is a way for our community to come together to celebrate the holiday season and to offer it as a gift to our citizens and visitors,” Jensen said. “We hope that this is the start of something special for our county that will continue to grow for years to come.”