Holiday Lights and Love
by Mary Jane McCall
The annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Highlands is one of those small town moments that seem more like a Norman Rockwell painting than an actual moment you can enjoy with your family, but trust us, it’s real.
It’s the culmination of a perfect Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Highlands. The festivities this year will begin at the Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park on Saturday November 30, at 6:00 P.M.
Thanksgiving is all about family time, and the four-day weekend offers families a time to gather together for a bountiful meal and enjoy a delicious turkey dinner and some pumpkin pie, followed by a rousing game or two of football on TV.
On Friday, most folks awaken with plans to do a little Black Friday shopping on the Plateau in our one-of-a-kind boutiques and shops. The more adventurous can work off some of those Thanksgiving calories on an area hiking trail. Saturday night is all about ringing in the Christmas season with the Lighting of the Tree.
The park is transformed into a winter wonderland with softly-lit trees, a photo booth for Mr. And Mrs. Santa, who traditionally make a holiday appearance on this evening, and a picturesque ice skating rink.
Bring your family and join your neighbors for this festive evening. There will be caroling, a choral group and music by Silly Ridge Round Up – plus the annual reading of the Christmas story. Cookies and hot chocolate are offered throughout the evening and are a perfect complement for the frosty celebration. At evening’s end, the Town Christmas Tree is lit and the Christmas season is officially ushered in.
Be on the lookout for the winning entries of the annual art contest from students at Summit School in Cashiers and Highlands School. The winning designs are featured on the annual Holiday Sweatshirt and the Highlands Chamber of Commerce Holiday Poster, both of which will be available for purchase. The third winner will be featured on the evening’s program.
The Highlands Downtown Tree Lighting is sponsored by the Highlands Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call the Highlands Visitor Center at (828) 526-2112.