Dillisboro began their 28th annual festival of lights and luminaries to kick off the holiday season on December 2. The festival was opened on Friday with a Western Carolina University night encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to visit the town.
Chancellor David Belcher and his wife opened the night with a horse and buggy ride giving them a tour around the town. Rides for visitors were free with tips being donated to the CARE organization. Rides took patrons around the lower part of Dillsboro allowing them to view the Christmas lights and shops.
Local shops filled their businesses with Christmas music, some with live performers, while giving out free samples of food and cider, hot cocoa, and homemade treats. Carolers from Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Kappa Sai, and Sigma Alpha Iota Fraternity performed around the streets and on the porch of the Jarrett House during the festival. Several local bands also made appearances, as well as WCU’s tuba euphonium ensemble.
Santa Claus was avaliable for pictures and visits near the Town Hall during the evening free of charge. Many children lined up to share their wish lists with Santa for Christmas this year.
WCU students were offered special discounts in many of the stores and able to enter into a drawing for a basket full of merchandise from different Dillsboro shops. The basket had a value of over $700. A winner was drawn at 9 p.m. by Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
Student Rebecca Rauhe says “It was nice to finally get in the holiday spirit. A lot of us are stuck in the library preparing for finals and it was great to get out and have some fun.”
If you missed out on Dillsboro this past weekend don’t worry. The lights and luminaries will continue in Dillsboro during December 9 and 10 as well.
Editor: Meredith Oakley