Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries Festival kicks off this weekend

Photo courtesy of the Lights and Luminaries Facebook page shows College Night in 2012.

Photo courtesy of the Lights and Luminaries Facebook page shows College Night in 2012.

Western Carolina’s Dance and Cheer team are among many entertainment options that WCU will be featuring at the 33rd annual Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries Festival, which is always the first two Fridays and Saturdays in December in downtown Dillsboro.

The festival opens with “College Night” from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. The night will feature the WCU Dance Team, cheerleaders, and Inspirational Gospel Choir. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be at Dillsboro Town Hall visiting with children and families of Jackson County. A 10 percent discount will be offered to all WCU and Southwestern Community College faculty, staff and students with their ID card.

Participants will be able to enter a drawing for a basket of merchandise and gift certificates donated by the merchants. No purchase is necessary in order to enter the drawing and the winner does not have to be present to win. Santa will draw the winning entry at 9 p.m. in front of Town Hall. Look for the chance to enter the raffle in select stores!

Entertainment for College Night will include:

  • Photos with Santa will allow community members to meet Santa and get a few last minute wishes in!
  • WCU’s Inspirational Gospel Choir will perform holiday tunes at Jarrett Memorial Baptist Church.
  • America’s Got Talent’s Mountain Faith Band will be at the Jarrett House for a meet and greet.

Dillsboro’s Lights and Luminaries is one of the longest-running holiday festivals in the region. Merchants started the tradition in 1983 as a way of saying thank you to their customers for supporting them year round. The shops stay open late and offer a variety of free refreshments and entertainment. The historic village is adorned with over 2,500 luminaries and white lights. Local musicians fill the air with the sounds of the season and Santa hears children’s wishes at Town Hall. The festival runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10.

Free parking will be available at the Appalachian Women’s Museum, located just outside of Dillsboro, every night of the festival. Western Carolina will provide a free shuttle to and from parking and downtown Dillsboro on Dec. 2.

College Night at the Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries is an activity created by the partnership between Dillsboro and WCU, which was formed at the request of Dillsboro leaders in 2009 and matches the expertise of WCU and SCC faculty, staff and students with Dillsboro’s challenges and opportunities. For more information about College Night, visit the Lights and Luminaries Facebook page or the Dillsboro website.