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the Issue 81 Local & Regional Events & Destinations Much More Than A Wonderland Of Lights!

An Epic New Year’s Sunrise First Footin’ At Rural Hill

Beech Mountain: 50 Years On Top

Be Bold, Tread Lightly, Make It Happen.

Holidays At The Garden

Make Hendersonville Home For Your Holidays

We Tell You Where To Go!

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Regional Events & Destinations

Go Gaston. Get Outside.

Visit for a list of all our holiday events. Let us help you plan your next weekend getaway and connect you with the numerous natural assets Gaston County has to offer. Stop by our Visitors Center at 620 North Main Street in Belmont or call us today for a FREE Visitors Guide. 620 N. Main St., Belmont, NC | 800-849-9994 | 704-825-4044 #gogaston | 704-706-2365


December 2017 Issue 81



e Tell you where to go! Whether you are a long time resident or new to the area, you’ll find local & regional events and destinations in the Destination Magazine™ that will have you saying “I never knew that was there.” The Destination Magazine™ is not a historical document, we will not write about spectacular events you’ve missed. If you are seeking new destinations to explore on your own, or ideas for things to do with friends and family you will find a new experience every month in the Destination Magazine™ .

We know we are on to something! Lisa & Andy Jay Publishers Published by: Business Development: Lisa Jay Contributing Writers: Lisa Jay, Craig Distl, Kara McMillian, Project 543, RootsRated Contributing Photographers: Bill Russ, Andrew Zachary Digital Imagery, Olivia Binstead, Madison Hedrick, Sam Dean Photography, Amplified Media, Lisa Jay Cover: Amplified Media The list of events in this publication is compiled from various sources dates & times are tentative & subject to change. the Destination Magazine™ is published by LLC 369 Dovefield Drive Summerfield, NC 27358 (704) 706-2365 www.theDestinationMag. com ©2017 All rights reserved. LLC Publisher, Agents & Advertisers do not necessarily condone any activities or advertisement listed in this magazine. The Publisher and its officers, employees, agents, volunteers, and sponsors are not responsible for any loss or damage which might be associated with patronage of any party named in this publication, and is not responsible for any Act of God such as inclement weather, fire, flood, natural or man-made disaster, etc., that are out of the control of the Publisher, which affect the publishing of this magazine.


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Contents DayTrip Destinations


Much More Than A Wonderland Of Lights!


An Epic New Year’s Sunrise


Make Hendersonville Home For Your Holidays


First Footin’ At Rural Hill


Beech Mountain: 50 Years On Top


Be Bold, Tread Lightly, Make It Happen.


Holidays At The Garden


Watch An Acorn Drop To Celebrate New Year’s Eve


Christmas Town U.S.A.


Regional Events & Destinations




Discover Hendersonville during our mild winter season! SAVE ON: • Attractions

• Dining • Lodging • Shopping





Lodging SAVE ON: Attractions • Dining • Shopping


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DayTrip Destinations Holidays at the Garden Fri Nov 17th–Sun Dec 31st Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S New Hope Rd, Belmont, NC 28012. From sparkling pathways and plants to glimmering fountains, discover a memory-making glow at Holidays at the Garden. Enjoy traditional favorites such as the towering Orchid Tree, horse-drawn carriage rides, one-of-a-kind train displays, hot cocoa and special visits with Santa as well as the children’s garden, Lost Hollow, lit to its brim with more than 600,000 lights in celebration of the winter holiday season. Christmas Tree Farm Choose & Cut Season Sat Nov 18th–Sun Dec 24th 58 S Main St, Sparta, NC 28675. A trip up the Blue Ridge Mountains to Sparta and Alleghany County is a great way to get in the Christmas spirit. This is an activity the entire family will enjoy and the pastoral countryside and the quaint town of Sparta will only add to your holiday spirit. Plus you get the fresh-cut advantage with your tree. Our local choose and cut tree farms

provide a wonderful experience for your whole family! Go for a hay ride, let your children visit with farm animals, or have a cup of steaming hot chocolate while enjoying a relaxing day with one of our local tree growers. There are many options to choose from! Drop by the Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center for a list of farms or check our website. Trail of Lights Wed Nov 22nd–Dec 24th 6pm–9pm 401 Church St NW, Valdese, NC 28690. In its 12th year, this event continues to be a favorite of the holiday season. Using more than 100,000 lights, this beautiful Christmas light display is unique because it not only showcases the traditional Christmas theme but also includes several displays intertwined with Waldensian Culture. The gift shop is open and ready to ser ve hot chocolate. Volunteers are very knowledgeable in Waldensian history.


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Regional Events & Destinations

Destinations Home for the Holidays Fri Nov 24th–Mon Jan 1st 2018 Various Locations, Hendersonville, NC. The area abounds with holiday activities such as the Flat Rock Playhouse productions, an ice-skating rink, carriage rides, holiday concerts, Christmas parade, and many other events for all ages. Unique stores along Main Street are decked out with Christmas decorations for the season. Large wreaths with big red bows hang from streetlights, along with twinkling lights and decorations in the planters that line the serpentine street. The holiday season, with its many traditions, family gatherings and good cheer, will soon be upon us. Rediscover this magical time of the year and create cherished memories to last a lifetime. Catch the Christmas spirit in Hendersonville and pass it along. home-for-the-holidays Zootastic Park’s 8th A nnual C h r i s t m a s Wo n d e r l a n d o f Lights Fri Nov 24th–Mon Jan 1st 2018 Zootastic Park, 448 Pilch Rd, Troutman, NC 28166. The Christmas Wonderland of Lights features over 3.5 Million Lights over a 2 mile drive-through and ends with a light show set to music in our Western Town. We also have Santa Claus joining us ever y evening, pony rides, petting zoos, concessions, roasting pits for marshmallows, and much much more. Toe River Studio Tour Fri Dec 1st–Sun 3rd Burnsville, NC 28714. The Toe River Studio Tour is perhaps the largest and the longest-running Continued On Page 8

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Destinations Continued From Page 7

studio tour in western North Carolina; you will find craftspeople and artists in nearly every medium, many tops in their field. The tour is a free, self-guided trip that will lead you to some unique places in our community, which is situated between Mt. Mitchell and Roan Mountain. Visitors travel through valleys, past streams, across rivers, over hilltops, and experience breathtaking mountain vistas as they visit many out-of-theway studios. Meet the artists, see where they create and where they live. Our small towns also offer an array of galleries, studios, and other quaint businesses you won’t want to miss. Christmas in Cornelius Sun Dec 3rd 3pm–6pm Oak Street Mill, 19725 Oak St, Cornelius, NC 28031. The holiday season is about to kick into full swing and you know what that means... Christmas in Cornelius is coming to town! Join us and enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of live bands, Christmas carols and choirs, food trucks, craft breweries, holiday kids activities and even a visit from Santa himself! Don’t forget about your Christmas Shopping List! Christmas in Cornelius will feature

over 80 local artists and craftsmen, making this the perfect opportunity to get those one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones! So gather the whole family, bring your neighbors, and even your furr y friends, and meet in Old Town for a unique holiday experience that’s sure to invigorate your Christmas spirit! Annual Appalachian Christmas Celebration Thu Dec 7th–Sun 10th Stuart Auditorium, N Lakeshore Dr, L ake Junaluska, NC 28745. L et the nostalgic charm of Appalachian hospitality warm you this holiday season. Awaken the spirit of Christmas through festive live music, hearty meals and local artistry. Visit area shops or step back in time with turn-of-the-centur y Christmas décor at the exquisite Biltmore Estate. Festivities feature a performance of Handel’s Messiah, the Appalachian Christmas Craft Show showcasing dozens of local artisans, and matinee concert by The Cockman Family, a local treasure.


ummit Place of Mooresville is a senior living community offering assisted living as well as Five Star’s award-winning Bridge to Rediscovery program for people with Alzheimer’s or related dementias, rehabilitation services, and respite/short stays, all in one location. 704-799-2712 ~ 128 Brawley School Road Mooresville, NC 28117


Regional Events & Destinations

Destinations Tweetsie Christmas Fri Dec 8th– Sat 9th 300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605. Tweetsie Christmas is celebrating its inaugural holiday event in 2017. Activities at Tweetsie Christmas include a train ride with light displays, Santa’s Workshop, a photographer for Christmas photos, a Christmas show, caroling, a fire pit, live animals, and snow! All Access Pass to Richard Childress Racing Fri Dec 8th 8:30am– 12pm 236 Industrial Dr, Lexington, NC 27295. Start your morning off at the RCR Museum with Chocolate Myers. While enjoying breakfast amongst the famed No. 3 GM Goodwrench cars, Chocolate will take you

on a journey through RCR history. The RCR Museum is housed within the original 47,000 square foot RCR race shop. Chocolate will tell you first hand stories from the early days all the way to today’s current teams. Along the way, you’ll get a guided tour of the RCR Museum and have the opportunity to see exclusive archives never shown to the public. allaccess/ Belmont Christmas Village Fri Dec 8th 6pm–8pm Belmont, NC 28012. Come downtown for a magical night of fun holiday cheer during for our annual Christmas Village! S’mores, hot coco, hot cider, cookies and more! Get your picture with Continued On Page 10

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Destinations Continued From Page 9

Santa or take a ride through down- Activities include an intergalactic town on the hayride or carriage rides. vendor market, costume contest and light saber craft session! These ARE the beers you’re looking for! Santa on the Chimney Sat Dec 9th 11am–2pm Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, 431 Main Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s St, Chimney Rock, NC 28720. Santa Weihnachtsmarkt Fri Dec 15th– has to be nimble and quick to make Sat 16th 4150 Yancy Road Charlotte it down ever yone’s chimney on NC 28217. The Olde Mecklenburg Christmas Eve. What better place Brewery’s Weihnachtsmarkt returns to get some practice and stay in to the Biergarten this December! shape than on one of the world’s Weihnachtsmarkt is our version largest chimneys at Chimney Rock of a traditional, German-inspired State Park. Make your list and “Christmas Market” with more than bring it to Santa and Mrs. Claus, 40 open-air booths selling gifts and enjoy live holiday music, hot cocoa, baked goods from local vendors. cookies and kids’ activities, meet live Our winter seasonal beers – Dunkel, Park animal educators and more. Bauern Bock, and Yule Bock – will all be on tap, along with our homemade Glühwein: a delicious, spiced Brew Wars: The Thirst Awakens red wine ser ved hot and fresh. Sat Dec 9th 12pm–11pm Cavendish Brewing Company, 207 N Chester St, Gastonia, NC 28052. Calling all Jedis, Christmas on the Farm Fri Dec Sith Lords, Bounty Hunters and 15th–Sat 16th Historic Johnson Farm, aliens of all planets in the Republic... 3346 Haywood Rd, Hendersonville, Join us at Cavendish Brewing for our NC 28791. A friendly holiday event, Star Wars themed party in celebra- featuring a house tour, kids’ crafts, tion of the release of The Last Jedi. cake walk, pictures with Santa, raffle Special beers will be released, and prizes and more. www.hendersonfresh Bantha Milk will be in full sup- ply for all Padawans in attendance.

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Destinations First Footin’ At Rural Hill 2018 Mon Jan 1st 10am–2pm Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078. Enjoy the holiday ’s pleasures a little too much? Stuffed to the gills from all those parties? Determined that this is the year to make a change for the better? Start 2018 off right with First Footin’ our annual walk and celebration of Hogmanay, or Scottish New Years? New Year’s Sunrise 2018 Mon Jan 1st 6:30am–9:30am Grandfather Mountain, 2050 Blowing Rock Hwy, Linville, NC 28646. Ring in an epic New Year on Grandfather Mountain with the first sunrise of 2018. Plus, attendees will be able to join in a

community breakfast buffet with their fellow early risers. New Year’s sunrise opportunity and breakfast costs $20, in addition to general admission. Tr e e To s s 2 018 S a t J a n 6 t h 11am–4pm Conser vators Center, 676 E Hughes Mill Rd, Burlington, NC 27217. Each year, the friendly folks at Cranberry Tree Farm donate their unsold trees to the Center, and we give them to our animals as a special form of holiday enrichment. If you’ve never seen wild animals receiving holiday trees, presents, and toys, don’t miss this chance. We want to share this tradition with you. 704-706-2365


Much More Than A Wonderland Of Lights!


t’s so lovely living in a lake town. There seems to be no end to the activities that can be enjoyed. Sailing, swimming, dockside restaurants, kayaking, bottle feeding baby kangaroos, engaging in a staring contest/battle of wits with an emu, counting the humps on a live camel… Since 2010, Zootastic Park has been bringing the exotic to the domestic city of Troutman and surrounding areas, giving residents a unique and magical way to spend an afternoon. Owners Scott and Kim Brown have been working with exotic animals for over thirty years,

and their passion comes through immensely in their dedication to this wild attraction. From the leaping lemurs to the speedy ostriches, every square inch of Zootastic is teaming with intrigue. Families will love having an outing where both parent and child can be equally entertained. It doesn’t matter how old you are, tigers will always be awesome. Speaking of stripes, take a good look at the zebras and see if you can figure out if they are black with white stripes,

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Regional Events & Destinations

or white with black stripes… It’s hard to tell. The coatimundi is my favorite little forager, and if you don’t know what a coatimundi is, I promise you will want to find out. Parents, do not let your kids skip the petting zoo. I mean, if you haven’t been licked by a goat, have you really had a childhood? The answer is no. In addition, what better setting could there be for a birthday party? It’s every kid’s dream to send out an invitation that contains the phrase “MY PARTY WILL HAVE A TIGER.” I can say from experience that one trip to Zootastic will never suffice. Watching all the different animals eat, play, sleep, and sunbath never becomes boring. Even so, the park is constantly updating, adding new furr y and feathered friends

along with new habitats. Every trip is a different kind of treat, and a few trips a year still doesn’t seem like enough. It’s time to end the stigma that a trip to the lake means leisure, because a trip to the lake really means lemurs. ~Kara McMillian Open every night from November 22, 2017 to January 1, 2018! Some activities during this holiday season will be photos with Santa and baby animals, pony rides, tiger feeding, s’mores, and our petting zoo! Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 6pm. - 9pm. Friday & Saturday: 6pm - 10pm. 385 Ostwalt Amity Road Troutman NC 28166

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Regional Events & Destinations

An Epic New Year’s Sunrise


ing in an epic New Year on Grandfather Mountain with the first sunrise of 2018. On Monday, Jan. 1, the mountain will host another New Year’s Sunrise event, offering guests the chance to start off their new year on a literal high note. Plus, attendees will be able to join in a community breakfast buffet with their fellow early risers. Sunrise is at 7:38am. January 1, 2018, and Grandfather ’s gates will open at 6:30am. Due to safety regulations, participants may only visit the Mile High Swinging Bridge area during the event. Guests are encouraged to bring a flashlight and wear heavy winter jackets, hats, gloves and rubbersoled shoes, as there may be slick surfaces on the mountain. The event may be cancelled upon short notice in case of inclement weather.

Admission to the New Year ’s sunrise opportunity and breakfast costs $20, in addition to general admission. Guests are free to remain in the park all day, but those who leave before 9:30am. will have their general admission charge refunded. Bridge Club members, who receive free admission to the mountain, will only pay $15 for the sunrise and breakfast. The event is open to no more than 40 participants, and registration is required. To register, contact Judi Sawyer at (828) 733-2013 or For more information on Grandfather Mountain , visit or call Frank Ruggiero at (828) 733-2013. 704-706-2365


Make Hendersonville Home For Your Holidays


o matter where you call home, Hendersonville invites you to make this Blue Ridge Mountain town your home for the holidays this season. The lineup of Home for the Holidays events begins in early November and continues through the New Year. Yuletide activities include evening car riage rides on Main Street, holiday skating downtown, trolley tours through illuminated gardens, Christmas shows at Flat Rock Playhouse, strolling carolers and, of course, visits with Santa Claus.

with Downtown Hendersonville. “The first day of the holiday season and the beginning of that wonderful time of year is always a lot of fun.”

Flat Rock Playhouse, the state theater of North Carolina, spreads holiday cheer with special programming November 25 to The big kick off to the season December 22. takes place on Black Friday, November 24, with the Downtown Holiday Holiday skating on a synthetic Street Lighting and Santa’s Arrival. “ice” rink returns to the Visitor Center parking lot December 19 to January “I always look forward to the 1. This year, the entire parking lot will street lighting and the feel of down- transform into a winter wonderland. town that evening,” says Lew Hollo- In addition to skating, visitors can way, economic development director roast s’mores, play corn hole, take


Regional Events & Destinations

photos in holiday cutouts and board carriage rides. “Everything we did last year for Home for the Holidays was well received by visitors and locals alike, so it inspired us to enhance this year’s festivities,” says Beth Carden, executive director of the Henderson County TDA. Visitors and residents can enjoy discounts on lodging, shopping, dining and attractions via the Winter Getaway Card, which is valid through March 31 and available at the Visitor Center. CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR WITH

For a full schedule of Home for the Holidays events, go to Home-for-the-Holidays or call (800) 828-4244.



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Regional Events & Destinations

First Footin’ At Rural Hill


njoy the holiday’s pleasures a little too much? Stuffed to the gills from all those parties? Determined that this is the year to make a change for the better? Why not come out to Rural Hill and start 2018 off right with First Footin’ our annual walk and celebration of Fortune would smile on the Hogmanay, or Scottish New Years? household if the first person to set foot in the doorway on the New The Tradition Year was a young man; presumably Fo l l o w i n g t h e P r o t e s t a n t tall, handsome, healthy, dark haired, Reformation in Scotland in the latter dark eyed, and bearing gifts (such as half of the sixteenth century, it was a lump of coal for the fire.) Today it considered irreverent to celebrate does no harm if the first footer carries dates of religious importance. Thus, a bottle of his best and favorite merriment and celebrations were beverage to offer his host a drink reserved for Hogmanay (pronounced and a toast, stating “Lang may your Hog-muh-nay,) this important part of lum reek.” This traditional Scottish the year combined both New Year’s salutation wishes its recipient long Eve and New Year ’s Day with a life and prosperity. It literally means celebration of good will and good “long may your chimney smoke.” fortune. The use of the term “first footin’,” according to legend, is as Several towns throughout the follows: hillsides of Scotland continue an Continued On Page 30 704-706-2365


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Regional Events & Destinations

Beech Mountain: 50 Years On Top

Sam Dean Photography


milestone occurs this winter in the North Carolina mountains. Beech Mountain Resort marks 50 years of skiing on the highest elevation slopes in eastern America. The resort brought a new vision to Southern skiing when it debuted in the winter of 1967-68. It was the only North Carolina resort built around an alpine village, and remains that way today. “Skiing in the South was just being developed and this was a unique facility at 5,506 feet in elevation with a Swiss Bavarian village. It exposed the Southeast market to something new,” says general manager Ryan Costin. “That continues to be one of our strongest assets – a layout where you can navigate the village and experience all the wintertime activities we have here.”

Thursdays. Tuesdays are ladies’ nights with $9 lift tickets – the same price as opening day. Wednesdays are men’s nights with $9 tickets and Thursdays are couples’ nights featuring a first ticket for $16 and a second ticket for just $8.

In addition, a 50th Anniversary To celebrate the half centur y $50 Lodging Special is available mark, Beech Mountain Resort every Sunday through Thursday this o f f e r s s e a s o n - l o n g t h r o w b a c k winter in non-holiday periods. pricing for night sessions on Tu e s d a y s , We d n e s d a y s a n d Continued On Page 29 704-706-2365


Decompression Destination

Be Bold, Tread Lightly, Make It Happen.


he story of Bold Rock Hard Cider starts with an unlikely partnership between two guys from different sides of the world. These two salt-of-the-earth characters – one a southern gentlemen, the other an affable bloke – founded Bold Rock in June of 2012 and since that time it has become the nation’s largest independently-owned cider company. The Bold Rock Mills River Cidery opened in October 2015 and is nestled in some of North Carolina’s most fertile farm land just 20 minutes from Downtown Asheville. Visit to learn about the process behind our cider crafted from locally sourced Henderson County apples and enjoy expansive views of the production floor and bottling line. The Mills


River Cidery offers complimentary daily tours and hard cider tastings as well as pints, flights and even local craft beer. The Bold Rock Food Trailer offers freshly prepared BBQ and other Southern fixins’ Tuesday – Sunday and an expansive Cider Garden ensures plenty of space for guests to spread out and relax. Swing by today to experience it for yourself! Bold Rock Mills River Cidery 72 School House Rd. Mills River, NC 28759 828-595-9941

Regional Events & Destinations

Holidays At The Garden


aniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s most-anticipated annual event in which the Garden glows with holiday spirit from the twinkling trees to the sparkling fountains and is transformed into a natural winter wonderland filled with unique festive décor including a towering tree of orchids, more than 600,000 lights, and illuminated displays.

4-6, 11-13, and 18-24. Santa will only be available during Capture the Magic with Santa from 6 to 9pm. Nov. 24-26, Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Dec. 7-10,14-17 and pre-registration and the purchase of a professional photograph package and Holidays at the Garden admission are required.

Food service will be available ever y evening in addition to beverages including coffee, hot Each night visitors will enjoy chocolate, beer, wine and more. live music, holiday shopping in The Garden Store, crackling fires to warm A special thank you to sponsors cold hands or roast a marshmallow, i n c l u d i n g D a v i d B e l k C a n n o n and the Children’s Holiday Discovery Foundation, Duke Energy, Gaston Trail of activities. Model train displays Travel & Tourism, and K104.7. can be found throughout the Garden. Horse-drawn carriage rides will be available from Southern Breezes Carriages from 5:30 to 8:30pm. Thursday through Sunday through Dec. 31 and also Dec. 18-20. Carriage rides are $6/adult, $4/child 2-12, and free for children under 2. The Garden Tram will be available for rides on evenings when the carriages are not available and rides are free with admission from 6 to 9pm. Mrs. Claus will visit the Garden from 6 to 8pm. on Nov. 27-29, Dec.

Holidays at the Garden will be open Nov. 17 through Dec. 31, 2017 from 5 to 9pm. The Garden will be open for regular daytime admission 9am. to 4pm. with the exception of Thanksgiving when it’s only open for Holidays at the Garden in the evening. Holiday admission is discounted for tickets purchased online in advance at $12.95 per adult, $11.95 per senior 60+, $7.95 per child 2-12 and free for children under age two. Tickets at the door are $14.95 per adult, $13.95 per senior 60+, $8.95 per child 2-12 and free for children under age two. Purchase tickets online in advance at 704-706-2365


Watch An Acorn Drop To Celebrate New Year’s Eve


s the capital of North Carolina, Raleigh offers a wide variety of activities for visitors, many of which are free and pay tribute to the state’s role as one of the original 13 states calling for freedom. But when New Year ’s Eve rolls around, the city pays its biggest tribute to its nickname as the “City of the Oaks.” For more than 20 years, Raleigh has celebrated New Year ’s Eve and its nickname by dropping a giant acorn at the stroke of midnight as part of its First Night celebration, one of several Raleigh holiday events. Visitors can see the 10-foot-tall, 1,250-pound copper and steel acorn as well as several of the oak trees that contribute to the city ’s nickname year-round at its home in Moore Square Park. The acorn sculpture was commissioned for Raleigh’s bicentennial in 1992. It travels



a few blocks to the main stage o n C i t y P l a z a a t Fa y e t t e v i l l e Street for the drop during the First Night celebration. The giant acorn is just one of many unusual objects that ring in the New Year across North Carolina as communities across the state celebrate the holidays.

Project 543 tells the story of unique spots across North Carolina we hope will become some of your favorite places. Why 543? Because that’s the number of miles from Manteo, on the coast, to Murphy, in the mountains, and is traditionally considered to be the width of our state. The entries in this project are in no particular order, and we’ll add to them each week. Check in often to find inspiration for your next trip, or start planning today at

Regional Events & Destinations

Ballantyne Charlotte Mooresville Huntersville Uptown


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Christmas Town U.S.A.


he quiet little town of McAdenville, which lies along the South Fork River in Gaston County, N.C., comes alive in spectacular fashion each year as Christmas draws near. Almost overnight, the little town is transformed into “Christmas Town, USA.” In 1956, the McAdenville Men’s Club conceived the idea of using lights to decorate a few trees around the McAdenville Community Center. With the permission of town officials and Mr. W. J. Pharr, President of Pharr Yarns, nine trees were decorated the first year. Mrs. Pharr suggested the use of red, white and green lights, the traditional colors of Christmas. Later, at Mrs. Pharr’s suggestion, the trees around the lake were decorated and the manger scene became the focal point of the Christmas decorations. The reaction to these early efforts was so favorable that each year the number of decorated trees has been increased. By 2005, more than 375 trees were giving off a warm holiday glow to the town and surrounding area.


To d a y, a n d f o r m o r e t h a n twenty-five years, Mrs. Catherine Ann Carstaphen and her husband M r. J . M . C a r s t a r p h e n , C h i e f Executive Officer of Pharr Yarns, have been instrumental in carrying on this tradition. Their support, along with the continuing cooperation of company management and townspeople alike, has ensured that McAdenville will be a special place at a very special time of year when almost every home and evergreen tree proclaims the birth of Jesus. The more than 375 trees which are decorated range in height from 6 feet to more than 90 feet. Only live trees are used. As few as 500 lights and as many as 5,000 lights may be used on one tree. One of the favorite spots for viewers is the lake which is situated near the heart of town. More than 30 trees, ranging in size from 12 to 40 feet, ring the lake. The reflection of the lights in the water adds to the beauty of the scene. A fountain, located in the center of the lake,

Regional Events & Destinations

jets water 75 feet into the air. Lights shining on the fountain go through a sequence of red, green, blue and amber about once every ten seconds. Also adjacent to the lake is the historic bell tower that has served as a focal point for the Town of McAdenville since the establishment of McAden Mills in the early 1880’s. In 2010, this historic bell tower was restored to its former prominence. The new chimes welcome visitors with carols throughout the Christmas light season as well as play special hymns and songs to mark each holiday season, national holidays and play during special remembrances - such as a tribute each year to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

T h i s y e a r, 2 0 1 7 , m a r k s t h e sixty-second year of the McAdenville Christmas light pageantr y and tradition. Except for two years, 1973 and 1974, the lights have dazzled and delighted the eyes and hearts of local citizens and millions of visitors. In 1973 and 1974 the country was in the midst of an energy crisis, and the town remained dark in response to a plea for energy conservation from the President. Gaston County is located just west of Charlotte, NC in the Piedmont section of North Carolina and is a terrific place to live, work and visit. Gaston County offers visitors a variety of attractions to enhance your trip including museums, botanical gardens, extreme sports, hiking, dining and entertainment parks, art and history and more.

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BAYNE BREWING COMPANY Bayne Brewing Company offers several different types of craft beer in Cornelius, NC. The selections will rotate based on the season and availability of certain ingredients. Each beer hand crafted in small batches with great attention to detail. They offer some the best craft beers in the state, so come on in and give them a try!

19507 West Catawba Ave Cornelius NC 28031 704.897.6426

D9 BREWING COMPANY A craft microbrewery located north of Charlotte in Cornelius, North Carolina. From homebrew parties in their neighborhoods, to their first location’s humble one-barrel beginnings, intense local thirst for the Fanatical Ales™ propelled them to open their current 30 barrel production brewery. D9 is reimagining some of the world’s most unique and trusted styles of beer.

GHOSTFACE BREWING Ghostface offers up to 20 beers on tap, with a selection of rotating styles, some available on nitro. Tastings & full pours are available on-site, as well as full growler fills to go. Davidson Pizza Company is always serving on site and you can find out for yourself which house-brewed cold draft pairs best with a New York Style Cheese Pie. 427 East Statesville Ave. Mooresville, NC 28115 704.799.7433

11138 Treynorth Dr Cornelius NC 28031 704.457.9368

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Beech Mountain Continued From Page 21

New this winter is a streamlined check-in process in which customers purchase lift tickets and rental equipment at a central location, then go straight through the fitting process and are ready to hit the slopes in less time. Also new this winter is the ability to buy multi-day lift tickets and multi-day ski or snowboard rentals. Other activities at the resort include snow tubing, ice skating, and learn-to-ski programs for adults and youths. For après ski, the resort is located in the town of Beech Mountain, which offers lodging, restaurants and nightlife in close proximity to the slopes.

“It’s an exciting year and we look forward to another half century of serving skiers across the Southeast,” Costin says. “A lot of people are surprised at just how good a winter season we have. Our infrastructure provides a strong product all winter.” For info on Beech Mountain, including lodging options and winter packages, call 800-4685506 or visit



CONCORD, NC • MARION, NC 704-706-2365


First Footin’ Continued From Page 19

along the way to discuss history and folklore.

age old annual ritual of walking the town limits to restate or reclaim the If you do not think you are boundaries of the township. physically able to do the walk, please come anyway. It’s a great time for These traditions have been fellowship at the Rural Retreat Cabin adopted as part of the Rural Hill Site, which will be open for this Hogmanay (Scottish New Year) occasion. celebration, known simply as “First Footin’”. Traditionally, the This event is FREE and open to fulfillments of Hogmanay’s rituals all, but we do encourage everyone and folklore have assured good to bring something for the luncheon. crops, good health, and good fortune (Remember, its bad luck to show up in the coming year. empty handed.) The Walk To l e a r n m o r e a b o u t Wear good walking shoes and t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l e v e n t v i s i t : appropriate clothing for the season. This will be a vigorous walk around the farm’s 2.25 mile trail, event, and historic sites, stopping

Historic Rural Hill 4431 Neck Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078

Andrew Zachary Digital Imagery





Where To Go!

Regional Events & Destinations 704-706-2365




9230 Beatties Ford Road

515 Rinehardt Road






full bar


good times

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Issue 081 December the Destination Magazine™  
Issue 081 December the Destination Magazine™  

The Destination Magazine™ is your monthly guide for local and regional culinary, culture and community events and destinations for readers i...