Welcome to the Great Smoky
Mountains and Jackson County, North Carolina
Sylva Christmas Parade is Saturday, Dec. 3
The Sylva Christmas Parade has been scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. The theme this year is "A Cinema Christmas," and the deadline to enter the parade as a participant is Nov. 30. Please turn your applications in to the Town of Sylva. For more information, call the Town of Sylva at 828-586-2719. For a copy of the application, click HERE.
33rd annual Lights and Luminaries in Dillsboro Dec. 2-3, 9-10The 33rd annual Festival of Lights and Luminaries will be held the next two Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 2 & 3 and Dec. 9 & 10 from 5-9 p.m.Dillsboro’s Luminaries event began in 1983. Over the years, shops began staying open to greet the visitors, offering homemade cookies, hot chocolate and hot apple cider. Santa Claus discovered the town and came to enjoy the children, and then white lights began to appear on all the businesses. The tradition had now become a ‘Festival of Lights & Luminaries,’ and because of it’s popularity, one night had grown to four—the first and second Friday and Saturday nights of December—glimmering with over 2,500 candles each night, and thousands of white lights in this small historic town by the Tuckaseigee River.David Marker, this year’s event planner, says, “The Festival of Lights and Luminaries is our town’s most popular event. This year we will once again have free horse and buggy rides, free parking and shuttle transportation for the event (from Monteith Park), and a chance to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the town hall each night of the festival. New to our holiday lineup is ‘Letters to Santa’ where children will have help in writing to Santa, with a special mailbox in which to mail the letters so they will receive an answer. We will also have a window and/or outdoor venue decorating contest for each store in town.”Each night, shops offering a variety of unique gifts, clothing, gourmet foods and wine will stay open late serving free refreshments and hosting live performances by local musicians. The C.J. Harris room at Riverwood Shops will also be open bringing alive the past were each night visitors can string popcorn and cranberries destined for the huge tree decorating the room.Special College EventsFriday, December 2—is a special community college night featuring Lea Parker, Western Carolina University dance coordinator, who will be performing a classical ballet piece from The Nutcracker in front of Depot 40 four times between 6 and 7 p.m.; the WCU Inspirational Gospel Choir will be singing on Church Street starting at 7 p.m.; Mountain Faith Band will be in the Jarrett House lobby for a meet and greet; the WCU Cheer team will be walking around town with some cheers; and there will be a raffle for all WCU/SCC students, faculty, and staff.Also on December 2, the Jarrett Memorial Baptist Church will feature Christmas carols beginning at 6 p.m. They encourage dropping off at the church non-perishable food items or unwrapped toys for community families in need.Saturday, December 3—a special feature will be the Spanish Club from Southwestern Community College, consisting of curriculum students who are learning Spanish, as well as English Language Learners from many countries who are taking classes to learn English. They will be roaming carolers, singing Christmas carols in English and Spanish.
Come out early each night and visit the wonderful restaurants tucked in among the two streets of the town. Stay the rest of the night and enjoy an old fashioned Christmas!
Jackson County a premier spot for viewing 2017 solar eclipse
At 2:35 p.m. on August 21, 2017, Jackson County residents and visitors will have the chance to watch as the moon moves fully in front of the sun for the first time in 26 years.
Jackson County, North Carolina, is one of the few areas in North Carolina where visitors and residents can experience next year’s extremely rare celestial phenomenon, a total solar eclipse. All of the county’s towns, including Sylva, Dillsboro, Cullowhee and Cashiers, are in the direct path of The Great American Solar Eclipse. On August 21, 2017, the towns will have a stellar view of one of nature’s most visual displays followed by a couple minutes of complete darkness.
For cities inside the 70-mile-wide path of the solar eclipse, the sky will turn pitch black, the air will cool, and stars will be visible in the middle of the day. This is the first time in 26 years that America has seen a total solar eclipse, and it is one of the few that will sweep the nation from Atlantic to Pacific coasts. (View 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in the U.S.)
Jackson County is working to develop events, specific viewing locations, public safety, and accommodation promotions specifically for the eclipse event. The times of total darkness for Jackson County cities are as follows:
Sylva: 1 minute, 45 seconds
Dillsboro: 1 minute, 50 seconds
Cullowhee: 1 minute, 55 seconds
Cashiers: 2 minutes, 23 seconds.
Learn more: www.ncsolareclipse.com.
Located in the North Carolina Mountains and right in the midst of the Great Smoky Mountains, Jackson County is the ideal location for your next mountain getaway. Whatever it is you are looking for in your trip, we have it, from great accommodations, including cabin rentals, to wonderful activities, including rafting, hiking, fishing, golf, skiing, and camping.
Once you’ve found the right place to stay, whether it is a quaint Great Smoky Mountain cabin, or a friendly bed & breakfast, you will be ready to start you adventure in the North Carolina Mountains. If you enjoy fishing, the Tuckasegee River and many lakes and streams offer superb options, or you can take in the mountain scenery and wildlife on one of the area’s many hiking trails. Maybe you want to test your golf game and you can do just that on one of Jackson County’s many classic mountain golf courses.
Journey back to the days of yesteryear as Dillsboro presents its annual Festival of Lights and Luminaries. Experience the magic as the entire town is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter and song! 2500 luminaries light your way to shops and studios. Horse and buggy rides available each night from 5-8 pm (cost + tips). Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa. Carolers sing and children visit with Santa at Town Hall.
When you plan your next mountain vacation to Jackson County and the Great Smoky Mountains, you will want to be sure that you select just the right accommodations for your visit. The options here in the North Carolina Mountains are certainly diverse and offer something for everyone and every budget. There’s so much just waiting for you to enjoy in North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains.