'A Small Town Christmas' Returns To Banner Elk (2018-11-30 16:05:59)

Unwrap a weekend of yuletide memories during A Small Town Christmas, Dec. 7-9 in Banner Elk.

Step into yesteryear with three days of small-town fun, beginning with a tree lighting and Christmas variety show Friday evening and continuing with activities, arts & crafts, shopping, a parade of lights and nighttime mini-train rides on Saturday.

Sunday offers an encore performance of the variety show, along with visits to nearby choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms.

“Every year we try to make A Small Town Christmas a little bigger and a little better,” said organizer Jo-Ann McMurray of the Banner Elk Chamber. “This year we have more lights in the park Saturday evening and more activities during the day Saturday. There will be cookie decorating, ornament decorating, storytelling, wreath making and all different kinds of things.”

The festivities kick off 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Corner on Main park with caroling and the lighting of a 15-foot tree from Elk River Evergreens. Afterwards is the ticketed variety show, “A Banner Elk Christmas” by Ensemble Stage just a block away at Historic Banner Elk School.

Saturday starts early with the YMCA Reindeer Run 5K at 8:30 a.m., then Santa drops by Dunn’s Deli at 9 a.m. for a pancake breakfast with all the boys and girls on his list.

From there, it’s an easy walk to a day full of activities throughout town before everyone gathers along Main Street at 6 p.m. for the Parade of Lights.

“People decorate their cars and kids and dogs and march down Main Street. Some of them get a little carried away with the lights, so it’s really interesting,” McMurray says.

The parade concludes in Tate-Evans Park with train rides, luminaries, animated light Shows, music and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“It’s an old-fashioned, small-town Christmas,” says McMurray. “It reminds me of how nice Christmas was when I was growing up and how much we all looked forward to it.”

A variety of lodging is available, as well as choose-and-cut packages that include one night’s lodging, discounts at Banner Elk Café and tree vouchers for Elk River Evergreens.

For details about A Small Town Christmas in Banner Elk and lodging info, go to or call (828) 898-8395.