The Dillsboro Festival of Lights & Luminaries illuminates this mountain village the first two weekends in December. In an era of electronic gadgetry and LED lights, Dillsboro’s celebration is a throwback. Adapted from a Scandinavian custom of lighting the way for the Christ child, more than 2,500 candles in white bags line the streets with more than a dozen shops to explore.
In addition to the luminaries, the town’s merchant “elves” trim their buildings – many of which date to the late 1800s – in traditional white lights. Shopkeepers also stay open late and serve coffee, warm cider, hot chocolate and homemade goodies to visitors. There will be sing-alongs throughout town, horse-and-carriage rides, WCU students strolling the streets in renaissance costumes, children’s art in the courtyard, plus Santa and Mrs. Claus setting up shop in Town Hall.
The Festival of Lights & Luminaries begins each evening at dusk and runs until 9 p.m. There is no admission charge. Come early to explore downtown Sylva also, just three miles away.