A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

As the last leaves fall, holiday events take center stage and downtown Laurinburg turns into a scene from a Hallmark movie. Volunteers dressed as elves decorate 100 Christmas trees placed

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

As the last leaves fall, holiday events take center stage and downtown Laurinburg turns into a scene from a Hallmark movie. Volunteers dressed as elves decorate 100 Christmas trees placed

Winter Festivities in Scotland County

As the last leaves fall, holiday events take center stage and downtown Laurinburg turns into a scene from a Hallmark movie. Volunteers dressed as elves decorate 100 Christmas trees placed throughout downtown, storefronts sparkle with lights, windows display seasonal scenes, and a robust calendar of festivities — from a Christmas tree lighting and parade with dancing Santas to a singing Christmas tree — encourage visitors and locals alike to celebrate the season.



It all kicks off on November 20 with Christmas on Main, an afternoon filled with Christmas music, food, arts and crafts vendors, and downtown shops stocked with gifts. But it’s just the beginning — discover six other merry ways to get into the Christmas spirit in Scotland County.

Don’t miss the dancing Santas during the Christmas parade in downtown Laurinburg. Photography courtesy of Scotland County Tourism Development Authority

Skate into the Christmas season
Weekends from November 20-January 1, 4-7 p.m. on Fridays & 2–7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays

In search of a rink that you can skate away on this season? Bundle up with a scarf and gloves, fuel up with some hot chocolate, and lace up your ice skates to take a spin in a winter wonderland — right in downtown Laurinburg. Ice-skating costs $5 with no time limit, and skates are included. 

Attend the downtown parade & sing along with a Christmas tree
December 3, 3 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.

It’s not truly Christmastime until you’ve seen Santa, and at the Christmas parade through downtown Laurinburg, you’ll see dancing Santas, festive floats, and much more. Plus, ’tis the season for Christmas trees and carolers! In Laurinburg, they put the two together to create the Singing Christmas Tree — made up of more than 100 carolers, who join forces to form the tree and delight listeners with their voices. Be sure to stick around after the parade for joyful tunes.

Pose with the penguins

This holiday season, forget Rudolph: A cute colony of four-foot-tall (wooden) penguins will be calling Laurinburg home. Volunteers are transforming a lot on the corner of Main and Church streets downtown into a scene straight from the North Pole — stop and pose for a selfie with Santa’s sweet helpers, and just try not to grin.

“Penguins make people smile,” says ’Tis the Season volunteer Jeannie Pope.

 

Laurinburg’s storefronts go all out for the holiday season. Photography courtesy of Scotland County Tourism Development Authority

Go walking in a winter wonderland

This season, the Laurinburg Winter Land Walk makes its debut. Vignettes set up throughout the ’Tis the Season nonprofit Christmas store in downtown Laurinburg will feature different winter and holiday scenes from Candy Cane Lane. From colorful, oversized confections to a snow-covered forest of animatronic animals, multiple backdrops will provide photo opportunities — and will enthrall kids.

 

See sparkling lights and delightful decorations during the Great Christmas Light Contest. Photography courtesy of Scotland County Tourism Development Authority

Light up the night

In past years, Laurinburg locals often traveled to bigger cities across the state to see Christmas lights — until ’Tis the Season and the Laurinburg Chamber of Commerce teamed up to host the Great Christmas Light Contest, a judged competition that features dozens of homes and neighborhoods decked out in sparkling lights. Now, entries are highlighted on a map, which can be found online, creating a spectacular light drive that locals — and now visitors — love all December long. Fill a travel mug with hot cocoa, turn up the Christmas tunes, and make the most of the holiday magic.


Be sure to check ’Tis the Season’s website as they continue to add events, including a new exhibit that is being finalized.

This story was published on Dec 01, 2022

Jodi Helmer

North Carolina-based journalist Jodi Helmer writes about food, farming, and the environment.