A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Featured Event: North Carolina Jazz Festival • Wilmington • January 23-25 Jazz took off in this state in the 1930s, setting the stage for North Carolina-born legends like Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane,

Madison County Championship Rodeo

Featured Event: North Carolina Jazz Festival • Wilmington • January 23-25 Jazz took off in this state in the 1930s, setting the stage for North Carolina-born legends like Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane,

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Featured Event: North Carolina Jazz Festival • Wilmington • January 23-25 Jazz took off in this state in the 1930s, setting the stage for North Carolina-born legends like Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane,

North Carolina Events Calendar: December 2019-January 2020

Featured Event: North Carolina Jazz Festival Wilmington • January 23-25

Jazz took off in this state in the 1930s, setting the stage for North Carolina-born legends like Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, and Nina Simone. For 40 years, the North Carolina Jazz Festival has drawn musicians from around the world to celebrate that legacy through swing, bebop, and beyond. “Jazz is really a conversation between instruments,” says Sandy Evans, president of the festival, and this event allows people to see “how that conversation comes about.”

Learn more: (910) 793-1111 or ncjazzfestival.org

Art in the Hall Presents: Pat Flachbart Paintings • Morganton • December 2-January 24

See the latest Art in the Hall exhibition, featuring works by Pat Flachbart at Morganton City Hall. This painter is proud to say she “paints outside the lines.”

Learn more: (828) 438-5362 or morgantonnc.gov

Appalachian Christmas • Lake Junaluska • December 12-15

Embrace the Christmas spirit at the Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center with a concert featuring Handel’s “Messiah,” a craft show, and chapel worship.

Learn more: (800) 222-4930 or lakejunaluska.com

Holiday Juried Craft Show • Brevard • December 13-15

Browse the works of artists from Transylvania County and western North Carolina at The Masonic Lodge.

Learn more: (828) 862-8122 or facebook.com/pg/tchguild

“The Magic on Main” Eclectic Christmas Parade • Andrews • December 14

About 50 light displays on Main Street will compete for “Best in Show.” Enter to win or watch the competition unfold from the sidelines at this festive event.

Learn more: (828) 321-1600 or visitandrewsnc.com

Elizabeth Cook • Elkin • December 14

Watch Nashville-based singer-songwriter Elizabeth Cook, who has been lauded as “a sharp and surprising country singer” by The New York Times, perform at the Reeves Theater and Café.

Learn more: (336) 258-8240 or reevestheater.com

Lisa Rock: “A Carpenter’s Christmas” • Hayesville • December 14

Singer Lisa Rock will pay tribute to Karen Carpenter’s passionate voice in a festive concert at the Peacock Performing Arts Center. Listen to songs such as “Merry Christmas, Darling” and “Close to You” performed by Rock and an eight-piece band.

Learn more: (828) 389-2787 or thepeacocknc.org

Enchantment in the Garden • Mount Holly • December 14

Take a stroll through the Mount Holly Community Garden, which will be covered in holiday-themed decorations and lights. Enjoy live music, free homemade cookies, cider, and food truck fare.

Learn more: (704) 689-2051 or mounthollycommunitygarden.com

Tony Grant • Tryon • December 14

Grammy-nominated musician Tony Grant will perform a variety of songs from his Soulful Christmas album at the Tryon Fine Arts Center. Grant, a native North Carolinian, has appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network and in Tyler Perry productions.

Learn more: (828) 859-8322 or tryonarts.org

Iceless Skating Rink • Hendersonville • December 18-January 1

Lace up your skates and take to the iceless skating rink, located at the Hendersonville Visitor Center, for fun during any weather. Proceeds will benefit the America in Bloom Program.

Learn more: (828) 693-9708 or hendersoncountyinblooms.com

New Year’s Eve Extravaganza • Blowing Rock • December 31

Ring in 2020 at Appalachian Ski Mountain with fireworks, skiing by torchlight, moonlight ice-skating, and delicious food.

Learn more: (828) 295-7828 or appskimtn.com

Wine Tastings • Tryon • January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Sample free wine and purchase tasty treats from All Good Things Bakery. Bring your friends and gather around for good food, free drink, and warm company.

Learn more: (828) 859-6473 or tryonbottle.com

Harlem Globetrotters • Asheville • January 5

Watch some of the most elite dunkers, ball handlers, and Guinness World Record Holders at the U.S. Cellular Center.

Learn more: (828) 259-5736 or uscellularcenterasheville.com  

Dulcimer U Winter Weekend • Lake Junaluska • January 9-12

The mountain dulcimer has long been associated with the folk music of Southern Appalachia. At Western Carolina University’s weekend workshop, you can learn to play — and play a part in the tradition.

Learn more: (828) 227-7397 or dulcimeru.wcu.edu 

Darin & Brooke Aldridge • Valdese • January 11

This husband and wife, singer-songwriter duo will sing a compilation of country, folk, and bluegrass music in a concert at the Old Rock School – a venue known for its amazing acoustics.

Learn more: (828) 879-2129 or townofvaldese.com  

Diamond Divas & Drama Queens: A Gem Quilt Trunk Show • Brevard • January 16

Join the Western North Carolina Quilt Guild to talk about gemstone quilts, which capture light and reflect a certain brilliance. This lecture and trunk show of MJ Kinman’s quilts, will chronicle her 20-year journey in make the biggest diamonds in the world out of cloth.

Learn more: mjkinman.com

The Chamber Classic Series Presents: KAIA String Quartet • Hickory • January 18

The KAIA String Quartet will perform pieces from composers Beethoven, Bragato, and Piazzolla at the Drendel Auditorium. Guests can meet the artists after the concert at a meet-and-greet-reception.

Learn more: (828) 324-8603 or wpsymphony.org

Moonshine Heritage Day • North Wilkesboro • January 18

Wilkes County was once known as the moonshine capital of America. Today, the legacy continues with plenty of legal distilleries — like Copper Barrel Provisions, which will offer drinks and a history lesson at this event.

Learn more: (336) 262-6500 or copperbarrel.com 

Kruger Brothers • West Jefferson • January 25

Spend the evening with Jens Kruger, Uwe Kruger, and Joel Landsberg of the Kruger Brothers bluegrass music group at the Ashe Civic Center for this concert.

Learn more: (336) 846-2787 or ashecivic.com

The Quilting and Needle Art Extravaganza • Statesville • January 24-25

North Carolina sewing fanatics can shop for materials and enjoy food at the Statesville Civic Center.

Learn more: (704) 376-2531 or quiltersgallery.net


Christmas at Linbrook Hall • Trinity • December 2-23

Enjoy the holidays by touring the three fully decorated levels of Linbrook Hall. Listen to a family’s story about success, entrepreneurship, and North Carolina agricultural history while on the tour.

Learn more: (336) 861-6959 or linbrookheritageestate.com

CamelotRaleigh • December 5-22

How well do you really know the story of Camelot? Bring your family to the Burning Coal Theatre and find out just how much you really know about the land of fair maidens and epic battles.

Learn more: (919) 834-4001 or burningcoal.org

Deck the Halls Preview Party • Winston-Salem • December 6-22

This preview party will celebrate the opening night of the Sawtooth School for Visual Art’s original art and craft shopping event. Partygoers will have first dibs on a curated selection of artwork from about 100 local and regional artists. Drinks, light appetizers, and live music will be included.

Learn more: (336) 723-7395 or sawtooth.org

Jacob Marley’s Christmas CarolDavidson • December 11-15, 18-22

What happened to Ebenezer Scrooge’s mean old business partner, Marley? Watch this silly holiday show at the Armour Street Theatre to find out.

Learn more: (704) 892-7953 or davidsoncommunityplayers.org

Christmas on Sunset • Asheboro • December 13

Gather your loved ones for a night of carols, hot cider and cookies, a Nativity story, and horse-drawn carriage rides in downtown Asheboro.

Learn more: (336) 626-2626 or chamber.asheboro.com

“Follow the Star”: A Journey to the Manger • Oak Ridge • December 13-14

Oak Ridge United Methodist Church will host a seven-scene walking tour, featuring a Nativity and other biblical scenes. Following the tour, families can enjoy snacks.

Learn more: (336) 643-4690 or oakridgeumc.org

St. Nicholas European Christmas Market • Raleigh • December 13-14

Experience one of the quintessential European traditions — Christmas markets — in the Holshouser building at the NC State Fairgrounds. Taste Slavic food, shop for gifts, and watch the Little German Band and Dancers perform.

Learn more: (919) 412-9919

Running of the Balls • Greensboro • December 14

This annual nighttime race features live music, hot chocolate and cookie pit stops, carolers, and festive decorations throughout the Sunset Hills neighborhood. Proceeds will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank.

Learn more: (336) 510-9390 or therunningoftheballs.com

From the Ground Up Pottery Open House • Seagrove • December 14

Potter Michael Mahan welcomes the community to enjoy his most recently fired pieces, including wood-fired pots, tree pots, soul pots, and bells. The gratitude goes even farther with this generous craftsman, whose shop will also provide refreshments for those that come to admire the freshly crafted pottery.

Learn more: (910) 464-6228 or heartofnorthcarolina.com

A Millstone Creek Christmas Hayride • Ramseur • December 14-15, 21-23

Have a holly jolly family adventure at Millstone Creek Orchard. Take a hayride through the orchard, decorate Christmas cards and cookies, take photos with Santa, and more.

Learn more: (336) 824-5263 or millstonecreekorchards.com

Artists Guild Open Studio Tour • Pittsboro • December 14-15

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Chatham County artists’ creative processes by touring their studios and shopping for artwork made with paint, clay, wood, metal, glass, and more.

Learn more: (919) 533-9410 or chathamartistsguild.org

Holiday Open House • Seagrove • December 14-15, 21-22

Take a self-guided pottery tour, which includes a variety of Seagrove potters. Experience a hearty dose of holiday cheer and feel the warmth of the fireplaces as you venture through the Seagrove community.

Learn more: (336) 571-7272 or discoverseagrove.com

Camel City Craft Fair’s Winter Market • Winston-Salem • December 15

Ring in the holiday season with a visit to one of 75 local and regional vendors that will be at this year’s winter market, located at Foothills Brewing’s Tasting Room. Peruse the aisles for arts and crafts, antiques, vintage items, and special holiday treats.

Learn more: facebook.com/camelcitycraftfair

Marvelous Music Family Series Presents: “The Nutcracker Suite” • Cary • December 21

During this one-hour spectacular at The Cary Arts Center, enjoy a delightful condensed, narrated version of the holiday classic The Nutcracker, and a mini-ballet demonstration staged by Cary Ballet Company’s artistic director, Mariaelena Ruiz.

Learn more: (919) 462-2055 or townofcary.org

Greensboro POPS: “Broadway and Beyond with Ben Crawford” • Greensboro • December 31

Broadway star Ben Crawford will ring in the New Year by performing musical numbers from Les Misérables, Shrek, Boy From Oz, and more.

Learn more: (336) 335-5456 or greensborosymphony.org

KwanzaaFest • Durham • January 1

The African American Dance Ensemble showcases traditional African dance and music in Durham. The group will celebrate Kwanzaa with performances at the Durham Armory.

Learn more: (919) 560-2729 or aade-inc.org

First Friday • Greensboro • January 3

Experience the art of GreenHill in a whole new light. Enjoy a variety of different art forms from live music to dance performances to hands-on activities led by the artists themselves. First Friday has something that everyone can enjoy.

Learn more: (336) 333-7460 or greenhillnc.org

Resolutions 2020Hillsborough • January 6

This statewide juried art exhibit will feature 2D and 3D media from North Carolina artists. When the exhibit has concluded, artwork will be available for purchase.

Learn more: (919) 732-5001 or hillsboroughgallery.com

The Quilting and Fiber Art Marketplace • Sanford • January 10-11

Enjoy a cup of tea while browsing for fabrics, notions, yarns, patterns, sewing machines, and long arm machines from more than 30 of your favorite vendors.

Learn more: (704) 376-2531 or quiltersgallery.net

“If it Ain’t Baroque” • Fayetteville • January 16

The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra has been performing for more than 60 years. Their chamber concert will feature selections from Baroque-era composers like Handel and Bach at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Learn more: (910) 433-4690 or fayettevillesymphony.org

Restaurant Week • Charlotte • January 17-26

Support local businesses in North Carolina’s global city by dining at 130 participating restaurants in the metro area.

Learn more: charlotterestaurantweek.iheart.com

MGS Presents: Gordon Turk • Greensboro • January 17

Christ United Methodist Church hosts Dr. Gordon Turk, a critically acclaimed concert organist whose performances have been touted “a moving experience to hear him” by The New York Times.

Learn more: (336) 638-7624 or musicforagreatspace.org

Marvelous Music Mainstage Series Presents: Mike Wiley’s “Breach of Peace” • Cary • January 18

Mike Wiley presents “Breach of Peace”, a solo-play based on true accounts of surviving participants of the Freedom Rides and many other individuals involved in the early struggle for African-American equality. Wiley’s performance is a living monument to those remarkable young men and women who rose to fight for just and equal treatment for all.

Learn more: (919) 462-2055 or mikewileyproductions.com

Ronnie McDowell • Liberty • January 18

After more than 40 years of traveling and singing, Ronnie McDowell and his band are country music icons. The group will deliver a night of fun to The Liberty Showcase Theater.

Learn more: (336) 622-3844 or thelibertyshowcase.com

Talley’s Folly • Raleigh • January 23-February 9

Enjoy a play that The New York Times has praised as “a valentine to a classic romantic ideal: two lost souls finding in each other a respite from loneliness.” Find your soft spot as Matt Friedman and Sally Talley come together, for better or for worse, in a gazebo, on a riverbank, in Missouri in 1944.

Learn more: (919) 834-4001 or burningcoal.org

Confederate Railroad • Liberty • January 25

Come out to The Liberty Showcase Theater to enjoy music from Nashville Recording Artist Confederate Railroad. Chase away the holiday blues with the unique style and sound that this country band brings to town. It promises to be a honking good time!

Learn more: (336) 622-3844 or thelibertyshowcase.com

“Green” • Hillsborough • January 27-February 23

Explore a gallery filled with hints and shades of green, completed by the artists of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.

Learn more: (919) 732-5001 or hillsboroughgallery.com



The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays • Wilmington • December 10-11

Ring in the holiday season with this mind-blowing Broadway spectacular that will showcase some of the most incredible illusionists at the Wilson Center, located at Cape Fear Community College. Enjoy a dazzling production featuring multiple outrageous and astonishing acts.

Learn more: (910) 362-7999 or wilsoncentertickets.com

Fantasy Christmas Show • Kure Beach • December 13-15

Enjoy this beloved holiday tradition featuring Santa Claus and his crazy elves, glistening lights, and music and dancing at Ocean Front Park.

Learn more: (910) 707-2015 or townofkurebeach.org

Danika & The Jeb • Oriental • December 13

Join Danika Holmes and Jeb Hall at The Old Theater to hear their renditions of some of your favorite holiday songs.

Learn more: (252) 617-2125 or pamlicomusic.org

Historic Candlelight Homes Tour • Beaufort • December 14

Tour private homes decorated for the season, and ride on a double-decker bus with carolers from local churches between stops.

Learn more: (252) 728-5225 or beauforthistoricsite.org

Polar Express Day • Wilmington • December 14

Experience the magic of the Polar Express at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington. Warm drinks and story time await all who attend as well as train rides, ornament decorating, and other arts and crafts.

Learn more: (910) 254-3534 or playwilmington.org

Santa Train • Selma • December 14

All aboard for a magical, seasonal journey. Passengers of all ages can enjoy juice and cookies while taking a round-trip ride with Santa from the Selma Train Depot to Raleigh and back. Riders are encouraged to wear pajamas.

Learn more: (919) 975-1411 or selma-nc.com

Island of Lights Holiday Tour of Homes • Carolina Beach, Kure Beach • December 14

Take a self-guided tour through some of Pleasure Island’s most beautiful homes. Enjoy Southern hospitality at its best as homeowners open their doors to welcome you for this special holiday treat.

Learn more: (910) 458-5507 or pleasureislandoflights.com

A Christmas Stroll Through the Past • Wilmington • December 14

Go back in time for an old-fashioned Christmas. Walk a candlelit path between the Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens and St. James Episcopal Church to enjoy music, dancing, costumes, refreshments, and more.

Learn more: (910) 251-3700 or bellamymansion.org

Statewide Holiday Pops Concert • Wilmington • December 17

Accompany the North Carolina Symphony in a spectacular evening featuring beloved traditional and popular music from The Nutcracker and The Polar Express at the Wilson Center.

Learn more: (877) 627-6724 or ncsymphony.org

Sea Glass Salvage Market • Leland • December 20-22

The Sea Glass Salvage Market is the only indoor/outdoor market in southeastern North Carolina. Here you can find fresh eggs, jewelry, handmade pottery, soaps, original artwork, candles, and on-site embroidery. Before you leave with your goodies, a food truck provides a snack for the ride home.

Learn more: (910) 239-7709 or seaglasssalvagemarket.com

Caroling by Reindeer Drawn Trolley • Wilmington • December 20-24

Come sing Christmas carols with Santa and see holiday lights throughout historic downtown Wilmington while snuggled under warm blankets in an enclosed carriage or trolley pulled by special “reindeer.” Kids will also receive candy canes from Santa on this holiday excursion.

Learn more: (910) 251-8889 or horsedrawntours.com

Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Celebration • Carolina Beach • December 31

Come celebrate New Year’s Eve at this free, family-friendly event. Enjoy dancing, refreshments, and party favors. Don’t miss the giant beach-ball drop at midnight, followed by an epic fireworks display.

Learn more: (910) 458-5507 or pleasureislandoflights.com

New Year’s Noon • Wilmington • December 31

Count down to 2020 at noon with the Children’s Museum of Wilmington, where streamer sticks, crafts, and singing and dancing will help kids kick off the New Year with an apple juice toast.

Learn more: (910) 254-3534 or playwilmington.org

“Unlocking the Future” • Greenville • January 3-20

View a variety of artists’ mixed media wall hangings at the Emerge Gallery and Art Center. In this exhibit, artists will present their interpretation of what their future would look like if they looked through a window.

Learn more: (252) 551-6947 or emergegallery.com

Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival • Kinston • January 5

This 680-year-old English holiday tradition carries on at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, where you can celebrate the new year with a banquet — without the boar’s head.

Learn more: (252) 523-6146 or stmaryskinston.com

Art & The Bloom • Wrightsville Beach • January 9-12

See fine floral arrangements inspired by works of art at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, and learn how to arrange flowers so you can brighten your home this winter.

Learn more: (877) 684-8009, blockade-runner.com

January Seaglass Salvage Market • Leland • January 17-19

Meet the makers at this indoor, outdoor market! Support local businesses by purchasing handmade, homemade, resale, and retail items such as furniture, jewelry, soy candles, original artwork, and more. The market will also have food trucks on site to satisfy a hungry shopper’s lunchtime needs.

Learn more: (910) 239-7709 or seaglasssalvagemarket.com

Wilmington Antique Show & Sale • Wilmington • January 17-19

Browse a selection of antiques and vintage items from more than 35 dealers from all over the country for the 50th year Golden Anniversary show. This show will also host a silent auction.

Learn more: (910) 512-5121 or wilmingtonantiqueshow.com

Battleship 101 • Wilmington • January 18

Explore the history of the Battleship North Carolina. Interact with friendly, knowledgeable volunteers to learn about a variety of topics aboard the ship. Try on helmets, raise signal flags, tap out your name using Morse code, and more.

Learn more: (910) 399-9100 or battleshipnc.com

Boykin Series 23 Presents: Mark Wills • Wilson • January 18

Listen to music from country artist Mark Wills at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center. Wills has released seven albums, had many top-10 hits, and was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2019.

Learn more: (252) 291-4329 or wilsonarts.com

Honour, The MusicalNew Bern • January 23-26, 31-February 2

Honour is an original musical written by Bill Hand that tells the story of North Carolina’s most notorious affair of honor, the Stanly-Spaight Duel. The New Bern Historical Society invites audiences to come out to the show and watch as former Governor and Congressman Richard Dobbs Spaight attempts to defame the young John Stanly.

Learn more: (252) 638-8558 or newbernhistorical.org

The Black Market • Oriental • January 23

This pop vocal jazz group from Los Angeles will dazzle audience members at The Old Theater with a cohesive, stylish sound during this concert.

Learn more: (252) 617-2125 or pamlicomusic.org

WinterFeast: Oysters, Brews, and Comfort Foods • New Bern • January 31

Few foods represent eastern North Carolina quite like the oyster. Pair them with other coastal favorites, like shrimp and grits, at the North Carolina History Center.

Learn more: (252) 639-3524 or tryonpalace.org

This story was published on Nov 07, 1933

Our State Staff

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.