Asheville Holiday Happenings

December 2009


On behalf of I’d like to thank everyone who entered our “Awesome Asheville” Giveaway, I would also like to send out our congratulations to Teresa S., the winner of the Friday December 11, 2009 draw!

The response to the giveaway from our readers was tremendous and we would like to take this opportunity to share some of the many wonderful comments we received about Asheville’s Holiday Events.

Christmas at Biltmore

I love the candle light tours of Biltmore House at Christmas. They take you back to days gone by and remind you of holiday traditions while making your own tradition of seeing the house each year with new friends or family. Sherry

polaroid1Christmas at Biltmore tickles my fancy! Five years ago, this coming Feb, my husband proposed to me on the front yard there at Biltmore. It was my first time there, and a magical one at that! I loved everything about the grand mansion and beautiful gardens. Karyn

polaroid2I love the Biltmore’s Christmas by candlelight tour. The fact that there are Christmas trees in just about everyone room is just fantastic! I recently brought two friends to the Biltmore for their first visit and they were amazed at the beauty. I then took them to the Grove Park Inn for dinner and we had a fabulous evening and it capped off a wonderful day with friends. Suzanne

I would love to see Biltmore all decorated for the Christmas season. It’s so beautiful any other time, it must be really gorgeous during the holidays. Rachel

polaroid3Christmas at the Biltmore. I have been saying for years, I wanted to see it, and this is my year. I am so excited to be doing it during the Christmas season. Geri

The Biltmore … without a doubt. We have the fortune of getting to see Biltmore in its grown-up and matured state. The landscape was very different when George Vanderbilt decided to build his home there. Aside from his foresight and dedication to make Biltmore and the surrounding area his own American paradise, the extension of his generosity to the land and community is inspiring. I hear they have an early evening tour option where you get to see the splendor by candle light. Hope

I would love to go to Christmas at Biltmore! I have seen the incredible home in movies such as Hannibal and would love to see it for myself. I also have heard people rave about Ashville, and I want to get in on it! Emily

Christmas at Biltmore! I grew up in Asheville and now live in Florida. I don’t get back enough. Some of my fondness memories are visiting the Biltmore with my Mom at Christmas and all of the beautiful decorations. Then we would go home and try to recreate a little bit of Biltmore in our own home!! Martha

Christmas at Biltmore would have to be the one I would want to see I have seen it during Fall, Summer and My friend Vicki and I would love to see the X-mas decorations. I would love to be able to tell her we won a trip because I feel like we both need an all girls trip!! Marshall n.c is where my family is but I was born and raised in South Carolina. Linda

I am all about the Christmas at Biltmore. I love the Biltmore; I even want to have my wedding there. Rahmah

Gingerbread House Competition and Display

I would love to see the National Gingerbread House Competition. My mother and I loved to bake at Christmas time. We would always watch this competition on The Food Network! We would also talk about how my great grandmother worked at The Grove Park Inn when she was young. I lost my mom in March and everything about that competition reminds me of her. We would always make a gingerbread house with our kids. Never anything like those but we would try!!! Thanks so much!! Cheri

My grandmother lived in Asheville and I have many wonderful, holiday memories there, and the Gingerbread houses at Grove Park inn were a favorite. We’d marvel at the detail and I’d imagine living in these sugary, winter wonderlands. We’d finish off the day drinking hot cider by the enormous fireplace. Living in Charleston, we don’t get snow and ice often, so I loved the crystals that formed on the trees and their towering, sparkling majesty. Most of all, I loved being with my “granmama”, and feeling special because she was with me. Jennifer

I would LOVE to attend the National Gingerbread House Competition & Display followed by drinking warm mulled wine while viewing the B&B Gingerbread Light Displays. CJ

I am absolutely thrilled to share the National Gingerbread Competition with my 9-year old daughter. Last year she entered a couple of local gingerbread competitions through 4-H (and won!). I can’t wait to see how the masterpieces on display at Grove Park Inn inspire her. I’m sure we’ll be talking about it for years to come. Stephanie

I love to take as many kids, as will fit in the van, to see the Ginger Bread Houses at the Grove Park Inn. We were there tonight, as a matter of fact. Also, love the fireworks, Christmas at the Biltmore and the Christmas Parade. Asheville is a great place to be for the holidays. I love living here! Victoria

One of my favorite events is seeing the gingerbread houses at the Grove Park. Not mentioned in the story but also one of my favorite things to do in the area is the Holly Jolly festival in Black Mountain just down the road. Amy

Blame it on a sweet tooth, but I am a total sucker for gingerbread houses! I’ll sit for hours and watch them get built by chefs on TV, and I’ll definitely make the trip to beautiful Asheville to see what some of the most talented pastry artisans in the world have cooked up this year! There’s something magical about gingerbread houses. Jenn

The National Gingerbread House Competition and Display at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa is always my favorite. It’s a family tradition to check out the incredible creative entries from around the country. While there, we also enjoy looking at all the beautifully decorated Christmas trees throughout the inn. The Grove Park Inn is lovely anytime, but especially grand at Christmas! Laresa

National Gingerbread House Competition & Display looks like a wonderful Holiday Treat. I am a big fan of watching the FoodNetwork Challenge and this is right up there. Being able to see people’s culinary talents and in such a wonderful way…Gingerbread Houses!! Heather

First of all let me say that I love love Asheville. My favorite happening would have to be the Gingerbread House Competition. I have never been able to see it in person but have watched when it was shown on the Food Network. It is amazing to see such creativity and talent that goes into those houses. Erika

I love the gingerbread houses at the Grove Park Inn. I used to go as a child, and now I take my children to see them whenever we’re in town at the holidays. We’re always inspired to try our own after we see all of the gorgeous entries. Katherine

GingerBread House Competition and Display at the Grove Park Inn is truly one of my favorite things to do over the holidays. Grabbing a cup of hot chocolate and sitting by the fire with family and friends really makes you appreciate what the holidays are all about!! Missy

So hard to choose! My best friend moved to Asheville two years ago and she always send the most wonderful pics of the holiday happenings! My fav has always been the Gingerbread House Competition! So amazing! The designs are so creative and look oh so tasty! Lori

A few years ago, I took my family to the Grove Inn for the annual Gingerbread House display and competition. Now, just being at the Grove Inn is pretty magical on it’s own … it is decorated for the holidays and Christmas music plays in the great room. But, add in these delightful, whimsical Gingerbread Houses and it is true holiday magic. It’s really a wonderful event … and it’s guaranteed to put one in the holiday mood. S.F.

Warren Haynes Christmas Jam

My favourite Holiday Happening in Asheville without a doubt is Warren Hayne’s Christmas Jam for a number of reasons. First, it is a night of spectacular music as he works hard to bring in an eclectic range of musical genres. This year I am particularly excited as Moe., one of my all time favourite jambands, will be headlining, along with Ani DiFranco who has an astonishing voice. Secondly, the crowd that assembles for Christmas Jam is amazing to behold. Last year, the show went on until the wee hours of the morning, and despite there being no alcohol served anymore, the party raged on full force until the last note was played. Thirdly, and this is a more personal note for me, this is the only show I go to with my family each year. Being a music lover my entire life, it is an emotional experience and I am incredibly grateful to be able to share such an amazing experience with the people I love most in this world. and, last but certainly not least, I love that Warren Haynes actively seeks to better the Asheville community for those less fortunate. I have an apartment across the street from the Habitat for Humanity neighborhood he raised money to build in past years (the street is appropriately named Warren Haynes Dr.) and I think it is wonderful that he embraces the season of giving in such a manner. Warren Haynes certainly does it right. Joanna

LOVE the Warren Haynes X.mas jam!!! Great music, great beer, fun for charity. What could be better? Cathy

Absolutely the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam! However, Christmas at Biltmore is also a “can’t miss” event. No matter WHAT is going on in Asheville it’s a great place to visit!! Milika

I was going to say Christmas at the Biltmore, but after reading about Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, I think that would be my favorite because it benefits charity.Natalie

The Warren Haynes Christmas Jam is my favorite Holiday Happening! What better way to combine all the best parts of Asheville-dinner and drinks with the girlfriends and out for some good music with the wonderful people of Asheville.. Logan

The Warren Haynes Christmas Jam sounds fantastic! What better way to capture the heart of Asheville’s culture than with good music and good brews? Jaimee

The Warren Haynes Christmas Jam tickles my fancy because of the excellent beer that Asheville Brewing brewed for the event. I had a chance to sample this beer at 12 Bones recently, and loved it! P.B.

Legendary Inns Gingerbread Tour

I doubt my husband would be as thrilled, but I think the Legendary Inns and Gingerbread Tour would be a lot of fun!


My favorite Asheville Holiday Happenings is the Legendary Inns Gingerbread Tour! It seems like it would be great fun for the whole family, and I love to see everything all decked out in lights! Courtney

Biltmore Village Dickens Festival

Biltmore Village Dickens Festival is what I am looking forward to – there is such magic in being transported back in time during the holiday season – my kids love it and it’s a great event to do as a family! April

For sure The Biltmore Village Dickens Festival is my choice! A victorian village, carolers and…. mmm… fresh-roasted chestnuts. It’s seems wonderful for me. Natalie

Yes, I would love to see the Biltmore Village Dickens Festival. When I lived in Houston, TX, we made a yearly pilgrimage to the wonderful Dickens on the Strand festival on Galveston Island, TX. If you dressed in victorian attire, you got in free! So, I would so enjoy a little bit of Ole England in the quaint Biltmore Village and perhaps make a new holiday pilgrimage now that I live on the east coast in New York City! Darlene

The Dickens festival always is my favorite – twinkling lights and a step back in time to a period of quiet reflection and simplicity. Biltmore Village is the best location because it is so simple in the midst of something bigger. I feel like I am miles and years away when I am there. And in today’s world we need the connection back to something that connects directly to our and not our Twitter account. Tina

Seasonal Sizzle Fireworks

The seasonal sizzle fireworks sound amazing. I used to live in Asheville and I love seeing fireworks there. Fireworks just seem so much bigger, brighter and intense there, plus they bring back so many memories of my time living there. Plus the fact that are choreographed to Holiday music, makes it even more special; I can’t imagine how that will be. T.S.

The Happening that tickles my fancy is Seasonal Sizzle Fireworks! What’s better than Asheville at night? A sparkly Asheville at night! Jill

I love the idea of a crisp evening and some wonderful fireworks. Downtown deserves to be full of sparkle! Kathy

There is nothing like Asheville Fireworks!!

I can’t wait for the Seasonal Sizzles. Beth

Singing Santa and Asheville Holiday Parade

My absolute fav is the Singing Santa/Holiday Parade…so much festive and really captures the spirit and soul of this Amazing city. Always puts me in the spirit. Best local Christmas parade in the country! Desiree

It’s hard to decide! I have always loved going to the parade especially when I was little and it was on Wed before thanksgiving. Unfortunately I can’t attend on the current Sat before Thanksgiving schedule. I just love the lights in Biltmore village each and every year. Kelly

Santa on the Chimney

It’s so hard to choose. Do I seriously have to pick one? I love getting to celebrate Christmas in such a creative way. It really brings out the joy of the season. Seeing Santa repel down a rock, and meeting Mrs. Clause would probably have to be my favorite of the holiday happenings. Milika

Santa at Chimney Rock is awesome! Angie

They Love Everything About Asheville!

First, my family will start the holidays with Black Friday shopping. We eat Thanksgiving dinner and wrap up and head out. We have gone the last couple of years, not only for the awesome deals, but because you have no choice but to make friends with those suffering the cold in line with you for HOURS. With those first purchases, the season has begun! Next, we decorate the entire house with Christmas EVERYTHING while listening to Christmas music. Every year, we go to Grove Park Inn to see the gingerbread houses and to the Christmas Parade in downtown Asheville. Don’t forget the drive through Lake Julian’s Festival of Lights, as well as local neighborhoods who go all out to light up their homes. Nobody should miss the Christmas Jam to really bring in some great memories and to inspire you to partake in some Christmas caroling…you can’t resist the joy this brings others and yourself. Another must is baking!! Cookies, candies, pies, and cakes for friends and family makes everybody glad the holidays have returned at last! Heather

All of the Happenings really tickle my fancy but I think the Singing Santa & Asheville Holiday Parade would excite me the most. My family & I spent several days in Asheville last Christmas and was delighted by the Happenings around Asheville. It would be a blessing to be able to experience the things we missed last year. The Seasonal Sizzle Fireworks sound delightful as does the Biltmore Village Dickens Festival. One could not visit the Biltmore Estate too many times. It is IMPOSSIBLE to see everything in one trip. You truly see something new with each trip. I hope and prey that I am chosen to experience something new in Asheville. The city I have come to LOVE!


We loved Asheville so much during last years Holiday visit, we purchased a home up there. Now we can call Asheville our home away from home. Lynne

Absolutely any of them! Asheville is a great place and just being able to visit any part of it would “tickle my fancy!” Billie

My favorite isn’t listed but it has to be shopping on Lexington with all the stores decorated and the cold in the air. Nothing beats shopping for something special for the holidays. Emma

Christmas at Biltmore and Biltmore Village Dickens Festival would be what I would like to do plus the fireworks. Just will not make it this weekend but hope to visit by the end of the year. such a warm and friendly place. J

I have been to the Gingerbread House competition 2 years in a row and loved it. I have also been to the Biltmore at Christmas and was blown away. I think that I would love to go and see the Biltmore Village Dickens Festival. Aimee

Me and my girls are hard working, most of us teachers, that could desperately use a girls get-a-away!!! Asheville is one of the places I have driven through, but never stopped and it would be a perfect place for us to relax and rewind…we sure do need it!!!


I grew up in Asheville and have traveled around the world and truly believe there is no place like Asheville and the surrounding majestic mountains. I want to go home and experience the magic again! Marsha

Christmas in Biltmore Village and the Biltmore Estate just fills my heart with the Christmas Spirit. With snowflakes falling, the brick paths remind of the old village pictures, and a hot cup of tea from Chelsea’s just ices the cake! Meghan

My girlfriends and I have been to Biltmore before, but we have never seen it decorated for Christmas. What a dream! And to see Biltmore Village all decked out would be a blast! And I know that all of us would truly appreciate the time and dedication that it take to put on a Christmas Parade. Elizabeth

I have only lived in the area for 3 years, but I have fallen in love with Asheville. It refreshes me, and I love the walks visiting all of the little shops. I am very happy to be here, so happy I wish I could live in a loft above a downtown street. If I had the time and the money, I would be a weekly visitor. I tell all of my family and friends about how wonderful this city in the mountains is. Visiting Asheville with my family always cheers me up. Dori

I love the shops in Biltmore and downtown, When they dress up as Charles Dickens characters in Biltmore and sell hot chestnuts, it makes you think of how it really use to be in Asheville, at the turn of the century when the town was new. All of Asheville is wonderful, the music especially. I try to get to the Christmas Jam every year as well and to see the Ginger Bread houses at Grove Park Inn. Janice

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