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Archive for November, 2008

There’s Nothing Like a Home-town Christmas Celebration

There are no giant Macy’s balloons. And the biggest celebrities are this year’s homecoming queens. Yet it’s earned the title of “The Biggest Little Christmas Parade in the Smokies”, a Bryson City holiday tradition that will be repeated for the 34th time this Saturday, December 6th.

The 2 o’clock parade is just part of a day-long celebration. In the morning, children can have Breakfast with Santa at the Bryson City Fire Department. At 10 a.m., runners will compete in the Holiday 5K street race. And after the parade, there’ll be singing and storytelling at the Calhoun House Country Inn on Everett Street.

At 6 p.m. the town’s annual Spirit of Christmas celebration will begin. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos and Christmas wishes. Shops and galleries will be open, luminaries will line historic Everett Street, carolers and musical artists will perform, and a flat-bed truck with a living nativity scene will lead a candle-light stroll through town at the end of the evening.

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The Christmas Lights of Tiny Whittier

As the destination of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad’s Polar Express train ride, the town of Whittier doubles as Santa’s North Pole throughout November and December. The lights not only delight the train’s passengers, they’re a must-see for residents and visitors alike.

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Live From Bryson City — Storytelling on the Radio and Online

Each Saturday, Tim “The Storyteller” Hall broadcasts his 9 AM radio show live from The Station Restaurant in downtown Bryson City. Above, Tim reads one of writer John Parris’ classic tales of Appalachia while diners enjoy their bacon and eggs. The show “Crossroads The Radio Program” is broadcast locally on WBHN 1590 AM and simulcast worldwide on Live365.com.

Tim, who is currently renovating Bryson City’s historic Citizens Bank Building for The Storytelling Center of the Southern Appalachians at Bryson City, will broadcast a special edition of “Crossroads” during the town’s annual Christmas Parade at 1:30 PM on December 6. After the parade, there’ll be storytelling and singing on the porch of the Calhoun House on Everett Street until 7 PM when the town’s annual Spirit of Christmas event begins.

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A Spectacular Leaf Season’s Golden Finale

Late Fall color in the Great Smoky Mountains near Bryson City

Autumn 2008 in the Great Smoky Mountains has seen one of the most colorful Fall leaf seasons in recent memory. Even now in early November, with much of the Fall foliage laying on the ground, the golds still glow brightly in the afternoon sun.

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The Polar Express Train Ride Departs From Bryson City, NC

Santa rides the Polar Express train from Bryson City, NC

Want to ride the Polar Express train to the North Pole? Each year, throughout November and December, the train departs from the Bryson City, NC train depot on its magical journey to the North Pole. Children are encouraged to wear pajamas to hear the story, meet Santa, enjoy caroling, hot cocoa and games. Above, Santa gives those children who “believe” a shiny bell as a momento of their train ride to the North Pole.

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