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Archive for November, 2011

December 10 – Biggest Little Christmas Parade in the Smokies

Hoyt Lucas pedals his unicycle in a recent Bryson City Christmas parade. Since the 1970s, the town has celebrated the Christmas season with a parade, and on Saturday December 10*, the 37th annual edition will circle through town with floats, fire trucks, bands, classic cars, beauty queens and lots of candy for the kids. The parade begins at 2 pm, and later at 6 pm, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Train Depot for visits and photos. The evening concludes with a candlelit walk through town singing carols prior to the lighting of the tree on the square.

There’s a lot more about “A Bryson City Christmas” on our website.

NOTE NEW DATE: The Parade date has changed from the 3rd to the 10th to show support for our own Swain County High School Maroon Devils playing in the State Championship game on December 3.

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Santa Is Closer Than You Might Think

More than likely, you’ve never considered visiting the North Pole. It’s too far away and there’s a lot of snow and ice. But there’s a much faster and easier way… through Bryson City.

Each year, throughout November and December, the Polar Express departs from the Bryson City depot on a round trip journey to the North Pole where riders are greeted by Santa (above) who joins them on the return trip to Bryson City. Children are encouraged to wear pajamas to hear the story, meet Santa, enjoy caroling, hot cocoa and games.

Based on the popular book and movie, the 1-1/4 hour excursions continue thru Christmas Eve. And after Christmas, December 26–29, four additional excursions will be taking Santa back to the North Pole.

For more information, visit the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad website, or download this PDF flier.

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It’s November and the Pool’s Open. No Water, No Problem.

The Smokies’ favorite pools are dry. And the area’s skateboarders and BMX freestyle sport cyclists wouldn’t have it any other way.

The ‘pools’ are features in the new $600,000, 13,000 square foot Action Sports Park in Cherokee — a 6’8″ peanut shaped bowl and a 3500 sq. ft. flow bowl (above). And that’s just half of it. The other half is a large street course with multiple levels and obstacles.

Designed by Pillar Design Studios and built by Artisan Skateparks, the state-of-the-art facility was funded by the Eastern Bank of Cherokee Indians to provide activities for area youth. It’s open daily from 8am to dusk and is free for all to enjoy.

Cherokee Action Sports Park
1036 Acquoni Road.
Cherokee, NC 28719

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Cherokee’s Street Chiefs, in the Tradition of Chief Henry

It’s a marketing technique that’s uniquely Cherokee — street chiefs and dancers perform on curbside stages outside retail shops and souvenir stores, attracting crowds of shoppers. The shows, often featuring the traditional, ‘friendship dance’, ‘eagle dance’ and ‘hoop dance’, are free; yet tipping is encouraged, particularly when the “chiefs” pose for photographs. It’s a tradition that began years ago with the late Chief Henry, who was once billed as “The World’s Most Photographed Indian.”

And yes, their Native American regalia often represents indian nations and traditions other than Cherokee.

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