Holiday events around WNC

Earrings by Patti Cahill, an artist showing at Madison County Arts Council’s annual holiday sale. Photo courtesy of the artist

Looking to deck the halls, sing a carol, give a gift, take a stroll, see a play, make a craft or pass a wish list on to a man in a red suit? Here’s where to do all of those things. For more ideas, visit the Community Calendar and

• Even if you’re not traveling for the holidays, you can still check in at a number of festive guest houses. The Hendersonville Historic Preservation Commission’s Holiday Tour of Historic Homes and Cookie Caper is a self-guided driving tour of seven turn-of-the-century inns that will, according to a press release, “feed the curiosity and holiday spirit of all who enter.” As for the cookie caper: participate in that by picking up a treat at each stop. Friday, Dec. 14, 1-5 p.m. $20 per person. 697-3088 or for info

• A gimcrack is a knickknack — a cheap ornament. And, according to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the Asheville-born novelist “was liberally dowered with bright-painted gimcracks upon Christmas Day, and in his heart he hated those who advocated ‘useful’ gifts.” Celebrate that happy frivolity on Thomas Wolfe’s Gimcracks Day with free, guided tours of Old Kentucky Home throughout the day on Saturday, Dec. 13. Make ornaments in the visitors center and learn about Victorian holiday traditions. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Bradshaw Call returns for a second year in the one-man play The Santaland Diaries at 35below. Photo courtesy of Asheville Community Theatre
Bradshaw Call returns for a second year in the one-man play The Santaland Diaries at 35below. Photo courtesy of Asheville Community Theatre

• Holiday window decorating isn’t just for downtown Asheville storefronts. This year, the West Asheville Business Association holds its own contest. “To be eligible, businesses, schools and organizations must be located in West Asheville (west of the French Broad River, inside city limits), and their holiday-decorated windows must be visible from a public street,” according to the event’s rules. Decorations go on display through Sunday, Dec. 14; judges include Gordon Grant, principal of Hall Fletcher Elementary; Hosea Jackson, owner of Haywood Lounge; Heather Brooks, owner of Sky Clean; City Council member Gordon Smith, and Terra Marshall, owner of Beauty Parade Salon. Winners are announced during the Shop and Dine West Asheville wrap party at Urban Orchard on Saturday, Dec. 13.

• The Montford Holiday Tour of Homes returns for the 19th year. Visit old and new houses in the historic neighborhood during a self-guided tour. “Explore eclectic architecture that has been lovingly restored or carefully constructed to reflect the neighborhood’s historic past,” says a press release. “Festive treats and entertainment will be on offer throughout the tour.” Saturday, Dec. 13, 1-5 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through Dec. 13 at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center gift shop. Proceeds benefit the Montford Neighborhood Association.

• Central, Skyland and Trinity United Methodist churches are collaborating on a production of A Christmas Carol. The show, held at The Orange Peel on Sunday, Dec. 14, is a multimedia effort with Jim France giving the dramatic presentation of A Christmas Carol, Gar Ragland of Riparius Productions contrinuting live music (piano, violin and bells) and Chris Bainbridge of Bclip Communications adding dynamic digital images. “We chose A Christmas Carol because it is such a timeless classic that is appropriate for this season,” says Rev. Luther E. Lingle III. “Although we are churches we hope to share a fun, artistic version of A Christmas Carol that anyone could enjoy.”4 p.m., $8 general/$2 for kids under 12.

• “Where else will you see dubstep ballerinas, Lady Gaga-channeling Xmas trees, a stripping Santa and a famous ‘Saturday Night Live’ short that is all about a certain gift in a box?” asks a press release for A Holiday Affair. The production, presented by showgirl troupe Christine Garvin and Les Femmes Mystique, features comedy, dancing, the Groovin Roots Jazz Band, DJ Haltron and a PhoHo-Ho-Hotobooth. Held at The Grey Eagle on Sunday, Dec. 14, 7-9 p.m. $15 in advance/$20 at the door (5 percent of ticket sales benefit Our VOICE).

Showgirl troupe Christine Garvin and Les Femmes Mystique presents A Holiday Affair at The Grey Eagle.
Showgirl troupe Christine Garvin and Les Femmes Mystique present A Holiday Affair at The Grey Eagle. Photo courtesy of the troupe

• Design studio Shelter Collective hosts a holiday pop-up shop at the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design. “Work will be available for purchase from over 30 designers and creatives from the Asheville area and beyond,” says the flier for the event. Need more incentive? Studio founders Rob Maddox and Karie Reinertson say, “Our goal is to promote conversation and support a culture around art, craft, design and curation here in Appalachia and the U.S.” Held Thursday, Dec. 11, 6-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12 and 13, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

• Chanukah Live 2014 lights up Crowne Plaza Expo Center on Tuesday, Dec. 16, the first night of Chanukah. The free celebration includes acrobats, magic and the Billy Jonas Band, along with inflatables, shopping and raffle drawings. “The 12-foot menorah will be constructed of thousands of coins, raised during Chabad’s holiday giving drive, which will then be donated to those in need, within the entire community,” says a press release. 4:30-7:30 p.m.

• Because holiday music should involve more than the carol of the bells, Ed Gerhard and Bill Mize are joining forces for their 21st annual Christmas Guitar Concert. The show, held at Jubilee!, is a collection of seasonal favorites along with some of the musicians’ solo pieces. Friday, Dec. 12, 8 p.m. $22. Tickets available at Malaprop’s and Jubilee! Info: 252-5335

• Following the Saturday, Dec. 13, Marshall Christmas Parade, head over to the historic former Belk’s Department Store building (90 S. Main St.) for the Madison County Arts Council’s annual holiday sale. Vendors fill three floors with paintings, pottery, jewelry, botanicals, books, fiber arts, prints, food and more. “Admission is free, and hot mulled cider and holiday cookies ensure that the building will be abuzz with holiday cheer,” says a press release. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

• “When an out-of-work slacker takes a job as an elf in Macy’s Santaland, his hilarious observations of the shoppers and employees are much more naughty than nice,” writes Asheville Community Theatre of Santaland Diaries. The one-man play by David Sedaris — now in its 13th year at ACT — is produced by Bradshaw Call and directed by Betsy Puckett. It runs Dec. 11-20, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $15.

A Christmas Carol at HART features a cast of 30 and a nine-piece orchestra. Photo courtesy of the theater company
A Christmas Carol at HART features a cast of 30 and a nine-piece orchestra. Photo courtesy of the theater company

• Local musicians Sheila Kay Adams, Joshua Messick and Richard Shulman join for An Appalachian Holiday at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall. Saturday, Dec. 13, at 8:30 p.m. $15 advance/$20 at the door.

• Do you find yourself speaking in a British accent, alternately declaring “Bah humbug” and “God bless us, everyone,” and looking over your shoulder for ghosts of Christmases past? No? Then you haven’t yet had your fill of A Christmas Carol. The Haywood Arts Regional Theater stages the Charles Dickens classic with a cast of 30 and a nine-piece orchestra. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 11 and 12, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 13, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 14, at 3 p.m.  $15 adults/$10 seniors/$6 students.

• The Mothlight holds its annual Mr. Fred’s Fair, “a fairly priced sale of artworks collected and sold by the hands that made them.” This year’s vendor line-up includes Julie Armbruster, Gus Cutty, Hannah Dansie, Chris Findley, Drew Findley, Andy Herod, Jason Krekel, Madd Maxx, Victor Palomino, Nathanael Roney, Beth Schaible, Gabriel Shaffer, Dennis Smith, Josh Spiceland and more. The fair runs from 3-7 p.m., followed by an 8 p.m. holiday-themed record-release show by The Krektones. Both events are free.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.