Bruce Tompkins honored for 30th anniversary of Biltmore Village Dickens Festival

Press release from Biltmore Farms Hotels:

Biltmore Village Merchants are celebrating a 30 year tradition of Holiday Cheer. On Wednesday, November 28th, the Historic Biltmore Village Association hosted a surprise celebration to honor Bruce Tompkins, owner of The Olde World Christmas Shoppe, and its opening in Biltmore Village in February of 1989. Guests enjoyed hot drinks and sweets in front of his store as they toasted Mr. Tompkins and his legacy of Christmas cheer, most evident in his creation of a longstanding, Village-wide Dickens Festival.

The kickoff was open to the local merchants, restauranteurs and hoteliers who work together throughout the year to make the Village an openhearted neighborhood where guests and neighbors can lose themselves in the beauty reminiscent of simpler days. Speakers at the kickoff celebration shared information chronicling the growth of the Dickens Festival over the last 30 years, and unveiling the newest additions for 2018.

One of the most momentous additions for 2018 is a holiday “Local Lights” display designed by The North Carolina Arboretum team led by Drake Fowler, Chief Business and Operations Officer of and licensed landscape architect. The Arboretum team designed the Village Local Lights display to portray the traditions of old world warmth, while echoing the dramatic lightshow visitors expect when visiting the Arboretum’s annual Winter Lights show. The ceremonial first time lighting of Boston Way will took place at Tompkins’ shop on the 28th.

Robert Foster, General Manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore Village says, “Every member of the Biltmore Village Association is proud to have this opportunity to honor our friend and neighbor, Bruce Tompkins. His original founding of the Dickens celebration and continued contribution over the years has inspired us all to give it our best, so we can share our holiday traditions with guests and residents of our region.”

Dickens Events Open to the Public
On Friday, November 30th from 11am to 7pm, the public is invited to enjoy Biltmore Village and the annual Dickens Festival! The festivities will primarily take place on the Village Green and Boston Way. Guests are invited to enjoy the following:
-“Show and Tell” Pop-up Craft Market, all day
-Performances by Asheville High Chamber Choir & Holiday Chorus, the Montford Park Players and other performers strolling the streets of Biltmore Village
-Roasting Chestnuts! A Biltmore Village tradition
-Kids Crafts, 2pm to 5pm
-Old Time Photo Booth
-Mugs of Merriment, 5pm to 6:30pm – a Christmas Beverage Competition with the Blind Pig Supper Club
-Tree and Street Lighting, 6:30pm

On Saturday, December 1st from 5pm to 6:30pm, the public is invited to a puppet show on the Green that children (and the young at heart) will not want to miss! Lisa Sturz of Red Herring Puppets, The Street Creature Giant Puppet Collective, and Susan VandeWeghe of Mountain Marionettes will be putting on an unforgettable show, complete with parade!

For More Information about the annual Biltmore Village Christmas Festival, visit or contact Robert Foster at 828-771-2278,

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