Press release from Chimney Rock Park:
It’s that time of year, and Santa and his elves are getting ready! Jolly old St. Nick will be visiting Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park to climb down one of the world’s largest natural chimneys from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 3 and 10. For more than 20 years, Santa Claus has practiced at Chimney Rock for his big evening when he climbs down millions of chimneys worldwide delivering Christmas presents to little boys and girls.
Each weekend, one lucky guest will win a two-hour rock climbing lesson for two with Santa’s professional helpers, Fox Mountain Guides. The winner of each drawing will be announced at 1:30 p.m. and you must be present to win. Chimney Rock has been named one of “10 great places to catch up with Santa” and one of the 10 Best High Places in the World by USA Today. For Park hours, rates and in case of inclement weather, visit chimneyrockpark.com.
Fearless St. Nick will descend from the top of Chimney Rock on a nearly 200-foot rappel about every 30-45 minutes, weather permitting. When Santa isn’t climbing, kids are invited to visit with him and Mrs. Claus for photo opportunities and enjoy holiday cookies, hot cocoa and kids’ activities. Weather permitting, you can also meet Grady the Groundhog or other live woodland critters that wouldn’t survive at the North Pole. On December 10, the Chase High School Jazz Band from Forest City will be performing some holiday favorites from 12:15-1p.m. Local poet Eddie Cabbage will be on hand typing “made to order” poems for kids and their parents on his vintage typewriter; donations for the poems are requested. There is no additional cost for the event with paid Park admission.
“Santa on the Chimney has become a much-anticipated annual event that draws folks from all over the region,” said Mary Jaeger-Gale, General Manager at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. “It’s a very unique and fun way for families to enjoy time together during the holiday season.”
Check off your holiday shopping list with a discount on Annual Passes and a special sale of 25 percent off retail for Annual Passholders on December 3 to 11 at the Sky Lounge or Cliff Dweller’s Gift Shop in the Park. Guests who upgrade their admission to Annual Passes are also eligible for this sale.
For a limited time, new adult Annual Passes are available for only $25 ($3 off regular price) and Grady’s Kids Club Passes for only $10 (a $2 savings) at the Park and in the online store November 28 through December 23. Start saving with discounts on Park retail and dining, along with savings at Biltmore, Mast General Store and many local favorites. To learn about Passholder benefits and buy your upgrade online, visit chimneyrockpark.com.
After you visit with Santa at the “Rock,” take time to do some shopping in Chimney Rock Village and support the small local businesses this holiday season.
Other community holiday events open to the public include the Annual Chili Cook-off and Cake Walk from 5-9 p.m. on December 2 at the Chimney Rock Volunteer Fire Department, and the Annual Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge Holiday FundRaiser Gala at 6-10 p.m. on December 8 at the Lake Lure Inn and Spa.
Best known for its stunning 75-mile views overlooking Lake Lure and 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers scenic hiking trails, guided rock climbing, nature education programs and ancient geological features that attract visitors from around the world. Chimney Rock is located only 45 minutes southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. Call (800) 277-9611 or go to chimneyrockpark.com to plan your visit. To learn more about Fox Mountain Guides or book a rock climbing lesson, visit foxmountainguides.com or call (888) 284-8433.