Bless the beasts

Santa ain’t just for human folk. Every year around this time, the wildlife takes in the holidays at the WNC Nature Center’s Illumination Festival. Alongside a light display, family games and puppet shows, the event affords visitors the rare chance to see the center’s animals at night.

And the animals get into the act as well, says the center’s manager, Bob Fay: They receive gifts of food from the staff, and the wolves join in on a caroling session. The petting section will also be graced by visiting camels.

And yes, Virginia, there will be a Santa Claus.

The Illumination Festival happens from Thursday, Dec. 6, through Saturday, Dec. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. each day. Admission is $6, with a $1 discount for Nature Center members. For more information, go here or call 298-5600.

Brian Postelle, staff writer

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