Fall 2015 Top 20 Events

October 2015

September 30 – October 4, Charleston Boulevard Rod Run and Doo Wop, Charleston, WV, http://www.charlestonwcarshow.com/ This four-day event includes nearly 1,000 custom hotrods, classic, antique and drag cars to the Kanawha Boulevard each October.   There is also a cruise that takes participants to the New River Bridge, the longest steel span bridge in the western hemisphere and highest in the United States, a monster truck that crushes old cars, drag racing, an automotive swap meet, machine shop tours, poker run, a parade, fireworks and more!

October 3 – October 4, The Cotton Pickin’ Fair, Gay, GA, http://www.cpfair.org/ The Cotton Pickin’ Fair, Georgia’s original AgriTourism Event, began in September 1972 on a 180 year old family farm as a single family’s community economic development project. A declining farm economy, a very poor cattle market and the opening of I-185 from LaGrange to Columbus, gave birth to an idea that would supplement farm income and keep the Town of Gay in the public eye as an upscale antique center. Today, over two million visitors have enjoyed the work of the best artisans, antique specialists and craftsmen from across the US and Canada.

October 3 – October 5, North Carolina Seafood Festival, Morehead City, NC, http://www.ncseafoodfestival.org/ Where do Seafood and Sea-Fun meet? At the North Carolina Seafood Festival! Held the first weekend of October each year, the Morehead City Waterfront is filled with over 200,000 people looking for fresh, local seafood, nationally recognized entertainment, thrilling rides, and vendors selling unique, handmade items. With three stages, 51 food vendors, and an interactive “Cooking With The Chefs” tent, there are plenty of options to keep you fed and entertained throughout the weekend! 

October 4 – October 11, Cruisin’ the Coast, Mississippi Gulf Coast, MS, http://www.cruisinthecoast.com/ Cruisin’ the Coast is a driving event where car enthusiasts decide which events they would like to attend and plan their own route and schedule thus making the Mississippi Gulf Coast a huge, one week, block party. The 26 mile stretch includes cruise-ins, a Salute to Veterans event, car auction, swap meets and parade.

October 8 – October 11, 44th Annual National Shrimp Festival, Gulf Shores, AL, http://www.myshrimpfest.com/ This FREE event is held on the beautiful beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama.   Plenty of shrimp is served up among more than 300 vendors that offer fine art, arts and crafts, as well as retail in the marketplace. Two stages offer continuous local, regional and national entertainment acts. The Children’s Activity Village gives them a chance to create their own “art”.   Additional components include a Seafood Cooking Demonstration, Singing for Scholarships Contest, Sand Castle Contest and the Shrimp Fest 10K/5K.

October 8 – October 18, Georgia National Fair, Perry, GA, http://www.georgianationalfair.com/ Promoting the state’s heritage, people and agriculture, this family-friendly event is well-known for its comprehensive youth, home and fine arts competitions as well as its exhibits. There is something for everyone with livestock and horse shows, midway rides, delicious treats, games, major concerts, a circus and nightly fireworks. Parking is free and this year will include a fourth FREE concert!

October 9 – October 11, Daytona Blues Festival, Daytona Beach, FL, http://daytonabluesfestival.com/ This high-energy festival is held annually at the historic Jackie Robinson Ballpark in scenic downtown Daytona Beach. It features nationally known and emerging blues artists. This year’s line-up includes: The Vaudevillian, Noah Wotherspoon, Watermelon Slim, Kenny Neal, Janiva Magness, Randy McQuay, Balkun Brothers, Eddie Cotton, Jr., Jarekus Singleton, Nikki Hill Band, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Brian Keith Wallen, Moreland and Arbuckle, Alexis P. Suter, Paul Thorn, and local favorite, Victor Wainwright & The WildRoots.

October 9 – October 11, Autumn Leaves Festival, Mount Airy, NC, http://www.autumnleavesfestival.com/ Celebrating the region’s music and craft heritage, the Autumn Leaves Festival takes place in downtown Mount Airy with the local radio station, known as the “Granddaddy of Old Time Music” hosting the bandstand throughout the weekend. Have your taste buds ready as ham biscuits, collar green sandwiches, barbeque, Amish doughnuts and pretzels, ground steak sandwiches and more are served up by local community and civic organizations. Walk off those tasty treats by shopping among more than 200 artisans featuring handmade crafts, jewelry, decorative items and seasonal holiday crafts. All the components for a perfect autumn weekend.

October 9 – October 11, Fall for Greenville, Greenville, SC, http://www.fallforgreenville.net/ This three-day event features more than 40 of Greenville’s finest restaurants and almost 200 menu items.   It is the largest free admission food street festival in South Carolina that also provides free musical entertainment on five stages, children’s activities, culinary demonstrations, wine tasting, a beer garden featuring 14 craft breweries and a variety of food and drink related competitions. Last year included a Milkshake Challenge where local media talent competed to create their version of the best milkshake. Yum!

October 10, T.O.O.T. (Taste of Our Towns), Lewisburg, WV, http://www.carnegiehallwv.com/ Amid fall’s peak colors in downtown Lewisburg, with more than 50 food vendors, visitors sample delicacies from local restaurants, civic clubs and organizations. Yearly favorites include The General Lewis Inn’s pecan pie and Wolf Creek Gallery’s crab cakes. Artists and musicians are also featured among the local restaurants. 

October 11, Clearwater Hispanic Heritage Concert/Concierto Herencia Hispana, Clearwater, FL, http://925maxima.com/ Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, this family-friendly one-day concert has featured internationally known performers from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Columbia and Mexico with an array of musical styles, including salsa, meringue, bachata and reggaeton. The concert takes place at sunny Coachman Park, nestled between downtown Clearwater and the Intercoastal Waterway.

October 15 – October 18, Hogansville Hummingbird Festival, Hogansville, GA, http://www.hummingbirdfestival.com/ An Arts & Crafts Festival with more than 200 vendors as well as a golf tournament, 5K and 10K run, Miss Hummingbird Pageant and more. Via visual displays and film, this event also provides information on hummingbird habits and their migration pattern in the southeast.

October 16 – October 18, Carolina BalloonFest, Statesville, NC, http://www.carolinaballoonfest.com/ One of the longest running Hot Air Balloon Festivals in the Country, the Carolina BalloonFest it attracts more than 25,000 attendees with its majestic and colorful balloons amid the backdrop of the North Carolina mountains and its fall foliage. The event also includes eclectic music on two stages, food, wine and craft beer tasting area, and artisans selling regional crafts.

October 17, Blacksburg Brew Do, Blacksburg, VA, http://www.blacksburgbrewdo.com/ The largest craft beer festival in the New River Valley has a new, larger location this year at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. Featuring more than 40 breweries, live music, local eats. There is also a homebrew competition judged by local beer aficionados.

October 17, New River Gorge Bridge Day, Fayetteville, WV, http://www.officialbridgeday.com/ West Virginia’s largest one-day extreme festival. This event features, BASE jumping, rappelling and skydiving by the All Veteran Parachute Team. More than 180 craft and food vendors plus three special shows by the Xpogo Stunt Team. New this year, Whiskey 7, one of the lead planes that flew into Normandy, on D-Day, during World War II will also be on-site.

October 17, Wire and Wood Songwriters Festival, Alpharetta, GA, http://awesomealpharetta.com/what-to-do/wire-wood-alpharetta-songwriters-festival/ Music flows through the streets of Historic Downtown Alpharetta as talented artists perform their own songs with soulful melodies, magnificent vocals and expressive lyrics all while interacting with their audience.   Listeners have the opportunity to hear the intimate stories behind the lyrics and many will be surprised to hear the songwriters’ harmonies made famous by past and present headlining musicians.

October 17 – October 18, 26th Annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, Georgetown, SC, http://www.woodenboatshow.com/ This year’s event features more than 140 classic wooden boats displayed on land and water, a wooden boatbuilding competition, children’s model boatbuilding, knot tying, maritime art and crafts, food and music. Another exciting component is the Wooden Boat Challenge when teams of two race to build a rowing skiff within a 4 hour time limit and then test their boats for seaworthiness in a rowing relay on the Sampit River!

October 17 – October 18, 28th Annual Fall Town Point Virginia Wine Festival, Norfolk, VA, http://festevents.org/events/2015-season-events/fall-wine-fest/ This year’s fall favorite will showcase more than 30 wineries with over 200 of the Commonwealth’s finest wine varieties. Festival guests can enjoy the company of friends and family along the Elizabeth River for a weekend-long harvest of Virginia wineries in Town Point Park. Budding sommeliers and everyday enthusiasts can sample and purchase premier wine vintages and enjoy live musical performances along with gourmet foods and specialty wares.

October 24 – October 25, Rougarou Fest, Houma, LA, http://www.rougaroufest.org/ The Rougarou, a mythical swamp werewolf, visits downtown Houma each year at Rougarou Fest, the only family-friendly festival with a spooky flair celebrating the rich folklore that exists along the bayous of the Southeast Louisiana. The festival features live music, cultural children’s activities and Cajun food options. Don’t miss the Rougarou Run, a challenge course plagued by zombies and swamp monsters. This, in addition to the Krewe Ga Rou Halloween Parade is why USA Today recently named the event of the top ten costume parties in the country. New this year, Rougarou becomes a two-day festival and the south Louisiana-themed haunted house, Hurricane Z, returns.

October 24, The Barbecue Festival, Lexington, NC, http://www.barbecuefestival.com/ Featuring North Carolina’s Best Pork BBQ, festival visitors are also “treated” to exciting local, regional and national entertainment on seven different stages, located throughout a 14 square block area. Featuring more than 350 artisans and craftsman, children’s attractions, car shows, rides and games and many other “pig” themed activities to celebrate Lexington’s famous heritage.

October 30 – November 8, West Virginia University Mountaineer Week, Morgantown, WV, http://mountaineerweek.wvu.edu/ One of the premier events in West Virginia, Mountaineer Week encompasses the unique aspects of Appalachian life, music, food, crafts and programs. The centerpiece of the event is the Craft Fair which features traditional and contemporary crafts of Appalachia.   This year’s event focuses on Appalachian Dance. There will also be Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer Reunion, which will bring together all of the Mr. and Ms. winners from previous years.

November 2015

November 5 – November 15, The Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival, Florida/Alabama Gulf Coast, AL/FL, http://www.fbisf.com/ This festival is the largest and oldest of its kind. Every year over 200 Singer/Songwriters gather along the Florida/Alabama Gulf Coast to share the storied behind the songs that make up the soundtrack of our lives. From Grammy Award Winners to the aspiring stars of tomorrow, artists of all ages and genres of music come together to spend 11 days performing original songs in over two dozen intimate venues. Audiences can enjoy the experience in venues of all types from cathedral quiet listening rooms, to romantic dinner venues, to family friendly eating establishments or even a gritty roadhouse. If you like music, FBISF has a location for you and there is no better place to enjoy it than the white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast.

November 6 – November 8, Holiday Market – Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, http://www.holidaymarket.com/ Something for every style, taste and budget, to fulfill every wish list and gift list. The event continues to be the largest and most attended event in the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center. All of the sights and sounds, aromas and tastes of the most special time of year are found here!

November 6 – November 8, Ponchatoula Antique Trade Days & Arts & Craft Fair, Ponchatoula, LA, http://www.ponchatoulachamber.com/ This free outdoor event is comprised of more than 200 vendors with antiques, collectibles, fine arts and crafts as well as children’s activities, delicious cuisine, live music and more! 

November 6 – November 8, The Craftsmen’s Christmas Classic Art & Craft  Festival – Columbia, Columbia, SC, http://www.craftshow.com/ The Complete Holiday Experience! Hundreds of the nation’s finest artists and craftsmen gather at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds to present thousands of their original works for holiday gifts, decorations, celebrations, entertaining, dressing and accessorizing. Specialty food gifts are also available and sampling is encouraged! One-of-a-kind gift items include contemporary to traditional, functional to whimsical, decorative to funky thus there is something for every style, taste and budget.

November 7 – November 8, 37th Annual Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival, Ocean Springs, MS, http://www.peterandersonfestival.com/ This annual event hosts more than 400 artists, craftsmen and food vendors during this two-day event. Created to enhance and showcase the arts as well as provide a “continual” economic driver to the Coast shops, restaurants, galleries and hotels, the festival is a significant contributor to developing the Gulf Coast as a regional arts destination.

November 7, National Pumpkin Destruction Day, The Rock, GA, http://therockranch.com/fall-family-fun-days/ “Smash It – Don’t Trash It”. Guests can bring their own Halloween jack-o-lantern or use one provided by The Rock Ranch pumpkin patch and choose from a variety of ways to “Smash” it, including: Hammer Smash, Pumpkin Bombing Airplanes, Monster Truck Crushing, dropping it from a 40 foot lift-crane and more! Last year, 6,000 pumpkins took part in National Pumpkin Destruction Day at The Rock Ranch.

November 11, Avenue of the Flags, Lake Charles, LA, www.visitlakecharles.org/ Fallen veterans are honored annually on Veteran’s Day in a stunning display of patriotism known as the Avenue of Flags. Organized by the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) this event began in 1983 with 50 flags and today more than 600 American casket flags flutter in the breeze at Orange Grove-Graceland Cemetery in honor of those who gave their lives for our nation. Each flag represents an individual veteran and is the official “casket flag” that was presented to the family at the funeral. All flags are either on loan or were donated for the event. In its 31st year, this event has become one of the largest displays of memorial flags in the country.

November 11 – November 14, Christmas Jubilee 2015, Mobile, AL, http://www.juniorleagueofmobile.org/ This year’s Christmas Jubilee is moving to the Mobile Convention Center in downtown Mobile, Alabama to kickoff the holiday shopping season and allow for more merchants across the country to showcase their gifts for all ages and interests. The event continues to host a Preview Gala, VIP Shopping, Girls’ Night Out and Santa Breakfast and Lunch. Crowd favorites include the Jubilee Art Walk, Hall of Wreaths and Author’s Corner. For the past 30 years this event has generated more than five million dollars for the Mobile and Baldwin County communities.

November 11 – November 15, Cucalorus Film Festival, Wilmington, NC, http://www.cucalorus.org/ The 21st annual Cucalorus Film Festival showcases over 250 films and attracts thousands of cultural travelers, cinema lovers and artists from around the world to celebrate and discover independent film. The festivals relaxed, retreat-like atmosphere creates an ideal environment for new ideas, friendships and collaborations that extend far beyond the festival’s five-day celebration. Festival programs focus on dance, music videos, emerging artists, social justice

November 12 – November 15, 34th Annual Dickens Christmas Show & Festivals, Myrtle Beach, SC, http://www.dickenschristmasshow.com/ Taking its inspiration from the Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”, this unique event combines arts, crafts and gift show with Victorian Holiday Tours and Teas. This event brings the holiday season to Myrtle Beach. 

November 13 – November 15, Holiday Market – Charleston, Charleston, SC, http://www.holidaymarket.com/ Visitors walk in the door and immediately feel immersed in the holiday season and spirit! From the decorations to the music, the smells of the food and drink to the excitement of children (and adults!) lining up for a leap onto Santa’s lap – Holiday Market attracts people of all ages, families and friends, and anyone wishing to relive special memories while making new ones. Offering unique items for holiday gifts, decorations, celebrations, entertaining, feasting and accessorizing. Santa is a very special guest at this show and experts share tips on every facet of seasonal dressing, accessorizing, shopping, gift-wrapping, decorating and de-stressing!

November 13 – November 15, Ron Meyers Christmas City Gift Show, Biloxi, MS, http://www.christmascitygiftshow.com/ This year’s event with debut a third day of shopping as it is one of the largest Christmas Gift Shows in the southeast region. Booths feature handmade crafts, one-of-a-kind items, food and gifts for everyone. Santa’s Village features photos with Santa, free crafts, face painting and live music. Enjoy a day of shopping on the Gulf Coast!

November 14, 22nd Annual Sugar Day Festival, Alexandria, LA, http://www.kenthouse.org/ At Kent Plantation House there is the aroma of syrup cooking and live music playing as visitors enjoy craft demonstrations including: basket making, woodworking, duck carving, blacksmithing, spinning ,weaving, quilting, corn husk crafts and flint napping. Costumed docents churn butter, make soap and candles as well as cook in the open-hearth kitchen. Tours of the home are free and delicious food options await. To condense the long open-kettle sugar making process, the demonstration at Kent House begins with cane juice already reduced to syrup. Volunteers spend the day minding the fire and stirring the syrup. The oldest standing structure in Central Louisiana, Kent Plantation House, dates back almost as far as commercial sugar production in Louisiana. Its mission as a historic site and museum is to interpret the history of Central Louisiana between 1795 and 1855.

November 14 – November 15, Scottish Games & Celtic Festival, Biloxi, MS, http://www.mshighlandsandislands.org/ The thrill of jousting hits the Mississippi Gulf Coast every fall on the grounds of Biloxi’s Beauvoir. Traditional foods and merchandise along with Celtic and Irish musicians and dancers, border collies, pipe bands, jousting, Scottish athletics, artisans, living history, and Ceilidh Saturday night, make for a magestical event. (Ceilidh, of Scottish and Irish origin, is a party complete with dance, music and often storytelling)

November 16 – November 24, Annual Tourism Festival of Trees, Greeneville, TN, http://www.visitgreenevilletn.com/ This week-long event begins with an open house featuring live music, Santa Claus and the opportunity to be among the first to bid on Christmas trees, wreaths and centerpieces decorated and donated by local businesses, restaurants, churches, clubs and individuals. Complimentary refreshments are provided and visitors are then encouraged to shop and dine at local establishments via special offers for attendees. A limited edition ornament is offered each year and new this year, a formal dinner will take place prior to the event in order to raise more awareness for the event which helps fund the Greeneville and Greene County Tennessee Tourism Department in promoting the area as a vacation/relocation/retirement and sports destination

November 19 – November 21, Mistletoe and Moss Holiday Market, Lake Charles, LA, www.visitlakecharles.org/ A holiday tradition, this market features more than 80 merchants from around the country, showcasing apparel, gifts and accessories. A Preview Party Gala is offered, allowing for a jump start on holiday shopping, and featuring cuisine from the finest area restaurants plus cocktails, auction items and live entertainment. Depending if you are an early-bird or a night-owl, a Preferred Shoppers Breakfast as well as a Mistletoe & Moss Ladies’ Night, featuring wine tasting and appetizers are also offered. Children get a chance to meet with Santa and share their wish list during Donuts with Santa and Cookies with Santa. In addition to shopping, live music, photos with Santa, caroling, a fashion show and more are offered.

November 20 – November 22, Fine Craft Show, Knoxville, TN, http://www.foothillscraftguild.org/ Presented by the Foothills Craft Guild, this event features the original handmade work of over 140 Tennessee Artisans, all juried members of the Guild. Attendees can enjoy creating their own crafts to take home in addition to live demonstrations. Chartered in 1968, the Foothills Craft Guild is the oldest non-profit artisan guild in the state of Tennessee and many of these artisans have carried their tradition throughout several family generations. The Guild’s mission is to help increase public awareness about fine, hand-crafted items and ensure that the tradition of the fine handmade crafts is not forgotten.

November 21, 20th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration, Raleigh, NC, http://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/ The state’s signature event for recognizing National American Indian Heritage Month, this free festival focuses on American Indian History and culture in North Carolina.   Members of all eight state-recognized tribes and four urban Indian organizations help plan and implement the American Indian Heritage Celebration. Over 100 presenters, artists, dancers, musicians, scholars, students and filmmakers share stories, contemporary/traditional music, art and craft skills, dance, drum, traditional games, tribal culture and life ways taught to them by their elders. This year marks the 20th anniversary of this event.

November 27 – November 29, The Craftsmen’s Christmas Classic Art & Craft Festival, Greensboro, NC, http://www.craftshow.com/ The Craftsmen’s Christmas Classic showcases the very best of “Made in America”, offering visitors the opportunity to shop for handcrafted works they cannot find in mass market. The area’s Thanksgiving Weekend Tradition for four decades, the event is enhanced by visitors being able to interact with the artisans, ask questions, and see demonstrations as well as learn about the inspiration and techniques behind the various creative processes.

November 7 – December 13, Louisiana Renaissance Festival, Hammond, LA, http://www.larf.org/ (Weekends Until December 13) Experience the romance of the 16th century as you visit this enchanting renaissance mini-theme park. Enjoy over 100 unique shops, 40 shows and dozens of demonstrations each day. Featuring eight stages, 100 merchants and a cast and crew of 300 that orchestrate an interactive theatre – The Louisiana Renaissance Festival is more than a festival – it’s a mini-vacation!

November 8 – January 4, Stone Mountain Christmas, Stone Mountain, GA, http://www.stonemountainpark.com/ Amid more than 2 million lights, gather the family for a holiday tradition featuring live holiday entertainment, including a train ride around the mountain, Christmas parade, visits with Santa and an evening finale of a Snow Angel that flies high in the sky creating snow and fireworks.

November 13 – January 2, Galaxy of Lights, Huntsville, AL, http://www.hsvbg.org/ The largest holiday light show in the region, the Galaxy crew is composed of rocket scientists, physicists and aerospace engineers who have retired from the corporate world but still want to use their experience and knowledge to bring something special to the Tennessee Valley. A 2.5 mile Galaxy driving trail and 1.5 walking trail feature more than 170 scenes and 800 individual pieces with 3-4 new exhibits added each year as well as a new layout and themes.

November 20 – January 2, Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights, Lookout Mountain, GA, www.seerockcity.com/lights The award-winning light extravaganza features more than 30 holiday scenes that transform the garden’s natural daytime splendor into a nocturnal fantasyland. Visit with Saint Nick and his elves! Enjoy gingerbread and cookie decorating, hot cocoa, Sugar Plum Fairy makeovers and nightly entertainment in the North Pole Lodge.

November 21 – December 31, Holidays in the City, Norfolk, VA, http://holidayinthecity.net/ The 2015 Holidays in the City, a six week celebration, kicks off with the 31st Annual Grand Illumination Parade. Additional components include a model train exhibit, caroling, “Random Acts of Culture” (entertainment that will “pop up” when least expected during the holiday season and “Random Acts of Kindness” (special treats for you, the visitor!)

November 21 – February 21, Snow Mountain, Stone Mountain, GA, http://www.stonemountainpark.com/events/Snow-Mountain Snow-packed family fun! Spend a full day playing across five football fields of frosty joy. Zoom down the 400-foot hill, as a family, or solo as a single rider. From snowman building to snowball shooting, enjoy all the moments that will make for the perfect snow day.

November 27 – January 2, Magic Christmas in Lights at Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Theodore, AL, http://www.bellingrath.org/ Celebrating its 20th year, the Magic Christmas in Lights show takes amid the gardens of this 65-acre estate with more three million sparkling lights. In December of 2014, USA Today deemed this event one of the “10 Best Public Light Displays in America”.

November 27 – December 31, A Country Christmas in Lights, The Rock, GA, http://therockranch.com/country-christmas-in-lights/ It all started when the founder of The Rock Ranch and Chick-fil-A, S. Truett Cathy, made trips to home improvement stores after Christmas and purchased the leftover Christmas lights. They were then hung from fences, barns and more and the public was invited to drive through the light display. This event now involves more than 800,000 lights as well as arts and crafts with Santa’s elves and photos with Santa.

November 27 – December 22, Enchanted Airlie, Wilmington, NC, http://www.airliegardens.org/ As night falls over the 67 acres of Airlie Gardens, the forest comes alive as “Enchanted Airlie”, with more than 750,000 twinkling lights illuminating a half-mile, self-guided, walking trail of holiday displays as seasons sounds fill the air and warm holiday refreshments keep you cozy. The perfect touch for a winter evening stroll.

December 2015

December 1 – December 31, Southwest Louisiana Christmas Lighting Festival, Lake Charles/Sulphur, LA, www.visitlakecharles.org/ Comprised of a variety of events, Light Up the Lake has families enjoying gingerbread houses and parades on land and sea as well as a fireworks display over beautiful Lake Charles. If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, Sulphur’s Christmas Under The Oaks Festival transforms Heritage Square into a winter wonderland with twinkling lights, holly wreaths and yes, even snow! The Holiday House feature more than 25 shops with Christmas decorations, gifts, ornaments and more! Southwest Louisiana has it all to help your family celebrate the most wonderful time of the year!

December 1 – December 23, Ruby Falls Christmas Underground, Chattanooga, TN, http://www.rubyfalls.com/ruby-falls-christmas-underground While mining for rubies, at Ruby Falls, an underground passage was uncovered and it leads to the North Pole! Discover “Joystone” and experience Ruby Falls Christmas Underground. Go through an ice cave, see the Northern Lights, Sugar Plum Fairy Village and, of course, Santa! 

December 3, Hometown Holidays Parade, Forsyth, GA, http://www.forsyth-monroechamber.com/ Middle Georgia’s only nighttime parade, Forsyth’s Hometown Holidays Parade is a spectacular display of lights, not only on floats and carts but also the participants! Light Up Monroe County will return this year, in conjunction with the parade, in which residents festively compete among each other by lighting up their businesses, store fronts, homes, lawns and neighborhoods in hopes of winning the highly coveted “Christmas Spirit” Cup.   The trophy, made by the same company that creates the trophies for the Academy Awards, has not been awarded since the nineties thus making this year’s competition all the more rewarding!

December 4 – December 5, Christmas in the Pass, Pass Christian, MS, www.passmainstreet.com/events/Christmas-in-the-pass/ Entering its 30th year, Christmas in the Pass includes a holiday market, featuring more than 100 vendors, as well as a “Pawrade” (a costume dog parade that also includes pet photos with Santa) Additional holiday festivities include the lighting of the Christmas tree, holiday parade and carolers!

December 5, Artisans of the Olde English District & Downtown Holiday Market, Lancaster, SC, https://www.facebook.com/avantgardeartist This annual event provides the chance to browse and buy quality handmade gifts from traditional crafts, such as quilts and ironwork, to fine arts, such as delicate jewelry and hand-painted functional items for the home. Visitors are entertained with artist demonstrations, music, minstrels and costumed characters. This year will also offer more hands-on activities for children.

December 5 – December 6, Old Wilmington By Candlelight, Wilmington, NC, http://www.lcfhs.org/ Usher in the holiday season with this two-day historic event showcasing beautifully decorated private homes, churches and historical sites with seasonal music in the downtown Wilmington area. The tour is self-guided and sprinkled with luminaries and guides in period dress telling the history of the houses in the historic district of Wilmington.

December 5, Christmas on the Water, MS Gulf Coast, MS, www.gulfcoast.org/Christmas This community-wide celebration spotlights the parade of festive and holiday-themed boats along its sparkling waters. Dazzling fireworks complete the colorful evening as families welcome the holiday season.

December 5 – December 6, Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour, Marietta, GA, http://www.mariettapilgrimage.com/ This Christmas Home Tour features six, private, historic homes, lovingly restored, decorated for the season as well as antique collections. Homeowners invite you inside for unique opportunity to discover how they incorporate these historic treasures into their everyday lives. Along the route, many of Marietta’s historic public buildings are decorated and open for touring. A Candlelight tour is also offered on Saturday evening and a shuttle service is available for the daytime tours.

December 12, Historic Decatur Christmas Tour of Homes, Decatur, AL, http://www.decaturchristmastour.com/ This annual tour of homes includes presentations on historic architecture, Christmas table landscapes by local designers, refreshments and delectable eats from local cooks and restaurants, carriage rides, church concerts and more! Proceeds from the tour benefit neighborhood improvements such as park restorations and tree replenishments.

December 13, 14th Annual Florida Holiday Halfathon, St. Petersburg, FL, http://www.floridaholidayhalfathon.com/ Join Santa, elves and other joyful runners as you run along this flat, fast and visually varied course that begins in Madeira Beach and ends at Taylor Park. Along the way you will run through exclusive residential and commercial area in the beach communities as well as smoothly-paved Pinellas Trail and shaded public parks. Finishers enjoy the natural beauty during the festive post-race party while also admiring their holiday-themed finisher medal.

December 4 – December 18, The Roanoke Times Dickens of a Christmas, Roanoke, VA, http://www.downtownroanoke.org/ (Also December 11) The Roanoke Times Dickens of a Christmas is fun for the entire family with horse drawn carriage rides, carolers in the streets, street performers, re-enactors dressed in period appropriate costumes, Santa’s workshop and artisans. Local merchants can also be found giving away