Almost 90 years ago, back in the 1930s, the little town of Forest City decided to bring the holidays to their community by adorning 2 trees on Main Street with beautiful Christmas lights. In the years since, this lovely, quaint destination has grown and continually added more festive lights, activities, and decor to become one of the most beautiful month-long displays of Christmas cheer in the North Carolina foothills. From parades and tree lightings, to carriage rides and Santa, you'd be hard pressed to find a more festive way to bring out the best of everyone's holiday spirit than Forest City's Hometown Holidays Celebration.

Thanksgiving Weekend

The town of Forest City kicks off the holidays on Thanksgiving weekend in absolutely spectacular fashion. It begins with their annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. From 6-9 pm on Thanksgiving Night the town comes alive in a way that can only be described as a jolly holiday moment from a Norman Rockwell painting. Stroll down Main Street through local merchants' shops adorned in all their holiday glory while sipping complimentary hot cocoa and munching on cookies. Stop and listen to Christmas carols sung by a local quartet, or get your groove on at the Fountain with holiday tunes spun by a local DJ. Take a spin around the ice skating rink, then stop by Santa's house at the Pavilion on Park Square. It's an incredible evening that brings on the best kinds of holiday cheer!

The weekend festivities continue on Sunday with the town's highly anticipated annual Christmas Parade. Carriages and cars intermingled with floats and music; the spectacle begins at 3pm at McNair Stadium and travels down Main Street to finish at the First United Methodist Church. If you've never experienced the holiday magic of a small town Christmas parade, this is an event that's definitely bucket list worthy!

December Weekends

Weekends in December are filled with Christmas magic in Forest City. Friday evenings are particularly full of down home foothills fun. Enjoy hayrides from 6-9pm. Tickets are only $3 per person but they sell out fast so be sure to get your tickets at the Pavilion on Park Square early! Santa is always home from 6-8:30pm on Fridays to lend an ear to good boys and girls of any age. Visit him in his house located next to the Pavilion. Get in touch with your inner elf at the ice skating rink. Open for chilly fun from 6pm until, you can skate under the town's canopy of Christmas lights with live music to your heart's content for $8 per person including skates. You can even cozy up and take in a Friday evening holiday movie! Movies will be shown weather permitting at the Pavilion at Park Square at 7pm each Friday evening leading up to Christmas. On December 6th is the Dr. Seuss classic The Grinch, December 13th brings holiday merriment with the movie Elf, and December 20th reawakens childhood wonder with the movie Polar Express.

The holiday fun continues on Saturdays in classic Christmas fashion. Bundle up and view the town's magical array of Christmas lights by enjoying a horse-drawn carriage ride. Tickets are only $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-12, and can be purchased at the Pavilion on Park Square ticket window. Santa is home and listening to Christmas wishes from 5-8:30pm, and the ice skating rink opens at 5pm for anyone wanting to embrace the chilly air on skates. Skating is $8 per person, which includes skate rental.

Even Sundays are holiday pet-tacular! Bring your favorite furry friend to have their picture made with Santa Paws. The photo op takes place from 2-5pm at Santa's house by the Pavilion on Park Square. There really is no better way to revel in the spirit of the holiday season than December weekends in Forest City.