dillsboro lights and luminaires

By Amy Ammons


In December of 1983, on the very first evening of Dillsboro’s Luminaires, it was a starry, starry night with twinkling lights set around all the businesses. No shops were open, and there were no electric lights … just the simple luminaires.

As the residents of the area drove through, some got out and walked along the streets.

It was beautiful with the moon and stars shining above, and the streets of Dillsboro all aglow.

The next morning Dillsboro was the talk of all the towns around.

And so for the annual Festival of Lights and Luminaires, everyone is invited to the historic town of Dillsboro once more to experience the spirit of Christmas. On Fridays and Saturdays, Dec 3, 4, 10 and 11, from 5-9 p.m., there will be more than 2,500 white lights adorning the historic buildings, and the flickering flames of luminaries softening the shadows of the streets. Excitement will abound as the merchants of Dillsboro open their doors and hearts to the community.

Each night shops will stay open way into the night providing free-refreshments, musicians and singers performing in individual shops. The sound of hooves will echo through the night with old-fashioned horse and buggy rides (tips much appreciated). 

Children can share their wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Workshop in Dillsboro’s Town Hall. With retail shops offering a variety of quality arts and crafts, unique gifts, clothing, gourmet foods and wine, and specialty Christmas items, the festival also provides a unique holiday shopping experience.

Entertainment the first weekend includes Twelfth Fret from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3 and Anna Victoria from 6-8 p.m. Saturday. Dec. 4.

Entertainment for the second weekend will again feature the award winning Mathew Dickerson on the dulcimer for both nights, Dec. 10 and 11.

Free parking and shuttle transportation for the event will be available at Monteith Park each night of the festival. Come on out, bring your sweetheart, bring the family, stroll among the lights illuminating this mountain village and start your holiday full of good cheer.

Sing along with carolers, take the children to see Santa Claus at Dillsboro’s Town Hall, and have some hot chocolate or hot cider. All the restaurants will be open late.

For more information, call the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 800-962-1911 or visit www.mountainlovers.com. To learn more about new happenings, go to www.facebook.com/DillsboroNC.

Local author Amy Ammons wrote this article for the Dillsboro Merchants Association.