Kicking off with a full day of Christmas-themed activities in Fancy Gap, “An Old Fashion Christmas in Fancy Gap” will give way to the Town of Hillsville’s Christmas Parade, titled “A Storybook Christmas,” at 4 p.m. that day. Hillsville’s Christmas Tree lighting will follow at 6 p.m. in front of Town Hall.
“An Old Fashion Christmas in Fancy Gap” will run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 5, offering visitors a full-day of Yuletide cheer before and after Hillsville’s festivities.
“This is a first for Fancy Gap and this is our kickoff event for the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway,” event coordinator DeeDee Price said. “We are encouraging people to come here and enjoy the festivities from 11 (a.m.) to 2 (p.m.). Then they can go to Hillsville for their parade at 4. After that they’ll be plenty more to do in Fancy Gap.”
Price said community participation will be vital as storytellers and Christmas carolers are needed to make the event a success. Prizes are available as well and everyone is invited to enter “The Fanciest Ornament Contest.” A $75 cash prize will be given in two categories (12 and under, 12 and older). Potential contestants can bring handmade ornaments to several Fancy Gap shops (The Fancy Gap Dress Shop, Treasure Potts, Fancy Gap Designs, Crocketts Country Store or Treasure Potts II, An Artisan Gallery) by 5 p.m. on Dec. 4. Contest winners will be announced at noon on Dec. 5 at the Pickin’ Porch.
Fancy Gap retail stores will be open until 9 p.m., offering extending shopping hours. Beginning at 11 a.m., Christmas Carolers will offer their special brand of Christmas music at the Pickin’ Porch. Winners will be evaluated on period costumes, music presentation, and spirit.
Fancy Gap festivities will continue at 2 p.m. with “Story Telling,” a tradition among mountain people. Afterwards, a contest will be held for contestants to tell their own stories representing the heritage or history of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Prizes will be offered for first and second place in two age groups (5 to 12, 13 and older).
Free refreshments will be provided at most retail shops in Fancy Gap. Christmas candies, cookies, brownies, and other treats will be available along with hot drinks to warm your spirits. Of course, it wouldn’t be a perfect day without a visit from Santa to wish everyone a happy holiday season. Hot chocolate and hot apple cider will also be available during a “Smores Party” for everyone.
A youth park will provide activities such as face paintings and a Christmas tree decorating party, while Anne Whisnant will be on site to sign her book Super Scenic Motorway – “A Blue Ridge Parkway History.” Her husband, David E. Whisnant, and she will also be signing their new children’s book, “When the Parkway Came.”
Anyone interested in participating in caroling or story telling is asked to contact Don Foster at (276) 398-3207 for details.
Price said “An Old Fashion Christmas in Fancy Gap” will serve as a kickoff for a multitude of activities in Fancy Gap in 2010 celebrating the 75th anniversary of The Blue Ridge Parkway. Among the Fancy Gap events set for 2010 associated with the milestone anniversary include the Cherry Festival in June, a Fourth of July Festival, and an Apple Festival in September, which will be at the peak of the 75th anniversary celebrations, Price said.
Hillsville Mayor Bill Tate said everyone is invited to participate in Hillsville’s Christmas Parade on Dec. 5. Sign-ups are not necessary, he said, but participants should be lined up at Virginia Street by 3:30 p.m. as judging will begin then for first-, second- and third-place prizes. The parade will begin at Virginia Street, he said, and continue on to Edgewood Street.