Chamber of commerce announces plans for Christmas in Black Mountain

Ty Roush
Black Mountain News
The Black Mountain Christmas Parade will not be held this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

BLACK MOUNTAIN - Holly Jolly, Festival of Lights and the Black Mountain Christmas parade will not happen in 2020, according to an Oct. 12 email from the Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber says that it will partner with local services “to create a family-friendly monthlong event to encourage COVID safety awareness and the support of local businesses.”

Instead of a parade, the commerce said that a video of highlights from previous parades will be available on various online platforms starting Dec. 5.

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries will continue hosting Deck the Trees this year with an updated format. Ten trees will be decorated in the Monte Vista Hotel lobby to complement additional sponsored trees placed in businesses throughout Black Mountain.

Trees decorated for the theme “And A Star Appeared” will be mapped in an app with all residential and business locations as a driving guide. Visitors and residents can vote for their favorite trees for a "best of show" prize.

Musicians will also wander throughout downtown on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons throughout December.

A star decal on the door of businesses will designate Deck the Trees participants or STAR passport participants.

Participating STAR passport businesses will stamp passports following a financial transaction. When all five points are stamped, passports can be left in a dropbox outside the visitor center to be entered in a weekly drawing for a $100 prize.

December’s events complement the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority announcing a fall and winter 3 W — wait (6 feet apart), wash (hands often) and wear (a mask) — program. Awareness materials will be available to local businesses.

The town’s bear mascot, Mr. Po Laris, will be relocated periodically throughout town to encourage pictures and mask protocols.