Christmas parade and Holly Jolly market return to Black Mountain
The annual Black Mountain Christmas parade returns Dec. 4 to its traditional approach after a virtual parade last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This year, the only difference is we will not be throwing candy from the floats," said Sharon Tabor, the executive director of the Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce.
Tabor said said in previous years, kids have run out into the road to grab candy, creating potential risk for harm from vehicles and animals. She said this year, to keep everyone safe, walkers in the parade will hand out candy to bystanders.
"So far nobody's gotten hurt," Tabor said. "We just don't want that to ever happen."
The theme of the parade this year, Tabor said, will be "A Black Mountain Christmas."
The parade route will go from Flat Creek down State Street to Cragmont, according to Tabor. The day before, on Dec. 3, the Holly Jolly Christmas market will take place downtown, an evening shopping event with entertainment.
The Christmas market will begin at 5:30 p.m., with shops in the downtown area staying open until 8 p.m.
Roughly 35 floats have signed up for the parade. Floats consist of nonprofits, fire departments, local businesses, schools and various organizations including the library and arts center. Tabor said the Chamber of Commerce continues to accept applications via email or in-person at the chamber office.
"You'll have a lot of marchers and performers," Tabor said. "It's just a little bit of everything."
Tabor said that In years past, several thousand people have lined up along U.S. 70 for the parade. Especially after being stuck inside due to the pandemic, the chamber expects the usual turnout of previous years.
Once the parade ends, the circle of lights, put on by the town Recreation and Parks department, will commence by Lake Tomahawk.