The holiday season kicks into high gear Saturday with multiple events, including the annual Wilkes County Christmas Parade, the Town of Wilkesboro’s Christmas in the Commons and the Wilkes Heritage Museum’s Christmas Open House.
Santa Claus will visit and hear holiday wishes at the Blue Ridge Artisan Center on Main Street, Wilkesboro from 9:30-11 a.m., at the Wilkes County Public Library in North Wilkesboro from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and at Sweet Smiles on Wilkesboro’s Main Street from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Parade through Wilkesboros
The annual Wilkes County Christmas Parade begins at 3 p.m. on the eastern end of the Central Business District Loop. It will go westward down North Wilkesboro’s Main Street and elsewhere downtown before crossing the Yadkin River Bridge on Wilkesboro Avenue to enter Wilkesboro. The parade will proceed down Wilkesboro’s Main Street before ending at the intersection with Curtis Bridge Road.
This year’s parade theme is “Christmas Dreams,” with Larry and Diane Stone of Wilkesboro as grand marshals. The parade is organized by the Wilkes Chamber of Commerce and is sponsored by the chamber and the towns of North Wilkesboro and Wilkesboro.
Parade entries can register as late as 11 a.m. Saturday. The fees ($50 for commercial entry, $5 per vehicle, motorcycle or horse) are waived for school, church or nonprofit groups.
The parade categories of “Best of Theme,” “Grand Marshal’s Award,” “Chairman’s Award” and “Mayor’s Award” will be judged at 2 p.m.
Parade entries signed up by Thursday afternoon are listed at the end of this story.
Christmas in the Commons
Wilkesboro’s annual “Christmas in the Commons” is from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in downtown Wilkesboro, but five food trucks on North Bridge Street will start serving people in town for the parade starting at 3 p.m.
Activities in the Carolina West Wireless Community Commons and nearby Heritage Square in front of the Wilkes Heritage Museum will include free miniature train rides, face painting, antler workshop, heritage crafts and a visit by Santa Claus.
Sharine Buchanan will provide Christmas music starting at 4:30 p.m. Christmas in the Commons culminates at 7 p.m. with the lighting of the Heritage Square Christmas tree in front of the museum. Wilkesboro Mayor Mike Inscore will lead the tree lighting.
Five artisan vendors—Andrea Baldwin, Allie Johnson, Maggie McCann, Shannon Evans and Rita Guimont—will showcase their craftsmanship at Christmas in the Commons. They’re also part of the Mistletoe Holiday Market & Craft Show, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Blue Ridge Artisan Center on Main Street, Wilkesboro.
Museum Open House
The Wilkes Heritage Museum Open House is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring free admission to the museum (but with donations accepted).
The museum and Capt. Robert Cleveland log house will be decorated for the season, and light refreshments will be offered throughout the day. Several artists will perform live music from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the museum auditorium and at the Cleveland log house.
The event will also feature Mary Bohlen cooking pumpkin soup over an open hearth, using locally-grown pumpkins. There also will be tours of the Old Wilkes Jail, a Victorian Christmas card workshop and book signing by Joe Brown from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Christmas parade entries
AHG Troop NC0345 and Trail Life Troop, Bleu Moon Productions, Blue Ridge Outreach Ministry, Boost Mobile, Bottomley Enterprises, Bridal Traditions, BROC Junior Miss—Rebecca Walters, BROC Little Miss Princesses—Riddle and Lyric Roten, Carolina West Wireless;
Casey Joe Johnson for County Commissioner, CC Storm Volleyball, Champion Towing wreckers and rollbacks, Chick-fil-A—Wilkesboro, Child Abuse Prevention Team/Our House, Combs Motor Sports ATVs, Cub Scout Pack 335, D & J Truck Service & Towing—truck and wrecker;
Danny Hamby, Davis Memorial Baptist Church youth, East Wilkes High—Homecoming Queen and Princess, East Wilkes High School Cardinal Pride Marching Band, Emily Summerlin, Freedom Baptist Church, Haynes Insulation LLC, Humane Society of Wilkes, James Joines;
Jeffrey Elmore—N.C. State Representative, Just For Fun, Lewis Baptist Church, Little Mountain Railroad—Black Cat Station, Mathis Concrete LLC, Matt Matthews—State Farm Insurance, Matt Pruitt, Matthew Leach for District Court Judge, Mayor of North Wilkesboro—Robert Johnson;
Mayor of Wilkesboro—Mike Inscore, Mountain View School Prince and Princess, Mr. and Little Miss Mountain View, N2it Youth Organization, N.C. Army National Guard—875th EN Co., North Carolina Mountain Investments LLC, North Wilkes Marching Vikings;
North Wilkesboro Rotary, Peace Haven Baptist Church, Abby Pendry, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Power Outreach Ministries—Moravian Falls, Committee to Elect Ralph Broyhill, Robert Lee Carlton, Rose of Sharon Baptist Church, SAFE Inc., Southern Dental Associates, Steppin Out Studio Inc.;
Ted’s Kickin Chicken, Tonya’s Academy of Dance, Toys for Tots—Marine Corp Reserves, Tyson Foods, W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir, Watco Cleaning, Watco Detailing, West Wilkes FFA, West Wilkes High School Stem, West Wilkes High School Homecoming King Jaden Wentz, West Wilkes High School Freshman Attendant Lakyn Minton;
West Wilkes High School Chorus, West Wilkes Middle School Cheerleaders, West Wilkes Youth Cheerleaders, White Oak Stables, Wilkes Central High School Marching Eagles Band, Wilkes Central High School Homecoming Queen Lainey Horton;
Wilkes Community College Police Department, Wilkes County Clerk’s Office—Regina Billings and office staff, Wilkes County 8U All Star Softball Team, Wilkes County teams—Girls on the Run, Wilkes Early College High School, Wilkes Fresh, Wilkes Mobile Dental Clinic, Wilkes Rescue Group;
Wilkes Tire & Auto, Wilkesboro Girl Scout Troop 40921, Wilkesboro Harley Owners Group 2727 (walkers collecting toys) and Wilkes Transportation Authority (WTA).