Tweetsie Railroad is the High Country’s first amusement park, and throughout the summer months, the venue hosts children, families and adults from around the world looking for a fun and unique experience in the Blue Ridge Mountains. As one tourist season winds down, however, another arises as the holidays appear on the horizon.

This is the 60th anniversary of Tweetsie Railroad, and to help celebrate the occasion, the park will host its first Tweetsie Christmas — a lights spectacular and holiday show. From the day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 24 until the end of December, Tweetsie Railroad will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. When you arrive at the venue, just outside of Blowing Rock, N.C., the park will be lit up with tens of thousands of Christmas lights.

Earlier this year, Tweetsie Railroad hired a company which specializes in the construction of holiday displays around the country and they, along with the Tweetsie Railroad staff, have been hard at work designing and building this exciting Christmas attraction. Much time and effort has been spent to create this magnificent winter wonderland for all ages.

Each night that Tweetsie Railroad is open during the Christmas season, Santa Claus will arrive by train shortly after the venue opens at 5 p.m. Then, kids of all ages can meet Santa in his new gingerbread home featuring giant pieces of candy and over-the-top decorations. And, be sure to keep your coats handy as you travel on the open air Tweetsie Railroad train and view the awesome display of illuminations leading up to the big tunnel of lights and a 40-foot tall interactive Christmas tree.

There will also be an open fire pit around which guests can roast s’mores and eat funnel cakes and fudge and more.

And, to make it a complete experience, Hart-T-Trees Farm will be selling locally-grown Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas trees in the parking lot.

“This is the first year that we have ever hosted Tweetsie Christmas,” said Cathy Robbins, of Tweetsie Railroad. “Everybody here has worked very hard to get the lights and decorations ready. It is a pretty huge endeavor. This will be the biggest Christmas light display in the whole High Country. We wanted to create this fun night out because there are not a lot of big holiday events up here during this time of year. There are other places with Christmas lights, of course, but this is going to be on a much larger scale.”

This latest addition to the Tweetsie Railroad calendar has been a team effort as everyone is working together to extend the season and make this a special time for the arriving visitors of all ages.

“With all of the Christmas trees grown, cut and sold in this area, we have received a lot of requests from our guests to do a Christmas event,” said Robbins. “So, we decided to begin this new tradition now because it is our 60th anniversary as a park. We will have hot apple cider and hot chocolate and other warm drinks, as well as soup and chili. A lot of our seasonal staff is staying around to help out. Hart-T-Trees Farm, who will be selling fresh-cut Christmas trees in the parking lot, is a local grower based in next door Ashe County. The word is getting out that you have to buy tickets ahead of time to secure a seat on a train ride, so sales are looking good.”

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