Catch the Christmas spirit on Independence Day at the Christmas in July Festival | Arts Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Catch the Christmas spirit on Independence Day at the Christmas in July Festival 

The Christmas in July Festival in West Jefferson celebrates Ashe County’s Christmas tree-growing industry.

Photo by Wesley M. Barker

The Christmas in July Festival in West Jefferson celebrates Ashe County’s Christmas tree-growing industry.

Celebrating Christmas every day, as a little girl wished for in William Dean Howells' 1892 short story, might be too much holiday cheer, as she eventually learned when her wish came true. But what if we could celebrate just twice a year? That sounds manageable, even fun—especially if one of them is in the summertime.

The Christmas in July Festival, returning to West Jefferson for the 29th year, is the perfect way to alleviate your winter-holiday yearning while also enjoying very summery 4th of July festivities. The annual event, which began in 1987, honors and supports Ashe County's Christmas tree-growing industry, a national leader. The two-day event has grown immensely, and Wesley M. Barker, a Town of West Jefferson employee and festival committee member, says they expect between 10,000 and 15,000 attendees.

One of the most popular attractions is the Christmas tree-growers competition. Each competing crew has a chance to earn prize money donated by the Ashe County Christmas Tree Association and the Christmas in July Festival.

"Plans are in the works to have the public vote on the 'best of the best' and 'people's choice' Christmas tree," Barker said. Other Christmas activities include wreath-making and tree-baling demonstrations, and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Many non-Christmas-related activities will also take place on the newly renovated downtown streetscape, which is a three-hour drive from the Triangle. Vendors will sell crafts, toys, clothing, artwork, jewelry, food and much more. Musical stages will feature local and regional artists playing bluegrass, country, and old-time mountain music, including the Buck Haggard Band, the Dollar Brothers Band and Brandy Miller and Friends.

If you're looking to cool off, Barker points out that the New River is just minutes away from West Jefferson, and many outfitters offer canoeing, kayaking and tubing. There's also a fireworks show taking place nearby, at Ashe County Park, on Saturday.

But, Barker says, you probably won't be straying too far from downtown. "It is important to draw people to this festival because this is a beautiful town with cool mountain breezes, great scenery, friendly people and a unique experience all in itself," he says.

Closing your eyes, feeling the cool mountain breezes and smelling the pines, you'll almost be able to believe it's really Christmas in July.

Araceli Cruz has written for The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Latina Magazine and others. Twitter: @chelipj.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

Great work of art, the work is "nulli secundus" coming from Incredible Ekpuk !

Sodade,Belgium …

by david sodade on Victor Ekpuk’s Divine Mural at the North Carolina Museum of Art Heralds New Life for Its African Galleries (Arts Feature)

Most Recent Comments

Great work of art, the work is "nulli secundus" coming from Incredible Ekpuk !

Sodade,Belgium …

by david sodade on Victor Ekpuk’s Divine Mural at the North Carolina Museum of Art Heralds New Life for Its African Galleries (Arts Feature)

Note that some details of Baba Chuck Davis's memorial services have been updated. We've updated the info box here to …

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on Remembering Baba Chuck Davis, Legendary Voice of the African Dance Diaspora (Arts Feature)

CELEBRATION OF LIFE SERVICES

Wake:
Friday, June 2, 1pm - 7pm
Fisher Memorial UHC - 420 E Piedmont Ave, …

by ladichel on Remembering Baba Chuck Davis, Legendary Voice of the African Dance Diaspora (Arts Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation