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Asheville, North Carolina News


Santa To Practice Chimney Climbing December 3 and 10 at Chimney Rock

CHIMNEY ROCK NC – How is Santa able to climb down millions of chimneys around the world in a single night? He practices, of course! From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., December 3 and 10, visit Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park to see Santa practice climbing on one of the world’s largest chimneys at 315 feet tall. Guests can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy live holiday music, complimentary hot cocoa, cookies and kids’ activities and see live critters. Annual Passholders are invited to a special holiday sale with 25% off their total retail purchase both days at Cliff Dwellers Gifts, which will be providing entertainment, artist demonstrations and refreshments. There is no additional cost with paid Park admission. In case of inclement weather, check chimneyrockpark.com for the event’s status. Chimney Rock was named one of “10 great places to catch up with Santa” in 2008 by USA Today.

“Santa has a challenging job climbing down millions of chimneys Christmas Eve, so he practices to be ready for it,” said Matt Popowski, PR and Events Coordinator, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. “It’s just as entertaining as it sounds and a fun way to kick off your holiday traditions for kids and adults!

Climbing Santa.  Mr. Claus will rappel from the top of Chimney Rock about every 30-45 minutes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. while spectators gather in front of Cliff Dwellers Gifts for live holiday music, refreshments and kids’ activities. Between noon and 1:30 p.m., Santa will be available in front of Cliff Dwellers Gifts for photo opportunities and to meet the children. Mrs. Claus will be present also, serving delicious cookies and hot cocoa while visiting with children. Park mascot Grady the Groundhog or other live critters will make an appearance for kids, and an educational display of animal skins and skulls will be on display by a State Park Ranger. On December 3, live music will be provided by Joe Collins, award-winning vocalist, songwriter and national champion mountain dulcimer performer. John Mason, who has toured the Southeast for 30 years playing the hammered dulcimer and is the Park’s featured musician, will be performing on December 10. The event is being co-sponsored by Coffee on the Rocks in Chimney Rock Village.

Hours, Admission & Trail Changes.  Current seasonal hours are daily 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the Ticket Plaza closing at 4:30 p.m. Park admission is $12 for adults, $5 for youth ages 6-15 and free for ages 5 and under. On December 5, winter hours go into effect. The Park will be open Thursday – Monday, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the Ticket Plaza closing at 4:30 p.m. Winter admission, effective Dec. 5, will be $9 for adults and $4 for youth ages six through 15. Children under six are admitted free. Starting Dec. 5, due to winter capital improvements, the Outcroppings and Skyline trails, Chimney and points of interest above, such as the Opera Box, Devil’s Head and Exclamation Point, will be closed to the public.

Holiday Specials. Annual Passholders are invited to a special holiday sale with 25% off their total retail purchase at Cliff Dwellers Gifts on December 3 and 10 for Santa on the Chimney. Entertainment, artist demonstrations and refreshments will be provided at the gift store both days. For passholders unable to attend during Santa on the Chimney, the 25% off discount sale will be valid from December 3 through December 11. Guests who upgrade their admissions to Annual Passes are also eligible.

Adult Annual Passes, a great stocking stuffer for family and friends, will be available for $20 during a holiday special November 25 to December 24, 2011. Guests who visit the Park during discounted winter admission rates can save money by upgrading their admission tickets to Annual Passes for only $11 for adults and $4 for youth (ages 6-15) within 30 days of purchase. Buy your upgrade online, call 800-277-9611 or show your receipt at the Ticket Plaza on your next visit within 30 days.

Fun Holiday Facts.

  • Based on 2010 population estimates by the United Nations Children’s Fund, Santa would have to make about 842 million stops on Christmas Eve, traveling some 221 million miles.
  • At 315 feet tall, Chimney Rock is one of the world’s tallest chimneys. This 535-million-year-old natural wonder is also among the world’s oldest chimneys. Today, it is one of the Southeast’s most iconic and popular outdoor destinations.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor destination located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It is recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic sites and popular travel destinations. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the state’s most significant centers of biodiversity, is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species, and the second highest waterfall of its kind in the eastern United States. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com. More information on current Capital Improvement projects at chimneyrockpark.com/progress or by calling 800-277-9611.

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