ASHEVILLE NC – A-B Tech will usher in the holidays with its third annual Lighting of the Green Dec 4-18, featuring historic homes on the Asheville campus, decorated for the season. Community members are invited to ride through campus and view the lights from 6 to 9 p.m. nightly.
Fernihurst, an 1870s mansion once the center of social activity for the township of Victoria, will be open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7, 11, 14 and 18 for free tours, light refreshments and entertainment. This year’s entertainment will include the A-B Tech Drama Department, the A-B Tech Music Department, the A.C. Reynolds High School Madrigal Singers under the direction of Janis Dellinger Bryant and the Erwin High School choral group Glenalough under the direction of Bob Johnson. Santa will pay a visit Dec. 18 along with other family-friendly activities.
Fernihurst was built in 1876 by Colonel John Kerr Connally and his wife, Alice Thomas Connally, and named after the Kerr ancestral castle in Scotland. The Connallys enjoyed entertaining and would host as many as 500 guests at their parties. Legend has it that George Vanderbilt attended one of the parties and was so impressed with the views from the house, he asked to purchase the property to build his own house. When the Connallys refused, Vanderbilt purchased all the land on either side of the two rivers. He also purchased land adjacent to the Connally property and built six houses, including five rental properties – the remaining of which is Sunnicrest, which houses the Human Resources Department of A-B Tech. Sunnicrest will also be decorated and open to the public during the “Lighting of the Green.”