ASHEVILLE NC – Despite his doctor’s orders, Santa is at it again! Jolly old St. Nick will be visiting Chimney Rock to climb down one of the world’s largest natural chimneys from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 7 and 14. For more than 20 years, Santa Claus has practiced at Chimney Rock State Park for his big evening when he climbs down millions of chimneys worldwide delivering Christmas presents to little boys and girls.
Each weekend, one lucky guest will win free two-hour rock climbing lessons for two with Santa’s professional helpers, Fox Mountain Guides. The winner of each drawing will be announced at 1:30 p.m. and you must be present to win. Chimney Rock was named one of “10 great places to catch up with Santa” and one of the 10 Best High Places in the World by USA Today. For park hours, rates and in case of inclement weather, visit chimneyrockpark.com.
Fearless St. Nick will descend from the top of Chimney Rock on a nearly 200-foot rappel about every 30-45 minutes, weather permitting. Kids are invited to sit on Santa’s lap for photo opportunities, meet Mrs. Claus, and enjoy holiday cookies, hot cocoa and kids’ activities. Weather permitting, you can also meet Grady the Groundhog or other live woodland critters that wouldn’t survive at the North Pole.
New this year are performances by the Lake Lure Classical Academy’s fifth grade chorus, a group of 40 children, and their rock ‘n’ roll band. On Dec. 14 only, the choir will perform at noon, followed by the rock ‘n’ roll band comprised of high school and middle school students at 1 p.m.
“For more than twenty years, families have come to watch Santa prepare for his big night by practicing on the Chimney. We’re excited to bring our community’s children together to share their talents at this fun, family-friendly holiday event,” said Matt Popowski, PR and Events Manager, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.
Check off your holiday shopping list with a discount on Annual Passes and a special sale of 25 percent off retail for Annual Passholders on December 1 to 15 at the Sky Lounge Gift Shop. Live holiday music and refreshments will be provided. There is no additional cost with paid Park admission. The event is sponsored by Fox Mountain Guides and Coffee on the Rocks in Chimney Rock Village.
Watch Santa’s extreme stunt in a 50-second video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3XO_DyFtuU
Santa’s Village. After Santa’s big climb on the Chimney December 7, join him for an old-fashioned Christmas in Chimney Rock Village from 5-7 p.m. Bring your kids for photo opportunities with Santa on Main Street, caroling and a bake sale, leading up to a tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. at the Gathering Place. Shops in the Village will stay open late for holiday shopping, and the Old Rock Café will be open for dinner until 7 p.m.
Other community holiday events open to the public include the Annual Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge Holiday FunRaiser Gala at 6:30-10 p.m. on December 5 at the historic 1927 Lake Lure Inn, followed by the Annual Chili Cook-off and Bingo at 5-9 p.m. on December 6 at the Chimney Rock Volunteer Fire Dept.
Holiday Specials. For a limited time, new adult Annual Passes are valid for 18 months and are available for only $23 ($5 off regular price) at the Park and in the online store November 25 through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. Start saving with discounts on Park retail and dining, along with savings at Biltmore, Mast General Store and many local favorites. To learn about Passholder benefits and buy your upgrade online, visit chimneyrockpark.com.
Best known for its stunning 75-mile views overlooking Lake Lure, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers scenic hiking trails, guided rock climbing, nature education programs and ancient geological features that attract visitors from around the world. Chimney Rock is located only 45 minutes southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. Call (800) 277-9611 or go to chimneyrockpark.com to plan your visit. To learn more about Fox Mountain Guides or book a rock climbing lesson, visit foxmountainguides.com or call (888) 284-8433.
The Lake Lure Classical Academy, a Challenge Foundation Academy, is a tuition-free public charter school open to all North Carolina students. Opened in fall 2010, the school currently serves grades K-10 and will add a grade level each year until the school reaches 12th grade in fall 2015. The curriculum utilizes the Core Knowledge Sequence, a detailed outline of specific content to be taught in language arts, history, geography, mathematics, science and fine arts. Learn more at llca.teamcfa.org.