Special holiday trees decorated in honor of the cultural heritage of four outlying counties will be on display at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, Milepost 384 near Asheville, through January 7, 2013.
Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, Robbinsville, incorporated decorations representing the handmade crafts of its Artisan Gallery and Guild members and performing artists who have performed on the Center’s historic stage. Their color theme is blue and gold, the colors of the original Union School, which is now home to the Center.
The entry from Surry County and Mount Airy celebrates their rich musical heritage, with handcrafted pewter ornaments of old-time band instruments and miniature portraits of Surry County music icons. The trimming will be completed with local Surry County pine cones and berries.
The tree from the Yadkin Valley, which comprises four counties in the eastern part of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, celebrates its wineries and vineyards with ornaments from its annual holiday promotion, “Deck the Halls.” During this time, visitors to that region can buy a “passport” which entitles them to wine tastings at various wineries where they receive these ornaments as part of the promotion. The tree also features wine cork garland and ornaments created by a local craftsman in the shape of wine bottles.
Swain County’s tree, which includes Bryson City, is decorated with handcrafted local ornaments and art, such as corn shuck angels from Lori Anderson of Studio 19, picture postcards by Charles Heath, and regional works from the Cottage Craftsman.
A fifth tree will be decorated by Eastern National, the organization that operates many of the gift shops along the Parkway, whose profits go to support the Parkway.