The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

Christmas In July

By Jim Coan

Issue: July, 1987

Imagine the skies of West Jefferson, North Carolina filled with color! Well, they will be on July 4th and 5th during the "Christmas in July" festival to be held this July 3rd, 4th, and 5th [1987].

Hang gliders from across the U.S. will be competing with each other in a relay course, a cross country event and a target drop competition. Indeed an exciting event for the entire family.

Have you ever ridden in a hot air balloon? Now is your chance, McDonald's of West Jefferson will sponsor their McDonald Balloon on Saturday, July 4th, and will be offering rides. Be sure and be there for your first balloon ride.

If you're not a balloonist, maybe an aerial view of Ashe County is in order. Helicopter rides will be available throughout the Saturday and Sunday hours of the festival.

For those of you who love the natural Christmas Tree, you won't want to miss this event. The Christmas Tree Growers will be hanging an artificial Christmas tree in effigy, from their very own gallows. At the appropriate time the funeral will begin. The "Last Rites" will be read by one of the dignitaries expected to be here for the festival, and a hearse will be brought for that last final trip to the burial ground.

No need to worry, for those of you who aren't into rides or events just come to Ashe County, downtown West Jefferson and do your "early" Christmas shopping. Mountain craftsman and area folks will have their finest wares displayed for sale. Join us in celebrating "Christmas in July", July 3rd, 4th, and 5th [1987]! Come and see a mountain town decorated in the spirit of Christmas. "Play it cool in the Mountains", mark your calendars today!!!

For More Information: Jim Coan (hang gliding) 919–385–6364, Ashe Chamber of Commerce 919–246–9550.