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Historic Gold Hill celebrates Lighting of the Fall Fires

Bonfires will keep guests warm and cozy, as will the old pot-bellied wood stoves in several of the shops.

Bonfires help light the way and add warmth to the festival

Bonfires help light the way and add warmth to the festival

By Vivian Hopkins, Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation Inc.

GOLD HILL — Lighting of the Fall Fires is a wonderfully festive event that kicks off the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season at Gold Hill. Visitors are invited to enjoy a step back in time in the quaint, beautifully decorated nineteenth century gold mining boom town.

The event celebrates a time when the now-quaint restored village was a bustling social center of North Carolina. Its nineteenth century fame was made evident in the mid-1800s statement by the Charlotte, NC mayor, saying that he had hopes for Charlotte, that it would one day be as rich and prosperous as Gold Hill. Last year Governor Pat McCrory proclaimed Lighting of the Fall Fires as “Gold Hill Day” in North Carolina.

“Lighting of the Fall Fires” began in 2000 to celebrate the ‘rebirth’ and restoration of the mining town that had lain in ruins since the gold mining industry ended a century ago. With a ticket purchase, guests will receive a bag of “gold nuggets” to pay admission to the village shops and the Russell-Rufty Shelter in the park where they will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, special treats, wine tasting, festive music and more.

Salisbury’s 1920s vintage trolley will transport guests from the Russell-Rufty Shelter to key locations in the village where merchants dressed in nineteenth century costumes will greet and entertain guests as they enter the village shops.

Live music at numerous sites will set the holiday mood with groups performing throughout the evening. Bonfires will keep guests warm and cozy, as will the old pot-bellied wood stoves in several of the shops.

Young and old alike will delight in strolling along the lamp lit, wood sidewalks of Historic Gold Hill, enjoying a time reminiscent of yesteryear, with all the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Limited tickets are still available. The event, hosted by the Gold Hill Historic Preservation Society, will be held on Saturday evening Nov. 21 from 5:30 until 9 p.m. $15 advance tickets can still be purchased at shops in the village of Gold Hill until 5 p.m. Friday or by calling 704-724-4998. Advance tickets are encouraged due to previous years’ sellout! Ticket info can also be found on the website at www.historicgoldhill.com

For more information call 704-724-4998. The Historic Village of Gold Hill is located in eastern Rowan County, just off US Hwy 52 on St. Stephens Church Road. For GPS use 770 St. Stephens Church Road.

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