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Historic Gold Hill celebrates ‘Lighting of the Fall Fires’

By Vivian Hopkins

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 19th 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 19th century fame was made evident in the mid-1800s statement by the Charlotte mayor, saying that he had hopes for Charlotte, that it would one day be as rich and prosperous as Gold Hill.

“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, barbecue, festive music and more.

The Vintage F&M Trolley will transport guests from the Russell-Rufty Shelter to key locations in the village where merchants dressed in period 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. Several 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, enjoying a time reminiscent of yesteryear, with all the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A limited number of tickets are still available. The event, hosted by the Gold Hill Historic Preservation Society, will be held on Saturday evening Nov. 18, from 5:30-9 p.m. The $18 advance tickets can still be purchased at shops in the village of Gold Hill Thursday and Friday at 704-267-9439 or 704-526-9649 . Advance tickets are recommended due to previous years’ sellout! Ticket and event info can also be found at www.historicgoldhill.com

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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