December Nights, Christmas Lights

Walking around downtown Franklin after dark truly gives you a sense of the holidays and time to window shop and to see all the pretty lights and decorations that our wonderful downtown merchants have put on display. A lite chill in the air, the temperatures have turned a bit more seasonal now, and the warmth of a loved one walking along with you, it’s hard to come up with another place as wonderful as the mountains here in Franklin, NC.

Here’s a walk through downtown Franklin for you to enjoy all the sights of Christmas, hoping you’ll be able to join us during the holidays.

The Historic Clock Tower







Lots of things happening on Main Street!

Lots of things happening on Main Street!



local shops decorate so pretty

local shops decorated so pretty









DSC_3088 DSC_3090





is that Santa's new sleigh?

is that Santa’s new sleigh?











The Gazebo and Christmas Tree are beautiful!

The Gazebo and Christmas Tree are beautiful!

The Nativity in front of the Courthouse is a masterpiece

The Nativity in front of the Courthouse is a masterpiece

Thank you for taking this walk down Main Street, Franklin with us. We hope you’ll take an evening and stroll the businesses and then stop in the next day and let them know how wonderful it was to see all the decorations and lights. And remember, only 7 days ’til Christmas!

















All of the photos provided for this edition of Snapshots From Franklin, NC are provided by Eric Haggart of Timeless Moments Imaging. For more information about any of Eric’s work, please contact him via email at

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Upcoming Shows in Franklin

Are you starting to feel a lot more Christmas in your step? Are you ready to settle down from the hurry and hustle of the holidays? Well, you still have time to get tickets for these upcoming shows at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, which will definitely entertain you and settle you down into your seat for an evening of Christmas music and fellowship with friends and neighbors alike. Here’s this weekend’s line up:

fhsmmsband concertsThursday, December 11th at 7:00 PM – Celebrate the sounds of the season with over 200 students of Macon County as they play modern and classic Christmas and holiday selections featuring concert, honors and jazz ensemble members. Free admission and general seating.

JohnBerry ConcertFriday, December 12th at 7:30 PM – Mention his name to just about any country music lover and the response will likely be, “What an awesome vocalist!” Between 1979 and 1990 John recorded and marketed six albums on his own Clear Sky Records label. Those early discs and John Berry’s strong regional popularity attracted him attention on Music Row. Capitol Records signed him in 1992 and it was there that he had a string of hits, including “Your Love Amazes Me”, “Standing on the Edge of Goodbye”, “I Think About It All The Time”, “Change My Mind”, “If I Had Any Pride Left At All”, “Kiss Me In The Car”, ‘What’s In It For Me”, and “You and Only You”. Tickets are $20, $25, $30 

newsong2014 concertSaturday, December 13th at 6:00 PM it’s NewSong’s Very Merry Christmas. NewSong will be joined by Sanctus Real for the evening. With their newly released album, Run, the GRAMMY nominated artist will add to the fun and exciting night along with recent addition, Brandon Heath. Josh Wilson will be opening the night of music and ministry. Ticket Prices: $15-$30

To get tickets for these great shows, and all of the other upcoming events at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, you can stop by the Franklin Chamber of Commerce at 425 Porter Street or give us a call at (828) 524-3161. You can also get tickets online and see all the great upcoming shows at the GSMCPA website here.


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Winter Wonderland & Gingerbread Houses

Winter Wonderland

This Saturday is the second night of Winter Wonderland in downtown Franklin, but it will also be the only night that the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Competition entries will be on display and they need YOUR vote for the People’s Choice Award. The contestant’s gingerbread houses can be seen in the lower level of Town Hall from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Make sure you get over to Town Hall to see all the great confectionary creations! Come see who took home the Blue Ribbons this year!

GBH Competition 2014

Although it hasn’t felt very much like Winter lately, nevertheless, Winter Wonderland will begin at 5:00 PM as well, as Main Street in downtown Franklin is transformed into a celebration of the Christmas season. Windows in the shops come to life with “Living Displays”, along with live sounds of the season at the downtown gazebo and inside stores. The will also be free wagon rides, refreshments, hot cider, and our downtown merchants will have some great sales going on.

For a full schedule of the events of Winter Wonderland, please visit the website for the Winter Wonderland event. You can see all of the upcoming events in Franklin at the Franklin Chamber of Commerce website. We hope you’re able to come out and enjoy one of downtown Franklin’s most exciting events!

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Happy Thanksgiving!


The Franklin, NC Chamber of Commerce would like to say thank you to all of our members and to all of the people who have been a part of another incredible year. We are so grateful to be a part of a wonderful community and to have the great relationships that we have had over the years.

We hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving, whether you’re staying at home or traveling far, enjoy this time with friends and family. We hope you’ll be able to join us this Sunday at 3 pm in downtown Franklin for the annual Christmas Parade. The weather won’t be frightful, rather, it will be quite delightful, so come on downtown with us!


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Franklin House Community Celebration

Franklin House

The Franklin Chamber recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Franklin House Assisted Living & Memory Care at 186 One Center Court in Franklin, just below the corporate offices of Macon Bank. Why this is an important Snapshot From Franklin, is that this Sunday November 16th from 12:30 – 2:00 PM, the Franklin House will hold a community celebration grand opening buffet there on site and everyone is invited to attend.

The Franklin House offers an exceptional staff, brand new facility and a literal calendar full of events and activities for their residents, all of which will be on display during the Lunch Buffet. Come out and welcome the Franklin House community into the Franklin and Macon County community, by stopping by and enjoying a nice lunch, visit with some old friends and hopefully make some new ones.

For more information about the community celebration lunch buffet, please call Franklin House at 828-363-9965.  You can check out their website here: Franklin House and also at their Facebook page here: Franklin House Facebook Page. We look forward to you being there!


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Veteran’s Day Parade

Tuesday, November 11th at 11 am

Tuesday, November 11th at 11 am

There are only a few days a year that truly carry the distinction of a day where we take a timeout, to stand in appreciation for the men and women who have served our country.   Tuesday, November 11th, Veteran’s Day, is one of those days. Downtown Franklin will be all dressed up in the Red, White, and Blue, honoring those brave men and women who have defended our nation and kept us safe in times of great tragedy and turmoil.

Join the Franklin community this coming Tuesday at 11:00 am, where the annual Veteran’s Day Parade will proceed down Main Street, in historic downtown Franklin. We at the Franklin Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all the men and women of our Armed Forces, who have served, and those who are currently serving all over the globe, for your sacrifice and commitment to keeping us safe and defending the freedoms that we, as Americans, are so truly blessed.

For more information about the Veteran’s Day Parade, please call 828-524-2516. For more information about upcoming events and activities, please visit the Franklin Chamber’s website here – Franklin, NC Chamber of Commerce

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Gingerbread House Competition

2013 Winning Entry

First Annual Gingerbread House Winner in 2013

The deadline to register for the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House competition is rapidly approaching, and you don’t want to be left out in the cold! This year, we’ve added a third categories for entry, Adult (18+), Youth (12-17), and Children (11 & Under), providing more opportunities to land a ribbon, and if you win your division, a cash prize! In the Adult division, the first place winner will receive $250, while both the Youth and the Child groups will earn $100 for their first place finishes, respectively.

Another highlight for the Gingerbread House Competition is the public viewing during Winter Wonderland. Due to a schedule change to Winter Wonderland, the only public viewing for the competition will be on Saturday, December 6th from 5 – 8 pm. The houses will be on display in the Lower Level of Town Hall, in the Board Room. There will also be a People’s Choice vote taken during this time.

Competition Info

Competition Info

Deadline to register for the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House competition is December 2nd, 2014. Applications can be picked up at the Franklin Chamber of Commerce or at

For more information about the Gingerbread House competition, please click the flyer to the left. The 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Competition is sponsored by State Farm Agencies: Amy Manshack, John Lambin, and Cindy Rogers. Also by, Franklin Insurance Agency: Steve Penland, and finally, Edward Jones Financial Advisor: Russell Hawkins.

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18th Annual Pumpkinfest

Pumpkinfest 2014

Pumpkinfest – October 25th, 2014

For the past 17 years, the last Saturday of October has been reserved for one of Franklin’s most unique and most popular events, Pumpkinfest. Every year, downtown Franklin is transformed into a festive fall celebration that is unlike any other. Main Street is closed to vehicle traffic where vendors, artists and crafters from all over the area come to show off their work.

The main attraction, however, is just down the block from town square, where people line up for hours to watch the annual Punkin’ Roll. Centered on Phillips St (locally known as Frogtown Rd), the annual Punkin’ Roll is one of the most participated in events all year. Bring a pumpkin of your own, or buy one on site, then wait for your number to be called and then let it roll. Pumpkinfest 2014-02 Saturday, October 25th, beginning at 9 am and running throughout the day, Pumpkinfest offers a full day of fun and activities, with so much to do and see, you’ll want to get there early and stay all day for the great food, costume contests, screaming contest, magic show, the Punkin’ Roll and more.

For a full list of the day’s activities and schedule of events, please visit the 18th Annual Pumpkinfest website at and for information about Franklin and all the great things to see and do while you’re here, please visit the Franklin NC Chamber of Commerce website at

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Fall Colors Surround Us

Fall Colors

Cullasaja Falls on 10-13-14

Leaf season is in full swing. Although a severe storm system passed through the area Tuesday, bringing heavy rains and strong winds, many of the colors that make this part of the mountains very popular this time of year, are still hanging on. Some lower elevations have not yet reached their peak, so there’s plenty of color to see and with all the rain we received, our rivers and waterfalls will also be supplying lots of “wows” to visitors old and new.

Once you’ve been out peeping at the colors and need to change the scenery, stop by the Macon County Community Building for the 25th Annual Leaf Lookers Gemboree, being held this weekend, Friday, October 17 through Sunday, October 19.


The Leaf Lookers Gemboree will feature a wide variety of items including fine finished jewelry, rough and cut gems, minerals, fossils, fashion jewelry and collectibles.  Dealers will also be available to custom make that special piece of jewelry you’ve always dreamed of or for the upcoming holiday season.

“Dealers who attend our Gemborees return year after year because the Franklin shows are among the best in the country,” said Linda Harbuck, Executive Director of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce.  “We carefully select the dealers who attend to make sure we have just about anything folks could be looking for.”  Harbuck added that special displays setup by the Gem & Mineral Society of Franklin add great value to this show in contrast to similar shows in the southeast.

Admission price is only $2.00 with those under the age of 12 admitted free.  Hours for the 25th Annual Leaf Lookers Gemboree are from 10:00am to 5:00pm Friday and Saturday, 11:00am to 4:00pm on Sunday.  For more information contact the Franklin Chamber of Commerce at 828-524-3161 or toll-free at 800-336-7829.

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Shadow of the Bear

Shadow of the Bear

Each fall, a legend makes an appearance just off Highway 64, between Highlands and Cashiers, NC known as the Shadow of the Bear. In the valley below Whiteside Mountain, for a few weeks, from mid-October through early November, as the sun sets behind you to the west, the shadow casts down onto the valley and begins to take shape. For some, this is an annual pilgrimage, seeking the shadow and watching it take shape from the Rhodes Big View Overlook. It takes a sunny day to see the shadow and the shape starts to form around 5:30 pm. From there, the shadow begins to take shape and lasts for about 30 minutes. To ensure you’ll be able secure a spot to view Shadow of the Bear, you’ll want to arrive about an hour to an hour and a half before sunset.

Your journey to see the elusive bear starts in Franklin, heading up Hwy 64 E/Highlands Road through the Nantahala National Forest into downtown Highlands. Follow the signs for 64 E/Cashiers Rd by making a left turn in the center of Highlands. From there, it is approximately 5.5 miles to the overlook, there are two parking areas, one on either side of the road. Although the Shadow of the Bear is not as popular as some other naturally occurring phenomenon, it does bring out numerous onlookers and photographers hoping to capture the beauty of the autumn leaves that paint the valley floor and create a colorful “bed” for the bear to lay its head down for another autumns evening’s rest.

Crowds gather early, so be prepared

Crowds gather early, so be prepared

The Shadow of the Bear does make an appearance earlier in the year, from mid-February to early March, so if you will be in the area, it would be a great time to see it with a much smaller crowd. No matter which time you’re able to see this unique event, it is a definite must see whenever you’re visiting the great mountains of western North Carolina.

For more information about leaf season and some of the great opportunities to get out and enjoy this Fall weather and the beautiful colors all around, please check out the Franklin Chamber of Commerce’s website at or connect with us on Facebook at Have a safe and wonderful week!

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