Franklin’s Winter Wonderland Returns to Downtown Saturday Night

Get ready to light up the holidays in Historic Downtown Franklin, North Carolina during Winter Wonderland. This event is Franklin’s celebration of the holiday season and will be held on Saturdays, November 28th and December 5th from 5:00pm to 8:00pm each evening.

“Each year the Town of Franklin strives to make each of our festivals better and this year is no exception,” said Summer Woodard, Town Manager.  “Winter Wonderland is a great, family oriented celebration of the holiday season that spotlights Franklin’s small businesses.”

“Saturday, November 28th is Small Business Saturday and what better time to kick-off our downtown celebration of the holidays,” said Town of Franklin Alderman Barbara McRae.

The Small Business Saturday initiative, headed by American Express, shifts the focus from Black Friday and Cyber Monday to the businesses that make our town, state and nation successful, America’s small businesses.

The first night of Winter Wonderland is packed with activities including live music by the White Sisters, roving holiday characters and Franklin’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 7:00 p.m. at the Gazebo on the Square.  Following the tree lighting there will be a candlelight service next to the nativity scene at the courthouse.  In addition, photos with Santa will be taking place near the Gazebo.

Then on Saturday, December 5th a different take on the holidays as Franklin celebrates the arrival of one of the most anticipated movies in decades, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  This will be a fan night and there will be special characters roaming the streets and stores along with plenty of holiday cheer.

“The movie spans generations of fans, and with its holiday release, we wanted to bring a different element this year to Winter Wonderland,” said Franklin Mayor Bob Scott.  “If you’re a fan, as I am, this evening is going to be a blast.”

Those attending are welcome to wear their own Star Wars costumes and join in celebrating the holidays in a unique way.

Both evenings of Winter Wonderland will feature plenty of great holiday fun for every member of the family.

Free wagon rides will also be offered from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. The bright red wagon will be decked out for the holidays and will give those riding a whole new perspective on the evening’s activities as they tour Historic Downtown Franklin.  Riders will board at Town Hall.

Live music will also be featured at the Gazebo on the square at select times during Winter Wonderland.  Performers scheduled this year include the White Sisters and Jazz Mountain.

Downtown Franklin Merchants will be open late offering great shopping plus free refreshments such as hot cider and delicious treats for their patrons. In addition, many will have living window displays depicting different scenes of the holiday season.

Of course no holiday celebration would be complete without a visit from the Jolly Ole Elf himself, Santa Claus!  “We’re excited to have Santa join us for both nights and he is looking forward to meeting everyone and spreading holiday cheer,” said Woodard.

“The Town has worked hard to create an event that celebrates not only the holidays but the spirit of Franklin. This is a great family event and we look forward to seeing familiar faces and visitors from all over the area here in Franklin, North Carolina for Winter Wonderland on Saturdays November 28th and December 5th,” said Patti Abel, Town Alderman.

“Promoting our small businesses is the Town of Franklin’s focus during Winter Wonderland, “said Alderman Farrell Jamison.  “We encourage all residents and visitors to come for the official kick off the holiday shopping season in downtown Franklin.”

Mayor Scott shared one final thought.  “The Town, of course, is at the mercy of the weather.  It’s always something you have to plan for. However, rain will not stop Winter Wonderland.  There is the possibility that it could change some of the aspects of the event but will definitely not dampen Franklin’s Holiday Spirit.” Winter Wonderland is sponsored by the Town of Franklin.  For additional information, visit or call (828) 524-2516.