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Cashiers Festival of Trees Returns on November 24 and 25

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Holiday Activities and a Dazzling Display of Trees, Wreaths, and Gift Baskets Awaits at Summit Charter School


November 16, 2023 – The Summit Charter School Foundation is excited to announce that the 2023 Cashiers Festival of Trees will open on Friday, November 24 at 370 Mitten Lane, Cashiers, NC. The festive fundraiser – accessible both in-person and virtually – will run through Saturday, November 25. Doors are open to the public 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

The Cashiers Festival of Trees is a family-friendly event on the Cashiers-Highlands plateau during Thanksgiving weekend. Guests get in the holiday spirit by viewing and bidding on decorated Christmas trees and décor with accompanying gifts and experiences, revel in a variety of holiday performances, create free personalized children’s crafts, celebrate literacy on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Storytime Stage, enjoy a pop up Build-a-Bear Workshop®, watch rivalry weekend football games in the new Gameday Lounge, and shop one-of-a-kind gifts in the Gift Zone. Cashiers Valley Real Estate serves as Presenting Sponsor and Ingles Markets as the Media Sponsor.

While raising money for Summit Charter School is the primary focus of the event, the Summit Charter School Foundation will once again spread the holiday spirit of giving: when a nonprofit decorates a tree, wreath or gift basket, 80% of the item’s sale will go back to the participating organization, creating a collaborative initiative to benefit fellow charities and their worthy causes. 2023 participating charities include: Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC, Cashiers Historical Society, Camp Merrie-Woode Foundation, Center for Life Enrichment, The Albert-Carlton Cashiers Community Library, Hudson Library, Cashiers Valley Preschool, International Friendship Center, Highlands Biological Foundation, Shriners Children's Greenville, Friends of the Albert-Carlton Cashiers Library, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, Mountain Theatre Company, The Literacy & Learning Center, Center for Domestic Peace of Jackson County, The Bascom: A Center for the Visual Arts, Highlands Performing Arts Center, Scooters Train Charity, Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau, Pisgah Legal Services, Cashiers Valley Garden Club, Cashiers Quilters, Jackson County Fire & Life Safety, and The Church of the Good Shepherd's Bazaar Barn.

“The Festival of Trees has grown these past three years to be a cherished family holiday event for the entire community,” explains the 2023 co-chairs Carrie Snoey, Jennifer Douglass, and Ashley Monday Selle. “As organizers, we embrace sharing the virtue of giving with our community, not only to our school children but to our fellow nonprofits on the plateau as well.”

Businesses, nonprofits, and individuals have created traditional and themed trees, wreaths, gift baskets, artwork, and more to be enjoyed during the event. A full list of supporters can be viewed here or on An additional sampling of this year’s 150 submissions include Lynn Monday’s House of Design, The Club at High Hampton, Spruce Interiors, Zoller Hardware, TV shows Bluey and Care Bears, Brookings Anglers, Tractor Supply, Cedar Creek Club, and designs by 10 classrooms from Summit Charter School. Cashiers Firewood’s submission includes a scale-model Peterbilt produce truck made out of firewood and currently on display at the school, with the highest bidder receiving delivered and stacked firewood representing equivalent cords of firewood used in the design. 

“The support from the community has been truly inspiring in year three of this event. We extend deep gratitude to all of our designers, benefactors, corporate sponsors, and devoted volunteers. We can’t wait to celebrate everyone’s hard work and generosity as we open the day after Thanksgiving. Come experience the magic of Christmas at the Summit Center as you view all the festive trees, décor and so much more! Items will be up for view during the duration of the event, both in-person and online, so we invite those near and far to join us. Get in the spirit of the season and give back!” conclude the co-chairs. 

Pertinent event information is included below: 


WHEN • Friday, November 24 - Saturday, November 25, 10 AM - 5 PM

WHERE • 370 Mitten Lane, Cashiers, NC

ENTRY TICKETS • $5 for adults; free for all children, 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online, at the door, or at the Cashiers Chamber of Commerce, Cashiers Valley Pharmacy, Cashiers Farmers Market, and Oakleaf in Highlands. Each ticket includes a coupon to the Jersey Mike’s Subs locations in Brevard and Sylva.

SILENT AUCTION • Bidding begins on trees, wreaths, and gift Baskets on Friday, Nov. 24 and until 4 PM on Saturday, Nov. 25. All bidding will take place via an online auction website and pre-registration is encouraged for anyone interested in bidding:

SHOPPING • Shopping will be available at the Gift Zone and a pop up Build-A-Bear Workshop sponsored by Design South Builders is a kid favorite with a new collection of furry friends and accessories to choose from. Fresh wreaths and garlands for sale are a new addition this year, as well as blacksmith and glass blowing demonstrations and products from Jackson County's Green Energy Park. Additional vendors include local honey products by Honey Paw Apiary, A. Jones Company, jewelry by designer GingerMade, and handmade ornaments and holiday decor from a variety of talented donors. There will also be a jewelry pop up shop with Isabelle Ambrose Jewelry on Saturday, Nov. 25 from 10 AM - 12:30 PM. Get ahead of the holiday hustle and bustle by shopping early at the Festival!

CHILDREN’S EXPERIENCES • Children enjoy complimentary crafts, a holiday scavenger hunt with prizes, coloring stations, and readings on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Storytime Stage. Santa, Mrs. Claus, and other magical characters will be roaming the Festival on Saturday, Nov. 25 from 10 AM – noon.  

PHOTO BOOTH • All ages can enjoy a special holiday photo booth with take-home pictures, sponsored by Slab Town Pizza and Cashiers Smokehouse, on Friday, Nov. 24 from noon - 4 PM. 

SILENT AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS • In addition to beautiful decorations, many auction items include experiences and support specific, worthy educational programs. A collection of highlights include: a 2-night stay at the new Grand Bohemian Lodge in Greenville, golf rounds and merchandise from local and regional country clubs, private dinner for 12 at the Library Kitchen + Bar with Michelin-star trained Chef Johannes Klapdohr, boys and girls toy gift baskets from The Corner Store, a personal tour of the Big 10 Network studios including dinner with the network CEO in Chicago, a weeklong Lowcountry getaway on your own private island, numerous bottles of rare Blanton’s and Buffalo Trace bourbon, and a Nashville package including an acoustic guitar signed by Brad Paisley and tickets to both Paisley’s 2024 tour and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Vital school programs are supported throughout, such as art programs, athletics, and much more. 


Friday, November 24

10:00 a.m. 

Doors open to the public

11:00 a.m. 

Storytime with the Albert-Carlton Library on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Stage. Sponsored by McKee Properties. 

Noon - 4:00 p.m. 

Christmas Photo Booth Pop Up. Sponsored by Slab Town Pizza and Cashiers Smokehouse.

5:00 p.m. Doors close

7:00 - 10:00 p.m. 

Festival: After Dark (By Invitation Only. Benefactor and Corporate Sponsor Event)

Sponsored by Widespread Logistics and Crossroads Property Management.


Saturday, November 25

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

VIP Breakfast with Santa & Friends (By Invitation Only. Benefactor and Corporate Sponsor Event) Sponsored by The Club at High Hampton.

10:00 a.m. 

Doors open to the public and "Buy it Now" goes live on silent auction items 

10:00 a.m. - Noon

Santa and Mrs. Claus Roam the Festival

10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  

Isabelle Ambrose Jewelry Pop Up Shop

11:00 a.m.

Piano Performance by Summit Student Josephine Tyre

1:00 p.m.

Storytime with the Albert-Carlton Library on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Stage. Sponsored by McKee Properties.

1:30 p.m.  

Bluegrass Performance by John Warren and Benny Queen

2:30 p.m. 

Musical Performance by Smoky Mountain Student Ella Ledford

3:30 p.m. 

Trumpet Performance by Summit Teacher Jesse Loyd

4:00 p.m. 

Silent Auction Close

5:00 p.m. 

Doors Close

Happening all open hours: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Gameday Lounge, children crafts, silent auction, shopping, glass blowing and blacksmith demos, artisans, Booster Club concessions

RAFFLE  •  This year's raffle offers the chance to win one of the following items: a  65" Samsung 4K Picture Frame Art TV or a designer appointed tree featuring gift cards from local businesses. You do not have to be present to win. Tickets can be purchased in-person and online for $10 per ticket or $50 for 6 tickets. 

About the Summit Charter School Foundation 

The Summit Charter School Foundation raises critical funds to support Summit Charter School, a tuition-free K-12 public charter school in Cashiers, N.C. Summit currently serves 303 students, representing five counties in western North Carolina. The Foundation is volunteer-led by a Board of Directors, including Sarah Jennings, Robert D. Hunter, Debi Townsend Stewart, Carrie Snoey, Denice Dunn, Patch Foster, Andrew Hudson, Mitch Kenfield, Thomas Bates, Terry Dawkins, Roman Placko, Taylor Stewart, and Gordon Coleman.

Summit engages students in learning experiences that stimulate discovery, inspire excellence, and nurture a positive influence in an ever-changing world. Summit’s primary goals are to graduate students who are academically prepared, engaged in the community, and strong in character. Learn more at or call 828-743-5755.

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