High winds, bitter cold cancel WRAL Nights of Lights, other outdoor activities

Beech Mountain, North Carolina — WRAL Nights of Lights, a drive-thru holiday light experience at Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, is canceled on Friday night, December 23, due to wind damage along the route and forecasts of high winds and severe cold.

Advance ticket holders will be notified by email and will be automatically refunded.

WRAL Nights of Lights sponsors WRAL and the City of Raleigh will assess further damage and projections before deciding whether the event will be held on Christmas Eve. A decision will be made by noon Saturday.

In Cary, the annual North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival at the Koka Booth Amphitheater will also be closed on Fridays. From 6pm on Christmas Eve he will be open to the public until 9pm, but his performance on stage has been canceled for the safety of the performers.

Rough Winds Close Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain will be closed to visitors on Friday after monitors at the summit measure a wind chill of -40 degrees. Temperatures in the mountains are below freezing.

On Christmas Eve, weather permitting, Grandfather Mountain is open from 9am to 4pm with last entry at 2pm and the trails closing at 3pm.

Too cold to ski at Beech Mountain

Beech Mountain Ski Resort will close its slopes on Friday and Saturday due to expected cold weather and high winds.

Weather conditions will bring dangerous conditions to the slopes, according to the resort’s Facebook post.

Beech Mountain plans to reopen at 1 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Beech Mountain said all customers who purchased slope tickets, child care, Traxx or Burton Learn to Ride programs will be refunded.

The National Weather Service has issued a strong wind warning for the region Friday from 3am to 10pm. Westerly winds vary between 20 and 30 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph.

Over the next 48 hours, snowmaking operations will focus on Beech Mountain’s Upper Southern Star and Upper White Lightning’s Black Diamond Runs, readying the front of the mountain to open as soon as possible.

Tubing, Beech Mountain Brewing Co. and Ski Beech Sports will be open regularly. Events, including live music by Santa and Shelby Ray Moore, will continue as scheduled.

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort has no plans to close. However, if Sugar Mountain is closed, a decision will be made on the website on Friday morning.

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