Tweetsie Railroad, the theme park between Boone and Blowing Rock, opens for its 60th anniversary season on April 7 with big plans for special events, including a new one to mark Christmas.
Tweetsie, about three hours from the Triangle in the Blue Ridge Mountains, features rides, family-friendly entertainment, an authentic Western town with cowboys and Can-Can girls, the Deer Park Zoo, historic steam engines and special events through the run of the season.
Those special events begin April 15, with a chance to meet the Easter Bunny. They end in December with Tweetsie Christmas, a new event that features holiday lights, a train ride, Santa and a chance to pick up your Christmas tree.
Here are some of this season's special events with descriptions from Tweetsie:
Day Out With Thomas: The Friendship Tour 2017, June 9 to June 18
Thomas the Tank Engine has come all the way from the Island of Sodor to Tweetsie Railroad. To make sure Thomas is right on time and available to take photos with guests, Sir Topham Hatt will be managing the station during the event. A limited number of tickets are available; buying tickets for this event in advance is highly recommended.
Fireworks Extravaganza, July 4
Join Tweetsie Railroad in celebrating its 60th anniversary and America¹s birthday with an evening of park rides and entertainment. The park is open until 9 p.m. The big fireworks show starts at 9:30 p.m. Guests can make the night even more special with an optional dinner and a V.I.P. viewing area.
Cool Summer Nights, July 8, July 15, July 22 and July 29
Cool off in the mountains this summer at Tweetsie Railroad¹s Cool Summer Nights. The Wild West entertainment and park rides will be open until 9 p.m.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, July 7 to July 9
Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo are making their first visit to Tweetsie Railroad this summer to enjoy the park and meet their fans. Catch appearances from the world¹s most famous mutant turtles at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
K-9s In Flight Frisbee Dogs, July 22 to July 29
These aren¹t your average canines! You¹ll be blown away by incredible performances by this team of talented dogs performing acrobatic routines. There will be three shows daily at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., plus a special evening show at 7 p.m. on Saturdays.
The Backyardigans, Aug. 4 to Aug. 6
Explore the park and meet your favorite costumed characters from the hit Nickelodeon show, The Backyardigans. Pose, hug and take pictures with Pablo, Uniqua and Tyrone during their appearances at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Riders In The Sky, Aug. 12 to Aug. 13
Riders In The Sky, America¹s Favorite Cowboys, will perform their famous Western music and comedy blend at noon and 3 p.m. each day. The quartet has been together for more than 30 years and has received Grammy Awards for Best Musical Album for Children with the production of "Woody's Round Up" from "Toy Story 2" and the companion album for "Monsters Inc."
Railroad Heritage Weekend, Aug. 26 to Aug. 27
Celebrate Railroad Heritage Weekend at Tweetsie Railroad with special train rides, performances by the Cherokee dancers, crafts from the Tsa-La-Gi Touring Program, and tours of the Steam Locomotive Repair Shop. This year's Railroad Heritage Weekend will also celebrate the 100th birthday of the famous Tweetsie locomotive, Engine No. 12.
Ghost Train, Friday and Saturday nights, Sept. 22 to Oct. 28
Tweetsie Railroad will host a Halloween celebration the whole family can enjoy. Ghost Train includes trick-or-treating, the Freaky Forest, the Haunted House and more. The Ghost Train has been named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. A limited number of tickets are available; buying tickets in advance is highly recommended.
Tweetsie Christmas, Friday and Saturday evenings, Nov. 24 to Dec. 30
Celebrate all of the joys of the holiday season when the park transforms into a winter wonderland for Tweetsie Christmas. Enjoy a train ride through an enchanted land of twinkling lights, visit with Santa, see Christmas shows and more. Your family can even pick out the perfect Christmas tree while you're here! A limited number of tickets are available; buying tickets for this event in advance is highly recommended.
Tweetsie's website has details and ticket information.