After 50 years, the final season for a favorite Piedmont holiday tradition

PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- A dry fall season is causing problems for a favorite Piedmont holiday tradition.

"Most of the time we don't have this problem. This year they are a lot drier. They don't stick to the ground like it does in the wet season."

Larry Charpiat is talking about the leaves covering the three-acre holiday light display called Pilot Mountain Christmas.

"The enjoyment when we put the lights on. How many come to see it. The laughter on children's faces and the adults, it gives us a good feeling."

But the good feeling that comes with putting on a joyful holiday display for 50 years has been replaced with getting rid of tons of leaves in time for Thursday's opening night. To make sure the leaves are gone in time, Pilot Mountain Christmas is putting out a call for all leaf blowers.

"It really helps us a lot. It's a good feeling to know people enjoy it enough to volunteer to help."

And when the leaves are gone, visitors will be enjoying Pilot Mountain Christmas for the last time.

"People don’t realize how much work goes into putting on a display like this,” Charpiat said.

If you would like to help clear the leaves on Wednesday, Nov. 23, leave a message at the Pilot Mountain Christmas Facebook page.

Pilot Mountain Christmas opens Thursday night at 6 p.m. The holiday light display will continue through Jan. 1. Hours of operation are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The attraction is free. But monetary donations and canned good donations are welcomed. Pilot Mountain Christmas is on Highway 268 in Pilot Mountain.