I am a proud North Carolina native, having lived my entire life in only Harnett, Lee and Wake counties. However, my wife and I love to travel throughout the Old North State. Two of our favorite places to visit are the state’s northwestern corner, where you see mountainsides covered in Christmas trees year round and Winston-Salem, where you can explore century’s old traditions in Old Salem.
It’s not surprising then that this season isn’t complete for us without tasty Old Salem Moravian Cookies (which you can find at Hudson News Discover in Terminal 2) and the smell of fresh-cut Fraser Fir Christmas trees.
That’s why I’m excited that at RDU we have the opportunity to put N.C. on display during the holiday season to share the great things about our state. Each year, several organizations throughout the state generously partner with RDU to accomplish this.
Walking in to Terminal 2, you’ll see a beautifully-decorated 24-foot Fraser Fir Christmas Tree donated by Larry and Lynn Smith of the Avery County town of Newland for the second year in a row. The Smith’s worked with the Avery County Christmas Tree and Nurserymen’s Association to have volunteers cut down and transport the tree to RDU at no charge.
Here our own maintenance department along with our Terminal 2 contractors Parsons Transportation Group and Archer Western Contractors offloaded and erected the massive tree in the terminal. The 24-foot tree is 25 years old and weighs 1,000 pounds. It’s decorated using more than 4,000 LED lights.
Charles Puckett, also an Avery County Christmas Tree grower, donated hundreds of feet of fresh Fraser Fir garland along with a number of wreaths, which can be seen around the Terminal 2 Ticketing Lobby. In the terminals, you can also find dozens of poinsettias courtesy of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Homewood Nursery in Raleigh.
Standing beside the tree stands a 6-foot Menorah placed by the Chabad of Durham and Chapel Hill to be lit each night of Hanukah. This is also the second year of the donation of the Menorah in Terminal 2.
And don’t forget, on our busiest travel days, you can hear the sounds of North Carolina artists through our annual holiday music series. For more than 20 years, RDU has been providing free, live music throughout the Christmas season. This year’s artists include music ranging from classical instruments to modern pop sounds.
We sincerely thank all of these groups for helping us put North Carolina on display for the world to see this holiday season.