Your guide to the return of a joyous Big Canoe holiday season

To many in Big Canoe, last year’s holiday season felt a bit like the Grinch had stolen Christmas.

Not this year!

Big Canoe’s holiday lineup is back on track with a schedule that’s as full as an overstuffed stocking.

With so much to consider in the coming weeks, below is the essential info for all of your seasonal plans, from what events to attend to where you can score Christmas presents to updates on holiday closures.

Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 25, the Clubhouse – For a feast that has been booked up for weeks, the Clubhouse will serve the big meal with the last seating at 2:30 p.m. Reservations are closed. And if you need a break from those turkey and cranberry sandwiches later in the week, the Clubhouse is back serving from their regular menu on Friday, Nov. 26.

Thanksgiving weekend schedule changes: POA facilities are closed Thursday, Nov. 25; Golf, the Wellness Center, and the Racquet Club are closed; the Marina is closed, but the pre-arranged pontoon boat rentals (which are fully booked) are accessible to those who have made arrangements. POA offices closed on Friday, Nov. 25, but all amenities operate per their normal schedule.

Black Friday shopping, Nov. 26, community-wide – Why shop online or venture to some cookie-cutter mall when you can knock out much of your Christmas shopping on one of the biggest shopping days of the year within the gates. We’ve got some of the coolest Big Canoe-branded goods. Or you can nab a versatile gift card at the Wellness Center, the Racquet Club or the Pro Shop/Trading Post so your secret Santa recipient can pick whatever they want. Whether it’s a cozy fleece top, a round of golf, or an indulgent deep tissue massage at the Wellness Center, we’ve got you covered. Among your shopping options:

The Racquet Club: From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 28, the Racquet Club is selling T-shirts for $5, clearance items that are $5-15 off; and 25 percent off all clothing.
The Pro Shop/Trading Post in the Clubhouse: From 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 26, the shop will have a large, storewide sale along with a used golf club blowout sale. Look for housewares, apparel, glassware, and a slew of Big Canoe-themed items along with plenty of golfing goodies.
The Marina: From 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., offers a selection of Big Canoe-themed T-shirts and hats that set you up in a pinch.
Wellness Center: From 6:15 a.m. – 8 p.m., features a nice range of Big Canoe-branded apparel, including shirts, pullovers and jackets.

Christmas decorations – As a lot of families break out the Christmas lights and ornaments over the long Thanksgiving weekend, AECD Manager Treena Parish asked us to remind everyone that putting up an inflatable snowman in the front yard or a of squadron plastic reindeer on your rooftop is not allowed according to Big Canoe Architectural Control Standards, which state:

Holiday Decorations or seasonal decorations shall consist of live natural materials or artificial materials with a natural appearance. Decorative accessories and trimmings (including holiday and seasonal decorations) intended for the enjoyment of the Property Owners shall be positioned so as not to offend the community or the immediate neighbors. All seasonal outdoor decorations are allowed for the applicable holiday period and must be removed within two weeks after the holiday.
Outdoor lighting approved for the winter holiday season is limited to miniature clear white bulbs displayed at the front entry, including front foundation shrubs and adjacent small trees less than six inches in circumference and less than ten feet tall are allowed.
Structures, decks or property lines shall not be delineated.
Flashing or running lights are not allowed. Icicle-like and other mimetic-shaped lights are not allowed.

Holiday Marketplace, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., Nov. 27 at the Beach Club: Big Canoe Artists invite you to their ever-popular annual Holiday Marketplace. Keep the local shopping theme going with a selection of Christmas ornaments, holiday décor, pottery, birdhouses, acrylic and oil paintings, crafts, and other works of art. Join your neighbors in this fun event while you shop locally. Info: or

Winter Ball, 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4, the Clubhouse – There are still a few tickets left for both nights, so get in on Big Canoe’s much-anticipated Winter Ball. Open bar 5-6 p.m.; dinner 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $85 per person. All reservations must be made through You will receive a link for selecting either filet mignon or pan-seared halibut. The event is also an opportunity to donate one new unwrapped toy to benefit Pickens County schools and No One Alone, an emergency shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. To accommodate the Winter Ball, the Clubhouse closes for regular dining both days at 2 p.m.

Christmas Drive-Through Celebration, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, the Village Core –  Take in the bright lights, live displays and the holiday scenery while sampling hot chocolate or cider to celebrate Santa’s return to Big Canoe. The festive trek concludes with a drive through the Big Canoe Fire Station where St. Nick will have a little something for all the good little children. And don’t forget the surprise gift from the Big Canoe Chapel.

Tour of Trees, starts Monday, Dec. 6, Big Canoe amenity buildings, the Clubhouse, the Chapel – This year, Big Canoe’s clubs and organizations were invited to adopt and decorate a tree at one of the Big Canoe amenities buildings and the Clubhouse. Get ready to take in these living, holiday-themed beauties. Trees will be on display 24/7 throughout the Christmas season.

Awesome Women on the Lake holiday gathering, 5-8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6, Canoe Lodge – The AWOLers intend to turn all that awesomeness into Christmas cheer with their BYOB and light hors d’oeuvres. Also, plan on a gift exchange w/ presents costing no more than $20. Open to all awesome women! Info:

Dahlonega Day Trip, 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, leave from Wildcat Recreation Area – One of Georgia’s most charming Christmas towns will be the destination for this Big Canoe Programs and Events luxury bus trip. Once in town, soak in the holiday glow with a self-guided tour of Christmas decorations; knock out some shopping; or enjoy dinner. The bus will depart for its return trip to Big Canoe at 8 p.m. Seating is limited. Tickets: $30 per person lot charge. Reservations: Teri Sawyer,

Holiday Light up the Lake, 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, the Marina and Lake Petit shoreline – Big Canoe’s third annual Holiday Light up the Lake event encourages folks to decorate watercraft, turning the lot of them into a flotilla of boats, pontoons, canoes and kayaks. And don’t be shy about dressing up a Santa, though it would be way cooler to go as Will Ferrell from “Elf.”

The Glory of Christmas Concert, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14, the Chapel – The Big Canoe Chapel Choir and orchestra will perform a program of Christmas favorites. Followed by a reception at 8:45 p.m.

Smoked Southern Nuts, 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, on the Playfield – Toro, that nut-smoking and roasting dynamo who was a hit at Oktoberfest, is back with those fragrant, oh-so-snackable delicacies.

Santa Brunch, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, the Clubhouse – Solve the mystery over whether Santa likes mimosas with his plate of cookies. Look for an omelet bar, fried chicken and trout among other tasty options. Reservations: (706) 268-1253 or via the OpenTable app at

“Polar Express” Movie Night, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22, Mountains View room at the Clubhouse – Join this holiday-themed screening of the animated movie about a young boy who embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express train. The elves at this gathering will serve hot chocolate and holiday goodies. Bust out your PJs, bring your sleeping bags and blankets, and join us for a trip to Santa’s home base.

Christmas Eve, Friday, Dec. 24 – POA offices closed; Wellness Center closed; Racquet Club open 8 a.m.-noon; for golf, 9:30 a.m. shotgun with carts in by 3 p.m.

Christmas Day, Saturday, Dec. 25 – All POA facilities closed; Clubhouse, Wellness Center, Marina, Golf, and Racquet Club closed.

Monday, Dec. 27 – POA offices closed; all amenities operating per their normal schedule.

New Year’s Eve, 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, the Clubhouse – Kick off the 50th anniversary of Big Canoe in style with a New Year’s Eve celebration. The event is black-tie optional and features a main course selection of filet mignon or grouper. Each couple will receive two commemorative wine glasses and a bottle of wine to take home. Registration here.

New Year’s Eve schedule changes – Racquet Club open 8 a.m. to noon; Wellness Center open 6:15 a.m.– 2 p.m.; all other amenities operating on their regular schedule.

New Year’s Day – Clubhouse, Wellness Center, Marina, Golf, and Racquet Club closed.

Monday, Jan. 3 – POA offices closed; all amenities operating per their normal schedule.


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