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From the mountains to the coast, add a little joy to your holiday season by checking out some of these Ten North Carolina Holiday Events.
One of the best parts of the holiday season is all the events that come with this time of year. Parades, festivals, sparkling lights, and live holiday music fills the season with more joy and cheer. My home state of North Carolina has some wonderful events scheduled each and every holiday season. Some are even well-known throughout the country. Today I’m sharing with you a list of Ten North Carolina Holiday Events for when you find yourself traveling through the Tar Heel State during the holiday season!
Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights
When? November 15th – January 1st
Where? Tanglewood Park, Clemmons, NC
Every year Tanglewood Park puts on an incredible light show that North Carolinians from all across the state flock to see. Located just west of Winston-Salem, this event delights guests of all ages that come to see it. Not only will you experience an amazing light show but you can also enjoy carriage or hayrides, s’ mores crafting, and holiday shopping. Santa will, of course, be available for visits and pictures. Admission is $15 per family vehicle with a few discounted evenings in November. Visit their website for more information!
Tarheel Antiques Festival and Christmas Craft Show
When? November 16th – 17th
Where? The Barn at Lloyd’s Dairy, Elfland, NC
This weekend will be this festival’s inaugural event. There was a similar event this past spring and it was so successful that they decided to have it again in the fall for the holiday season. The idea for this festival was actually inspired by a visit from American Picker stars, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. It has a very interesting backstory that you can read about in an article that was published last week in The News of Orange County.
You can expect to find antique and craft vendors, auctions, appraisals, classic cars, and other activities and entertainment. The location is perfect for anyone who lives in the Triangle or the Triad to visit. My parents and I will actually be attending the festival’s second day. Admission is $5 per person. Visit their website for more information!
Candlelight Christmas Evenings
When? November 1st – January 4th
Where? Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC
The Biltmore’s Annual Candlelight Christmas Evenings have already begun for this holiday season and will continue through the New Year. Tickets must be purchased separately from daytime admission for the house. Evening tickets do allow daytime visits to the winery, Downton Abbey Special Exhibit, and the rest of Antler Hill Village. The evening events also include special live music by choirs and soloists in the house. Visit the Biltmore’s website for more information!
75th Annual Raleigh Christmas Parade
When? November 23rd, 9:30 am – 12 pm
Where? Downtown Raleigh starting on Hillsborough Street
This is a major local event here in the Triangle! It’s been taking place every Saturday before Thanksgiving since the beginning to encourage local holiday shopping. There is usually a small handful of big-name celebrities involved with this event. This year attendees can expect to see Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child! You can find more information on their Facebook page as well as photos from past years’ parades. The Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting will also be later that evening for those who want to make a day of it in downtown!
Christmas in the Park
When? November 29th, 1 – 7 pm
Where? Blowing Rock, NC
This festival occurs every Friday after Thanksgiving. Those in attendance will enjoy live music, free hot cocoa and cider, hayrides, games and crafts, the town lighting, and meet Santa. The evening will end with a Christmas Movie at the American Legion. Those in town the entire weekend will be able to watch the Christmas Parade on Main Street the following afternoon and a Holiday Open House at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum after the parade. Check out this website for more information.
When? November 30th – January 19th, select dates
Where? Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo, NC
This Christmas light festival on the Outer Banks is entering its 9th year this year. The beautiful gardens are decked out for the holidays with lights, decorations, and trees. The Great Lawn is warmed by an open-air fire. Admission is $11 per adult, $9 per child ages 6-17, and $6 for each child 5 and under. Check out their website for more information and tickets.
Christmas Town, USA
When? December 2nd – 26th
Where? McAdenville, North Carolina
McAdenville has been recognized nationally numerous times for its annual holiday Christmas light celebration. It draws people in from all over the country to witness it year after year. What all started as an idea in 1956 has become a unique Christmas experience for all. The annual 5K race is actually on November 30th but the official kickoff of the festivities is during the Christmas tree lighting on December 2nd. The Yule Log Parade and Festival will be taking place on December 12th. Admission is completely free. Visit their website and Facebook page for more information.
Christmas at the Library
When? December 2nd – 23rd
Where? The Billy Graham Library, Charlotte, NC
This Christmas celebration features a live nativity, Christmas carolers, carriage rides, and even a daily Christmas dinner. General admission and parking are free, however, some activities are for purchase like the Christmas dinner which has two seatings and reservations are recommended. Check out their website for more information.
American Tobacco’s Tower Lighting
When? December 6th, 6 – 7 pm
Where? American Tobacco Campus, Durham, NC
This is a fun event to check out in my favorite section of downtown Durham. Along with the tower lighting, there is entertainment that includes appearances by the White Christmas cast and Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Check out this webpage for more information.
Christmas Stroll Through the Past
When? December 14th, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Where? Bellamy Mansion, Burgwin-Wright House, and St James Episcopal Church, Wilmington, NC
This is quite an interesting event that takes place at three different historic locations. Visit each location to be treated to local music performances, refreshments, holiday décor, and much more. Tickets are not sold online but must be purchased at the Bellamy Mansion or Burgwin-Write House. You can even get tickets on the day of the event. Go to this website for more information and pictures of past years’ events.
I hope one or two of these Ten North Carolina Holiday Events captured your interest! Whether you’re visiting a historic home or sipping hot cocoa during a holiday parade, I hope you find the perfect holiday event just for you!
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