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December 8th - December 14th 2011

by Pam & Michael Davison

Happy Holidays! There were some great parades and tree lightings last weekend and the fun continues this weekend.
We have close to 60 events listed this weekend. In this newsletter, we are concentrating on the holiday events. Feel free to go to and look up this weekend's dates on the Event Search for a complete listing of the Triangle's events.
Parades & Tree Lightings

The fun starts Friday night in Holly Springs with A Main Street Christmas. Not only will Santa be there to light the tree, but there will also be caroling, a hay ride, storytelling by Mrs. Claus, treats, hot beverages, arts & crafts for kids and musical entertainment.

The fun continues on Saturday with the Happy Holly Days Christmas Parade. There will be floats and marching bands including Holly Springs High School, plus Scout troops, Holly Springs School of Dance, Shriners in their miniature trucks, and much more.
The Cary Christmas Parade is a joyful celebration, which includes bands, mascots, local businesses, community groups, and churches.
Head over to Downtown Carrboro on Friday night to enjoy lighting up the town for the Carrboro Tree Lighting.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade will also bring the holidays alive with their annual Holiday Parade. Enjoy music and dancing, marching bands, scout troops and more in this annual celebration of their community spirit.
Bundle up and Show off your holiday spirit in the annual Wake Forest Christmas Parade. While you are in downtown Wake Forest, stop by the depot parking lot for Pictures with Santa.
Sunday afternoon, Downtown Raleigh will host Our Lady of Guadalupe Parade. The procession in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe is an annual event of Sacred Heart Cathedral where the faithful pray and sing hymns as they walk from the church ground and back.

History and the Holidays

Join the Governor for the State Tree Lighting Thursday night. The evening will include the lighting of luminaries and musical performances on the Capitol grounds. Then the Governor and First Gentleman will light the state Christmas Tree. While at the Capitol, make sure to peek inside and enjoy the State Capitol Holiday Open House. The building is decorated for the season and there will local performers featured. The North Carolina Museum of History will even stay open late to join in on the festivities before and after the Tree Lighting. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will also extend their hours with a Meet the Animals opportunity.

Step back into history this weekend at the State Capitol for a Civil War Encampment. Historical re-enactors will be on site to demonstrate how to make Civil War Era Christmas Ornaments, dip candles and invite kids to join in on Civil War Drills.
Mordecai Historic Park is hosting three wonderful holiday events this weekend. There will be a Holiday Open House that is free and does not require reservations and Holiday Lantern Tours that do require reservations and have an admission charge. Santa's Trolley also runs this weekend at Mordecai Historic Park. You can help Holly the Elf find Santa by jumping on board this special trolley tour and make a special stop to get a taste of Santa's favorite treat.
Celebrate an 1870 Christmas during the evening Candlelight Tours of Duke Homestead. The Friday night tour features period decorations, caroling, hot apple cider, and other goodies.
Learn about the history of Holiday Trade Cards and make your own card Saturday morning at Historic Yates Mill Pond County Park.
Visit Bennett Place during the holiday season for a Civil War Christmas in the Carolinas. The farm will be decorated as the typical yeoman farmer would have experienced Christmas. Music, caroling, and refreshments will be served.
Visit The Story of North Carolina and get your hands on history. You might make a bean game, decorate a colonial pocket, or fold a paper airplane at a Saturday afternoon drop in program at the North Carolina Museum of History.
More Holiday Happenings

On Thursday, at the Holly Springs Cultural Center the Holly Springs Community Band will be entertaining their audience with a wide variety of musical styles including pops, classical, movie theme songs, patriotic tunes and seasonal favorites.

The Raleigh Winterfest Ice Rink is open now through the end of January. Just $8 gets you onto the rink and skate rental. Click through for more information and a schedule of the special events.
Celebrate the season as Pullen Park is transformed into a Holiday Wonderland. Enjoy holiday lights and displays, a lighted train ride, local entertainment, carousel ride, crafts, visit with Santa and more. The event goes Thursday through Sunday so click through for information on how to get your advanced tickets.
The annual Christmas Open House at West Point on the Eno Park will take place Sunday. Special features will include hot cider and cookies at the Mangum House; grinding demonstrations and free samples of homemade hushpuppies at the Mill; and traditional 19th century decorations in the Mangum House
The Mostly Mountain Boys will be performing a concert Sunday afternoon with their wide array of banjo, fiddle, and voice in a good-humored performance of old-time tunes at the North Carolina Museum of History.
Come to Lake Lynn Community Center and enjoy an Afternoon with Santa! They will have cookies and milk for the kids and a holiday craft. Afterward, everyone will get a visit with ol' St. Nick!
Everyone is invited to come to Jordan Lake Sunday for an afternoon of Holiday Craft Making! Join a ranger for an afternoon of 'naturally wonderful' holiday crafts.
The Sertoma Arts Center is hosting a Winter Dance next Tuesday. Come enjoy an evening of dancing or just tap your toes to the fabulous live music.
A Few More Fun Things To Do

Your family can start your very own fossil collection and explore the basics of fossils during Fossil Fundamentals Saturday afternoon at Blue Jay County Park.

Join a Park Ranger at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area for a good hour of Bird Watching. You will look for waterfowl out on the lake and try to identify the ones flying around. You can also join a Park Ranger at the Bald Eagle Observation Deck and learn about the bald eagles of Jordan Lake.
Saturday afternoon, the Historic Piper-Cox House will be open for you to explore at Eno River State Park.
Experience Little River Park in a whole new light on a Full Moon Hike led by park staff. Learn about nocturnal animals, search for eyeshine, and hoot like owls.
Find out how Evergreen Trees survive the winter and what makes them special. You will even make a craft using some evergreen trees found in the Harris Lake Park on Saturday.
Tuesday is Homeschool Day at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Click through for a list of all the special programs aimed right at home schoolers and their parents.






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