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November 29th - December 5th 2018 Triangle

by Pam & Michael Davison

I hope all of you had a fabulous Thanksgiving Holiday! Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the parks, museums, historic sites and downtowns are filled with Christmas and Holiday Season activities. There are tree lighting ceremonies this week and a handful of parades to get you in the mood for the season.

This is a great time of year to visit some of your favorite parks or check out a new one. Take some time for yourself and your family and escape the hustle and bustle of the 'Shopping Season'. If you visit some of the larger parks, there is a good chance you will even spot some wildlife, especially deer, now that the cover of the leaves is gone. A sunny day in a park is a great place to take that holiday family picture, too.

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.

To start things off Friday at lunch is Pecan Day at the Raleigh Farmers Market. Join them for free samples, recipes and plenty of freshly harvested pecans for all you holiday treats.

Christmas Tree Lightings & Parades

Christmas on Salem Street starts with carols and the official lighting of Apex's Christmas tree Friday night. They are selling tickets for Horse Drawn Carriage Rides and a "Kiddy Christmas Train Ride". Kids can also enjoy activities like cookie decorating and face painting. There will even be a food truck. Saturday features the Apex Christmas Parade. Sunday brings the Apex Historical Holiday Home Tour. Come to the Halle Friday through Sunday to enjoy excerpts from the Nutcracker. Also Opening Friday and running through December 20th, check out the Annual Christmas Tree and Wreath Exhibit & Auction at the Halle.

Down in Garner on Friday night they will Light Up Main. The festivities will include lighting the town Christmas Tree, entertainment, refreshments and Santa's workshop with children's arts and crafts. Head downtown Saturday for the Garner Christmas Parade.

Downtown Knightdale will be celebrating their Tree Lighting Friday night along with live entertainment and Mrs. Claus picking up your letters to deliver them to the North Pole. Join them Saturday afternoon for the Knightdale Christmas Parade.

The Lighting of Wake Forest Friday night will feature the lighting of a 30-feet-tall Christmas tree by the Mayor, followed by the arrival of Jolly Old St. Nick. The event will also include performances by local choirs and complimentary "Pictures with Santa" in the town hall lobby. Saturday brings a Holiday Open House to the Downtown Wake Forest shops and restaurants. There will be free horse and carriage rides, visits and pictures with Santa, live entertainment, and a variety of special events. The Wake Forest Parade is next weekend.

Durham will ring in the Holiday Friday night with the American Tobacco Tower Lighting and Tree of Bikes. Come see the bikes that have been collected and lit up. Come back Downtown next Saturday for their Holiday Parade.

Hot chocolate and cookies will be served at the Morrisville Town Hall as a children's choir performs and they light up their tree Friday night.

Saturday will also bring the Tree Lighting in Downtown Raleigh during the Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting. The free family-friendly event will transform Lichtin Plaza into a winter wonderland with live music, food trucks, hot chocolate and Santa Claus.

Downtown Chapel Hill kicks off the holiday season with a Community Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Memorial Garden of University Baptist Church Sunday evening accompanied by choirs and a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.

They will be celebrating the Heart of the Holidays in Cary Saturday! Downtown will host an a Gingerbread House Competition, Letters to Santa, and Christmas Tree Lighting. Santa's Workshop will come alive for kids with a variety of kids crafts stations at the Herb Young Community Center. The Cary Christmas Parade is also next weekend.

The Hillsborough Christmas Parade followed by the Hillsborough Tree Lighting will round out the weekend Sunday.

Downtown Fuquay-Varina will Light the Town Tree with choirs and a special visit from Santa on Thursday evening. The Fuquay-Varina Hometown Christmas Parade will take place Sunday afternoon.

History and the Holidays

One of my favorite holiday events is Saturday night's Sleigh Rides & Cider at Historic Oak View Park. Enjoy a ride in a horse-drawn carriage through Oak View's Pecan Grove, listen to Christmas carols in the 1855 farmhouse, drink hot apple cider in the 1825 Plank Kitchen, listen to stories and visit with Old St. Nick! There will a bake sale to raise funds for the park's renovation projects.

Step back in time to celebrate a Civil War Christmas at Bentonville Battlefield Saturday with costumed civilian and military interpreters.

Get into the holiday spirit at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center Holiday Open House. Learn about century-old holiday traditions while touring Cary's own 1868 historic hotel decorated for the season. Enjoy Victorian Carolers, sing Christmas carols around the piano or enjoy a free horse-drawn carriage ride.

Re-enactors will demonstrate scenes of 18th-century life; the sounds of live music will fill the air; and interpreters will entertain children using colonial games and crafts during Saturday's Colonial Christmas at the Joel Lane Museum House.

More Holiday Happenings

The Scandinavian Christmas Fair at the state fairgrounds on Saturday features Scandivanian favorites like homemade foods, unique crafts and entertainment. There will also be cultural exhibits and children"s activities. Also to get you in the holiday mood, come to the Vintage Market Days of NC Triangle Friday through Sunday. The event is an upscale vintage-inspired market featuring original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home décor, outdoor furnishings, consumable yummies, and seasonal plantings

The Fairgrounds also hosts a Toy Train Sale & Swap Meet, and the Holiday Classic Open Horse Show this weekend.

The World Champion Express Clydesdales will be available for photos, wagon rides or coach rides and for related activities. The Clydesdales are appearing in nearby Christmas parades and stabled at the Hunt Horse Complex, appearing at the Arena on Tuesday - December 4.

The NC Chinese Lantern Festival continues to light up the night at Regency Park through January 14th.

The Holly Springs School of Dance invites you to one of their 2 shows on Saturday at Hope Community Curch. The annual Holiday Cabaret helps the dancers learn they can use their gifts to raise money for the Meg Smiles Foundation.

Fun at the Museums

This month's Final Friday at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences gets into the spirit with a screening of the film The Nightmare Before Christmas. Join them before the film for movie-themed science stations. Plus, special guest Roland Kays, head of the Museum's Biodiversity Lab, will help separate the facts from the fiction following the screening.

Duke Energy is hosting a Free Day at the North Carolina Museum of Art on Monday, December 3rd. Enjoy free admission to the Beyond: Georgia O'Keeffe and Contemporary Art Exhibition from noon to 8pm. You do need to reserve the free tickets in advance so click through for all the information.


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