Growing up in central New York state, I was used to snow sculpture festivals in November and December. Christmas parades? Not so much.
But, my family has incorporated the long-running Raleigh Christmas parade into our holiday traditions. And there are many more parades, along with tree lighting ceremonies, on the schedule in late November to mid-December. Here’s where you’ll find them in the Triangle area.
Raleigh Christmas Parade: The WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade, which goes from Hillsborough Street and down Fayetteville Street starts at 9:40 a.m., Nov. 19. The city’s tree lighting ceremony is Dec. 2 during its Winterfest celebration on Fayetteville Street.
Apex: Christmas on Salem Street starts at 5 p.m., Dec. 2, and includes the lighting of the town’s tree. The parade begins at 5 p.m., Dec. 3. The town also offers a variety of other holiday activities that weekend.
Fuquay-Varina: The town’s tree lighting ceremony is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Dec. 1. The parade is 3 p.m., Dec. 4.
Garner: Light Up Main is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 2. The parade is 2 p.m., Dec. 3.
Holly Springs: The tree lighting event starts at 6 p.m., Dec. 9. The parade is 11 a.m. to noon, Dec. 10.
Knightdale: The tree lighting is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 2, at Knightdale Station Park. The parade is 2 p.m., Dec. 3, in downtown Knightdale.
Morrisville: The annual tree lighting is 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Dec. 2, at Town Hall.
Rolesville: The town’s parade is 2 p.m., Dec. 4. The tree lighting takes place at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 6, at Rolesville Town Hall.
Wake Forest: The Lighting of Wake Forest is 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Dec. 2. The town’s parade is 1 p.m., Dec. 10, but there are a variety of other holiday events in between – and after.
Wendell: Wendell Lights (also known as Lake Myra Lights) starts up on Nov. 23 at the corner of Third and Cypress streets. The free, choreographed light show runs through Dec. 31 and features more than 400,000 lights. The town’s holiday festival, Wendell Wonderland, with the light show, visits with Santa, ice carving demonstration and more, starts at 5:30 p.m., Dec. 2.
Zebulon: The Christmas tree lighting and caroling is 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Dec. 3. The Christmas Parade starts at 2 p.m., Dec. 4. The town also will host visits with Santa and other activities.
Durham: The holiday parade returns after a hiatus during the past few years. It’s 10 a.m., Dec. 10, in downtown Durham.
Chapel Hill: The town’s tree lighting is 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Nov. 27, at the Memorial Garden of University Baptist Church, 100 S. Columbia St.
Carrboro: Light Up Carrboro is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Nov. 11.
The Chapel Hill Carrboro Holiday Parade is 10 a.m., Dec. 10.
Hillsborough: The town’s holiday parade starts at 4:45 p.m., Dec. 3.
Smithfield: The tree lighting is 7 p.m., Dec. 1. The parade is 7 p.m., Dec. 8.
Benson: The town’s Christmas on Main starts at 5 p.m., Dec. 2, and includes both a tree lighting and a parade.
A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.