Ready or not, COVID or not, the holidays are here, and cities, towns and community organizations are moving ahead with celebrations and events. The following listing includes community events in Greenville and surrounding areas. Some are altered from previous years due to the pandemic, all are subject to change. If you don’t see your event, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Light Up the City will be held from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 24 along Main Street in Washington, N.C. The tree-lighting event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Businesses will be open; social distancing guidelines will be followed. Call 947-1487.
Tryon Palace, 529 S. Front St., New Bern, will host Discovering Tryon Palace: Holiday Décor at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 25, Dec. 2, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16. Hadley Cheris, Tryon Palace Gardens and Greenhouse manager, will lead a tour of the first floor of the governor’s palace, describing the items used in the decorations and offering design tips. Tickets are $10, and tours will begin at the front gates. Space is limited. Visit tryonpalace.org, email email@example.com or call 639-3500.
Light at The Refuge
The Refuge, 1380 Lower Field Road, Ayden, will host Light at The Refuge for 14 nights beginning Nov. 27. The drive-through tour will feature lights on the Christian camp property, where restored houses have been decorated to reflect the biblical Christmas story. Hours are 6-9 p.m. Nov. 27-28, Dec. 3-5, Dec. 10-12, Dec. 17-19 and Dec. 21-23. There is no admission charge, but donations will be accepted. Call 746-4766 or visit ncrefuge.org.
Wonderland of Lights
Hoggard Christmas Wonderland of Lights, 101 Dalton Drive, Windsor, will be open for the season Nov. 27-Jan. 1. The Christmas lights display, which features 500,000 lights, along with handmade silhouettes, figurines and inflated Christmas decorations, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Times are 5-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 5-10 p.m. Fridays-Sundays. There is no admission charge, but donations are accepted. Visit facebook.com/hoggardchristmaswonderlandoflights.
Family support auction
The Family Support Network of Eastern N.C. will host an online auction from Nov. 27-Dec. 10 in lieu of its annual gala. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit FSN’s Facebook page at facebook.com/Fsn-of-Eastern-NC-636713650167854.
ECU will take on SMU on Nov. 28 in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Visit www.ecupirates.com for tickets.
Forts and Hideouts
River Park North, 1000 Mumford Road, will host Forts and Hideouts from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Nov. 28 for ages 5 and older. Park staff will give participants a chance to practice the art and science of fort building. Participants must be accompanied by a parent. The cost is $3 for city residents and $5 for others. Participation is limited. Call 329-4560.
Festival of Trees
The Family Support Network of Eastern N.C. will host the 25th annual Festival of Trees from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays from Nov. 30- Dec. 23 at the Greenville Convention Center, 303 S.W. Greenville Blvd. There is no admission charge. The event features a variety of holiday-themed trees, sponsored by individuals, businesses, and church and civic organizations. A virtual tree showcase will be shown at 4 p.m. Dec. 1 on FSN’s Facebook, facebook.com/Fsn-of-Eastern-NC-636713650167854.
Mistletoe River Roving
The North Carolina Estuarium, 223 E. Water St., Washington, N.C., will host it annual Mistletoe River Roving excursions from noon-1:30 p.m. Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11. Join in the hunt for natural mistletoe along the shores of the Tar-Pamlico River. Children must be at least 6 to ride. Registration required. Call 948-0000.
Ayden’s Reverse Parade of Lights, hosted by the Ayden Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Ayden, will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. Dec. 3. The floats will sit still while families ride by and view them from their cars. Santa will be on the stage to wave at the children. The route will begin at Third and Snow Hill streets and will end at Second and Martin Luther King Jr. streets. Visit facebook.com/townofayden.
Cancer Services of Eastern North Carolina is scheduled to host its annual Handbag Bingo fundraiser from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Hilton Greenville, 207 S.W. Greenville Blvd. Tickets are $50. Seating is limited; masks and distancing will be required. Visit cancerservicesofeasternnc.org, email email@example.com or call 561-5351.
The First Friday Artwalk will be held from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Uptown district. This is a self-guided tour through participating art venues. Visit uptowngreenville.com.
Sugar Plum Pop-Up
Greenville Museum of Art, 802 S. Evans St., will host Sugar Plum Pop-Up from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 4 and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 5. The event will feature a variety of locally made artworks, crafts and other items for sale. Face coverings are required, and no more than 25 people will be permitted inside the museum. For more information, visit gmoa.org or call 758-1946.
The 2020 Greenville Jaycees Christmas Parade, “A Christmas to Remember,” will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 5 along First Street and Reade Circle downtown. Parade entries will remain stationary, and patrons will drive by to view them. Visit www.greenvillejaycees.com.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s 19th annual Christmas Homes Tour, a virtual event, will be held from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 5. The tour will include a one-hour virtual tour of four homes decorated for Christmas. Featured homes include Greenville homes of Caroline and Tom Luvender and Cindy Mills and Manny Zervos; the Fountain home of Tracey and Henry Smith; and the Washington, N.C. home of Catherine and Charles Young. Tickets are $25 and proceeds benefit Community Crossroads Center, the city’s homeless shelter. Visit stpaulsepiscopal.com. Call 752-3482 for more information.
Christmas Town in Ayden will be held from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 5. The event will include Santa’s village on West Avenue in front of the stage. Santa will be available for socially distanced photos from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and from 5-7 p.m. Snow machines, letters to Santa and other activities will be available. Downtown businesses will have sales and giveaways. A tree lighting ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Town Hall. Free cookies and hot chocolate will be served. Visit facebook.com/townofayden.
The City of Greenville and Uptown Greenville will host Greenville Gives from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 5 at Five Points Plaza, Evans and Fifth streets. The event will include a holiday market and a chance to make donations to local nonprofit organizations. Donations of the following items are requested: nonperishable foods, paper towels, toilet tissue, dental hygiene items, bath essentials, socks and toys. Call 329-4567.
Christmas at Hope
Historic Hope Foundation, 132 Hope House Road, Windsor, will be open for tours of the newly interpreted Hope mansion decorated for Christmas from Dec. 5-11. Tours are 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. for $6 per person. To schedule a tour, call 794-3140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tours are limited to eight people, and face coverings are required. Traditional tours are available Dec. 12-19, and virtual tours are available starting Dec. 6 at hopeplantation.org or facebook.com/hopeplantation.
At Home With Santa
Emerge Gallery & Art Center, 404 Evans St., will host “At Home With Santa” from 1-5:30 p.m. Dec 5 and Dec. 12. The Zoom event will feature a 10-minute videoconferencing call designed to allow children to talk with Santa while remaining at home. Participants also will receive a letter from Santa and an ornament. Tickets are $30 for one child and $10 for additional children participating on the same call. Registration is limited, and reservations are required. Visit emergegallery.com or email email@example.com.
ECU’s Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival will host “Goldberg Variations,” a series of online concerts and events, from Dec. 6-13. Concerts will be streamed at 7:45 a.m. Dec. 11 and 3 p.m. Dec. 13 and will feature musicians Ara Gregorian, Hye-Jin Kim and Michael Kannen performing J.S. Bach: The Goldberg Variations, BWV. 988 arranged for string trio by Dmitry Sitkovetsky. The weeklong residency includes online interviews and a master class. Tickets are $40 per household. Call 328-6019, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit fourseasons.ecu.edu/tickets.
Greenville Choral Society’s Concert Choir will present “The Many Moods of Christmas” in an online, digital concert, premiering at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 on the society’s Facebook page, facebook.com/greenvillechoralsociety. The concert will feature a suite of Christmas favorites arranged by Robert Shaw and Robert Russell Bennett, along with selections from the choir’s 2019 performance of Handel’s Messiah. Following the online premiere, the concert will continue to be available indefinitely on the Facebook page and on GCS’s website, greenvillechoralsociety.com. The concert is available for viewing free.
Story Time With Santa
The Family Support Network of Eastern N.C. will host Story Time With Santa from 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 12 at the Greenville Convention Center, 303 S.W. Greenville Blvd. There is no admission charge, but reservations are required. Email email@example.com or visit FSN’s Facebook page at facebook.com/Fsn-of-Eastern-NC-636713650167854.
Homeplace of Ayden, 3815 Emma Cannon Road, Ayden, a nonprofit, faith-based gathering place for senior adults, will host an outdoor Christmas family affair festival from 5-9 p.m. Dec. 12. The event will feature music, food vendors, a country store, a fire pit for s’mores and pictures with Santa. Visit homeplaceofayden.com. Call 258-2235.
The town’s Christmas parade will begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 12 along Division Street at Winterville Recreation Park. A “reverse” or drive-through parade, it will feature parked entries that visitors can view as they drive past in their cars. Visit wintervillenc.com or call 756-1487.
Tryon Palace, 529 S. Front St., New Bern, will host Holiday Cheer from 4:30-9:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and Dec. 19. The gathering will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the construction of Tryon Palace, the state’s first permanent capitol building. The evening will include performances by the Fife and Drum Corps and Jonkonnu, an 18th-century military encampment, and traditional circus performers. Ticket options will include include a walk-through of the palace first floor, decorated with greenery and florals, lit by faux candlelight, and escorted by costumed guides. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children. Visit tryonpalace.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 639-3500.
Christmas at Nay Nays
Nay Nay’s Piece of Heaven Horse Rescue Farm, 1379 N.C. 171 North, Washington, N.C. will host Christmas at Nay Nays from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 13. The event will feature hay rides, pony rides, treats, and games for everyone. Participants are asked to make a donation to help feed the horses in the winter months. Call 809-2505.
Emerge Gallery and Arts Center’s African-American Music Series will host an online presentation of the Dashiell Family Holiday Special at 7 p.m. Dec. 18. The Facebook Live event can be viewed at facebook.com/PittCountyArtsCouncil.
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s The City of Greenville and the Greenville Jaycees are scheduled to host the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration from 9 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31 at the Town Common, 105 E. First St. Proceeds will benefit a local charity. Visit nye.greenvillenc.gov for details.