Christmas in Wake Forest

Wake Forest truly comes alive during the Christmas season, so we've assembled the complete list of holiday happenings guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit!


Lighting of Wake Forest   
Friday, Dec. 1; 6-8:30 pm 
Centennial Plaza, Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St.  

Wake Forest will officially kick off the holiday season with the Lighting of Wake Forest. Sponsored by Traditions at Wake Forest and presented by Wake Forest Downtown, Inc., this annual event features the lighting of the town’s 30-foot Christmas tree by Mayor Vivian Jones, followed by the eagerly anticipated arrival of Jolly Old St. Nick. The Lighting of Wake Forest will feature musical performances by local groups and complimentary hot chocolate, cookies and glow necklaces, while supplies last. 

Pictures with Santa sponsored by The Dental Care Center will be offered from 6:45-8:30 pm. A ticket with a time reservation is required to visit with Santa. Time tickets will be distributed in the town hall lobby beginning at 5:30 pm. Once you have your time ticket with your time reservation, feel free to enjoy all the festivities and return to the picture line at the time indicated on your ticket. 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to time constraints, Santa can only have his picture taken with a limited number of children during the Lighting of Wake Forest. However, Wake Forest Downtown, Inc., will offer two additional opportunities for Pictures with Santa:

  • Saturday, Dec. 2; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cotton Company Event Gallery, 306 S. White St., as part of Downtown Holiday Open House

  • Saturday, Dec. 9; 10 a.m. to noon, Fidelity Bank, 231 S. White St., prior to Wake Forest Christmas Parade

    Wait times are typically shortest during the Downtown Holiday Open House

For more information, contact Jennifer Herbert at 919-435-9427.

Wake Forest Holiday Artisans Market
Saturday, Dec. 2; 9 am- 3pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

P​​​​resented by Wake Forest ARTS and the Wake Forest Farmers Market, the Holiday Artisans Market features a variety of handmade items in a range of prices. The event is free and open to the public.


Downtown Holiday Open House
Saturday, Dec. 2; 10 am 
Downtown Wake Forest 

Area residents are invited to visit historic downtown Wake Forest and experience a hearty dose of holiday cheer during the Downtown Holiday Open House. Sponsored by the Downtown Business Alliance, the Downtown Holiday Open House will include special offers and complimentary refreshments at participating shops and restaurants and fun-filled activities for kids and families. Pictures With Santa and complimentary face painting will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Cotton Company Event Gallery (2nd floor), 306 S. White St. The Downtown Holiday Open House is free and open to the public.


Family Movie Matinee for those with Special Needs
Sunday, Dec. 3; 4 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

Movie matinee is a *free* event that allows children with special needs to enjoy a movie in a safe and accepting environment. The environment will include additional lighting and the movie volume will be lowered so everyone can enjoy it! Audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, sing, and shout! Fun for the whole family! For more information, contact Specialized Programs Specialist Kelly Schurtz at 919-556-7093.


Wake Forest Community Christmas Dinner 
Monday, Dec. 4; 6:30 pm 
The Forks Cafeteria, 339 S. Brooks St. 

The Wake Forest Community Christmas Dinner, now in its 70th year, was first held in 1947 as a way to show appreciation to the town’s returning World War II veterans. Organized by the Wake Forest Garden Club and the Civic Club, the original dinner was held in the Community House on Owen Avenue, which was decked in live greenery for the occasion. The event was a tremendous success and a new tradition was born. In the 70 years since, the Wake Forest Community Christmas Dinner has retained that spirit of giving and friendship and has become part of the story of Christmas in Wake Forest. The dinner still ranks among the very best celebrations the town has to offer each and every holiday season.

Always held on the first Monday in December, this year’s Community Christmas Dinner will be at 6:30 pm on Monday, Dec. 4, at the Forks Cafeteria on 339 S. Brooks St. Following a Christmas invocation offered by the Rev. Rebekah Maul of Wake Forest Presbyterian Church, Dave Greenwell and his kitchen staff will serve this year’s menu of fried chicken, roast beef, baked apples, potatoes au gratin, carrots, broccoli casserole, dinner rolls, and assorted desserts. After a brief musical program, the winners of the Citizen of the Year, Organization of the Year, and Peggy Allen Lifetime Achievement awards will be recognized. The evening will conclude with Christmas carols and a short group sing-along.  

Everyone is welcome at this special celebration! Tickets priced at $15 each are available at the Forks Cafeteria, the Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce, and the Wake Forest Historical Museum. They’ll remain on sale through the last week of November. Please make checks out to the Wake Forest Purple Heart Foundation. For more information, email Jennifer Smart.


Calls From Santa
Thursday, Dec. 7; 6-8 p.m.
Wake Forest 

A phone call from Santa Claus is on every child’s wish list. The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department is making those wishes come true by offering Calls from Santa to kids ages 3-9 on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 6-8 p.m. Registration forms will be available online and at the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St. Completed forms must be received at the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources office, located in town hall, by 5 p.m., Dec. 7. Telephone registrations will not be accepted. There is no charge for the event, but all calls must be local.
 

Wake Forest Christmas Parade
Saturday, Dec. 9; 1 pm
South White Street & South Brooks Street

Celebrate the holiday season at Wake Forest’s largest community event - the Wake Forest Christmas Parade. Watch as community groups and businesses show their creative talents. Of course, Santa will be here! Sponsored by Power Secure and presented by Wake Forest Downtown, Inc. For more information, contact Lynnette Beadle at 919-435-9416.


Snowball Dance for those with Special Needs
Saturday, Dec. 9; 6-8 pm
Wake Forest Community House, 133 W. Owen Ave.

Join us for a night in Winter Wonderland, complete with a DJ, refreshments, dancing, and fun! Come with friends or come make new ones! Chaperones will be made available for supervision, but participants can bring additional support if necessary. The dance is for ages 10 and older and there is a $15 registration fee. Pre-registration required. For more information, contact Specialized Programs Specialist Kelly Schurtz at 919-556-7093.


Christmas Jubilee Concert Featuring The Drifters - SOLD OUT!
Saturday, Dec. 9; 7:30 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

Join us in celebrating the holiday season with The Drifters. This year, in honor of their 50th anniversary, The Drifters have brought back the “Holiday Hop” as an eclectic mixture of music and songs from the Great American Song Book for which they are so noted.


Wake Forest Children's Choir Holiday Concert
Tuesday, Dec. 12; 6 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

The Wake Forest Children’s Choir is inviting area residents to a special holiday concert on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. The performance will take place at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre for the Arts, 405 S. Brooks St. The concert is free and open to the public.


Christmas in Wake Forest App
Complete information about town-sponsored holiday events is provided through the "Christmas in Wake Forest" function on the Town of Wake Forest app. Download the app and utilize the function for instant access to the Lighting of Wake Forest (Dec. 4); the Wake Forest Christmas Parade (Dec. 12) and more!

IPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android users can download the app by searching for “Town of Wake Forest" on iTunes, in the iPhone app store, or in Google Play or by scanning the appropriate QR code provided at www.wakeforestnc.gov/app.aspx.


E-Notifier
To receive notifications concerning special events in Wake Forest, sign up for E-Notifier