Christmas in Wake Forest


Wake Forest truly comes alive during the Christmas season, so we've assembled the complete list of holiday happenings in 2018 guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit!

Lighting of Wake Forest   
Friday, Nov. 30; 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 (courtesy of Wake Forest United Methodist Church), cookies (courtesy of Vision Martial Arts) and glow necklaces (courtesy of Goldfish Swim School), while supplies last. 

Pictures with Santa
During the Lighting of Wake Forest, Pictures with Santa, sponsored by Triangle Family Dentistry, 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. 

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:

PLEASE NOTE: 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. 1; 9 am- 3pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

Wake Forest ARTS is pleased to present the Wake Forest Holiday Artisans’ Market. This third annual Artisans’ Market will be a unique gift-shopping opportunity featuring many types of handmade items in a wide range of prices. For more information, contact ARTS Wake Forest.

Downtown Holiday Open House
Saturday, Dec. 1; 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. Presented by Wake Forest Downtown, Inc., 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, sponsored by Girl Scouts - North Carolina Coastal Pines, complimentary face painting and balloon twisting will be offered from 10 a.m.-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.

Christmas Historic Home Tour
Saturday, Dec. 1; 1-7 pm
***SOLD OUT***

The Wake Forest Historic Preservation Commission and the Wake Forest Woman's Club will present their biennial Christmas Historic Home Tour on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 1-7 p.m. - rain or shine! Offered only in even-numbered years, the Christmas Historic Home Tour is a self-guided tour featuring several Wake Forest homes and other properties decorated for the holidays and open for viewing. This year's event will also offer wonderful holiday music and much more! Tickets are $20 each (including tax) and will go on sale Oct. 1. A limited number of tickets will be sold for this year's tour and none will be sold on the day of the tour.

Memory Cafe Holiday Show
Sunday, Dec. 2; 3 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

This special holiday event offers an opportunity for persons diagnosed with early stage memory loss, their caregivers and family to engage in a holiday music singalong with the Wake Forest Community Choirs in a relaxed, unstructured environment. This café-type atmosphere promotes social engagement and support through interaction with others experiencing similar lifestyle changes. Free and open to the public, there is limited seating available for this performance. SPONSORED BY: The Family of Irma M. Adams & Carillion Assisted Living of Wake Forest. 

Wake Forest Community Christmas Dinner 
Monday, Dec. 3; 6:30 pm 
The Forks Cafeteria, 339 S. Brooks St. 

The Wake Forest Community Christmas Dinner, now in its 71st 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 offered on the first Monday in December, this year’s Community Christmas Dinner will be at 6:30 pm on Monday, Dec. 3, 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. 6; 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. 6, 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. 8; 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. 8; 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.

Celtic Angels Christmas
Saturday, Dec. 8; 7:30 pm
Sunday, Dec. 9; 3 pm & 7 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

The Renaissance Centre’s Christmas Jubilee Concert will feature Celtic Angels Christmas. The Sheeva Quintet, Celtic Knights and Angel Dancers with Trinity Band Ensemble of Dublin, captivate audiences of all ages with the Magic of Christmas in an awe-inspiring show which encompasses vocal and instrumental seasonal and Irish favorites along with spectacular world class champion Irish dancing. Tickets are $25 each plus tax. For more information, visit

Wake Forest Children's Choir Holiday Concert
Tuesday, Dec. 11; 6 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

The Wake Forest Children’s Choir and the Wake Forest High School Chorale will present an evening of holiday music under the direction of choir director Kasie Brooks. The concert is free and open to the public.

Santa's Enchanted Workshop
Friday, Dec. 14; 11 am & 6:30 pm

Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.
For Stanley, Christmas has lost some of its magic. Stanley and his sister SuSu set out to the North Pole to find out for themselves about Christmas. Trapped in a blizzard, they wind up in a dilapidated gas station run by a mysterious old man named Nick who shows them the wonders of imagination and helps to bring his rundown gas station to life as a magic toyshop. One of the silliest villains you’ll ever see, Mr. Gasket J. Wasket shows up and tries to spoil the day. Mr. Wasket is foiled and Stanley finds his renewed Christmas spirit and the real meaning of Christmas, keeping his imagination alive and believing in the magic of the holiday.

Book, music and lyrics by Richard Giersch. Additional lyrics by Bruce Craig Miller. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

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; the Wake Forest Christmas Parade 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

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