Christmas in Wake Forest

Wake Forest truly comes alive during the Christmas season, so we've assembled the complete list of holiday happenings in 2019 guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit!

Visit the Community Calendar for a complete listing of holiday events in our area.

Christmas in WF2019 Schedule of Events

Wake Forest Community Christmas Dinner 
Monday, Dec. 2; 6:30 pm 
The Forks Cafeteria, 339 S. Brooks St. 

The Wake Forest Community Christmas Dinner, now in its 72ndt 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. 2, at The Forks Cafeteria on 339 S. Brooks St. 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. Tickets will 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. 5; 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. 5, from 6-8 p.m. Registration forms will be available Friday, Nov. 29, online and at the Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Road, and Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St. Completed forms must be submitted online or received at the Joyner Park Community Center or Town Hall by 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. Telephone registrations will not be accepted. There is no charge for the event, but all calls must be local.

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

Wake Forest officially welcomes 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

During the Lighting of Wake Forest, Pictures with Santa, 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 Centennial Plaza outside the entrance to Town Hall 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:

Saturday, Dec. 7; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cotton Company Event Gallery, 306 S. White St., as part of Downtown Holiday Open House.

Saturday, Dec. 14; 10am to noon, Sugar Magnolia Cafe, 219 South White St.

For more information, contact Jennifer Herbert.

Wake Forest Holiday Artisans Market

Saturday, Dec. 7; 9 am- 3 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

ARTS Wake Forest is pleased to present the Wake Forest Holiday Artisans Market. This fourth annual event 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. 7; 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, 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.

Snowball Dance for those with Special Needs
Saturday, Dec. 7; 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.

Joyful Collective Christmas Concert
Saturday, Dec. 7; 7 pm
Binkley Chapel, SEBTS, 120 S. Wingate St.

You are invited to a Christmas celebration of light, where we will sing our way through the Christmas story as we rejoice in the Light of the World- our King Jesus. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is hosting a free Christmas concert for the community. Bring your family and friends out to enjoy an evening of worship, holiday treats and rejoicing in the Christ of Christmas. No advance registration required, and all are welcome!

Brunch with Santa
Sunday, Dec. 8; 10:30am - 12 pm
Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Rd.

Brunch with Santa Santa Claus is coming to town, and he’s making a pit stop in Wake Forest. Enjoy a delicious brunch, visit and take pictures with the Big Guy. There will also be story time and crafts. Wear your favorite holiday attire. SOLD OUT.

Cratchit Family Christmas Presented by Bright Star Theatre
Sunday, Dec. 8; 3 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

We know what happened during the Christmas that Old Ebeneezer Scrooge was visited by three spirits, but what about the next Christmas? With heartwarming excitement, we find out how the Cratchit family has fared in the year that has passed since old Scrooge learned the true meaning of the season. This tale is sure to delight young and old alike. Admission is free. Sponsored by the United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County. For more information, visit the Renaissance Centre website.

Wake Forest Community Choirs Winter Concert
Tuesday, Dec. 10; 6:30 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

The Wake Forest Children’s Choir and Wake Forest High School Chorale will perform their winter concerts featuring holiday music under the direction of director, Kasie Brooks. Free Admission

Wake Forest Abilities Choir Winter Concert
Thursday, Dec. 12; 6:30 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

The Wake Forest Abilities Choir will present a variety of holiday music under the direction of choir director Kasie Brooks. Free Admission.

Merry Country ChristmasLive from Nashville: Merry Country Christmas
Saturday, Dec. 14; 7:30 pm
Sunday, Dec. 15; 3 pm & 7 pm
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.

It’s a Merry Country Christmas indeed, when all of your favorite Christmas songs are presented in authentic Nashville country style with dazzling guitars and fiddles along with soaring harmonies. The joy of Christmas comes to you in this delightful production of toe-tapping, heartfelt music of the holidays. From the fun of Old Saint Nick to the profoundly moving Oh Come all Ye Faithful, and from the playful Up on the Housetop to the poignant Silent Night, songs of fun, faith, and hope are presented by the finest musicians and singers steeped in the traditions of America’s Genre: Country! Tickets are now on sale! For more information, visit the Renaissance Centre website.

Shop with a Cop
Tuesday, Dec. 17

Shop With A Cop raises money throughout the year in order to provide a joyous Christmas to underprivileged children within our community. Individual officers "partner" with children one-on-one and accompany them to Walmart where each child is given over $175 to spend on items of their choice. Each child is also provided a winter coat which is not part of the $175 spending money. After shopping, the children enjoy a pizza party at the Flaherty Park Community Center with their partner officer.

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.


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


Christmas in Wake Forest
Downtown Development Director