Merry and Bright

“Historic Southport is known for its many wonderful festivals,” Cindy Brochure, Director of Southport Department of Tourism, assures. “But the festival you definitely don’t want to miss is Winterfest!” Any one of the many magical events offered by this year’s Winterfest will be a great start to the holiday season.

Winterfest this year will bring a musical concert held at the Amuzu Theatre and the legendary twinkling lights and creative decorations of the Christmas flotilla. “Magic just seems to happen when you put fire engines, Santa Clause, Christmas lights, and one little young actress, Mimi Kirkland as parade marshal,” Brochure adds of the Christmas parade. Kirkland played the role of Lexie in “Safe Haven,” and according to Brochure, considers Southport her second home.
“Each year visitors and residents alike await the week of December when Southport’s holiday spirit abounds through Winterfest,” says Joni Schinske, Assistant Director of Southport Department of Tourism. “This year the festival begins December 4th and ends December 13th. The atmosphere guarantees to transport visitors into the holiday spirit with music, food, crafts, tours, the boat flotilla, and this year, a very special Christmas Fire Engine parade.”

The Southport Department of Tourism has partnered with many businesses and organizations including Downtown Southport Inc. and Cape Fear Yacht Club to make Winterfest a reality. If you are wondering how you will ever keep up with all of the events, have no fear! Southport Magazine has gathered up all of the holiday action and provided a list for residents and visitors to have the chance to attend any and all of the happenings to get you into the holiday mood!

Christmas Musical
Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 4-5 • 7:30 p.m.
Amuzu Theatre, 111 N. Howe St.
Start Southport’s Winterfest off with holiday entertainment from “Cinnamon G.R.I.T.S.: Christmas in the South,” a musical performed by the gals from G.R.I.T.S (Girls Raised in the South). Purchase tickets online at

State Port Pilot Annual Cookie Contest
Wed., Dec. 10th • 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Southport Community Building
223 E. Bay St.
To enter the cookie contest, visit or email Many cookies will be expected this year, so join the eating festivity and vote on your favorite cookie. This is a free event.

Supper with Santa’s Elves
Wed., Dec. 10th • 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Southport Parks & Recreation
209 N. Atlantic Ave.
Children can enjoy supper with Santa’s elves while parents can have time to enjoy holiday shopping around downtown Southport. This event is for children ages 4-10; $5 per child. Reserve your child’s seat at the table at For more information on this event contact (910) 457-7945 or (910) 457-7810.

Holiday Movie “Polar Express”
Thurs., Dec. 11th at dusk
Southport Parks & Recreation
209 N. Atlantic Ave.
This year’s seasonal movie is “Polar Express”! Bring a blanket or chair and show up at dusk to enjoy the movie with hot chocolate served while supplies last. In the chance of inclement weather, check for cancellations at or (910) 253-2031, or call (910) 467-7945 or (910) 457-7810. This event is free.

NC Maritime Museum Costume Tours
Fri., Dec. 12th • 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m.
North Carolina Maritime Museum
204 E. Moore St.
Costumed interpreted 40 minute tours will be given at the NC Maritime Museum where visitors can learn about the maritime heritage of the Lower Cape Fear. Tours will be given by a Victorian lady, a Civil War soldier, and Stede Bonnet the Gentleman Pirate. For more information, contact the museum at (910) 457-0003 or visit

Light Up the Night Christmas Fire Engine Parade
Fri., Dec. 12th ∙ 5:30 p.m.
Southport Fire Station, 1011 N. Howe St.
At the 100-year-old Southport Fire Department Christmas Fire Engine Parade, children will have the chance to board on the fire engines for the parade. Arrive early because space is limited! The parade will begin at Waterfront Park and go down Howe Street. The Grand Marshal of this year’s parade will be Mimi Kirkland, otherwise known as “Lexie” from the movie Safe Haven. Music and marching bands will fill the streets for entertainment and children are invited to visit with Santa and enjoy holiday refreshments.

Winter Craft Festival
Sat., Dec 11th • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ft. Johnson Garrison lawn
This festival will include handmade/homemade arts and crafts, homegrown winter vegetables, fresh flowers, homemade baked goods, honeys, jellies, and pickles. Musical and dance entertainment will be provided. This event is sponsored by Downtown Southport, Inc. For more information please contact Marion Martin at (910) 620-2308 or Peggy Popelars at (910) 279-4616.

Friends of the Library Book Sale
Sat., Dec. 13th • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Southport Realty, 727 N. Howe Street
Come and purchase books for your holiday gifts this year at Southport Realty.

Santa’s Workshop
Sat., Dec 13th • 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Southport Parks and Recreation
209 Atlantic Ave.
Children are invited to make holiday crafts and goodies at Santa’s workshop. Contact (910) 457-7945 or (910) 457-7810 for more details. This is a free event.

Old Brunswick County Jail Tours
Sat., Dec. 13th • 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Southport Historical Society will be offering tours of this historic jail.

Christmas Tour of Homes
Sat. Dec. 13th • 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Fort Johnson/Southport Museum
203 E. Bay St.
Come explore seven beautiful homes on the Christmas Tour of Homes in downtown Southport. Free trolley transportation will be provided. Ticket prices are $10/advance and $15/day of, available at the Visitors’ Center (203 E. Bay St.), Franklin Square Gallery (130 E. West St.), and Southport/Oak Island Chamber of Commerce (4433 Long Beach Rd. SE). Call (910) 457-7927 for ticketing information. A tour brochure can be found at under events. A contact for this event is Shirley Wilson (910) 454-4327 or (910) 617-6720.

Southport Christmas Flotilla
Sat., Dec. 13th • 7 p.m.
Find a cozy seat at the Southport Marina/Old Yacht Basin or Kingsley Park to enjoy watching illuminated boats at the Christmas Flotilla. The boats will be judged by Southport Elementary Art students on the creativity of decorations. This event is organized and sponsored by Downtown Southport Inc., Cape Fear Yacht Club, and the Southport Department of Tourism. Contact (910) 454-4327 for more information.

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