T’was a Fortnight Before Christmas
And All Through the Town…
STORY BY: LISA P. STITES
In southeastern North Carolina, it really is the most wonderful time of the year. The Christmas season brings festive events and good cheer for people of all ages. Whether it’s a parade, some specialized holiday shopping, or crafts and visits with Santa for the children, the holiday schedule in your area towns has you covered. We’ve compiled a list of events to get you in the holiday spirit. You’ll be singing your way through the calendar as you count down the days until Christmas.
CHRISTMAS AT THE AMUZU
Southport – December 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th & 11th
This Christmas spectacular features more than 20 local singers and musicians who will perform a variety of sacred and secular music to get you in the Christmas spirit. Audiences can expect to hear classic favorites as well as more contemporary selections.
Show dates and times are as follows: Friday, December 2nd, and Saturday, December 3rd at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 4th at 3 p.m.; Thursday, December 8th at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, December 9th and Saturday, December 10th at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, December 11th at 3 p.m.
Advance tickets are $20 per person and are available at Art @ 211-The Ricky Evans Gallery (211 N. Howe Street, Southport) and Color me Carolina (4143 Colfax Lane, Oak Island). The historic Amuzu Theater is located at 111 N. Howe Street.
Oak Island – December 2nd & 3rd
Experience the Nativity with a live interpretation courtesy of The First Baptist Church of Oak Island (4608 E. Oak Island Drive). The Living Nativity is a live presentation of the Nativity Story with music and narration presented on the front lawn of the church beginning at 7:15 p.m. This production includes live animals, a full choir and soloists, and the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Refreshments will be served. Bring a lawn chair/blanket if desired. For more information, call (910) 278-9511 or visit www.fbcoi.org.
OAK ISLAND TREE LIGHTING
Oak Island – December 2nd
The annual tree lighting on Oak Island is one of the holiday season’s standard kickoff events. The festivities are planned for Friday, December 2nd from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Middleton Park (next to the Police Department on Oak Island Drive). There will be music, crafts, refreshments and even a “special guest” or two. It’s a small-town family event that’s fun for all ages. Call (910) 278-5518 for more information.
SOUTHPORT TREE LIGHTING
Southport – December 3rd
Southport’s Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held Saturday, December 3rd from 5:30-7 p.m. in Franklin Square Park (130 E. West Street). The event is sponsored by the Southport Beautification Committee and will feature the tree lighting by the City’s Mayor; there will also be holiday music in the park. Call (910) 457-7927 or visit www.cityofsouthport.com for more information.
CHRISTMAS BY THE SEA PARADE
Oak Island – December 3
Fire trucks, community groups and businesses on floats, music groups, and even Santa and Mrs. Claus – this parade has it all. Find your spot along Oak Island Drive and bring your hot chocolate and snacks as you watch your friends and neighbors parade through town. The parade steps off at Town Hall (4601 E. Oak Island Drive) and will traverse east for 2.4 miles, ending near McGlamery Street. Floats will be judged and awards given. This hometown parade is a favorite among locals and a must-see event for the holiday season.
PANCAKE BREAKFAST AND WHOVILLE
Boiling Spring Lakes – December 3rd
Get your fill of pancakes and holiday cheer at the Boiling Spring Lakes Parks and Recreation Annual Pancake Breakfast. The breakfast will be Saturday, December 3rd, from 8-10 a.m. at the Community Center (1 Leeds Road). There will be pancakes, bacon or sausage, and coffee and juice for a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 14 and under (no fee for children under age 2). Tickets are available at the community center, and all proceeds will benefit the BSL Holiday Cheer fund for families in need. Items and cash donations for sponsored families will be accepted at the center until Friday, December 12. There’s also the chance to visit Whoville and see just why the Grinch Stole Christmas. There will be a themed craft and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” trivia and prizes from 9-11 a.m. For more information, call the Boiling Spring Lakes Parks and Recreation Department at (910) 363-0018 or visit www.bslprd.com.
SEA NOTES CHORAL SOCIETY CHRISTMAS CONCERT
Odell Williamson Auditorium – December 3rd & 4th
Sea Notes Choral Society’s Christmas Concert “It’s Almost Christmas” will be held on Saturday, December 3rd at 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 4th at 3 p.m. in Brunswick Community College’s Odell Williamson Auditorium in Bolivia.
Celebrate the holidays with 130 chorus members sharing a score of Christmas melodies. During 40 years of performing, the Sea Notes have performed an array of styles from classical to gospel, folk pop and Broadway. The concert will be directed by Dianne Hoffman and the accompanist will be Suzi Linton. This year, you can obtain your tickets in advance, either directly at the Odell Ticket Office or by sending a SASE to OWA, PO Box 30, Supply, NC 28462. Call the box office at (910) 755-7416 or visit the Sea Notes’ website, www.sea-notes.com, for more info.
MERRY EATS AND TREATS
Oak Island – December 4th
The Merry Eats and Treats holiday shop offers homemade goodies – sweet and savory – from the Oak Island Beautification Club. There will be a variety of cakes, pies, cookies, and breads for sale on Sunday, December 4th from noon to 4 p.m. at the Oak Island Recreation Center, 3003 E. Oak Island Drive. Decorated food booths, carol singing, and raffles will add to the fun. For more information, contact Bobbie Thompson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUPPER WITH SANTA’S ELVES
Southport – December 7th
Children can enjoy supper with Santa’s elves, while Santa and parents enjoy holiday shopping and dining in Southport. This event is open to children 4-10 years old. Supper with Santa’s Elves will be held on Wednesday, December 7th from 5-7 p.m. next to the Southport City Gym (209 Atlantic Avenue). There is a $5 charge per child. Please visit the City of Southport website to submit your Supper with Santa’s Elves reservation online. Available space is limited. Supper with Santa’s Elves is sponsored by the City of Southport’s Parks and Recreation Department. Call (910) 457-7945 or visit www.cityofsouthport.com for more information
CHRISTMAS MOVIES ON THE COAST – “THE POLAR EXPRESS”
Southport – December 8th
Grab your favorite Christmas PJs and a blanket or chair to enjoy this feel-good movie that has quickly become a modern classic. This year’s movie, The Polar Express, starts at 5 p.m. on the Fort Johnston Southport Museum Garrison lawn on Thursday, December 8. Please bring your own snacks; hot chocolate will be served while supplies last. This event is free and open to the public. The movie is sponsored by the Southport Parks and Recreation Department. In case of inclement weather, the movie may be cancelled; call (910) 457-7945 or (910) 457-7810 to check on cancellations
SUPPER WITH SANTA
Oak Island – December 9th
Come and enjoy a spaghetti dinner at the Oak Island Community Center on December 9th between 6 and 8 p.m. There will also be a seasonal craft station, the reading of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” and a special visit the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus. Children can have their picture taken with Santa as well. The cost is $10 for residents and $15 per person for non-residents. Tickets can be purchased at the Oak Island Recreation Center (3003 E. Oak Island Drive). Call (910) 278-5518 or visit www.oakislandnc.com for more information.
COSTUMED HOLIDAY HISTORY TOUR
Southport – December 9th
The N.C. Maritime Museum at Southport will be giving a special costumed interpreted tour of the museum’s exhibit gallery, on Friday, December 9th at 3 p.m. Visitors to the museum will learn about the maritime heritage of the Lower Cape Fear with tours by a Victorian Lady, a Civil War Soldier, or Stede Bonnet, the Gentleman Pirate. Colonial and Victorian holiday traditions will be discussed, as well as the storm that almost stole Christmas: the wreck of the City of Houston in 1878. This event is free and open to the public. The Museum is at 204 E. Moore Street in Southport. For more information, call (910) 457-0003 or visit http://www.ncmaritimemuseums.com/southportcom/southport.
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT CHRISTMAS FIRE ENGINE PARADE
Southport – December 9th
The Southport Fire Department Christmas Fire Engine Parade is one of Southport’s most treasured traditions. Children will be excited to ride on fire engines in the parade; fire engines will be loaded at the Southport Fire Station at 5:30 p.m. with space available on a first come, first served basis.The Parade route starts at Waterfront Park and travels north on Howe Street to the Southport Fire Station. The public is asked to line Howe Street to enjoy this “one of a kind” Christmas Fire Engine parade, on Friday, December 9th at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to see the magic of Christmas through a festive parade filled with fire trucks. Local floats and Cape Fear Cruisers’ Classic Cars will also be decorated in their Christmas holiday finest. Music and marching bands will also be part of the parade to share the holiday spirit with everyone. Children are invited to visit with Santa and all are welcome to enjoy refreshments after the Christmas Fire Engine Parade at the Southport Fire Department. This event is sponsored by Southport Fire Department. Call (910) 457-7927 or visit www.cityofsouthport.com for more information.
CHRISTMAS CHOIR CONCERT – OCEAN VIEW UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Oak Island – December 9th, 10th & 11th
This year’s Christmas Choir Concert features some old familiar favorites, some performed with a new twist, and uplifting religious music to bring to life the tale of the birth of Christ. The concert includes music from the OVUMC Concert Choir, soloists, visual effects and pianist and music director Greg Walker. All are invited to come for a fun-filled evening celebrating the birth of Jesus.
“We always begin the concert with a few secular numbers to get everybody loosened up and prepared to hear the message of Christmas through song,” music director Greg Walker said. “This year I am incorporating a new computer-based light sequencer during the Trans-Siberian Orchestra number that will hopefully add some new ‘wow factor’ to the production.”
Admission is free, though a love offering will be taken to help support the church’s music ministry. Song choices include “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “Fantasia Noel Medley” and more.
There are three chances to see the concert — Friday, December 9th at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 10th at 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 11th at 4:30 p.m. “We do our best to entertain and get everyone in the Christmas spirit, but the real reason we do this is to remind everyone that Jesus is the reason for the season,” Walker said.
CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES
Southport – December 10th
Tour beautiful homes decorated in their Christmas finery during the annual Southport Historical Society Christmas Tour of Homes. The Tour runs from 2-7 p.m. on Saturday, December 10th.
Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Southport Historical Society Museum Store, located at the Fort Johnston-Southport Museum Visitor’s Center (111 S. Davis Street). Ticket prices are $10 in advance or $15 on the day of tour. A limited number of tickets will be sold. You may also call (910) 457-7927 to purchase tickets in advance (a surcharge and postage fees will be added to the ticket cost). The Historical Society uses the Tour of Homes to raise funds for scholarships for local high school students and for other Southport Historical Society activities. Vis-it www.southporthistoricalsociety.org for more information about the event or the Historical Society.
SOUTHPORT CHRISTMAS FLOTILLA
Southport – December 10th
What could be a better way to celebrate the season in Southport than with a Christmas flotilla? The City will celebrate its nautical history and love for all things seaworthy at the annual Christmas Flotilla on Saturday, December 10th starting at 7 p.m. The Flotilla will set sail so to speak along the Southport waterfront, East Bay Street, from the Southport Marina to Kingsley Park. Southport Elementary School art students will serve as judges; entries will be judged on creativity and the variety of decorations. Bring your chairs and blankets and enjoy the festive lights sparkling on the water. Call (910) 520-8858 or visit www. downtownsouthport.org for more information. There is no fee for this event, which is co-sponsored by the Cape Fear Yacht Club, Downtown Southport Inc. (DSI) and the City of Southport.
Southport – December 10th
At Santa’s Workshop, Santa’s Southport elves will help children magically create holiday crafts. The workshop is sponsored by the Southport Parks and Recreation Department and will be held from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, December 10th. There is no cost for the workshop, which will be held beside the Southport City Gym (Atlantic Avenue). Call (910) 457-7945 or visit www. cityofsouthport.com for more information.
FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY BOOK SALE
Southport – December 10th
If you’re looking for that extra special gift or if you want to treat yourself and take a quick break from the busy holiday season, plan to check out the Friends of the Library book sale. The Friends’ book sale is a great chance to add to your home library, with selections from classical literature, good beach reads, mysteries and every other genre you can imagine. The sale will be Saturday, December 10th from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at Southport Realty, 727 N. Howe Street. Call (910) 457-6237 or visit www. folsoi.org for more information or to find out how you can become a Friend of the Library.
18TH CENTURY CHRISTMAS AT BRUNSWICK TOWN/ FORT ANDERSON
Winnabow – December 11th
Have you ever wondered how our area’s settlers celebrated the Christmas season? Join Brunswick Town/ Fort Anderson State Historic Site for colonial refreshments, traditional games, music and guided tours of St. Philips Anglican Church and Historic Brunswick Town on the hours. The colonial Christmas celebration will be Sunday, December 11th from 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. The highlight of the evening will be an authentic period candlelight service inside the walls of the ruins of St. Philips, followed by a nighttime cannon firing. The service will begin at 5 p.m. and conclude by 5:30 p.m. The cost is a parking fee of just $5 per vehicle. Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson is located at 8884 St. Philips Road in Winnabow (off N.C. 133). Check www. nchistoricsites.org/Brunswic/brunswic.htm for more information about the event and the historic site in general. This beautiful historic site offers a glimpse of the history of Brunswick County and some of the best river and marsh views in the area. Santa is Coming! Join us Saturday, December 3rd For Shopping , Food, Music, Specials, and More! Christmas in the Village the whole month of December!! Olde Southport Village Shoppes Locally owned shops, the perfect place for the hard to find gift! Located at 1102 N. Howe Street, Southport, NC. About a block south of Dosher Hospital.
FRANKLIN SQUARE GALLERY HOLIDAY TREASURES
Southport – through December 14th
If you’re looking for a uniquely local gift, make a stop at Franklin Square Gallery, 130 E. West Street in Southport.
For most of the year, the gallery is a showplace for pottery and paintings, but at this time of year the gallery wears its holiday finery and the artists display their full range of creative skills. Gifts for sale will include jewelry, tree ornaments, accessories, bookmarks, ceramic gifts and holiday pottery. “Holiday Treasures” will be available until Wednesday, December 14th, when the gallery closes for the winter. The gallery is open from Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (910) 457-5450, or visit the website at franklinsquaregallery.com
CANDY CANE FLASHLIGHT HUNT
Oak Island – December 16th
Don’t miss this great family holiday hunt at Middleton Park on Friday, December 16th from 6-8 p.m. Have fun searching for candy canes and glow-in-the dark eggs on the softball field. Then everyone can enjoy hot chocolate and a visit from Santa. The hunt will be divided into 3 age divisions: 4 and under, 5-8, and 9-12 year olds. This event is sponsored by the Oak Island Parks & Recreation Department. Call (910) 278-5518 or visit www.oakislandnc.com for more information.
BOLIVIA CHRISTMAS PARADE
Bolivia – December 17th
We’re getting closer to Santa’s big day, but there’s still a chance to see the best of the Christmas season in a parade. The Bolivia Fire Department sponsors the Bolivia Christmas Parade, which will be held on Saturday, December 17th starting at 11 a.m. The parade route is along Old Ocean Highway from the Brunswick County Government Center to the Bolivia Fire Department’s station. There will also be food and refreshments at the station following the parade. Call (910) 253-5025 for more information.
TRINITY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH LOVEFEAST
Southport – December 18th
Trinity United Methodist Church has started a new Christmas Tradition — a Moravian style-Lovefeast. In the Lovefeast there is a sense of unity and a fellowship of sharing with family and friends through music and a simple meal. The Lovefeast meal includes a sweetened bun and creamed coffee, which dieners (German for “servers”) serve to participants. The service of scripture and song is led by the choir and band. The evening concludes with everyone lighting a handmade beeswax candle that fills the church with a warm glow. The first Lovefeast was in Germany on August 13, 1727, following the renewal of the Moravian Church. It is reminiscent of the common meal partaken in love and fellowship by the early church as described in the book of Acts. This simple service provides an ideal setting for breaking human and religious divides. Love feasts nourish the soul, give participants pause and inspiration. The Lovefeast will be December 18th at 6p.m. Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 209 E. Nash Street in Southport. Check www.southporttrinity.org or call (910) 457- 6633 for more information.