Downtown Fayetteville Candlelight Vigil: Downtown Fayetteville will hold a candlelight vigil, Friday, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The vigil will start at the Arts Council and proceed to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum Garden, off Hay Street. The tribute will honor our World War II veterans — the greatest generation.
Yuletide Feaste: Friday and Saturday, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., taking participants and audience back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I, the Yuletide Feaste is a Renaissance-style dinner engagement featuring an elegant, four-course meal, a festive banquet hall setting, a large cast of costumed characters straight out of Tudor England, and Methodist University students singing carols for the Christmas season. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Go to www.methodist.edu for more information.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: In this hilarious Christmas classic from Cape Fear Regional Theater, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids, probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You will not believe the mayhem, and the fun, when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on. This play continues to be a highlight of Fayetteville’s holiday season for more than 25 years. Performances held Thursday through Dec. 18. For tickets and more information, visit www.cfrt.org.
Sweet Tea Shakespeare’s Christmas celebration: Sweet Tea Shakespeare invites all fans to their Christmas cantata, Dec. 8 and 9, 7 p.m., at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Behold will feature Sweet Tea Shakespeare musicians and actors with music from Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God and the Oh Hellos, along with readings and good cheer. Behold is a musical take on the Christmas Story. Part gospel, part Sweet Tea magic, this is a reflective evening meant to warm your hearts and focus your minds on Advent and Christmas. Details available at www.sweetteashakespeare.com.
Christmas in the park: Wednesday through Dec. 21, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Arnette Park, Fayetteville. Enjoy a leisurely stroll on a half-mile, paved walking trail while taking in the sights and sounds of the Christmas season. And don’t forget to stop by and visit with Santa. Admission is $10 per Family vehicle, $30 per commercial vehicle, $75 per motorcoach/bus and $5 for a photo with Santa.
The Nutcracker: Performed by the North Carolina Ballet, The Nutcracker will be presented at the Crown Theatre, Dec. 10 and 11, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 adults, $18 military, and $7 kids, 12 and younger. Visit www.crowncomplexnc.com/events/detail/nc-state-ballet-the-nutcracker for more information.
Love was Born: Wood Memorial Chapel Gospel Congregation presents Love was Born, Dec. 18, at the Methodist University Theater. Come out and laugh, cry and, more importantly, understand the real reason for the season. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and play starts at 5 p.m.
Tanglewood Festival of Lights: Open through Jan. 1, 2017, Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, North Carolina will be transformed into a winter wonderland of giant, twinkling snowflakes and whimsical scenes. Entering its 25th season, Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights continues to be one of the largest and most spectacular light shows in the entire Southeast. Each year the show is better and brighter with brand-new and improved light displays, a wide variety of vendors at the holiday gift village and even Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Visit www.forsyth.cc/Parks/Tanglewood/fol/ for more information.
‘The polar express’ train ride: The Polar Express at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, North Carolina, Friday through Sunday, Dec. 9 to 11 and Dec. 15 to 22, from 4:45 to 8:30 p.m., each evening. Set to the music of the motion picture soundtrack, Families will enjoy a trip to the North Pole, with hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train. Passengers will then enjoy singing, dancing and a reading of “The Polar Express.” Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa will present the first gift of Christmas. On the return trip, everyone will receive their own silver sleigh bell. Visit www.nctrans.org, for ticket information.
Raleigh Scandinavian Christmas Fair: Held Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Scandinavian Christmas Fair in Raleigh, North Carolina is an authentic celebration of the traditions of the Scandinavian countries, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Guests of all ages and backgrounds are invited to join in the festivities and enjoy a wide range of craft vendors, traditional music and dance performances and authentic eats. For more information, visit www.scanfair.org.
Charlotte Nativity Festival: The Family-friendly, Charlotte Nativity Festival at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a religious celebration that’s open to people of all faiths. The event features re-creations of the nativity scene, displays of nativities from across the globe, performances featuring musicians from the school and children’s activities. Open Friday and Saturday, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Governor’s mansion open house: North Carolina’s Executive Mansion — the “people’s house” — will open its doors for the annual Holiday Open House, from Dec. 8 through 11. Visitors are invited to tour the home, take in the decorations, and enjoy seasonal musical entertainment by local performing groups. The hours of the open house are: Dec. 8, noon to 9 p.m.; Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Dec. 10, 2 to 8 p.m. and Dec. 11, 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free and reservations are not needed or accepted. The mansion is located at 200 North Blount St., Raleigh, North Carolina. Visitors should enter at the main gates on Blount Street.
62nd Annual Singing Christmas Tree: Carolina Voices presents a winter wonderland of holiday entertainment at the 62nd Annual Singing Christmas Tree. The warm sounds of the season will fill the Knight Theater as the soaring voices of the MainStage Choir (in a 32 foot specially-designed tree) perform all your favorite Christmas music — from the inspirational and sacred to the traditional pop and Family classics. The stage will sparkle with whimsical dance, puppetry and special friends who will warm your heart at this special time of the year. Guests include: Hardin Minor, Grey Seal Puppets, Miller Street Dance Academy, Young Voices of the Carolinas, and Impromptu. There will be three performances: Dec. 10, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.carolinavoices.org.
House in the Horseshoe: The House in the Horseshoe State Historic Site in Sanford, North Carolina, hosts its annual Colonial Christmas Open House, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come and tour this historic gem, decorated for the holidays. Reenactors in colonial attire will conduct trade demonstrations and weapon firings throughout the day. Light refreshments will be served on a first-come, first-serve basis. Join in celebrating the holiday season by taking a festive step back in time at the free program. The House in the Horseshoe interprets the Revolutionary War period and a skirmish of July 1781, between the forces of patriot Philip Alston and loyalist David Fanning. It shares the history of the house and its colorful inhabitants. For more information, visit
Durham Kwanzaa Celebration: The annual Durham Kwanzaa Celebration at the Holton Career and Resource Center in Durham, North Carolina, spotlights the seven principles of peace and progress in the community and celebrates those exemplifying it. The celebration will be held on the fifth day of Kwanzaa, Dec. 30, from 6 to 9 p.m., and will focus on the principle of Nia (purpose). The one-day event features hands-on activities that are fun for the whole Family, educational speakers and live performances of African and jazz music.