Before the calendar fills up with Friendsgiving plans and ugly sweater parties, there are loads of holiday-themed festivals local to us in Eastern North Carolina. For the skinny on family fun and holiday cheer in the Topsail area, you’ve come to the right place. Topsail and the neighboring communities are full of unique traditions that will engage overstimulated young ones and shopaholics in search of the perfect Christmas gift alike. Read more to learn about how the community comes together to celebrate the season. Click the links for details and more information on locations and times.
A Merry Ferry Christmas
New Date: Friday, November 22nd, 2019
November 16, 2019 (postponed due to weather)
The 2nd annual Merry Ferry Christmas is a celebratory evening of gathering together in fellowship to place the Christmas Tree. There will be dancing, caroling, and one Sneads Ferry’s favorite food trucks (the Salty Sistas!) will be there. Rumor even has it that Santa and Mrs. Claus will be out for this fun event.
Pender County Christmas
November 29th – December 31st, 2019
Pender County Christmas will bring out the cheer in any Grinch. Between the Christmas Home Tour presented by the Pender Historical Society and the Hometown Christmas Decorating Contest, the entire town lights up for holiday splendor. At the Historic Burgaw Train Depot vendors sell holiday wares and there are crafts. At the Annual Lighted Christmas Parade snow is guaranteed.
There’s even a way for almost the whole family to participate in the New Year’s countdown. At the stroke of midnight (Greenwich Mean Time, mind you, so 7:00 pm) Burgaw hosts its annual Blueberry drop where both champagne and sparkling cider is served.
December 7th – 8th, 2019
The Jacksonville Winterfest is more than just a three-day shopping extravaganza for Christmas enthusiasts and all their little helpers. Presented by the Jacksonville Breakfast Rotary and in partnership with the City of Jacksonville, the Winterfest takes place across two locations. The Winterfest weekend is packed with fun workshops and places to make donations. Even pets are invited to come have their picture taken with the Big Guy. Make sure to take advantage of the shuttles offered for this event because big crowds are expected.
Lake Linda’s Christmas Lights
November 28th – December 31st, 2019
Lake Linda’s Christmas Lights is Hampstead’s greatest Christmas gift. This marvelous light show is a labor of love by a local family, the Registers. The lights are a tribute to the head elf’s mother and the delight she found in the sparkling display of Christmas cheer. Sharing their vision of holiday joy is the Christmas present they give to their neighbors. All the decorations are designed and hung by the Register’s and their trusty team of volunteers and other neighborhood supporters who help keep the show running.
Christmas in the Ferry
December 13th, 2019
Christmas in the Ferry is an annual event sponsored by the Sneads Ferry Community Council and held at the Sneads Ferry Community Center (126 Park Lane).
“This is truly a family focused event to allow our community to come together and celebrate the season.”
There will be a candy cane hunt, lighting of Christmas trees, singing, Santa, crafts, and more! Click here to read more.
Christmas Eve Services
December 24th – 25th, 2019
It can be difficult to find a place where you feel at home worshipping regardless of whether you are new to the area or an old timer. We are particularly blessed to have so many great churches and ministries in our area. To determine the best place for you and yours to celebrate the reason for the season, we’ve compiled a list of Christmas Eve and Christmas day services. There is also contact information if you would like to reach out directly.
November 29th – December 14th, 2019
A flotilla is a parade on the water with the boats as the floats. And glistening Christmas lights reflecting off dark water can be quite the sight. This year’s four official flotillas are in Swansboro, Wrightsville Beach, Jacksonville, and Greater Topsail. The Jacksonville and Wrightsville Beach flotilla traditions are over three decades old, but this is Topsail’s first ever flotilla. Get to any of these events early so you’ll have time to explore all different vendors, events, and entertainment inspired by the most wonderful time of the year. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite ships so that the crowd favorites can claim their bragging rights.
Christmas in the Country
November 28th – December 31st, 2019
Running from November 28th until December 31st, Christmas in the Country [Rocky Point, NC] begins with a mile-long drive adorned with over 175,000 dazzling Christmas lights synced to our favorite carols. It only costs $25 per car and there is a maximum vehicle height of 12′. Vehicles with over 10 people are subject to an extra charge per head.
Marine Toys for Tots
November – December 2019
Around here people are incredibly proud of our all those who serve and grateful for those who are as devoted to our community as they are to our country. That is one of the many reasons that, year after year, the Marine Toys for Tots toy drive is one of the most successful charities in Topsail and worthy of generous donations and support. Nowadays it is easier than ever to support Toys for Tots through a campaign with Amazon’s home assistant Alexa that matches toy donations.
January 1st, 2019
Ever hear of a Polar Plunge? On New Year’s Day, often one of the coldest times of the year, a group of brave and perhaps foolish revelers run en masse for the nearest body of water. The Dolphin Dip is Surf City’s version of the event. It might not be cold enough to qualify as polar, but it’ll definitely be chilly. Come dressed up in costume or dig your swim trunk out of the closet and join a few thousand of your closest friends for a brisk swim at noon on the first day of the year.