Friday’s Lighting of Wake Forest to kick off weekend full of holiday happenings

Wake Forest’s holiday season will shift into high gear this weekend with a sleigh load of yuletide events beginning with Friday’s Lighting of Wake Forest and continuing with Saturday’s Downtown Holiday Open House, Holiday Artisans Market, and It’s a Wonderful Wake Forest Historic Holiday Festival.

Area residents are invited to experience the wonder and magic of this special season at the annual Lighting of Wake Forest on Friday, Dec. 3, from 6-8:30 p.m. Sponsored by Holding Village and presented by Wake Forest Downtown, Inc. (WFD), this traditional start to the Christmas season will take place in Centennial Plaza, 301 S. Brooks St., the gateway to the Wake Forest Town Hall.

The evening’s festivities will begin with holiday music at 6 p.m. followed by Mayor Vivian Jones lighting the Town’s 26-foot-tall Christmas tree at approximately 6:15 p.m. After the tree lighting, Santa Claus will arrive aboard a Wake Forest Fire Department fire truck.

Other highlights will include performances by local choirs, a children’s craft activity, and “Pictures with Santa” in the Town Hall lobby. Anyone planning to have a photo taken with Santa Claus must register in advance at Supporting sponsors present at the Lighting of Wake Forest will include Saving Grace Animals for Adoption and Saving Grace Supply Co. For complete information, visit

The holiday merriment continues Saturday, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. with the Downtown Holiday Open House. Discover historic downtown’s unique array of shops and restaurants, while also enjoying special offers and complimentary refreshments at participating shops and restaurants, holiday tunes in Jones Plaza from noon-4 p.m., and fun-filled activities for kids and families, including Pictures with Santa, a Gnome Hunt and balloon twisting along South White Street. Again, anyone planning to have a photo taken with Santa Claus must register in advance at For complete details on the Downtown Holiday Open House, visit

Also on Saturday, ARTS Wake Forest will present the Holiday Artisans Market from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St. Featuring more than 60 vendors, the artisans market is a unique shopping experience featuring a variety of arts and crafts in a range of prices. Conceived as a showcase for local craftspeople and artisans, the market is centered around handmade items from potters, fine artists, photographers, woodworkers, fiber artists, furniture makers, jewelry artists and more. For complete details, visit

Finally, experience the beauty and charm of historic Wake Forest during the “It’s a Wonderful Wake Forest Historic Holiday Festival” on Saturday, Dec. 4. Free and open to the public, the event is scheduled from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Wake Forest Historical Museum, 414 N. Main St.

The Historic Holiday Festival will feature the Calvin Jones House decorated for the holidays and open for tours, along with the museum and exhibit hall. As a special treat, the favorite holiday film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” will be screened at 10 a.m. and noon in the museum auditorium. Please Note: In accordance with Wake Forest University’s COVID policy, masks are required inside the Wake Forest Historical Museum and Calvin Jones House. For more information about the It’s a Wonderful Wake Forest Historic Holiday Festival, visit

For more information on these and other Wake Forest holiday events, visit