Jolly days ahead

Cheer and fun fill Arendell Street during the 2018 Morehead City Christmas Parade. (Dylan Ray photo)

The holidays are coming. Prepare for an abundance of joy and cheer, with Christmas music, twinkling lights, holiday movies and holiday parades.

The county hosts several Christmas parades throughout the season, so there are plenty of opportunities to watch decorated floats march down a parade route.

Listed are the county’s Christmas parades:

Emerald Isle

The Emerald Isle Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Emerald Isle Business Association and the town of Emerald Isle, will take place Saturday, Nov. 30 at 3 p.m. on Highway 58, Emerald Drive. There will be only one Santa Claus in the parade, and he will be riding in a float at the end.  After the parade will be the official Christmas tree lighting at Merchant’s Park.  Enjoy free refreshments, as well as a holiday caroling sing-a-long as Santa Claus visits with the children.  To enter the parade, contact Don Wells at


The 45th annual Newport Christmas parade starts at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1. The entry deadline is Friday, Nov. 22. Those interested in participating should contact Kathy Jo Buttery at or 252-223-4976. Following the parade are the tree lighting festivities at Newport Community Park. Santa and his sleigh will be available for pictures. Enjoy some hot chocolate, cookies and caroling. Then, at 5:30 p.m. see the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree. This is a free event, and all are welcome to attend.

Atlantic Beach

The 13th annual Light up the Night Christmas parade is from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. The new parade route begins at the Atlantic Beach Town Park and heads east toward the Circle. The parade will enter the Circle on West Drive. After the parade, be sure to bring the children to meet Santa at the fire department. Cookies, hot chocolate and photos with Santa are all free. Applications are being accepted for cars, trucks, trucks with boats, golf-carts, bicycles, etc. Lights and Christmas spirit are a must. Those interested in participating can complete the form at


The Beaufort Christmas parade is at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Participants will line up at noon on Front and Gordon streets. There will be multiple participants, including the East Carteret High School Marching Mariners, cheerleaders and the Sweet Potato Queens finishing the parade with Santa. Those who wish to participate in the parade should contact Susan Sanders at 252-241-4485.

Pine Knoll Shores

The Pine Knoll Shores Christmas Parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at Garner Park, 160 Oakleaf Drive. This is a smaller community parade and will feature children on decorated bikes and wagons, lawnmowers and a police and fire vehicle.

Morehead City

 The Morehead City Christmas parade will be at 11 a.m. Dec. 14. The town is accepting float and participant entries. Join in on the fun by visiting Judging takes place at 9:30 a.m. The deadline to register for the parade is 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9. All entries must be decorated with a Christmas theme, and only one Santa will be in in the parade.

Down East

The Down East Christmas parade will be on Harkers Island Sunday, Dec. 15. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to do so. The theme for this year’s parade is “Down East Heritage” and is put on by the Harkers Island Fire and Rescue Auxiliary. To enter, email or text 252-732-6180. Name, phone number and size of entry are required and entries will be accepted until 8 a.m. the day of the parade.

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