Get in the Crystal Coast Christmas Spirit: December Calendar of Events 2015


Can you believe that it is already Christmas time? After rubbing the sleep out of our eyes as a result of a turkey coma from Thanksgiving, my family always begins to break out the Christmas decorations! Our favorite Christmas songs play on repeat and the Christmas shopping begins.

Even though we don’t do white Christmases here in Emerald Isle, we’ve learned something: Christmas is ALWAYS better at the beach. So, if you’re looking to get in the Christmas spirit while on vacation, we’ve got all the best events highlighted right here!

Parades and Lightssmall-girl-on-the-beach-in-a-santa-hat

It just doesn’t feel like Christmas unless you’ve been able to attend one of the many Christmas parades along the Crystal Coast. From Beaufort to Atlantic Beach to Morehead there are several Christmas parades for you to attend!

True to the Crystal Coast Christmas spirit, the Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla is here once again as boats decked out (pun intended) with lights galore sail up the waterfront from Morehead City to Beaufort. This annual tradition is a favorite with the locals and the lights reflecting off the water are breathtaking!

Christmas tree lightings are also a pretty big deal in this area and for good reason: they’re so much fun! There’s nothing better to get you ready for Christmas than to see the town set aglow with thousands of holiday lights. The Christmas Tree Lighting at Katherine Davis Park in Morehead City and Light Up the Waterfront in Beaufort are two lightings that you should attend. You can also visit Emerald Isle’s Christmas Tree in Merchant’s Park which has already been lit!

The Arts

The Embers Christmas Show kicks off this month’s Christmas spirit by performing all our favorite Christmas songs at the Carteret Community Theater. The Morehead City Art Walk is a great place for art lovers to enjoy local artwork from various galleries as well as stop by some of the best local restaurants along the way! The Beaufort Holiday ArtWalk also takes place this month featuring the work of Carol Roop and Craig Gurganus.

Also at the Carteret Community Theater this month will be a live radio play of "It’s a Wonderful Life". Attendees will be able to experience the classic story of George Bailey, Clarence Odbody, and the town of Bedford Falls. This unique play stars five actors that play the entire cast in the style of a 1940's radio show, complete with sound effects made by the cast! You won’t want to miss this!

The American Music Festival Series Holiday Show is at the Beaufort Public Library for some great tunes for five "dazzling evenings” featuring music from the world’s greatest composers performed by wonderful artists.


Christmas brings in many traditions to the Crystal Coast, one of which is the Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend and the 27th Annual Core Sound Decoy Festival. Featuring handcrafted decoys, local art and music, delicious seafood, and more, this is an event for the whole family. With arts and crafts for the kids, duck calling competitions, over 90 vendors, and an antique decoy display, these festivals are certainly local favorites.

For fans of model trains, the John Costlow Christmas Train Show is definitely worth a visit. My dad and brother are model train lovers themselves and the work that goes into these displays is amazing! From the model trains to the tiny details of the farm houses and people to the miniature cars and trees is a sight to behold. Taking place at the Old Train Depot in Beaufort, admission is free to this fabulous event!

In Fort Macon this month, you can attend musket firing demonstrations performed by actors in Civil War regalia. Learning a little history while enjoying the beauty of Fort Macon State Park is definitely worthwhile! For a little more history and Christmas Spirit, you can also attend the Historic Beaufort Candlelight Homes Tour. In conjunction with the Beaufort Holiday ArtWalk, you can experience the beauty of Beaufort’s Historic homes lit up in Christmas splendor! You can get ArtWalk maps at participating locations.

If you’re like me, then one of your favorite parts about the holiday season is all the delicious holiday treats! Well, they definitely know how to win my heart at the Gingerbread House Competition and Display as competitors from local restaurants and individuals create their most elaborate (and delectable) gingerbread houses for judging every year at the Crystal Coast Civic Center. The best part of this competition, however, is not the displays, but rather that the proceeds go to the SECU Crystal Coast Hospice House.

Other great events this month include the Bird Hike for all the bird watchers out there as well as the Natural Side of Fort Macon hike. A night of astronomy and star gazing at the Fort Macon boathouse is another way that you can enjoy the great outdoors this month!

New Year’s

After the Christmas season begins to wind down, we just get excited all over again here on the Crystal Coast because it is now time for New Year’s festivities!

The annual Crystal Coast Countdown will span throughout several counties from December 29th through January 1st. Live music, outdoor activities, storytellers, dance groups, the Crab Pot Drop, and fireworks are all important components of this week of fun! You can check out all of the awesome venues and events on the Crystal Coast Countdown website.

For something a bit more low-key, you can head over to Fort Macon for a New Year’s Eve cannon firing.

So many fun festivals, parades, art walks, and traditional Crystal Coast events are happening this month, so be sure to check them all out! For more events and information, you can go the Crystal Coast events calendar and stay tuned into our weekly updated blog for all the details!

Share with us: How do you get in the Christmas spirit while on vacation in Emerald Isle?

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