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WAKE FOREST — Area residents are invited to experience the wonder and magic of the holiday season at the annual Lighting of Wake Forest on Friday, Dec. 6. Sponsored by Traditions at Wake Forest and presented by Wake Forest Downtown Inc., the tree lighting will take place in Centennial Plaza, 301 S. Brooks St., the gateway to the Wake Forest Town Hall.
Mayor Vivian Jones is scheduled to light the town’s 30-foot-tall Christmas tree at 6:15 p.m.
The evening’s festivities will get underway at 5:45 p.m. with a performance by the Wake Forest Elementary School Chorus, followed at 6 p.m. with a performance by the Wake Forest Children’s Choir. Following the tree lighting at 6:15 p.m., the Patriot Pride Honors Chorus from Heritage Middle School and the Heritage High School Jazz Ensemble will also perform. To view the complete schedule of events, visit http://bit.ly/LightingWF.
In addition to these musical performances, the Lighting of Wake Forest will feature Santa Claus’ arrival aboard a Wake Forest Fire Department fire truck, a children’s craft activity (sponsored by the Wake Forest Woman’s Club), and “Pictures with Santa” in the town hall lobby. The evening will also include complimentary hot cocoa (courtesy of Wake Forest United Methodist Church), cookies (courtesy of Sam’s Club) and glow necklaces.
Guests planning to have a photo taken with Santa Claus must pick up a time ticket in the town hall lobby beginning at 5:30 p.m. Designed to reduce wait times, each ticket will indicate the time guests should arrive at the line-up to have their photo taken with St. Nick. Pictures can be viewed and downloaded beginning Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Due to time constraints, Santa can only have his picture taken with a limited number of children during the Lighting of Wake Forest. However, Wake Forest Downtown Inc. will offer two additional opportunities for Pictures with Santa over the next two weeks:
• Saturday, Dec. 7; 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Cotton Company Event Gallery, 306 S. White St., as part of Downtown Holiday Open House;
• Saturday, Dec. 14; 10 a.m.-noon, Fidelity Bank, 231 S. White St., prior to Wake Forest Christmas Parade.
As a special part of this year’s Lighting of Wake Forest, the town of Wake Forest will host a Festival Street Celebration from 5:30-8:30 p.m. along East Owen Avenue to commemorate the street’s grand reopening and official transformation into a festival street. To mark the occasion, residents are invited to enjoy a “Winter Wonderland” featuring a snow play area and snow sledding. Due to the expected turnout, time in the snow play area will be limited to five minute increments to allow as many people as possible to enjoy the wintry experience.
Food and refreshments will be available for purchase at several downtown restaurants, plus Stuft food truck will be on-site along East Owen Avenue.
During the Lighting of Wake Forest, the Wake Forest Woman’s Club will accept donations of new socks for Note in the Pocket, a local nonprofit that provides clothing to impoverished and homeless school children in Wake County. Collection bins will be located outside the town hall entrance. Items needed include children’s socks (boys and girls, ages 5 to 10 or sizes 8 toddler to 5 youth) and adult socks (men’s and women’s, fashion or athletic styles, sizes small, medium and large).
The Lighting of Wake Forest is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/LightingWF or contact Downtown Development Program Assistant Jennifer Herbert at 919-435-9427 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a complete listing of Wake Forest’s holiday events, visit http://bit.ly/WFChristmasEvents.