Christmas In A Small Town: 8 Holiday Events In The Carolinas

Let’s just say that if Santa ever decided to move from the North Pole, the Carolinas would be at the top of his relocation list. Christmas in a small town in NC and SC leave other states behind in a flurry of snow! From enchanting Christmas boat flotillas to heart-pounding drag hunt races, these charming communities come alive with eccentric festive traditions. 

Glide down ice slides, witness mesmerizing lakeside light shows, and satisfy your sweet tooth with Christmas cookie crawls. The yuletide magic will end at some point, but you’ll have cherished memories to keep you in the holiday spirit until Christmas in a small town comes around next year!

The Grinch in Easley, SC

Pose with the Grinch in Easley, SC

Christmas In A Small Town: Historic Easley

Easley, SC, is organizing a month of activities enchanting enough to turn any Santa skeptic back into a believer! Gather at City Hall on the Green for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting on November 24 – word on the street is that early birds are eligible for gift giveaways, Christmas ornament offerings, and scrumptious Kris Kringle-approved cookies! 

The Holiday Market will take place at 5 Point Church on December 2, followed by the downtown Parade of Lights on December 9. Hear those sleigh bells jingling when you step aboard a festive carriage ride on select weekends throughout November and December. Easley truly shines as one of the best Christmas in a small town experiences in the Carolinas!

Christmasville in Rock HIll

Enjoy live music and ice skating at ChristmasVille in Rock Hill!

ChristmasVille In Rock Hill

How about a Christmas in a small town bonanza to give the Whos down in Who-ville a run for their roast beast? Enjoy ChristmasVille from November 30 to December 3 – hands down, the best time of the year to visit Rock Hill, SC. Inspired by the illustrations of native son Vernon Grant – the artist behind the illustrious Kellogg’s Rice Krispies® Snap™, Crackle™, and Pop™ elves – Rockville is prepped to transform into a picturesque holiday village reminiscent of those whimsical drawings. 

Even the sugar plum fairies might struggle to keep up with the 70+ events in ChristmasVille, including wassailing carolers, a gingerbread house contest, and a sparkling ice skating rink. It’s just too bad that Christmas in a small town only comes once a year to Rock Hill!

Newberry Christmas presents and tree

No snow? No worries! Newberry has the next best thing — faux snow!

Christmas In Newberry: A Very Berry Christmas

Have a Very Berry Christmas in Newberry, SC! Kick your Christmas in a small town cheer into gear by attending the Community Christmas Tree Lighting on November 17 – the kickoff to the holiday season starts with performances by the Victorian Singers, Newberry school choirs, and a screening of the 2018 animated film: The Grinch.

Five-alarm festivities continue on select Fridays in December with Santa’s Tour of Newberry, where the young and young at heart can tour illuminated neighborhoods throughout town by fire truck! Don’t miss out on North Pole Nights at Memorial Park, where you can experience faux snow flurries while writing letters to Santa Claus. Be sure to scan the Newberry Observer throughout December to see if Santa replies to your letter!

The Blessing of the Hounds in Aiken, SC.

These hounds mean business!

Hooves And Hounds For The Holidays

Hounding for some holiday fun? The annual Blessing of the Hounds is sure to be a woofing good time, taking place on November 23 at the Hitchcock Woods Foundation in Aiken, SC. Aiken Hounds hold their heads high as the bearers of the oldest drag hunt in the nation! Imagine this: a cloth drenched in the essence of a sly fox is dragged across the terrain, forging a fragrant path for a band of friendly hounds. Watch as mounted riders follow the scent trail in a spectacular parade honoring the heritage of Aiken’s historic hunt culture.

Keep the Christmas in a small town caravan going when you attend the annual Hoofbeats & Christmas Carols Parade on December 16. Belt out your favorite holiday tunes while prancing in tune to the clopping of more than 1,000 horse hooves in downtown Aiken. It’s a holiday tradition you’ll want to trot back to year after year!

Lake Myra Christmas Lights Show

Stop by the Lake Myra Christmas Lights Show, which has over 250K lights dancing in synchronized glory set to familiar holiday tunes.

Wendell Wonderland

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening…it’s a beautiful sight, you’ll be joyful each night, walking in a Wendell Wonderland! You’ll find all the trappings of a magical Christmas in a small town experience in downtown Wendell on December 2. Nosh on holiday goodies from local food truck menus and a cookie walk (yes, dreams do come true!) Peruse goods from the vendor market for those on your nice list.

Take a nostalgic trolley ride with your family. Pay a visit to Mr. & Mrs. Claus, who wouldn’t miss this opportunity for the world! Those hoping to spread extra holiday cheer can donate new, unwrapped toys for children up to age 12 at various sites throughout town. 

Finally, sit back and marvel at the Lake Myra Light Show – one of the most splendid Christmas in a small town light displays in the Tar Heel State!

Santa makes an appearance at the Morganton Winter Carnival

Santa Claus makes his appearance at the Morganton Winter Carnival!

Santa Visits Morganton

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and there’s no merrier place to celebrate than Morganton, NC! Start your jovial journey at the whimsical Winter Carnival, taking place on November 19 at the appropriately adorned Courthouse Square. The Christmas in a small town day will be brimming with delights for the whole family, starting with a meander through the Holiday Market and continuing to a playground of face-painting, ice sliding, treat tasting, and socializing with Santa! As the clock strikes 5:30, convene for the awe-inspiring Memorial Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Santa will still be strolling about town on December 2 and 9 at the Morganton Community House. There, you can register for a hearty pancake breakfast, take part in arts and crafts, and enjoy a fireside reading of the beloved The Night Before Christmas tale before Old Saint Nick makes his grand entrance!

Hope Mills Christmas in a small town

Saddle up with the Grinch himself in Hope Mills!

Christmas In Hope Mills

You couldn’t hope for a better Christmas in a small town haven than Christmas in Hope Mills! On December 1, enjoy lakeside hot chocolate, desserts, and favorite Christmas tunes in the presence of Santa while lights illuminate your soon-to-be treasured memories. Even your furry family members can participate in the festivities on December 2, where Paws N’ Claws will be snapping pet pics at the Town Hall Gazebo.

The fun continues with the Parade of Lights and concludes with a bang at Santa & Sirens, where Santa will be escorted into town by an impressive cavalcade of screaming red fire trucks! Too excited to wait for all of the action? You can purchase your very own Elf on the Shelf kit from Hope Mills Park and Recreation beginning October 16.

Christmas by the Sea vehicle

Wave hello to friends you know who pass by on boats, golf carts, and other floats participating in the annual parade.

Christmas By The Sea

Let it snow, let it snow, let it…go?! An extraordinary Frozen experience is coming to Oak Island! Head to Middleton Park on December 18 for a riveting candy cane hunt, glow-in-the-dark hot chocolate session, and screening of the Disney classic Frozen – you might even catch a few of your favorite characters skipping about the field!

But not everything will be frozen over – on December 5, you can make merry at the Christmas by the Sea Parade and Festival. This amped-up artisan market hosts the second-largest festival in the area, with 2022 attracting the most participants and viewers in history! 

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