We've got 37 events to spark the Christmas spirit

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The sidewalks were full as the Hickory parade rolled through downtown.


What's a parade without marching bands?

Friday, Nov. 29

What: Visit Santa at Valley Hills Mall

When: Now until Dec. 24; Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Valley Hills Mall in Hickory

Cost: Photo packages vary in price.

What: Morganton Carriage Rides; Rides can be booked beginning at 5 p.m. on the night of your preferred ride. No advanced bookings will occur.

When: Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30-9 p.m. (through Dec. 28)

Where: Downtown Morganton

Cost: $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and younger

Saturday, Nov. 30

What: A Very Murray Christmas Festival; A Christmas tree lot, hay rides, a wreath-making workshop, visits with Santa Claus and much more will be available.

When: Noon to 8 p.m.

Where: Murray's Mill Historic District, 1489 Murray's Mill Road, Catawba

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Cost: Free

What: Maiden Christmas Parade

When: 3 p.m.

Where: Route runs from East Baptist Church to Maiden Middle School

What: "Dear Santa" and "Cookies for Santa" story time; Join Barnes and Noble for story time and activities featuring two books about cherished holiday traditions for families.

When: 11 a.m.

Where: Barnes and Noble, 2405 U.S. 70 SE, Hickory

Cost: Free

Monday, Dec. 2

What: Merry Monday Movies; Join Southwest Branch Library for a showing of "Elf" (rated PG).

When: 5:30 p.m.

Where: Southwest Branch Library, 2944 N.C. 127 S, Hickory

Cost: Free

Tuesday, Dec. 3

What: Christmas Tree Science; Kids will have the opportunity to learn about the history of the Christmas tree while participating in various activities. Perfect for ages 7 and older; younger children will need to be assisted by an adult.

When: 5:30 p.m.

Where: Southwest Branch Library, 2944 N.C. 127 S, Hickory

Cost: Free

What: Cookie decorating; Materials will be supplied but please feel free to bring your own supplies to share. Registration required. Call the library at 828-466-5108.

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Conover Branch Library, 403 Conover Station SE, Conover

Cost: Free

What: Conover Christmas in the Park; The event will feature hayrides, caroling with Shuford Elementary and Newton-Conover middle schools and Concordia school and a tree lighting ceremony and an appearance by Santa Claus.

When: 5:30 p.m.

Where: Downtown park across from the police department

What: Hudson Christmas Tree Lighting; The event will include a tree lighting, food from local businesses, a Christmas story, music and free rides in a covered wagon.

When: 6 p.m.

Where: 550 Central St.

Wednesday, Dec. 4

What: Lunch with Santa; Ridgeview Recreation Center invites youth for a delicious lunch, holiday crafts, reindeer games, activities and more.

When: 10:30 a.m. to noon

Where: Ridgeview Recreation Center, 115 Seventh Ave. SW, Hickory

Cost: Free

Thursday, Dec. 5

What: Peace & Joy: A Lenoir-Rhyne Christmas; Presented by the A Cappella Choir, College Singers, Brass Ensemble and Handbell Ensemble. Seating is limited and tickets are required.

When: Dec. 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 7 at 5 p.m.

Where: Grace Chapel at Lenoir-Rhyne University, 625 Seventh Ave. NE, Hickory

Cost: Tickets are free of charge; Call 828-328-7206 for more information.

What: Tech Connect Christmas; Make a 3D-printed cookie cutter ornament at this craft activity.

When: Thursday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m.

Where: Newton Library, 115 W C St., Newton

Cost: Free

Friday, Dec. 6

What: Festive Fridays; Join Southwest Branch Library on Fridays in December during regular library hours to create easy make-and-take holiday crafts.

When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Southwest Branch Library, 2944 N.C. 127 S, Hickory

Cost: Free; Materials will be provided.

What: “The Nightmare Before Christmas” film screening

When: 4 p.m.

Where: Newton Library, 115 W C St., Newton

Cost: Free

What: Winter Wonderland Featuring Santa at the North Pole; While waiting to visit with Santa, enjoy a variety of activities in the library, including caroling and decorating the community “Wishing Tree.”

When: Friday, Dec. 6 from 5:30-7 p.m.; weather/snow reschedule date: Saturday, Dec. 14 from 4-5:30 p.m.

Where: Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library

Cost: Free (bring your camera to take photos with Santa)

What: "God and Angels Speak" live nativity

When: Dec. 6-8 from 6-8:30 p.m.

Where: Resurrection Hope Church of God, 732 Stacey Place SW, Lenoir

Cost: Free

What: Bethlehem Alive; Visit the shops of Bethlehem, taste the market food, watch pottery being fashioned, pet the live animals — all indoors.

When: Dec. 6-8 from 6-8 p.m

Where: Transformation Church, 306 14th St. SW, Hickory

Cost: Free

What: Littlejohn United Methodist Church’s Christmas Trail; Experience the wonders of the birth of Jesus as you journey through Bethlehem on a trail approximately 1/4 mile long.

When: Dec. 6-8 from 6:30-8:30 p.m

Where: Leila Tuttle Memorial Park, 4010 Hartland Road, Lenoir

Cost: Free

What: Hickory Choral Society’s annual Christmas concert

When: Dec. 6 at 8 p.m.; Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Dec. 8 at 3 p.m.

Where: Corinth Reformed Church, 150 16th Ave. NW, Hickory

Cost: Free

Saturday, Dec. 7

What: Christmas song sing-a-long; Join Westmont Recreation Center to sing Christmas songs with friends.

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Westmont Recreation Center, 1316 Main Ave. Drive NW, Hickory

Cost: Free

What: Bethlehem Star Lighting; Activities include a living manger scene and scripture readings, bonfires and live music. Hot chocolate will be served.

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church, 9379 N.C. 127, Taylorsville

Cost: Free

What: Screening of "A Christmas Carol" at The Rock

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Old Rock School Auditorium, 400 Main St. W, Valdese

Cost: General admission is $2

What: Christmas Show Festival; Enjoy arts, crafts, food and entertainment before the Christmas parade.

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Hudson Uptown Building, 145 Cedar Valley Road, Hudson

Cost: Free admission

What: Breakfast with Santa

When: 9 a.m.

Where: First United Methodist Church, 311 3rd Ave. NE, Hickory

Cost: Free admission

What: Woodmill Winery Christmas Show; Come out and shop with more than 40 vendors. Complimentary wine tastings and tours of the winery will be available throughout the day.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Woodmill Winery, 1350 John Beam Road, Vale

Cost: Free admission

What: Santa Claus at Devine Farm; Enjoy a visit with Santa, a baked goods sale, wagon rides, bonfire and more at this event.

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Devine Farms, 2675 St. James Church Road, Newton

Cost: Free; Donations will be taken to benefit local families in need

What: Queen Elsa's Holiday Ball; Queen Elsa and her Princess friends are coming to Newton-Conover Auditorium for a holiday ball like no other, with a special visit from Santa himself. Call the Newton-Conover Auditorium at 828-464-8100 to purchase tickets.

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Breakfast from 10 a.m. to noon, and lunch from 1-3 p.m.

Where: Newton-Conover Auditorium, 60 West Sixth St., Newton

Cost: Tickets are $20, includes one adult admission. If adult would like breakfast/lunch, tickets are $10.

What: Storytime Ballet: The Nutcracker; Join the Hickory Ballet and Performing Arts for an interactive experience that shows how stories are told through dance.

When: Southwest Branch Library at 10 a.m.; Newton Library at 11 a.m.; Conover Library at noon

Where: Multiple locations

Cost: Free

What: Jingle Bell Gingerbread House Party; Decorate your very own gingerbread house. Houses and decorating materials provided. To register, call 828-327-8576 ext. 207 or email gzellmer@hickoryart.org.

When: 10:30 a.m. to noon

Where: Hickory Museum of Art, 243 Third Ave. NE, Hickory

Cost: $30 ($20 for members)

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What: Claremont Christmas Parade; Food vendors set up in the City Hall parking lot. Santa will be at the First Security Building from 1-2 p.m. Parade at 3 p.m. Announcers will call out the names of the parade participants from a stage at City Hall.

Where: Route runs from Claremont Elementary to North Oxford Street

What: Valdese Christmas Parade

When: 10 a.m.

Where: Parade starts at the corner of Church and Main streets and goes to Morgan Street.

What: Alexander County Christmas Parade; The parade will include around 200 participants who will be throwing out candy to the attendees.

When: 3 p.m.

Where: Parade begins on Liledoun Road, moves right down Main Avenue through downtown, takes a right on Main Avenue Drive, makes a left at Adams Funeral Home and then a right at the post office.

What: Granite Falls Rotary Club Christmas Parade; The parade will have an ugly Christmas sweater theme this year for both participants and attendees. Attendees are also encouraged to bring sweaters and shoes for donation to charity.

When: Noon

Where: Parade begins near Granite Drug, moves down U.S. 321A and ends at Granite Falls Elementary

What: Hildebran Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting; Event includes Christmas music, food for sale and a chance to meet Santa Claus.

When: Parade is at 1 p.m., festivities at 3 p.m. and tree lighting at 6 p.m.

Where: Parade starts on First Street SW, proceeds to Main Avenue West and then to S. Center Street and U.S. 70. From U.S. 70, the parade goes to Third Street SW then back onto Main Avenue West and then back to First Street SW. The festivities and tree lighting will occur at 202 S. Center St.

Sunday, Dec. 8

What: Cookies with Santa; Hickory Junior Women's Club will continue their annual tradition of hosting Cookies with Santa, where kids can meet Santa and enjoy homemade cookies.

When: 2-4 p.m.

Where: Shuford House and Garden, 534 Third Ave. NW, Hickory

Cost: Bring a gently used children's book to donate to the Hickory Soup Kitchen.

What: Ann Freeman Dance Academy’s "The Nutcracker" production

When: 3 p.m.

Where: P.E. Monroe Auditorium at Lenoir-Rhyne University, 775 Sixth St. NE, Hickory

Cost: $15 for adults, children 3 and younger get in for free.

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