This is certainly a great weekend to celebrate the holidays. Christmas is coming—we know that because there were tree lighting ceremonies in Manteo and the Duck—and tonight, Sunday is the first evening of Chanukah.
For most of the folks that live here and our visitors, the tree lightings really seem to mark the true beginnings of the holidays.
Manteo Tree Lighting
Thanksgiving was so early this year that the tree lighting fell on November 30, first time in a while it's been in November.
The event is so perfectly all the things we associate with the holiday season that it's no wonder so many people pack the waterfront area of the town.
There's free Brunswick stew fromMt. Olivet Church in Manteo, hot chocolate and plenty of sugary treats.
What really makes the evening so wonderful are all the local dancers, singers and performers who take to the stage. Held on the front steps of the old Dare County Courthouse, it is a wonderful showcase for how much people care in the community.
There was a little bit of rain this year, so some of the entertainment was compressed, but Santa still made his appearance—with the combined choruses of all the Manteo schools and the tree lit up the night beautifully.
We weren't able to get to it this year, but there is a Christmas parade on Saturday every year in Manteo.
Town of Duck and It's Crab Pot Tree
The Town of Duck has its own distinctive way of lighting up the night with festive lights. Stacking crab pots in the shape of a tree, lights are draped over them and it makes for a different but wonderful way to welcome the holidays and pay tribute to the history of the area.
The Town Green has become the cultural center of the village and that's where everything happens. The music—Just Playing Dixieland was a lot of fun, with a highlight when they brought some of the younger children on stage to shake bells and sing Jingle Bells.
There's always cookies and hot chocolate. The Dare County SPCA is always on hand—it is a very dog friendly event—and even though it is very different than the Manteo tree lighting—it still has the same feel of togetherness and joy.
Santa Claus does, of course, come to town, and in Duck he has a bounce in his step and a joy in his laugh that will make all children smile.
The holidays are the perfect time to visit the Outer Banks. Check out our Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates listings for the best accommodations.