Tree, menorah lightings, and parades in Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro

Santa Claus waves to the crowd lining Main Street during the 2017 Durham Holiday Parade.
Santa Claus waves to the crowd lining Main Street during the 2017 Durham Holiday Parade. ctoth@heraldsun.com

Towns and cities across the Triangle light Christmas trees for the holidays, but only one illuminates a water tower at an old tobacco factory. The Lucky Strike tower at the American Tobacco Campus will be lit Friday, Nov. 30, followed by a lighting of the city tree that night.

Here’s what you need to know to attend the parades, as well as the tree, tower and menorah lightings in Durham and Chapel Hill. To add your event, contact me at dvaughan@newsobserver.com

American Tobacco lighting

The 14th American Tobacco Water Tower Lighting starts at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 at American Tobacco off Blackwell Street downtown.

On stage: Santa’s Helpers, Rudolph and Frosty, Ballerina in the Snow Globe, Durham Bullhorns, Diamond Elite Athletics, Kathryn Brown of WRAL, Barriskill Dance Theater, Little River K-8 School Empower Dance Group, Githens Middle School, Elevate NC, UNC Tarpeggios and Santa, Mrs. Claus and Elf.

If you are one of the first 1,000 people to arrive, you’ll receive a free light wand from sponsors 811 Dig North Carolina and PSNC Energy.

Durham city tree lighting

Downtown Durham Inc. presents the lighting the city’s tree right after the American Tobacco lighting — so around 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, everyone will march up Blackwell Street, led by Paperhand Puppet Intervention and Batala Durham drummers, to CCB plaza at 201 Corcoran St., near the Major the Bull statue.

JCC Hanukkah Festival

The Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham hosts a free Hanukkah Festival from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. The event at the JCC, 1937 W. Cornwallis Road, includes singing, storytelling, crafts and a small marketplace.

Hillsborough parade and tree lighting

In downtown Hillsborough, the “Light Up The Night Hillsborough Holiday Parade, Community Sing and Tree Lighting” begins at 4:15 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2.

The events are sponsored by the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce and town of Hillsborough. The parade starts at Corbin and Churton streets. A community sing and tree lighting follows at the old courthouse at South Churton and East King streets.

Chapel Hill tree lighting

Downtown Chapel Hill holds its Community Tree Lighting at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 at University Baptist Church. 100 S. Columbia St. The church choir will sing carols, and Santa and Mrs. Claus. will greet children.

Menorah lighting at UNC’s Pit

Chabad at UNC/Duke hosts the annual menorah lighting at the Pit, the brick courtyard next to the UNC Student Stores on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. There will be an LED light show, doughnuts and music.

Carrboro Holiday Tree Lighting

Join the Board of Aldermen as the town celebrates its annual holiday tree lighting with performance by the Children’s Chorus at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St.

Durham Holiday Parade

The Durham Holiday Parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The route goes from East Main and Dillard streets through downtown to West Main Street and Buchanan Boulevard, near Duke University East Campus.

Parade marshals this year are Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Branford Marsalis and Mayor Steve Schewel. There will be about 100 units in the parade, including 10 floats and six marching bands. Meteorologist Wes Hohenstein and reporter Derrick Lewis from CBS 17 News will announce the parade. There will be performance areas at the intersections of Mangum and Main, Chapel Hill and Main and Duke and Main streets.

After the parade, Parks and Recreation will hold Holiday Fun Fest from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 on Blackwell Street between Morehead Avenue and West Lakewood Avenue. The free event includes the Peppermint Plunge, which is snow sledding for children and adults, with sleds provided, along with two snow play areas. Children can also meet Santa Claus and decorate holiday cards for home bound people in the community.

Peck & Artisans of Carrboro drive a really big bike down Main Street during the 2016 Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade. Mark Schultz mschultz@newsobserver.com

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade through both town’s downtowns starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The route proceeds from the old post office on East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill and ends on Main Street at Carrboro Town Hall. The parade is organized by the Raleigh Jaycees and town of Chapel Hill.

Bahama Christmas Parade

In northern Durham County, the Bahama Ruritan Club sponsors an annual Bahama Christmas Parade. It will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the intersection of Country Knoll and Bahama roads and end at The Ruritan Club, 8202 Stagville Road, where there will be free hot chocolate and doughnuts.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: 919-419-6563; @dawnbvaughan