After you have given thanks, you can give the gift of life on Friday. The American Red Cross is holding its annual Tired of Turkey Days Blood Drive. You can get free food coupons and a 2009 Red Cross holiday ornament. The blood drive Friday is from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Sunday it is from noon until 4:30 p.m. The Red Cross is located on South 16th Street. For many, the day after Thanksgiving signals the start of decorating for the holidays. That is what is happening all over New Hanover County on Friday. In downtown Wilmington, the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony starts at 5:45 p.m. at Riverfront Park. There will be live entertainment preceding the arrival of Santa. Stop by Carolina Beach for its Island of Lights, Light up the Lake ceremony. It is your chance to see lighted displays along a one mile path around Carolina Beach Lake. The display runs through New Year’s Eve. The ceremony begins at 7:00 p.m. Or, if you are closer to Wrightsville Beach, get ready for the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla. It kicks off at 5:45 p.m. with the tree lighting ceremony at town hall. Then make your way to the Blockade Runner for the Flotilla Holiday Party, featuring Jim Quick and Coastline. It starts at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $75 and you can pay at the door. The flotilla fun continues Saturday with the Festival in the Park. It features arts and crafts, food and fun activities for the kids. It runs from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m., grab your seat for the boat parade. Catch out the creative display of lights making their way up the Intracoastal Waterway. WWAY's Kevin Wuzzardo is one of the judges. Also Saturday, Crest Fitness is holding its annual Holiday Health Festival. It runs from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $2 per person, or free with the donation of two food items. You will be able to sample healthy food items and find out more about fitness programs. Santa and clowns will also be there. Crest Fitness is located at 6766 Wrightsville Avenue. You can always find out what's happening by going to our Community Calendar page.
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