WHAT’S HAPPENING: Holiday events taking place across Cape Fear this weekend

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — This weekend, you can take a break from decking the halls and stringing your holiday lights to do something fun. There’s no shortage of holly-jolly happenings in the Cape Fear.

The computer-animated fantasy adventure film “The Polar Express” will be shown at Wrightsville Beach Park off Causeway Drive Friday night at 6:30. It might be a little chilly out there, so plan to bring a comfy blanket. The event is free.

Also on Friday, the first part of the Island of Lights Festival kicks off in Carolina Beach at 7:30 p.m. Bring your family and friends down to Lake Park Boulevard to enjoy a parade, festivities and fun. Don’t miss the floats made by local groups, marching bands, and of course, jolly ol’ Saint Nick! The parade kicks off at Atlanta Avenue and ends at Federal Point Plaza.

On Saturday, grab your coats and head down to the dock! Boats decorated with lights and Christmas décor will cruise from Snows Cut all the way down to the Carolina Beach yacht basin during the annual ‘Island of Lights’ Christmas Flotilla.
the flotilla begins at 6 p-m. – may your favorite festive boat win!

If you’re looking for unique gifts for someone on your holiday list, head to Burgaw for “Christmas on the Square.” Dozens of vendors will be selling hand-made items at the Courthouse Square on Saturday from 10 in the morning until 4 that afternoon. If you get hungry during the event, food trucks will be there too.

The City of Wilmington is hosting its Christmas celebration on Saturday, where you can see a performance by Cape Fear Chorale, watch the grand tree illumination, hang out with Santa, and even watch ‘The Grinch’! A new addition this year is the outdoor artificial ice skating rink, where skaters can enjoy a winter wonderland. Saturday’s event runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Riverfront Park in Wilmington.

If you’re in Leland, you can kick off the most wonderful time of the year surrounded by the magic of lights! You can help Santa flip the switch to transform the park into a winter wonderland, and even ride on the Leland Express. The event is free to attend, and there will be local food trucks on sight so you can enjoy a Christmas picnic under the lights. It’s on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Founders Park.

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