Raleigh, N.C. — This first weekend of December is filled with holiday fun and a few non-holiday events.
Start the weekend at American Tobacco Campus in Durham for the annual lighting of the Lucky Strike tower on Friday. Starting at 6 p.m., listen to local chorale groups and keep an eye out for "snow." The first 750 people on site will get a light wand.
A Santa-themed bar crawl will be taking to the streets of downtown Raleigh on Saturday night to help a local boy in need of eye surgery and other medical expenses. Our friends over at Carolina Nightlife are hosting this event, which starts at Napper Tandy’s at 8 p.m. Just bring a toy or buy a ticket for $10 on Friday or $15 the day of. There will be drink specials, costume contests and stops at bars including Noir, Flash House, Still Life and 606.
Join WRAL’s Debra Morgan at this year’s Raleigh Jingle Bell Run/Walk on Saturday at Saint Mary’s School on Hillsborough Street. This festive event raises money for the Arthritis Foundation. Participants wear holiday themed costumes and/or reindeer antlers and tie jingle bells to their shoelaces as they run or walk a 5K route with team members. There is even a reindeer dash for the children. In addition to the run/walk, there will be entertainment, costume contests, Santa’s workshop and chair massages by Massage Envy Spa.
Outdoor screenings of the movie “Elf,” live music and more will highlight the Winterfest tree lighting ceremony on Saturday at Raleigh City Plaza. The fun is free and runs from 3-10 p.m. Enjoy carnival rides, Santa’s Winterland and (for the adults) a new beer and wine garden.
Cary will hold its 10th annual Ole Time Winter Festival this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. downtown. In addition to Santa Claus, there will be ornament making, face painting and a roving magician. Local school choirs will provide music and make sure to check out the merchants, artists and vendors on site.
To help celebrate a year of raising money for local nonprofits through their Celebrity Bartender Event Series, Zinda in downtown Raleigh will hold its Celebrity Bartender Black Tie Gala on Sunday night. Tickets are $50 for general admission and $75 for VIP tickets. All net proceeds from admission tickets will be split evenly among all of the nonprofit partners involved. The night will include music from Side Car Social Club, a silent auction and an artist “live painting” a custom piece to be auctioned off.
Get into the holiday spirit with “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The Musical” at the Durham Performing Arts Center this weekend. Tickets start at $25 and there are matinee and evening performances Saturday and Sunday.
A new take on the classic “Frosty the Snowman” is sure to delight families this holiday season at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh. “Frosty the Snowman: A New Musical” runs through Dec. 24. Tickets are $14.
The musical “We Will Rock You” plays the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium this weekend. The show, co-written by legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury before his death in 1991, is set in a futuristic world where rock music is banned. Tickets start at $25 and check out WRAL’s Out and About on Friday for a behind-the-scenes look at the makeup and costumes used in the show.