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Weekend Plans: Christmas Parade, ice skating, tree lightings, more

The holiday starts in earnest with Raleigh's 71st annual Christmas Parade, tree lightings, Santa visits and an opportunity for Santa's helpers to save a little money.

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Spectators enjoy Raleigh Christmas Parade
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
Happy weekend! The holiday season starts in earnest in the Triangle this weekend. Here’s what’s happening. As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar for more ideas. And be sure to check Go Ask Mom's Holiday Central page for a running list of holiday activities.
The Raleigh Christmas Parade is scheduled to begin at 9:40 a.m., Saturday, and runs about 2.5 hours. The 1.4 mile route runs along Hillsborough Street (starting at St. Mary's Street) and ends up rolling down Fayetteville Street. It starts at 9:40 a.m., but, if you want a good seat, it's best to get there an hour or more early. The parade features floats, marching bands and, of course, Santa at the end.
And the Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest ice rink at City Plaza on Fayetteville Street opens at noon, Saturday, about the time the parade will end. The rink will stay open through Jan. 21. Admission, including skate rental, will be $10 for both kids and adults.
Also after the parade: Briggs Hardware on East Hargett Street will host Santa from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday. The public is welcome to meet with Santa. The store also will have a special mailbox for Christmas wishes.
And, for the third year on parade morning, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle will be selling barbecue sandwiches as part of the Whole Hog Championship. They are available from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, at the corner of Fayetteville and Lenoir streets, in downtown Raleigh. Sandwiches are $5. Proceeds go to the food shuttle, which helps so many individuals and families in our area.
And then you can just stick around in downtown Raleigh for the 20th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration, which runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at the N.C. Museum of History. The celebration will feature drum groups, hundreds of dancers in regalia, storytellers, craftspeople and others from North Carolina’s eight state-recognized tribes. Visitors can look inside a longhouse model to see how Indians once lived, watch a hide-tanning demonstration, and marvel at presentations by tribe members. Hands-on activities include traditional Cherokee games, bow and arrows, jewelry making, a scavenger hunt and more. A Call to Grand Entry is at noon when each tribe will process onto Bicentennial Plaza for a roll call. Vendors will be selling traditional foods such as fry bread and stew, Indian tacos and buffalo burritos.

Also Christmas related:

North Hills in Raleigh lights its big Christmas tree, with Santa’s help, on Saturday. You'll find other activities, crafts and more.
Lafayette Village in north Raleigh will host its tree lighting and other holiday festivities from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday.
The Streets at Southpoint in Durham lights its tree Friday and offers other seasonal events, including a breakfast with Santa, starting this weekend.
And Northgate Mall in Durham kicks off the holidays with a free event from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday. Santa will arrive on his holiday golf cart with the Bulltown Strutters parade band at 10:30 a.m. before taking his seat at Northgate’s Town Hall at Center Court. Also at Northgate, Santa’s Workshop, a series of free interactive holiday arts and entertainment events for kids, will kick off Saturday and continue every Saturday through Dec. 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Kids can make ornaments this Saturday.
At this point, Santa is pretty much lined up at the region’s malls.
Speaking of Santa and his helpers, the Kids Exchange, the massive consignment sale that runs at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, will host a special Christmas toy and decor sale. It will be open to the public from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday. Some items will be half off from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday.
Transactors Improv: For Families is 6 p.m., Saturday, at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. This fun show is best for grade schoolers and up. The audience will make suggestions. The performers take it from there! Tickets are $10 and $6 for students.
Raleigh Little Theatre wraps up its run of “A Year with Frog and Toad” this weekend.
Finally, at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, they are celebrating Perioperative Nurse Week with hands-on science with local nurses. Meet members of surgical teams of hospitals in the area, pick up a multilingual coloring book, and dress up in take-home surgical gowns, masks and gloves. It’s 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, and free with admission to the museum.


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