With the first snow already fallen, the North Poles in Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon are gearing up for Christmas.
The town of Wendell has already hung its merry wreaths and “Merry Christmas” banners along the roadside.
Don Williams, who has run the Lake Myra Christmas Lights show since 1998, is spending long days setting up his display.
Williams has spent around 600 hours setting up the display since the beginning of October. Despite the frigid weather, he continued to set up the miles of wires with his friend Bobby Langston, who runs his own light show in Spring Hope.
One of the largest of its kind in the state, the Lake Myra display contains 400,000 lights set to music and the state’s largest Christmas tree that is made up of 62,000 lights alone.
“My wife died last year ... she told me to never stop,” Williams said. “I’m going to do this probably until the day I die.”
Downtown Wendell will add the beloved show – which spent two years at 410 East Fourth Street until being displaced by a potential cell tower – to its Winter Wonderland this year at the J. Ashley Wall Towne Square on Cypress Street.
Winter Wonderland will run nightly through Dec. 31, and lights will dance from 6-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6-11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
On Dec. 5, Santa Claus will make a special appearance at 6 p.m. at the Cypress and Third Street intersection. There will also be a hayride from 6-9 p.m.
Knightdale’s Christmas parade down First Avenue will continue this year. The Christmas tree lighting will happen on Friday, Dec. 5th at 6 p.m., but it will be held this year at the Knightdale Station Park Amphitheater instead of its traditional location in downtown.
Adults can enjoy vendors and food trucks while children write letters to Santa, visit with Mrs. Claus and take a train ride. Several dance centers and other acts will perform.
The next day, Dec. 6, Knightdale will host the Christmas parade at 2 p.m.
The parade, hosted by Grand Marshal Amber Rupinta from ABC11, will start at Knightdale Elementary School and finish at Knightdale Station Park and host food trucks as well. Spectators can utilize a shuttle from Wal-Mart beginning at 11 a.m.
Last year, the Christmas parade attracted more than 4,000 people and about 800 showed up to the Christmas tree lighting.
In Zebulon, the annual Christmas parade will occur on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.
Santa Claus will appear for free photos with children on Friday, Dec. 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the town municipal complex, and on Friday, Dec. 16, Santa’s helpers will make calls to children. Parents should call 919-823-0432 for more information.