Holiday Happenings


The Town of Benson will light its Christmas tree during a celebration from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at the corner of Market and Main streets. The event will include entertainment, the tree lighting, a display of antique tractors and cars, and a parade, with Santa Claus arriving by horse and carriage. This year, the Chamber of Commerce invites golf cart owners to decorate their carts for a contest. Stores on Main Street will serve hot beverages, and civic clubs will hand out free items. For more information, call the chamber at 919-894-3825.

The Benson Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for this year’s Christmas parade, which will step off at 6:45 p.m. Dec. 4. The parade is for nonprofits, with no commercial entries accepted. This year, the chamber invites golf cart owners to decorate their carts and enter them in the parade. The parade application is online at


The second annual “Tastes of the Season” Christmas bazaar is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at Amelia Christian Church, 1696 Amelia Church Road, Clayton. Biscuits and coffee will be on sale for breakfast, and hot dogs and drinks will be available at lunch. Shop for Fraser fir Christmas trees, homemade baked goods, frozen casseroles, frozen soups and handmade gift items.

The fourth annual Christmas in Clayton Art and Homes Tour is scheduled from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. The tour will begin at the Woman’s Clubhouse, 109 S. Church St. Tickets are $10. They’re available at Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library, 100 S. Church St.; at the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, 301 E. Main St.; by telephoning 919-550-8934; by using PayPal at; and on the day of the event at the Woman’s Club.

The Johnston County Chorale will present “A Christmas Celebration” at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St., Clayton. An orchestra will back the chorale. This year’s special guests are Austin Pope & The Bluegrass Bandits, West Johnston High School’s vocal ensemble and dance team, and Steps on Stage Academy of Performing Arts. Tickets are available at the Clayton Center box office, 919-553-1737 or

Clayton’s Christmas Village and Tree Lighting is scheduled from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in downtown Clayton. Main Street will be closed between Smith and O’Neil streets from 5 to 9 p.m. The annual event includes choral, musical and dance performances along Main Street, including Horne Square and Town Square; a live nativity at Sherry’s Signature Cheesecakes, 120 E. Main St.; visits with Santa at Main Street Community Garden, 439 E. Main St.; train rides at the corner of Main and Fayetteville streets; and a photo booth at the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, 301 E. Main St.

Santa’s Workshop is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Clayton Community Center, 715 Amelia Church Road. Children will make Christmas crafts and ornaments and get a visit from Santa Claus. The Clayton Parks and Recreation Department asks families to bring two canned food items per child; the town will give the food to Clayton Area Ministries. For more information, call 919-553-1550.

Clayton’s Christmas Parade will step off at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, in downtown. Main Street will be closed from U.S. 70 Business to Robertson Street from noon to 6 p.m.

Pine Level

Breakfast with Santa Claus is scheduled from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Pine Level Fire Department, 110 W. Main St., Pine Level. Eat pancakes with Santa and then snap a photo with him.


A live nativity is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4-5 and from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Smithfield Advent Christian Church at Galilee Road and N.C. 210 near Smithfield. The church will have hot chocolate and refreshments.

Smithfield will light its Christmas tree at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, at the corner of Third and Market streets. The annual event will offer hot chocolate, entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus.

“Swim with Santa” is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center, 600 Booker Dairy Road, Smithfield. For adults, the cost is $3 for Smithfield residents and $5.50 for nonresidents; for children ages 3-17, it’s $2 for Smithfield residents and $4 for nonresidents.

The annual Grinch Stink, Stank, Stunk 5K and Jingle Bell Jog will take place will take place Saturday, Dec. 5, at Community Park, 600 Booker Dairy Road, Smithfield. The annual run benefits Harbor Inc. and the Angel Tree Project of the Johnston County Department of Social Services. The cost to enter is an unwrapped toy. Dress as your favorite “Who from Whoville” and enter the costume run. Race-day registration opens at 8:30 a.m. The 5K run starts at 10; the jog follows at 10:05. Registration forms are online at

The Smithfield Christmas parade will step off at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, on Market Street. To enter the parade, download the form at The deadline for entries is Friday, Nov. 27. For more information, call Tiffany Pearson at 919-934-2148, Ext. 107.

The Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield is seeking entries for its annual Gingerbread House Festival. The congest has six divisions: family, or parents and children from birth of age 5; youth, ages 6-12; teen, ages 13-17; adult, 18 and older; culinary professional; and nonedible. Your creation can be any structure; it just has to be on a base no larger than 14 inches by 17 inches. The library, at 305 E. Market St., will accept entries from Nov. 30 through 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3. They will be on display Dec. 5-12, with the awards program at 11 a.m. Dec. 5. On Dec. 5, children 5 and younger will decorate a cookie to take home.


The America Music Jubilee is staging its Christmas show through Dec. 21. Performances are at 1:40 and 7:40 p.m. Admission is $28.50 for adults, with special pricing for children, balcony seating and groups of 15 or more. For more information, call 1-0877-843-7839 or visit

The Town of Selma is seeking entries for its Christmas parade, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Entries are free, but they must have a Christmas theme. The deadline to enter is Nov. 25. For more information, call 919-975-1411.

Santa Claus will call Selma children between 6 and 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7. It’s a free call, but sign up no later than Dec. 4 by calling the Selma Parks and Recreation Department at 919-975-1411.


Garner will light its Christmas tree during a celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, on Main Street. Enjoy entertainment, shop for Christmas goodies, make crafts, visit with Santa and donate a toy to Toys for ‘Lil’ Troops. The Garner Christmas parade will step off at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.

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