Chapel Hill News

Come to the parade, stay for the tree lighting

This year’s Hillsborough Holiday Parade will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, to encourage folks to stay for the town tree lighting at 8 p.m.

The parade route starts at Corbin Street and ends at East Margaret Lane. Sponsored by the Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce, the evening includes marching bands, cheerleaders, floats, and a cheery little man from way up north.

Stay downtown after the parade for an official tree lighting ceremony on the lawn of the historic Old Orange County Courthouse at the intersection of King and Churton streets. Event includes carols and stories presented by the Orange Community Players, followed by activities throughout Historic Hillsborough.

The 28th Annual Hillsborough Holiday Homecoming Tour takes place from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7.

The tour has a new name and focus, highlighting Hillsborough during past war times while saluting area veterans. This year’s tour falls on Pearl Harbor Day and features visits to private homes decorated for the holidays as well as public sites representing the Revolutionary War, Civil War, world wars I and II, Korean War and Vietnam War. In honor and remembrance of veterans, people will be able to salute veterans by writing their names on a “Veterans Wall” at the Historic Orange County Courthouse, 100 E. King St. Veterans will be in attendance.

Period living history moments and skits will be performed on the half hour throughout the day by Orange Community Players, and holiday and war era music and caroling will take place around town. Musical entertainment highlights include the Triangle Tuba Quartet, High School Chorus, Handbell Choir, flautists, hammered dulcimer and more. See historical exhibits as well as period cars at some of the tour stops. Churches also will participate. New this year is a Civil War cemetery tour at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 210 St. Mary’s Road.

Attendees of this year’s holiday tour also can ride a passenger train while hearing about Hillsborough’s history. The train, which holds 20 to 25 passengers, will make stops at various locations throughout the day. Train rides are $5 or free with a Holiday Homecomings Tour ticket. Tour tickets are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the tour. Children ages 10 and under are admitted free. Tickets are nonrefundable. A percentage of the tour’s net proceeds will benefit a charity for veterans.

For more information, call the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce at 919-732-8156. Advance tickets are available online at, at the chamber office at 1000 Corporate Drive, Suite 301 and at the Hillsborough Visitors Center at 150 E. King St. Day-of-tour tickets will be available at the Visitors Center.