Downtown Chapel Hill Celebrates the Season with Chapel Hill-idays

November 27, 2019

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This December, the Town of Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership are presenting the second annual Chapel Hill-idays, a collection of festive community events and activities designed to celebrate the holiday season. From gift shopping to visits with Santa, residents and visitors are encouraged to head downtown to enjoy a variety of free, seasonal events for all ages. The celebrations include cherished annual traditions such as the tree lighting at University Baptist Church, a menorah lighting at UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade. Also included in the series line-up is a new and exciting holiday event with a special rooftop appearance from Santa and members of the Chapel Hill Fire Department. All events are free and open to all.

Chapel Hill-idays events include:

Downtown Chapel Hill Tree Lighting + Holiday Lights | Dec. 1, 6 p.m. University Baptist Church
The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held in Memorial Garden and will feature a visit from Santa and Ms. Claus and caroling.

Menorah Lighting at The Pit | Dec. 2, 12–3 p.m. UNC-Chapel Hill Campus Pit
Hosted by Chabad at UNC-Chapel Hill, all are welcome to light up The Pit and enjoy music, latkes, and donuts.

Conscious Holiday Bazaar | Dec. 7, 1–4 p.m. 431 West Franklin Street
Hosted by Thousand Petals Yoga and Franklin Street Yoga, the Conscious Holiday Bazaar is a curated market full of seasonal gifts and self-care experiences that support zero-waste efforts and small, local makers.

Carolina Inn Holiday Gift Market | Dec. 8, 15 and 22, 12–4 p.m. Carolina Inn Lawn
Shop an abundance of hand-crafted yuletide gifts from vendors across N.C.

Santa Rooftop Rescue | Dec. 13, 5:30–7:30 p.m. 140 West Franklin Street Plaza
Santa will appear on a nearby rooftop and attendees will witness a thrilling “rescue” as the Chapel Hill Fire Department brings him down to safety.

2nd Friday Holiday Art Walk | Dec. 13, 6–9 p.m. Franklin Street Stroll
Franklin Street, alight with luminaries and twinkling lights, and enjoy local art, beverages, downtown eats, and more.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade | Dec. 14, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Downtown Chapel Hill & Carrboro
The annual Chapel Hill–Carrboro Holiday Parade celebrates a wide variety of community groups, from marching bands and dance troupes, to local businesses, officials, and non-profit organizations.

To make the holiday season even sweeter, downtown public parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays during the month of December. Chapel Hill-idays events are hosted by various businesses and organizations and supported by the Town of Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership, WCHL Chapelboro, and Chapel Hill Magazine. For more information and to see the full schedule of events, visit