Holiday Festivities This Weekend In Downtown Chapel Hill

December 11, 2019

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December 9, 2019

The Chapel Hill-idays slate of events continues this weekend with the new Santa Rooftop Rescue event and the annual Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade.

  • Santa Rooftop Rescue event begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday at 140 West Plaza
  • Church Street closes to traffic between Franklin and Rosemary streets Friday evening
  • Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade begins at 10 m. Saturday on Franklin Street and ends around noon in Carrboro
  • Franklin Street closes to traffic during parade route on Saturday morning

On Friday, Dec. 13, Santa will find himself in a tricky situation at 140 West Plaza on Franklin Street, and the community is invited to see how he makes it out. Then, on Saturday, Dec. 14, festive floats, local businesses, and community organizations will parade down Franklin Street into Carrboro during the 47th annual Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade.

In the first Santa Rooftop Rescue, presented by the Town of Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and the Chapel Hill Fire Department, Santa will be stranded in a tricky situation. Firefighters will be called in to deliver him to safety. The evening will kick off at 5:30 p.m. allowing viewers to gather at 140 West Plaza to the sounds of holiday music before cheering on Santa and the Chapel Hill firefighters during the exciting rescue.

Beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Santa will be spotted on a nearby rooftop. Chapel Hill Fire Department will use their skills and strength to save Santa, bringing him down to hand out treats and take photos with those gathered below. Church Street will be closed between Franklin and Rosemary streets from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. westbound (toward Carrboro) West Franklin Street will be reduced to one lane in front of 140 West from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, an array of local groups will gather for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade to march their floats down Franklin Street. Spectators are welcomed and encouraged to arrive early to cheer on more than50 participating businesses, Town organizations, dance troupes, and non-profits. The parade route begins at Morehead Planetarium and will progress through Franklin Street before finishing at Carrboro Town Hall at noon. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade is presented by Community Arts & Culture and the Raleigh Jaycees, with sponsorship support from Bud Matthew Services and St. Thomas More Catholic School.

East Franklin Street will close to vehicle traffic from 8 a.m. Saturday until the parade passes at about 10:30 a.m. West Franklin Street will close to vehicle traffic as the parade makes its way toward Carrboro. The road will reopen as the end of the parade moves west. The parade is expected to end at Carrboro Town Hall around noon.

To make the holiday season even sweeter, downtown public parking is free on Saturdays during the month of December, and downtown parking is always free on Sunday. Chapel Hill-idays events are presented by the Town of Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership, WCHL Chapelboro, and Chapel Hill Magazine. The Santa Rooftop Rescue would not be possible without the help of the Chapel Hill Fire Department. The Santa Rooftop Rescue and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Parade will culminate the seasonal celebrations in Downtown Chapel Hill. For more information and a full schedule of Chapel Hill-idays events, visit