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Christmas celebrations take over Belhaven this weekend

BELHAVEN — A wonderland of holiday cheer awaits visitors and residents of Belhaven this weekend, with an array of Christmas events taking over the town Friday, Saturday, Sunday and into next week.

The collection of Christmas happenings is organized through the efforts of the Belhaven Community Chamber of Commerce, the Belhaven Celebrations Committee and the Belhaven Arts Council.

The weekend’s festivities kick off at noon Friday with the grand opening of the Belhaven Arts Council’s Festival of Trees at the Wilkinson Center. Featuring Christmas trees decorated by businesses, groups and individuals in Belhaven, the festival will highlight the cheerful creativity.

While decoration is currently underway for the event, Belhaven Arts Council Director Kaye Lee Brady says there is still room for a few more trees, more vendors and a couple more entertainers. A large tree can be decorated for a suggested donation of $50, with small trees available for $25. The festival continues at the Wilkinson Center through next Wednesday. Those interested in participating can contact Brady at 801-259-7446.

“Come out and see all the beautiful trees and support our arts council,” Brady encouraged.

At the same time Friday afternoon, the Toy Trains of Belhaven exhibit will be on full display in the old town hall from 1 to 7 p.m. The display will also be open from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The events spill out into the streets starting at 5 p.m. Friday as Santa Claus flies into Belhaven. Christmas music, baked goods and a coloring contest will accompany the jolly old elf’s visit with the kids. Visitors will want to be sure and wear their most outrageously tacky Christmas sweaters to the festivities for an ugly sweater contest.

Saturday will likewise be a full day of events in town, starting with the Belhaven Christmas parade at 11 a.m. Lineup for the parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Railroad Street. For more information, call Veronica at 252-943-5479 or Mildred at 252-943-1388. Applications to join the parade can be found online here.

Immediately following the parade, Santa’s Village will be open at Pamlico and Main streets, complete with a shop where youngsters can buy inexpensive gifts for loved ones. From noon to 2:30 p.m., there will also be a chili/chowder cookoff downtown. The cost to participate is $10.

Rounding out the evening, seven local homes in Belhaven will open their doors to guests during the Candlelight Tour of Homes, sponsored by the Belhaven Community Chamber of Commerce. From a historic home built in 1901 to a house filled with 500 miniature Santa Claus figures, Chamber Director Diana Lambeth says each has something special to offer visitors.

“It’s just going to be a great day in Belhaven,” Lambeth said. “A lot of our shops are staying open Saturday night so people can do the Candlelight tour, have dinner, go shopping and kill some time in between the parade and the Candlelight tour.”

Tickets for the Candlelight Tour of Homes are available at the Chamber at a cost of $25 each in advance or $30 the night of the tour. Tickets can be reserved by calling 252-943-3770.