Christmas comes to Belhaven on Saturday

Published 9:50 pm Thursday, December 8, 2016

Belhaven swings into the season Saturday with “Ride the Belhaven Express,” a day of Christmas fun for the entire family.

“We’re looking forward to some wonderful activities,” said Diana Lambeth, executive director of the Belhaven Chamber of Commerce.

At the corner of Pamlico and Main streets, chamber volunteers will open Santa House, a place where children can have photos taken with Santa, write and mail a letter to the North Pole, make reindeer food and purchase $1 gifts for parents and grandparents from the Santa House gift shop — wrapping of gifts provided by the ladies of the Senior Center, according to Lambeth.

“We’ve got a lot going on, and don’t forget the toy trains,” Lambeth said. “That’s one of the biggest draws.”

The toy train exhibit is the work of Don and Marjie Stark, takes up two separate rooms in the old City Hall building on Main Street and features a broad collection of Standard Gauge Tinplate toy trains in the miniature waterfront diorama of Belhaven. New to the exhibit this year is a mural by artist Cathy Clayton that frames the railroad and towns with background scenery.

The exhibit is the anchor to “Ride the Belhaven Express,” according to event organizer Kaye Lee Brady.

“We have our train display, and we’re selling train hats here at the festival; we had the kids all draw pictures of trains — that’s kind of our theme for the year,” Brady said.

Brady, who is head of the Belhaven Arts Council, was also charged with organizing the Festival of the Trees, a display of Christmas trees decorated by a variety of sponsors: Girl Scouts, Fish Hooks restaurant and First Bank among them.

“That’s something to see, too,” Brady said. “We’ve had a lot of businesses sponsor trees and come and decorate them.”

Also on Saturday’s agenda is the opportunity for children to make gingerbread houses at Spoon River Artworks and Market from 1–2:30 p.m. Wrapping up the event is the Belhaven Christmas parade along Main Street at 3 p.m.


Ride the Belhaven Express

11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Santa House and Kids Gift Shop

Take a photo with Santa, send a letter to the North Pole, make reindeer food and shop for parents and grandparents at the kids’ shop.


Noon ­– 7 p.m.

Toy Train Display

Watch Standard Gauge Tinplate toy trains wind their way through a miniature waterfront community at old City Hall on Main Street. The display is open throughout December on Fridays, 1–7 p.m., Saturdays, noon to 7 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m., Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, from noon to 4 p.m., and Dec. 26-27, from noon to 5 p.m.


Festival of the Trees

A forest of decorated Christmas trees awaits. Organized by the Belhaven Arts Council, each tree was sponsored and decorated by individuals or a business. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. throughout the month.


1 – 2:30 p.m.

Gingerbread House building

Children can stop into Spoon River Artworks and Market to learn the art of making gingerbread houses.


3 p.m.

Belhaven Christmas Parade

Featuring floats, fire trucks, bands and pageant winners, among many others, the Belhaven Christmas Parade will tour Main Street at 3 p.m.


6 p.m.

Christmas Cantada

Three Belhaven church choirs join for this Christmas performance at Trinity United Methodist Church. The cantada will be performed a second time at 4 p.m. on Sunday.