Washington lights up the city next week

Published 7:12 pm Thursday, November 15, 2018

Lights, window displays and a dash of holiday magic — that’s just a little bit of what’s in store Tuesday as the City of Washington and downtown businesses “Light Up the City.”

For the third year running, the city, in partnership with Arts of the Pamlico and the Washington Harbor District Alliance, will close down Main Street from Gladden Street to Market Street for a family-friendly evening of lights and wonders.

“It’s a really fun event for families to come out and enjoy the downtown,” Washington Community Development Planner Emily Rebert said. “Because the street is closed off, you don’t have to worry about any traffic, and the lights will be beautiful this year.”
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., visitors and locals alike can enjoy music, cookies and hot chocolate outside the Turnage Theatre, and at 5:45 p.m. the lights go on. Throughout the downtown area, holiday lights will be turned on for the first time, illuminating the city in a warm, seasonal glow.

A number of businesses will also keep their doors open late that evening for anyone in the mood for some holiday shopping. Adding to the festive atmosphere this year, 21 downtown businesses will also show their holiday spirit by participating in a series of progressive window displays depicting the classic poem “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

“Everybody has a portion of the story,” WHDA Director Meg Howdy said. “So you can walk around downtown and ready with your family, look in the window and hopefully go in and shop as well.”

Howdy says that this festive atmosphere brings a lot to the downtown area, comparing it favorably to the attention garnered at the Washington waterfront during its annual Harbor Walk of Lights. That event will kick off Dec. 1.

To round off “Light Up the City,” participants can enjoy a performance by the River City Ringers and Christmas songs by the Sassy Southern Sound Quartet, followed by a community theater rendition of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the Turnage Theatre. The performance is free, but donations are always appreciated.