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Christmas cheer abounds in Washington this week

Lights and wonders will illuminate Washington’s Main Street Tuesday evening as the Washington Harbor District Alliance and the City of Washington host Light Up the City, complemented by a variety of events at the Turnage Theatre.

Starting Tuesday afternoon, from 2 to 7 p.m., the Harbor District Market will kick off its annual Christmas Market, offering homemade holiday crafts to give as gifts or keep for one’s self. The market will return this weekend, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Santa Claus himself is scheduled to visit the Market both days this weekend, from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Santa will be available for photos.

“It’s really about coming together as a community,” said Meg Howdy, executive director of the Washington Harbor District Alliance. “… We’re really excited for Tuesday night. We kind of joke that it’s kind of like living in a Hallmark Christmas movie. We love our community, and it’s a good time to get together and kick off the holidays.”

Tuesday evening, after sunset, a crowd will start gathering on Main Street in front of the market and Turnage Theatre around 5:30 p.m. At 5:40 p.m., the city streets will light up in the splendor of Christmas, illuminating storefronts and street corners.

Howdy said there may be a surprise visit from a certain man in a red suit that evening as well. Following the street lighting, the WHDA will invite attendees to visit the market for hot cocoa and cookies, as well as crafts for the kids.

After the street lighting, a pair of back-to-back performances at the Turnage Theatre are certain to boost the holiday cheer. First up is a holiday hand bell concert from the River City Ringers at 6:30 p.m. in the Turnage Gallery.

Following the concert, Arts of the Pamlico will present its third-annual production of “A Christmas Carol.” The play, put on by the AOP Players, will feature a variety of local faces and is directed by Natalie Stewart, with costume design by Jeffery Phipps. The production is free to the public.

“It’s great for everyone in the family, and it’s a free event, so come on down,” said AOP Events and Exhibit Coordinator Thad Aley.

While Tuesday’s events mark the first of the Christmas season in Washington, they’re only the beginning. Holiday festivities continue next week, with the downtown Jingle and Mingle shopping event Dec. 5.

Dec. 7 also will be a day of celebration in Washington, with the annual city Christmas parade at 10 a.m., the 2019 Holiday Homes Tour throughout the day and the lighting of the harbor lights that same evening. Arts of the Pamlico will also host its annual holiday market for children that day, featuring low-cost gifts children can purchase for Mom, Dad and the rest of the family. For more details, keep an eye on the Washington Daily News community calendar in coming weeks.