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Spirit of Christmas 2022 is on the Way
Lights, a parade, gingerbread houses and more
November 21, 2022

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uminaria lighting South Ave. The Tree of Names and Lights. The Coast Guard pilots Santa at the end of the parade.

It’s all part of The Spirit of Christmas. The Spirit of Christmas is the weekend of December 9 & 10.

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The Coast Guard takes Santa on a ride through town.

It doesn’t happen without help of the many volunteers, residents, and businesses that chip in to make it an annual winter season spectacle.

If you want to participate in an event, or volunteer to help out, these are events – and people – to know:

Light Up Oriental Decorating Contest. This year, the Oriental Woman’s Club heads Light up Oriental. It’s your chance to get out your decorations, garlands, and lights to make your home or business stand out. Judging begins Dec 5. Winners announced Friday, Dec 9 at the Star Lighting. Categories for both homes and businesses are:
• Nauti-est (most nautical)
• Griswold (best lights)
• Reason for the Season (best nativity)
• Most Inflated (best inflatables)
• Most Whimsical
Best overall awards will be given for Most Beautiful Home and Best Decorated Business.

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A tree along Whittaker Point Rd stood out from the rest – decorated for the season.

• The Spirit of Christmas Parade happens December 10 at 1p. Walk, ride, dance, or drive down Broad Street in the Christmas Parade. Reach out to Tony Santore at 252-204-5785 for more information, or sign up here.

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The New Bern Yacht Club in the Spirit of Christmas parade.

Luminaries – those bagged lights that line the streets of Oriental – are headed up by Parks and Recreations Board director Bonnie Crosser. It takes about an hour per event to get these together and you don’t have to volunteer for each event. Find the one that works for you and let Bonnie know you’ll be there by signing up here.
Bag Folding at the Toucan, Dec 6 at 4:30p with holiday music & cash bar
Bag Assembly & distribution. Meet at Station 19 Firehouse, Dec 9 at 1p. No candles this year – luminaries are battery powered. Bring a trailer if you have one to load and distribute lights.
Luminary Pick Up, Dec 11 at 8a – Four volunteers are needed to pick up luminaries and bring them to Station 19.
Luminary Pack Up, Dec 11 at 1p – Volunteers pack away wooden blocks and tea lights for the next year. Also at Station 19.

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Luminaries line the Labyrinth and the street during the 2021 Spirit of Christmas.

Kayak & Paddle Board Flotilla in the Harbor – Decorate yourself and your engineless vessel and join the flotilla at 5p on Dec 9. Contact Larry Summers at 252-675-0467 to let him know you’ll be there. Vessels leave from the Wildlife Dock at the end of Midyette Street. Find out more here.

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A mermaid out of water – during the 2021 kayak & paddleboard flotilla in Oriental’s Harbor.

Tree of Names and Lights An Oriental tradition, the Tree of Names and Lights honors loved ones (people and pets) here and passed. For a $5 donation, one candle ornament with the name of your loved one is hand made and placed on the Tree of Names and Lights in Lou Mac Park. A red bow on the candle means ‘In Honor of’, a green bow is ‘In Memory of’. Click here to find out where to send your donation.

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Meta Jones adjusts ornaments on the Tree of Names and Lights.

Live Nativity at the Oriental United Methodist Church. The Children’s Theater Workshop puts together the Live Nativity and they’re always looking for participants. Know a child that would make a good shepherd, sheep, or wise man? Email theater director Yolanda Cristiani at 1996ctw@gmail.com A full rehearsal schedule is coming.

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Mary and Joseph walk to the stable.

A detailed schedule of events will be out about a week before Spirit of Christmas begins. The general schedule (some events are still begin confirmed) is here:

Thursday, December 8:
• Lighting of the Tree of Names and Lights in Lou Mac Park

Friday, December 9:
• Luminaries deployed around town
• Oriental Business Open Houses
• Lighted Engineless Flotilla in the Harbor
• Lighting of Christmas Star at the Harbor
• Light Up Oriental Decorating Contest winners announced
• Pamlico Chorale at 7p

Saturday, December 10:
• Breakfast with Santa at Brantley’s
• KId’s & Adult’s Gingerbread House Contests
• Business Open Houses
• Christmas Parade at 1p
• Live Nativity at 3:30p

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Everyone gets in on the action.

If you have any questions about this year’s festivities, you can contact Marsha Paplham at Marsha’s Cottage at 252-249-0334.

If you’d like to donate to Spirit of Christmas to help defray the cost of the decorations, luminaria, Tree of Names and Lights, and more, you can make a check out to The Spirit of Christmas and drop it by Marsha’s Cottage at the intersection of Hodges and Wall Streets.

Posted Monday November 21, 2022 by Allison DeWeese


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