Music, floats and a special guest from the North Pole will help the local area usher in the holiday season on Dec. 14 and 15 with a full slate of festivities — Prelude to Christmas, the Warren County Christmas Parade and Twas the Lights Before Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting Festival.

Saturday, Dec. 14

The fun begins in downtown Warrenton on Saturday, Dec. 14, as the town of Warrenton, Warrenton Rotary Club and Warrenton Revitalization Committee present Prelude to Christmas and the Warren County Christmas Parade. Handicapped parking will be available on West Market Street.

Prelude to Christmas will begin at 4 p.m. on Courthouse Square, 109 S. Main St., Warrenton. People of all ages are invited to bring lawn chairs and settle in for an evening of celebration.

The Vance-Granville Community College Band will perform music to set a festive mood. Hot dogs, funnel cakes and ice cream will be offered for purchase.

Activities on Courthouse Square will resume after the Warren County Christmas Parade, which will begin at 5 p.m.

Parade entries will line up at Mariam Boyd Elementary School on Cousin Lucy’s Lane at the southern end of town. From there, the parade will turn onto Main Street and proceed through the heart of the downtown area.

The parade is expected to include a variety of floats, antique cars and trucks, fire trucks and more.

Children will want to be on their best behavior as a special guest from the North Pole will be concluding the event.

Following the parade, those attending should return to Courthouse Square for more Christmas fun.

Santa Claus will lead the traditional tree lighting ceremony before making his way to his Warren County headquarters to hear Christmas wishes from boys and girls.

Festivities will continue until 8 p.m.

The Rotary Club of Warrenton will accept donations of non-perishable food items to benefit Loaves & Fishes Ministries, Inc. food pantry in Warrenton. As the parade passes by, contributions may be placed in the shopping carts that will follow the Rotary float. Donations also may be given to Rotary members before the event.

The rain date for Prelude to Christmas and the Warren County Christmas Parade is Sunday, Dec. 15. There is still time to register for the parade. Entry forms are available at Tar Heel Tire Sales & Service, 130 Tar Heel Ave.,  and The Warren Record, 112 N. Main St., both in Warrenton, and on the town’s website, warrenton.nc.gov.  

For more information, contact Warrenton Town Hall at 252-257-1122 or email townadministrator@warrenton.nc.gov.

Sunday, Dec. 15

Weekend festivities will continue on Sunday, Dec. 15, as the town of Norlina, Norlina Fire Department, Norlina Police Department and Norlina Activities  Club host Twas the Lights Before Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting Festival in downtown Norlina.

The parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. on U.S. 1 at Hunter Ridge Road on the northern end of town and will continue down U.S. 1 to Center Street  at the Norlina Volunteer Fire Department. From there, the parade will turn onto Hyco Street and proceed to the intersection of Division Street and Warren Plains Road.

Entries are expected  to include elected officials, local organizations, Norlina businesses and more. Once again, children should be on their best behavior as a special visitor from the North Pole will also be participating.

After dark, parade-goers should make their way to the area in front of Norlina Town Hall for a tree lighting and singing of Christmas carols to create a festive scene in the style of the animated classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Santa Claus will be on hand to visit with children and hear their Christmas wishes.

The holiday fun will continue at The Wright Place Rental and Event Planning, 101 U.S. Hwy. 158, Norlina, as parade-goers will have a chance to warm up with hot cocoa and soup, and enjoy fellowship with each other. Food trucks will be selling items that include  hot dogs, Philly cheese steak sandwiches and wings.    

Vendors will offer a variety of wares for those who would like to take care of a little Christmas shopping or find a treat for themselves.

Activities will continue until 8:30 p.m.

Parade entry forms are available at Norlina Town Hall, 139 Hyco St.; Aycock Auto Service, 501 U.S. 1, south, Norlina; the Norlina Volunteer Fire Department website,  norlinafire.com; or by contacting D.K. Trotman at norlinafire231@gmail.com or 252-204-1868.

To volunteer or register to be a vendor at the festival, contact Latarshia Turner-Brothers at newlifeofwellness@gmail.com  or 252-425-9845.