11 Ways Sanford, NC Makes The Holiday Season Bright

Haul out the holly, throw up the decorations and head out to Sanford and Lee County to enjoy holiday cheer unlike any other! These 11 things are sure to lift spirits and add a bit more merry to your season.


Downtown Holiday Open House

Nov. 5

‘Tis the season to shop and dine in Downtown Sanford! Make your way over to be entertained as The Temple Theatre Company fills the streets with carolers. What’s more, visitors will get the first glimpse of all things Christmas at local participating businesses. It’s the ideal kickoff for your yuletide season.


Holiday Artisan Market

Nov. 11

Jumpstart your holiday shopping with a trip to the Sanford Farmers’ Market for the Holiday Artisan Market. Shop everything from local crafts to jewelry to holiday decorations – unique gifts sure to delight anyone on your list. Look for the market in the adjacent parking lot across from Yarborough’s Homemade Ice Cream and enjoy!


Small Business Saturday

Nov. 25

Come and shop local to support all the small businesses that make downtown Sanford and Lee County shine throughout the holidays and beyond. Experience the kind of warm hospitality from local store owners that always makes the annual shopping spree merry and bright.


Holiday Punch Card Shopping

Nov. 27 – Dec. 24

This holiday season, get rewarded for shopping small in Downtown Sanford! Just swing by Charlie Watson Lane to pick up your holiday punch card and receive your first punch. From there, with every $10 you spend at participating downtown businesses, you’ll receive a stamp. Completed cards can then be entered to win one of four prize drawings. So, skip the crazy holiday crowds and shop small right here in Stanford instead.


A Christmas Story

Nov. 30 – Dec. 17

May be a graphic of christmas tree, Christmas stocking and text

Don’t miss Temple Theatre’s adaptation of this holiday classic. In this timeless holiday comedy, Ralphie Parker in on a quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case and gets a consistent response: “You’ll shoot your eye out!” An infamous leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas wish. See the beloved motion picture come to life on the Temple stage!


“O Blessed Season!” –  House in the Horseshoe

Dec. 2

Travel back in time this holiday season and experience the historical wonder of the Alston House by candlelight. Guided tours will take visitors through the downstairs rooms to explore 18th-century Christmas traditions. Afterwards, enjoy a warm cup of cider and ginger cake to take with you. Be sure to grab your tickets as soon as they go on sale Nov. 1, so you don’t miss out!


Santa Train & Tree Lighting

Nov. 26

Join Santa for the annual Train & Tree Lighting in Depot Park! Spend the afternoon and evening enjoying local performances on The Depot Stage, savoring hot cocoa and other sweet treats and of course, visiting with the big man himself! Make plans now for this exciting experience filled with good tidings of comfort and joy for the entire family!


Sanford Christmas Parade

Dec. 4

Sanford’s premiere holiday event is the longest-running nighttime parade in North Carolina. Organized by Downtown Sanford, The Sanford Christmas Parade has been a holiday tradition for more than 60 years. Find the perfect spot and settle in with friends and family to watch the jolly, music-filled procession of marching bands, festive floats and of course, the man of the hour – Santa Claus!

Pro tip:

Arrive before the parade begins at 7 PM to snag the best view along the event route. The parade will start at Carthage and Wicker Streets, head toward Steele Street and make a full circle.


Broadway Christmas Parade

Dec. 9

Speaking of festive parades, make sure you’re Broadway, N.C bound to catch another seasonal favorite, the Broadway Christmas Parade. The fun starts at 2 p.m., so grab your spot early for a chance to see Santa as he makes another guest appearance alongside decked-out floats, fire trucks, marching bands, holiday festivities and more!


Taylor Phillips HITS Lee County with Friends

Dec. 10

Taylor Phillips has written close to 100 recorded songs and made a few friends along the way. Adding to the goodwill of the holiday season, Taylor is partnering with Visit Sanford to put on star-studded concert and charitable event at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic & Conference Center. Come enjoy great music for a great cause with famed country music songwriters and artists performing acoustic sets all evening long. All concert proceeds benefit suicide awareness and suicide prevention efforts.


Holiday Dining & Drinks

Between all the shopping, events and holiday merriment, there are also lots of places to grab a bite to eat or toast to the season. We recommend stopping in at Mrs. Lacy’s Magnolia House, La Dolce Vita Pizzeria or local restaurant Fonda Lupita, which was recently recognized as one of 11 Best New Restaurants in America. If you’re in the mood for barbecue, make a pit stop at any of the fine eateries on our Sanford BBQ Trail. For drinks to whet your whistle, be sure to check out our craft breweries and bars. And that’s just the beginning! Here’s a full list of locations for meals and also places to plan your own jolly festivities.


Happy holidays, everyone!