ROCKINGHAM — Recently retired city employee Mike DePrezio had the honor of lighting the tree in Cole Plaza Tuesday night.
But he wasn’t alone.
DePrezio had help from his 4-year-old grandson Athens Upton, who exclaimed “I’m a tree lighter” after plugging in one of the city’s largest Christmas decorations.
The L.J. Bell Chorus peformed prior to the lighting and Seaboard Station provided hot cocoa and cookies afterward.
The Christmas season kicked off Monday with Hamlet’s tree-lighting ceremony. Click here to see photos from that event.
The town tree in Ellerbe will be lit Friday evening at 5:15 p.m.
Festivities in Hamlet continue on Dec. 3 as the fire department hosts its annual Breakfast with Santa event from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the station; and Dec. 8 with the second annual Parade of Lights, a nighttime Christmas parade with a special appearance by Carolina Panthers mascot Sir Purr. The parade is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Two days later (Dec. 10), the Hamlet Business Development Association is again hosting its annual Old Fashioned Christmas event from 4-7 p.m. on Main Street and Hamlet Avenue.
The Rockingham Downtown Christmas Festival, sponsored by the Rockingham Downtown Corp., is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15.
According to the RDC, the downtown restaurants and several businesses will remain open and there will be a “Festival Market” set up for vendors at Liberty Place.
Entertainment for the event includes the dancers from Bold Moves, carolers in front of the Manufacturers Building and the Richmond Senior High School Band at Harrington Square.
Rockingham Speedway’s “Speedway Christmas,” a three-mile drive-through light show, cranks up Dec. 1 and is scheduled to run the entire month, with the Raider band slated to play Dec. 3.
See more photos from Rockingham’s tree-lighting below.