The Christmas season kicks off around Richmond County next week with the two largest municipalities lighting their trees.
The Hamlet tree lighting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28 at Main Street Park.
The lighting ceremony will be followed by an opportunity to see Santa and Ms. Claus, as well as Conductor Sam and the Polar Express across the street at the Depot.
Rockingham will hold its annual tree lighting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29 in Cole Plaza.
The L.J. Bell Elementary Chorus is slated to start singing 15 minutes prior to the lighting, and cookies and hot cocoa will be available afterward.
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.
NOTE: This story has been updated to include the date of Rockingham’s events. 5 p.m. 11-28-22