Carolina Beach will be lit up this weekend to start off the holiday season Pleasure Island-style.
Residents and visitors will start at Carolina Beach Lake on Friday night for the 25th annual Lighting at the Lake Celebration. According to Frances Massey of Island of Lights, the organization that runs the event and others on Pleasure Island, the ceremony will start at 7 p.m.
“We’re going to have a little program with some speeches and music,” said Massey. “Then we’ll light the lights around the lake.”
A Christmas tree, elevated on a stand, will also be lighted. Massey said the organization is excited to have a new tree, which is not live, this year. There will also be photo opportunities with Santa Claus in the picnic shelter, as well as hot cocoa and other light refreshments for visitors as they walk around and take in the bright decorations that line the mile-long path around the lake.
“Everybody should come down and enjoy it,” Massey said. “We have a ball doing it.”
Following the festivities at the lake, visitors can then walk to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, where the town’s annual Christmas by the Sea will kick off.
The event is being held for the first time at the new boardwalk and will also have a lighting ceremony for its tree and other decorations. According to the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, there are different coves or areas sponsored by various organizations featuring different themes and items.
“The Carolina Beach Fire Department’s cove will have a fire pit,” said Gail McCloskey, president of the Chamber. “They’ll be telling stories around the fire to the children.”
There will be hot chocolate and other snacks as well as other activities for the kids at the boardwalk’s main stage and gazebo area. Santa’s Workshop is also set up there, with more photo opportunities for the younger holiday-makers.
While the lighting ceremonies for the lake and boardwalk decorations will take place Friday, Nov. 27, both areas will be open for visitors to enjoy for most of the month of December. Santa’s Workshop at Christmas by the Sea will be open on Nov. 28 as well as Dec. 5, 12 and 19.
“It’s all really beautiful, everyone should come down and see it,” said Massey. “It’s a real small-town holiday celebration.”