The Emerald Isle Christmas Parade and What You Need to Know


What’s your favorite part of the holiday season? Is it holiday caroling? Glittering Christmas lights? Big family gatherings? Or, baking your family’s most cherished recipes? For us, the best part of the holiday season is the Emerald Isle Christmas Parade. Each year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Emerald Drive fills with the spirit of Christmas. Holiday decorations, people in good cheer, Christmas carols and, of course, Santa Claus and his elves swirl through our town. Locals and visitors gather together to watch the parade, give their wish list to Santa, and take part in the annual Christmas tree lighting. This year, we hope that you and your family can experience the Emerald Isle Christmas Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting, too.

Find out more about Emerald Isle and the Crystal Coast when you download our free Vacation Guide. It’s full of the best recommendations for things to see and do like attending the Emerald Isle Christmas Parade.

The Emerald Isle Christmas Parade

Each year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, locals and visitors flock to Emerald Drive for the official kick-off of the Christmas season on Emerald Isle. Beginning at 3 p.m. on the corner of Mangrove Street and Emerald Drive, children and adults line the street and wait in anticipation for the parade to begin. For the thirteenth year in a row, the parade, which is scheduled for Saturday, November 26 this year, invites you to get in the holiday spirit. At the parade, you’ll hear festive music and see a variety of cheery, holiday themed floats as they go by. The parade concludes with an exciting finale that features the one, and only one, Santa Claus, who rides on the float at the very end of the parade!

Santa, Cider, and a Christmas Tree Lighting

The Christmas parade is just the start of a festive afternoon on Emerald Isle. At the conclusion of the parade, crowds gather at Merchant’s Park to visit with Santa Claus. In the park, visitors will also find free refreshments, including hot cider and cookies, to enjoy. There’s also a holiday sing-a-long that leads up to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Merchant’s Park! After the parade, be sure to go to Merchant’s Park to catch all of these exciting activities and to see the glittering Emerald Isle Christmas Tree!

Spend the Holidays on Emerald Isle!

Spending your holidays on Emerald Isle is one of the best ways to gather your family together and create memories that will last a lifetime. Gather your children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews together for a Thanksgiving or Christmas they won’t soon forget. With the vacation rental homes at Spinnaker’s Reach, you can cook a Thanksgiving meal in a huge, modern, well-equipped kitchen that has plenty of room to accommodate everyone. Or, spend Christmas gathered together under one roof and take part in our Crystal Coast holiday festivities. Whether you start a new family tradition or continue an old one, we hope to see you in Emerald Isle this holiday season!

Photo credit: Getty Images / saquizeta