Top Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies


With a year full of twists, turns, and anything but predictability, the holiday season in the Raleigh area should prove to bring back a sense of tradition, if not normalcy. There is just something about the Christmas season that despite the cold in the air, produces warmth among families, friends, and area residents. Many events across the Triangle area signify traditions of the season for many different reasons. However, the Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies, both in town and in surrounding ones are sure to bring out the holiday spirit.

Some people like to keep it more local and just visit the Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies in their smaller hometown. Others will go to every light display and tree ceremony they can make it too! Whichever gets you in the spirit of the season is fine by us. Below, we will list some of the impressive annual area Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies. From the biggest to smallest each of these events will surely score hugely for the holidays.

Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies: Christmas in the City

The first four of our ten Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies all take place in different areas of Raleigh. Each of these has become somewhat iconic for Raleigh and no question is a huge part of many resident’s celebrations of the season.

Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting Celebration

The annual downtown event is maybe the most traditional of the Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies. Live performances throughout the evening and night as well as all the great tastes and shops of downtown. The mayor presides over the city’s tree lighting celebration.

Annual North Hills Tree Lighting

Another of the Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies that many people look forward to every winter. The North Hills tree lighting event features a fun-filled night of holiday cheer for the whole family. Between the “Holiday “Sip and Shop” prior to the event for the parents. Or the trackless train rides and visit from Santa for the kids. Everything at this spectacular event leads up to the lighting of the always amazing 41-foot tall Christmas tree.

The State Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony

Local choirs and groups will be filling the air with carols and songs of the season. Adding to this magical annual holiday event. Always on hand are many state luminaries. Likewise, this seasonal gathering at the State Capitol is the true sign for many that the Christmas season has finally arrived. Each year following the breathtaking tree lighting, tours are given n of the capitol, showcasing its holiday decor throughout.

Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies: A Pair of Cary Ceremonies

For those newer to the area, Cary is a neighboring town to the capital city of Raleigh. Not only is Cary part of the thriving and heralded Research Triangle with Raleigh and Durham, but the town is consistently given accolades for being one of the nations’ top places for young families to live. That being said, for our next two Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies, we move a few miles up the road to the Town of Cary.

North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival (Cary)

2020 would have marked the fifth straight year of this amazing spectacle. Due to the pandemic and regulations, it was canceled, however, when talking Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies, this is one the whole family won’t want to miss. This event features over 20 enormous Chinese-style lanterns lit up in the “spirit of the season.” Each of the lanterns is lit up by thousands of LED lights. Thus, the one-hour walking tour that this event consists of sees the sky light up with truly awe-inspiring results. On top of the breathtaking lanterns, each night of this festival at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre showcases the arts. Chinese dance, martial arts, or some traditional culture will be displayed.

Waverly Place Tree Lighting and Holiday Concert (Cary)

One of the town of Cary’s most popular social gathering spots is also home to one of the area’s favorite annual Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies. With a live DJ spinning all the holiday favorites and many of the kids favorite Christmas characters on hand to greet them, the Waverly Place Tree Lighting and Holiday Concert is one you won’t want to miss out on either.

Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies: Fuquay Captures Big Time Feel in Smaller Town Ceremony

As we have discussed in previous posts, the Raleigh area’s growth and allure are certainly more than. just within city limits. Surrounding suburbs of Raleigh and countless neighboring towns have likewise received many accolades and much interest from prospective moving families as well. That being said, your new hometown of Fuquay Varina eo]epitomizes these municipalities. While smaller in size and population, the are no doubt on par with the “Oak City” when it comes to community spirit and holiday type events.

Fuquay- Varina Town Tree Lighting

We are sure this one doesn’t surprise you. Well, right in your new hometown and just up the street from the South Lakes community. The “work together as a community” feel across this town almost guarantees a special tree lighting. Fuquay Varina not only does a fabulous tree lighting, though. They also have something to set them apart from the other Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies. This would be its ongoing “Downtown Sleigh Rides.” In addition, don’t forget its annual Holiday Parade either.

Other Smaller Town, Raleigh Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies to Check Out

  • Wendell: Wendell Wonderland and Lake Myra Lights: 
  • Apex: Christmas on Salem Street 
  • Garner: Light Up Main 
  • Wake Forest: Lighting of Wake Forest
  • Knightdale: Christmas on First Avenue 
  • Holly Springs: Main Street Christmas 

For more information on the town of Fuquay Varina’s annual Christmas events, go to To see further details on the South lakes new home community, visit

Photo Credit: VisitRaleigh