Parks, Recreation
  and Cultural


Heart of the Holidays

Heart of the Holidays Celebration

Five fun ways you can get involved in the Heart of the Holidays!

1. Perform! Audition to be part of the 2013 Town of Cary Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony!

2. Create! Make a gingerbread house for the 3rd annual Gingerbread House Competition!

3. Decorate! Register to decorate a Christmas Tree along Academy Street as part of our 2nd annual Gifting Tree Project for a chance to donate to your favorite charity!

4. Shop! Get your last minute (or start!) holiday shopping done by purchasing a handmade gift from a rotating group of artists for 3 weeks in December!

5. Write! Write a letter to Santa and drop it off at his mailbox outside Town Hall!

**Please see below for registration forms, deadlines and more information.

Kick off the season with a full day’s worth of holiday cheer in historic Downtown Cary!

Saturday, December 7, 2013 - events all day long!

Letters to Santa
Santa’s Mailbox located at Town Hall starting on November 25, 2013

We’ve made special arrangements with Santa Claus for the Town Hall to be a drop off site for letters to Santa Claus! Have little Johnny and Suzie enjoy this annual tradition as we prepare for Santa’s flight over Cary. Drop off your letters in the Santa Mailbox before December 13th and your child will hear back from our jolly friend in red! Make sure to include your child’s name and address on each letter.

Holly Daze Shoppe
120 E. Chatham Street, Downtown Cary
December 2-21  |  Monday - Saturday  | 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Downtown Cary’s pop-up shop returns! Come out and find that perfect handcrafted gift for your friend or loved one, finish up your Christmas shopping, and support local artists! New artists featured each week. Open Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. from December 2-21.

Artist List for 2013

Heart of Cary Association’s 10th annual Ole Time Winter Festival
Downtown Cary; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Celebrations begin with the Heart of Cary’s 10th annual Ole Time Winter Festival held on West Chatham Street in Downtown Cary. Festival goers can enjoy arts & crafts, entertainment, food, activities, and more. Santa will be there. Start (or finish) your holiday shopping!
For more information,  

3rd annual Gingerbread House Competition
Inside Downtown Cary Businesses

Create a gingerbread house yummy enough for an elves visit! Entries will be accepted in the following categories: Family, Teen (13-17), and Adult (18 & up). Registration forms due by DECEMBER 2nd. House drop off will be Friday, December 6th. The houses will be on display in Downtown Cary on December 7th. Winning houses will be on display during December at the Cary Arts Center.

Gingerbread House Registration Form  - Due December 2nd!
Gingerbread House Rules

2nd annual Gifting Tree Project
Downtown Cary along Academy Street

You are invited to participate in a Christmas Tree Decorating Contest in Downtown Cary with a charitable twist! Represent your family, organization, school or more as we line the streets of Downtown Cary with lighted trees. The public will be invited to vote and the winning tree will have a donation (provided by our Gifting Tree Project sponsor) to the non-profit group of their choice! Other prizes will also be awarded. Registration forms are due by November 27.


Page-Walker Holiday Open House
Page-Walker Arts & History Center, 4 - 6 p.m.

Get into the holiday spirit with some old-fashioned Christmas fun at the Page-Walker’s Holiday Open House. Learn about Victorian holiday traditions while touring the 1868 historic hotel. Listen to Victorian Carolers and take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Taste holiday treats and view historic rooms decorated for the season by the Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel. Try hands-on crafts for the kids too.

Santa’s Workshop
Herbert C. Young Community Center; 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
(age 10 & under accompanied by an adult)

Join us for Cary Teen Council’s annual Holiday Celebration. Children will enjoy a variety of craft stations where they can make a gift for someone special and enjoy a visit with the white bearded guy from the NORTH POLE! While at Santa’s workshop, support the Cary Teen Council’s food drive by sending each child with two non-perishable food items OR cash donation will be accepted. All contributions will be given to a local charity. There will be a 20 minute break at 11:30 a.m. so Santa can feed his reindeer. For more information call (919) 460-4965.

Art Exhibit Openings

Mark Nystrom: Coded Responses
Cary Arts Center Gallery; 3 – 5 p.m.
Technology based drawings and computer screenings.

The Artists Within: Town of Cary Employees
Town Hall Gallery & Town Hall Display Case; 2 – 4 p.m.
Town of Cary employees show off their talents. This diverse show is sure to surprise and engage your creative side.

Beverly Ford: Nature, Naturally
Herb Young Community Center; 2 – 4 p.m.
Nature, Naturally is a collection of photography that includes flowers, plants, woods, natural objects, and scenic images.

Official Town of Cary Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Town Hall Campus by the Town Tree; 6 p.m.

The official Christmas Tree lighting for the Town of Cary will be on this day as well. This community celebration of the season has become incredibly popular over the past years. It’s a wonderful time to bring your blanket and your loved-ones out to the Town Hall campus and welcome in the holiday season with your neighbors. This festive night features talented actors, singers, dancers, and musicians from our community onstage.

Not only will the beautiful 30 foot cedar Christmas Tree be illuminated for the first time in the season, but we’ll also unveil the “Cary Community Christmas Tree” that will be inside at the Town Hall. All sorts of groups that serve our local community will be providing handcrafted ornaments to be displayed on the inside tree. Our Community Christmas Tree will truly be a representation of the diversity of Cary.

Cary Community Christmas Tree Ornament Participation

Cary Players present "A Christmas Story"
Cary Arts Center; 3 & 8 p.m.

Bring the entire family to this hilarious holiday-classic based on the movie by Jean Shepherd!
Tickets $18.00 for Adults, $16.00 for Students and Seniors
Order tickets on line at www.caryplayers.orgor at the Cary Arts Center Box Office
For reduced rates for group or season tickets, contact (919) 481-5190.
Additional Performances on Dec 5, 6, 9 at 7:30 p.m.

For more information about any events in the Heart of the Holidays Celebration, call (919) 469-4061.