Unlock the Magic: 2023 Holiday Events East Of Raleigh

hearts, snow, fir branch, Eastern Wake Love Holiday events East of Raleigh

Even though my hydrangeas still have blooms, and I swear I had to swat a mosquito away the other day, the holidays are fast approaching.  We’ve baked pumpkin bread, caught candy at the Wendell Harvest Festival parade, slid down inflatables at Fall on First in Knightdale, gone for plenty of fall nature walks, and Boo’ed a neighbor.  I’ve even already got a few Christmas gifts tucked away in my secret hiding spot.  But even though we are nearing the end of October, there are still so many more events on the horizon!  So, take a look below for my curated list of 2023 Holiday events east of Raleigh.

To avoid making this post extremely long, I have highlighted some events around us east of Raleigh.  Some of these I have attended in the past, others I haven’t.  Please know, however, that this is NOT an extensive list!  If you are looking for smaller events held by so many of our wonderful local businesses and parks and recreation departments, please take a look (or join and contribute!) to my Eastern Wake Love: Community Events group.  Also, if I have made an egregious error by leaving something out, please contact me (or drop a comment at the bottom of this post).  This post is a live document that I can update at any time! 🙂

Lastly, I want to remind everyone to *Please check* with the main event’s website or social media page *Before attending* to ensure that nothing has changed in the scheduling or location due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances!  

So, without further ado, get out your calendars and enjoy planning your holiday memories! 🙂  I hope you have fun and Happy Holidays!

2023 Fall Events East of Raleigh

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East Regional Library Events 

Various events are held throughout the month. Please check their events calendar for current events—pictures of events taken on 10/20/2023. 

The Majority of Events are FREE

East Regional Library 946 Steeple Square Court Knightdale, NC 27545

Kick or Treat

Friday, October 27th, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Knightdale Station Park- 306 Knightdale Station Run, Knightdale, NC 27545

Admission is FREE

“This event’s main purpose is to bring the community together by providing a fun and safe event for kids to come dressed up in their Halloween costumes to trick or treat, while also raising money to benefit breast cancer research. The evening will also include food trucks, inflatables, a live DJ, and more!”


Fall FunFest

October 28, 2023, 11 AM – 5 PM

Redford Place Park – 121 Redford Place Drive, Rolesville, NC 27571

“There will be over 100 local vendors, a hayride, a hay maze,  food trucks, family games and activities, a foam party, and a costume contest! 


Halloween Bingo (All Ages Welcome!)

Monday, October 30th, 4 pm – 5 pm

Zebulon Community Center 301 S. Arendell Ave. Zebulon, NC

Admission is FREE

“Be sure to wear your Halloween Costume! Join us for BINGO! We will be holding a free BINGO event at the Zebulon Community Center. All ages are welcome to join; children must have an adult present. All supplies will be provided, and prizes will be awarded to the winners.”


Clayton Harvest Festival

Thursday, October 26- Sunday, October 29, 2023

FREE Admission 

Downtown Clayton (Please see website for specific address per event)

“From Thursday, October 26th to Sunday, October 29th, the Clayton community will be buzzing with excitement. Enjoy thrilling Midway Carnival Rides & Games, delicious food from food trucks, and craft beer. Family Night will bring joy to all with a Kid’s Trunk-or-Treat event and a movie night. Get your taste buds ready for the Squealin’ on the Square BBQ Contest and indulge in Clayton’s Largest Vendor Fair. The Hometown Talent Showcase will feature amazing performances throughout the day. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to celebrate community spirit and create lasting memories.”


Wendell Halloween Treat Trail

Friday, October 27, 2023, 5 PM – 8 PM

FREE Admission

Wendell Park – 601 West Third Street, Wendell, NC 27591

“Looking for a fun and SPOOKtacular outing for your young ghouls and goblins? Join us for the Halloween Treat Trail at the Wendell Park! The trail is non-scary for our young patrons 12 years of age and under – accompanied with an adult. Moms and Dads can meet the local businesses, and our young ghouls and goblins have a howling good time collecting treats along the trail. Food trucks will be on-site! Join us on the Halloween Treat Trail for a ghoulish splendid time!”


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19th Annual North Carolina Whirligig Festival

Saturday, November 4th – 10 am – 5 pm

Sunday, November 5th – 12 pm – 5 pm

113 Nash St E, Wilson, NC 27893-4040, United States

Admission is FREE

“The NC Whirligig Festival showcases arts of the region, including the giant Whirligigs created by local artist, Vollis Simpson, in the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park. It is a two-day community celebration in Historic Downtown Wilson of people and art in motion.”

Are you looking for more Fall or Halloween fun? Check out some of these local businesses’ websites or social media pages for more events!

Rewind Retro Bar

Grasshopper Farms

Crossroads Corn Maze

Haven Farm

The Feathered Farm

2023 Election Day

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Tuesday, November 7th – 6:30 am – 7:30 pm

Go on out and vote for your preferred local town councilors or commissioners.  They shape the policies for your town that impact you daily.  Make sure to make your voice heard!

If you’re looking for more upcoming election information, you can search here.

Veteran’s Day

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Veteran’s Day Tribute

Sunday, November 12, 2023, 2:00 PM

Knightdale Station Park 306 Knightdale Station Run, Knightdale, NC 27545


“Please join us on Sunday, November 12th, for a Veterans Day Tribute at the Veteran’s Memorial at Knightdale Station Park.”


Veteran’s Day Celebration 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023, 10:00 AM

Zebulon Town Hall – 1003 North Arendell Ave Zebulon, NC 27597 (Rain Site will be the Zebulon Community Center)


“The Town of Zebulon wishes to express gratitude to our Veterans. We invite you to join us for a ceremony on the front lawn of the Zebulon Town Hall.  A grab-and-go breakfast will be provided.  Please allow time for parking. RSVP By Friday, Oct. 27, to Hope Mitchell at 919-823-0432 or hmitchell@townofzebulon.org


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Turkey Leg 5K 

Saturday, November 18, 2023, 8 am

Knightdale Station Park 810 N. First Avenue Knightdale, NC

$20 to participate in the race, FREE to come and support runners/walkers!

“First 300 race registrants will receive a participation medal and a pair of Knightdale branded running socks. Early packet pickup will take place on Thursday, November 16, and Friday, November 17, from 9:00 am-4:00 pm at 207 Main Street, Knightdale, NC 27545. Packets can be picked up the morning of the race at Knightdale Station Park prior to 8:00am.”

2023 Winter Holiday Events East of Raleigh

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Christmas Tree Lighting 

Friday, December 1st, 2023, 6 PM – 8 PM

Knightdale Station Park- 306 Knightdale Station Run, Knightdale, NC 27545

FREE Admission

“Join us as we kick off the Christmas season by lighting the tree at Knightdale Station Park. Write letters to Santa, watch local entertainment, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, then help countdown the lighting of our Christmas Tree with a special visit from Santa!”

Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 9th, 10 AM

Knightdale Station Park- 306 Knightdale Station Run, Knightdale, NC 27545

FREE Admission

“Come take in the spectacle that is the Knightdale Christmas Parade at its new start time of 10:00 am! The parade begins on First Avenue at Knightdale Station Park and ends at Fayetteville Street.  Enjoy watching local groups, businesses, and organizations as you wait for Santa to arrive!”


Wendell Winter Wonderland

Friday, December 1, 2023, 5 pm – 9 pm

99 West 3rd Street, Wendell, North Carolina 27591

“The Town of Wendell’s annual holiday festival includes craft vendors, snow, food trucks, a cookie walk, and Mr. and Mrs. Santa. Every year, thousands come to walk down Main Street and experience the small-town charm for the holiday season.”

Lake Myra Christmas Lights

Dates: TBD

Corner of 3rd St and Cypress St, Wendell, NC


Holiday Tree Lighting

TBD- More Information Coming Soon

Christmas Parade 2023

Sunday, December 3rd, 2023, 2 pm – 3 pm

Main Street, Rolesville (Begins at Thales Academy at 1202 Granite Falls Blvd)

FREE Admission

“Come out to join us and see the man in the red suit! What a way to officially kick off the holiday season! “


Candy Cane Lane & Downtown Tree Lighting Festival

Saturday, November 18, 4 pm- 8 pm

Downtown Zebulon 

Admission is FREE

“Celebrate the holiday season in Downtown Zebulon. Spend the evening strolling Arendell Avenue, visiting downtown businesses, participating in Christmas activities, enjoying live performances, and celebrating with community members. Activities will include: Visits with Santa, Free Holiday Crafts, Letters To Santa, Games, Hot Chocolate, Food Trucks, And So Much More!”

Wake Forest

Downtown Holiday Open House

Saturday, December 2, 2023, 10 am – 3 pm 

Downtown Wake Forest (Artisans Market held at 405 S. Brooks St.)

FREE Admission

In addition to a variety of holiday sales and specials from participating establishments, the day’s festivities will include the following: Pictures with Santa (advanced reservations required), Victorian carolers, Wake Forest Holiday Artisans Market, and the Jingle Bell Walk.  Please see the link above for additional information. 


Old Town Candlelight Christmas Tour

Saturday, December 16th, 2023, from 4 – 8:30 pm.

The Person Place, 605 N Main St., Louisburg, NC, 27549

“You won’t want to miss this exclusive opportunity to see the interiors of some of Louisburg’s most beautiful, private, historic homes, decorated for the Holiday Season. Several homes and churches have been selected to be featured in this highly anticipated event.”

Tickets: $50/person


Festival of Lights at Hillridge Farms 

Open 11/23-11/26.  Closed 11/27-11/30, Then Open Nightly 12/1-12/30, 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

703 Tarboro Rd. Youngsville, NC 27596

$20 Cash per vehicle, $23 credit/debit.  

“Take a magical drive through a winter wonderland from the comfort of your vehicle. Enjoy over a million lights, holiday-themed displays, and characters as you travel through the farm. No advance tickets or reservations.”

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Thanks for stopping by to check out a few holiday events happening in or near Eastern Wake County!  Once again, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all events.  However, if you have attended something in the past that you just LOVED and I have missed, please drop a comment below, and I’ll find out more info and add it to the list!

Wishing you all a beautiful Autumn, a Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays, and a Merry Christmas!

Author: Taylor

Taylor, the founder of Eastern Wake Love and resident of Knightdale, NC, created the platform to celebrate Eastern Wake County’s community and lifestyle. Driven by the lack of substantial information about the Eastern Wake communities during her move to Knightdale, she wanted to create a resource for this beautiful area's potential and current residents and visitors. In her spare time, she’s chasing after her two young kiddos, getting involved in her community, and laughing with her husband about the chaos of parenthood.


2 thoughts on “Unlock the Magic: 2023 Holiday Events East Of Raleigh”

    1. Hi Gina! I’d suggest joining the Eastern Wake Love: Community Events Facebook group. I forward all holiday events there as I see them, and many of them will advertise that they are looking for vendors! But I don’t typically update that as much on the website since it’s such a fluid thing that changes as those vendor spots get filled up 🙂

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