Duck and Manteo have the biggest Christmas celebrations on the Outer Banks.

Duck and Manteo have the biggest Christmas celebrations on the Outer Banks.

Christmas parades, Santa, lighting a Christmas tree…it’s all part of Outer Banks tradition when it comes to welcoming in the holiday season.

There are two big celebrations on the northern Outer Banks. Manteo is about as traditional as it gets. Duck—well, the Town of Duck has always had its own way fo doing things.

Manteo always holds its tree lighting n the first Friday of December—or at least it has for the past 47 years, making this the 48th Annual Manteo Tree Lighting. This is the perfect celebration for anyone who wants to renew their faith in humanity, small-town life, and the Christmas spirit.

Manteo Celebration

It’s all centered around the old Dare County Courthouse, now the home of the Dare County Arts Council. there is almost no way to describe what a perfect celebration of small-town life this is.

Local school choirs sing; local dance groups perform; local churches are handing out hot chocolate. And of course, Santa makes his appearance. It is wonderful and worth checking out at least one time.

As Christmas Parades go, Manteo has one of the best. Things begin on Saturday at 10:30. The same themes of small-town life hold true all day.

Town of Duck Crab Pot Lighting

Duck, which holds its celebration on Saturday, goes for a mostly all-day event, culminating with the lighting of the crab pot Christmas tree.

There’s live music, hot chocolate, goodies and lots of pets and dogs on hand.

The highlight, though, has to be Santa riding on a fire truck! Is it a Christmas Parade? Not really although the troop of children following Santa into town hall certainly can make it seem like one.

Santa is, of course, always patient and wonderful, but something happens to him when he gets to Duck that is exceptional. The Duck Santa may be at his absolute best when listening to children and truly engaging with them.

It all makes you want to be on the Outer Banks for the holidays! Book your stay at one of our Duck vacation rentals on the Outer Banks and start planning your stay!