Christmas season in Nags Head includes holiday markets, home and business decorating contests

Christmas season in Nags Head includes holiday markets, home and business decorating contests

November 24th, 2022

The Town of Nags Head is excited to announce a full schedule of upcoming holiday events. Celebrate love, hope, and the joy of giving with family and friends in our family-friendly coastal community.

All events are free.

Start the season off with a stop at one of three holiday markets at Nags Head’s popular gathering spot, Dowdy Park, located at 3005 South Croatan Highway. Shop for handmade gifts finely crafted by local artisans while the kids entertain themselves on the playground. The markets will be held:

  • Saturday, November 26 from 9 am to 12 pm
  • Thursday, December 1 from 4 pm to 7 pm
  • Saturday, December 10 from 9 am to 12 pm

On November 26, Santa Claus will make a special stop at Dowdy Park for the annual Christmas tree lighting. From 5 pm to 7 pm, visit with family, friends, neighbors, and Santa, while sipping hot cocoa and enjoying the Christmas light-decorated park.

On Thursday, December 15, kids can get their cheer on by searching for candy canes at Dowdy Park from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Hunts for two age groups will be held to ensure safe and fair candy cane discovery.

Finally, the Town will hold a holiday decorating contest for all Nags Head residences and businesses. Express your holiday spirit with festive creativity. Contest categories include:

  • For the Joy of It – no specific theme, but wow factor is important
  • Best Beach Theme – no explanation needed
  • Griswold Award – inspired by the movie “Christmas Vacation”
  • Anything But the House – decorate anything but the house:  boathouse, barn, shed, dog house

Winners in each category will receive a special recognition yard sign, mention on the Town of Nags Head’s web site and social media and in the local newspaper, and recognition at the January 2023 Nags Head Board of Commissioners meeting.

Entry forms, available at or at town hall, must be received by 5 pm on December 9. Judging takes place Tuesday evening, December 13, so be sure to turn your lights on as soon as it gets dark.

For more information on the events, visit or contact Event Coordinator Paige Griffin at or 252-449-2010.

Schedules may change due to weather.

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