Newton, NC — Ring in the Christmas Season during Light Up the Town in Downtown Newton from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3.

Santa glides his sleigh into Downtown Newton each year before Christmas to light the thousands of twinkling lights and garlands that festoon the streets around the 1924 Courthouse Square.

As the sun sets over Downtown Newton and street lamps flicker to life, the streets will open to pedestrians for a leisurely stroll around the Square to view a static Christmas parade comprised of more than a dozen floats. This year’s parade participants include:Downtown Newton’s Light Up

• The Studio dancers and Appalachian band
• In My Father’s House Community Support Services Network dancers and free hot cocoa
• Newton Parks and Recreation Department free s’mores station
• Freshly popped kettle corn for purchase
• Shriners International Gator Patrol
• Catawba County Mobile Library mailbox for letters to Santa
• Human snow globe for take-your-own family photos
• Photographs with Santa (reserve your photo time beginning at 5 p.m.)
• Startown Chorus Singers
• Newton-Conover High School Chorus Group
• Southeastern Shortline and Narrow-Gauge Railroad Museum model train display

Again this year, Santa will partner with the Catawba County Library to offer free professional photographs with children and families. If you would like to have a photo taken with Santa, you must pick up a ticket at the library’s booth on A Street near the History Museum of Catawba County anytime after 5 p.m. that evening. Photos with Santa during Light Up the Town are a favorite tradition for many families, and time will be limited, so anyone who would like to have a photo taken is encouraged to pick up their ticket promptly after the registration booth opens at 5 p.m. Your ticket will designate a specific time for you to return to Yount Park, located at the corner of College Avenue and A Street, for your photo.

Downtown storefronts will feature old-fashioned holiday window dressings and streets will fill with live performers singing holiday music, festive dancers gliding through the streets, and beloved holiday characters pausing for impromptu photos with children young and old. Pick up a bag of freshly popped kettle corn or roast a marshmallow to make your own gooey s’more. Fun holiday surprises are planned at every turn thanks to the creative volunteers whose work makes Light Up the Town and all Downtown Newton events pleasure for guests.

Downtown Newton is home dozens of unique shops that make it easy, fun, and affordable to start crossing off items on your holiday shopping list. Take a break for lunch or dinner at one of several Downtown Newton eateries, and conclude your day with an evening show at The Green Room Community Theatre or State Cinema.

For more information, contact Mary Yount at or 828-695-4360.