Christmas by the Sound

By Molly Harrison | Friday, September 29, 2017

Christmas Candlelight Tour
Friday, December 8 and Saturday, December 9

Edenton is a lovely town no matter what the season, but if you want to see it at its most beautiful and fully immerse yourself in the holiday season, you have to attend the Christmas Candlelight Tour. This year’s event is the 36th, and each year the tour grows in popularity. It’s a community event that brings a buzz of activity to the historic district and benefits the Edenton Historic Commission.

Edenton is filled with gorgeous homes that are the hallmark of Southern elegance, and this is your chance to step inside some of them! The tour starts at the Penelope Barker House. Guests can then ride a free shuttle to the historic homes and buildings that are decorated in full finery to celebrate the Christmas season. Horse-drawn carriages are also available. The tour runs from 4 to 8 p.m., so you can see these homes glow in the winter’s dark. Each of the tour sites is illuminated with lights and candles, making the experience so magical.  

House in Edenton with christmas decorations for the Christmas Candlelight Tour

Some of Edenton’s historic attractions host special events on the same weekend as the Candlelight Tour, making the tour even more fun. The 1758 Cupola House hosts its annual Wassail Bowl with refreshments and music from 1 to 5 p.m. The 1800/1827 James Iredell House lays out its Holiday Groaning Board Christmas Tour, also with music and refreshments, from 1 to 5 p.m.


Edenton Christmas Parade with Santa

Christmas Extravaganza and Flotilla
Friday, December 1
Edenton kicks off the holiday season with a night of excitement on the waterfront. On the first Friday in December, everyone gathers at the monument on S. Broad Street at 5:30 p.m. for a tree lighting, music and visits with Santa. At 6:30 p.m. all eyes go to the water as Edenton Bay fills with lighted boats on parade. The best-decorated boat wins a prize. Afterward, everyone heads downtown for dinner or a drink with friends. To register for the boat flotilla, go to

Edenton Christmas Parade

Edenton Chowan Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 9
For a taste of the small-town flavor that everyone loves in Edenton, be sure to watch the Christmas Parade. Decorated floats, fire trucks, boats, horses and lots of happy people will spread holiday cheer along Broad Street starting at 10 a.m. After the parade, Santa will be at Salty Kisses Boutique to hear all the holiday wishes. For information go to

Christmas Caroling in Edenton

A Christmas Carol 2017
Fridays, December 8 and 15 at 7 p.m.; Saturdays, December 9 and 16 at 7 p.m.; Sundays, December 10 and 17 at 3 p.m.
What would the holidays be without watching at least one rendition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? To experience Ebenezer Scrooge discover the real meaning of life at the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse, you might want to reserve your tickets in advance. Go to


Peanut Festival and the Battle of the Bands
Saturday, October 7
Held on the first weekend in October for the past 42 years, the Peanut Festival celebrates the peanut industry and its impact on the region. The day starts off with a parade at 11 a.m. followed by the festival at the parade’s end at John A. Holmes High School with food, a farmers market, arts and craft vendors, exhibits, rides, music and more. Following that fun, the regional Battle of the Bands, where regional high school bands compete for the top position, takes place in the school stadium. It’s a ton of small-town fun! 

243rd Edenton Tea Party Celebrations
Saturday, October 21 through Wednesday, October 25
Back on October 25, 1774, Penelope Barker and a group of Edenton women decided to enact their own opposition to British rule following on the heels of the Boston Tea Party that had occurred some 10 months earlier. But these women upped the ante! While most of the men who participated in the Boston event covered their faces so as not to be identified, the Edenton women courageously showed up with no cloaking. They stood up, openly and defiantly, for what they believed in. So, it’s fitting and uplifting that the townspeople continue to honor the women’s act of conscience every October.

From October 21 to 25 between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., stop by the Penelope Barker Welcome Center on S. Broad Street to learn about the women and the tea party. On October 21 at 10 a.m., join the Edenton Historical Commission for "Mutinous Women," a lecture by Dr. Noeleen McLivenna, at First Presbyterian Church on W. Queen Street. Cost is $10. See for more information about these events.

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About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.