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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Faircloth

Bladen County Celebrates Holiday Season

As Santa packs his sleigh, Elizabethtown and White Lake are preparing for the holiday season. A parade, an elf scavenger hunt, contests, and the annual Lighting of the Lake will kick off Christmas in Bladen County.

A parade for the generations

The theme for this year’s parade in Elizabethtown is ‘Christmas Past, Present and Future.’ Businesses, organizations, and individuals have been challenged to create floats that represent a timeline of tradition. A prize for the best float will be awarded.

The parade will start at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27, at the Elizabethtown Town Hall. The route will travel east on Broad Street and then make a right turn onto Poplar Street. The procession will end at Swanzy Street. A grandstand and performance area will be set up in front of Leinwand's on West Broad Street.

Santa will be at the end of the parade where he will be escorted to the tree lighting ceremony at the courthouse at 5 p.m.

Christmas at the Farmers Market

This year, as part of the ‘Bladen County Christmas – 30 Days of Celebration’, the Elizabethtown – White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is promoting activities at the Cape Fear Farmer Market on Saturdays during the month of December. The activities will be from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. each day.

Saturday, Dec. 3, will be a day for the children and will include crafts, cookie decorating, a magician, and story hour. Dec. 10 will be a pet’s paradise with adoption fairs, microchipping, nail trimmings and costume contests, and Dec. 17 will be a day for foodies with cooking demonstrations, gift basket making, cake and pie contests, and vendors.

The chamber is still looking for local talent and performers who would like to volunteer to be part of the entertainment on any of the Saturdays. Anyone interested in performing should contact the office at 910.862.4368.

Vendors interested in participating should register ahead of time. Tables will be on a first come, first serve basis except for regular vendors who will have their reserved spots. Those interested can find the registration form at the chamber’s website.

Tree Decorating Contest Reservations Now Being Taken for Christmas at the Farmers Market

The Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and Cape Fear Valley Health are sponsoring a Christmas tree decorating contest as part of ‘Christmas at the Farmers Market’ event.

Individuals, families, and organizations are encouraged to reserve and decorate a live Christmas tree by Nov. 26.

The theme of this year’s contest is the same as the parade. Participants are encouraged to decorate their tree based on the theme. Sponsorship and reservation of a tree is $20, and trees can be decorated until the reservation deadline.

Starting with the Shop Local weekend after Thanksgiving, visitors to the Farmers Market will be able to vote on their favorite tree for $1. Votes can be cast every Saturday of the Christmas at the Farmers Market celebration. All votes will be counted at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 17. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third at the tree lighting ceremony.

All proceeds will go to the Empty Stocking fund.

“The idea is to bring a sense of hope to everyone this holiday season,” Chamber Executive Director Terri Dennison said. Christmas at the Farmer’s Market is part of the overall ‘Bladen County Christmas – 30 Days of Celebration.’

A pre-reservation of trees is required. The evergreens will be inside the building and pre-lit for this event.

The Elf Scavenger Hunt Returns

The Elf Scavenger Hunt will be returning this year to encourage people to shop locally during this holiday season. As a part of the Bladen County Christmas, the Elizabethtown - White Lake Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Elf Scavenger Hunt involving local merchants throughout the area.

Those who participate will visit local merchants to locate the E-WL Elf and get their card punched by employees. This scavenger hunt will be a 3-week event, lasting from Nov. 26 - Dec. 18.

Starting Nov. 27, visitors can download and print, or pick up the Elf Scavenger Hunt card at area merchants or the chamber office located at 207 East Broad Street in Elizabethtown. They can also be found on Saturdays at the Cape Fear Farmers Market.

Once a card has been punched 10 times, it should be returned to the last merchant visited by Dec. 19 to be entered into a raffle contest. The lucky winner will receive a giant stocking filled with items donated by local businesses.

Lighting of the Lake to host events

Both Camp Clearwater and Goldston’s Beach will kick off the third annual Lighting of the Lake Holiday Dock Decorating Contest on Saturday, Dec. 3.

The Grand Regal is hosting a Saturday with Santa at the arcade starting at 3 p.m. with smores and crafts. Camp Clearwater will host a Christmas Tree Lighting at 6 p.m. which includes Santa, food vendors, crafts and a performance by the Sweet Potato Pie band.

Lighting of the Lake was started in 2020 to attract people to visit White Lake during the holiday season.

“We are hoping to see a lot more docks registered this year,” Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber Executive Director Terri Dennison said. “Decorations must be up by Dec. 3 and people can vote on their favorites until Sunday, Dec. 18.”

The contest is open to all residents, neighborhoods and businesses around White Lake.

Visitors will have a chance to vote on their favorite dock online at the chamber’s website until Sunday, Dec. 18. First, second and third place will be awarded in the business and residential category. One overall winner will be named in the Community Pier category, and winners will be announced the week of Dec. 21.

For a list of participating merchants, to enter in any of the contests, or to find out more information about any of the events, please visit the Elizabethtown – White Lake Chamber website at

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