The holiday season is finally here. The fall leaves have turned their brilliant colors and begun to fall to the earth. Holiday commercials are popping up during the football game and retail stores and launching into full-throated holiday mode. So, it’s time to start thinking about holiday activities to do with your family, and what better fun, budget-friendly, memorable outings are there than loading up in the car and heading out for a good evening holiday spirit and Christmas cheer?

We put together this list of the top local Christmas events and holiday spots around the Roanoke Rapids area this year to help you make those family holiday memories together.

Lighting of the Roanoke Rapids City Christmas Tree
The annual lighting of the city Christmas tree takes place Thursday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. The event is located at Lloyd Andrews City Meeting Hall at 700 Jackson Street. Come out and enjoy a festive evening as the Roanoke Rapids city Christmas tree comes to life. Then stay for a while, stroll around, and see holiday lights on shops and on homes in the area. This event is free.

Roanoke Rapids Annual Christmas Parade
The annual Roanoke Rapids Christmas Parade will take place Sunday afternoon, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m. on Roanoke Avenue. This fun, festive event is an area highlight, one sure to bring a smile to the faces of kids of all ages. Hear marching bands, see wonderful floats, catch a glimpse at classic cars, and see old Saint Nick himself during this festive holiday gathering. Patrons may help contribute canned goods to Angel’s Closet for Christmas. These will be accepted at the T.J. Davis Recreation Center.

Garysburg Christmas Tree Lighting
The town of Garysburg, along with the Women’s Fellowship of Roanoke Salem Baptist Church, will hold the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m. The event will take place at the Garysburg Town Hall, located at 504 Old Highway Road. Christmas carols will be sung, and refreshments will be served. The public is invited to this festive and fun holiday event.

“It’s A Wonderful Life” Radio Play
In the nearby town of Littleton, the Lakeland Theater Company presents “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play,” running Nov. 30 through Dec. 9. Performed as a radio play, this production tells the story of George Bailey, a man whose world-traveling aspirations fade under the pressures of family and marriage. Experience this timeless tale, where a guardian angel named Clarence helps George to understand just how wonderful and meaningful his life really has been.

U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band Christmas Concert
This annual holiday is a free holiday musical celebration, taking place Thursday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. The event will take place at 200 College Drive in Weldon. The free Christmas concert for the entire community will be a wonderful evening of holiday favorites with the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Concert Band.