The lovely little Town of Manteo kicks off the holiday season with a tree-lighting ceremony and other festivities on the first Friday night in December. Hundreds of people gather on Queen Elizabeth Avenue in front of the historic Dare County Courthouse to enjoy performances of holiday music, to sip hot cocoa and to watch the lighting of the waterfront Christmas tree. The event coincides with downtown Manteo's monthly First Friday event, which means that after the lighting you can stick around for live music around town, art exhibits and receptions, a book signing, dining in the restaurants and shopping in the shops. Try to arrive downtown by 5:30 p.m., and keep in mind that traffic will be heavy coming into town and that you may have to park a ways back on a Manteo side street and walk to the downtown area.
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