Light up the Night Christmas parade Information

Friday Evening, December 10, 2021
Line up begins at 5 pm | Parade at 6:30 pm

This parade is a 100-year-old tradition in Southport, and we are looking for entries to make this parade a success. We are calling for all civic clubs, churches, businesses, political figures, queens, dignitaries, and citizens to be involved. Decorate your golf cart, or trailer – we love the local, home-style floats and entries.  Please decorate all entries in Christmas lights or a Christmas Theme, you may play music or use amplified sound on your entry.

Parking for the Event:  Parents can utilize parking areas around the Southport Fire Headquarters for loading and unloading children on the Fire Engines. Howe Street will be shut down completely beginning at 6 pm, to clear all traffic for the parade.

LOADING OF CHILDREN ON FIRE APPARATUS:  All children will be loaded at the Fire Headquarters, we will begin loading around 5:15 pm.  All Fire Engines will be loaded first, then support vehicles, pickup trucks, and trailers last.  Once the apparatus is loaded, it will be sent to staging on Bay Street.

Parade Line up:  All EMERGENCY VEHICLES will line up on the EAST side of Bay Street.  All other entries, floats, classic cars, golf carts, bands, or walking units, will line up on the WEST side of Bay Street, including North Lord Street and North Caswell Avenue.  There will be a PARADE MARSHAL stationed at Howe & Moore Street to direct you if you have questions.

Parade Route:  The Parade will begin at 6:30 pm at Moore and Howe Street, and proceed North on Howe Street to the Fire Headquarters.  Emergency Apparatus will be directed to the front of Fire Headquarters to unload children, or they will be turned down West 10th Street to unload children in the back parking lot of Fire Headquarters.  All other entries will be directed to turn at Howe and Fodale, or directed to proceed North on Howe Street. DO NOT THROW ITEMS FROM PARADE ENTRIES.  If you are passing out literature or candy, please distribute your items at the curbside.  This is a safety issue for parade entrants and parade viewers.

POST PARADE:  Everyone is invited to Fire Headquarters to visit Santa Claus, and all children will receive a treat.  There will be a concession stand with food and drinks to help us offset the cost of this event.

Any questions can be directed to Chief Charles A. Drew by email at [email protected] or by calling 910-457-7915

Download the Parade Application Form


The Southport Police Department is currently accepting applications for the annual “Shop with a Cop” program.  Applications are available on the City of Southport website, by calling the Southport Police Department at 910-457-7911.

While the department would love to help every child with a need, available resources require the need to limit the program to families within the Southport 28461 zip code. The age limit for children will remain at 14 unless there are special circumstances, and these circumstances should be indicated on the application.

Applications will be accepted online via the City website or can be dropped off at the Police Department, 1029 N. Howe St. by the registering parent/guardian. Blank paper applications will be available as needed.

The deadline for online and paper submissions is 5 p.m. on Friday, December 10th.

Donations are also being accepted and can be dropped off at the 1st floor of City Hall. Please make checks out to Southport Police Department and note “Shop with a Cop” in the memo section.

Southport, Open Your Doors!
A Community-Inspired Artistic Extravaganza

Up Your Arts and the Southport Historical Society invited local artists in April 2021 to envision a post-pandemic world that draws strength from Southport’s people and its history. A quote from Maya Angelou provided the overriding theme and a gift of doors from the historic Harper home on Bay Street provided the canvas. A juried selection process chose nine solo artists and two collaborating teams to decorate the doors using whatever mediums they preferred. Thanks to the generous support of local business people, the results are on stunning display throughout downtown Southport at 11 retail locations during November and December 2021.  After the holidays, the doors will travel to 11 non-profit organizations then be auctioned off at a gala event in March 2022.

How to Play

These doors will amaze you, come see them while you can! Each location has a feature like none of the others — just follow the clues. Be the first on your block to win a prize for completing the game! Proceeds will be used to support Southport Historical Society’s ongoing stewardship programs and Up Your Arts’ efforts to turn the Old Brunswick County Courthouse into a community-based center for the creative and performing arts.

Visit each location to view the door, then solve the clue for that location. Take a selfie with the object the clue references. Finally, make a purchase of at least $11 to get a sticker for that store. Collect them all and submit at to win your door prize!

Follow the Clues

1. Shop Girl: “Stevie Nicks compared these to the eyes of a dream man.”
2. Mad River Designs: “Dora says, ‘If there’s a place you got to go, I’m the one you need to know.’”
3. Uncorked by the Sea: “Time in a Bottle”
4. Cat on a Whisk: “Yusuf Islam … but his last name isn’t Stevens”
5. Sedona South: “She wears them at night looking out the window.”
6. Southport Cheese Shoppe: “Good morning.’ You sure do make it like a sunny day.”
7. RE/MAX Southern Coast: Take your team photo here: wear hats, dance, dress up, get crazy… Play life’s music today!
8. Ricky Evans Gallery: “The Stones want to see it painted black; no colours anymore.”
9. Jolliff Team @ Margaret Rudd: “Looks like Herbie’s in town”
10. Southport Trading Company: “Ice Ice Baby”
11. Southport Market: “Jeepers, creepers where’d you get those?”

Click here to view a Google map to each of the participating stores! 

Door Artists

1. Alora Boerner, Uncorked by the Sea
2. Harry Burrell, Cat on a Whisk
3. Lori Guidi, Southport Trading Company
4. Ginger Hedblom, Southport Market
5. Mary Beth Livers, The Jolliff Team @ Margaret Rudd
6. Donna Parisi, Sedona South
7. Austin Sapp, RE/MAX Southern Coast
8. Rosemary Wagner, Southport Cheese Shoppe
9. Chris Wallace, Ricky Evans Gallery
10. Nancy Cray and Lynn Gillis, Shop Girl
11. Dave DeGroat, Gia Holmes, and Colleen Phillips, Mad River

scavenger hunt brochure

Individuals, businesses, Churches, and Civic Groups are all invited to get creative and participate in a fundraiser in support of the Southport Garden Club gardens, downtown planter boxes, community garden food-share program, and various community outreach projects.

The candy canes are available for $50 each (payable by cash or check to The Southport Garden Club) at the Fort Johnson Visitor’s Center starting on November 1st. The 48-inch candy cane forms are primed and ready to be painted. Create your unique design to be debuted in the garden, then please return the decorated candy canes to the Visitor’s Center by December 3rd. You are welcome to pick up your decorated Candy Cane after December 12th from Keziah Park.

The Candy Cane Garden will be displayed in Keziah Park from December 3rd to December 12th, during the week of Southport Winterfest, with a special Candy Cane Garden Party event on December 7th from 6-7 p.m. Residents and visitors will be able to stroll through the park that has been transformed into holiday wonderland to view the decorated candy canes.

The City of Southport presents: Storefront Showcase

The Southport Winterfest Committee invites local businesses to participate in the First Annual Storefront Showcase, a holiday decorating contest. There is no charge to participate, and any business within the City limits is eligible. Applications are due no later than November 19, and we ask you to have your decorations up by December 1, 2021. You can register your business at the following web link:

Sunday, December 5 to Sunday, December 12, visitors, guests, or residents of Southport can follow the Storefront Showcase map that will be available online to visit each store and cast votes on each participating business. Check back soon for a route of participating businesses, and a voting form! Would you like to sign up as a participating business? Please click here!

There will be five categories: Most Original, Most Kid-friendly, Most traditional, Biggest Surprise, or Best Overall. Voting participants may vote more than once per category. On Monday, December 13, 2021, winners will be announced, and a trophy given for Best Overall. Don’t hesitate; sign up today!