Start your holiday season in Historic Downtown Southport

This year, we welcome back many of our traditional WINTERFEST favorite events. Southport WINTERFEST 2022, the umbrella under which most of the city’s holiday events fall, will include everything from a “Winterfest Tea,” to the “Southport Christmas Flotilla.” Seventeen action-packed events of WINTERFEST 2022 include many events that will entertain adults and children of all ages.

Second Annual Storefront Showcase

Southport businesses are decking the town with the Second Annual Storefront Showcase holiday decorating contest. From Saturday, December 3 to Saturday, December 10, 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. 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 12, 2022, winners will be announced, and a trophy given for Best Overall. 

See the map of the participating storefronts, here.                  Vote for your favorite storefronts, here!

Winterfest Tea

Festivities kick off with Southport’s Winterfest Tea which returns after a two-year hiatus. Join us for an enchanting Colonial Tea with special holiday entertainment at the Southport Winterfest Tea sponsored by the Sisters of Southport and the City of Southport. Saturday, December 3, at 1:00 p.m. at the Southport Community Building, located at 223 East Bay Street. Tickets will be $45 and are located at Ricky Evans Gallery or the Ft. Johnston Visitors Center and Museum.

Pet Pictures with Santa

Pet Pictures with Santa, sponsored by the City of Southport Animal Protection Department will take place on Sunday, December 4, 2-4 p.m. at the Indian Trail Meeting Hall/Keziah Park, 113 W. Moore Street. Bring your pets for a jolly picture with Santa. Enjoy some pet-friendly activities and treats while you wait. Donations will be accepted to receive your photo with a frame.

Shop-with-a-Cop Concert

Shop-with-a-Cop Concert featuring the BACK PORCH ROCKERS is sponsored by Southport Police Department. It will take place on Monday, December 5, 6-8 p.m., in Franklin Square Park. The Shop-with-a-Cop program is a long-standing tradition in Southport.

Candy Cane Garden Party

Walk through a winter wonderland at the Candy Cane Garden Party, sponsored by Southport Garden Club on Tuesday, December 6, 6–8 p.m. at Keziah Park, 113 West Moore Street. The four-foot candy canes have been decorated by local community members for your holiday enjoyment. For more information go to

The State Port Pilot Annual Cookie Contest

WINTERFEST continues with this year’s The State Port Pilot Annual Cookie Contest (Sponsored by The State Port Pilot) on Wednesday, December 7, 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Southport Community Building. Free… Come vote for your favorite! For information on entering email [email protected]. Watch for more details in your copy of the State Port Pilot, the Holiday edition of Coast magazine, on our Facebook page, and at

Supper with Santa’s Elves

Bring your children to enjoy Supper with Santa’s Elves on Wednesday, December 7, from 5-6:30 p.m. Parents will be able to drop their children off, shop at local stores, or have a romantic dinner. The children will enjoy a pizza dinner and watch a movie. This fun event is sponsored by the Southport Parks & Recreation. The cost is $5 per child and is located at 209 Atlantic Ave., beside Southport Gym.

Christmas Movie “Polar Express”

The Christmas Movie “Polar Express,” an annual favorite WINTERFEST event, will be shown on the Fort Johnston Garrison Lawn at dusk on Thursday, December 8. This event is sponsored by Southport Parks and Recreation. Chairs/blankets are encouraged, and hot chocolate will be provided.

Historic Holidays

Enjoy a tour, Historic Holidays, at the NC Maritime Museum at Southport, 204 E. Moore Street. This annual tradition, presented by the museum crew, starts at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, December 9. Space is limited.

Light Up the Night Christmas Parade

Children, grownups, residents, and visitors, look forward to the annual Light Up the Night Christmas Parade, sponsored by Southport Fire Department. On Friday, December 9, at 5:30 p.m. the children will begin to board the fire engines at the Southport Fire Station. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Parade route: Waterfront Park, down Howe St., back to the Southport Fire Station. Following the parade, children are invited to visit with Santa.
The parade application can be found here.

Winter Craft Festival

Homemade Arts & Crafts, homegrown winter vegetables, cut flowers, homemade baked goods, honey, jellies, and pickles are only a few items that you will find at the Winter Craft Festival on Saturday, December 10, 9-4 p.m. in Franklin Square Park. Visit for vendor information.

Santa’s Workshop

Get your children into the holiday spirit at Southport’s Santa’s Workshop on Saturday, December 10. Children will be making ornaments, decorating cookies, and creating other fun crafts. The workshop is from 10-11 a.m. at 209 Atlantic Ave., beside the Southport Gym.

Winterfest Performing Arts

Not to be missed, is the popular Winterfest Performing Arts program, sponsored by the Brunswick Arts Council. Enjoy the performing arts, including instrumentals, singing, and dancing on Saturday, December 10, 11-3 p.m. in Franklin Square Park.

Quilt Show Raffle

Raffle tickets are on sale now – 6 tickets for $10. To purchase raffle tickets, visit Proceeds for the fundraiser will enable educational programs at Southport Historical Society and Brunswick Community College.

Holiday Quilt Show

Visit the Holiday Quilt Show, sponsored by the Southport Historical Society, located at the Southport Community Building on December 10, 12–5 p.m., and is free and open to everyone. More than 50 volunteers have contributed to making two community-made quilts, which will be raffled off during this event. The quilt blocks are based on illustrations from Patt Carney’s two coloring books Color Me Southport and Color Me Southport Two. 

Old Brunswick County Jail Museum Tours

The Old Brunswick County Jail Museum Tours sponsored by Southport Historical Society will take place on Saturday, December 10, from 1-6 p.m. at the Old Jail, decorated for the season. The jail was built in 1904 when Southport was the county seat, located on the corner of Nash & Rhett Streets. This is a perfect time to come learn a piece of Southport’s history.

Annual Christmas Tour of Homes

Returning after a two-year hiatus, Southport Historical Society’s Annual Christmas Tour of Homes is scheduled for 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, December 10. Tickets are needed to join this tour and can be purchased for $20 through the Southport Historical Society’s website starting on November 21st as well as in person at Ricky Evans Art Gallery, Ft. Johnston Visitors Center and Museum, and Southport Oak-Island Chamber of Commerce.

Southport Winterfest Flotilla

Click here to see the 2022 flotilla route!

For the 28th year, the Southport Winterfest Flotilla, sponsored by Cape Fear Yacht Club, Downtown Southport, Inc., and the City of Southport will illuminate the waterfront. Bring chairs and blankets to enjoy the beauty of Christmas lights bouncing off the water on Saturday, December 10, at 7 p.m. at the Southport Waterfront. The flotilla route will showcase vessels from Old American Fish to Marker 19 near the Southport River Hotel, then return to Old American Fish and the Yacht Basin. Students from the Southport Elementary School Art Program will be judging the sail, power, and paddle boats of the flotilla. Come on down to the waterfront and support all the flotilla participants and enjoy the celebration.

Download the captain’s letter, here.          Download the flotilla application, here.

‘Tis the season for fun, family, and community. So, join Southport for the week-long 2022 Christmas Season celebration. More information about Southport’s WINTERFEST 2022 activities is available by calling the Southport Visitors’ Center at 910-457-7927.