Holiday cheer spreads across Sampson

Nov. 24—As lights and decorative trees begin to go up and signs of the Christmas holiday become more evident, the celebratory events marking the season are close behind — and they'll be happening all over Sampson County.

First to hit the docket will be the annual Circle of Lights that happens every year in the town of Newton Grove. The Circle of Lights is an event meant to honor lost loved ones where the community unites together to light Christmas trees in the memory of their lost.

This year's event is to be held on Nov. 28, starting at 6 p.m. at the roundabout circle. That day, Christmas in the Grove will also be happening, an event that runs from Nov. 28-30 starting at 7 p.m. that Monday and at 6 p.m. for the other two days.

Carriage rides will be offered those days and are $40 for a four-person carriage. Scheduling for the rides has been going since Oct. 31. To find out if a carriage can still be scheduled, call the town hall at 910-594-0827.

"We invite everyone to come out," Town Clerk Amanda Bradshaw said. "It's a tradition that we look forward to every year here in Newton Grove and we can't wait to see everyone there."

Newton Grove began celebrating the Circle of Lights in 1998 after Sue Vernon and Gail Darden started the event with help from the defunct Newton Grove Area 100 Committee and town members.

The holiday festivities don't stop there, as the upcoming 2022 Newton Grove Christmas Parade happens at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3.

Entry forms for the event are potentially still available but the deadline to found out and or sign up is by the end of the day Wednesday, Nov. 23.

Participants need to be in place by 9:15-9:30 a.m. on Parade Day. Just like in previous years, floats will be set up on Irwin Drive, starting at Catholic Church. Town officials ask that everyone enter at the town hall, located at 304 W. Weeksdale St.

Roseboro Tree Lighting, Parade

The fun kicks off in Roseboro pretty soon as the days wind down towards their Christmas Tree Lighting event and Christmas Parade both happening in Downtown Roseboro.

The Christmas Tree Lighting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1, starting at 7 p.m. but attendees can meet Santa beforehand beginning at 5:30 p.m. There'll be BBQ or hot dogs from Grateful Shed available and live entertainment provided from local students.

The Christmas Parade will take place on Friday, Dec. 9, with the start time to go on at 7 p.m.

Parade entry and sponsorship forms and still available for those interested. The deadline to submit sponsorship forms is by Nov. 25 and entry forms by Nov. 28, visit for more information.

"Come out and enjoy the annual Christmas Parade," a message from the town stated. "There will be a variety of food trucks and an opportunity to visit with Santa. You don't want to miss it."

A Christmas to Remember

In Autryville, the town is getting ready for its annual "A Christmas to Remember" event scheduled for Friday, Dec. 2.

The event takes places once again at the Town Hall building and is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Town officials are inviting everyone to come out to enjoy Christmas music, activities, refreshments and a visit from Santa, who showed up last year on a motorcycle.

A big highlight from 2021's event was the hanging of custom angel ornaments in memory of loved ones on the tree at the town hall. It returns this year and ornaments are currently on sale for it right now.

"Treasure your memories this Christmas on the Town of Autryville Angel Tree in support of the Bertie and Pat Williams Park," a statement on the town's Facebook read. "In partnership with Wild Magnolia Florist and Custom Creations, the Town of Autryville encourages you to purchase custom Angel Ornaments in Honor or Memorial of Loved Ones this holiday season for just $25 each."

The ornaments are available at Town Hall from Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those with questions can call 910-525-4567.

Small Town Christmas

Over in Salemburg prep is also underway for the return of the town's annual "Small Town Christmas," set for Saturday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event will take place at the Salemburg Town Hall, 100 Methodist Drive, with a fun-filled day that features both Santa and Frosty in the plans.

There will be plenty to do that day as the town announced they have secured a large selection of vendors at this year's event. With that, everything imaginable will be available from jewelry and boutique items, seasonal and home decor, baked goods, handcrafted items, coffee and hot chocolate, pickles, jams and goodies, face painting and fairy hair and lanterns, wreaths and bows will all be offered.

On top of all that, there'll also be pictures with Santa and Frosty's Dance Party.

In all, there are 45 vendors at this year's event, town officials said.

See for full story on the City of Clinton's two-day Christmas in the City extravaganza and related story in today's edition on the upcoing Clinton Christmas Parade.

Reach Michael B. Hardison at 910-249-4231. Follow us on Twitter at @SamsponInd, like us on Facebook, and check out our Instagram at @thesampsonindependent.