Downtown Greensboro, Inc. (DGI) is reimagining the holidays with a variety of experiences planned throughout the month of December. Downtown in December presented by Allegacy will include new and exciting attractions in lieu of the organization’s typical Festival of Lights and Holiday Parade.
“The DGI team wanted to close 2020 out by bringing the community together in safe environments to celebrate the holiday season together. We are very excited to share how reimagining the 2020 holiday season can be a positive experience,” says Zack Matheny, President and CEO of DGI. “We could have easily just cancelled all of our plans completely, but instead, we thought outside the box and developed a slate of experiences sure to bring much-needed holiday cheer to our community.”
The following are the planned experiences to be held during Downtown in December presented by Allegacy. More details about all of these can be found at downtownindecember.org.
PIEDMONT WINTERFEST: November 20 – January 31
Through reservations and enhanced décor, the downtown Ice Rink will come to life in a new location in 2020. Now under construction, visitors will find the rink in the parking lot off East Lewis Street (near SouthEnd Brewing and Fat Tuesday). Advanced reservations can be made by visiting piedmontwinterfest.com.
SONIC FOREST: November 28 – December 27
“Sonic Forest” is a multi-sensory, interactive installation that is composed of 16 “trees”. Interacting with the electronic trees triggers a series of events from an original score of melodic tones, environmental sounds, and spoken or whispered expressions to an ever-changing color palette of LED lights. Sonic Forest will be open daily until 11:00 p.m. for a free, walk-thru family experience and will be located at Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive at Hamburger Square. It is made possible by Allegacy.
HOLIDAY WINDOW DECORATING: November 28 – December 31
Thanks to a grant from ArtsGreensboro, 15 downtown businesses will be partnered with local artists to have their storefronts transformed into winter wonderlands. Visitors to the center city will be asked to vote on their favorite window display.
SHOP, SIP, STROLL SATURDAYS: November 28 – Saturday, December 19
Head downtown for local holiday finds and sales each Saturday, 6:00-9:00 p.m., beginning on Small Business Saturday, November 28. Get a jump on holiday shopping, shop local and enjoy complimentary beverages from participating downtown retailers. Some retailers will also feature live music.
12 DAYS OF MEALS: December 1-12
Give the gift of a warm meal for those less fortunate in Greensboro. Your donation will help provide 250 boxed lunches daily for 12 days to Greensboro Urban Ministry this holiday season. It will also help to support our downtown restaurants who continue to struggle during the 2020 pandemic. Donation link and a list of participating restaurants can be found by clicking here.
MERRY MADNESS PASSPORT: December 1-31
This abbreviated version of our Summer Passport program will feature a grand prize including a weekend stay at the newly renovated Downtown Marriott, $100 gift certificate to a downtown restaurant of your choosing, and a $50 gift certificate to your favorite downtown retailer. Download the Downtown Greensboro App in the Apple Store or Google Play to explore destinations while earning prizes. There are three digital passports within the App in which participants may play: Shopping, Food & Drink, and Things to Do. Users complete a required task at each business to earn points. Once a user earns six points, they will qualify for the grand prize drawing.
TINSEL TOWN: December 4-27
Sponsored by Kontoor Brands, The Fresh Market, and First Bank, Tinsel Town, will feature 50 uniquely decorated trees purchased and decorated by a local corporation, group, non-profit or family. Tinsel Town will be open daily 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., December 4-27, in LeBauer Park for free family-friendly walk-thrus. The community is invited to vote for their favorite trees and the top five vote getters will receive $500 donations. The sponsorship form to purchase a tree and complete rules are at DowntowninDecember.org.
PEPPERMINT ALLEY: December 4-27
Take a walk along Peppermint Alley and enjoy festive family-friendly holiday decorations. Located in the alley next to Boxcar Arcade in the Southend, it’s a selfie-lovers dream made possible by the Piedmont Natural Gas, Community Theatre of Greensboro, and Matthews Mobile Media.
LIGHT THE NIGHT: December 4-5
Light the Night is a holiday version of Open Streets. This two-night event will include holiday favorites like the Greensboro College Jazz Performers, Wally West & The Wassailers, UNC Greensboro Horn Choir, and Silver Drummer Girl, as well as a festive show of laser lights, sponsored by Duke Energy, on the Martin Luther King, Jr. parking lot wall near the new Greensboro Selfie Mural.
SANTA AT THE CAROLINA THEATRE: December 5-6, 12-13, 18-20
Visit with Santa in person thanks to the Cemala Foundation. In light of the pandemic, the 2020 Santa at the Carolina visits will require advance reservations. Safety precautions, including a plexiglass screen, will be on site to ensure a socially responsible visit with Santa.
BALLOON REGATTA: December 12-13
No traditional holiday parade this year, but we still have our famous big balloons and local holiday talent. December 12th and 13th from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m., visitors to the center city will be invited to drive-thru a Balloon Regatta featuring 17 of our most famous parade balloons and live entertainment, like Greensboro Ballet Nutcracker performers, Community Theatre of Greensboro Wizard of Oz actors, Triad Stage A Christmas Carol actors, Disney princesses and Strolling Carolers. The Regatta route will begin at Greensboro Children’s Museum and run down Church Street to the Depot. To drive home the Regatta theme, visitors will be encouraged to decorate their cars in their holiday finest. The Balloon Regatta is sponsored by the Guilford Merchants Association, City of Greensboro, Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau, Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, TowneBank and Arch MI.
To accomplish all of these experiences, DGI is asking for volunteer support. Click the volunteer link at DowntowninDecember.org to sign up.