2019 Holiday Festivals and Tree Lightings

The merry-making season is here! Starting the weekend before Thanksgiving and extending into mid-December, you’ll find lots of holiday happenings throughout the county. Whether you’d like to sing carols with hot cocoa, take a horse-drawn carriage ride or spot the jolly man in the red suit, Door County has ample opportunities for all ages to get into the spirit of the season. 

Christmas by the Bay, Sturgeon Bay

2018 Christmas by the Bay Christmas Parade in Sturgeon Bay, Door County, Wisconsin. Photo by Len Villano.

Friday, Nov. 22

Enjoy the annual tree-lighting ceremony, 6-8 pm, under the clock tower in Community Foundation Square, North Third Avenue at Kentucky Street. Sing along with holiday music led by Josh Gregory, Michael Raye and Hervy Hodges; then join the countdown to the lights being switched on at 7 pm. Festive revelers can also take a horse-drawn wagon ride at no charge, 6-8 pm; and members of the Sturgeon Bay High School choir will spread holiday cheer by caroling along Third Avenue. Starting Nov. 22, children can drop off their letters to Santa in a mailbox outside the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center, 36 S. 3rd Ave. 

Saturday, Nov. 23

At 10 am, watch the holiday parade march from Sawyer Park on the West Waterfront, up Oak Street to Madison Avenue, down Third Avenue, and end at Jefferson Street. Keep your eye out for a special appearance by Santa. After the parade, meet Santa and take family photos with him, 11 am – 2 pm, at the Door County Historical Museum, 18 N. 4th Ave. 

Sunday, Nov. 24

Wake up for a special breakfast with Santa, 9-11 am, at Stone Harbor Resort. Reservations are requested; call the resort at 920.746.0700.

All weekend long, donations of warm, gently used winter-clothing items will be collected in the drop-off box at the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center, 36 S. 3rd Ave., as part of the countywide Big Bundle Up campaign. All items collected will go to local charities. 

To learn more, visit the visitor center in person or online at, or call 920.743.6246.

2018 Christmas by the Bay Christmas Parade in Sturgeon Bay, Door County, Wisconsin. Photo by Len Villano.

Tree Lighting and Caroling, Ellison Bay

Sunday, Nov. 24

The Ellison Bay Service Club welcomes everyone to a candlelit evening of song, inspiration, fellowship and fun during its community Christmas tree lighting event, 5-7 pm, near the entrance to Bayview Marina, across from Mink River Basin. A free community chili dinner will follow. Call 920.421.1477 to learn more, or visit the Ellison Bay Service Club’s Facebook page.

Capture the Spirit, Sister Bay 

Friday, Nov. 29 

Enjoy the Friends of Gibraltar’s annual holiday art fair – featuring arts, crafts and other gifts – inside the village hall, 10 am – 4 pm. 

Sister Bay’s Capture the Spirit. Photo by Len Villano.

Meet, greet and get photos with Santa’s elves and reindeer at Waterfront Park starting at 3 pm. Sip hot chocolate and cider while watching for Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus to arrive at 4:30 pm for the lighting of the village’s decorated Christmas tree and holiday display. At 5 pm, Santa and Mrs. Claus will host storytelling and holiday crafts at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove branch of the Door County Library. 

Saturday, Nov. 30

The Friends of Gibraltar’s annual holiday art fair – featuring arts, crafts and other gifts – will continue inside the village hall, 10 am – 4 pm. Also take part in the annual holiday cookie-decorating event, 2-4 pm, at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Station. 

To find out more, call the Sister Bay Advancement Association at 920.854.2812, or visit

Holly Days, Egg Harbor

Friday, Nov. 29

Start the community-wide celebration at a breakfast with Santa, 8:30-10:30 am, at the Landmark Resort. During the event, enjoy making arts and crafts, decorating cookies and having a photo op with Santa. Prices are $10 for ages 12 and older, $7.50 for ages three to 11. 

Then participate in children’s activities throughout the village: writing letters to Santa at Main Street Shops, Christmas-cookie decorating at Pink Bakery, button-making at Liberty Square Shops, and glitter tattoos at Be Beauty. 

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride, 1-4 pm, departing from Mojo Rosa’s; and join Santa for a tree-lighting ceremony and Christmas caroling in Harbor View Park at 4:30 pm, with complimentary hot cocoa and cookies.

Saturday, Nov. 30

Santa will head to Santaland at the Kress Pavilion, 11 am – 2 pm, where children can meet him and have pictures taken. Continue visiting the children’s activities throughout the village: writing letters to Santa at Main Street Shops, Christmas-cookie decorating at Pink Bakery, button-making at Liberty Square Shops and glitter tattoos at Be Beauty. 

And, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, 12-3 pm, departing from Mojo Rosa’s.

To learn more, call the Egg Harbor Business Association at 920.868.3717, or visit

Harbor Holiday, Baileys Harbor

Saturday, Dec. 7

The Door County North Rotary Club will sponsor the annual holiday fair, 10 am – 2 pm, at the town hall, with proceeds from sales going to the club’s youth and environmental action projects. At the library, children can make button and snowflake crafts while sipping hot apple cider, 10 am – 1 pm.

The annual parade, starting at 5 pm, will run north along Highway 57 from Bluff Road to the town hall parking lot, with Santa Claus leading the way aboard a fire truck. Caroling will take place along the route, and all are invited to become part of the parade by walking behind Santa’s truck. Afterward, partake of arts, crafts, food and refreshments at the Harbor Holiday party, 5:30-6:30 pm, inside the town hall. And don’t miss the tree-lighting ceremony outside the town hall starting at 6 pm.

The Baileys Harbor Community Association and Baileys Harbor Historical Society sponsor Harbor Holiday. To find out more, call 920.839.2366, or visit 

Christmas in the Village, Ephraim

Saturday, Dec. 7

Attend the ceremonial lighting of the village’s holiday tree, and sing Christmas carols at 11 am in Harborside Park. Visit Santa’s Workshop at the village hall, 11:30 am – 2 pm, to create holiday crafts, decorate cookies or have a soup, chili or hot dog lunch. Santa will be on hand to meet children, 12-2 pm. Horse-drawn wagon rides will depart from the village hall, 12:30-2:30 pm.

There is no admission charge for the village-hall activities, but nonperishable food donations to the Door of Life Christian Church’s food pantry in Sister Bay are appreciated. 

To learn more, call 920.854.4989, visit, or go to the village’s Facebook page: Ephraim – Door County, Wisconsin. The Ephraim Visitor Information Center resides in the village hall during the winter.

Baileys Harbor holiday parade.

Christmas at Noble Square, Fish Creek

Saturday, Dec. 7

Kids can visit with Santa, 10 am – 2 pm, at the Northern Door YMCA, and everyone’s welcome to don an ugly Christmas sweater for the YMCA’s 5K fun run, starting at 10 am, with hot cocoa and cookies afterward. 

The Gibraltar Historical Society will hold a tree-lighting ceremony, 5 pm, in the square outside its Alexander Noble House Museum. Enjoy hot cocoa, cookies and Christmas carols with members of the Gibraltar Schools chorus. To learn more, call 920.868.2091 or visit

Season of Lights, Washington Island 

Monday, Dec. 16

The Washington Island Mosling Recreation Center is sponsoring its annual Season of Lights program, 6 pm. People can make a donation to have a light placed on the big, outdoor Christmas tree to honor someone who’s living or has passed or for any other reason. During the tree-lighting ceremony, the names of those being honored or remembered are read aloud, the tree is lit, songs are sung, and snacks and refreshments are served inside. Visit to learn more.