Two parades and the annual Grand Illumination tradition light up the beginning of the Christmas season in Perquimans County.

Parades in Hertford and Winfall are Saturday, but if you want to get in the Christmas spirit a day earlier, make plans to attend the Grand Illumination ceremony between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday at the Perquimans Courthouse’s lawn.

Organized by Historic Hertford Inc., the event promises fun for everyone.

“The Grand Illumination event is a family-friendly event for all ages. The entertainment line up includes pre-schoolers, youth, teens, and adults,” said Joyce Gurganus, co-chairwoman of Grand Illumination. “With so many school age children participating, it becomes a happy, festive event for participants and viewers.”

Co-chairwoman Nancy Rich-Lodge added, “The highlight of the evening for us is watching the children interact with Santa. The anticipation of seeing and talking with Santa and receiving a gift from him is their grand finale of the Grand Illumination.”

Gurganus and Rich-Lodge said Perquimans County covers a large and diverse area, but children and adults will come from all corners of the county to watch as the beautiful tree on the courthouse lawn is illuminated.

“They will come to usher in the Christmas season and to show their love for family, friends, and community,” Gurganus said.

Starting back in September, the planners from Historic Hertford, Inc., the Town of Hertford employees and behind-the-scene volunteers begin to prepare for an evening that will showcase the entertainers and beautiful decorations.

“It truly takes a village to promote our little town as the family-friendly community that it is,” Rich-Lodge said.

The annual Winfall Christmas parade will be held Saturday. Line-up begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Perquimans Middle School and the parade starts at 11 a.m. Call Town Hall at 426-5015 to sign up.

And the Perquimans County Christmas Parade will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Perquimans County High School.

Staff writer Miles Layton can be reached at