Fill out the Volunteer form online to let us know how you would like to help with our event.

Christmas in New Bern

Beary Merry Christmas is a month long event held in Downtown New Bern. Our downtown area is transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland with a number of exciting events planned to enhance your holiday experience. Our signature event “Light Up the Season & Santa's Arrival” kicks off the festivities the day after Thanksgiving with games, crafts, live entertainment and SNOW!

At Light Up the Season & Santa's Arrival, we will first meet in Union Point Park for the official lighting of the Community Tree. Afterwards, we will follow Santa and his parade of elves and Christmas Characters from the park to Bear Plaza, where we welcome Santa and light up his holiday home!

Santa’s holiday home in Bear Plaza is open Friday through Sunday during the Christmas season allowing children to visit with Santa and have a photo.


Some important notes about this season:

Photos with Santa are $6 - cash and credit cards are accepted.

Lines can get long at Santa House, be prepared with snacks, warm clothes & remember, Santa is doing his best to spend quality time with all families and keep the line moving at a good pace.

A reservation system will be in place to assist with the long lines. Be sure to check in when you arrive at Santa House.

Be sure to like our Facebook page for any updates on delays, closures or important news regarding Santa and the events in general.

BMC will provide security for the safety of our community and families. Please be respectful to them and each other!

Bear Plaza will be under 24 hour Elf Surveillance. Please don't touch or steal any of our decorations, our team works hard to make the area enjoyable.

Oh, and it's mandatory to dance in the snow. 🙂


November 29th 4:30pm-9:30pm

Community Tree Lighting - Union Point Park

Parade to Santa House - S. Front & Middle Street

Santa's Arrival at Bear Plaza 

Sledding on Middle Street 

Crafts in O'Marks Building

Food Trucks, Games & Entertainment All Evening!


Volunteers are needed throughout the season. From helping Santa in the Santa House, to setting up Light up the Season activity booths, to assisting with crafts, and more, WE NEED YOUR HELP!

There are great opportunities for youth and activity groups, nonprofits and anyone who enjoys helping with community events - you are sure to have lots of fun!

Beary Merry Christmas is a working partnership between the
New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce, City of New Bern, City of New Bern Parks & Rec, and local businesses and volunteers.