The Holiday Open House has been a Raleigh tradition since November 1993.
Earlier that year a fire damaged a group of stores in the Village. Store owners banded together for six months of hard reconstruction work, and by November were ready to reopen for business—just in time for the holidays. The small group of merchants came together that year to celebrate the season and the new beginning as a community. Since then the Open House has grown to become one of the most popular village-wide events each year.
With the Open House coming up next Thursday, Nov 17th, we thought it would be fun to look back and remember some our favorite Cameron Village stories from the holidays, and the Open House. Read below for some of our favorites submitted by people who’ve visited the Village over the years. For general Open House event information click HERE or for store events and specials click HERE.
So, I don’t have many past memories of strolling the streets of Cameron Village, since my wife and I moved here just eight years ago. However, when we moved here, we had no children. Fast forward eight years, we have three and one on the way. Each and every Christmas that we have been here, we have made it a family tradition to spend a full night at the Cameron Village Holiday Open House. With our oldest, he started off in the stroller, staring in wonder at the beautiful decorations and street performers all around him.
As soon as he could move on his own, he was the first to jump on the “ice slide” and beg to ride the horse/carriage ride, and trains. Now, he pulls along his younger brother and toddler sister. We cannot wait to make more family memories at the Open House in a couple of weeks, as our last holiday Open House as a family of five! We are already talking about next year as our newest addition (circa April 2016) will be the new one taking in the sights and wonders of the season!
As a small child, I was deathly afraid of Santa. One of my earliest memories was my mom dressing me up in my best dress, complete with “Sunday” coat and going to visit Santa in the Christmas section of Sears. I started out with just a few peeks but after much encouragement finally consented to sit on his lap and tell him my wishes. My parents had tried Santas everywhere, but it was the special one at Cameron Village that succeeded in getting me over my fear.
The Magic of Cameron Village
When I was a little girl, every year my parents would take me to Cameron Village to see Santa and all of the beautiful, and colorful, lit up trees. The first time I can remember going was when I was five years old. That was 38 years ago. So hard to believe because it seems like yesterday to me when I drive around the area. I always thought it was the prettiest and so very magical. My eyes would light up as we would approach Cameron Village.
I couldn’t wait to get there each year to see all the beauty and wonderment of the Christmas season. It was so much fun and the some of the best memories of my childhood were spent at Cameron Village. I continue to this day visiting Cameron Village to shop and to eat. I love the area and that it continues to grow and get better all the time. Thanks for the wonderful memories. I will always cherish them. I wish I had photos to share, but unfortunately I don’t being that long ago. My mind will have to hold those special times as well as my heart.
I would say my first time attending the Holiday Open House was my most memorable experience at Cameron Village! It was almost magical…the cool evening, the carolers, the beautiful storefront windows, the entertainment for the kids, etc. Loved it! Now I go back every year! Now that I’m pregnant with my first child, I want to make the Holiday Open House a tradition I share with my family.
—Cameron Village community member
Going to “See” Santa
When I was a child, we used to go to Cameron Village every Christmas to see the lights. We would also go to see Santa Claus…sort of. Santa had a booth on the corner beside JC Penney’s. My brother and I were so scared of talking to him one year that when we pulled up close to the booth, we both got down on the floor and hid! We still enjoyed the lights that year and for many more years!
If you have any Cameron Village holiday stories you would like to share, submit them here. We would love to hear them.