WAKE FOREST, NC - The Christmas spirit was alive and well in downtown Wake Forest Saturday, even without the town's annual Christmas parade.

  • Annual parade was canceled to avoid possible protests over Confederate group's presence
  • Hundreds attended Saturday's alternative event
  • Celebration included caroling and a mini parade 

It was canceled earlier this month to avoid possible protests over a Confederate group’s presence at the parade.

Hundreds of families and community members packed the downtown area anyway for an alternative event.

The celebration included some caroling and even a mini parade, but it was the community's effort to support the town that local businesses owners appreciated most. 

"As you can see everyone passing through coming around, I dont think it hurt, I think everyone in this town had enough fortitude to say hey we're gonna celebrate, we're gonna come on out support our businesses no matter what and so far today has been great," said John Stephens, who owns Sugar Magnolia Cafe & Emporium.

Wake Forest town officials plan to meet in early 2020 to plan next year's parade, and discuss ways to avoid potential problems from outside groups.

Get instant severe weather alerts to your phone and email. Click here to sign up!