December 2019/January 2020

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I love ghosts. I know they don’t exist, but I also know they are everywhere, especially in a city as old and interesting as Durham. The holidays are the perfect time to seek them out, to commune and celebrate them. After all, what is New Year’s Eve if not a celebration of both what’s gone and what’s yet to be.

Durham has its share of merciless ghosts, of course, but most of those we conjure during the holidays are warm. Our better angels, if you prefer a different metaphor.

Our city’s spirit of kindness is clear and forever in front of us. See page 17 for the Exchange Family Center, which helps families take care of their children and, in 2019, celebrated its 50th charity golf tournament.

See page 18 for the 25th anniversary celebration of TROSA, which helps recovering addicts rejoin their lives. (You can meet some TROSA residents at one of nine Christmas tree lots they operate around the area. They’ll trim, bag and load your tree on your car, or even fit your tree to your tree stand.)

The holidays are about the person next to you. But, to me, the New Year has always been about courage. It takes courage to start again, to face a new day. But, we do. We stand with our feet firm on the floor, reach in good faith toward one another and seek shelter in the crowded spaces between generosity and grace. We face our ghosts and embrace them.

In 2019, Durham celebrated its 150th year. We all start the 151st together. – Michael McElroy


40 Surviving the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
How to throw a perfect and easy holiday party

47 Markets & More
A few extra seasonal events, plus local shopping opportunities to help you check off everyone on your list!

50 Cheers to 2020!
Welcome the new year with a few special cocktails

56 Feeding a Crowd
The holidays mean lots of group gatherings and more mouths to feed

60 Wrap It Up
Several ideas for preventing cabin fever


66 Meaningful Meals
A local dinner party raises a glass while raising funds to honor Pauli Murray’s legacy

104 To Have and to Hold
We went back to six of our featured newlywed couples to get their tips for tying the knot


4 Letter from the Editor

8 Go. See. Do.
Our top 10 winter events

22 Noted
What we’ve heard around town …

26 Faraway Memories
Iconic holiday occasions and why Durham’s Holiday Parade and Fun Fest stands out

28 The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Remember to also celebrate and give back to our city this holiday season

96 Taste
Discover our city’s best restaurants

111 Engagement & Wedding
Tying the knot, Bull City-style


86 Networking
Black Wall Street: Homecoming, KONTEK’s 30th Anniversary and Downtown Durham Inc. Speaker Series

88 The Future of Transit
After the collapse of the light rail project, Durham takes its time with Plan B

92 Biz Briefs


31 The Big Give
Our local nonprofits: How they support the community and how you can get involved

64 Holiday Gift Guide

78 New Trends in Home Design
Popular styles during the 2019 Parade of Homes

80 Adopt A Pet
Meet a pup and two cats waiting on their forever homes at the Animal Protection Society of Durham


12 45th annual CenterFest Arts Festival

14 Southern Documentary Fund’s sixth annual Artists Convening

15 Art of Cool Festival

16 Pride: Durham, NC

17 Exchange Family Center’s 50th annual golf tournament

18 TROSA’s 25th anniversary celebration

19 Durham Convention Center’s rededication reception

20 Children’s Pop-Up Market at The Studio School of Durham

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