Come celebrate the fun and excitement of our holiday parade in Old Town at 7 pm. There will be bands, floats, specialty units and also Santa. The parade starts at Cameron Street and finish at Loudoun St. The tree lighting ceremony is immediately following the parade. Santa will walk down Rouss Avenue to the tree lighting stand to light the tree. 540-542-1326.
December 1–Front Royal.
The Celebration of Lights held at 7pm at the Warren Memorial Hospital provides the community with an opportunity to honor or memorialize someone while helping the volunteers raise money. When someone makes a donation of $5.00 or more, a symbolic light will be placed on the Celebration of Lights tree or those making a single donation of $50.00 or more will be recognized with a Star Giver light. The tree lighting ceremony includes music and refreshments. 540-636-0398.
Join us for our annual parade, this year’s theme is “It’s a Wonderful Life” from 7pm-9pm. The route begins where N. Augusta meets Frederick Street. Our public leash laws remain in effect during the event. There will no food vendors. 540-332-3867.
December 1, 8, 15–Millwood.
Love knitting and supporting a great cause? Join Long Branch Plantation, 830 Long Branch Lane in supporting the National World War II Museum’s “Knit your Bit Program”. The program sends scarves to veterans around the country. You can knit with us from 3:30-6:30pm. Patterns and guidance available. If knitting somewhere else check out the patterns to use at: (www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/knit-your-bit/) or call 540-837-1856. Please donate completed scarves to Long Branch by Dec. 20-21.
December 1-Jan. 1–Staunton.
Gypsy Hill Park’s 214 acres will be aglow with holiday lights for the tenth year in a row from 5-11pm. 540-885-4266.
December 1-Jan. 4–Winchester.
Leave a letter for Santa (with a return address and Santa will write back) in one of his special mailbox locations: War Memorial Building at Jim Barnett Park, City Hall at 15 N. Cameron Street, Visitor Center at 1400 S. Valley Road on the 1st-10th. Also on the 1st-Jan. 4th you can stroll through the 4th Annual Light Show, at Clearbrook Park from 5:30-9:30pm. 540-542-1326 or 1-877-871-1326.
December 2, 4–Buena Vista.
Area events: Tree Lighting Ceremony at City Hall on the 2nd; On the 4th: Horses Christmas at Kling Elementary School, Holiday Lights at Glen Maury Park; Christmas Parade starting at Magnolia Avenue. 540-261-7321.
“Fantasyland” at the History Museum of Western Virginia, One Market Square is a collection of holiday characters harkening back to a simpler time. There are penguins/polar bears in Artic snow, characters from many countries in a chorus poised to sing songs from around the world, and the reindeer in their stalls waiting patiently for Santa to hook them to his sleigh. Also Santa welcomes visitors and there are other exciting surprises awaiting. Admission fee. 540-342-5770.
Get into the Christmas spirit at our festive Christmas parade starting at 6pm, complete with Santa. Immediately following the parade, the Tree Lighting Ceremony with music by Central High School Band, followed by Santa. Also there will be a special children’s event at the Volunteer Fire Company. 540-984-8521.
Area events: Christmas Toy Drive on the 4th-12th. Bring an unwrapped toy to the following locations during their events; Christmas Tree Lighting at the Municipal Building on 4th; Christmas Parade at 11am, Christmas Bazaar at the Area Community Center on the 6th. 540- 298-1951.
December 4, 31–Vinton.
Tree lighting and entertainment starting 6pm at the Vinton Municipal Building, then at 7pm our annual Christmas parade, on the 4th. On the 31st New Years Eve Gala at the Vinton War Memorial, 814 Washington Avenue starting 8pm-1am. This event is for 21 years and older. BYOB. Admission fee. 540-343-1364.
Annual Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting ceremony spreads festive cheer throughout downtown. The parade begins at 7:30pm down Main Street. After the parade Mayor Richard Baugh will host a tree lighting ceremony in Court Square, followed by a holiday concert performed by the JMU Marching Royal Dukes. 540-433-9168.
“Light up Woodstock” includes a Parade, hot chocolate, music, visits with Santa, wagon rides and more. 540-459-3621.
Once again the Massanetta Springs Camp and Conference Center will be hosting a wonderful Christmas Dinner with Sounds of the Season musical event featuring the a’capella group, “Sound Direction” at 6pm in the Historic Hotel at Massanetta Springs. All are welcome. Admission fee. 540-434-3829 or 1-888-627-7774.
Bring the whole family out for Christmas fun during our parade that will proceed down Main Street at 6pm. 540-319-4181.
OASIS will host a reception from 5-8pm to inaugurate our annual holiday event, “Art for the Holidays”. Every year at this time, OASIS transforms into an exciting art-filled gift market to help with finding the perfect gift. There are original gift items such as jewelry, paintings, photography, glass, ceramics and fibers to match the taste and budget of collectors as well as first-time shoppers. In order to help customers find just the right presents for all the special people in their lives, the co-op expands its offerings for the holidays with increased stock as well as work by invited artists. 103 S. Main Street. For more information, call 540-442-8188.
Area events: Lighting of the Christmas Tree 6pm at the Farmers Market, Christmas Parade at 6:30pm on the 5th. On the 6th: “Ye Olde Salem Christmas” at the Farmers Market, Library, and downtown. Also a Gingerbread Festival at Longwood Park. 540-387-0267.
This holiday season plan to visit Abram’s Delight Museum, George Washington’s Office and Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters during the Candlelight Tour. Experience Christmas past. 540-662-6550.
The artist P. Buckley Moss will be at her home, The Barn, to meet her collectors and personalize prints 11am-5pm each day. In addition all prints or paintings that are purchased at the Waynesboro gallery, 329 Main Street during these three days can be personalized. 540-949-6473.
The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech’s winter exhibitions will feature two one-person exhibitions by artists who present their views of the world’s landscape, as well as an exhibition showcasing work from area high school students that explores human connections through various media. The exhibitions will debut with an opening reception on Friday, from 5- 7pm in the Moss Arts Center Grand Lobby, 190 Alumni Mall. The event is free and open to the public. 540-231-1986, (http://www.artscenter.vt.edu/).
December 5-7, 12-14–Buena Vista.
Experience a live, interactive, walk-through presentation of the nativity, behind the Food Lion, 2150 E. Midland Trail. Follow Mary and Joseph as they journey to Bethlehem and experience the sights and sounds of “The Night of Miracles”. You can see the shepherds tending their flocks, visit the census booth, the inn, and the animal pen. Finally, follow the kings’ entourage to the stable where the Christ-child is born. The Christmas story cycles every 30 minutes so you will not miss anything. 540-261-6596.
December 5, 12, 19–Roanoke.
Be a part of the memories for the 32nd annual SunTrust Dickens of a Christmas. This year will feature our Christmas Tree Lighting on the 5th from 5:30pm-10pm, Haley Toyota’s Christmas Parade on the 12th from 6pm-10pm, and the RVSPCA Pet Costume Contest on the 19th, from 6-10pm. This free family-friendly event includes favorites like carriage rides, street performers and more. 540-342-2028.
December 6–New Market.
“Christmas on the Farm” at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, 8895 George Collins Parkway. Visitors will be able to make tree ornaments for the park’s tree and for themselves and play period games. Historical interpreters will be preparing meals, soldiers’ care packages, and inside the farmhouse there will be music and storytelling. The Museum Theater will show “Ole Time Christmas” from the Shenandoah Valley at 2pm. 866-515-1864.
Come celebrate the start of the holiday season with us at our “All I Want for Christmas” parade with Santa, decorated floats, cloggers and more. The parade route starts on Arch Avenue and ends at West Main Street. The makeup date if needed will be either December 8th or 9th at 6pm 540-942-6735.
December 6–Front Royal.
Come visit for a fun-filled day! The Farmers Market Christmas Festival & Bazaar will be held from 7am-3pm at E. Wilson Morrison School, 40 Crescent Street, with vendors showcasing locally grown farm-fresh produce, handmade arts & crafts, and more. Free entertainment, 9am-2pm in the auditorium. Plus the Kiwanis Pancake Day in the cafeteria, 6am-3pm. The Chamber of Commerce will host the Annual Christmas Parade at 4pm. 540-635-3185.
The Ruritan Club presents Caroling in the Caverns at Grand Caverns Park from 6-8pm. Tours will enter the cave every 15 minutes. This event’s proceeds will benefit the South River Boys/Girls Club and Ruritan Scholarships. Admission is adults $5.00, kids 12 and under are free with a donation of new art/crafts supplies, games/puzzles. 540-249-5729.
3rd Annual Weihnachtsmarkt (German Christmas Market), hosted by the Winery at Bluestone Vineyard, 4828 Spring Creek Rd., from 11am-5pm. Featuring local vendors, artisans, food and wine. Bring your Christmas list or get inspired by the selection. We will also be doing a local food drive, so please bring canned goods and/or nonperishable items to help contribute. Dress warm in the traditional German way, this event is outside. It’s a lot of fun to get bundled up, drink Gluhwein (warm mulled wine) and shop. 540-828-0099.
December 6–Mount Jackson.
Annual Holiday Market at Cave Ridge Vineyard, 1476 Conicville Road. We will be serving hot mulled wine made with our Chambourcin, as you visit local crafters and vendors around our courtyard. This is a perfect opportunity to purchase locally made gifts. We will also have music and all Cave Ridge merchandise will be 10% off. 540-477-2585.
“Holidayfest” is a family fun event at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, 147 Warsaw Avenue. Featuring the JMU Symphony Orchestra, Madison Singers and Chorale. Also featured is a holiday reading by a local Harrisonburg celebrity. Prior to the 7th matinee at 12:30pm, children can enjoy crafts, cookies, and cider in the Grand Lobby. 540-368-7000.
When traveling the Valley, shopping for your holiday gifts, you won’t want to miss Shenandoah Vineyards Open House from 10am-5pm on both days. The vineyards will have snacks made from food gift items to accompany tastings of their wine. They are open every day ‘til Christmas Day. 540-984-8699.
Fellowship Bible Church will be presenting “Follow the Star”, a guided walking tour of the Living Nativity both evenings from 6-9pm at the Kernstown Battlefield, 610 Battle Park Drive. Parking is at Creekside Shopping Center located on Valley Avenue and a hayride will take you to the event. Dress warm and wear comfortable shoes. The tour is concluded with festive Christmas music, all-you-can-eat cookies (also available for people with allergies) and hot-chocolate. Free admission. Only service animals allowed. 540-353-7210.
Celebrate the holidays at the Virginia Museum of Transportation, 303 Norfolk Avenue SW, from 10 am-5 pm on the 7th and 1-5 pm on the 8th. There will be train rides, take your own pictures with Santa, decorate an ornament for your tree, family friendly activities and more. 540-342-5670.
Wintertide weekend offers visitors an old-fashioned Christmas experience in a rural, mountain setting. Holiday Treasures Market and Open House at the Highland Center on the 5th-7th. Annual Tree Lighting Service on the Courthouse Lawn, includes a seasonal musical program, angel tree and a traditional Christmas story. 540-468-2550.
45th Annual Doll Auction at the Courtyard Marriott, 300 Marriott Drive, from 2-4pm. We have several outfits to fit American Girl dolls in addition to the dressed dolls. All proceeds from the annual event go back to the Evans Home, which provides an alternative environment for children who cannot live with their families and who would not thrive in a foster or adoptive family. For more information call 540-662-8520 or http://evanshome.org.
Virginia Horse Center events: Wounded Warriors Farriers Competition on the 6th; CMSA on the 6-7th; Old Time Music Jam on the 9th; VHC Equine Education Day and Hear the Beat Christmas Edition on the 13th; Charity Christmas Basket Program on the 17th-20th. We need volunteers. We want to ensure every family in the Rockbridge area has a brighter holiday and a happier new year. 540-464-2950.
4th Annual Combined Winter Holiday Market starting 9am-1pm at Washington and Lee University’s Pavillion. Join us just in time for Christmas for this special event featuring locally produced goods and wares. 540-463-6841.
Christmas Parade at 6 pm. This year’s theme is “The 12 Days of Christmas”. Also they will be tossing candy. In case of bad weather the parade will be held on the 16th at 6 pm. 540-743-5511.
The City of Winchester will host a Holly Jolly Celebration on the Loudoun Street Walking Mall beginning at 11. This is a free, family-friendly event with carolers, children’s crafts, holiday music and much more in charming Old Town Winchester. Enjoy horse drawn carriage rides through Old Town free from 1-3 p.m. passing by the over 20’ beautifully decorated tree. The Handley Regional Library will offer a variety of activities from 1-4 p.m. Many shops will offer special promotions and events for the holiday shopper. From 6-8 p.m., the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum will offer a fun and safe environment for children ages 5+ to play while parents shop or enjoy a dinner in Old Town. Registration is required for this activity and there is a fee. For more information about Holly Jolly, visit our website www.OldTownWinchesterVA.com or call 540-535-3660.
V.O.I.C.E., a local non-profit vocal ensemble, is performing a Benefit Concert on Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 4pm at Vision of Hope on Port Republic Rd. Free admission with a suggested donation of $8 at the door, 100% of which will go to the Collins Center. Call or Text 313-MUSIC-90, visit http://www.voiceensemble.org/ or find V.O.I.C.E. on Facebook for more information.
Christmas Open House at the Miller-Kite House Museum (Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters), noon to 4 pm, hosted by the Elkton Historical Society. Free and open to the public. Live Christmas music by Heidi Riddell & Bucky Monger, tours, living history, refreshments and more. Plenty of Christmas gift ideas also available. Located at 310 E. Rockingham St. (Follow the Virginia Civil War Trails signs). For additional information call 540-578-3046.
We hope you will join the Hebron Baptist Church, 66 Tanbark Drive this year for the blessings of the season of the birth of our LORD, and have a true sense of what the life was like in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth. A wonderful event is being carried out there which some call it “the greatest story ever told,” some call it “a Christmas miracle”. The Village of Bethlehem, a full-fledged modern day reprisal of the first century village of Bethlehem is complete with reenactment of Christ’s birth, singing angels, Roman guards, an olive press, working looms, carpenter’s, weapons, and scribe shops. Also there are live camels and wise men come to life. Much more than just a living nativity, the Village of Bethlehem is a real village. 540-456-6863.
Join us for a tour around the Frontier Culture Museum by lantern light. Visitors will enjoy vignettes at England, Ireland, Germany, 1820s America, and 1850s America. Also a Mummer’s play near the Irish Forge and a horse-drawn wagon ride from the Old World to the New World. Refreshments and live music will be offered following the tour at the Dairy Barn Lecture Hall. Tours every 30 minutes beginning at 6pm and the last tour begins at 8pm. Admission fee. 540-332-7850.
Join us at the Gypsy Hill Park Bandstand from 1-4pm for our 1st Annual Caroling in the Park. Brave the winter elements and listen to local choirs as they spread Christmas cheer. Performances by the Staunton Parks and Recreation homeschool choir, Harrisonburg Harmonizers, and other local choirs. Warm concessions available for purchase and cozy bonfires set the atmosphere. Free, but please bring a canned good to benefit the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. 540-332-3945.
Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas at Wintergreen Resort. Celebrate the most magical time of the year with a holiday concert and sing-a-long on the 20th. Holiday fun with cookie decorating, including story reading with Mrs Clause and Santa’s Elves on the 21st. Santa will be on the slopes swishing around handing out candy on the 24th. Come build a cardboard vehicle to race against some of the fastest vehicles on the mountain. Race will be in Ridgely’s Fun Park at 7pm. Prizes will be awarded for fastest, most creative and best design. Vehicles will be made out of cardboard and duct tape. Reservations required. Sorry no walk-ins. To register or for more information call 434-325-8180.
Southeastern Gun and Knife Show at the Body Renew Fitness and Family Sports Center, 221 Commonwealth Court. An assortment of firearms and related products for home defense, collecting, and sport shooting. No loaded weapons are permitted and all firearms in the show regardless of source must be tied with a locking nylon wire strap which renders the weapon inoperable. Admission fee. 540-869-0100.
December 31–Mount Crawford.
5th Annual New Year’s Eve Gala, benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be held at CrossKeys Vineyards, 6011 Timber Ridge Road. “Affirmative Groove” will be entertaining us for the evening. We have a vintage Hollywood-styled evening in the works and are ready to roll out the red carpet. Tickets are $140.00 plus tax per person and include two glasses of wine. For couples we will include your favorite bottle of CrossKeys Vineyards wine with your reservation. 540-234-0505.
Make plans now to ring in the New Year with thousands of your friends and neighbors downtown. The activities and performances will begin at 6pm and continue until Midnight. All of the venues are alcohol-free, and are within easy walking distance. Then at the stroke of midnight we celebrate the new year with a spectacular fireworks display. 540-533-5561.
“First Night” is a family-friendly, non-alcoholic, New Year’s Eve celebration. One price gets you a button that allows you into all our First Night events for the entire evening. There will be kids events and all kinds of entertainment up and down the Old Town Mall area. Then the count down to the “Apple Drop” and midnight fireworks display. 540-533-5561.