Ultimate guide to holiday events across southwest and central Virginia

Local News

(Photo courtesy: Paultoole / CC BY-SA 3.0 via MGN online)

(WFXR) — It’s time for a holiday celebration across the southwest and central Virginia!

Below is a list of fun events that are family-friendly to help share the joy of the season:

MUSICAL NOTES HOLIDAY FLOATS

A full day of fun is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3 in the Town of Blacksburg during “Musical Notes Holiday Floats.” On the town’s Facebook page, organizers have listed out the schedule:

  • 3-8 p.m.: Holiday Gift Market
  • 4-5:30 p.m.: Santa and Mrs. Claus
  • 5 p.m.: Children’s Chorale
  • 5:45 p.m.: Tree Lightning
  • 6 p.m.: Tuba Christmas
  • 7 p.m.: Holiday Parade

The parade will begin on Prices Fork Road at the Stanger Street intersection. It will then continue on Main Street throughout downtown before ending up at Eheart Street. Those in the parade will assemble at 5:30 p.m. Officials will close down Prices Fork Road to traffic starting at 5:15 p.m. along with Main Street.

During the Winter Lights & Tuba Christmas, officials will close down College Avenue starting at 3 p.m. and if you are planning on attending, parking will be discontinued at noon.

CHRISTMAS STOREFRONT DECORATING CONTEST

The competition is about to heat up in Vinton as businesses will deck out their storefronts with holiday cheer.

Business owners are competing for the following honors:

  • Best All Around
  • Most Creative
  • Most Exemplifies the Spirit of Christmas
  • Mayor’s Choice

Businesses are asked to have their decorations up by Wednesday, Dec. 1. Judging will take place on Monday, Dec. 13. If you have any questions you are asked to contact Chasity Barbour at 540-400-1942.

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS IN WYTHEVILLE

You can experience numerous Christmas festivities on in Wytheville over two weekends.

A Christmas to Remember” event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3.
Main Street will be blocked off from 1st to 4th streets. The streets will be lined with food trucks, vendors, music, and even a bounce house.
Those who attend will also have a chance to be entered into a drawing. All you have to do is enter a business, receive a postcard and get it stamped by visiting all the businesses. You can then drop it off at a large present box located in the center of Main Street at 4th Street.

Then, children of all ages can visit Santa at Withers Park in Wytheville on Saturday, Dec. 4 from noon to 3 p.m. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, ornament making, a gingerbread house contest, and make memories all for free. There will also be carriage rides and a gingerbread competition during that period.

In addition, Wytheville’s “A Timeless Christmas” parade will start at 5 p.m. at 11th Street, finishing with judged floats entering Withers Park, where there will be new surprises in store during the tree lighting and celebration at 6 p.m.

From 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, there will be historic demonstrations, refreshments, family crafts, a bonfire, and a special visit from Belsnickel during the “18th Century Christmas at the Homestead” event at the Jackson/Umberger Homestead Museum.

The Wytheville Farmers Market will also be holding its “Christmas Market” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 11 at 210 W. Spring Street, featuring more than 45 local vendors.

RURAL RETREAT CHRISTMAS PARADE

PEMBROKE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARADE

NEWPORT VILLAGE CHRISTMAS MARKET

The Newport Community Center is set to host the “Newport Village Christmas Market” on Saturday, Dec. 11, featuring the following activities:

  • Santa Claus: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Artisan market, lunch, and crafts: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tree lighting: 4 p.m.

GILES COUNTY BIKER TOY RUN

PEARISBURG HOLIDAY LIGHT TRAIL

JINGLE BELL RUN/WALK & TOT TROT

Lace-up your shoes and hit the ground running or walking for he ninth annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk and Tot Trot in downtown Lexington. The 5K run, 1.5-mile walk, and Tot Trot will take place on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. on Main Street.

GOSHEN CHRISTMAS PARADE

In Goshen, the town’s Christmas parade starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11 at the Goshen Library. While entry fees are not required, any donations will benefit the proposed community center. Immediately following the parade, there will be time with Santa Claus, live music, a tree lighting, and trophies awarded.

On top of that, the town will pick a Tiny Miss and Tiny Mr. Newborn (up to age 6), as well as a Junior Miss and Junior Mr. (ages 7-12) to represent the town in the Christmas parade. You can find out how to enter the running for the titles by clicking here.

CHRISTMAS CLASSICS ON PARADE

The theme for this year’s Lexington Christmas Parade is “Christmas Classics — Classic Movies,” according to Main Street Lexington.

All entries must be submitted by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26. You can register for the parade and learn more about the rules and regulations by clicking here.

The parade will take place rain or shine at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3

PICTURES WITH SANTA

The Martinsville Henry County SPCA is helping to spread some holiday cheer to our furry friends. On Saturday, Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. you can bring your pets, family, or just yourself to have your picture taken with Santa. It’s $10 per picture.

DRIVE-THRU SANTA

Time to start working on those letters to Santa because the Campbell County Public Library System is hosting magical Drive-Thru Santa events.

There will be elves peppered throughout the parking lot, Santa will be on hand for children to wave at, and of course, you can drop off your letter for Santa as well.

The drive-thru events will take place at four branches of the library system:

  • Nov. 18: 5-7 p.m. at Staunton River Memorial Library in Altavista
  • Dec. 3: 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Rustburg Library
  • Dec. 7: 6-7:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry Memorial Library in Brookneal
  • Dec. 10: 6-8 p.m. at Timbrook Library

There is no need to register for the event, just swing by during the listed times.

SANTA RUN 5K

Runners and walkers can head to Covington for the Santa Run 5K. It will be held on Sunday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. at the Jackson River Sports Complex. You can register for the event starting at 1 p.m.

If you are thinking about walking instead of running you can register for the Penguin Shuffle — which is the 5K — and for those first through fifth grade can register for the Gingerbread Sprint. The cost for the 5K is $10 and the Gingerbread Sprint is $5.

OLDE TOWN COVINGTON CHRISTMAS PARADE

Time to line the streets and check out all the festivities at the Olde Town Covington Christmas Parade. It will take place Saturday, Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. at West Rock.

If you would like to participate in the parade, just head to Olde Town Covington’s website to register. The registration deadline is Friday, Dec. 3 at noon.

HILLSVILLE’S DOWNTOWN CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION AND PARADE

Hillsville will be hosting its Christmas celebration and parade on Saturday, Dec. 4. This year’s theme is “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”

There will be stockings, hot chocolate, caroling, and Santa will be at the Carter Home at 5 p.m. It takes place on Main Street in Hillsville from 5 to 9 p.m.

In addition, earlier in the day, the Town of Hillsville Winter Market in Courthouse Square will have a special appearance from the Grinch! You can take photos with him for free from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 4, but donations to The Crafter’s Cabin are accepted.

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BAZAAR

The Twin County Chamber of Commerce invites community members to join them for the 39th annual Christmas Bazaar at the Hillsville VFW from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26 and Saturday, Nov. 27.

There will be more than 70 vendors willing to help you do your holiday shopping, as well as daily giveaways and concessions.

If you want to be a vendor at the bazaar, either call the chamber of commerce at 276-236-2184 or email Laura Whitt at laura@twincountychamber.com.

EXPERIENCE THE HOLIDAYS

The Courtland Festival Park in Appomattox County will be jammed-packed with several events happening on Saturday, Dec. 4.

From 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. there is an event for everyone. There are children’s crafts, vendors, live music, a Christmas parade, and you can meet Mr. and Mrs. Santa.

APPOMATTOX TREE LIGHTING

With a flip of a switch, you can experience the Christmas spirit lighting up Appomattox. The tree lighting event takes place Sunday, Nov. 28 at Courtland Festival Park.

There will be live music from 5-5:45 p.m. and the tree lighting takes place at 6 p.m. New Hope Baptist Church will be on hand providing hot chocolate and cookies.

HOLIDAY EVENTS ACROSS SALEM

The City of Salem released its calendar of holiday events to get people into the Christmas spirit.

Starting on Friday, Dec. 3 you can enjoy the Lighting of the Christmas Tree at 6 p.m. and then at 6:30 p.m. there will be the Salem Christmas Parade.

Then, Saturday, Dec. 4 is the Gingerbread Festival and Salem Crafty Christmas.

The Salem Holiday Market will be at the Salem Civic Center on Saturday, Dec. 11 and Sunday, Dec. 12.

Below are the times and places of each event.

Holiday EventDateTimeLocation
Lighting of the Chrismas TreeDec. 36 p.m.Salem Farmers Market
Salem Christmas ParadeDEc. 36:30 p.m.Downtown Salem
Gingerbread FestivalDec. 410 a.m. to 2 p.m.Salem Museum & Longwood Park
Salem Crafty ChristmasDec. 48 a.m. to 2 p.m.Salem Farmers Market
Salem Holiday MarketDec. 11-129 a.m. to 4 p.m.Salem Civic Center

SANTA CLAUS CALLING

LORD BOTETOURT BANDS 2021 WINTER CONCERT

BOTETOURT CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY MARKET

BUENA VISTA CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS

ROANOKE COUNTY ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING

ILLUMINIGHTS WINTER WALK OF LIGHTS

The annual staple, Illuminights is set to begin another season at Explore Park through a partnership between Roanoke County and Center in the Square.

The event will run a total of 35 nights from Sautrday, Nov. 20 through Dec. 30, allowing visitors to experience 100,000 new lights, new displays, trail enhancements and family activities.

You can purchase tickets via the following ways:

  • Online (preferred): Visit ExplorePark.org/Illuminights
  • Call 540-387-6078, ext. 0, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Visit the Explore Park Visitor Center at 56 Roanoke River Parkway, Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Visit the Brambleton Recreation Center at 7415 Brambleton Avenue, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Visit the Center in the Square Box Office at 1 Market Square
    • Tuesday through Saturday from 9:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
    • Sunday from 12:45 to 4:45 p.m.

Tickets are $16 for adults (age 16 and older) and $6 for children (age 3-15). Only advance tickets will be sold for the event with assigned arrival times.

You can save $1 on each individual admission on select Saving Days. Groups of 25 or more can save an additional $1 on Peak Days, by phone only.

All proceeds will support Center in the Square and Explore Park.

ELF ON THE SHELF IN ROANOKE

The ‘Elf on the Shelf’ Adventure kicked off Friday, Nov. 26 in Roanoke’s City Market.

There’s still plenty of time to grab family and friends to go scavenging to find each one in 14 stores in downtown Roanoke. The fun doesn’t end until Friday Dec. 17.

You can learn more about the holiday activity — including the map to find each elf — by clicking here.

DICKENS OF A CHRISTMAS

Dickens of a Christmas will take place in downtown Roanoke on the first three Fridays in the month of December.

On Friday, Dec. 3, the lighting of the Christmas Tree will take place, with the ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m. and the tree lighting taking place at 6:20 p.m. on the Plaza behind the Market Building on the Freedom First Main Stage. The William Byrd High School Choir will perform live.

Then, on Friday, Dec. 10, the annual Christmas Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. on the same route as previous years starting on Jefferson Street at Elm Avenue, turning onto Campbell Avenue, past Market Square, and ending on Williamson Road.

On Friday, Dec. 17, the Roanoke Valley SPCA will have its Pet Costume Contest taking place at the Plaza behind the City Market Building on the Freedom First Main Stage. Pet owner may register their pets starting at 5:30 p.m. on the night of the event. The contest will officially begin at 6:30 p.m.

Also on Dec. 17, the Coca-Cola Kids Carnival takes place on Wall Street and Market Street. It features children’s rides and a rock-climbing wall. This is a free event for all children in attendance.

Another popular event is the Elmwood on Ice, which will be open at Elmwood Park.

Other activities will be taking place throughout the Historic Market area, including the Kids Zone, carriage rides, vendors, live carolers, a fire-eater, sword swallower, photos with Santa, and much more.

Get more details about this year’s Dickens of a Christmas by clicking here.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA IN ROANOKE

VISITS WITH FROM SANTA CLAUS AND THE ‘HOLIDAY CAFE’ SERIES AT ROANOKE PUBLIC LIBRARIES

The Roanoke Public Libraries are also holding a series of “Holiday Café” events featuring live music and delicious food at various libraries around the city over the course of December:

  • Holiday Café Night with Star City Swag at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6 at the Melrose Branch Library
  • Holiday Café Night with HME Band at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at the Williamson Road Library
  • Holiday Café Night with McFadden and Friends at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 16 at the Gainsboro Branch Library
  • Holiday Café Night with Dogrocket Blues Band at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20 at the Belmont Branch Library
  • Holiday Café Night with Charissa Joy at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21 at the Raleigh Court Branch Library
  • Holiday Café Luncheon with DJ Megahurt at noon on Saturday, Dec. 18 at the Main Library

PHOTOS WITH SANTA AT THE VALLEY VIEW MALL

The Valley View Mall in Roanoke will open Santa’s Workshop near the food court on the lower level of the mall at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 19 and keep it open through Christmas Eve.

Visits are free — although reservations are strongly encouraged — and photo packages and frames are available for purchase.

You can learn more about Santa’s schedule — as well as details about photo pricing and special Santa events, like pet photos and “Santa Cares” — by following this link.

The mall says that hand sanitizer will be available and Santa and his helpers will be following CDC COVID-19 guidelines during these visits.

GALAX CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS

REVERSE CHRISTMAS PARADE AND HOME AND BUSINESS HOLIDAY DECORATING CONTEST IN AMHERST

The Town of Amherst will be filled with holiday magic on Friday, Dec. 3 during the Reverse Christmas Parade from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. If you want to get involved in the parade, entry forms are due by Monday, Nov. 29.

In addition, residents and businesses are encouraged to showcase their best holiday decorations in a competition. All businesses and residences on or off the Reverse Christmas Parade route within the town are invited to take part in the contest.
The judging will take place the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 1, with recognition going to the three best-decorated residences, the three best-decorated businesses, and the best-decorated streets.
The winners will be presented with signs to display in front of their home or business, as well as recognition both online and during the town’s parade on Dec. 3.
If you are along the parade route you are encouraged to help light up the parade on Dec. 3. If you are off the parade route, make sure to let the town know if you are competing by emailing vicki.hunt@amherstva.gov with your name, address, and contact information.

DRIVE-THRU SANTA EVENT IN AMHERST

According to the Amherst County Chamber of Commerce, the Amherst Fire Department is offering a great opportunity to see Ol’ St. Nick without having to trek to the North Pole. You can check out this “Drive-thru Santa Event” at the fire station from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18.

COME HOME TO FRANKLIN COUNTY CHRISTMAS

BOTETOURT COUNTY SANTA RUNS

HOLIDAY EVENTS ACROSS BUCHANAN

You can get your holiday shopping done while still supporting local vendors during the 2021 Buchanan Community Christmas Market. You can buy homemade crafts, baked goods, art, antiques, and gifts from within the Buchanan community.
The outdoor market will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Dec. 11.

Nov. 27 will also feature the town’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, as well as the beginning of the Festival of Lights and the Festival of Trees, which will run until Jan. 1, 2022.

The Town of Buchanan’s annual Christmas Parade — which has the theme of “For the Kids” — is scheduled for Dec. 11. Main Street will close down at 3 p.m. so parade participants can line up at 4 p.m.
Churches, civic organizations, school groups, tourist sites, marching bands, dance studios, antique auto owners, emergency service vehicles, and more are invited to register for the parade by calling 540-254-1212 or visiting the town website.

Other holiday events planned for the Town of Buchanan include Santa at the Buchanan Town Park on Friday, Dec. 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; the Christmas Eve Luminaries on Friday, Dec. 24; Epiphany Bonfire on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022; a Christmas decorating contest; letters to Santa; a Cookie Crawl; and more.

FINCASTLE TINSEL TRAIL AND CHRISTMAS PARADE

According to the Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce, the opening celebration for the Tinsel Trail — featuring 47 trees that were sponsored and designed by area organizations — will kick off with holiday music from the Mennonite Children’s Choir at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 in downtown Fincastle.

The Tinsel Trail is not only free, but it will remain open to the public throughout December for self-guided tours.

In addition to the Tinsel Trail, the Botetourt County Historical Museum is set to hold its Holiday Open House at the same time on Dec. 3, featuring tours and homemade refreshments.

Then, on Saturday, Dec. 4, the Town of Fincastle will hold its annual Christmas parade at 2 p.m. The lineup, however, starts at 1 p.m. at Breckinridge Elementary School.

You can check out a map of the parade route by clicking here.

WINTERTIDE IN HIGHLAND COUNTY

COCOA AND COOKIES

AmeriCare Plus Alleghany along East Ridgeway Street will offer cocoa and cookies from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, allowing community members to come inside and warm up during the Clifton Forge Christmas Parade.

RADFORD WINTERFEST

SANTA’S POLICE CRUISE

WINTER LIGHTS AND MAGICAL LIGHTS

RIVER RIDGE MALL HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES

Over in Lynchburg, the River Ridge Mall has already unveiled Santa’s Winter Wonderland for the 2021 holiday season, but Ol’ Saint Nick will not make his grand arrival until 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19

“Saint Nick himself will begin the voyage to his new home away from home beginning at the ‘Walk-Through Tree,’ parading to West Court between Regal Cinema and the newly redesigned Food Hall, led by Liberty Christian Academy’s choral group, Concert Choir Group,” a mall spokesperson told WFXR News.

During Santa’s grand entrance, a lucky winner will receive a golden ticket with four annual passes to SeaQuest.

From now through Christmas Eve, Santa will be available for photos with guests next to Kay Jewelers and GNC. You are encouraged to make a reservation for your visit by clicking here.

For more information about Santa Claus photo sessions at River Ridge Mall, follow this link.

Here is a list of the other holiday festivities planned for the River Ridge Mall this year:

  • “Sounds of the Season,” a five-part holiday concert series.
    • Bells of Blue Ridge on Monday, Nov. 29
    • Good News, TRBC Choir on Saturday, Dec. 4
    • Liberty University Chamber Ensembles on Saturday, Dec. 11
    • Merry Tuba Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 12
    • Good News, TRBC Choir on Saturday, Dec. 18
  • Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign
    • From Monday, Dec. 13 through Friday, Dec. 24, bell ringers will be located at the entrances to the mall to collect donations during the mall’s operating hours.
  • The Salvation Army Angel Trees will be located in front of Belk’s interior entrance from now through Wednesday, Dec. 15
    • Select the angel(s) you would like to adopt and remove the full tag from a tree. Be sure to return the tag with your gift.
    • Gifts are to be returned to River Ridge or to The Salvation Army of Lynchburg by Dec. 15.  Please use the angel ID number on the angel tag to label all bags and each item for your angel(s).
  • Relay for Life Gift Wrap
    • The gift-wrapping stations are located by Iron & Ale in Center Court beginning Friday, Dec. 17, through Sunday, Dec. 19 during mall hours.
  • Storytime with Mrs. Claus
    • Mrs. Claus will make an appearance on Friday, Dec. 10 and read the famous story of the Polar Express from 6 to 7 p.m. The newly opened Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon will also provide holiday treats for those in attendance.
  • Christmas at the Ridge
    • Christmas at the Ridge is a specialty holiday store located across from the Food Hall from Friday, Nov. 26 through Christmas. This holiday pop-up store will feature products from local artisans and crafters.

VISIT SANTA AT UPTOWN CHRISTIANSBURG

The Uptown Christiansburg shopping mall says you can visit Santa Claus at Center Court from Thursday, Dec. 2 through Christmas Eve during the following times:

  • Dec. 2 through Dec. 4 from noon to 7 p.m., with a break from 3 to 3:30 p.m. 
  • Dec. 5 from noon to 6 p.m., with a break from 2:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Dec. 6 through Dec. 8 from 2 to 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 9 through Dec. 11 from noon to 7 p.m., with a break from 3 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 12 from noon to 6 p.m., with a break from 2:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Dec. 13 through Dec. 15 from 2 to 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 16 through Dec. 24 from noon to 7 p.m., with a break from 3 to 3:30 p.m.

You can make reservations for a visit with Santa by clicking here.

There will also be pet photos from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 13.

CHRISTIANSBURG HEART OF THE HOLIDAYS

CHRISTMAS ON MAIN

SANTA’S COMING TO TOWN

SANTA PAWS

The Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke’s “Santa Paws” event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4 at Nature’s Emporium on Brambleton Avenue. Follow this link to sign up for a time slot.

HAPPY PAWLIDAYS

TOWN OF INDEPENDENCE CHRISTMAS PARADE

The Town of Independence will hold its Christmas parade at Food City at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. It will then proceed to the 1908 Courthouse, where children will receive treat bags.

CHRISTMAS IN CHATHAM

At 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, the “Christmas in Historic Chatham” event will feature lantern lighting, a festival of carols, and a yule log celebration.

Then, at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, the Chatham Christmas Parade will be rolling through town, thanks to the Chatham Fire Department.

COUNTRY CHRISTMAS ROAD

CHRISTMAS ON THE PLAZA

DANVILLE HOLIDAY MARKET AND HOLIDAY RETAIL SHOW

DANVILLE COMMUNITY HOLIDAY LIGHT SHOW

Danville Parks and Recreation plans to host the “Community Holiday Light Show” — an event that has earned praise throughout the region and even won a spot in the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events of 2021 — from Thursday, Dec. 9 through Thursday, Dec. 23.

The event is open from 6 to 9 p.m. each night at Historic Ballou Park and costs $10 per car or $20 per mini-bus or 15-passenger van, cash only.

“After being absent from the show last year, Children’s Village is returning to the bottom level of Ballou Recreation Center in 2021. Photos with Santa, free books, and refreshments are included in the price of admission,” Danville Parks and Recreation said in a statement about the event. “Additionally, this year’s ornament will be available for purchase inside Children’s Village for $5 while supplies last. The 2021 ornament is the first ever community designed ornament—created by local artist, Harry Aron.”

PULASKI COUNTY WINTERFEST AND OTHER WEEKEND EVENTS

PULASKI COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL 2021 WINTER BAND CONCERT

UPTOWN MARTINSVILLE TREE LIGHTING

Starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, Martinsville and Henry County community members will gather on the lawn of the city’s municipal building on Church Street for the annual tree lighting ceremony. The event will feature a holiday performance by Haven of Praise and hot chocolate for sale.

HOLIDAY POPS SPECTACULAR

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and Chorus are set to perform at Martinsville High School from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5 as part of the “Holiday Pops Spectacular.” General admission tickets cost $15 while student tickets cost $5 and reserved tickets cost $25.

HARDY SANTA RUN

The Hardy Volunteer Fire Company’s annual “Santa Run” will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 5. You can check out descriptions of the routes below:

A STORYBOOK CHRISTMAS

The Central Virginia Business Coalition has chosen “A Storybook Christmas” as the theme for Bedford’s annual Christmas parade this year. There will be marching bands, creative, floats, and holiday characters honoring both classic and contemporary Christmas stories.

The event will start at 11 a.m. in downtown Bedford on Saturday, Dec. 4.

FESTIVAL OF TREES

As part of “A Storybook Christmas,” the Bedford Area Welcome Center is presenting the 13th annual Festival of Trees from Nov. 23 through Jan. 2, 2022.

In addition, Bedford Area Welcome Center and the GFWC Bedford Woman’s Club worked together to offer a “Sensory Night” for the festival from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9. This event will allow children with physical, developmental, behavioral, emotional, or sensory needs to enjoy the trees in a safe and comfortable environment.

MEET & GREET WITH SANTA IN BEDFORD COUNTY

A STROLL DOWN GINGERBREAD LANE

The Lynchburg Christmas parade — operating under the theme of “A Stroll Down Gingerbread Lane” — will embody the scents and sights of gingerbread through its marching bands, floats, and holiday characters.

The parade starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday 5 at the Bank of James Stadium and will proceed until 7 p.m. when it reaches E.C. Glass High School.

LYNCHBURG KWANZAA HOLIDAY CELEBRATION

SANTA VS. GRINCH

Roanoke Airsoft is hosting its annual “Santa vs. Grinch” airsoft game and toy drive from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. The event costs $20 with a toy donation for ages 5-15, or $35 without a donation.

According to Roanoke Airsoft, the game “will pit two (2) teams, Team Santa & Team Grinch, in a combative, strategy-based game where Santa’s sleigh has been sabotaged by the Grinch and has made an emergency landing in Moneta. Toys have fallen out of the sleigh causing sleigh parts and toys to be scattered across 41 acres of land. Team Grinch will compete to retrieve the parts and toys to ruin Christmas while Team Santa will try the same with hopes of saving Christmas for all the good little boys and girls. The event will be a Christmas Festival with food and vendors. We will also be having a Santa so bring the kids to see the Jolly Big Man! All proceeds and toys will be going to the local churches and congregations to be donated to the less fortunate children in the Roanoke Valley.”

UGLY XMAS EXTRAVAGANZA

Spiritually Beaded By Kia is throwing a huge ugly sweater party at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 16 Church Avenue SW, Suite 200 — inside of the Crafteria — in Roanoke to collect winter apparel for the homeless community.

If you want to get into the event, you need to bring a donation of socks, winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves, etc. The event is BYOB and will feature DJ Swirl Out, as well as an ugly sweater contest with a money prize.

BIG LICK COMICS CHRISTMAS PARTY

The Roanoke community is invited to the Big Lick Comics Christmas Party from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17 at Big Lick Comics.

The event will have plenty of fun features:

  • Gaming on site, like Heroclix with Nolan’s Clix & Crafts
  • Unlimited hot cocoa and cookie bar for $5
  • Amazing prices of comics, toys, and more (which will last all weekend long)
  • Ugly Christmas Sweater contest
  • Guest artist Matt Slay on site
  • Giveaways all night

THE POLAR EXPRESS: PARENTS NIGHT OUT

Parents can drop off their kids at the Science Museum of Western Virginia and enjoy some time for themselves on Friday, Dec. 10 during the Polar Express-themed “Parents Night Out.”

Kids between the ages of 4 and 12 can come have the museum all to themselves from 6 to 9 p.m. as employees provide pizza, hot cocoa and other drinks, snacks, STEM activities, crafts, and a viewing of “The Polar Express” in the planetarium.

This event costs $25 per child — or $20 if they have siblings — and you can register by clicking here.

HOLIDAY TOURS AT FISHBURN MANSION

CHRISTMAS DECORATION CONTEST IN CRAIG COUNTY

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