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The very Richmond holiday event guide 2017

RICHMOND, Va. – Holy sugarplums, the holidays have arrived and there are several very Richmond things lined up on the calendar that citizens will not want to miss. Certainly, locals love lights, but there are also numerous holiday traditions to keep you busy over the next few weeks. It will be 2018 before you know it!

FRIDAY NOV. 17

Illuminate Light Show and Santa’s Village at Meadow Event Park
Central Virginia’s largest drive through Christmas light show, synchronized to music.
Running 5:30 to 10 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31
$25 per car, which includes up to 9 passengers
Weekends get really busy. Try going Monday through Thursday or build in time for a long wait.
More information, here. 
13048 Dawn Blvd, Doswell, VA 23047

FRIDAY, NOV. 24

Bizarre Market
The Bizarre Market shop opens at Chop Suey Books, and features a handpicked selection of locally-made items. Through Dec. 24.
More information, here

Lewis Ginter GardenFest of Lights
A holiday tradition featuring more than half-a-million twinkling lights, hand-crafted botanical decorations, model trains, and nightly family activities.
High volume of traffic expected, especially on warmer, weekend nights.
Runs through Jan. 8, 2018 (closed Dec. 24 & 25)
$13 for adults. See link for other pricing.
More information, here.
1800 Lakeside Avenue

SATURDAY, NOV. 25

Carytown welcomes Santa Parade. Every Saturday until Christmas.
Mall parade with Santa in a carriage, the Snow Queen, Greater Richmond Pipes and Drums, and The Richmond Kickers. The Parade will start on Thompson and end in Colonial. The Snow Queen will do a book signing at the Chiffarobe Antiques and Gifts after the parade.
From Noon to 3 p.m.
For more information, here. 

MONDAY, NOV. 27

31st annual Jefferson Hotel tree lighting 

Festivities begin at 5 p.m. with holiday musical performances and tree lighting at 5:45 p.m.  The ceremony concludes with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus for the lighting of the tree.
Free. 101 W. Franklin Street
More info, here.

MOTHER OF ALL HOLIDAY WEEKENDS

THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY, NOV. 30 – DEC. 3

The Bizarre Bazaar 42nd Christmas Collection returns to the Richmond Raceway Complex for four days of shopping. Over 450 exhibitors.
More information, here. 

FRIDAY, DEC. 1

Most homes on the “Tacky Lights Tour” are up and shining by this weekend. You can download the app and come up with your game plan, here.

James Center Illumination
Be there for the magical moment at 6 p.m. when they push the button and the James Center’s Great Tree and reindeer friends are illuminated, as well as all the downtown office buildings lights.
Free, from 5:50 p.m. to 7 p.m.
10th and Cary

SATURDAY, DEC. 2

34th annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade, starts at 10 a.m. from the Science Museum. The route heads east towards 7th Street.
The Grand Marshals this year are Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures and Dr. Christine Darden, the retired NASA mathematician, data analyst and aeronautical engineer featured in the book.
Free
More info, here.

5th annual Krampus walk through Carytown
An Alpine Christmas tradition surrounding the furry, fanged, clawed beast that accompanies St. Nicholas through Europe.
Leaves from Citizen Burger Bar at 6 p.m. sharp! Meet at 5:30 p.m. to go over rules.
More information, here. 

19th Annual tree lighting at the Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center
This holiday event features holiday music performances, hot chocolate and cookies, a toasty bonfire, and a special visit from Santa to light the 60-foot cedar tree.
Free
Starts at 4:30 p.m.
More information, here. 

A Candlelight Christmas
Historic homes in Charles City offer progressive tours that hearken back to a different era. Candlelight tours of Edgewood, Shirley and Berkeley Plantations. Enjoy the famous hospitality at these three historic homes with Christmas celebrations through four centuries of history. Tour begins at 2:30 p.m. at Shirley Plantation, continues to Berkeley and ends at Edgewood.
$44/per person (includes refreshments at Berkeley)
Reservations required. More information, here.

SUNDAY, DEC. 3

Colonial Williamsburg Illumination

In the 18th century, illuminations, which included the firing of guns and lighting of fireworks, were held to celebrate major events, such as great military victories, the anniversary of the reigning sovereign's birth, or the arrival of a new colonial governor. There will be firework displays fired from the Capitol, the Magazine and the Palace.
Fireworks start at 7 p.m.
Free
More information, here. 

FRIDAY, DEC. 8

Church Hill Candlelight Walk and Caroling
The candlelight stroll down historic streets begins at Jefferson Park (Union Hill) at 7:15 pm with bagpipes and drummers leading the way. It proceeds to St. John’s Church where the congregation joins in the walk at Patrick Henry Park at approximately 7:35 pm. The crowd continues to Libby Hill where they enjoy holiday caroling and a visit from Santa.
Free
More information, here. 

SATURDAY, DEC. 9

13th Annual Christmas on MacArthur and Santa Parade.
The 400 block of MacArthur Avenue is filled with high school marching bands, antique cars, live entertainment, and a Santa Parade. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots toy drive by the U.S. Marines.
More information, here.

James River Parade of Lights from 6 to 9 p.m.
Each year, boaters decorate their boats and travel on the James River. Viewing sites include Libby Hill Park, Osborne Park and Boat Landing, Dutch Gap Boat Landing and Henricus Historical Park.
Free
More information, here. 

Fan District Christmas House tour
The Fan Holiday Tour takes place from 12-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9. $45.
See details of houses, here. 

SUNDAY, DEC. 10

31st Annual Court End Christmas
All the Richmond downtown museums host a holiday extravaganza with free shuttle rides between the sites. Participating museums include The Valentine, the Valentine First Freedom Center, The Executive Mansion, Historic St. John’s Church, Virginia State Capitol, The John Marshall House, Monumental Church, ACWM – White House of the Confederacy, St. Paul’s Church and Masons’ Hall.
Noon-5 p.m. Free.
More information, here. 

Church Hill Holiday House Tour from noon to 5 p.m.
Church Hill is the oldest community in historic Richmond with homes built as far back as the 1700s. The neighborhood is an elegant mix of Federal, Greek revival and Victorian homes alongside innovative condominiums within historic structures and a growing number of thriving new restaurants and businesses. Shuttle service is offered between each home beginning at St. John’s Church.
Tickets/$25 in advance or $30/day of
More information, here

TUESDAY, DEC. 12

Hanukkah starts

THURSDAY, DEC. 14

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with holiday-themed foods, music, crafts and activities, and a Chanukah laser light show on the Neil November Plaza. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Free
Jewish Community Center at 5403 Monument Avenue
More info: https://weinsteinjcc.org/events/community-chanukah-celebration-and-laser-light-show

SUNDAY, Dec. 17

Celebrate 6th night of Hanukkah on ice at the West Broad Village skating rink, from 3 to 5 p.m. Menorah lighting at 5 p.m.
Skate rental is $10
2301 Old Brick Road
More information, here. 

SUNDAY, DEC. 24

Christmas Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
800 South Cathedral Place
9 p.m. concert followed by 10 p.m Mass

SATURDAY, DEC. 30

Kwanzaa Festival hosted by Elegba Folklore Society. Features performances, speakers, The Nia Sessions (discussion groups), The African Market, children’s events and more to celebrate the Kwanzaa holiday.
2 to 9 p.m. at the Dewey Gottwald Center, 2301 West Leigh St.
Cost/$6 Advance General Admission.
More information here.