Schedule for RVA’s Downtown Holidays 2020 released

Schedule for RVA’s Downtown Holidays 2020 released

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Due to COVID-19, the city of Richmond will celebrate the 2020 holiday season differently this year. The city’s twinkling lights and holiday music will be viewed in a safe and socially-distanced way.

“There’s still so much to do in downtown Richmond and the pandemic isn’t going to stop us from doing it,” said Venture Richmond Deputy Director Executive, Anedra Bourne.

In years past, everyone was able to gather downtown, but this year the holiday traditions are being revamped.

“We are still in the middle of a pandemic so safety is always something we’re looking for with or without a pandemic,” said Bourne.

Whether it’s virtual or socially-distanced, Venture Richmond says the traditions aren’t canceled and in place will be new activities.

“We’ve switched things up to make things accessible, free and exciting," said Bourne. “We’ll be lighting up Brown’s Island beginning on Dec. 4, which also coincides with RVA Illuminates.”

Also, new this year for just $5, you can enjoy the lights while watching a holiday classic.

“On Dec. 5, there’s an opportunity for folks to enjoy Brown’s Island in a social distance way and watch the movie elf to kick off the holiday season,” said Bourne.

Venture Richmond says the pandemic has forced them and other businesses to get creative, but the good news is everyone can still celebrate the holidays.

“We just want to make sure that wherever people are with their comfort level right now - there’s an opportunity for them to enjoy downtown,” said Bourne.

Below is a compiled list of Downtown holiday activities by Venture Richmond:

1708 Gallery’s 13th Annual InLight Richmond - Nov. 12-15

Artists will present 17 light-based artworks that respond to and elaborate on themes of safety and accountability.

Various artwork locations include:

  • Near Virginia Union’s campus
  • Church Hill
  • Downtown Arts District
  • T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge
  • Richmond Slave Trail
  • Randolph neighborhood

Additionally, a series of streaming and virtual projects will be featured online. For details click here.

Holiday Villages 2020 - Nov. 28 - Dec. 19 (Saturdays) 12:00p.m. - 6:00p.m.

Holiday Villages is a city-wide effort to support the artisan and small business community.

You will be able to shop every Saturday at six designated and activated spaces throughout Richmond featuring 8-12 vendors per location, live music and more!

For details and locations, click here.

Shop Small Saturday Downtown - Nov. 28 11:00a.m. – 6:00p.m.

Join Broad Street businesses like Little Nomad, Verdalina, Someday, Waller & Company Jewelers, Elegba Folklore Society and more for Shop Small Saturday, a nationally celebrated shopping holiday that highlights local and small business owners!

Also, visit all small businesses downtown, in Shockoe Bottom and Shockoe Slip, and the museum shops like those at:

  • The Valentine
  • Holocaust Museum
  • Library of Virginia
  • The Virginia State Capitol
  • Other downtown art galleries

To read more about shopping downtown, click here.

Atlantic Union Bank LolliPops: The Snowman - Nov. 28 11:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.

Will be held at the Dominion Energy Center or Virtually

Kick-off the holiday season with the Richmond Symphony!

Hear the charming story of a young boy’s magical friendship with a snowman and enjoy other holiday favorites during this safe, socially-distanced, in-person concert or watch from home by online live stream option.

For more information, click here.

RVA Illuminates - Dec. 4 at 6:00p.m.

See RVA shine when the switch is flipped on to light up downtown’s skyline for the 2020 holiday season.

Be sure to join in the festive fun by lighting up your own storefronts and homes too!

For details click here.

Holiday Lights on the Riverfront (Presented by Venture Richmond) - Dec. 4 6:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.

Held at Brown’s Island to the Turning Basin on the Canal Walk

When downtown RVA lights up for the holiday season, Brown’s Island and the Turning Basin on the Canal Walk will join in the cheer and help the City of Richmond kick off the season with Holiday Lights on the Riverfront, a display of decorative lights that is open and FREE to the public!

Enjoy vendors Espresso-A-Go-Go and Curbside Creations and family entertainer Jonathan the Juggler on Brown’s Island or take a festive stroll along the Canal Walk to the Turning Basin.

Parking is available at the American Civil War Museum, Belle Isle parking lot, and on-street parking along with 2nd and 5th Streets.

For details, click here.

Christmas Tree Decorating Contest - Dec. 4th – Dec. 20th

Main Street Station located on 1500 East Main Street

Hosted by Community First, the contest will feature 10 local nonprofits, each with their own tree displayed.

Tree contest voting will occur via QR code in person as well as virtually. Each vote costs $1.

There will be a live-streamed party on Dec. 21 announcing the top three winners.

Those winners will receive cash prizes in addition to all money collected from votes that earned. Everyone is invited to the station to vote for their favorite tree!

Dominion Energy Christmas Parade (television only) - Dec. 5th 10:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

This is a television-only event. For details click here.

Movies on Brown’s Island, featuring “Elf” - Dec. 5th Gates open at 5:00p.m.; Movie starts at 6:00p.m. on Brown’s Island

Enjoy the holiday classic, “Elf,” under the stars (and holiday lights) on Brown’s Island, presented by Venture Richmond.

Bring your own blankets and chairs, find a socially-distanced circle on the island, and enjoy a festive night featuring a family favorite film.

Vendors include Espresso-A-Go-Go and Cool Concessions.

Tickets are $5 per person and must be purchased in advance online.

Tickets will not be available for purchase the day of the event at the gate.

Attendees must present tickets at the gate, either as a pre-printed paper ticket or on a mobile device. Purchase tickets here.

Protective face masks or coverings are strongly encouraged to be worn during the event, especially while standing in lines and in porta-johns.

No pets allowed on the premises during the event.

Parking is available at the American Civil War Museum ($), Belle Isle Parking Lot, and on-street parking is available along 2nd and 5th Streets.

In case of inclement weather, check our website for updates.

Winter Wander - Dec. 6 12:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.

The Valentine located at 1015 East Clay Street.

The first annual Winter Wander features physically distanced live music in the Valentine Garden, hot beverages and a special, self-guided walking tour of the historic Court End neighborhood.

This event is free and open to the public. Face masks are encouraged.

For details, click here.

Home for the Holidays, Richmond Symphony Livestream - Dec. 7 6:30p.m.

Commonwealth Catholic Charities invites you to Stay Home for the Holidays!

From the comfort of your own home, join a virtual live stream Holiday Festival of Music featuring your favorites by the Richmond Symphony.

For tickets and details click here.

Holiday Lights and Music on the Riverfront Presented by Venture Richmond - Dec. 12 6:00-8:00p.m.

Held at Brown’s Island to the Turning Basin on the Canal Walk at 14th and Dock Streets.

A display of decorative lights is open and free to the public, featuring vendor Espresso-A-Go-Go and acoustic holiday music from the Trombone Trio on Brown’s Island.

Parking is available at the American Civil War Museum ($), Belle Isle parking lot, and on-street parking along with 2nd and 5th Streets.

Holiday Lights and Music on the Riverfront Presented by Venture Richmond - Dec. 19 6:00 p.m. - 8:00p.m.

Held at Brown’s Island to the Turning Basin on the Canal Walk at 14th and Dock Streets.

A display of decorative lights is open and free to the public, featuring vendor Espresso-A-Go-Go and light holiday music from Justin Paciocco on Brown’s Island.

Parking is available at the American Civil War Museum ($), Belle Isle parking lot, and on-street parking along with 2nd and 5th Streets.

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