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Holiday Fun: Here’s a look at 2021 Holiday events in central Virginia

The holiday season has arrived and it’s time to get in the spirit! Check out all of these fun...
The holiday season has arrived and it’s time to get in the spirit! Check out all of these fun events happening around Richmond this year!(Storyblocks)
Published: Nov. 14, 2021 at 2:59 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 18, 2021 at 1:48 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The holiday season has arrived and it’s time to get in the spirit! Check out all of these fun events happening around Richmond this year!

Illuminate Light Show

Central Virginia’s longest-running Christmas lights and music show made its return to Meadow Event Park on Nov. 12.

The show will feature 2.5 million LED lights displayed throughout a 2.5-mile route fully synchronized to Christmas music played through car stereos.

Santa’s Village will make its return this year, and guests can find food and games and Santa himself will make an appearance until Dec. 23.

The show runs from Nov. 12 through Jan. 2, 2022.

For more information and tickets, click here.

Lousia’s Hometown Holiday

Louisa’s Hometown Holiday will run through the entire holiday season.

The event will encourage residents to “Shop Lousia” by promoting business specials, and running raffles throughout the season for residents that qualify.

Businesses can participate in the event for free by signing up here.

Dominion Energy Christmas Parade

The Dominion Energy Christmas Parade will hold its 38th annual parade celebration featuring colorful floats, giant helium balloons, high school and college marching bands, princesses, superheroes and returning favorites including the trademark Wells Fargo stagecoach, the VCU Peppas and Legendary Santa!

The parade will take place Saturday, Dec. 4, starting at the Science Museum of Virginia at 10:15 a.m. traveling eastbound on Broad Street then ending at 7th and Marshall.

For more information visit, click here.

Richmond Holiday Light Show

Enjoy hundreds of thousands of lights synced up to festive music that will be on display at the Richmond Holiday Light Show.

The show starts at 5 p.m. and runs Nov. 19 through Dec. 30 at the Richmond Raceway.

Tickets are $23 - $35 per car-load.

For more information, click here.

Holiday Season at Stony Point Fashion Park

Holiday festivities get underway with the tree lighting on Nov. 20. There will also be music, a visit from Santa, a snow show and ice skating.

Santa will be on-site from Dec. 3 through Christmas Eve. He will follow CDC guidelines for COVID and reservations are strongly encouraged.

There will also be horse-drawn carriage rides on select dates, and a Sip and Shop on weekends through Dec. 19.

For more information, click here.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

The fan-favorite holiday event made its return to Busch Gardens on Nov. 12.

This year, there will be new special events and performances including Celtic Fyre®: A Christmas Celebration, Up on the Haus Top, Unto Us, a holiday scavenger hunt, and the North Pole Nightcap Bar.

Guest will also enjoy favorites such as Santa’s Workshop, the Christmas Town Express, and ‘Twas that Night’ ice skating show.

The event will run on specific dates through Jan. 2, 2022.

For more information and tickets, click here

Kings Dominion WinterFest

Celebrate this magical time of year at Kings Dominion’s WinterFest!

The event runs on select dates Nov. 20 through Jan. 9.

There will be light displays, The WinterFest Wonderland Parade, holiday treats, festive shopping, and Santa Claus!

For more information and tickets, click here.

Tree Decorating Contest at West Broad Village

Starting Nov. 12, participating retailers and restaurants in West Broad Village will have decorated trees on display near The Pad

Community members will be able to vote for their favorite tree via text, and the tree with the most votes will receive $1,000 donated on behalf of West Broad Village to the participating nonprofit.

The tree that places 2nd to 4th place will receive $500 donations each.

The contest runs through Dec. 27.

Fredericksburg Holiday Craft Show

If you are looking for that one-of-a-kind holiday gift - you’ll probably find it at the Fredericksburg Holiday Craft Show.

The show runs Dec. 3-5 at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center features a variety of crafters and artisans.

Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.

For more information, click here.

Stony Point Sip & Shop

Stony Point Sip & Shop, presented by PopUp Market RVA made its return on Nov. 13.

The Sip & Shop will feature dozens of rotating artisans, craft, and other local business vendors. Each week will showcase a new lineup of vendors including, Woodworking, Art & Homemade, Clothing, Jewelry & Accessories, and more.

In addition to on-site adult beverage sales, Sip & Shop will feature Virginia Wineries and Distilleries offering tastings and full bottle sales.

Sip & Shop will run every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 19, plus Black Friday

To see the full lineup of participating vendors, click here.

Tucker Drama Craft & Vendor Fair

JR Tucker Drama is inviting the community to get their holiday shopping done in a one-stop-shop event.

The event will be held Nov. 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will feature 40+ vendors in the areas of candles, art, jewelry, skincare, and more.

Admission is free and the event will be located in the school’s new building at 2910 N. Parham Road in Henrico.

Stories at the Museum: Happy Thanksgiving Snoopy

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture will be hosting a read-aloud storytime for pre-k and elementary school students along with a craft activity.

The event will be held on Nov. 20 at the museum located on 428 North Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

After reading “Happy Thanksgiving Snoopy,” kids will make a hand turkey.

10th Annual Louisa Christmas Tree Lighting

The holiday season in Lousia County kicks off with the 10th annual Lousia Christmas Tree lighting.

The event will take place on Dec. 3 at 6:00 p.m. on the Lousia Courthouse Lawn.

Those in attendance can also enjoy musical performances, decorate ornaments, and sing Christmas carols.

Gingerbread House Kits at West Broad Village

West Broad Village will be providing gingerbread house kits (while supplies last) starting Dec. 3.

These complimentary gingerbread decorating kits will be provided to the community through participating retailers.

This event will run through Dec. 24.

For more information, click here.

2021 Lousia Christmas Festival & Parade

The 2021 Lousia Christmas Festival & Parade is back! The parade will take place on Dec. 4 in the Town of Lousia beginning at noon.

The theme of this year’s parade is “Classic Christmas Characters.” There will be a craft festival portion that will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The parade is free to the public, and groups that are interested in participating can click here.

38th Annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade

Richmond’s famous Christmas Parade will make its return this year with the theme “Bringing Back the Fun in 2021.”

The event will be on Dec. 4 at 10:00 a.m. along Broad street (between the Science Museum and 7th Street).

The lineup will feature Legendary Santa, college marching bands, and those beautiful colorful floats.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, click here.

Ashland Christmas Market

The Ashland Christmas Market is one of several events that will be held in Ashland.

The event will run from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Dec. 4.

Shops will have sidewalk sales, pop-up shops, and displays from local artisans and crafters. Live music, outdoor dining, art exhibits and more will be featured.

Jingle Bell Bazaar

The Jingle Bell Bazaar hosted by Richmond Country Club will be held on Dec. 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The event will feature a variety of vendors and will be located at the club on 12950 Patterson Avenue.

Admission and parking are free, and all proceeds will go to GoochlandCares.

City of Petersburg Holiday Parade

The City of Petersburg is bringing in the holiday cheer with the return of their holiday parade.

The event will be on Dec. 4 from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The parade will begin on Crater Road near the Water Tower and end at Pine Hill Plaza.

Petersburg Symphony Holiday Concert

If you’re looking for a musical concert that will spark your holiday spirit, then check out the Petersburg Symphony Holiday Concert.

The Petersburg Library will be hosting the concert on Dec. 5 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The concert will feature songs such as “A Christmas Festival,” “The Messiah Overture,” “Ave Maria,” Mozart’s “The Sleigh Ride” and much more

In partnership with Virginia State University, the concert will be available in-person and virtually.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Henrico Holiday Express Tour

Santa Claus is coming to see his Henrico neighbors for three nights from Dec. 7-9 from 5-8 p.m. in decorated county vehicles to spread holiday cheer. Santa will visit Brookland and Fairfield neighborhoods on Dec. 7, Varina on Dec. 8 and Three Chopt and Tuckahoe on Dec. 9. Henrico Recreation & Parks, Henrico County Police, Henrico County Division of Fire, Henrico County Public Library, Public Utilities will be participating along with Mr. Claus and his elves.

Follow Santa along the route here.

Hip Hop Nutcracker

The Hip Hop Nutcracker will take the classic Nutcracker story and put a New York contemporary twist on the beloved German legend.

The event will be held Dec. 8 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Altria Theater.

The show will feature a cast of all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and MC Kurtis Blow.

For more information and tickets, click here.

Jolly Jaunt Bar Crawl

The Jolly Jaunt Bar Crawl will allow for guests to dress up as their favorite holiday villain or hero and walk through downtown Ashland.

The event will be held on Dec. 11 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and the Ashland Theatre will have an after-party and concert from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Movies on the Island: Elf

Discover your inner elf with this year’s showing of Elf at Brown’s Island, presented by Venture Richmond.

Guests can find their perfect spot on the island and enjoy this holiday film while looking at the stunning views of the James River and Downtown’s skyline.

The event will be held on Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m.

Seating is first-come, first-served tickets are $5.

Parking will be available in the Belle Isle parking lot and on-street parking will be available along 2nd and 5th Streets.

To purchase tickets, click here.

“Operation Sgt. Santa”

This is an unclassified mission: “Operation Sgt. Santa” will be happening!

The event will provide free holiday train rides around Fort Eustis railroad for all DoD ID cardholders at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum Dec. 11 and Dec. 12 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Rides are free on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each trip will last around 45 minutes.

Passengers will be able to step back in time to the golden age of train travel for a 1960s “A Christmas Story”-themed train party.

All passengers are encouraged to wear their holiday-themed attire, whether dressing as one of Santa’s elves or wearing their best ugly holiday sweater!

Boat Parade of Lights

Those who enjoy seeing the sight of boats and holiday entertainment are in for a treat with the Boat of Parade Lights.

The event will be held on Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m. along the downtown riverfront. Guests will be provided with the best views from Libby Hill Park in Church Hill and Rocketts Landing.

Boaters will decorate their boats and converge on the James River for a parade marking the beginning of the holiday season.

Providence Forge Christmas Parade

Providence Forge’s annual Christmas Parade is making a return this year!

On Dec. 12 starting at 2:00 p.m., all lanes of Rt. 60 will be closed between Olivet Church Road and the western end of Carriage Road.

Boulevard Road will be using a detour during that time

You don’t want to miss it!

Hopewell Christmas Town

Join the city of Hopewell as they present to you Hopewell Christmas Town.

The event will be held Dec. 17-18th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Some activities include over 15,000 dancing lights, hot chocolate and cookies, magic snow, and a meet and greet with Santa.

Everything is first-come, first served. Tickets are $10 a person, and kids 2 and under are free.

St. George’s Christmas Concert

The talented musicians of St. George’s Episcopal Church are bringing some joy this holiday season with a musical concert.

The concert is part of the St. George’s Chamber Series and will feature its choirs and instrumental ensembles.

The event will be held on Dec. 19 at 3:00 p.m. at 905 Princess Anne Street in historic downtown Fredericksburg.

Works will include festive choral music, jazz, Christmas favorites, and more!

The concert is free and open to the public, and masks will be required for all visitors.

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play brings the entire town of Bedford Falls to life as it tells the story of George Baily in the form of a live 1940s radio broadcast.

The event will take place on Dec. 22 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the November Theatre at 114 West Broad Street.

Light The Way to 2022

Community members will be able to bring in 2022 the right way with a lighted stroll through Downtown Ashland.

The event will be held on Dec. 31 at 6:00 p.m.

For more information, click here.

Legendary Santa

Tickets are now available for the general public for visits with Legendary Santa at the Children’s Museum.

In an effort to minimize crowds, there will be no walk-up visits again this year. Timed tickets must be reserved ahead of time.

There will also be virtual appointments available.

For more information about this event and to get a ticket, click here.

Richmond Symphony presents Let It Snow

Celebrate the season with family, friends and the Richmond Symphony. Carols, classics and holiday favorites. Even a visit from Santa! Conducted by Chia-Hsuan.

The performance will take place Saturday, Nov, 27 at 8 p.m. at the Dominion Energy Center, 600 E. Grace Street. Tickets are available here.

RVA Illuminates

RVA Illuminates is back in person this year with performances, uplifting stories and the official tree lighting.

This event is coordinated by the City of Richmond Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and is free to everyone.

The event will be held Friday, Dec. 3 at 5:45 p.m. at Kanawha Plaza, 801 E. Canal St.

Christmas Under the Clocktower

The second annual event is where local nonprofits show off their creativity by designing Christmas trees. Vote for your favorite in-person or online Dec. 3-19.

This event is free to the public and will take place Friday, Dec 3, 7 p.m. at Main Street Station, 1500 E. Main St.

RVA First Friday

Explore galleries, shops, restaurants, nonprofits and more on the first Friday of every month at RVA First Friday along and around Broad Street.

This event is free to attend although you may need some cash to support First Friday vendors.

Friday, Dec. 3, 5-11 p.m. in downtown’s Arts District along Broad Street

Christmas Eve with C.S. Lewis

In this festive production, C.S. Lewis is at his home near Oxford on Christmas Eve hosting a group of Americans who are celebrating the holiday in England. They are about to experience an unforgettable assortment of Yuletide recollections that stimulates a whole range of emotions and they will discover how an encounter with JRR Tolkien forever changed Lewis’s Christmas celebrations.

The show will be held at Dominion Energy Center, 600 E. Grace Street from Dec. 3-12.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Richmond Symphony presents A Baroque Holiday

Saturday, December 4, 7:30 PM at the Dominion Energy Center, 600 E. Grace St.

The Richmond Symphony, Richmond Symphony Chorus and soloists will be performing the greatest moments from Handel’s Messiah and other Baroque classics for this holiday season.

The show will take place Saturday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. at the Dominion Energy Center, 600 East Grace Street.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Mechanicsville Christmas Parade

Those in Hanover looking to get into the Christmas spirit can check out the Mechanicsville Christmas Parade!

The parade will be on Dec. 5 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and traffic in the downtown Mechanicsville area will be shut down at 1:30 p.m. for parade preparation.

The parade will start at Signal Hill Road to Strain Avenue and end on Elm Drive from Business Route 360.

All roads within the parade route will be closed to vehicle traffic from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Richmond Makers Market: Holiday Cheers

This Makers Market features new makers monthly ranging from candlemakers and crafters to confections and works of clay. Later, head to Manchester’s Basic City Beer Co., a dog-friendly brewery, for an afternoon of shopping and supporting local RVA makers.

The market will take place Sunday, Dec. 5, 12-6 p.m. at Basic City Beer Co. on 212 W. 6th Street.

Richmond Boat Parade of Lights

Each year, boaters decorate their with lights boats and converge on the James River for a parade marking the beginning of the holiday season.

This event is free and open to the public on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m. along downtown’s riverfront. The best views are at Libby Hill Park in Church Hill and at Rocketts Landing.

Richmond Night Market

Richmond Night Market is a monthly, night market held at the 17th Street Market featuring a family-friendly experience filled with music, programming, independent artists and vendors. Shop the local artists and support the Shockoe Bottom restaurants too. Entertainment and programming include live music and cultured and diverse activities for all ages.

This event is free to attend Saturday, Dec. 11 5-9 p.m. For more information visit their website: https://www.richmondnightmarketva.com/

Richmond Ballet’s The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker makes is back this holiday season. Accompanied by the Richmond Symphony, Clara and her Nutcracker, the glittering butterfly and dancing Russian bear are back to charm audiences of all ages. This is the final opportunity to see this version of this ballet before it’s reimagined for 2022.

To purchase tickets, click here.

17th Annual Breakfast with Santa

Breakfast with jolly St. Nicholas is back in Lousia for the 17th year.

Breakfast with Santa will be held on Dec. 11 at the Betty Queen Center from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Those who are interested in attending are asked to pre-register since space is limited.

Winter Wander: Celebrate Court End

Join The Valentine for some winter cheer on their picturesque block of East Clay Street. There will be hot beverages, family crafts and games and live music. You can also take a self-guided tour of the historic Court End neighborhood and hop on a shuttle to visit nearby cultural sites for open houses and other activities.

This event is happening Sunday, Dec. 12 from 12-4 p.m. at The Valentine, 1015 E. Clay Street.

For more information visit their website.

A Black Christmas in Jackson Ward

Join RVA Black Farmer’s Market and The Exclusive Blacklist as they present a merry time celebrating the holiday season with a vendor market, food vendors and live music in the heart of the Jackson Ward neighborhood.

This event is free to attend and will take place Saturday, Dec. 18, 12-7 p.m. on 10 E. Leigh Street.

Date Night at the Richmond Holiday Light Show

Holiday lights are more popular than ever this season, and this year BOLD Media wants people to enjoy the beautiful lights this holiday season in a safe fashion.

The Richmond Holiday light show will be a safe-drive-through experience for guests. The event will be at the Richmond Raceway and last 20-25 minutes.

The show runs on select dates through Dec. 30 and ticket prices range from $23-$35 per carload.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro/Cabela’s in Richmond

Book a contactless visit with Santa at Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s in Richmond.

Guests will get a free photo with Santa, enjoy games, crafts and write a letter to Santa that will go directly to the North Pole. Furry friends are also welcome.

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