It’s the holiday season, and the Dan River region is celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Yuletide, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Day.
The communities of the Dan River Basin are a wonderful place to celebrate the holidays, with parades, tree lightings, and more coming up in the next few weeks. Here’s a partial listing by date.
ANNUAL WESTLAKE CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION & TREE LIGHTING
Enjoy an evening of family-friendly activities, including Santa’s special arrival on a fire truck, free pictures with Santa, games and entertainment for kids, light refreshments, and more. Sway to the beat of holiday melodies by live musical performers. After the tree lighting ceremony, Westlake Cinema will present a showing of a Christmas film at 8 p.m. Free tickets to the film will be given to individuals who donate a new, unwrapped toy to the annual We Care of Franklin County Toy Drive during the event.
PIEDMONT ARTS CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING
Join Piedmont Arts for crafts, refreshments and caroling at the second annual Christmas tree lighting in the Gravely-Lester Art Garden. Created by Ian Hogg using lights strung on wire, the tree will be lit at sunset on December 5 and brighten the Art Garden through New Year’s Day. Kids can create a craft to take home and Santa Claus will make an appearance.
COME HOME TO A FRANKLIN COUNTY CHRISTMAS
Rocky Mount, Virginia
Starting at 5:30 p.m., Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas includes the “Biggest Little Christmas Parade”, as streets are closed for the much-anticipated festival. “The North Pole” at the Historic Rocky Mount Train Depot will be housing Santa Claus, a kids’ playground and activities. Franklin Street will be filled from the Train Depot to the Farmers Market with live music, dance performances, glassblowing demonstrations, exhibits, free horse & buggy rides, local artisans, food & craft vendors, and much more!
GRAND ILLUMINATION TREE LIGHTING
The third annual Grand Illumination tree lighting ceremony in front of the Patrick County courthouse at 6 p.m. Enjoy the sounds of hand bells and carols as we light the tree. A new feature this year, the Patrick County Alzheimers Group is selling love lights to be placed “in honor” or “in memory” of a loved one on the tree. Merchants on Main Street will extend their Friday hours until 8 p.m., allowing plenty of time for holiday shopping.
MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY TOY DRIVE
Martinsville Speedway will hold its annual new toy drive to benefit the Grace Network. Anyone who donates a new toy or a cash contribution of $20 can make a lap around the track.
This annual event offers a chance to experience what it’s like to drive on the same track as the NASCAR stars.
Fans who make a donation can also visit Club 47 and see Santa in the President’s Suite from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and enjoy refreshments courtesy of the speedway.
Eden, North Carolina
Come celebrate the onset of winter at John E. Grogan Park. WinterFEST includes an inflatable slide, food and hot drinks, decorations, Santa and tree lighting at 6:30 p.m.
Enjoy a jam-packed day of holiday celebrations and shopping opportunities, including the Mistletoe Market at Stuart Farmers’ Market (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.), holiday bazaar at Stuart United Methodist Church (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.), Stuart Elementary School PTO’s “winter blender” (8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and the new Proudly Patrick Holiday Market held in the Chamber of Commerce office (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Check out the Festival of Trees at the Patrick County Library Open House (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), include your family pet in Hometown Christmas with Christmas-themed photos at Pet Provisions from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and don’t forget to stop by Circle K for some free hot chocolate. The 48th annual Christmas Parade will wind its way downtown Stuart starting at 2 p.m.
ROANOKE SYMPHONY HOLIDAY POPS
There’s no better way to lift your spirits than with the music of the season delivered in full sound and spectacle by the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra in Martinsville. This year, David Stewart Wiley conducts the Holiday Pops with all the magical elements you have come to expect – high energy, familiar carols, and lots of holiday warmth. $25 reserved seats, $15 general admission, $5 student.
COMMUNITY HOLIDAY LIGHT SHOW
December 12 – 25 (Closed December 24)
Various organizations and businesses based in the Danville and surrounding areas decorate a spot in the Community Holiday Light Show to raise money for a non-profit of their choice.
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE AT SUNSHINE LAVENDER FARM
Hurdle Mills, North Carolina
Visit Sunshine Lavender Farm, all decorated for the season! The farm opens twice a year to visitors. First, in June, when the lavender is in bloom in late spring, then again in December for the holidays. Get a glimpse of the farm when the lavender is snoozing in the field and the sweet scent of lavender prevails on the small family farm. Within the farmhouse, open just one special day a year, sample lavender goodies from the 1953 vintage Wedgewood oven, sip lavender hot chocolate, visit with farm hosts and lavender lovers from near and far.
HOLIDAY REMEMBRANCE AT HIGH ST. CEMETERY
Rocky Mount, Virginia
At Rocky Mount’s High Street Cemetery, members of the Franklin County Historical Society will lay holiday greenery to honor veterans of the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and the two World Wars. 1700s and 1800s period dress, rifle salute.
STEP INTO CHRISTMAS HOME TOUR
Rocky Mount, Virginia
Visit some of Rocky Mount’s most distinctive historic homes all decked out for Christmas! Parking and shuttle available. Proceeds benefit STEP, Inc., a local nonprofit organization providing services to low income individuals and families. No children under 12, please. Tickets are $15.
MARTINSVILLE HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA
A host of activities are happening in Martinsville on December 8, including Christmas Spectacular holiday music revue, Christmas Vendor Craft Fair, Santa Claus at the Martinsville – Henry County Visitor Center and Light Up the Night 5K. There’s something for everyone!
A PHOEBE NEEDLES CHRISTMAS
Join the Phoebe Needles Center for its annual Christmas program. For the first half of the program, the Ferrum College Choir will sing Christmas songs and carols. For the second half of the program, there will be sing-a-longs and an interactive audience experience.
CHRISTMAS PARADE IN UPTOWN MARTINSVILLE
Many spectators start their holiday season each year to the sounds of prancing ponies, motors rumbling and cool breezes blowing the tinsel on the festive floats. This year’s Christmas Parade in Uptown Martinsville will consist of over 100 units to include; Harley Davidson motorcycles, marching bands, dancers, floats, civic organizations, horses and lots of fun. Come early do some shopping, grab dinner, and find your perfect spot on the parade route.
CHRISTMAS CONCERTS AT THE HARVESTER PERFORMANCE CENTER
Rocky Mount, Virginia
The Harvester Performance Center hosts a series of concerts this month celebrating the holiday season in a variety of musical styles.
Dec. 6: Christmas With The Embers 2019
Dec. 14: Street Corner Symphony Christmas
CHRISTMAS AT PRIMLAND
Patrick County, Virginia
AND EVEN MORE…
Looking for more ways to celebrate the holidays in the Dan River region? Check out these other ideas: