Lights and Sounds of the Season from Around the Shenandoah Valley
December 8, 2020
2020 has brought a lot of changes to the way we celebrate, but there are still plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit around the Valley. Here’s a roundup of stunning holiday lights and festive sounds to brighten up your holiday season!
Luminary Nights & Carriage Rides
Natural Bridge State Park will light up the night this holiday season with Luminary Nights & Carriage Rides. Plan to take a stroll (or a carriage ride) along the illuminated Cedar Creek Trail and gaze up at the breathtaking 215-foot limestone bridge. Fridays will be reserved for pedestrians on the trail. On other nights, pedestrians and carriages will share the trail. December 11-13 and December 18-20, 5 – 8 p.m.
Christmas in the Park Light Display
Stay warm and safe in your car during the second annual Christmas in the Park Light Display event at Glen Maury Park on December 12, at 5 p.m. You’ll queue up to drive slowly past the lights while jamming out to your Christmas music playlists. Santa will be waiting at the end to give kids a treat! The event is only one night, but the lights will remain in the park through the end of December.
Holiday Pops Concert
If you missed the Holiday Pops Concert at Washington and Lee University on December 7 and 8, you can still stream these encore performances. The programs feature student conductors and include holiday favorites from individuals and ensembles.
A Christmas Carol
Join in to stream a performance of the classic Dickens tale as the Rotary Club of Lexington Lunch presents a virtual production of A Christmas Carol on December 11, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. The performance is free, but donations will be accepted to support the Walker Entrepreneurship Project.
Celebration of Holiday Lights
Now through the end of December, Gypsy Hill Park will be aglow with holiday lights and festive decorations. If you’re lucky, you might catch a live performance! Entrance into the park is free and lights can be seen every evening from 5 – 11 p.m.
Santa’s workshop comes to life at 110 West Beverley Street with “living window” displays where actors portray Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and his hard-working elves. Don’t forget to bring your letters to Santa, which can be placed in a special mailbox during the event. The living windows will be on display Dec. 5, 12, and 19 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Waynesboro Decorations Trail
Want to find the best lights displays in Waynesboro? Now through December 20, you can pile everyone into the car and enjoy the ‘That Holiday Feeling‘ decorations trail that maps out participating homes and businesses. of decorated houses and businesses. Light will be shining every evening from 6 – 8 p.m.
Wayne Theatre Holiday Programming
Head to the Wayne Theatre on Friday, December 11th at 7:30 p.m. for a festive evening filled with local performers singing your favorite holiday songs. On December 19th at 2 and 7 p.m., The Isaacs, a bluegrass Southern gospel music group will perform. And you’ll definitely find your seasonal spirit with a unique “live 1940s radio broadcast” production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Friday, December 18th at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday, December 20th at 3 p.m.
Lights Show at Heritage Park in Broadway
Stop by Broadway’s Heritage Park during the evenings to view the Christmas lights. The town of Broadway has encouraged its residents and businesses to decorate and compete for the best holiday display, so after you leave the park, you should see some nice lights around town.
Elkton Old Town Christmas
Celebrate the holiday by checking out the decorated storefronts and taking advantage of the extended store hours in downtown Elkton during Elkton Old Town Christmas. You’ll also get a chance to snuggle up with your family on a tractor-drawn hay wagon ride. Listen for carolers and performers, and try to catch a glimpse of Santa. December 11, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
For a taste of holiday spirit from Harrisonburg, check out the virtual tree lighting.
Luray Christmas Parade
The Luray Christmas Parade will be a drive-thru event this year. Visitors will line up on December 12 from 7 – 8 p.m. to travel east on Main Street to see stationary parade floats! You can tune in to YouTube to watch the Luray light up the town Christmas tree, and on Friday, December 11, shops will stay open until 8 p.m. so you can get in some festive downtown shopping. Make sure to check out all the decorated store windows!
Town of Stanley
The annual parade isn’t happening this year, but folks in Stanley also ring in the holidays each year with a Christmas decoration contest that offers prizes for both residences and businesses. Make sure you pass through town and pick a winner! While you’re at it, drop off your letter to Santa in the specially marked mailbox in front of the Town Office.
Christmas in the Valley at Shenandoah County Fairgrounds
Woodstock’s Christmas in the Valley provides a way to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with displays, treats, activities, and music for everyone. Follow the 1 ½-mile Christmas Lights Trail to see the cheerful scenes, all from the comfort of your car. You’ll also want to check out the Christmas Crafts Village to find gifts and refreshments and the carnival for games, treats, and children’s rides. Christmas in the Valley is open through January 2.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Break out your walking shoes and register in advance for admission to Winchester’s annual Walking in a Winter Wonderland light display. You’ll stroll along a paved path through beautiful Clearbrook Park to enjoy fantastic decorations, light displays, and music. Now – January 3, closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Admission is $5 for people ages 3 and older.
Holiday Lane Lights in the Park
The entire family will love seeing the Holiday Lane Lights in the Park light displays in Winchester’s Jim Barnett Park this year. The scenes and characters are set up along the road and can be safely viewed from your car. Now through December 20, 2020, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Follow the Star Drive-Thru Nativity
Fellowship Bible Church’s Follow the Star Drive-Thru Nativity is a wonderful holiday experience in Winchester. You’ll experience the story of Jesus’ birth with dramatic presentations, scenery, animals, a soundtrack, and more. December 12 and 13, 5 – 9 p.m. Admission is free.
Nothing warms the heart and keeps good cheer and the holiday season spirit alive more than a good holiday tradition or two. Hopefully, you’ll find something on this list to enjoy with your loved ones.