2012 Grand Illuminations, Christmas Tree Lightings, and More

Richmond area tree lightings are scheduled around town – mark your calendars and enjoy them all!

Friday, November 9th

Santa arrives at Chesterfield Towne Center.  6pm.  Kick-off the holiday season with a grand ceremony to light the tree with the children. Live jazz music provided by the Monacan High School Jazz Band and a parade with Santa through the mall to his set where he will be through December 24th for pictures and visits with the children.

South Park Mall Music Kick-Off. Beginning November 9, one of Colonial Heights’ favorite family traditions is returning to Southpark Mall this holiday season – Leonard Bearstein and his animatronic orchestra. The show offers a compilation of time-honored holiday classics, located in the Macy’s and Sears court.

Saturday, November 10th

Tree Lighting, Music and Holiday Fun at Stony Point Fashion Park.  6pm.  Kick-off the holidays with an animated light show. Enjoy music from the Kings of Swing, giveaways, holiday cheer, and balloon creations for kids 10 and under, while supplies last. At 7:00 p.m. count down the illumination of the animated Community Tree.

Santa Arrives at South Park Mall. 10am. Located near Macy’s and Sears. Visit with Santa throughout the holidays.

Virginia Center Commons Mall Welcomes Santa. 10am. Visit Santa’s Winter Wonderland at Virginia Center Commons’s JC Penney Court and have your holiday photo taken with St. Nick!

Friday, November 16th

Santa’s Arrival and Grand Illumination at Short Pump Mall.  6pm.  Children of all ages will enjoy the arrival of Santa and his holiday parade, featuring: The Gingerbread Boy, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Frosty, Toy Soldiers, Dancing Tree, Santa’s Elves, characters from cast of The Richmond Ballet’s The Nutcracker and much more! The parade will also feature our Short Pump’s very own Snow Princess and of course Santa himself.

Saturday, November 17th

Tree Lighting Toast at Willow Lawn.  5pm-8pm.  Come join Silly Bus, Jonathan the Juggler, and Kurt Sternhagen for the annual Tree Lighting event! There will also be arts & crafts, giveaways, and free photos with Santa.  What a great way to start the holiday season!

Saturday, November 24th

Williamsburg Virginia Tree Lighting event at 9 pm.

Monday, November 26th

Grand Illumination at The Jefferson Hotel. Music begins at 5:15 pm, sparkling display of lights at 6 pm, and a parade of holiday characters follows.

Wednesday, November 28

St. Francis Watkins Centre Holiday Celebration and Grand Illumination. 6pm. Caroling, refreshments, and pictures with Santa Claus at the St. Francis Watkins Centre Holiday Celebration and Grand Illumination.

Wednesday, November 28th – Sunday, December 2nd

Bethlehem Walk returns for its ninth season beginning Wednesday, November 28th. The interactive outdoor drama where guests experience first century Bethlehem continues through Sunday, December 2nd.  As you enter the city, allow the sights, sounds and smells to carry you to a period of time that changed the world. Journey through the heart of the city to the marketplace that is bustling with activity from over a dozen authentic shops; enjoy samples from the baker’s shop, see the blacksmith at work making crucifixion nails, marvel at the potter’s crafts and listen for the rumor of a king’s birth from excited townspeople.

Friday, November 30th

Virginia Capitol Tree Lighting. 5pm. Gov. Bob McDonnell and first lady Maureen McDonnell will light the Capitol tree on Friday.The ceremony at the Capitol in Richmond also will include a tribute to the military, and appearances by the Virginia National Guard 29th Band and Santa Claus.Following the tree lighting ceremony, the public will be able to walk through the Executive Mansion and view the holiday decorations.The ceremony begins at 5 p.m.

The Grand Illumination of James Center.  5:50pm-7pm.  Between 9th-12th & Cary Streets.  Reindeer and Buildings Illuminate at 6pm.   Visit the website for parking information.

Christmas Tree Lighting at Yorktown: A tradition that began in 1945 continues with the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting. Evening highlights include a 7 pm performance by The Fifes and Drums of York Town at the Victory Monument, festive music at Riverwalk Landing, the procession of lights through the historic village, and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Friday, November 30th – Sunday, December 2nd

Walk Through Bethlehem at First Baptist Church in Hopewell. Free admission. Friday 11/30 6-8:30PM, Saturday 12/1 4-8PM, and Sunday 12/2 4-7PM. Come experience how the first Christmas really felt, smelled and looked! Mostly indoors.

Saturday, December 1st

14th Annual Tree Lighting at Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center.  4:30-5:45pm.  Along with the County of Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks, The Center welcomes the community to this very special holiday event featuring hoilday music, a toasty bonfire and of course Ol’ St. Nick! Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies as Old St. Nick makes his arrival via fire truck to light the 60-foot cedar tree at The Center’s entrance on Mountain Road.  Free.

Dominion Christmas Parade from the Science Museum of Virginia. 10am-noon. 29th Annual Dominion Christmas Parade begins at the Science Museum of Virginia. The action for this beloved Richmond tradition starts at the Museum complete with holiday floats, marching bands, huge helium balloons and Santa himself. More than 100,000 spectators come everywhere in Virginia for this favorite spectacular, holiday event.

Thursday, December 6th

National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Washington, D.C.