LIST: Christmas events, parades in Southwest, Central Virginia

Here’s a look at festive fun across the region that’ll help you get into the holiday spirit

Christmas events and parades in Central and Southwest Virginia (Canva)

Christmas is right around the corner, and it’s time to get into the holiday spirit.

As you and the kiddos start to celebrate the holiday season, there are quite a few events and parades that you’ll want to keep top of mind.

From photos with Kris Kringle himself to Christmas parades and tree lightings, we have a full list of events throughout the region that’ll surely help you and your entire family feel the magic of Christmas.


Amherst

Bedford County

  • November 22 to January 6: Bedford Festival of Trees at the Bedford Area Welcome Center. You can view several decorated trees from local businesses and organizations and vote for your favorite tree(s) for $1.
  • Until Dec. 9: Get involved with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office Toys For Kids Christmas Campaign to spread Christmas cheer to kids in need. You can see donation locations here.
  • Dec. 3 at 11 a.m: The Bedford Christmas Parade is Saturday, Dec. 3, and will begin on College St and Peaks St. For a full route, click here.
  • Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Bedford Humane Society’s Pet Photos with Santa event will be held at the Tractor Supply in Bedford. Read more here.
  • Dec. 18 at 6 p.m: Destination Salvation at Diamond Hill Baptist Church at 3541 Horseshoe Bend Rd in Moneta. Refreshments will be served at the end of the event. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

Blacksburg

  • Nov. 24 to Jan. 1: Fashion for Evergreens at Virginia Tech at The Inn at Virginia Tech & Skelton Conference Center. Stop by the Inn to view 17 beautifully decorated trees and vote for your favorite.
  • Dec. 2 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Annual Parade of Winter Lights Festival in downtown Blacksburg. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect:
    • 3 p.m. to 8 p.m: Winter Market on College Avenue
    • 4 to 5:30 p.m: Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Lyric Theatre
    • 5 p.m: Blacksburg Children’s Chorale
    • 5:45 p.m: Tree Lighting on the Henderson Lawn
    • 6 p.m: Tuba Christmas on the Henderson Lawn
    • 7 p.m: Holiday Parade on Main Street
  • Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: YMCA Holiday Village at the Y center. You can get pictures with Santa and your kids can shop with elves for special gifts for family members in their “kids-only shopping village.”

Bland County

Botetourt County

  • Dec. 2 to Jan. 1: 3rd Annual First Bank Tinsel Trail in the Courthouse Area of Fincastle. At the family-friendly event, you and the kids can experience the holiday magic of several creatively decorated trees. The Tinsel Trail will also be on display throughout December for self-guided tours.
  • Dec. 5 at 6 p.m.: 6th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at Eagle Rock Library, there will be crafts, tactile activities, and games for all ages. Kids can take pictures with Santa before the countdown to the tree lighting.
  • Dec. 6 at 6 p.m: 1st Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at Blue Ridge Library, there will be crafts, tactile activities, and games for all ages. Kids can take pictures with Santa before the countdown to the tree lighting.
  • Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m: First Bank will be serving up delicious hot chocolate in front of the courthouse. Plus, your little ones will have a chance to meet The Grinch and the Whos from Whoville.
  • Dec. 10: Buchanan Christmas Parade in downtown Buchanan. The parade will begin at 4 p.m. and will make its way up Mayne Street. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also make a special appearance.
  • Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: December Holiday Market at Botetourt Farmers Market, find local food and handmade gifts the weekend before Christmas.

Buchanan

Buena Vista

  • Dec. 3 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Buena Vista Christmas Market at the Buena Vista Fire Department on Sycamore Avenue. Your kiddo can also write a letter to Santa, and from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., they’ll get the chance to meet him.

Campbell County

  • Dec. 1 at 7 p.m: Brookneal Christmas Parade on Main Street and Wickliffe Avenue. The theme for this year is the 12 Days of Christmas.
  • Dec. 10 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Candy Cane 5k is open to all ages and costs $25 per person to participate. It will begin at Timbrook Park

Carroll County

  • Dec. 3: Christmas Parade and Tree Lightning in Hillsville. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect:
    • 5 p.m: Stocking Stuffing
    • 6 p.m: Tree Lighting
    • 7 p.m: The parade will begin in front of the historic courthouse

Christiansburg

Danville

Fincastle

Floyd

  • Dec. 10 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Santa & the Figgy Pudding Band will be performing at teh Floyd Country Store. Admission is free.
  • Dec. 17 at 7:00 p.m.: Darin and Brooke Aldridge & Friends Holiday Show at The Floyd Country Store. Tickets are $30 a piece for the live music event.
  • Dec. 7 through Dec. 24: The Great Gingerbread House Contest at The Floyd Country Store. Swing by to check out all of the entries into this year’s contest.
  • Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. to midnight: New Year’s Eve Dinner and Dance at The Floyd Country Store. Tickets are $50 for dinner & dance, $20 for the dance only – Friends and Fixture cardholder tickets are $45 for dinner & dance, $15 for the dance only. Tickets can be purchased at the store. Dinner is served from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with dancing from 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m., and an alcohol-free toast at midnight.

Franklin County

  • Nov. 24 to Dec. 25: Land of Lights at the Franklin County Recreation Park. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day, you and your family can drive through a Christmas wonderland of more than 50,000 sparkling lights. The event is free but donations are accepted.
  • Nov. 25 to Dec. 31: Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” Trail - This event is similar to the Scarecrow Trail and local businesses, nonprofits and community members come together to create snowmen and then display them throughout downtown and Uptown Rocky Mount.
  • Dec. 2 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m: Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas in downtown Rocky Mount. The event will feature the North Pole with Santa and Mrs. Claus, games and activities for the kids, live music and more.

Galax

  • Now until January 1, 2023: High Country Lights
  • Dec. 2 at 7:00 p.m: Galax Downtown Christmas Parade ends in Felts Park with Santa photo op
  • Dec. 10 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m: City of Galax Old Time Appalachian Christmas on Main Street

Grayson County

Halifax County

Highlands

Lexington

Lynchburg

  • Dec. 1 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Templeton Holiday Open House - This free event is kicking off the holiday season with refreshments, holiday crafts, music, and festive fun.
  • Dec. 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Toys in the Lynchburg Museum Collection - Venture back in time with a toy exhibit this holiday season. Items that will be on display include McWane family paper dolls from around 1900, a toy fire truck and chief’s car and more.
  • Starting on Dec. 2: Celebration of Lights at Riverside Park. Light up your Christmas this year with a holiday light attraction. The drive-through event is open to cars from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night, starting on Dec. 2 and lasting up until January 1.
  • Dec. 3 from 1 to 3 p.m: Fresh Greens Holiday Wreath at Miller Center. At this event, you can create your very own holiday wreath with fresh greens, berries, ribbons, and ornaments. You may bring additional seasonal items if you wish.
  • Dec. 3 from 1 to 7 p.m: Hill City Holiday Beerfest at Lynchburg City Armory. The event will feature eight local breweries, 25 craft beers, live music, food trucks, and the Holiday Craft Market.
  • Dec. 4 at 4 p.m: Lynchburg Christmas Parade in downtown Lynchburg. The parade will start at the Lynchburg City Stadium and end at E.C. Glass High School.
  • Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m: Chris Isaak: Everybody Knows It’s Christmas Tour at the Historic Academy Theatre. Chris Isaak is a platinum-selling and grammy-nominated singer and actor.
  • Dec. 6 at 6 p.m: Mandala Tree Ornaments at Templeton Center. You can learn how to decorate tree ornaments from local artist, Darienne Montgomery. All materials will be provided and you must register by Dec. 3. Ticket prices start at $20.
  • Dec. 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Children’s Holiday Festival at the Amazement Square’s Genworth Education Center. You and the kiddos can enjoy a pancake breakfast with Santa, holiday crafts, a coffee, and hot chocolate bar, and other activities to help you get into the holiday spirit.
  • Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: 3rd Annual Blue Ridge Christmas. During this event, kids can meet and greet Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy a donut and a cup of hot cocoa.
  • Dec. 10 starting at 10:30 a.m: Happy Pawlidays at the Miller Center. You and your fur baby can craft paw ornaments, take pictures with Santa Paws and learn an easy recipe for dog treats. This event is only intended for dogs. You must register by Dec. 7.
  • Dec. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Story Time and Waffles with Santa at the Miller Park Aviary. You and your little one can take part in an interactive storytime, take a picture with Santa and enjoy a yummy waffle bar. You’re encouraged to wear your holiday pajamas. Must register for a time slot by Dec. 14.
  • Dec. 20: Enjoy your favorite Christmas tunes at the Vienna Light Orchestra, which will feature musicians from seven different countries. The event will be held at the Historic Academy Theatre.
  • Holiday festivities at River Ridge:
    • Photos with Santa: Every day until Dec. 24
    • Sensory-friendly Santa: Dec. 4 and 11 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
    • Pet Photos with Santa: Every Monday through Dec. 19
    • Salvation Army Angel Tree and Red Kettle Campaign: Those interested in donating must do so by Dec. 17
    • Nativity Scene
    • Sounds of Season Holiday Concert Series
      • Liberty University Ensembles: Sunday, Dec. 4 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
      • Merry Tuba Christmas: Sunday, Dec. 11 at 4 p.m.
      • Thomas Road Baptist Church Good News Choir: Sunday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
      • Central Virginia Community Wind Ensemble: Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 6:30 p.m.
      • Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra: Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 6 p.m.

Martinsville

Montgomery County

  • Dec. 9 at 6:50 p.m: Christiansburg’s Tree Lighting in Town Square
  • Dec. 9 at 7 p.m: Christiansburg’s Christmas Parade

Nelson County

Patrick County

Pulaski County

Radford

  • Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m: Holiday Farmers’ Market at Glencoe Mansion
  • Dec. 5 from 5:30 to 7 p.m: Photos with Santa at the Radford Public Library
  • Dec. 6 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m: Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Radford Public Library
  • Dec. 8 at 7 p.m: “Jingle All the Way” Parade
  • Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m: Handcrafted Holiday, Pop-Up Market at Glencoe Mansion

Roanoke

  • First three Fridays of December from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Roanoke’s Dickens of a Christmas in downtown Roanoke. Here’s a look at what you can expect:
    • Dec. 2: Tree Lighting will begin at 6:20 p.m. and will feature live stage performances.
    • Dec. 9: The Roanoke Christmas Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Jefferson Street at Elm Avenue and end on Williamson Road.
    • Dec. 16: Roanoke Valley SPCA Pet Costume Contest
  • Dec. 1-Dec. 3: Chris’s Cocoa & Cookies with Santa at Chris’s Coffee and Custard. Families can enjoy yummy hot cocoa and cookies along with a photo with Santa. On Dec. 2, there will be an event hosted for families with children with special disabilities.
  • Dec. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.: All aboard the Roanoke Chapter NRHS Christmas Lights Express! Tickets are $5, and those ages three and under can ride for free. The event will be held at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.
  • Dec. 1 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Professional Holiday Portraits at The Hotel Roanoke, have a professional holiday portrait taken in front of the lobby tree. All are welcome; portraits will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis for $15. Proceeds go to the United Way of Roanoke Valley.
  • Dec. 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.: At Hermitage Roanoke’s Festival of the Lights, you can drive through a beautiful array of Christmas lights. The drive-thru celebration is free to the public and will take place at 1009 Old Country Club Rd. Plus, the first 500 kids will be given goodies from Santa Claus.
  • Dec. 3 from 3 to 7 p.m.: Grandin Village Winterfest
  • Dec 3 and Dec. 4: 7th Annual Holiday Craft & Vendor Show at the Berglund Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 3, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 4.
  • Dec 3 and Dec. 4: Hop on the Roanoke Chapter NRHS Candy Cane Express at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. It will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 3 and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 4.
  • Dec. 4 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Foodie Holiday Market at Gatewood Rose, peruse Roanoke’s finest offerings for cooks and food lovers.
  • Dec. 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: At the Roanoke County Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at South County Library, this year’s theme “Christmas Classics” will feature entertainment, crafts, and activities throughout the evening.
  • Dec. 8 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.: South Roanoke Holiday Open House, celebrate the season with neighbors and shop local gifts. Event highlights include mingling with Santa, free wine tastings, a hot chocolate bar, a gift basket-making station, s’mores, and neighborly merriment.
  • Dec. 10 from 1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.: Roanoke Valley View - Meet Santa! at Grand Home Furnishings, visit the Roanoke Valley View Grand Home Furnishings store to meet Santa; bring your phone and take your own pictures with him at no cost.
  • Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m: Breakfast with Santa at William Fleming High School
  • Dec. 11 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Towers Shopping Center Photos with Santa, Enjoy free professional pictures with Santa, a hot chocolate station, holiday strolling characters, holiday crafts, and more!
  • Now until Dec. 30: Get into the Christmas spirit at Illuminights this holiday season at Explore Park in Roanoke County. There are 50,000 new lights, new displays, and family activities you can enjoy.
  • Now until Jan. 1: Fashion for Evergreens in Hotel Roanoke
  • Dec. 17, Dec. 18 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Blue Ridge Nightmares will host Miracle on 9th Street, a Blue Ridge Christmas – walking tour that will take you behind the scene of the Blue Ridge Nightmare set. Everything is decorated with lights and trees for the holiday season. Tickets are $8 for those ages 11 and older. Children 10 years old and younger can get in on the fun for free. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
  • Dec. 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.: At the 7th Annual Grandin Holiday Lights Extravaganza, you and the whole family can take a stroll or jog through the streets of Grandin and find your favorite festive decorations. Admission is $7.
  • Starts on Dec. 9: Live Nativity offers an interactive drama tour to explore the story of Jesus’ birth at Shenandoah Baptist Church on Williamson Road.

Salem

Vinton

  • Dec. 1 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Vinton Christmas parade - At 6 p.m., the tree lighting will be held at the Vinton Municipal Building. The parade will start at 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Vinton History Museum Holiday House will feature festive holiday decorations throughout the indoor collection of artifacts. Refreshments will also be available and door prize drawings will take place.
  • Nov. 24 to January 2: Parade of Christmas Trees at the Vinton War Memorial. Your little one can meet Santa on the following dates:
    • Dec. 6: 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    • Dec. 10: 9am - 11 a.m.
    • Dec. 17: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
    • Dec. 22: 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Vinton History Museum’s ‘Holiday Pop-Up’ at the Vinton Farmer’s Market

Wytheville

  • Dec. 10 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.: A Christmas to Remember in Downtown Wytheville. Head to Downtown Wytheville for craft and food vendors, magicians, balloon artists, a 25-foot tall slide, and a rock climbing wall. Most local businesses will be open during the event for shopping. After expenses, the remaining funds will go to buy gifts for the children at Wytheville’s Presbyterian Children’s home, Mount Rogers Community Services, and the Women’s Resources Center.

Wythe County


Know of a holiday event we missed? Email jotey@wsls.com or agraham@wsls.com with relevant information so we can add it to the list!

Looking for Santa Runs in your area? Check out this article.


About the Authors:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.