As part of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, even the trees transform to become part of the celebration. Enjoy the festive decorations and get ideas for decorating your own Christmas tree by visiting Fashions for Evergreens, a tree competition at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center which showcases 25 professionally designed and decorated trees. Along with ideas for decorating your tree, pick up some tips for decorating your home by experiencing the Old Southwest Holiday Parlor Tour. The parlor tour showcases many of the beautiful homes that are decorated for the holidays in one of the Roanoke Valley's most historic communities.
The excitement truly begins during the local communities' holiday parades. The first is the Grandin Village Holiday Children's Parade, which is always the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving. While there, grab a White Peppermint cupcake from Viva La Cupcake to give your taste buds a sample of the season. Start off the month of December by attending the Vinton Christmas Parade in neighboring Vinton, or the Salem Christmas Parade, which is set along Main Street in the city's charming downtown area.
In addition to enjoying the holiday spirit in the streets, the Roanoke Valley also celebrates the holidays along with our railroad heritage. The O. Winston Link Museum welcomes Santa as he rides into the city waving from the back of a red caboose. Santa's ride into Roanoke has become an annual event and additional activities include: sing-a-longs, crafts, snacks, performers from Southwest Virginia Ballet's The Nutcracker, and more.
For a historical perspective on the holidays, step back in time at the Booker T. Washington Christmas in Ole Virginia celebration. The monument features costumed interpreters and provides a portrayal of where Booker T. Washington celebrated Christmas during his childhood as a slave. The celebration also includes music, refreshments, and children's activities.
The Roanoke Valley will also host an array of special performances that have become part of the timeless traditions of the holidays. The musical, Scrooge, and the Southwest Virginia Ballet's The Nutcracker are both performed at the Roanoke Civic Center. Also, the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra performs their Holiday Pops Spectacular at the Salem Civic Center. These shows highlight some of the amazing sounds of the holiday season.
When it comes to specialty shopping, the Roanoke Valley offers great additions to your gift list and provides the perfect presents for your friends and family. Pick up that lightweight rod and reel for your fly fisherman from Orvis, a sweet treat for the chocoholic from chocolatepaper, or a special souvenir from the gift shops at the Virginia Museum of Transportation or the Mill Mountain Zoo.
The Roanoke Valley offers the complete holiday experience. Between shopping, accommodations, dining, festivals, special performances and more, the calendar is filled with fun activities for all. Check the specials and offers section of the Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau website for discounts and special packages to enhance your time in the Roanoke Valley. http://www.visitroanokeva.com/special-offers
Below is a sample events list for the season. Visit our website at www.visitroanokeva.com for continuing updates, locations, and contact details.
2011 Holiday Events Calendar
November 19 - Grandin Village Holiday Children's Parade - Grandin Village
November 19 - Southwest Virginia Ballet's Nutcracker Ball - The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
November 24 - January 1 - Fashion for Evergreens - The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
November 25 - December 23 - Fantasyland - History Museum of Western Virginia
November 26 - Virginia Dare Flotilla for Toys Boat Parade - Smith Mountain Lake
November 26 - Christmas Open House - The Little Gallery at Smith Mountain Lake, Bridgewater Plaza
November 26 - 27 - Christmas Time's A Coming Open House - Peaks of Otter Winery, Bedford
November 30 - December 11 - A Christmas Carol - Showtimers Theater
December 1 - Vinton Christmas Parade - Downtown Vinton
December 1 - 3 - Scrooge by New Century Church - Roanoke Performing Arts Theater - Roanoke Civic Center
December 2 - Salem Christmas Parade - Main Street, Salem
December 2 - Roanoke Holiday Tree Lighting at Dickens of a Christmas - Downtown Roanoke
December 3 - Christmas Days in Ole Virginia - Booker T. Washington National Monument, Hardy
December 3 - Come Home to Franklin County Christmas - Rocky Mount
December 3 - Santa by Rail - O. Winston Link Museum
December 3 - Gingerbread Festival - Longwood Park, Salem
December 3 - 4 - Old Southwest Parlor Tour - Old Southwest Neighborhood, Roanoke
December 3 - 4 - Christmas Time's A Coming Open House - Peaks of Otter Winery, Bedford
December 3 - 4 - Holiday Open House - Chateau Morrisette Winery & Restaurant, Floyd
December 4 - Handel's Messiah by the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra - Jefferson Center
December 4 - Rocky Mount Christmas Parade - Downtown Rocky Mount
December 5 - Roanoke County Holiday Tree Lighting - Green Ridge Recreation Center
December 9 - Roanoke Holiday Parade at Dickens of a Christmas - Downtown Roanoke
December 9 - Holiday Pops Spectacular by the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra - Salem Civic Center
December 10 - CHIP's Breakfast with Santa - The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
December 10 - 11 - Holiday Open House - Chateau Morrisette Winery & Restaurant, Floyd
December 10 - 11 - Southwest Virginia Ballet's The Nutcracker - Roanoke Performing Arts Theater - Roanoke Civic Center
December 10 - 11 - Christmas Time's A Coming Open House - Peaks of Otter Winery, Bedford
December 10 - 11 - Holly Days - AmRhein's Wine Cellars, Bent Mountain
December 16 - Pet Costume Contest at Dickens of a Christmas - Downtown Roanoke
December 17 - 18 - Christmas Time's A Coming Open House - Peaks of Otter Winery, Bedford
December 31 - New Year's Eve at Chateau Morrisette - Floyd
December 31 - New Year's Eve Gala - Natural Bridge Hotel & Conference Center
December 31 - Vinton's New Year's Eve Gala - Vinton War Memorial