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Roanoke Holiday Events

Christmas & Holiday Events in Virginia's Blue Ridge

We love the holiday season in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains!

It’s a special time of year for making memories with family and friends, and there are lots of great events, activities, and annual traditions & celebrations to include in your experience.

We invite you to enjoy the magic of the holidays in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

Here is your guide to 2021 holiday events and festivals in the region.

Holiday Parades

Santa - Roanoke Christmas Parades

Take part in the parades that showcase our vibrant neighborhoods and communities, as well as local organizations and companies that create impressive floats and holiday decorations.

  • Grandin Village Holiday Children's Parade | Grandin Village | November 20 | Event Website >
  • 2021 Christmas Parade Past & Present | Town of Vinton | December 2 | Event Details >
  • Salem Christmas Parade | Downtown Salem | December 3 | Event Details >
  • Town of Fincastle Christmas Parade | Town of Fincastle | December 4 | Event Details >
  • Bedford Christmas Parade | Downtown Bedford | December 4 | Event Website >
  • City of Roanoke Christmas Parade | Downtown Roanoke - Dickens of a Christmas | December 10 | Event Details >
  • Buchanan Christmas Parade | Downtown Buchanan | December 11 | Event Website >

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Light Shows | Tree Displays | Tree Lightings

Illuminights - Roanoke County Explore Park

As home to a mountain with a giant neon star on top of it that was originally built as a holiday decoration (Learn More: Roanoke Star >), you know we make light shows and tree displays a big part of the holiday celebration in Virginia’s Blue Ridge!

  • Illuminights (pictured above) | Explore Park | November 20 - December 30 | Event Website >
  • Bedford Festival of Trees | Bedford Welcome Center | November 23 - January 2 | Facebook Page >
  • Fashions for Evergreens | The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center | November 25 - January 1 | Event Website >
  • Land of Lights | Franklin County Recreation Park | November 25 - December 31 | Event Details >
  • Franklin County Christmas Tree Lighting | Franklin County Courthouse | November 26 | Facebook Event >
  • Buchanan Festival of Lights | Buchanan Town Park | November 28 - December 27 | Event Website >
  • City of Roanoke Christmas Tree Lighting | Downtown Roanoke - Dickens of a Christmas | December 3 | Event Details >
  • City of Salem Christmas Tree Lighting | Salem Farmers Market | December 3 | Event Details >
  • 2021 First Bank Tinsel Trail | Historic Fincastle | December 3 - January 1 | Event Website >
  • Roanoke County Christmas Tree Lighting | South County Library | December 6 | Event Details >
  • Luminary Nights | Natural Bridge State Park | December 10-19 | Event Details >
  • Santa's Winter Wonderland | Blue Ridge PBS | December 10-23 | Event Details >
  • O Holy Bright - Drive Thru Christmas Lights Display | St. Mark's United Methodist Church | December 17-19 & December 31 - January 2 | Event Details >
  • Old Southwest Festival of Lights - Gather at the Gish House | Gish House - Highland Park | December 22 | Event Details >
  • Christmas Eve Luminary Display | Town of Buchanan | December 24 | Event Website >

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Holiday Festivals

Roanoke Dickens of a Christmas

Chestnuts are roasting, carolers are singing, and other classic traditions are part of the popular holiday festivals throughout the region.

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Concerts | Performances | Shows

Southwest Virginia Ballet Nutcracker Roanoke

Singing along to your favorite Christmas songs and enjoying performances of timeless holiday stories are wonderful ways to enjoy the arts & culture of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

  • A Nutcracker Holiday Spectacular with the Roanoke Valley Children's Choir | Salem Football Stadium | November 21 | Event Website >
  • A Christmas Story | Mill Mountain Theatre | December 1-19 | Event Website >
  • The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical | Berglund Center | December 1 | Event Website >
  • Holiday POPS Spectacular | Salem Civic Center | December 3 | Event Website >
  • Holiday Brass | Cave Spring United Methodist Church | December 10 | Event Website >
  • Salem Red Sox Movie Night: Elf | Salem Memorial Ballpark | December 10 | Facebook Event >
  • Chatham County Line - Electric Holiday Tour | 5 Points Music Sanctuary | December 11 | Concert Tickets >
  • SWVA Ballet presents The Nutcracker (pictured above) | Berglund Center | December 11-12 | Event Website >
  • Holiday SongFest | Beliveau Farm Winery | December 12 | Facebook Event >
  • Handel's Messiah | Jefferson Center | December 14 | Event Website >
  • Salem Red Sox Movie Night: The Santa Clause | Salem Memorial Ballpark | December 17 | Facebook Event >
  • Roanoke Ballet Theatre presents The Nutcracker | Jefferson Center | December 17-18 | Event Website >
  • Off White Betties Christmas Special: Benefit for Give Kids the World | The Spot on Kirk | December 23 | Concert Details > 

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Holiday Open Houses | Markets | Shopping

Santa - Salem VA

Historic homes and museums are beautifully decorated for the holidays, and there are some great local holiday markets for shopping and finding the perfect gift.

  • Stocked Market | Berglund Center | November 12-14 | Event Website >
  • Holiday Gift & Craft Show | Lord Botetourt High School | November 13 | Facebook Event >
  • Artisan Christmas Market | Explore Park | November 20 - December 30 | Event Website >
  • Thanksgiving Holiday Market | Daleville Town Center | November 20 | Facebook Event >
  • Buchanan Small Business Saturday | Main Street Buchanan | November 27 | Event Website >
  • Makers Market Roanoke | Roanoke City Market Building | November 27 - December 18 (Every Saturday) | Facebook Event >
  • Small Business Saturday Holiday Shopping | Downtown Roanoke | November 27 | Event Website >
  • Small Business Saturday at Black Dog | Black Dog Salvage | November 27 | Facebook Event > 
  • Holiday Nights in Grandin Village | Historic Grandin Village | December 2, 9, 16 | Facebook Event >
  • 6th Annual Craft & Vendor Show | Berglund Center | December 3-4 | Facebook Event >
  • Salem Crafty Christmas (pictured above) | Salem Farmers Market | December 4 | Event Details >
  • Historic Fincastle Inc. Holiday Marketplace | Fincastle Baptist Church | December 11 | Historic Fincastle Website >
  • Salem Holiday Market | Salem Civic Center | December 11-12 | Event Website >
  • Holiday Makers Market | Gatewood Rose & Golden Cactus | December 12 | Event Details >
  • Wasena Holiday Market | Roanoke Mountain Adventures | December 16 | Facebook Event >
  • Christmas Holiday Market | Botetourt Farmers Market | December 18 | Facebook Event > 

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Holiday Food & Drink Fun

Salem Gingerbread Festival

Calories don’t count during the holidays, right? We’re pretty sure that’s a rule. Indulge in delicious celebrations at these local holiday events centered around food & drink.

  • Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival | Poplar Forest | November 13 | Event Website >
  • Pre-Thanksgiving 90's Party | Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage | November 24 | Facebook Event >
  • The Grand Thanksgiving Buffet Celebration | The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center | November 25 | Facebook Event >
  • Gingerbread Festival & Gingerbread House Competition (pictured above) | Salem Museum & Longwood Park | December 4 | Event Details >
  • Tacky Christmas Sweater Murder Mystery at Beliveau Farm | Beliveau Farm Winery | December 5 | Event Website >
  • The Floyd Gingerbread House Contest | The Floyd Country Store | December 9-24 | Event Details > 
  • Big Lick Ugly Sweater Holiday Party | Big Lick Brewing Company | December 11 | Facebook Event >
  • Breakfast with Santa | Salem Memorial Ballpark | December 11 | Event Details >
  • Storytime & Cookies with Santa | Rendezvous Studio at The French Farmhouse | December 11 | Facebook Event >
  • Holiday Candlelight Wine Dinners | Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest | December 11 & 18 | Event Website >
  • Tacky Christmas Sweater Murder Mystery at Twisted Track | Twisted Track Brewpub | December 16 | Event Website >
  • Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Buffet | The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center | December 24-25 | Facebook Event >

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Historical Holiday Events & Tours

Old Virginia Christmas - Booker T. Washington

Step back in time at the historical sites and attractions in the region that offer a unique holiday twist on the experience.

  • Salem Museum Christmas Train | Salem Museum & Historical Society | November 20 - January 29 (Tuesday - Saturday) | Museum Exhibits >
  • Holiday Candlelight Tours | Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest | December 2-17 (Select Days) | Event Website >
  • An Old Virginia Christmas (pictured above) | Booker T. Washington National Monument | December 4 | Event Details >
  • Flames of Memory | National D-Day Memorial | December 3-5 | Event Website >
  • Candlelight Tours of Fishburn Mansion | Fishburn Mansion | December 9-10 | Facebook Event >
  • Holiday Open House at Fishburn Mansion | Fishburn Mansion | December 12 | Facebook Event >
  • Home Alive in '45: A WWII Christmas Celebration | Salem Museum & Historical Society | December 18 | Museum Events >

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Fun Runs, Rides, Races

Christmas Lights - Grandin Village

We stay active throughout the year in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, including during the holiday season, with a variety of holiday themed bicycle rides, races, and other sporting events.

  • Star City Half Marathon & 10K | River's Edge Park | November 20 | Event Website >
  • Atlantic Union Bank Drumstick DASH | River's Edge Park | November 25 | Event Website >
  • Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5K | Bedford Baptist Church | December 4 | Event Website >
  • 2021 Holiday Lights Tour (pictured above) | Grandin Village | December 8 | Facebook Event >

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New Year's Eve Events 

Downtown Roanoke Event

Ring in the new year by taking part in our New Year's Eve parties & celebrations in Virginia's Blue Ridge. There are formal events where you can put on your finest attire and celebrate in style, or more casual, family-friendly parties that don't even require staying up late!

  • ValleyStar Big Lick Downtown Countdown | Market Square - Downtown Roanoke | December 31 | Event Website >
  • New Year's Dinner Celebration | The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center | December 31 | Facebook Event >
  • Preceptor Omicron's New Year's Eve Gala Celebration | The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center | December 31 | Event Website >
  • Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs New Year's Eve Game | Berglund Center | December 31 | Game Tickets >
  • Dead Reckoning New Year's Eve | 5 Points Music Sanctuary | December 31 | Concert Tickets >
  • New Year's Eve with The Ambassador | Martin's Downtown Bar & Grill | December 31 | Facebook Event >
  • Fincastle Ringing of the Bells | Historic Fincastle | December 31 | Event Details >
  • Twisted Track Brewpub's New Year's Eve Celebration | Twisted Track Brewpub | December 31 | Event Details >
  • New Year's Eve Dinner & Dance at The Floyd Country Store | The Floyd Country Store | December 31 | Event Details >
  • New Year's Eve Party at Hammer & Forge | Hammer & Forge Brewing Company | December 31 | Facebook Event >
  • New Year's Eve Package | Beliveau Farm Winery & Inn | December 30 - January 1 | Package Info >

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Other Holiday Activities

Elmwood Park Ice Skating

It’s hard to contain the holiday excitement and cheer with so many fun things on the calendar during this time of year. Here are some other fun things to do during the holiday season in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

  • WDBJ7's Elmwood on Ice (pictured above) | Elmwood Park | November 24 - January 30 (Select Days) | Event Website >
  • Elf on the Shelf Adventure | Various Locations - Downtown Roanoke | November 26 - December 16 | Event Website >
  • Santa Around Bridgewater Plaza | Bridgewater Plaza - Smith Mountain Lake | November 27 | Facebook Event >
  • Disco Holiday Photo Mini Sessions | Gatewood Rose | November 27 | Event Details >
  • Live Nativity | Shenandoah Baptist Church | December 3-12 (Select Days) | Event Website >
  • Holiday Ornaments | The Market Gallery | December 3, 10, 17 | Event Details >
  • Candy Cane Express Weekend | Virginia Museum of Transportation | December 4-5 | Event Website >
  • Towers Shopping Center Photos with Santa | Towers Shopping Center | December 12 | Facebook Event >
  • Vinton Santa Crawl | Town of Vinton | December 14
  • Noke's Holiday Hunt | Fishburn Mansion | December 16 | Facebook Event >
  • Dickens of a Christmas Pet Costume Contest | Downtown Roanoke | December 17 | Event Details >
  • A Virtual Christmas Murder Mystery Whodunnit | Jump Into Mystery - Virtual Event | December 18 | Event Details >

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For a complete list of upcoming events in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, check our Calendar of Events. You can also sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletter and follow us on social media.

Visit our Holidays section for more resources to help you plan your next visit!

Roanoke Valley Spotlight

The holidays are the perfect time to plan a getaway to Virginia's Blue Ridge!


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