So Thanksgiving is over, what a great holiday!
It is wonderful because it is really all about food and sharing of friendships both families and friends. This year due to the lost of several key members of the family, my daughter and son in law stepped up to the plate and hosted a first time Thanksgiving event for their family. The passing of love ones was too fresh to want to keep with the family tradition so a new setting was picked and dishes were shared with twenty family members.
Thanksgiving was a surprise this year being early with another week of November still to be experienced. But Black Friday thank goodness has passed and Christmas festivities are about to begin. So put the commercialism of Christmas aside and lets capture the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland.
Here are events to look forward to in Go Blue Ridge Travel’s region. If you need to escape the hectic – join a town’s festivities and shopping at wonderful small shops on any given weekend during December.
Christmas Parades —- What is so cool about Christmas Parades in the Shenandoah Valley is that each parade is different and very unique to the town. You don’t have to worry about seeing the same thing just for this reason.
Shepherdstown, West Virginia has a two weekend holiday celebration. Being a small German Village, the town has all the typically activities of the past such as chestnuts roasting, carriage rides thru the town, a parade and lighting of the tree. Looking for a holiday weekend – stay at the Bavarian Inn or the Hillbrook Inn and enjoy the festive hospitality of these two inns. The parade this year is Saturday, December 1st. Anyone who is from Shepherdstown knows that the town loves parades and they are very informal. have many during the year. You can join the parade as a walking group, float, music or marching band. For Christmas, another fun event is to join the bon fire and savor the homemade chili and corn bread. Lots of unique shops and great restaurants. These parade weekends are also a great time to get your holiday greens and Christmas Bazaars crafts.
Winchester, Virginia’s Christmas Parade is this Monday, November 26th. A little more sophisticated parade with lighted floats and magical units, the event includes a Christmas Movie on the mall and choral performances by the Blue Ridge Choristers and Tops of Virginia Singers prior to the arrival of Santa and the lighting of the Christmas tree. Drop into the Village Square for Dinner or an evening beverage. You can also stay at The George Washington Hotel and walk to the downtown area easily.
Woodstock, Virginia – Friday, November 30 is the date for this Christmas Parade. One of the things that sets this parade apart is the presence of the agricultural influence. Again, music is a big part of the parade with choruses singing prior to the actual parade time.At this festival as well as in Shepherdstown, children do have the opportunity to talk to Santa. Enjoy the hot chocolate while you watch floats, antique cars, and wagons decorated for the holiday season. There are many great shopping experiences in Woodstock. Don’t miss the Woodstock Cafe and Shoppes for great wine shopping as well as Fort Valley Nursery for poinsettias and other holiday greens and your holiday party venue.
Middleburg, Virginia – What is most unique and sets this parade apart are the horses and hounds and red coat riders. Located in the heart of Virginia horse country, the small town attracts local residents and visitors from around the region to take part in traditional festivities that have become an essential part of the spirit of Christmas in Middleburg. Each year the Middleburg Hunt has over 100 horses and hounds in the mile long parade. Parade features a unique assortment of floats, marching bands, local community groups, antique fire trucks, and a variety of animals including horses, llamas and dogs. Santa brings up the rear riding on a beautiful horse drawn coach. Festivities are thru out the day Throughout the day there are hayrides, choir performances, the Garden Club’s Christmas Flower & Greens Show and the Craft Show. Looking to spend the weekend, The Ashby Inn was voted one of the top 50 restaurants in Northern Virginia as well as you can lodge at the Briar Patch Bed and Breakfast. This parade is on December 1, 2012.
Purcellville, Virginia – Spend an entire weekend with the tree lighting and parade on December 7, 8, and 9th with the parade on the 8th. You can take a trolley ride and see the beautiful display of lights in the town. Join us for a ride through Purcellville to look at the beautiful display of lights! Tickets for tours will be handed out on a first come first serve basis the night of each tour. Activities for the weekend include breakfast and pictures with Santa, face painting, balloon twisting, Lego train display, parade, our tree lighting ceremony and much more. A great place to stay for the weekend is the Stone Manor Bed and Breakfast.
Antietam Battlefield Park Illumination is a MUST SEE BUCKET LIST HAPPENING for every adult and child. Over 23,000 luminaries light the battlefields – one for every soldier killed, wounded, or missing at the Battle of Antietam. This is a 5 mile driving tour and will stay in your memory for a lifetime. The event is on Saturday, December 1.
Hagerstown, Maryland is a little different in that the lighting of their Christmas tree on the lake and silhouettes on the water of City Park Lake. Over 1500 luminaries light the walking path. The parade ends at the lake with music and choruses featured and the Antique Tractor Club offers hayrides. The date is Friday, November 30th, 2012.
Tell us about your hometown Christmas parade and why we should come and enjoy the spirit of Christmas with you.