Going Out: Escape into the season

By Josette Keelor

Now within two weeks of Christmas, events this weekend have aimed to capture the holiday season at its best. Christmas plays in Edinburg and New Market, holiday concerts at area schools and festivities dotting the valley will keep the fun going all weekend.

• The Holly Jolly Old Town Celebration will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday along the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall in Winchester, with street carolers, gift wrapping, ornament making and holiday story telling, specials and treats. The 3rd Annual Victorian Candlelight Ball at First Presbyterian Church, 116 S. Loudoun St., and free horse drawn wagon rides sponsored by Union First Market Bank, will begin at 7 p.m. A $5 Civil War walking tour will begin at 11 a.m. at 2 N. Cameron St. Tour reservations: 542-1326 Information about the day’s activities: 535-3660, www.oldtownwinchesterva.com

• At Frederick County’s Clearbrook Park, the Walking in the Winter Wonderland light show will be from 5:30 to 10 p.m. every day through Jan. 5, except Dec. 24, 25 and 31 and Jan. 1. The outdoor experience features pathways lined with lights and a show timed to music. Bundle up for the weather and visit Santa’s house for hot chocolate and cookies. Tickets are $5 for ages 12 and older, $3 for children 2-11 and free to younger children. Information: www.visitwinchesterva.com/events/venueevents/11-clearbrook-park

• Belle Grove Plantation on U.S. 11 near Middletown will hold “The Spirit of Christmas Past” daytime and candlelight tours with live music throughout the month, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday except for Dec. 24 and 25. Admission is $12 per person, or $5 for members of the Belle Grove and National Trust for Historic Preservation. Information: 869-2028, www.bellegrove.org

• Fort Collier Civil War Center at 922 Martinsburg Pike, Winchester, will hold its Christmas party and public press conference beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday to celebrate securing the deed to the 10-acre property with the help of Preservation Shenandoah, part of Preservation Virginia. Fort Collier will show off the redesigned exterior and interior of the house, and the party will include a buffet by Sodexo and live music. Information and weather updates: 323-0221.

• “A Dickens of a Carol III,” at The Schultz Theatre in New Market, is the third installment in a series of comedic Christmas plays the theater has offered over the past three years. Written by theater director Michael Gwin, the play based on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” — the story of a money-grubbing miser who reluctantly learns to accept the spirit(s) of Christmas ¬– includes a string of spoofs that will fool any preconceptions theatergoers’ have of the classic tale.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 9357 N. Congress St., New Market. Adult tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door; student and senior tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Information: 740-9119, www.schultztheatre.com

• Get two plays for the price of one at Theatre Shenandoah in Edinburg, with “Candle in the Window,” written by L. Don Swartz and directed by Lori Staley in special arrangement with the Eldridge Publishing Company, followed by the Youth Theatre’s “Holiday Revue,” directed by Kyle Dill.

“Candle in the Window” tells the story of a small group of weary travelers who realize a renewed sense of the meaning of Christmas while trapped together at a train station during a blizzard on Christmas Eve. The youth theater will perform a revue of cabaret-style spiritual and secular Christmas songs. Performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for youth or seniors. Information: 984-3972, www.theatreshenandoah.org

• Friday the Blue Ridge Singers will present their holiday program “Winter Soundscape,” blending songs about winter and the holidays like “Here We Come A-Caroling,” “The Christmas Song” and new songs “O Nata Lux,” by David Dickau, and “See Amid the Winter’s Snow,” by Howard Helvey. The free concert will be from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Front Royal Presbyterian Church, 115 Luray Ave., Front Royal. Information: www.blueridgesingers.com

• Sunday at Randolph-Macon Academy’s Boggs Chapel, Front Royal, the R-MA chorus and the award-winning 91st Virginia Air Force JROTC Band will present a free Christmas concert from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Information: 636-5200

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com