Holiday events greet the season

From town parades to carol singing and visits to Santa, the holiday spirit will be in full swing during area celebrations this weekend.

The National Weather Service is calling for a sunny and relatively warm weekend, with afternoon highs in the area reaching around 50 degrees and lows around 30.

Edinburg’s Christmas parade will trail through the town beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, starting by the Main Street Exxon station. Central High School’s band will serenade the tree lighting ceremony by the fire department after the parade. Families can then duck into the fire department for cocoa and cookies while kids enjoy games and crafts and read off their wish lists to Santa.

Light Up Woodstock will kick off at around 6 p.m. Friday with carols sung by various school choirs at the circuit courthouse. The town parade will begin at 6:30, with Mayor Jeremy McCleary lighting the town tree and dedicating the town’s new clock, donated by the Woodstock Rotary Club, at 6:45. Tractor-pulled wagon rides to carol around town will be offered before and after the main event, along with the opportunity for Santa visits outside the Historic Courthouse and donations to a drive for canned goods and winter accessories.

In past years, Katie Mercer said the town has made use of a natural tree growing between the courthouses. Now that it’s looking a bit scraggly, she said Shenandoah residents Al and Sharon Floryancic have donated a fuller, cut tree for the ceremony.

Those visiting Tin Top Art and Handmade on the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall from 6-8 p.m. Friday might get a chance to meet a much less jolly holiday figure at the store’s Krampus Nacht mini event. Tin Top will be celebrating the terrifying German folklore figure with cookies and cocktails, giving out free buttons and selling Krampus T-shirts.

In Clarke County, the Christmas tree lighting will occur at Rose Hill Park at 6 p.m. Friday and will be followed by a holiday concert by the Clarke County Community Band and the Clarke County High School Chorus at 7 p.m. A Christmas parade down Main Street in Berryville will start at noon on Saturday.

For a historical spin on the holidays, The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society will offer its annual candlelight tours of Abram’s Delight, George Washington’s Office and Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters from 6-8 p.m. Friday and 3-7 p.m. Saturday. Without a ticket or admission fee, attendees can get the feel of a slightly antiquated Christmas from living history interpreters with the luxury of music and refreshments.

New Market’s ‘Tis the Season Christmas parade and tree lighting on Saturday will be preceded by chances to support local artists and businesses. Brittany Clem, the town’s events and marketing director, said this is the first year local artists will be displaying and selling their work at business open houses from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The town parade will begin at 5 p.m., after which Town Hall will play host to the tree lighting ceremony.

Kids can stop by the library to listen to holiday stories and visit Santa after the parade concludes. This year’s wine tasting will be from Cave Ridge Vineyard, held at SunTrust Bank from 2-5 p.m. Virginia Museum of the Civil War’s Christmas on the Farm and the New Market Library’s book sale will be held as in previous years.

The holiday parade through Front Royal will start after the town’s Christmas tree and street lights have been lit, starting at 5 p.m. Saturday from Luray Avenue through downtown to the government center.

The Kiwanis Club of Front Royal will offer breakfast at E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and various choral groups will be singing at the gazebo from 3-5 p.m. when the lighting ceremony begins. Until then, many downtown businesses will be hosting open houses.

Festivities in Strasburg will start Saturday morning with a hearty holiday breakfast at the Strasburg Volunteer Fire Department at 7 a.m. and will follow through with a slew of events until the Home for the Holidays Christmas Celebration kicks into high gear at 4:30 p.m. with the Christmas parade.

Town Council Member Rich Orndorff said this is the first time in several years that the Strasburg Christian Church will host a live nativity scene after the parade. Strasburg High School Strings will give a concert at 10 a.m. at Strasburg Christian Church and will carol throughout the town in the afternoon. Choirs from Strasburg-area schools will sing carols while Mayor Tim Taylor lights the town tree.

Local businesses like Natural Art and Garden Center and Pot Town Organics and several other Strasburg businesses will be hosting open houses from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Signal Knob Middle School will host a holiday bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Families can purchase professional photos with Santa at Hometown Park after the tree lighting.

Front Royal Oratorio will be presenting free concerts of their program “This Child, This King” at Braddock Street United Methodist Church in Winchester at 7 p.m. Saturday and at Front Royal Presbyterian Church at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Chorus and board member David Freese said those in attendance will hear a mixture of both “leap to your feet” tunes and more mellow pieces – everything from classic carols to gospel to a Pentatonix version of “Silent Night.” Freese also said that the concert will conclude with the Virginia premiere of composer Daniel Gawthrop’s “Gloria.”

Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh said the second annual town Christmas parade has expanded since its inaugural year. The route will track down U.S. 11 to the Town Hall building starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, and a panel of four judges will be giving out parade awards in multiple categories. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be awaiting wish lists and photo ops at the Wayside Inn along with a selection of holiday treats after the parade wraps up.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com