Weekend events roll out red carpet for Santa

As the area counts down the days until Christmas, a variety of events and activities help turn on the holiday spirit.

The Family Drive-In Theatre presents a weekend of family friendly Christmas movies as it wraps up the 2014 season.

The Stephens City theater will screen “Elf” at 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday, and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” at 8:45 p.m. Friday and 7:45 p.m. Saturday.

Another screen will show “Penguins of Madagascar” at 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday, and “The Polar Express” at 8:45 p.m. Friday and 7:45 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $1 for children, or $15 per carload.

The theater is located off U.S. 11 at 5890 Valley Pike. For more information, visit http://www.goo.gl/5eGVvB

The town of Mount Jackson welcomes Mr. and Mrs. Claus with its annual Christmas Parade down Main Street.

The parade begins at Valley Fertilizer at 3 p.m. Saturday and travels south along Route 11, taking a left at Shannon Avenue and ending behind the old fire department building.

Following the parade, kids can meet Santa at Town Hall and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa starting at 4 p.m.

Choirs and handbell chimers will perform Christmas carols, and the town’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Other events include:

Holly Jolly Celebration — Carolers, children’s crafts and holiday music fill the Winchester walking mall for this free, family friendly event. // Downtown Winchester; Saturday; Free; 540-535-3660; http://www.goo.gl/Z8GhK5

Homes for the Holidays — Several Middletown locations, including Larrick’s Tavern and the Wayside Inn, are decorated for the holidays and open to visitors. // Middletown; Noon-5 p.m. Sunday; $15; 540-869-1805

Christmas in the Valley — Eleven local garden clubs have decorated 11 different rooms at the Belle Grove Manor House for its annual holiday tours. // 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday; $5-$12; 540-869-2028; http://www.bellegrove.org

A Frozen Choral Spectacular — The Blue Ridge Singers perform a mix of Christmas songs, including tunes from “Frozen.” // 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Front Royal Presbyterian Church, and 4 p.m. Sunday at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Winchester

The Dawn Drapes — Harrisonburg’s alt indie rock trio performs at Cristina’s Cafe. // 219 W. King St., Strasburg; 7 p.m. Friday; $7

A New Christmas Carol — The classic Charles Dickens tale gets a modern twist in this play presented by the Selah Theatre Project. // 30 E. 8th St., Front Royal; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday; $8-$12; 540-686-5185; http://www.goo.gl/IsR2zU

Christmas Parade — The Hometown Holiday Christmas Parade, postponed by last weekend’s inclement weather, returns to Downtown Front Royal this Saturday. // E. Main St., Front Royal; 4-6 p.m. Saturday; Free

Historic Ornament Workshop –The Long Branch Plantation invites people to get into the holiday spirit by making their own 1940s Christmas ornaments. // 830 Long Branch Lane, Millwood; 1-4 p.m. Saturday; $5 suggested donation; 540-837-1856; http://www.goo.gl/d1auKU

Christmas Parade — The town of Luray celebrates “The 12 Days of Christmas” with its annual parade. // Downtown Luray; 6 p.m. Saturday; Free

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com