Downtown remains the holiday gathering place

Traditional holiday events continue to draw crowds downtown this year in spite of the bone-chilling weather experienced in many parts of the commonwealth.

Last Friday, Rocky Mount’s “Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas,” had its largest turnout yet as guests enjoyed music, food, and shopping with vendors and merchants.  “The horse-drawn carriage rides and the miniature horse and buggy rides for the youngsters were both big hits,” Barbara Chauncey, a volunteer with the Community Partnership for the Revitalization of Rocky Mount told the Franklin News-Post. The temperature was in the thirties, but that didn’t stop children from lining up for the Department of Recreation’s build-a-bear event.

In Staunton, the traditional holiday festivities included the annual parade–this year with a rock and roll theme–and a new character on the scene–Elfis, a rockin’ elf  who encourages shopping locally by handing out Staunton Downtown Development Association giftcards. 

Nothing says tradition in the holidays like a gingerbread house, and Old Town Manassas does that up right.  View the results of their 15th annual Gingerbread House Competition.  In Warrenton, the GumDrop Square  tradition continues with a series of events throughout late Novemember and early December.

Main Street proves itself again this year as a location for business and a community gathering place during the holidays, and there’s still time to get out and enjoy some downtown traditions. Try Waynesboro’s Christmas in River City on Friday evening, the 17th, and First Night Winchester on the Loudoun Street Mall on New Year’s Eve.