By SHANNON WATKINS
Friday, Dec. 6 holds a winter wonderland of fun and activities in downtown Blacksburg, many of them overlapping, along with other events later in the month, according to Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.
Downtown merchants will be having their annual open houses from 4 p.m.-8 p.m., featuring free gift wrapping, holiday specials and snacks and beverages. Market Square Park will feature music by Sharon Stacy, free hot chocolate, hot cider and a holiday craft market from 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
From 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. The Lyric Theatre will have pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus (bring your own camera). At 4:30 p.m. the Blacksburg Children’s Master Chorale will sing at Market Square Park, followed by a 5 p.m. performance at the Henderson Lawn Stage.
At 5:40 p.m. WSLS 10 will broadcast live the tree lighting with Mayor Rordam, Santa and Mrs. Claus with more music by the Blacksburg Children’s Master Chorale. The Henderson Lawn Stage will host a TubaChristmas performance at 6 p.m., co-sponsored by Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and the Department of Music at Virginia Tech.
The annual Holiday Parade, co-sponsored by Blacksburg Parks and Recreation and the Virginia Tech chapter of Circle K, will start at 7 p.m.
In addition to these events, this year there will be an addition to the tradition festivities in the form of 16 holiday trees in Kent Square, decorated and provided by downtown merchants and nonprofit groups. Everyone can vote for their favorite tree from Dec. 6-21. Ballots are available at Kent Jewelers, First Bank of Virginia or Uncommonly Gifted. Returning the ballot to any of these merchants enters participants for prizes. The winning tree will be announced on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 1:30 p.m. at a special reception in Kent Square, when the prize drawing for voters will take place.
Voting for the trees will kick off with cookies, candy canes and cocoa, compliments of the participating “tree artistes” from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. in the Kent Square lobby.
“Park in the garage and come on out! There’s certainly a lot of stuff to do and enjoy,” said Laureen Blakemore, director of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. “I think people are just happy to celebrate in all different ways, and we get a huge crowd out then.”
Blacksburg will offer some special holiday shopping events in December. Ladies’ Night will take place from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. on Dec. 12, and Gents’ Night will take place from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. on Dec. 19. Both will feature free gift wrapping, personal shopping assistance, special discounts, refreshments and more.
In addition to these special events, most downtown stores will be open later most nights and will also open on Sundays to provide consumers with plenty of holiday shopping opportunities.
Finally, as a gift to the community from Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and The Lyric Theatre, on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 3 p.m., there will be a free showing of “Home Alone.” All are welcome.