Richmond Times-Dispatch

Events aim to light up lives — and city — for holidays

- BY COLLEEN CURRAN Richmond Times-Dispatch ccurran@timesdispa­tch.com (804) 649-6151

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2020

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This year brings a new crop of holiday events to downtown Richmond featuring holiday lights and music, but in a way that allows for social distancing.

For starters, RVA Illuminate­s — the event that replaced the Grand Illuminati­on — will be all virtual this year. Richmond’s downtown skyline will light up on Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. and will be televised on WRIC-TV with performanc­es and music.

But the first weekend in December will be packed with in-person holiday events on Brown’s Island and the Canal Walk, and at the Valentine.

On Dec. 4, a new Holiday Lights on the Riverfront event will bring Jonathan the Juggler, Espresso-A-Go-Go and the Curbside Creations food truck to Brown’s Island from 6 to 8 p.m. Both pedestrian bridges to Brown’s Island will be strung with lights. Visitors can take a festive stroll — while socially distancing — along the Canal Walk to the Turning Basin, where there will be more holiday lights.

On Dec. 5, there will be a holiday screening of “Elf” on Brown’s Island for $5. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs and find a spot on the island — while remaining distanced from others — to enjoy the movie. Espresso-A-Go-Go and Cool Concession­s will sell hot drinks and ice cream. Gates will open at 5 p.m., and the movie will start at 6 p.m. Face masks encouraged. Both events are presented by Venture Richmond.

“We are thrilled to present ‘Elf’ on Brown’s Island as a great way for people to take in an activity in a socially distanced, safe way, while enjoying the amazing views of the downtown skyline and the James River,” said Stephen Lecky, director of events at Venture Richmond.

On Dec. 6, the Valentine will host its first Winter Wander from noon to 4 p.m., with live

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH music in the garden, hot beverages and a self-guided walking tour of the historic Court End neighborho­od. The event is free and face masks are encouraged. The Winter Wander event will replace Court End Christmas at the Valentine.

The Holiday Lights on the Riverfront event will return both Saturdays before Christmas — Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 — with lights, music and vendors on Brown’s Island to the Turning Basin on the Canal Walk.

“We are putting holiday lights up around Brown’s Island and the Turning Basin for folks to come and enjoy all December long. This is a great way for folks to come check out some lights, do some shopping or eating downtown, and enjoy the festive holiday season,” Lecky said.

Other holiday events throughout the month include a Christmas tree decorating contest at Main Street Station, a holiday market organized by the Richmond Night Market that will drive visitors to small businesses in the Richmond area, InLight Richmond starting this weekend, and the televised-only Dominion Energy Christmas Parade.

For details on the events, visit ventureric­hmond.com/news and click on the holiday calendar.

 ?? ALEXA WELCH EDLUND/TIMES-DISPATCH ?? This year’s Dominion Energy Christmas Parade will air Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. on WTVR-TV. The event, filmed last month, features characters from Magic and Merriment, a princess experience company.
ALEXA WELCH EDLUND/TIMES-DISPATCH This year’s Dominion Energy Christmas Parade will air Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. on WTVR-TV. The event, filmed last month, features characters from Magic and Merriment, a princess experience company.

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