This coming weekend is a festive one in Wytheville, with merriment planned for everyone.
“We have teamed up with the Wytheville Museums, Wythe Arts Council, Wytheville Parks and Recreation and many others to pull off an awesome event for the community this year,” said Todd Wolford, Downtown Wytheville executive director. “This is the second year Downtown Wytheville has hosted the Christmas Celebration event and we want to continue this as a tradition each year with the continued support of the community”
The fun begins on Friday with a two-day Christmas celebration. Friday at Wither’s Park, starting at 5:30 p.m., there will be carriage rides, live music and a tree-lighting ceremony. Hot cocoa, cider and tea will be sold to warm everyone up.
On Saturday, Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit the Fourth Street Civic Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Carriage Rides will leave from the farmers market parking lot. At the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum, crafters can make a wooly sheep from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. St. John’s Episcopal Church will host its Holly Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and cookies and hot cocoa will be available at the Bolling Wilson Hotel.
At the Rock House Museum, 19th century children’s games will be played during “Christmas with the Hallers,” from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
There’s also an open house at Wytheville’s newest restaurant, 7 Dogs Brewpub on Spring Street.
The celebration wraps up with the annual Christmas parade on Main Street from 6 to 8 p.m. This year’s theme is Christmas Movie Magic.
“This is a great way to kick off the holidays and get the community in the Christmas spirit,” Wolford said. “I had seen other communities doing celebrations of this sort, and I thought it was a great opportunity for Downtown Wytheville to pull people together and form partnerships to pull off this great event for our community. We hope everyone will come out and support this event, and enjoy the festivities both Friday and Saturday leading up to the Christmas Movie Magic parade at 6 p.m. Saturday.”
The Wythe Arts Council’s Festival of Trees will be open at the Heritage Preservation Center, 115 W. Spiller St., from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Miss Chautauqua will light the trees immediately following the festivities in Wither’s Park, probably about 8:15 p.m.
“We encourage everyone to stop by the Festival of Trees and warm up at the hot chocolatebBar and bid on the silent auction items as they vote for their favorite tree,” said Shane Terry of the Wythe Arts Council.
The cost is $5 for adults; the cost for children under 12 is $3. You can vote for your favorite tree by putting a dollar into the box with the corresponding number. One dollar equals one vote.
The Festival of Trees will be open from Friday, Nov. 30, to Saturday, Dec. 8. Weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekday hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“The Wythe Arts Council is thrilled to present the fourth annual Festival of Trees to benefit the 2019 Chautauqua Festival,” Terry said. “It’s so fun to see how creative the people in our community can be and the trees that they come up with. We’ve had everything from super hero trees to animal lover trees and everything in between. I’m excited to see this year’s entries.”
The individual or group whose tree receives the most votes will be deemed Best in Show and will get to keep the money they received in votes. The other “votes” go toward the 2019 Chautauqua Festival.
Wytheville Mayor Beth Taylor said the town’s Christmas celebration signals the beginning of a festive season.
“These activities provide an opportunity for families and citizens of all ages to participate and enjoy the seasonal excitement, and there is something for everyone,” she said. “The parade and other activities are sponsored by Downtown Wytheville, Inc. The Town of Wytheville fully supports these festivities and works with Downtown Wytheville, Inc. to make these events safe and fun for all. We are expecting another record crowd this year, and we invite everyone to join in the celebration events.”
Here is a schedule of events:
Friday, Nov. 30, at Withers Park
• Carriage Rides, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Cost: $10/adult. Children ages 12 & under ride free if accompanied by paying adult.
• Live Music & Choral Performances, 6 to 7p.m.
• Tree Lighting Ceremony, 7p.m. Live music resumes until 8p.m.
• Hot cocoa, cider, and tea will be available for sale.
• Check out the Festival of Trees at the Heritage Preservation Center, 6 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1, in Downtown Wytheville
• Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus, 1 to 4 p.m. at the 4th Street Civic Center.
• Carriage Rides, 1 to 4 p.m., leaving from Farmers Market parking lot. Cost: $10/adult. Children ages 12 & under ride free if accompanied by paying adult.
• Make a Wooly Sheep Craft, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum.
• Holly Bazaar, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
• Cocoa & Cookies at the Bolling Wilson Hotel.
• Festival of Trees hosted by the Wythe Arts Council, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Heritage Preservation Center, 115 W. Spiller St.
• Christmas with the Hallers, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Rock House Museum. New this year: 19th century children’s games. Music by harpist Lori Ringley, light refreshments, free admission. Games will include Bilbo Catcher (a string is attached to a ball and stick; players try to get the ball into a cup on top of the stick.); Shut the Box (a game that involves numbers 1 to 10); Charades and I’m Thinking of Something (similar to I Spy).
• Open House at 7 Dogs Brewpub, time TBA.
• Christmas Parade on Main Street, 6 to 8 p.m.