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Hanover’s Perspective

Holiday Happenings in Hanover County, VA – 2021

Holiday Happenings - 2021

From small community events to historic holiday traditions, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday season in Hanover.  Refer to this blog frequently as new listings will be added as they are announced.  Here is a list of holiday events not to be missed:

Hanover Santa Run – Hanover Volunteer Fire/EMS Stations

Every year, the Hanover volunteer Fire-EMS companies participate in Santa Runs throughout Hanover County.  For details on routes and dates, follow the social media page of the company which serves your neighborhood. (Links to Facebook pages for the participating stations are provided below.)   The following companies will participate this year:

Light Up the Tracks – Town of Ashland
November 6, 2021 – January 1, 2022

Downtown Ashland transforms into a vintage Christmas village with “Light Up the Tracks” — a mile-long light display combined with various special events designed to welcome visitors for a unique small town holiday experience including:

  • Tree Lighting Celebration November 6; 6:00 – 6:30 p.m.  Celebrate the beginning of Light Up the Tracks with a performance and countdown on Town Hall Lawn. Sing along to your favorite carols and cheer as the Town Tree comes to life! Enjoy dessert crepes and hot chocolate from Moniques Crepes food truck onsite.  Once the tree is lit, stroll downtown streets to see the light display and enjoy old fashioned holiday traditions. Shops and restaurants offer extended hours to welcome visitors!
  • Ashland Christmas Market (December 4; 12:00 – 4:00 pm)  Inspired by open-air holiday markets around the world, downtown shops and businesses are taking their wares to the streets with sidewalk sales, displays, and specials. Plus, local artisans and crafters will host pop-up shops throughout Downtown Ashland. During this celebration, you’ll find outdoor dining, live music, art exhibits, shopping, and entertainment throughout Downtown Ashland. Plus, Maria’s Apple Cider Donuts food truck.

Santa’s Wonderland – Bass Pro Shops, Ashland, VA
November 6 – December 24, 2021
See online reservations to schedule a visit with Santa.

Santa arrives on November 6, 2021!  Families are invited to tailgate at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s for a festive parade to kick off the Christmas season, featuring Santa as he returns to open Santa’s Wonderland!
Families who visit Santa receive a free 4×6 studio-quality photo with Mr. Claus (contactless of course), as well as a free digital video greeting card to share on social media.  Additional photo packages are also available for purchase and print instantly in the store.  Make your free Santa Photo reservations at your preferred time and show your confirmation at check-in. During your visit, families can mail their letter to Santa and receive free giveaways while supplies last. For information specific to the Ashland location, visit: Bass Pro Shops, Ashland.

WinterFest Kings Dominion
Select dates, November 20, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Admission fees apply.

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at Kings Dominion’s ultimate holiday event, WinterFest! The park will transform into a winter wonderland with millions of shimmering lights, breathtaking décor, and lavish displays. The Eiffel Tower will become a 300-foot-tall Christmas tree and the iconic fountain on International Street will transform into the most beautiful and largest ice-skating rink around.  WinterFest will be the perfect place to create lasting memories with your family with so many exclusive holiday attractions. Sit back and enjoy one of our live shows while indulging in delicious holiday treats and drinks. Take part in a selection of fun Christmas activities to get you in the holiday spirit and be sure to check out our selection of festive shops and artisan locations to find the perfect holiday gift.

All new in 2021!
 Guests will be treated to a grandiose showcase of dazzling displays and extravagantly decorated floats with the WinterFest Wonderland Parade filled with classic holiday themes such as toy boxes, gingerbread houses, choo-choo trains and more. Your favorite WinterFest merriment characters, singers, and dancers will take part in this magical parade and maybe, just maybe Santa Claus will join, too!  Note:  The WinterFest Wonderland Parade debuts on November 26.

Hanover Shopping Week – Hanover Chamber of Commerce/Hanover County Economic Development
November 20 – 29, 2021

The holiday season is a perfect time to visit our great locally owned retailers and restaurants! Your local Chamber of Commerce & Hanover County are teaming up to promote a special shopping week. Visit this site often to see participants, holiday promos and more.

Photos with Santa on the Farm – Hanover Vegetable Farm (Christmas Trees, Wreaths and treats also for sale everyday!)
Cost:  See website for details.

November 26, November 27, December 5 (Santa George); and December 12 (Santa Mike RVA)
Various appointment times.  Appointment booking with payment required.
Christmas trees, wreaths, seasonal pies, fudge, local crafts, gifts and much more will also be available for purchase!

A Grand Illumination – The Montpelier Center for Arts and Education
November 30; 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Free. Please RVSP on website.

A grand illumination of the Center’s lovely grounds will include a special performance of The Nutcracker by the The Concert Ballet, a hot chocolate bar, light maze, and music!

Various Holiday Movies and Events – Ashland Theatre

Come to Ashland Theatre to watch holiday movie favorites on select dates/times including The Polar Express, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life,  and The Grinch.  A Holly Jolly Holiday Party will occur on December 4th and The Jolly Jaunt Bar Crawl and Concert is December 11th.

Holiday Cheer – Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown
December 4; 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fees apply.

Time to get into the holiday spirit at Scotchtown! This event offers holiday themed crafts, house tours, hot cider and story time at the top of every hour.  Warm clothes and comfortable shoes are encouraged as this event is hosted almost entirely outdoors. All COVID-19 protocols will be followed including wearing face masks and social distancing.

Santa’s North Pole & Holiday Market – The Montpelier Center for Arts and Education
December 4; 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Free. Photos with Santa are available for purchase.

Don’t miss the fun at the Center’s winter wonderland! Shop local vendors and get one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends, get priceless photos with Santa, grab some hot chocolate and a bite to eat while you make crafts and write a letter to Santa. The Center’s ballroom and front Village Green will be utilized for this special event.

Christmas Market  – Green Top Hunt & Fish/Simply Yours by Marcy
December 4; 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Free. This is a rain or shine outdoor event.

Come out to Green Top to shop local vendors and artisans offering custom gifts, home décor, candles & soaps, farm fresh favorites, jewelry, baked goods, accessories and so much more!

Beaverdam Depot Annual Open House with special guest, Santa Claus – Beaverdam Depot
December 4, 2021; 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Come enjoy cookies and hot chocolate while listening to carols sung by local children! Santa Claus will be visiting and available for pictures! Photos available for purchase/pick up by Dirt Road Photography. Bring a contribution of can goods, and we will make the donation to WHEAT(

Mechanicsville Christmas Parade – Rotary Club of Mechanicsville
December 5, 2021; Parade starts at 2:00 p.m. Rain or shine.

The parade is back this year incorporating the theme “I’ll Be Home for Christmas!”  This nearly 2 mile route parade route starts on Signal Hill Road at Hanover Green Drive, marches through the Windsor subdivision via Strain Avenue and Hillis Way, down Atlee Road and turns onto Mechanicsville Turnpike to end at Elm Drive.

Cookie and Craft Sale – Beaverdam Depot
December 12; 1:00am – 4:00 pm

Come shop local! Enjoy locally made crafts from your neighbors, and satisfy your sweet tooth with cookies to buy by the pound!

RVA Santa at Green Top – Green Top
Dec. 15th, 16th, and 17th, 3pm – 7pm.
Dec. 18th & 19th, 10-4pm.
Dec. 20th – Dec. 23rd, 3pm – 7pm.

Come see RVA Santa at Green Top!

Various Holiday EventsJames River Cellars Winery
Use the link above to the access their calendar of events for more information and to purchase tickets.
Throughout December, events include Holiday Canvas Paint Nite, Cookie Decorating, A Monogram Paint Party, and more.