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Hanover’s Perspective

Holiday Happenings in Hanover, VA

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 Shopping Season – Hanover County Economic Development
November – December, 2023
The holiday season is a perfect time to visit our great locally owned retailers and restaurants!  Click here to use the #HereInHanoverVA App!

This list is long!  Click on a category to quick jump in this list:

Craft/Gift Markets (Some markets have photo opportunities with Santa!)

Christmas Market – Covenant Woods
November 10, 2023; 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join us to kick-off your holiday shopping with a curated selection of local artisans. The Market is the primary fundraiser for Covenant Woods’ Raymond T. Holmes, Jr. Community Services Fund which serves seniors in the greater Richmond community.  Our vendors will offer their products and services to residents, employees, and members of the surrounding community.

Frosty Fest! – CodeBlue Cares
November 12, 2023; 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Come shop at the 2nd Annual Frosty Fest!  More than 30 local artisans and businesses will be set up in The Rutland Center with the best gifts for this Holiday Season! (Address:  9204 Center Oak Ct., Mechanicsville)  Come out to do some holiday shopping or pick out a few gifts for yourself!  There will be local food vendors set up as well so bring the family and grab a bite to eat while you shop!  No need to fret about last minute wrapping, stop by the CodeBlue Cares gazebo and get your presents wrapped with a donation towards our mission!  Enter our raffles and enjoy some hot chocolate or cider while you wait!

42nd Annual Craft Bazaar – Church of the Redeemer (Mechanicsville)
November 18, 2023; 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Join us for the 42nd annual Craft Bazaar at Church of the Redeemer! Here’s what you can expect: over 110 vendors, breakfast and lunch options, bake sale, Santa shop for children, door prizes and raffles.

Annual Holiday Open Farm Day – Meadowgate Alpacas
Saturday, November 25, 2023
11:00 AM  3:00 PM

Back for our 4th year, this holiday tradition is not to be missed!  Join us on the farm located in Beaverdam for this free event.  Take pictures with the alpacas, learn about these amazing animals, and shop locally.  Our farm tent will be filled with products made from our own fiber, along with alpaca socks and throws and other gift items sure to check off everyone on your holiday list.  Several other artists will be on hand to sell their crafts as well, so come on by and create a new tradition with your family!  Please note: No pets allowed. No outside props intended for use on the alpacas (hats, scarves, etc.) are allowed for photo opportunities.

Santa’s North Pole & Holiday Market – The Montpelier Center for Arts and Education
December 2, 2023; 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
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 dance studio will be utilized for this special event.

Cookie, Craft and Wine Tasting – Beaverdam Depot
December 3, 2023; 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Come out and get your holiday shopping done! Local craft vendors will be set up. New this year, one of our vendors will be Everleigh Vineyards (from Louisa). Also, Buy cookies by the pound. $8 per pound, many varieties of cookies.

Maker’s MarketAll Souls Episcopal Church
Saturday, December 2, 2023; 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Join us for a selection of crafts made by local crafters. Watercolor originals, fabric gift bags, handcrafted jewelry, and more.

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Craft Workshops/Classes

Various Holiday Workshops/Events – James River Cellars Winery
Throughout November and December 2023

Use the link above to the access their calendar of free and paid events for more information and to purchase tickets (if needed for certain events). Events include Wreath Making Workshops, ornament making, Holiday Canvas Paint Nite, Cookie Decorating, and more!

Various Holiday WorkshopsCross Creek Nursery (West End)
Throughout November and December (Scroll down to Upcoming Events and click the minus sign to get to West End location in Ashland.)
Registration and fees apply.

Join Cross Creek Nursery’s Hanover location near the West End for various holiday workshops including wreath making and centerpiece arrangements.  Kids workshops include salt dough ornaments, tree advent calendar, Elf on the Shelf Gingerbread House, holiday frames and paper tissue trees for the toddlers.  For New Year’s Eve, kids can make a mini ball drop or a disco ball planter.

Deck the Halls! (Wreath making) – Pine Grove Farm (Proceeds benefit Hanover Safe Place)
December 3, 2023; Two time slots available: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. or 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Ticket purchase required.

Your ticket includes 3 tickets for hardware (wreath forms, centerpiece bowls, etc) and 3 tickets for bows!  Create wreaths, swags, boxwood circles, table toppers, candle surrounds and more!  Our fresh cut greenery includes pine, cedar, hemlock, fraser fir, holly, nandina and boxwood all cut from historic farms in Hanover County.  Proceeds benefit Hanover Safe Place.

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Giving Opportunities – In the Spirit of the Season

Fill the Truck Toy Drive – Green Top
November 10 – November 17, 2023

We’ve teamed up with Uptown Alley, K95, and Holiday Helper Association again this year for a Toy Drive to benefit families of Virginia’s service members! Retired or Active, all branches! Starting next Friday, Nov. 11th drop off new, unwrapped toys at Green Top through November 17, 2023. You can also drop off toys at Uptown Alley in Midlothian through Nov. 30th.

Deck the Halls! (Wreath making) – Pine Grove Farm (Proceeds benefit Hanover Safe Place)
December 3, 2023; Two time slots available: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. or 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Ticket purchase required.

Your ticket includes 3 tickets for hardware (wreath forms, centerpiece bowls, etc) and 3 tickets for bows!  Create wreaths, swags, boxwood circles, table toppers, candle surrounds and more!  Our fresh cut greenery includes pine, cedar, hemlock, fraser fir, holly, nandina and boxwood all cut from historic farms in Hanover County.  Proceeds benefit Hanover Safe Place.

Hanover Christmas Mother – Sponsored by the Doswell Ruritan Club
Donations accepted.

The Hanover Christmas Mother has been supporting local families for decades.  Through your generous donations this local non-profit provides food, clothes, and toys to those in need during the Christmas season. Since the 1980’s the Hanover Christmas Mother project has been sponsored by the Doswell Ruritan Club.  The 2023 Hanover Christmas Mother is Debbie Taylor.

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Holiday Events – Ongoing Throughout the Season

Santa’s Wonderland – Bass Pro Shops, Ashland, VA
November 4 – December 24, 2023
Make online reservations to schedule a visit with Santa.

Families who visit Santa receive a free 4×6 studio-quality photo with Mr. Claus. 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.

RVA Santa – Green Top Hunt & Fish
Free. On-line reservation calendar is coming soon.

Visit RVA Santa at Green Top!  Check back often as the link to reserve is coming soon.

WinterFest  Kings Dominion
Select dates, November 17, 2023 – December 31, 2023
Admission fees apply.

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at Virginia’s premier holiday celebration, WinterFest!  Kings Dominion transforms 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 become one of the most beautiful and largest ice-skating rinks around.  WinterFest is the perfect place to create holiday memories with your family with so many exclusive experiences. Sit back and enjoy one of our live shows while dining on 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 festive shops and artisan locations to find the perfect Christmas gift.

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Holiday Events – Date Specific

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.  Here are the Facebook pages for the following stations:

Various Holiday Events – All Branches of the Pamunkey Regional Library

Throughout November and December, the libraries will be hosting craft classes, movies and a place to write your letter to Santa!  Tip:  Select month and filter by Branch and Category.

Holiday IlluminationHistoric Polegreen Church Foundation
November 17, 2023; 5:00 p.m.
Free. Plenty of on-site parking.

Come join us at the Historic Polegreen Church Site on Friday, November 17th at 5:00PM for our annual Holiday Illumination! The Atlee High School Orchestra will be performing, and we will light up the church! There will be a Revolutionary War Encampment. The Local Cup Food Truck will be available for people to enjoy. We will have our gift shop open to purchase our special ornaments! Our Board Member, Tommy Nance, will be on site to sign copies of his book “America’s Forerunner”. You’ll love reading more about the Rev. Samuel Davies!

Light Up the Tracks – Town of Ashland
November 18, 2023 – January 1, 2024 (See calendar for full listing of events with dates/times.)

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. Numerous events throughout the season including caroling, shopping and more!

Various Holiday Movies and Events – Ashland Theatre
Throughout December 2023
Fees apply.

Come to Ashland Theatre to watch holiday movie favorites on select dates/times including The Polar Express, It’s A Wonderful Life, and White Christmas.  Frosty the Musical! – From the Barter Theatre is December 1st, and A Holly Jolly Holiday Party will occur on December 2nd.

A Grand Illumination – The Montpelier Center for Arts and Education
December 1, 2023; 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Join the Center on Friday, December 1st for The Nutcracker performed by The Concert Ballet of Virginia, hot chocolate bar, Christmas caroling, and the illumination of The Center.

Luxe Holiday SpectacularRandolph Macon College Blackwell Auditorium
Friday, December 1, 2023; 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 2, 2023; 1:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 3, 2023; 8:00 p.m.

The LUXE Show Choir at Randolph-Macon College uses vocals, choreography, instrumentation, staging, costuming, and production simultaneously to synthesize a stunning artistic experience.

Beaverdam Depot Annual Open House with special guest, Santa Claus – Beaverdam Depot
December 2, 2023; 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(

Breakfast with Santa at the Event Barn – Hanover Vegetable Farm
December 2, 2023; 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Fees apply.

Come out to the farm to have breakfast with Santa!  Proceeds benefiting the Five-O Tiki Foundation.
There are two time slots available for purchase: 8:00 – 10:00 am or 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.  Frazier Fir Christmas trees, fresh wreaths, and so much more are available at the farm’s market.

Breakfast and/or Photo with Santa – Hanover Tavern
December 3, 2023; 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Fees apply.  Reservations are required.

Have breakfast with Santa Claus and get photos taken with the man in red.

Holiday Brass with the Richmond SymphonyRandolph Macon College Blackwell Auditorium
Sunday, December 3, 2023; 3:00 p.m.
Fees apply.

Chia-Hsuan Lin conducts a shimmering celebration of holiday hits for the whole family.

Christmas Concert – Hanover Concert Band
Tuesday, December 5, 2023; 7:00 p.m. –  The Montpelier Center for Arts and Education

Join the Hanover Concert Band to hear a concert of the sounds of the season.

Choral & Instrumental Winter ConcertRandolph Macon College Blackwell Auditorium
Thursday, December 7, 2023; 7:00 p.m.

Embrace the season’s musical magic with an unforgettable performance featuring the talents of the Randolph-Macon Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Jazz Improvisation Laboratory.

Hanover ChristmasCamp Hanover
Friday, December 8 and Saturday, December 9, 2023; 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Donation of $10 per person is appreciated.

A candlelit trail winds through the woods, transporting you back in time. Along your journey, meet other travelers, shepherds, kings and angels. Immerse yourself in the greatest story ever told…
After your journey, warm up in Wise Lodge with festive music and hearty refreshments.
Open to the public from 6:00pm to 9:00pm each evening, this event is suitable for all ages and physical abilities.

Holiday Cheer – Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown
December 9, 2023; 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Fees apply.  Call the Museum Gift Shop for Ticket information – (804) 227-3500

Time to get into the holiday spirit at Scotchtown! This event offers holiday themed crafts, hot chocolate bar and cookies, and story readings.  Costumed interpreters are on-hand and the decorated house is open for tours.  Warm clothes and comfortable shoes are encouraged as this event is hosted almost entirely outdoors.

Winter on the Green Hanover Courthouse (Hanover Parks and Recreation)
(Click on the “Events” tab to view in website link.)
Saturday, December 9, 2023: 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Usher in the holiday season with this free event featuring a grand illumination ceremony followed by an evening of holiday-themed activities! Families will enjoy carriage rides, musical performances, and special craft activities. Grab a cookie with Mrs. Claus, dance in the snow with your favorite ice princesses and share your wish list with Santa Claus.  Browse the winter market, showcasing a variety of handcraft vendor and delicious food selections.

The Nutcracker – Concert Ballet of Virginia at Patrick Henry High School
Saturday, December 9th; 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 9th; 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 10th; 2:30 p.m.
Ticket Purchase required.

See a performance of the timeless Nutcracker performed by Hanover County’s own Concert Ballet of Virginia.

John Rutter’s Magnificat and Elaine Hagenberg’s Illuminare – Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale
Sunday, December 10, 2023; 3:00 p.m.; Duncan Memorial Methodist Church, Ashland, VA
Ticket purchase required.

The program includes John Rutter’s Magnificat, which has come to be one of the great choral works of the holiday season. The other work in the winter concert is Elaine Hagenberg’s Illuminare, a five-movement work for chorus and chamber orchestra exploring themes of darkness and light.

Snowball Challenge – Pole Green Park (Hanover Parks and Recreation)
(Click on the “Events” tab to view in website link.)
Friday, December 15, 2023; 6:30-8:30 p.m.

At the Snowball Challenge, participants will embark on an epic quest to collect as many snowballs as they can. But here’s the twist- these snowballs aren’t just any snowballs – each carries valuable points! There will be plenty of fun, inflatables, and prizes to be won!

Deck the Paws Pole Green Park (Hanover Parks and Recreation)
(Click on the “Events” tab to view in website link.)
Saturday, December 16, 2023; 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Bring your canine companion in their ugly holiday sweater for a fun and festive time! Ther will be a festive bark bar full of holiday-themed treats, an ugly sweater contest at 11:00 a.m. and a caricature artist.

Christmas Spirits! Holiday Tavern Tea – Hanover Tavern
December 17, 2023; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Ticket purchase required.

Don’t be a SCROOGE! Come to the Christmas Spirits Tavern Tea!  We will serve a variety of traditional savories & sweets, along with a selection of hot teas, mulled wine, and a special Christmas cocktail (your first wine/cocktail is included in your ticket price!). As usual, we will have a custom, themed tea basket raffle, prize for best costume, and a special gift for all!  Get in the SPIRIT! Come dressed as your favorite Christmas character from literature, television, movies, or just wear your festive best!  All proceeds directly benefit Hanover Tavern Foundation.

Christmas Concert – Hanover Concert Band
Sunday, December 19, 2023; 7:00 p.m. – Hanover Arts & Activities Center

Join the Hanover Concert Band to hear a concert of the sounds of the season.

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Ashland/Hanover Holiday Parade – Town of Ashland
November 19, 2023; 2:00-4:30 p.m.
Event is free, accessible, and open to the public.

Organized by the Ashland Kiwanis, this extensive holiday parade includes participants from civic groups, local businesses, town government, Fire & EMS, and many more Ashland/Hanover personalities! Bring your lawn chair…it’s a long one!

Parade Route: On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the parade of over 100 entries will begin at Snead Street along Thompson Street to England Street then turn down Henry Street and end near Archie Cannon Drive.

Mechanicsville Christmas Parade – Rotary Club of Mechanicsville
December 3, 2023; Parade starts at 2:00 p.m. Rain or shine.

The parade is back this year incorporating the theme “Peace on Earth.” 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.

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