Mark Your Calendars | November/December 2021
We compiled this Central Virginia Holiday Bucket List to help guide you through the region’s top events and activities. See how many you can check off this season!
Wave at a hometown parade.
After a very weird 2020, many of Central Virginia’s hometown parades are back with a bang this year in their traditional formats. The theme of the 2021 Lynchburg Christmas Parade is “A Stroll Down Gingerbread Lane” (Dec. 5). It will start at Bank of the James Stadium at 4 p.m. and end at E.C. Glass High School. Other local parades were still in planning stages as of mid-October but be on the lookout for confirmed dates!
Go on a tour of the best local lights.
It’s not officially Christmas until you’ve seen the spectacular light display at the Elks National Home in Bedford. Another easy drive-through option is Liberty University, where the campus trees are decked out with dazzling lights following Thanksgiving. Or, trade your car for a carriage as Lynchburg Parks and Rec hosts its Celebration of Lights event in the magically decorated Riverside Park
(Dec. 10-11, registration required).
Support local businesses at one-stop-shop events.
Step away from your Amazon cart! You’ll find diverse local businesses and makers at regional events such as the Holiday Maker’s Market on Commerce Street (Nov. 26-27), Mountain View Events’ CHRISTmas in the Country (Nov. 12-13), Christmas in Sedalia at the Sedalia Center (Dec. 11) and the Holiday Craft Fair at the Moose Lodge on Lakeside Drive (Nov. 13). Also, be sure to stop by the Lynchburg Community Market’s Mistletoe Markets on Saturdays leading up to Christmas (starting Nov. 27).
Create a Christmas craft with friends or family.
Check out the Academy Center of the Arts class offerings to make fun décor such as a Snowman Stocking Holder (Dec. 4) or Holiday Tea Towels and Sugar Scrubs (Dec. 18). If you’re stumped on what to get your friends, consider booking a painting session at Imagination Station, Board and Brush Forest, Blue Mountain Barn or AR Workshop. These local DIY studios offer holiday craft options every year!
Buy tickets to a festive show.
Returning in 2021 for its 50th anniversary is the Thomas Road Baptist Church Virginia Christmas Spectacular, a professional-level production that includes the iconic Living Christmas Tree (Dec. 10-12). Music lovers will cherish the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra’s Happy Holidays with the LSO show at the Historic Academy Theatre (Dec. 4). The Academy is also hosting the Sara Evans Blue Christmas Tour (Dec. 9).
Stay fitness-focused by signing up for a local race.
While it’s not the peak 5K season, there are still several race options during the holiday months. The Lynchburg Turkey Trot (Nov. 25), a fundraiser for HumanKind, is an invigorating way to start your Thanksgiving Day. Bring the whole family to the Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic (Dec. 2) in Bedford, which includes a 5K, one-mile run and kids’ run. Runners are encouraged to “dress for the season” at the Reindeer Run 2 Mile Trail Race at Hydaway Outdoor Center (Dec. 4).
Binge on your favorite holiday movies.
No need to dig out those old DVDs—the Historic Academy Theater has you covered with its all-day Holiday Movie Marathon (Nov. 27). You can also enjoy your favorite festive flicks on the big screen at Venue Cinemas during the month of December as they feature some of the top films with holiday vibes.
Take a trip back in time to Christmases past.
The Holiday Candlelight Tours at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest give you a one-of-a-kind experience of his villa that’s fully decorated for the holidays
(Dec. 2-17). Or take a trip to Brookneal for the annual Christmas Open House at Patrick Henry’s Red Hill, which includes docent-guided tours and more (Dec. 6).
Local Openings & Closings
Hello! to new owners of Goode Country Store in Goode.
Hello! to a new location of Rookie’s on Norfolk Avenue in Lynchburg.
Hello! to Beauty Bar on 9th Street in Lynchburg.
Hello! to La Vida Coffee + Market on Langhorne Road.
Goodbye to MMG Burger Bar on Wards Road.
Hello! to women’s boutique Cashe’ on Enterprise Drive in Wyndhurst.
Hello! to new boutique Mosaic Collective on 5th Street in Lynchburg.
Hello! to Annie’s Indian Kitchen on Forest Road near Graves Mill Road.
Hello! to Relevant Law’s new location on Enterprise Drive.
Goodbye to Crown Sterling restaurant on Fort Avenue, closing after five decades.
Hello! to three new places to eat at River Ridge Mall: Grounded, Stonefire Pizza and Mein Bowl.