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The holidays are an exciting time in Danville. The calendar is full of fun, holiday-related events and the entire city is full of the festive spirit that makes this a wonderful place. In chronological order, here is a list of some of the fun things happening over the next few weeks:
Ready? Let’s go!
AVERETT CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS
When: 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4Where: West Main Baptist Church, 450 West Main St.
Join the university as it welcomes in the holidays with a service of lights, readings and carols for the Advent and Christmas season. The event is open to the public. Cost: Free. For more information, visit www.averett.edu
ELF THE MUSICAL JR.
When: Opens 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4 (multiple dates and times, see below) Where: The Historic North Theatre, 629 North Main St.
North Star Theatre Project presents Elf The Musical Jr. Live on stage. Evening performances at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, and at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11. Matinees at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13. Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-the water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his identity. Featuring local youth and directed by Mimi Johnson Grubb. Cost: Adults $15, children and students $10. For more information, call (434) 793-SHOW (7469) or visit www.TheNorthTheatre.com/
When: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5Where: Danville Community Market, 629 Craghead St.
Visit the Community Market for a special Holiday Market featuring everything you need to get ready for your holiday parties and gatherings, including handmade wreaths, centerpieces, crafts, jewelry and artwork, baked goods and locally grown Christmas trees. Cost: Free. For more information, call 797-8961.
BOOK SIGNING & HOLIDAY STORY READING
When: Noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5Where: Brewed Awakening, 610 Craghead St.
Visit the restaurant for a book signing with Mary Clark Dalton and illustrator Stacy Moody from noon to 4 p.m. They will be here to sign their new children's book, "Tiny the Tree: A Christmas Story." Then, Santa will be there to read holiday stories from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. For more information, call 483-2138.
CHRISTMAS ON THE PLAZA
When: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5Where: JTI Fountain in the Main Street Plaza, 215 Main St.
Join the River District Association for an official lighting of the Plaza, Christmas carolers, hot chocolate and cookies. Take a selfie with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Donate a new unwrapped toy to the Salvation Army and receive a commemorative Plaza ornament and be entered into a drawing for $100 gift certificate from the Golden Leaf Bistro. Cost: Free. For more information, call 709-3674 or visit http://gosouthside.com/dda/
MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS STAGE SPECTACULAR
When: Opens 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5 (multiple dates and times, see below) Where: The Historic North Theatre, 629 North Main St.
Be amazed by celebrity magician and world champion illusionist Wayne Alan as he presents an exciting yet heart-warming magic and illusion show themed around Christmas. This show is full of family fun, with not only amazing magic, but also great music that includes many of your favorite sacred and secular holiday songs. Evening performances at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, Saturday, Dec. 12, Saturday, Dec. 19, and Saturday, Dec. 26. Matinees at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 27. Cost: Adults $20 and $15, children 12 and under $10. For more information, call (434) 793-SHOW (7469) or visit www.TheNorthTheatre.com/
HOLIDAY CELEBRATION CONCERT
When: 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5Where: George Washington High School auditorium, 701 Broad St.
The Danville Symphony Orchestra presents a holiday celebration concert featuring the Children's Chorus and Danville Area Choral Arts Society. Cost: Free.
When: 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6Where: Main Street from Broad Street to Craghead Street
The Riverview Rotary Club presents its annual Christmas parade. This year’s theme is “Christmas Music.” The parade route will start at Rison and Broad streets and continue downtown, ending at the intersection of Main and Craghead streets. Judging will take place prior to the parade and winning entries will be recognized along the parade route. Cost: Free. For more information, call 793-4636.
CHRISMONS TREE VIEWING
When: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec. 27Where: Ascension Lutheran Church, 314 West Main St.
The Chrismons tradition began here in Danville in 1957. See the 20-foot tree and hear the story of Christmas explained through the uniquely beautiful ornaments. Groups may schedule day visits by calling 792-5795. Parking is available in the lot on the left side of the church at the back. Front entrance is accessible. Cost: Free. For more information, call 792-5795 or visit http://www.chrismon.org/
CHRISTMAS READINGS FOR CHILDREN
When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 8Where: Student center’s multipurpose room, Woodland Drive, Averett University
Linda Lemery presents “The Dr. Betty Heard Christmas Readings” for ages 4-9. Lemery is the circulation coordinator at the Mary B. Blount Library and a long-time friend of the late Dr. Betty Heard, who was the university’s first reader for the children. Because of Heard’s love for children’s literature and her love for the Christmas readings, this special night is in her memory. Open to the public. Cost: Free. For more information, visit http://www.averett.edu/about-us/arts-averett/averett-arts-schedule/
HISTORY SPIRITS TOUR
When: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 10Where: Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, 975 Main St.
Enjoy an evening of local history education and spirits. A spirited social will kick off the evening with a tour of the museum, followed by a guided historical trolley tour through Danville with local history lover Ina Dixon. Cost: $15. For more information, call 799-5150.
LUMINARY TRAIL WALK
When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 11Where: Main Street Plaza, 215 Main St.
Celebrate the season with a candlelight walk along the Riverwalk Trail while listening to holiday music. Warm festive refreshments will be served. Gather at the Main Street Plaza. This event is a favorite for all ages. Cost: Free. For more information, call 799-5150.
COMMUNITY HOLIDAY LIGHT SHOW
When: Opens 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 (multiple dates and times, see below)Where: Ballou Park, 760 West Main St.
Danville Parks and Recreation presents the second annual Community Holiday Light Show. The show is a drive-through event that begins Saturday, Dec. 12, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 27 (closed on Dec. 24). On Mondays through Thursdays, the event opens at 6 p.m. and closes at 9 p.m. On Fridays through Sundays, the show opens at 6 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m. Last year, more than 1,000 cars carrying approximately 3,500 people visited the park for the light show, which earned an award from the Virginia Recreation and Park Society for best new special event. The show is made up entirely of displays created by the community. The event also includes the Children's Village, which is included in the price of admission, and will be open until 9 p.m. through December 23. During the two-week event, the public will be given the opportunity to vote on their favorite display. A donation will be made to the winner’s choice of non-profit. The show itself is manned by volunteer groups, who earn a portion of the gate the night in which they work directing traffic through the park. Cost: $7 per vehicle. For more information, call the Danville Welcome Center at 793-4636 or visit www.playdanvilleva.com
HOLIDAY TOUR OF HOMES
When: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13Where: Various sites
The Danville Historical Society presents its 43rd annual Holiday Tour featuring 15 sites, including residences and businesses in the River District, a mansion, churches and more. Tickets are $20 and will be available at Rippe’s, Vintages on the Dan, Ginger Bread House, Karen’s Hallmark in the Danville Mall, and M&W Flower Shop in Chatham. On the weekend of the tour, tickets will be sold at the three museums in town: Schoolfield Museum & Cultural Center on West Main Street; Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History on Main Street, and Langhorne House on Broad Street. Cost: $20. For more information, call 709-4869 or visit www.danvillehistory.org.
DONNA STROTHER DEEKENS CONCERT
When: 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 18Where: The Historic North Theatre, 629 North Main St.
Donna Strother Deekens will be singing and talking about her days playing the role of the “Snow Queen” with “The Real Santa” from 1971 to 1989 at the Miller & Rhoads downtown department store in Richmond and from 1990-1991 at Thalhimers. She is the author of four books: “Christmas at Miller & Rhoads: Memoirs of a Snow Queen,” “Santaland: A Miller & Rhoads Christmas,” “Virginia’s Legendary Santa Trains” (co-authored with Doug Riddell), and “The Real Santa of Miller & Rhoads: The Extraordinary Life of Bill Strother.” She will be signing books after her show followed by a Christmas film. Cost: Adults $10, children 12 and under $5. For more information, call (434) 793-SHOW (7469) or visit www.TheNorthTheatre.com/