Festival of lights
An 18-foot Christmas tree is just one of the big attractions in Hampshire County’s biggest Christmas lights display, which has grown again – to 200-plus displays – for its 7th year. The Festival of Lights at Central Hampshire Park in Augusta debuted for the season last Saturday.
A musical display flashes to 4 different songs.
The free exhibition will be on display every night through Jan. 1 from 5:30 to 10 p.m., showcasing more than 200 displays, many animated.
Songs, lights in the Bridge
Capon Bridge sounds off and lights up for the holidays Friday night.
Events start at 5:30 p.m. at the Capon Bridge Public Library. The River House Community Choir will lead singing carols and the Christmas tree will be lighted for the season. Local churches will present a live Nativity. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served.
You’ll shoot your eye out
The movie classic “A Christmas Story” wraps up its 2-week run this weekend at the McCoy Grand in Moorefield.
“A Christmas Story: the Musical” will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
The $10 tickets ($7 for students) can be purchased 30 minutes before the performance at the theater on Main Street in Moorefield.
All aboard for Santa
The Potomac Eagle takes its Christmas train excursions to a whole new level in 2019, calling it “a Country Classic Christmas featuring the North Pole Express.”
Kids and grownups will ride the rails to the North Pole where Santa will board the train for a visit. The 75-minute ride includes caroling, milk and cookies, a gift for each kid and the story of how the train saves Christmas.
There’s an activity barn for before the ride.
Daytime tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for 2- to-12-year-olds. Nighttime tickets are $52 and $42.
Tickets are still available for 5 p.m. trains every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Christmas, except for 7 p.m. Dec. 8. On Dec. 20 and 22, 3 p.m. tickets are available. Call 304-424-0736.
‘Gift’ of song
“The Christmas Gift,” has become a concert tradition on the 1st Saturday in December.
Chris Chambers started it in 2012 and the free concert (with a freewill offering) features more local talent each year to celebrate the season. Headline this year’s concert is Appalachia.
It takes place at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday at Romney’s First Baptist Church, 325 W. Main St.
The offering will be collected on behalf of Catholic Charities.
Paw Paw’s parade
The annual Paw Paw Christmas Parade steps off at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, beginning at Kimble Funeral Home and traveling along Winchester Street to The Bank of Romney branch.
Cocoa and cookie stands sponsored by Mountaineer Community Health Center, The Bank of Romney and Lighthouse Assembly of God will open at 4 p.m.
A live nativity scene, sponsored by Lighthouse Assembly of God Church, will be located at the Veterans monument in the center of town beginning at 4.
The Lights of Love Tree, sponsored by the parade committee, will be lit immediately after the parade
Christmas in Romney
Romney’s biggest Christmas celebration packs a lot into the 2nd Saturday of the month.
It begins with Breakfast with Santa at the Romney Fire Hall from 8 to 11 a.m. Grownups eat for $10, 3-to-10-year-olds for $5 and the chance to chat with Santa is priceless.
For the 2nd straight year the library has moved its popular gingerbread house decorating to the fire hall too. It’s free and begins at 9.
After that, the annual Christmas parade steps off at noon from the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind and proceeds across Birch Lane to Romney Elementary. At least 70 units are expected to participate, including a special appearance from somebody who lives way up north.
At 1 p.m., FNB Bank stages its annual Christmas party for children, a tradition that dates back to the 1940s.
Honey Bee Music Studio will lead lessons and carols from 2 to 5 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church on School Street.
At 5 p.m. head over to Legion Post 91 for its annual “p.j.s and pancakes.” Bring along school supplies for admission. Santa will be there and a photographer will take family portraits for a price.
Businesses in town are gearing up for special promotions all day as well.
Carols in the Wildwood
If you remember caroling around the neighborhood, but maybe prefer an indoor setting, then plan to visit North River Mills in the middle of the month.
“Christmas in the Wildwood” will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. (or maybe run even later) at the North River Mills United Methodist Church on Cold Stream Road. It’s a community sing-along that will break for refreshments at 8 and resume after if your favorite carol hasn’t been sung yet.
Music to fill bellies, senses
Rain Crow will play its 7th annual Christmas benefit for the Amazing Grace food pantry from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20 at the Capon Bridge Fire Hall.
There’s a sing-along, both live and silent auctions and a 50-50 drawing during the evening. There will be food to purchase and a freewill offering collected.
All proceeds go to stock the shelves at the community food pantry.
And don’t forget
Dec. 26-Jan. 1
New Year’s Eve
Around the Region
Dec. 6-7: 35th annual Christmas in the Village, Spruce Forest Artisans Village at Penn Alps, Grantsville, Md. Candle luminaries light the way around fire-warmed studios and historic museums during this free event. Meet the artists and purchase gifts. Hands-on activities for kids and choral programs in the village church.
Dec. 7: 16th annual Storybook Holiday, Downtown Frostburg, Md. Come enjoy the day in the magical world of Frostburg. Have breakfast with the elves, watch a parade, cheer on the elves during Elf Olympics, and enjoy in-store activities and restaurant specials.
Dec. 7: Old-Fashioned Christmas, Beverly. Unique shops, Victorian Santa, tree lighting.
Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Apple Drop, Martinsburg. Forget the Big Apple and its’ crystal ball drop. There’s a crystal apple dropping in the apple capital of West Virginia to ring in 2019. To make it early enough for families, the event runs from 1:30 to 6 p.m.