Holiday Lights and Parades Around Town

Monday, November 17, 2014 at 12:00 AM | Posted By: Mira Roberts

We wait for the holidays all year long, around here. Come November and December, we're more than ready to fill our hearts and bellies with the joy of holiday music, extra time to celebrate with family, friends and coworkers and delicious and nourishing holiday recipes.

We're so grateful that our region is as into the holidays as we are, and hosts a bevy of thrilling and spectacular holiday illumination parades and events all season long. From fireworks and pyrotechnics to dazzling, lighted boat parades and miles of illuminated botanical gardens, each of our favorite local events boasts a truly unique and exciting experience for just about anyone in your family.

We've created a list of 9 unforgettable ways to celebrate the season in our community, and we hope you'll join us at one or all of them. Light up the next six weeks of your life, and head out for holiday lights and parades around town this season!


  1. Million Bulb Walk. Located at Norfolk's Botanical Gardens, this once a year event sends visitors down a 2 mile walk through an incredible light display like no other.
  2. Dominion Garden of Lights. Drive through Norfolk Botanical Garden's Winter Wonderland with your entire family, and experience their festival of lights from the cozy comfort of your warm car.
  3. Downtown Norfolk Grand Illumination Parade. Kick off six weeks of "holidays in the city," by attending Downtown Norfolk's Grand Illumination Parade. Floats, marching bands, bagpipes, dancers and even Santa will be marching throughout the evening.
  4. Annual Lighted Boat Parade. Enjoy Hampton's unique, 26th year of their annual lighted boat parade. Featuring more than 20 boats lit up for the season, guests can view the parade from anywhere along the Hampton River.
  5. Hampton Holly Days Parade. Head out for the largest illuminated parade on the Peninsula, and check out the Holly Days Parade on Saturday, Dec 13. Featuring a military drill team, pagaent quees, local, high school band performances and more, this parade will suit our entire family's style.
  6. Hollydazzle. Head out to City Center in Newport News to experience fireworks, pyrotechnics, theatrical lighting and dazzling special effects. This "one of a kind" event promises to be mind blowing and truly exciting.
  7. Busch Gardens Christmas Town. Visit Santa's workshop, stroll through Christmas Town's "Holiday Hills," and enjoy broadway-style performances at Busch Gardens' once a year event, Chrismas Town.
  8. Colonial Williamsburg's Grand Illumination. Experience an old world style illumination like no other by heading out for Colonial Williamsburg's grand and historically unique illiumation event.
  9. Yorktown Celebrates Christmas-Illumination, Christmas Tree Lighting and Boat Parade. Yorktown's Christmas Tree illumination dates back to 1945, and features fife and drum, festive music and a procession of lights through the village. Their annual boat parade features a beach bonfire, festive caroling and a best in show competition for participating, bedazzled boats.



About the Author

Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA. 


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