Sunday, November 20, 2016

Christmas and holiday parades in Northern Virginia

Every year there is plenty to see and do in the Washington D.C. area for the holidays and, in Northern Virginia, there are a number of annual traditions to look forward to, including parades. 

Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend

A very popular event each year, this one is usually scheduled for the first weekend in December. The tradition has been a staple for more than 45 years. In recent years the parade has featured more than 100 marching units and typically draws a big crowd. We’ve gone a couple of times and really enjoyed it! Sponsored by the Campagna Center (in partnership with The Scottish Government, The Saint Andrew’s Society of Washington, D.C. and the City of Alexandria), proceeds go to benefit the center’s six educational programs. There are a number of events throughout the weekend. Check out the Campagna website for more information. Events take place rain or shine. 

Warrenton Christmas Parade

This annual Christmas parade takes place in Old Town Warrenton as it marches down Main Street. See Santa and the town’s Christmas tree lighting too! In previous years Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market) was also running. For more information and updates associated with the parade, you can visit the official website. In 2016 it advertises the town’s annual tree lighting at the conclusion of the parade, followed by fireworks. This is a town I would love to explore more. I’ve been there a couple of times and really enjoyed my tour of the 19th century jail and museum at the Fauquier History Museum.

Greater Manassas Christmas Parade

Each December this parade takes place in Old Town Manassas. A tradition for more than 70 years, the parade usually takes place in early December. Check out the official website for details. Historically, this parade has been advertised as being held rain, snow or shine.

Annual Christmas and Holiday Parade (Leesburg)

Every year Leesburg holds its annual parade, it used to be held during the day, but in recent years I’ve noticed it takes place in the evening. The parade is scheduled for the second weekend in December in the historic district. It starts at Ida Lee Drive, travels down King Street and finishes on Fairfax Street. We really enjoyed the parade we saw in 2012 (that was when it was still the day parade).

Winterfest (McLean)

Another annual tradition, this parade takes place on the first Sunday of December.  The parade route is listed as being from Old Chain Bridge Road from Fleetwood Road to Elm Street. This year is the first year I’ve heard of this parade and don’t know much about it, but wanted to include it. It also advertises pre-parade entertainment. For more information on this year and previous year’s, see the official website and its Facebook page. 

Other towns that have parades in Northern Virginia include Dumfries and Purcellville, according to Northern Virginia Magazine

Parades are definitely not just for the warmer months in Northern Virginia. Keep in mind, the evening parades are likely to be a little chilly, so bundle up and have fun!

If you’re looking to spend time in D.C. proper during this year’s holiday season, there are many family-fun activities to check out.

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