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Christmas Parades & Events Guide

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With Thanksgiving behind us and merry lights already sparkling, it’s time to kick off the Christmas season in the Twin Counties. This weekend will feature several holiday happenings:

HILLSVILLE

The Town of Hillsville, Carroll County and the Friends of Hillsville have partnered this year to present the Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony, along with a day of holiday events on Saturday.

This year’s parade theme is “A Bluegrass Country Christmas.”

Main Street will be closed from 5-7 p.m. The tree lighting ceremony is at 6 p.m. on the lawn of the Historic Carroll County Courthouse, followed by the parade. Lineup for the parade starts at 6:15 p.m. at the Carroll County Government Complex.

Parade grand marshal will be VFW Post 1115 Chaplain Norman Goad.

From 5-7 p.m., children can visit with Santa and his elves on front porch of the Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home, while Friends of Hillsville members will hand out stockings full of goodies. Christmas stockings will be given to the first 300 children to arrive at the Hillsville Town Office on Main Street.

The Friends group said local businesses are welcome to help stuff stockings or bring additional stockings or goodies for the kids. Those interested can contact the Town of Hillsville at (276) 728-2128 or the Carroll County Tourism Office at (276) 730-3100.

The Town Beautification Committee will judge the floats, and the top floats in three categories – best theme, best overall and best original — will receive cash prizes.

Fire pits on the courthouse lawn will be overseen by Carroll County Fire & Rescue. They can be used to warm up or to make s’mores, organizers said. Refreshments offered by High Country Services Funeral & Cremations will include hot chocolate and s’mores.

Music will include Christmas carols from The Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church Choir during the tree lighting ceremony and bluegrass gospel group Changing Lanes, from Laurel Fork.

GALAX

On Friday, Galax will hold its annual community tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. at police square on North Main Street, followed by the parade at 7 p.m. on Main Street. Lineup is at the police department.

Chestnut Creek School of the Arts will host its Holiday Artists’ Market through Dec. 30, with local, handmade items and art supplies for sale. CCSA will offer shoppers a free gift with each $10 purchase, and tickets for two raffles — for a dulcimer and a gift basket full of hand-made items — will be available.

A Market Open House will be held before the Christmas parade at 6 p.m. on Dec. 1, and an open house will be held at the school’s Pottery Studio at 110 Oldtown St. on Dec. 2.

Also on Saturday, Chapters Bookshop and The Conservatory of Dance & Theatre in downtown Galax will host Storytime Ballet featuring “The Nutcracker” beginning at 11:30 a.m. Chapters is at 101 E. Grayson St. The 45-minute performance is free and appropriate for all ages.

The High Country Lights are also illuminating Felts Park in Galax, daily from 6-11 p.m. through New Year’s Day.

The animated display of 100,000-plus lights are choreographed to Christmas music. Visitors tune their radios to 96.5 FM and relax in the comfort of their vehicles, or hike around the walking trail and listen to the music. There are also outdoor speakers.

Felts Park is located in downtown Galax, between South Main Street and Railroad Avenue. The show takes an hour to cycle through. Admission is free.

INDEPENDENCE

The Independence Christmas Parade and Festival will be held Dec. 2 in the Independence Town Park.

The theme of the parade this year is “A Homemade Christmas.” The parade will begin at 3 p.m., followed by activities in the park.

The Independence Farmers Market will return to offer Christmas tree sales and market vendors.

Prior to the parade, the market will host a chili cookoff from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Guests can enter or judge. Cost to taste is $5.

Kids’ activities, music and food will also be available.

For more information about the Christmas market, visit independencefarmersmarket.org.

For more information about this year’s Christmas event, contact Town Events Coordinator Mary Ann Halsey at maryann@independenceva.com, or call (276) 768-8656.

FRIES

Fries will hold its annual “Christmas on the Mountain” celebration on Dec. 2, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Fries Community Center.

Breakfast and lunch will be served, followed by a day-long shopping event featuring local crafters and vendors.

The Fries Christmas Parade will be held Saturday at 6 p.m.

The lineup will begin at 5 p.m. This year’s parade theme is “Small Town Country Christmas.”

All churches and members of the community are invited to enter.

Refreshments will be served following the parade at the Fries Fire and Rescue station.