Holiday Happenings in the Mid-Atlantic – 2023 September 28, 2023 by MATPRA Admin It’s the most wonderful time of the year again in the Mid-Atlantic, and these destinations are thrilled to showcase a dazzling array of holiday happenings that will ignite the spirit of joy and wonder. Looking for mesmerizing light displays? An enchanting performance of the Nutcracker? Or perhaps the cozy charm of a traditional German Christmas village is what delights your heart. There are so many ways to experience the magic of the season! A one-stop-shop for unique travel ideas, roundups, and in-destination experiences to uncover and explore across the Mid-Atlantic region. Click here to view the photo gallery, and please provide photo credit to the appropriate DMO. For more information on any of the following, contact the destination marketing organization listed below. For general information on the Mid-Atlantic, visit MATPRA.org DELAWARE Greater Wilmington & the Brandywine Valley A literary masterpiece, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens has won the hearts of readers and audiences for many generations. The Perseverance Production at The Playhouse, directed by Clayton Phillips, offers a fresh perspective of this well-loved narrative of redemption and holiday spirit. Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, VisitWilmingtonDE.com, Courtney Haywood, email@example.com Kent (DE) Dover Motor Speedway is back again this year with Gift of Lights! Opening day is Black Friday, and this year you can expect to see even more lights, more stunning displays, and a longer route. After experiencing this drive-thru, head to Downtown Dover to see even more light displays! Delaware’s Quaint Villages, VisitDelawareVillages.com, Catherine Jenkins, firstname.lastname@example.org MARYLAND Calvert County Embrace the holiday spirit in Calvert County! Delight in the enchanting light displays at Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center. Join the festivities with the Christmas Tree Lighting, Christmas Walk, and Lighted Boat Parade in Solomons. Explore the festive lights and adorned houses in North Beach and Chesapeake Beach. Calvert County Department of Economic Development, VisitCalvert.com, Hilary Dailey, email@example.com Hagerstown & Washington Washington County in the South Mountain Corridor is home to a wealth of professional artisans. Find the perfect holiday gift during the Valley Craft Network Studio Tour, held annually the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. Visit their studios to see their creative process, and shop locally made, hand-crafted pottery, jewelry and more. Visit Hagerstown, VisitHagerstown.com, Betsy DeVore, firstname.lastname@example.org Harford Dazzle in the holiday lights of Downtown Bel Air’s Winter Wonderland, take in the breathtaking views at Ladew Topiary Garden’s Holiday Open House while sipping on hot cider, and meander joyfully through locally owned boutiques throughout Harford County, Maryland to check off everyone on your holiday shopping list. Visit Harford, VisitHarford.com, Tyler Zeisloft, email@example.com Howard Fall foodie getaways await you in Howard County, where our local chefs are creating masterpieces with a bountiful harvest. Maybe you want to savor creamy Pumpkin Bisque and butternut squash Fall Salad in a cozy restaurant with live entertainment. Or enjoy craft beverages in the crisp outdoor weather at a serene brewery. Find flavors you won’t forget. Visit Howard County, VisitHowardCounty.com, Theresa Meeker Pickett, firstname.lastname@example.org Kent (MD) Visit Kent County’s favorite holiday event, Dickens of a Christmas Weekend in Chestertown. Step back into 1840s London and experience the holiday season as Charles Dickens imagined it. This two-day event includes carriage rides, entertainment, home tour, food, book talks, merchandise, and more. And don’t forget to come dressed like the dickens! Kent County Tourism, MD, KentCounty.com/Events, Shalyn Boulden, email@example.com Prince George’s Feel festive this holiday season and experience a winter wonderland for the entire family. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Winter Festival of Lights, enjoy ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™, shop for unique gifts in the Gateway Arts District, and stay cozy with delicious food and drinks. Experience Prince George’s, ExperiencePrinceGeorges.com, Kaletha Henry, firstname.lastname@example.org Talbot Talbot County’s towns and villages sparkle during the holiday season. The second weekend in December brings Christmas in St. Michaels, an annual festival featuring a glittering Lighted Boat Parade, Parade of (decorated) Homes, shopping galore, and Santa! Also, Easton’s Moonlight Madness shopping spree and Oxford’s elegant Christmas on the Creek. Talbot County Office of Economic Development and Tourism, TourTalbot.org, Cassandra Vanhooser, email@example.com Wicomico Join us as we ring in the Christmas season with The Collingsworth Family’s “A True Family Christmas” just after Thanksgiving. Experience a breathtaking experience as they ring in the holidays with class and excitement. Attendees will experience “A True Family Christmas” of tradition, warmth and lifelong memories. Maryland’s Wicomico County, WicomicoTourism.org, Kristen Goller, firstname.lastname@example.org PENNSYLVANIA Allegheny National Forest Region Find the magic of the season celebrating an Old-Fashioned Christmas in Historic Downtown Bradford. This family-friendly full-day event features horse-drawn carriage rides, Storyland with Mrs. Claus, breakfast with Santa, an artisan vendor market, small business discounts, live entertainment, and the tastes and sounds of the season. Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, VisitANF.com, Linda Devlin, email@example.com Bradford County The Sayre Christmas Parade is the annual kickoff for a season full of celebration across beautiful Bradford County. Visit the region for the best of small-town shopping as local merchants “deck the halls” full of unique and one-of-a-kind treasures. Tree farms, farm markets and local wineries have all the items you’ll need to bring the holiday home with you from your holiday visit. Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency, VisitBradfordCounty.com, Morgan Christopher, firstname.lastname@example.org Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau This year’s “Endless Mountains Christmas” celebration will feature a record number of holiday events, deals, and getaway ideas to enjoy “Christmas in Our Hometown”. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, holiday happenings like light shows, free holiday movie screenings, and small-town shopping events offer visitors the nostalgic warmth of a mountain Christmas celebration. Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, EndlessMountains.org, Morgan Christopher, email@example.com Juniata River Valley Start the holiday season right with a visit to the Festival of Ice. Stroll downtown Lewistown with a hot cup of cocoa as you gaze upon the beautifully carved ice sculptures, listen to Christmas carolers, admire the decorations, and even visit with Santa Clause himself. This year’s theme is Christmas Island! Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau, JRVVisitors.com, Buffie Boyer, firstname.lastname@example.org Lancaster The traditional start to Lancaster County’s holiday season is the early November debut of American Music Theatre’s annual Christmas Show. This year’s edition – “The First Noel” – is an original production full of heartwarming secular & sacred holiday songs and the spectacular dancing that AMT is always known for. Discover Lancaster, DiscoverLancaster.com, Joel Cliff, email@example.com Laurel Highlands Nemacolin is known for its “real-life magic,” and no time is more magical than the holiday season. At Christmas, the 2,200-acre resort transforms into a glowing winter wonderland full of festive family-friendly fun. Twirl on the outdoor ice rink, hit the slopes at The Peak, and enjoy delicious holiday specials. GO Laurel Highlands, GoLaurelHighlands.com, Eric Knopsnyder, firstname.lastname@example.org Lawrence Visit local parks with beautiful light displays, visit the grandeur of Arts+ Education at the Hoyt decorated for Christmas, watch the spectacular performance of the Nutcracker by the New Castle Regional Ballet Company at the historic Scottish Rite Cathedral or simply take in winter’s beauty in Lawrence County. Visit Lawrence County, VisitLawrenceCounty.com, Ginny Jacob, gjacob@Visitlawrencecounty.com Pennsylvania (Commonwealth of) Nothing shines like Pennsylvania during the holiday season! From lighted walking trails to glimmering shops, holiday spirit is bright across the Keystone State. To learn about more spectacular light displays and other holiday adventures in Pennsylvania, check out visitPA.com. Pennsylvania Tourism Office, VisitPA, VisitPa.com, Michael Chapaloney, email@example.com Potter-Tioga December’s “Dickens of a Christmas” and “Christmas on Main Street”, two annual events taking place in the heart of historic Wellsboro, draw hundreds of visitors each year to celebrate the season when the first weekend town becomes an authentic Victorian holiday marketplace, and the second weekend when the town’s history as the birthplace of “Shiny Brite” ornaments is celebrated. Visit Potter-Tioga, VisitPotterTioga.com, Morgan Christopher, firstname.lastname@example.org VIRGINIA Giles Take a stroll through the charming Christmas market, indulge in delicious treats, and feel the warmth of the season at Mountain Lake Lodge’s Magical Christmas Village and Marketplace. Treat your family to a memorable holiday getaway in the mountains that they will cherish for years to come in Giles, VA. Giles County, VA Tourism, VirginiasMtnPlayground.com, Cora Gnegy, email@example.com Harrisonburg Enjoy the holiday season in Downtown Harrisonburg at Winter Wonderfest. Sip and stroll, shop, view Gingerbread Houses, tour downtown in a horse-drawn carriage, or watch the holiday parade. A local favorite is the holiday cookie tour offering delicious cookies from area bakers. Harrisonburg Tourism & Visitors Services, VisitHarrisonburgVA.com, Jennifer Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org Loudoun Christmas in Middleburg is an astonishing festive tradition the first weekend of December involving tree lighting, carol singing and a colorful Saturday parade of horses, hounds, scarlet-jacketed hunt riders, vintage horse-drawn carriages and a procession of drummers, bagpipers, first responders and bikers through the heart of this historic town. Visit Loudoun, visitloudoun.org, Jennifer Sigal, email@example.com Norfolk The holidays are just around the corner and each year Norfolk hosts a variety of events to get everyone in the holiday spirit. From the breathtaking Winterfest on the Wisconsin to the delicious hot chocolate wars and other pop up events, you’re sure to feel the holiday cheer all season long. Visit Norfolk, VisitNorfolk.com, Paige Hawsey, firstname.lastname@example.org Richmond Holiday traditions are always bright in the Richmond Region with Ashland’s Light Up the Tracks, a six-week celebration, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s mesmerizing Gardenfest of Lights running through Jan. 7. Get active with the annual Tacky Light Run, where participants run through a Chesterfield neighborhood of tacky holiday lights. Visit Richmond VA, VisitRichmondVA.com, Carla Murray, email@example.com Shenandoah A popular holiday tradition in the Shenandoah Valley is the annual Christmas in the Valley Drive-Thru Light show. Brighten your season, browse the Christmas Village featuring craft vendors, holiday gifts and décor. On Friday and Saturday, treat yourself to corn dogs, deep-fried Oreos, hot chocolate, and cider. Nov 25-New Year’s Day. Visit Shenandoah County, VisitShenandoahCounty.com, Brenda Black, firstname.lastname@example.org Stafford Stafford County, Virginia is the perfect place to experience the holiday season. Take a stroll through our historic sites and enjoy the charming holiday décor, or head over to the Stafford County Tree Lighting for holiday cheer and a visit from Santa. With so many holiday happenings, Stafford County is sure to ignite the spirit of joy in visitors of all ages. Tour Stafford Virginia, TourStaffordVA.com, Morgan Garrison, email@example.com Staunton Experience the holiday magic of “A Christmas Carol” at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton. In the intimate Blackfriars Playhouse, this timeless Dickens classic comes to life, captivating audiences with its heartwarming tale of redemption. With a talented cast and immersive staging, it’s a must-see reminder of the season’s spirit. Staunton, VA, VisitStaunton.com, Jessica Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org Virginia’s Blue Ridge Experience “Dickens of a Christmas,” the largest holiday celebration Roanoke has to offer. This free event comes with dozens of vendors, carriage rides, Christmas tree lighting, parades, pet costume contests, carolers, and more. Dickens is guaranteed to create fun and holiday cheer for the whole family. Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, VisitVBR.com, Kathryn Lucas, email@example.com WEST VIRGINIA West Virginia (State of) One of the best light shows in the country, the Festival of Lights at Oglebay, features dazzling lights and winter-themed displays spread across the resort’s 300-acre property. Come aboard the Potomac Eagle’s North Pole Express to sing carols, sip hot chocolate, eat cookies, meet Santa and see a live nativity! West Virginia Department of Tourism, WVTourism.com, Lindsey R. Funk, Lindsey.R.Funk@wv.gov About the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance Our goal is to make your job as travel journalists easier! These once-a-month emails provide a one-stop-shop for unique travel ideas, roundups, and in-destination experiences to uncover and explore across the Mid-Atlantic region. We work directly with destinations across D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia to put together roundup stories. Understanding your timelines and lead time needs, we’ve preplanned hot industry and travel topics months readily available to you. We encourage you to reach out to each destination contact above if you’re interested in covering their story, and also welcome you to email us at MidAtlanticTourism@gmail.com if you’re looking for a roundup on multiple destinations or a different story topic altogether. The Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) is a cohesive unit of regional tourism partners encompassing D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. For more information, visit MATPRA.org.