Holiday Happenings in the Mid-Atlantic November 5, 2021 by MATPRA Admin (Mid-Atlantic Region, November 5, 2021) — Destinations across the Mid-Atlantic are busy decking the halls and putting regional touches on small town business districts and suburban shopping areas to welcome visitors for the annual celebration of this special season! Annual and special events across Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia highlight each region’s traditional celebrations with modern and unique takes on classic yuletide greetings. Whether celebrating the splendorous tidings of Christmas, the soulfully illuminating lights of Chanukah or the thoughtful reflections of Kwanzaa, destinations across the region offer a wide variety of events and attractions for visitors, as well as their families, friends and loved ones to consider when planning travel this December! 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 and the Brandywine Valley Explore the holiday splendor of the famed du Pont estates featuring dazzling light displays, bejeweled trees, and a festive Gingerbread House contest. Take a ride through the scenic Brandywine Valley with the big guy himself on the Wilmington & Western Railroad’s Santa Claus Express or step back in time with a Little Women-themed yuletide house tour in Historic Odessa. Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, Jennifer Boes, VisitWilmingtonDE.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Maryland Allegany County With hundreds of elves taking over downtown Frostburg, Storybook Holiday is a kid-centric, action-packed day of winter fun. The annual event celebrates children’s literature and features such festive activities as breakfast with the elves, elf Olympics, storybook readings, an elves’ secret workshop, letters to Santa, a cookie contest and more. Allegany County, The Mountain Side of Maryland, Mindy Bianca, mdmountainside.com, email@example.com Baltimore Tis the season for ice skating, hot chocolate and light-adorned landmarks in Baltimore. The Washington Monument celebrates its 50th lighting ceremony with music, food trucks and fireworks. For more festive fun, visit the Christmas Village at the Inner Harbor and the rooftop ice rink at the Four Seasons Baltimore Hotel. Visit Baltimore, Tracey Johnson, Baltimore.org, firstname.lastname@example.org Calvert County It’s the most magical time of year! Annmarie Sculpture Garden is transformed into a twinkling wonderland of enchanted woods with glowing light sculptures and installations. Head to the towns of Chesapeake Beach and North Beach to the decorated boardwalk, play I-Spy with the lighted crab who hides around town! Calvert County Department of Economic Development, Hilary Dailey, ChooseCalvert.com, email@example.com State of Maryland Maryland is “Open for the Holidays,” with deals and discounts on accommodations, attractions, restaurants and shops to make the season more magical. Enjoy holiday performances, light displays, train experiences, holiday arts and crafts shows, along with other seasonal festivities that are full of Maryland holiday cheer. Maryland Office of Tourism, Matthew Scales, VisitMaryland.org, firstname.lastname@example.org Prince George’s County Prince George’s County sparkles to life with bright lights and colorful decorations when beloved celebrations for the holidays return. See the Festival of Lights in Watkins Regional Park; experience magical trail rides and horse-drawn carriages in Brandywine; visit National Harbor’s nightly tree lighting and Gaylord National Resort’s So Much Christmas! Experience Prince George’s, Kaletha Henry, ExperiencePrinceGeorges.com, email@example.com Talbot County The second weekend in December heralds in Christmas in St. Michaels! The tree-lined streets illuminate shops brimming with gifts and goodies, and Lighted Boat Parade brings Santa into town. Plus the seasonally decorated Tour of Homes, Breakfast with Santa, downtown parade, and many other festivities help shepherd in the holiday. Talbot County Office of Economic Development and Tourism, Krista Boothby, TourTalbot.org, firstname.lastname@example.org Wicomico County Wicomico County is a festive place during the holidays, with light displays and numerous events. In Downtown Salisbury, visitors can see a Christmas tree, Hanukkah menorah and Kwanzaa kinara. Attend the tree lighting, take part in events at the Salisbury Zoo or visit the town of Mardela Springs. Wicomico County Tourism, Vanessa Junkin, WicomicoTourism.org, email@example.com Pennsylvania Bradford County One of northern Pennsylvania’s favorite holiday events kicks off on Nov. 26 at 6:30 p.m when the annual Sayre Christmas parade takes to the streets of this historic city. Floats, bands, and an array of lighted displays make this kickoff to the holiday season a “don’t miss” event in beautiful Bradford County! Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency, Morgan Christopher, VisitBradfordCounty.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Butler County Drive through Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland at the Big Butler Fairgrounds. This award-winning Christmas light and music extravaganza is unlike any show you’ve ever seen. Tune in your radio and watch the magic unfold while driving through nearly one million brilliant LED lights dancing in synchronization. Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau, Tiffany Hernandez, VisitButlerCounty.com, email@example.com Columbia-Montour Counties Millions of lights, animatronics, Santa, & holiday fun! Visit Berwick & Elysburg this December to witness amazing drive-thru holiday light displays. A time-honored tradition, the Berwick Christmas Boulevard is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. Or start a new tradition at Knoebels Amusement Resort’s Joy Through the Grove, in its second year. Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau, Linda Sones, itourcolumbiamontour.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Endless Mountains Celebrate An Endless Mountains Christmas between Thanksgiving and New Year’s when the region’s two spectacular drive through light shows, holiday festivals, small town shopping and famous tree farms welcome visitors to share the nostalgic joy of a mountain holiday! Pick out a fresh tree or wreath to take the memories home. Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, Morgan Christopher, EndlessMountains.org, email@example.com Juniata River Valley The Festival of Ice kicks off the holiday season in the Juniata River Valley! Throughout the festival, visitors can watch large sculptures come to life as expert carvers chisel, saw and torch giant slabs of ice. Family-friendly activities include a live nativity, a petting zoo, kids’ games, caroling, vendors, the Chillin’ 4K, and a crazy parade. Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau, Buffie Boyer, JRVVisitors.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Lancaster County ‘Tis the season for Discovering Christmas in Lancaster County, home to several American yuletide traditions – like the mischievous Belsnickle – and brimming with festive history events, fantastic holiday shows, great shopping deals, seasonal family activities, and cut-your-own Christmas tree farms. Discover Lancaster, Joel Cliff, DiscoverLancaster.com, email@example.com Laurel Highlands A holiday season visit to Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands isn’t complete without a stop in Ligonier! This charming Norman-Rockwell–esque town has enough holiday spirit to warm even the Grinch’s heart. Explore the 50+ boutique shops while classic carols ring throughout town. Your Instagram page definitely needs a shot of beautifully decorated Ligonier Diamond! Go Laurel Highlands, Anna Weltz, GOLaurelHighlands.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Lehigh Valley Bethlehem, PA is known as “Christmas City” and with the annual Bavarian-style Chriskindlmarkt, it’s easy to see why. Nearby Easton features its own winter village complete with a skating rink, boutique huts around the square, and the peace candle. Allentown’s Lights in the Parkway provides a nightly magical drive-thru experience. Discover Lehigh Valley, Alicia Quinn, LehighValleyHolidays.com, email@example.com Pocono Mountains Stroudsburg is a true winter wonderland with its magical Netflix Lights Display and 40 life-size snowmen, while Hawley’s Winterfest is a sure way to celebrate the season. Jim Thorpe is decked out Victorian style for its Olde Time Christmas. Or take in the snowy scenery aboard a Santa Claus Train. Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Brianna Strunk, PoconoMountains.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Potter – Tioga Counties Dickens of a Christmas and Christmas on Main Street are annual holiday events that draw visitors to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon region. “Dickens” transforms Main Street into a Victorian Marketplace while the following weekend’s Christmas on Main Street celebrates the nostalgic charm of Shiny Brite ornaments that were created in Wellsboro! Visit Potter-Tioga, Morgan Christopher, VisitPotterTioga.com, email@example.com York County York County Parks celebrates the holiday season with Christmas Magic – A Festival of Lights. Located at Rocky Ridge Park, this is a half-mile ADA walking trail that meanders along a wooded hilltop through nearly 600,000 twinkling LED lights and animated scenes! It’s a truly magical experience for young and old! Explore York, Chrissy Tobias, YorkPa.org, firstname.lastname@example.org Virginia Bedford County The Festival of Trees is an annual event held at the Bedford Area Welcome Center. Festive and family-friendly, this event celebrates the season while helping causes important to the community. 30 local businesses will participate with a tree decorated to the theme “A Storybook Christmas”. Bedford Area Welcome Center, Nicole Johnson, DestinationBedfordVA.com/event/, email@example.com Giles County The Palisades Restaurant hosts their holiday tea that includes four courses of Appalachian contemporary cuisine and Narrows is twinkling from the Duck Pond to downtown with Christmas décor and lights! We have the coziest lodging in waterside cabins or our historic lodge and you will still find hiking and cross-country skiing through the mountains of the Giles. Giles County, VA Tourism, Cora Gnegy, VirginiasMtnPlayground.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Harrisonburg Enjoy Winter Wonderfest in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in Downtown Harrisonburg beautifully decorated for the holidays. Enjoy live performances, competitions, holiday shopping, beautiful window displays and fun for all ages. Don’t miss the cookie tour including half a dozen local bakeries and a dozen or more stops. Harrisonburg Tourism & Visitor Services, Jennifer Bell, visitharrisonburgva.com, email@example.com Lexington & Rockbridge Celebrate a “small-towns, big backyard” Christmas in Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County, VA. Shop amidst the sweetest, walkable downtowns all dressed in the spirit of the season! Parades, performances, and magical light displays—such as Luminary Nights and carriage rides at Natural Bridge State Park—entertain as the nights grow dark. Lexington & Rockbridge Area Tourism, Patty Williams, LexingtonVirginia.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Loudoun County Celebrate in Loudoun, home to the iconic Christmas in Middleburg parade where scarlet-jacketed riders on horseback stroll historic downtown. Don’t miss two new light shows- the east coast debut of Holiday Road at Morven Park and Tinsel! an interactive light festival. Finish with lighting of the vines at Bluemont Vineyard. Visit Loudoun, Jen Sigal, visitloudoun.org, email@example.com Norfolk Join in on all the Holiday fun throughout Norfolk! Winterfest on the Wisconsin is back again this year with even more lights and holiday-themed entertainment. Warm-up by the Holiday Yule Log Bonfire, explore Zoolumination with the family or enjoy the Million Bulk Walk through Norfolk Botanical Gardens. VisitNorfolk, Sarah Hughes, VisitNorfolk.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Orange County It’s time to indulge in seasonal wines and holiday feasts at Barboursville Vineyards. Orange and Gordonsville transform into “hallmark” holiday villages, James Madison’s Montpelier is adorned with vintage 19th century holiday customs and the Market at Grelen offers wreath making workshops and PYO Christmas trees in their enchanting rural setting. Visit Orange Virginia, Lori Landes-Carter, VisitOrangeVirginia.com, email@example.com Prince William County One of the best small towns to spend this holiday season in is Historic Occoquan, Virginia. Located just 30 miles from Washington D.C., visitors can grab a hot cocoa and attend a traditional Christmas tree lighting, holiday parade and they won’t want to miss the arrival of Santa Claus by boat! Visit Prince William, Virginia, Nicole Warner, VisitPWC.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Richmond Enjoy the tacky light scene in the Richmond region! Take a tacky light tour with Discover Richmond Tours or put on your best tacky sweater and join the CarMax Tacky Light Run, a 6k course which shows off Midlothian, VA’s best display of tacky lights. VisitRichmondVA, Meghan Gearino, VisitRichmondVA.com, email@example.com Shenandoah County The holiday season in Shenandoah County is festive and relaxing. Drive through the light display and stay for the winter carnival in Woodstock, enjoy small-town tree lighting and the reverse parade in New Market. A plethora of unique gifts, art, culinary delicacies, and craft beverages can be found all season. Visit Shenandoah County, Brenda Black, VisitShenandoahCounty.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Staunton Experience the most wonderful time of year in Staunton, Virginia. Do something different and spend it in the past at the Frontier Culture Museum’s Lantern Tours. Enjoy the timeless Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, at American Shakespeare Center. Fill your holidays with warmth and light this December! Staunton, Virginia, Jessica Williams, VisitStaunton.com, email@example.com Virginia’s Blue Ridge The charming mountain towns of Virginia’s Blue Ridge light up during the holidays. Off the Blue Ridge Parkway, enjoy 500,000 dazzling lights on a wooded walking path at Explore Park’s Illuminights. Admire over-the-top trees on the historic Fincastle Tinsel Trail and at The Hotel Roanoke’s Fashions for Evergreens. Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Taylor Spellman, VisitVBR.com, firstname.lastname@example.org West Virginia Hampshire County Nestled in the mountains of Hampshire County, West Virginia, you’ll find small villages brimming with holiday cheer! Follow our winding country roads from Capon Bridge to Augusta to Romney and beyond. Discover holiday treasures along the way, including Elf Hunts, Twinkling Lights and The North Pole Express! Hampshire County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tina Ladd, ComeToHampshire.com, email@example.com Take a look at images from across the Mid-Atlantic. Please be sure to provide photo credit to the appropriate DMO. About the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance The Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) is a cohesive unit of regional tourism partners encompassing Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The group serves travel journalists by creating a regional resource that ignores geographical boundaries to better promote common threads, offering story ideas about the Mid-Atlantic region as a whole. For more information, visit MATPRA.org.