~ PVN staff report
LURAY, Nov. 30 — As we work our way through Thanksgiving leftovers, the Christmas season kicks into full gear this week in Page County with several events planned to spur the holiday spirit.
The Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce will get things started from 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, with the sixth annual Chamber Holiday Festival. The event at the Visitors Centers features holiday pictures with Santa, kids crafts in Santa’s workshop with local artisans, wagon and barrel train rides, local vendors set up in a holiday market, live holiday music provided by the Page Valley Arts Council, hot cocoa and holiday punch, holiday cookies and treats, and S’mores by the fire pit.
The event is free and open to the public. The Chamber will be collecting $5 cash donations, canned food and pet food for local charities in exchange for a printed picture with Santa.
At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, the Town of Luray will be hold its annual Tree Lighting ceremony on the plaza at the Rebecca J. Graves Regional Center for the Performing Arts. Santa will make his way down Broad Street from the Visitors Center to join Mayor Jerry Dofflemyer for the tree lighting, along with music provided by the Luray High School choir. The event will be hosted by the Luray Downtown Initiative, and free hot cocoa will be provided by Baby Moons.
On Saturday, Dec. 4, the Town of Stanley will hold its annual Christmas parade down Main Street beginning at 6 p.m. Those in attendance are encouraged to walk down to Ed Good Park after the parade for a tree lighting ceremony and photos with Santa. Youngsters are welcome to drop off letters to Santa in a special mailbox in front of the Town Office on Main Street.
Downtown Luray will host a “Shop Late” event on Friday, Dec. 10, as merchants will remain open until 8 p.m. in an effort to encourage residents to shop local this holiday season.
On Saturday, Dec. 11, the Town of Luray will host its annual Christmas Parade down Main Street (from Broad Street to Reservoir Avenue) beginning at 6 p.m. This year’s theme for the parade is “All I Want For Christmas is…” Next Saturday also marks the beginning of the Light Up Luray holiday lights tour, which runs through Christmas Day.
The Town of Shenandoah will host its annual Tree Lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11 at Big Gem Park. Mayor Clinton will lead the event, which will be visited by Santa and include caroling and refreshments. Both Shenandoah and Luray are hosting decorating and lights contest with winners announced later this month.
The Caverns Shrine Club will present “Shriners Caroling in the Caverns” from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18 at Luray Caverns. Admission is $15 per adult, with children 12 and under admitted free. Tickets will be sold at the door, and all proceeds will benefit the Shriners Hospital for Children.