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W&L Celebrates the Holiday Season ’Tis the season for holiday events on campus and in the local community! Check out what’s happening and make your plans to ring in the holiday season.

Ginger_Colonnade_Horizontal_-800x533 W&L Celebrates the Holiday Season

The Washington and Lee University campus and greater Rockbridge area are abuzz preparing for an eventful holiday season. We’ve put together a holiday guide to ensure that everyone in the campus community can take advantage of the wide array of seasonal events between now and the start of the new year. Check back regularly for schedule updates!

November 21, 2022 – January 01, 2023

Natural Bridge State Park’s Festival of Trees
6477 South Lee Highway, Natural Bridge, VA
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily

Explore the local community of Rockbridge County as representatives of businesses, organizations, schools and clubs decorate trees that represent themselves to the community.

Nov. 24

Annual Gobble Wobble 5K and Fun Run
Maury River Middle School Parking Lot
9 a.m.

The Lexington-Rockbridge Jaycees are excited to continue Lexington’s best Thanksgiving tradition with the 10th Annual Lexington Gobble Wobble 5K road race.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Jaycees will host both a 5K (walk or run) and Children’s Fun Run, making this a community event for the whole family. The community is invited to come out and enjoy the festivities, but don’t worry, you will still get home in time to put the turkey in the oven.

Visit the Gobble Wobble’s website for more details here.

127083805_4611584568911956_919647800547887506_n-800x533 W&L Celebrates the Holiday SeasonParticipants dress up and get their holiday spirit going at the annual Gobble Wobble

Nov. 25

Annual Lexington Candlelight Processional and Tree Lighting
Main Entrance of Oak Grove Cemetery on Main St.
5:15 p.m.

Join the community in the annual candlelight procession through the streets of Lexington! Bring family and friends to line up at the cemetery at 5:15 p.m., where candles and songbooks will be distributed. At 5:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will lead the lively group down Main Street to Hopkins Green to watch Lexington Mayor Frank Friedman light the tree. 

Nov. 29 

Rockbridge Youth Chorale Winter Concert  
Grace Episcopal Church, 123 W. Washington St., Lexington
7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit http://www.rcs.org/ or check the organization’s Facebook page.

Dec. 1 

Buena Vista Christmas Parade 
Downtown Buena Vista
7:00 p.m. 

Dec. 2

Annual Lexington Christmas Parade
Main St., downtown Lexington
6 p.m.

View floats, hear school marching bands, see the Virginia Military Institute cadets march, and catch a glimpse of Santa and Mrs. Claus during this downtown Lexington holiday favorite! The streets of downtown Lexington will be closed for preparation beginning at 5 p.m. on Dec. 2.

SOC120821_022-800x533 W&L Celebrates the Holiday SeasonMain Street is decked out for the holidays.

Latke Shabbat and Hanukkah Dinner
Hillel House, Washington and Lee University
6 p.m. 

The W&L community is invited to celebrate Hanukkah this year with its annual latke Shabbat meal. The Jewish community at W&L invites the campus to take part in this festive and delicious meal while Fall Term is still in session. Contact Rabbi Mark Robbins (mrobbins@wlu.edu), director of Jewish Life and Rabbi at W&L, for more details. 

Dec. 3 

Buena Vista Christmas Market 
Buena Vista Fire Station
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Come out for breakfast and bring your kids to see Santa Claus at the Buena Vista Fire Department! There will be baked goods, artistry, children’s books, décor, and more!

The 9th Annual Jingle Bell Run
Main Street Lexington
10 a.m.

Families and friendly fur friends are invited to participate in this annual 5K road race. The streets of Lexington jingle every year as runners take off down the road with little bells on their feet in the holiday-themed race! Walkers are also welcome to join on the one-mile loop. All participants are highly encouraged to wear fun holiday costumes.

The Promise Committee Tree Lighting Ceremony
Washington Street Park (between Gaines and Graham-Lees residence halls)
5 p.m.

In remembrance of the fatal car crash that occurred eight years ago on Dec. 3, 2013, W&L’s Promise Committee invites the campus community to join us in a tree lighting ceremony with hot cocoa and cookies in front of the sculpture in the Washington Street Park. This tree lighting has been held annually in memory of Kelsey Durkin ’14, the W&L student who was killed in the crash. It is especially important to continue to honor Durkin and reflect on the dangers of drunk and distracted driving because no current undergraduate students were on campus at the time of the accident.

Rockbridge Chorus Annual Holiday Concert 
Lexington Presbyterian Church,  120 South Main Street
7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit http://www.rcs.org/.

DSC_713264holidaypops-copy-800x533 W&L Celebrates the Holiday SeasonHoliday Pops Concert Photo by Chris Anderson ’20

Dec. 5

ESOL Posada
Grace Episcopal Church, Washington Street
6 – 8:30 p.m.

Attendees are welcome to bring food to share. Come participate in holiday crafts and activities for children. Donations accepted at the event will benefit Programa SOL.

For more information, visit esol.academic.wlu.edu.

Dec. 5-6

Washington and Lee University presents: Holiday Pops Concert
Wilson Concert Hall, 100 Glasgow Street
7 p.m.

This concert features ensemble groups from the W&L Department of Music performing pieces that celebrate the holiday season. The program will include individual group performances, massed ensemble pieces and a variety of student conductors. Get your tickets online here.

Dec. 6

Winter Wonderland
Washington and Lee University
6 – 9 p.m.

Grab the kids and bring them out to this year’s Winter Wonderland, a beloved tradition at W&L. The evening will kick off with a family-friendly dinner in the Marketplace (Elrod Commons) from 6 to 9 p.m. Come early to eat, and then head over to Lee House for the annual tree lighting at 6 p.m. Washington and Lee’s a cappella ensemble JubiLee will be leading carols as we light the tree for the holiday season. If you saved room for dessert, be sure to hit the Winter Wonderland Dessert Extravaganza in Evans Hall immediately after the tree lighting. Delicious treats will be served until 9 p.m.

Note: This event is only open to members of the W&L campus community.

KRR_4934-800x533 W&L Celebrates the Holiday SeasonMembers of the W&L family ponder sweet selections at the annual Winter Wonderland sugarfest, one of the most popular events of the year.

Dec. 8

Holiday Dinner
The Marketplace, Washington and Lee
4:30 – 8 p.m.

Come celebrate the holidays with a traditional holiday dinner at W&L’s Marketplace. Find the menu here.

Dec. 10-11

The Rockbridge Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker and Other Holiday Favorites
Keller Theatre, Lenfest Center for the Arts, Washington and Lee
Performances at 2 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11

Tickets for this special holiday performance are available at The Studio, Downtown Books, Pronto and online at https://www.rockbridgeballet.org/.

Dec. 12

Lee House Holiday Open House
Lee House, Washington and Lee
3:30 – 5 p.m.
RSVP to holidays@wlu.edu

Washington and Lee faculty and staff are invited to stop by Lee House for socializing and holiday treats. Chat with colleagues and be sure to check out President Dudley’s holiday decorations.

Student Midnight Breakfast
The Marketplace, Washington and Lee
9:45 p.m. – midnight

Students are invited to fuel up for exam week with a breakfast menu served by volunteer faculty and staff.

Note: The events above are only open to members of the W&L campus community.

Dec. 13

 VMI’s Carols in the Courtyard
Courtyard of the old barracks, Virginia Military Institute
7:30 p.m.

Hear carols performed by VMI musicians. Immediately after the hymns, join the VMI Chaplain’s Office for a candlelight service in Memorial Hall at 8 p.m.

 Dec. 16

Washington and Lee University Brunch
Evans Hall
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
RSVP to holidays@wlu.edu

W&L faculty and staff are invited to bring good cheer and a big appetite to this year’s university brunch.

Note: This event is only open to members of the W&L campus community.

Tell us more!

Check back in frequently for updates to this post, and send any festive events not listed to kgoodwin@wlu.edu. Happy holidays!

Hit the Road

One of the best things about W&L is its geographic location. One only needs to travel a short distance in any direction to find more holiday fun in the Shenandoah Valley. Check out some of the nearby holiday happenings this season!

Explore Park’s Winter Walk of Light
Nov. 19 – Dec. 30
Explore Park, Roanoke

Brighten the dark winter nights and explore a dazzling world of more than 600,000 lights at Illuminights Winter Walk of Lights. Visitors will experience 100,000 new lights, new displays, trail enhancements and family activities. Purchase tickets here.

Staunton Artisan Christmas Fair
Nov. 25
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Frontier Culture Museum

If you’re looking for something special, fun and educational to do with the entire family during the Thanksgiving holiday, come out to the Artisan Christmas Fair at the Frontier Culture Museum. Avoid the craziness of Black Friday shopping and purchase handmade goods made by regional artisans and craft people. Read more here.

Poplar Forest Holiday Candlelight Tours
Thursdays, December 1, 8 and 15; Fridays, December 2, 9 and 16; Saturday, December 3

Celebrate the advent of the Christmas season with Jeffersonian style at Poplar Forest. Explore the president’s cherished hideaway by candlelight on this hour-long holiday tour. The tour is followed by hot cider and cookies in the Museum Shop. Admission is $25 per person and reservations are required.

The Roanoke Times Dickens of a Christmas
Dec. 2, 9 and 16
Downtown Roanoke

Vendors, good food and lots of holiday cheer! Join Roanoke in its 39th celebration of Dickens of a Christmas downtown. Events on various nights will include the Christmas tree lighting, a parade downtown and the beloved pet costume contest. Learn more about the event here.

Saturdays in December
Dec. 3, 10 and 17
Downtown Staunton

Enjoy multiple opportunities to shop, stay and play in downtown Staunton this holiday season! Enjoy all that the Queen City has to offer, from sleigh rides to a gingerbread village. Plan your trip here.

Holiday Evening Tours at Monticello
Dec. 9, 10, 16-19, 21-23 and 26-30
Monticello, Charlottesville

This event offers the rare opportunity to experience Monticello after dark, decorated with the style of holiday greenery found during Jefferson’s era. Visit Monticello’s website for information about hours and ticket reservations.

2022 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Dec. 11
8 p.m.
President’s Park, Washington, D.C.

The ceremony will take place the evening of Dec. 11, but the National Christmas Tree site is free to visit and will be open to the public from Dec. 2, 2022 through Jan. 1, 2023. Hours are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.