Holiday Traditions: Lights, Parades and More

These holiday events in Alexandria, Mount Vernon and beyond may become part of your family's annual traditions.


The holidays are here and Patch has rounded up some of Northern Virginia’s most famous holiday celebrations. If you’re looking for something new and entertaining to do with the family, one of these may just become a new household tradition.

Scottish Christmas Walk

The 41st annual Scottish Christmas Walk hosted by , a
non-profit foundation for children’s education, will parade it’s way down St. Asaph Street. An Alexandria favorite, the Scottish Walk and the celebrations beforehand are known for drawing large crowds of supporters and is one of the D.C. metro area's most popular events.

The parade will include traditional bagpipes and drummers, over 100 Scottish Clans and Santa Claus marching through the streets of Old Town before
ending up at Alexandria’s Market Square with a band performance.

The parade begins at Wilkes and South Saint Asaph streets in Old Town Alexandria. More information: (703)787-7368 or www.scottishchristmaswalk.com.


Christmas at  Mount Vernon
As one of our country’s oldest estates, Mount Vernon is the place to go for an authentic Virgina Christmas. Visit the historic home to practice 18th-century dancing, a five foot wide gingerbread ‘Mount Vernon’ and authentic chocolate making demonstrations.

While you’re visiting, take advantage of a rare third floor tours or visit with George Washington’s camel, Aladdin. Admission to the Christmas event includes access to the house, gardens and extensive property.

The event will run from November 25, 2011 - January 6 2012, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy
Mount Vernon, VA 22309
(703) 780-2000


Bull Run Festival of Lights
In it’s twelfth year of celebration, The Bull Run Festival of Lights is a 2.5 mile lit adventure along the park’s paved drive. View over 40,000 holiday lights set to music and stop off at the Winter Wonderland Holiday Village to enjoy rides, ice skating, food and more.

The festival will run from November 23, 2011 to January 8, 2012,  Monday to Thursday and Sunday: 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. On Fridays, Saturdays and holidays the hours are 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

7700 Bull Run Dr.
Centreville, Virginia
(703) 359-4633

Herndon Towne Square Singers Holiday Concert
Looking for an entertaining evening of the best Christmas and holiday songs of all time?  Visit Herndon and hear the dulcimer tones of the Holidays singers as they share old songs and newer versions of the classics.

The concert series runs Friday, Dec. 2 to Sunday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.

269 Sunset Park Drive
Herndon, VA 20170
(703) 224-2351

Reston Town Center Holiday Events
For one day only Reston Town Center hosts their 21st annual Holiday Celebration with a parade and tree lighting ceremony, but expect musicals performances and holiday treats throughout the months of November and December. Visit with Santa, take a spin on the ice skating rink or take a horse and carriage ride for local charities.

Attendees and listeners of MIX 107.3 will hear radio personalities, Carson and Chilli host the morning parade. After dark, Santa and Mrs. Clause will light the tree with accompanying music performed by the Reston Chorale and Brass Quintet.

The Holiday celebration is on November 25, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. to 8 p.m., and other holiday performances will appear on the streets throughout the holiday

Reston Town Center
11921 Freedom Drive
Reston, VA 20190


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