Christmas events march on despite the ongoing pandemic: Nine parades happening in our area

·4 min read
Festive pig walks in the Chester Kiwanis Christmas Parade in 2014.
Festive pig walks in the Chester Kiwanis Christmas Parade in 2014.

Holiday parades were canceled across the country last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Not holding one was the new norm.

The family tradition of donning festive attire while sipping hot cocoa alongside neighbors, friends, and strangers to usher in the holiday season came to a frozen halt.

Participants prepare for the parade during "An Old Towne Christmas" in Petersburg in 2019.
Participants prepare for the parade during "An Old Towne Christmas" in Petersburg in 2019.

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However, spectators in Petersburg enjoyed a COVID-conscious drive-thru style Christmas parade. The COVID-compliant holiday celebration known as a reverse parade was the first of its kind in Old Towne. Spectators drove by stationary floats from the safety of their vehicles.

The reverse parade was made possible by local business owners since the City was unable to host its annual Christmas spectacle due to COVID-19 restrictions.

COVID-19 vaccines have provided the public with a certain level of comfort and parades are marching on despite the ongoing pandemic. Attendees may have to follow certain safety measures.

Masked and unmasked, vaccinated and unvaccinated spectators will soon line the streets to observe festive floats, live performances, marching bands, The Grinch, Santa Claus, and more.

Chestnuts roasting along the parade route during "An Old Towne Christmas" in Petersburg in 2019.
Chestnuts roasting along the parade route during "An Old Towne Christmas" in Petersburg in 2019.

Petersburg

The City of Petersburg's "I'm dreaming of a COVID Safe Holiday Season" Holiday Parade is on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 3 - 5 p.m. It will begin on Crater Road near the Water Tower and disassemble at Pine Hill Plaza.

A little elf whispered in my ear that a second parade may possibly take place in Old Towne. If it comes to fruition, this story will be updated.

The 2019 Colonial Heights Christmas Parade second-place float created by Front Door Realty Group.
The 2019 Colonial Heights Christmas Parade second-place float created by Front Door Realty Group.

Colonial Heights

The 68th Annual Colonial Heights Christmas Parade with the theme “Oh Deer…What a Year!” will take place Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. The route begins on the Boulevard at Temple Avenue and ends at the Courthouse.

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Spectators wait for the 2016 Hopewell Christmas Parade to pass by.
Spectators wait for the 2016 Hopewell Christmas Parade to pass by.

Hopewell

Hopewell’s "Light Up the Night" celebration on Sunday, Dec. 5 kicks off with a Christmas parade at 4 p.m. It will travel from Cavalier Square Shopping Center along 15th Avenue, City Point Road, and Main Street to the Ashford Civic Plaza.

Immediately following the parade, attendees will gather in the Ashford Civic Plaza for the grand illumination ceremony.

Beginning at 6 p.m., explore the downtown winter festival featuring carriage rides, a petting zoo, train rides, vendors, and other special activities. Stop by the Hopewell Library to make an ornament and visit Santa.

Santa waves to the crowd during the Chester Kiwanis Christmas Parade in 2014.
Santa waves to the crowd during the Chester Kiwanis Christmas Parade in 2014.

Chester

The 2021 Chester Kiwanis Christmas Parade on Sunday, Dec. 12 begins at the Chester YMCA and ends at the intersection of Centre Street and Harrowgate Road.

The Kiwanis members selected “Christmas Around the World" as the parade theme.

America's Got Talent Season 16 second place winner Aerialist Aidan Bryant signs an autograph at the Richard Bland College 2021 Pecan Festival in Petersburg.
America's Got Talent Season 16 second place winner Aerialist Aidan Bryant signs an autograph at the Richard Bland College 2021 Pecan Festival in Petersburg.

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Prince George

The Prince George Parks and Recreation will host their annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 4. The "A Hometown Christmas"-themed procession begins at Beazley Elementary School at 3 p.m. and travels Courthouse Road.

America's Got Talent Season 16 second place winner Aerialist Aidan Bryant is this year's grand marshal.

Amelia

The 2021 Amelia County Christmas Parade celebrating law enforcement, emergency medical services, firefighters, military, and frontline workers happens Saturday, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.

The parade begins at VDOT and Wayside Avenue, travels down Goodes Bridge Road, turns left onto Amelia Street, and right onto Church Street to the Courthouse Square where the Christmas tree lighting will take place.

Richmond

The Dominion Energy Christmas Parade returns to West Broad Street on Saturday, Dec. 4. The Legendary Santa will be waving to the crowd during the 38th annual Christmas Parade... "Bringing Back the Fun in 2021."

It kicks off at the Science Museum of Virginia at 10:15 a.m., travels eastbound on Broad Street, and concludes at 7th Street near the Richmond Coliseum.

Snoopy, accompanied by his "Peanuts" pals, will be the grand marshal.

Ashland

On Saturday, Dec. 4th at 6 p.m., watch Ashland's parade with the theme "My Favorite Christmas Song." The parade route begins at Ashland University then goes through downtown. A tree lighting and fireworks will also take place during their holiday celebration.

Williamsburg

If you happen to be in Colonial Williamsburg on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 5 p.m., check out the 2021 Christmas Parade. Spectators are encouraged to adorn light-up accessories.

Williamsburg's parade theme "Joy to the World" reminds people that there are many reasons to celebrate - coming together as a community being one of them.

- Kristi K. Higgins aka The Social Butterfly columnist is the trending topics and food Q&A reporter at The Progress-Index. Have a news tip on local trends or businesses? Contact Kristi (she, her) at khiggins@progress-index.com, follow @KHiggins_PI on Twitter, and subscribe to us at progress-index.com.

This article originally appeared on The Progress-Index: Petersburg parade-goers won't drive by stationary floats this year

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