Virginia Dazzles this Holiday Season with 100 Miles of Lights

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The Virginia Tourism Corporation invites the world to see millions of lights, grand illuminations and celebrations that bring families together for the holidays

Virginia's Holiday Lights

100 Miles of Lights

Drive-through light displays, millions of twinkling lights and grand illuminations make Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights, an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation welcomes families looking for a little sparkle over the holidays with hundreds ways to celebrate together in Virginia. The state’s legendary 100 Miles of Lights connects world-class illuminations across six cities – Richmond, Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Drive through light displays, millions of twinkle lights and grand illuminations make Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights an unforgettable experience for the whole family. For more information and a complete listing of 100 Miles of Lights events and celebrations, including illuminated parades, magical lighted drives and sparkling city skylines, visit

Grand Illumination Parade- Norfolk – November 19, 2011
The festivities kick off on November 19 in Norfolk, VA with the Grand Illumination Parade, commencing the celebration of six weeks of holiday festivities including Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza and New Year’s Eve. The night begins with the illumination of downtown Norfolk and Olde Towne Portsmouth skylines, followed by an unforgettable parade featuring festive floats, marching bands, giant balloons, dancers and a special appearance from Santa Claus.

McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach – Virginia Beach – November 18-January 1, 2012
The Virginia Beach boardwalk sparkles this holiday season as festive animals made from bright, colored lights set the night sky ablaze during the McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach, a holiday-themed light display at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. It is the only time of the year that cars can drive right on the boardwalk and with over 30,000 vehicles expected, the stretching sea of lights only adds to the magic. With special appearances from Santa Claus and his elves, a 40-foot tall Christmas tree erected on the beach, a CD of free holiday music given to every vehicle, special hotel packages with free tickets to the light show and a giant “12 Days of Christmas” display, this exhibit is sure to spread holiday cheer throughout the region. Tickets are $10 weekdays and $15 weekends.

Celebration in Lights- Newport News – November 24, 2011-January 1, 2012
Set in Newport News Regional Park, the award-winning Celebration in Lights is Virginia’s first and longest-running drive-through light event. This spectacular two-mile drive illuminates the beauty of the park’s forests, fields and ponds with over 750,000 lights and 200 displays, including the animated “Winter Wonderland” and “Santa’s Enchanted Kingdom.” Multi-colored snowflakes, leaping reindeer, whimsical toys and more provide a kaleidoscope of dazzling color. Admission fee $10 for cars, $60 for buses.

GardenFest of Lights– Richmond – November 25, 2011 – January 9, 2012
This annual holiday tradition, set in Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, features more than a half million lights, botanical decorations, trains, holiday dinners, family activities and more. Holiday dinners are available at the Garden Café and in the Robins Tea House. Merry Mondays include storytelling with the Garden Keeper and Butterfly Fairy. Other special events at the garden include the GardenFest Illumination on November 25, New Year’s Eve Family Frolic on December 31 and GardenFest for Fidos on January 5. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children.

Hollydazzle– Newport News – December 2, 2011
This unique holiday event combines fireworks, special effects and music in a spectacular show presented on the five-acre Fountain Plaza. Fun for the whole family, the event also features children’s activities and holiday performances throughout the City Center at Oyster Point area. Those who arrive early can enjoy a festive dinner at one of the restaurants in City Center and do some holiday shopping along Merchant’s Walk.

Grand Illumination – Colonial Williamsburg – December 4, 2011
The holiday season in historic Colonial Williamsburg kicks off with the Grand Illumination and is the highlight of Williamsburg’s portion of 100 miles of lights. It is a spectacular evening where candles twinkle in the windows of homes and buildings, the streets are ablaze and thousands of guests assemble to celebrate the season with musical performances from multiple stages, holiday merriment and firework displays from three different locations within the Historic Area.

Holly Days Parade– Hampton – December 11, 2011
A sweet holiday treat for families, the theme of this year’s Holly Days Parade is “Candy Cane Lane” with grand marshal the “Candy Man” himself, Willy Wonka. The area’s largest illuminated holiday parade features well-crafted floats, marching bands, military units and Santa Claus. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to secure a good spot at one of Hampton’s greatest seasonal traditions.

Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Visit for more holiday trip ideas or call 1-800-VISITVA for a free Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.


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Tamra Talmadge-Anderson
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