This weekend: Holiday lights, music festivals, and Grand Illumination Parade!

todayNovember 15, 2023 3

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HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Here’s a look at what’s happening in Hampton Roads this weekend, November 17-19.

View the complete Living Local Events Calendar at this link. If you don’t see your event listed, please add it to the calendar.

27th Annual Mayflower Marathon

The annual giving event is back Nov. 17-19. Help local foodbanks throughout Hampton Roads through monetary or food donations. Donations benefit the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, and the Foodbank of the Albemarle.

Recommended donations, include: Turkeys, hams, traditional sides, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean canned protein. View the full list at the link here.

You can make donations in-person at the five locations, below.

  • Hampton: Kroger at Coliseum Central, 1050 W. Mercury Blvd.
  • Virginia Beach: Lynnhaven Mall, 701 Lynnhaven Pkwy.
  • Yorktown: Kroger, 5007 Victory Blvd.
  • Suffolk: Kroger, 1017 University Blvd.
  • Moyock: Moyock Welcome Center, 106 Caratoke Hwy.

Click here to view more information including hours of operation at each location.



On Saturday, Nov. 18 the SHELLabration will take place at the Docks at Downtown Hampton, 710 Settlers Landing Rd, from noon to 4 p.m. Throughout the afternoon, 11 organizations will present exhibits about their support efforts to restore oysters and clean the Chesapeake Bay. The family day will have live music, a DJ, and face paint. It’s all about oysters with shucking demonstrations, oyster gardening experiences and local oyster dishes.

During Virginia Oyster Month enjoy events from Shored Up LLC as they host events in support of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance grant. The event is free and open to the public.

Whimsical Winter Wonderland

On Saturday, Nov. 18 from noon to 5 p.m. visit the Hampton Coliseum for the 2nd Annual Coliseum Central Whimsical Winter Wonderland presented by Sentara. Bring the whole family to celebrate the season.

Inside, watch shows performed by aerialists, jugglers, illusionists, stilt walkers and more. Check out photo booths, face painting, balloon art and glitter tattoos. Plus, compete in carnival-style games. Outside, enjoy “snow”, a petting zoo, inflatables, mazes and more fun. The event is free and open to the public.



Pharrell’s non-profit YELLOW is hosting BRIGHT SPARKS LIVE on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. Visit the rooftop of Assembly, 400 Granby Street, for a panel on “Leaders of The New School: Black Men Creating Their Own Lanes” followed by time to mix and mingle with light food. Find out more about the panelists at the link here. The event is free and registration is required. Click here to RSVP.

WinterFest Community Night

On Saturday, Nov. 18, WinterFest on the Wisconsin is hosting its first Community Night. Visit the display for a special $7.57 admission price. The deal is one-night-only! Another discount will continue to run throughout the month of November for military. Through Nov. 30 active-duty military, veteran service members and their families are eligible for a military discount, $4 off general admission tickets. To purchase tickets for the Community Night, click here.

37th Annual Grand Illumination Parade

On Nov. 18 the 37th Annual Grand Illumination Parade will take place in downtown Norfolk. This year’s theme is “Gingerbread Dreams”. Watch as marching bands, motorized units, walking units, floats and Santa Claus pass by along the route. It kicks off at 7 p.m. after the Grand Illumination in downtown Norfolk. You can also watch the live stream on Facebook and online at Find out more at the link here.

8th Annual Nor-FOLK Festival

Elation Brewing is hosting Brackish Water Jamboree’s 8th Annual Nor-FOLK Festival on Saturday, Nov. 18 from noon until close. The event benefits ForKids. Headliners include West Virginia’s Tessa and Chance McCoy, Grammy-winning artist from Old Crow Medicine Show and NEEDTOBREATHE. Visit the event Facebook page for updates including the lineup. It is a free, family friendly event open to the public.


Olde Towne Holiday Market & Tree Lighting

On Friday, Nov. 17 from 4-8 p.m. visit Olde Towne Portsmouth for a holiday evening!

Watch as the tree lights up, with decorations, music, holiday characters and snow. Visit with the Snow Queen, Sugar Plum Fairy, Cindy Loo Hoo, the Grinch and more. Kick off your holiday shopping with shops open late, and a variety of crafters showcasing their goods. Sip on some hot cider and enjoy festive treats.

Live music will be performed by the Tidewater Winds Quintet at Trinity Episcopal Church at 7:30 p.m. and throughout the evening by strolling carolers. The events are free and open to the public.


Grand Illumination

This year’s Grand Illumination will take place on Friday, Nov. 17 from 6-8 p.m. at Market Park, 326 N Main St. The 32-foot tree will light up and illuminate the city for the season! Enjoy festive music, horse-drawn carriage rides, kids holiday-themed craft activities and more. Santa will even arrive for an early visit. The event is free and open to the public.

Virginia Beach

29th Annual BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights at the Beach

The boardwalk will light up at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront on Friday, Nov. 17. Through Sunday, Dec. 31 see the light display nightly from 5-10 p.m. Listen to holiday music as you drive through holiday, nautical and adventured themed light displays. For more information about the holiday lights, and to purchase tickets, click here.

Thursday, Nov. 16 will be Holiday Bike Night. Before it opens to cars, take a ride through the lights. It will run 5-7 p.m. Click here to find out more. It is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Sheriff Rocky Holcomb’s inaugural Turkey Bowl

On Saturday, Nov. 18 the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office invites the community to the inaugural Turkey Bowl. Visit Kempsville High School for the game focused on helping kids in need. The event opens at 10 a.m. and the kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. Admission costs $5 per person. All proceeds go to the Beach Bags Program. Click here to find out more.

Elizabeth City

Blues on The Green Music Festival

On Friday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 18 visit downtown Elizabeth City for the blues music festival. It will take place at Tooley’s Tavern at the Boathouse, 400 E. Colonial Avenue. Watch a mix of local, regional and mid-Atlantic performers. There will be food and beverages for purchase on-site. Click here to buy tickets, see the full schedule and more.



On Friday, Nov. 17 the lights will illuminate at the Elizabethan Gardens. Each night through Dec. 30, visit the festive display from 6-9 p.m. Watch as 10 acres of gardens transform into a wonderland. There will be special nights with live entertainment. Tickets are required. Children under 2 are free. Dogs are welcome to attend with a $6 ticket for our furry friends. Click here to purchase tickets and find more information.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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