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Several holiday events set for Washington County

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A variety of holiday events are taking place throughout Washington County in the coming days, with something fun for everyone to enjoy.

Christmas parades are always a good way to get in the Christmas spirit, especially when it involves pets. Dog owners get to show off their pets’ costumes during the Trail Town Christmas Parade in Damascus on Saturday.

If you’re looking for a gift for someone special, the final days of the Holiday Market at The Martha are Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the lawn of the Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon.

Emory & Henry College is even getting in on the festivities when the radio station, WEHC, launches a Christmas program Dec. 15 that seeks to highlight the talent and traditions of Southwest Virginia.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the holiday-themed activities planned in communities in Washington County, Virginia:

Glade Spring

Town Square Christmas in Glade Spring will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday. Radio station FM 94 will be live on location.

A vendor market will be held from noon to 6 p.m. in the Farmers Market pavilion, where children will be invited to decorate Christmas ornaments from noon to 5 p.m.

Children who decorate and hang their ornaments on the tree in Town Square will be included in a drawing to receive a children’s basket giveaway filled with Christmas candy, fidget poppers, a kids' digital camera, an LCD writing tablet and a water bottle.

Visitors can participate in a scavenger hunt from noon to 2 p.m. The first 10 people who complete the hunt will receive prizes, and their names will be entered in a drawing for a big giveaway with gift certificates and gifts.

At 2 p.m., there will be a Christmas parade starting at Glade Spring Middle School and finishing at Food Country.

An old-fashioned tree lighting will complete the festivities at 6 p.m. in the Town Square near the gazebo.


The town of Damascus is celebrating the holiday season with a number of activities for the family.

The annual Trail Town Christmas Parade in Damascus starts at 7 p.m. Saturday.

A Damascus Loves Dogs Holiday Costume Contest will take place during the Christmas parade when dogs will show off their costumes as they walk with their owners through the parade route. Three judges will choose the top three winners based on best overall costume, which includes showmanship, originality, design and color and creative presentation. The winners will be announced at the gazebo in the Town Park shortly after the parade.

The Damascus Christmas Tree Market will continue through Saturday at Laurel Creek Park on Imboden Street (beside the Old Mill Inn).

On Saturday, the undefeated Holston Cavs will host the Galax Maroon Tide in the Virginia State Playoffs. The Appalachian Heritage Distillery will open at 11 a.m. for pregame festivities.

From 8-11 p.m. Saturday, the 7 Trails Grill is hosting Colby Hinchey on the patio.

A “Shop ’til You Drop” event is being held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 11 in the Rock School Auditorium at 505 S. Shady Ave. in town. There will be a variety of craft vendors and holiday treats. All proceeds will go to the Damascus Volunteer Fire Department.


The radio station of Emory & Henry College, WEHC, is launching a program that seeks to highlight the talent and traditions of Southwest Virginia with a Christmas show. The public is invited to “The Christmas Sampler,” which will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15, in the Black Box Theatre in McGlothlin Center for the Arts on campus.

“The Christmas Sampler” will feature an appearance by Santa before a live studio audience. Santa will read letters from area schoolchildren, and he and his elf, WEHC General Manager Ivy Sheppard, will introduce performances by local musicians. Reserve free tickets online at


The Holiday Market at The Martha continues on the lawn of the Martha Washington Hotel & Spa, where artisan booths will be set up for display.

The event, Friday through Sunday, operates from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

The special holiday craft market includes handmade gifts and stocking stuffers from some of the best Virginia Highlands Festival vendors, including specialty/gourmet items, handmade jewelry, sculpture, glass and pottery vendors. Artisans from ’Round the Mountain and Holston Mountain Artisans will also be represented.

The annual Kiwanis Christmas Parade begins at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Catch Santa and take a selfie from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at The Martha gazebo, before he gets ready to make his appearance in the parade. The parade will begin at Court Street and go to Palmer Street.

The Abingdon Farmers Market is hosting an After Hours Holiday Market in the Abingdon Train Depot from 2-6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 18. Patrons can shop for gifts, decorations and Abingdon Farmers Market merchandise.

On Saturday, visit Santa’s Workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Holston Mountain Artisans at 214 Park St. Children will enjoy light refreshments and artisan demonstrations.

On Sunday, take a Historic Holiday Tour of The Martha with local storyteller Donnamarie Emmert at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

Also on Sunday at 5:30 p.m., the Abingdon Recreation Department will offer families cocoa and cookies, a Christmas movie and tree lighting. All children will receive a gift bag and have a chance to register for a social media coloring challenge.

For more information about all the Christmas events in Abingdon, visit

Carolyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer in Glade Spring, Virginia. Contact her at


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