The first Saturday of December is always a special time in Middleburg. That’s when the town’s premier event—Christmas in Middleburg—takes place and residents and visitors alike turn their eyes and thoughts ahead to the coming holiday.
One of the highlights of the day is the 11 a.m. hunt review, a stirring sight as about 100 huntsmen in their scarlet “hunting pink” coats ride their horses along Washington Street, with dozens of hounds trotting happily at their heels.
The day starts early, at 8:30 a.m. with kids and their parents enjoying Breakfast with Santa at the Middleburg Community Charter School.
Throughout the day there is something for every taste—including the Christmas Craft Show at the Middleburg Community Center, and the Middleburg Garden Club’s Christmas Flower and Greens Show at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. Visitors can take in hayrides and choral performances as well as shopping and dining in the town’s many boutique shops and restaurants. This year, event organizer Jim Herbert has added food trucks near the community center, to augment the gastronomic mix.
The town’s parade starts at 2 p.m., featuring an eclectic mix of floats, musical groups, marching bands, scores of four-footed creatures of all sizes and breeds, and Santa riding in a five-in-hand coach drawn by Ayrshire horses.
After the parade, the Spirits of Middleburg offers food and wine tastings that will be available at different restaurants, where visitors can rest their feet and enjoy samplings of light food and spirits.
“It’s pay as you go,” Herbert said, noting attendees can find a full list of participating restaurants at christmasinmiddleburg.org.
“It’s a wonderful family festival, where visitors really get to see what the town is all about,” he said.
Event parking is available at Mickie Gordon Park, 1 mile east of town, for $5 per vehicle. Free shuttle buses will ferry visitors into and from town all day.
The Christmas activities begin the night before—Friday, Dec. 4—when the Middleburg Business and Professional Association hosts the traditional Christmas tree lighting and caroling behind the Pink Box Visitor Center at 12 N. Madison St. The tree lighting will be followed by the fifth annual holiday concert by A Place to Be, and the evening closes with a 6:30 p.m. Christmas concert at Salamander Resort & Spa.
For more information, call the Pink Box at 540-687-8888; email [email protected] or go to christmasinmiddleburg.org for a full event schedule and shop specials.