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Holiday Festivities at Smith Mountain Lake

Now that we’ve had our fill of candy corn and trunk-or-treats, it’s time to focus on turkey, trimmings, and gatherings with friends and family. And since Smith Mountain Lake is perfectly situated between Franklin and Bedford Counties, there’s a seamless celebration of holiday festivities to explore.

The season kicks off with the annual Franklin County Courthouse Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 24th at 5:30pm. The ceremony takes place on the lawns of the historic Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount and features a concert from the Benjamin Franklin Middle School Band.  This event is sponsored by the Community Partnership for Revitalization and Franklin County Parks & Recreation.

The 6th Annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting in Downtown Moneta will be held on Friday, December 1st, 2017 from 6pm-10pm. This event takes place at Celebration Square and features a variety of vendors, music, and a visit from Santa. Proceeds benefit the Moneta Fire Department.

The 38th Annual Franklin County Christmas Parade takes place on Sunday, December 3rd at 3pm. Spectators line the streets of Rocky Mount to revel in Christmas cheer as parade floats, marching bands, and Santa himself usher in the holiday season. The 1.3-mile route begins on Tanyard Road and winds through Franklin Street to the Historic Rocky Mount Train Depot.

The Westlake Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, December 7th at Westlake Towne Center from 5:30pm- 8pm. This popular event features music, entertainment, gift card giveaways, and a visit from Santa. An 8pm showing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” will take place at Westlake Cinema for those who donate a new, unwrapped toy to We Care of Franklin County during the event.

For a full list of Smith Mountain Lake holiday attractions, make sure to check out the event calendar at www.VisitSmithMountainLake.com.

Drumstick DASH Family 5K Scheduled

Thanksgiving typically conjures up visions of turkey, trimmings, and a dessert table full of pumpkin pie. However, thanks to Rescue Mission Ministries of Roanoke, over 250 men, women, and children will continue to receive food, shelter, and clothing courtesy of the Drumstick Dash.

Held annually on Thanksgiving Day, the Drumstick Dash encourages you to “move your feet so others can eat” by participating in a family 5K run/walk that raises money for those seeking services from Rescue Mission Ministries. This year, the Rescue Mission will provide more than 250,000 meals to needy families in the Roanoke area.

The 5k route begins at 9am on Williamson and Franklin Roads and winds throughout Downtown Roanoke, ending on the Roanoke City Market. After the Drumstick Dash is completed, participants are invited to a continental breakfast and awards ceremony at the finish line.

Registration is available online at www.DrumstickDash.net. Discounts are available for advanced registration.

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival Scheduled for Saturday, October 28th

The Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, coordinated by the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, is scheduled for Saturday, October 28th from 10am to 5pm. The annual event is held on the Ferrum College campus and features a variety of historic exhibits, demonstrations, and concerts inspired by the traditions of the region.

Fan favorites include horse pulls, sheep herding demos, coon dog contests, and moonshiner still and storytelling exhibits. Visitors can also choose from a variety of authentic food options including pork barbecue, fresh apple pies, Brunswick stew, and black pot chicken.

The craft exhibit features rare finds from distinguished artisans specializing in quilting, blacksmithing, and custom musical instruments such as mandolins, banjos, and guitars.

Admission for the event is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 60 and older, and $5 for children aged 5-15. Children under 5 are free. For information on vendors, attractions, and admission, visit www.BlueRidgeFolklifeFestival.com.