By Lindsey Nair
Want to shed a little light on your holiday experience? Here are a few noteworthy holiday light displays that you won’t want to miss.
More than 50,000 lights and illuminated Christmas scenes adorn the trees, shrubs, grounds and buildings each year at the Elks National Home in Bedford. The lights are turned on for the first time at an official ceremony in the main dining room, with the public invited and a prominent member of the Order of Elks to throw the master switch.
Where: Elks National Home, 931 Ashland Ave., Bedford
When: Lighting ceremony Dec. 14 at 5 p.m.; display turned on every night from 5 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 31.
Cost: Free (donations appreciated)
A group of neighbors in the 2200 block of Westover Avenue in southwest Roanoke decorates their houses and yards with enough lights to set the entire block aglow. In years past, the display has included a giant Santa Claus, a disco ball and lights strung between homes.
Where: 2200 block of Westover Avenue Southwest, Roanoke
When: Mid-December through New Year’s Day
Time: About dusk to 10 p.m.
Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center will again be the site of the “Fashions for Evergreens” competition, an annual event that features more than 25 Christmas trees decorated by local businesses. Participants decorate their tree in whatever theme they desire; the trees are then on display in the hotel’s public spaces throughout the holiday season. Anyone is invited to stop by and view the trees. Hotel spokesman Mike Quonce said some 8,000 to 12,000 people see the trees each year.
Where: Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, 110 Shenandoah Ave. N.W., Roanoke
When: Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day
Time: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
If you’re a Virginia Tech fan, head over to Nolen Road in Christiansburg for what Tony and Candice Kapranos call THE Virginia Tech Christmas light display. It includes flashing VT signs, the Hokie bird and a Tech football mascot. Be sure to let down the car windows to hear the accompanying Christmas music.
Where: 108 Nolen Road, Christiansburg
When: Nov. 23 through New Year’s Day
Time: 5 to 11 p.m. every day
Every Christmas Eve, volunteers in Buchanan light luminaries and set them along the streets of the town. Many residents take the opportunity to stroll through downtown Buchanan while they are on the way to Christmas Eve church services. Whether you have a destination or just want to admire the glow, the town has ample parallel parking.
Where: Main Street, Lowe Street, Bedford Street and Washington Street in Buchanan
When: Christmas Eve
Time: 6 p.m. to midnight
* If you have a holiday light display worthy of lots of viewing traffic, visit roanoke.com/lights to submit that information. It will be entered into a searchable database of light shows.
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