Holly Jolly Old Town Celebration

Posted: December 12, 2013

The Winchester Star

Winchester — Christmas will be in full swing Saturday in downtown Winchester with the Holly Jolly Old Town Celebration.

A full day of events is planned at various locations in downtown Winchester to help people celebrate and get in the holiday spirit, said Dario Savarese, special event promoter for the City of Winchester.

Now in its second year, new events have been added to the day sponsored by the Old Town Development Board to increase offerings for families, he said. Most of the events are free.

“We are trying to provide an opportunity for various groups to bring awareness to their programs, possibly fund raise, and at the same time, provide good entertainment to the community,” said Savarese, owner of Full Circle Marketing.

One of the new events this year is a children’s ornament workshop and two back-to-back showings of “The Polar Express,” put on by the ChildSafe Center–CAC, said Keri Mounts, a board member for the group. The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at the Godfrey Miller Home and Fellowship Center, 28 S. Loudoun St.

“We want to be a part of a Christmas event, to be a place where folks can come in and warm up with milk and cookies, for the kids to come in and watch ‘The Polar Express,’” she said.

The goal of the event also is to reach out to the community to show people what the organization does, she said. The center’s purpose is to promote a child-focused approach to the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse by providing a safe, child-friendly facility and team response, she added.

Also from noon to 4 p.m., the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winchester, Frederick and Clarke counties will offer gift wrapping for a donation in the Bright Box Theater, 15 N. Loudoun St.

Another new event is the telling of Christmas and holiday stories from noon to 5 p.m. at the Old Court House Civil War Museum, Savarese said. The readings will begin every 30 minutes.

Relay for Life and The American Cancer Society will have a luminaria lighting to honor and remember those with cancer at 6 p.m. on the Loudoun Street Mall. To purchase a luminaria bag, contact Mike Hummer at 540-577-9016 or mahummer2000@yahoo.com.

The first year Holly Jolly was held, two caroling groups performed during the day while strolling on the mall, Savarese said. He increased that number to 10 church groups caroling every hour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

“The mall looks beautiful with its decorations, and as people are going from shop to shop, the caroling adds to the ambience and energy in Old Town,” he said.

Returning this year are horse drawn wagon rides compliments of Union First Market Bank from 7 to 9 p.m. and the Victorian Candlelight Ball from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 116 S. Loudoun St. Both are free and open to the public.

For the ball, no dance experience is required and period, casual, and formal attire are acceptable.

The Winchester Model Railroad Club will display more than 259 trains and miles of track from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at its clubhouse, the former B&O/CSX Freight House, 430 N. Cameron St.

There will also be an Old Town Civil War Walking Tour led by Sandy Jones that meets at 11 a.m. at the Kurtz Building, 2 N. Cameron St. Tours are $5 per person, payable to the guide. Make reservations by calling the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center at 540-542-1326.


The Holly Jolly Old Town Celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday in downtown Winchester. Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Jennifer Bell at 540-535-3660 or Jennifer.bell@winchesterva.gov or go to oldtownwinchesterva.com.

— Contact Laura McFarland at lmcfarland@winchesterstar.com