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Your guide to Christmas festivities in Manassas

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The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Manassas, as the town gears up for its annual festivities to be held this weekend, starting Friday, December 2nd. From the lighting of the community tree, to the parade, to Santa and Mrs. Claus, to merchant open houses, you won’t want to miss a moment.

“Merry Old Town” Christmas tree lighting

Enjoy some good, old-fashioned celebrating on the Manassas Museum Lawn with a Christmas tree lighting December 2. Hear holiday music from Jason Paul Curtis on the lawn from 5:15 to 6 p.m. Santa will arrive at the VRE station just after 6 p.m. He and Mrs. Claus will light the tree. Also, enjoy entertainment from local high school students in Osbourn Park Madrigals and Osbourn High School’s Center Stage. This event is sponsored by InsideNova Prince William.

71st Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade

Bring the whole family out for the second day of celebration in historic downtown Manassas. The parade will start on December 3 at 10 a.m., with marching bands, floats and Santa’s sleigh, which will be pulled by a Miller Toyota vehicle this year. General Manager of parade sponsor Miller Toyota, Ken Shepard, is excited to be a part of the event. He says, “Christmas brings out the little kid in all of us. Just to see the civic groups, the bands…it’s a great way to kick off what should be a family friendly month.”

This year’s parade is also sponsored by Stanley Martin, a local builder who enjoys supporting the community they helped build. Truett Young, VP of Land at Stanley Martin has lived in Manassas for over 18 years and has fond memories of bringing his own children to the Manassas Christmas Parade. “Old Town Manassas is a wonderful experience,” said Young. “Definitely bring your kids. It’s a great family event.”

This year, Santa will collect toys for needy children in the Manassas area prior to the parade. Bring a new, unopened toy to donate, and brighten up a child’s Christmas.

Free carriage rides downtown

You can tour historic downtown in a horse-drawn carriage from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 4. Carriage rides are free and will leave from the Manassas Train Depot. Get in the holiday spirit as you take in the sounds and sights of the season. Historic downtown will be fully decorated for Christmas. Carriage rides are sponsored by Historic Manassas, Inc., a nonprofit playing a leadership role in the community and helping to revitalize historic downtown Manassas.

Merchants’ Open House

Sunday December 4 at noon, many of the merchants downtown will open their doors with refreshments and specials. Joanne Wunderly, owner of The Things I Love, will open her doors a bit earlier at 11 a.m. with lots of refreshments and live musical entertainment. “I will have 21 themed Christmas trees, each depicting Christmas across the globe, such as New York, Russia, New Orleans, Norway, etc.,Wunderly says.

It is a really nice weekend, with so much going on. People of all ages can find something to enjoy, and it definitely is not like your cookie cutter, mall-type Christmas events at all. It is my favorite weekend of the year in Old Town, and sometimes I find it very emotional.”

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