It will be a couple weeks early, but it should feel a lot like Christmas in Highland County this weekend.
The celebrations will start with the 24th annual Lynchburg Village Christmas on Friday and Saturday. More than 35 local vendors and crafters will be at various locations throughout the village, and shoppers will be able to navigate to them with a map bearing numbered locations. Included with the map is a shopping guide with lists of the shops and vendors and what they are offering. The shopping guides are available at the participating merchant locations.
Kids can have their picture taken with Santa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the gazebo in the center of the village. If the weather is too cold, Santa will be in Beech Street Candleworks at 111 S. Main St., Lynchburg. Boy Scouts will be selling food at the firehouse.
In Hillsboro on Saturday, activities get underway with the Ugly Sweater 5K Walk/Run at 10 a.m. Participants are invited to come to the event in their “best” ugly Christmas sweater. Members of the Hillsboro High School Student Council will be on hand during the event with items like hot chocolate for sale.
The Rocky Fork Community Alliance will host Christmas at the Lake for the second consecutive year from 2-4 p.m. Saturday at the Activity Center near north beach. Kids can have their picture taken with Santa, who will be giving out a treat bag to each child. Members of the alliance will serve refreshments.
“We wanted to make a Christmas event available close to our community. Some people have transportation problems and this will be close to home. It is totally free to anyone who wants to come,” said Diane Uhl, RFCA president. She said the event was purposely schedule from 2-4 p.m. so it would not interfere with a Build A Buddy event at the Highland County Senior Citizen Center in Hillsboro that morning or the annual Hillsboro Christmas Parade that evening.
“We had a great time last year and look forward to seeing everyone. Merry Christmas from the Rocky Fork Community Alliance,” Uhl said.
The Hillsboro parade, sponsored by the Hillsboro Uptown Business Association, starts at 6 p.m. from the Highland County Fairgrounds and is expected to arrive in the uptown around 6:20 p.m.
Prior to the parade, Hillsboro High School Student Council members will start selling hot chocolate, popcorn balls, fudge and other items in the courthouse area at 5 p.m. It will hold a tree lighting of the 20-foot tall Christmas tree it purchased and erected last weekend on the courthouse lawn at 5:40 p.m.
On Sunday, the Pipes of Christmas: A Historic Organ Walk will be held in Greenfield starting at 3 p.m. The event features the pipe organs at the First Presbyterian Church, the Greenfield Methodist Church and McClain High School, all over 100 years old. Attendees will be split into two groups with one group starting at the Methodist church and the other group at the Presbyterian church. After a concert at each location, the groups will switch churches, then the event will culminate with a third performance at McClain High School where both groups will converge.
In Leesburg, the 28th annual Leesburg Lions Club Luminaria will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday and run until about 7:30 p.m. More details on the event will appear in The Times-Gazette later this week.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.