Cindy Bither
Administrative Assistant
P: (540) 464-7207
F: (540) 464-7443

111 Smith Hall
Lexington, VA 24450

VMI Holiday Celebrations Begin

FullTextImage/img/@altCol. John Brodie conducts a carol sing with the VMI Glee Club at last year's Carols in the Courtyard event. -- VMI File Photo by Kevin Remington.

LEXINGTON, Va., Dec.5, 2013 – Virginia Military Institute will once again celebrate the holiday season with a number of activities open to the public.

This year’s events will begin with the Lexington Christmas Parade, to be held Friday, Dec. 6, at 5:30 p.m. VMI’s 4th Class cadets, including the rat band, will march in the parade.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park will host Christmas on the Farm. This holiday open house is designed to give visitors to the Bushong Farm a taste of Civil War-era Christmas celebrations as they travel back in time to 1859, when the nation was on the brink of war, and 1864, when the conflict had dragged on for almost four years. In the Virginia Museum of the Civil War visitors can make ornaments, write letters to men and women in the military who are far from home, and do some Christmas shopping in the General’s Store. Admission is $10 for adults ages 13-64; $9 for seniors 65 and older; $6 for youth ages 6-12; and free for ages 5 and under. Admission is free to all VMI personnel and their immediate family members.

Also on Saturday, Dec. 7, the VMI Regimental Band and Pipe Band will perform in the Richmond Christmas Parade, beginning at 10 a.m. The band’s appearance is sponsored by the Richmond City Development Council.

Closer to home, the VMI Museum will hold its annual holiday open house on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature refreshments, door prizes and a 10 percent discount on most items.

Seasonal festivities will continue on Monday, Dec. 9, as the VMI Glee Club presents its annual holiday tradition, Carols in the Courtyard, in the courtyard of Old Barracks at 8 p.m. Admission is free. Cadets and the public alike will be invited to have hot chocolate and cookies and join the cadets as they present a short program of holiday favorites and beloved songs of the season.

Following the performance, a candlelight service will be held in Jackson Memorial Hall, at approximately 8:45 p.m. During the service, participants will sing hymns, hear a Scripture reading, and meditate on the Christmas spirit.

On Friday, Dec. 13, the Stonewall Jackson House will present Christmas with the Jacksons from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Costumed tour guides will offer candlelight tours of the house and explain 19th-century Christmas traditions. Admission for the event will consist of canned or other non-perishable food items to benefit the Rockbridge Area Relief Association food pantry.

Also on that weekend, the VMI Community Theatre will present “A Holiday Potpourri,” featuring three short Christmas plays, a Hanukkah story, and seasonal music. Performances will take place Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13 and 14, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. in Gillis Theater in Marshall Hall, at VMI. General admission is $5 with children age 6 and under and cadets, free. Reservations are not necessary.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, the George C. Marshall Museum will hold its annual holiday open house from 10 a.m. to noon.