Old Town Manassas, Virginia celebrates the Christmas season each year with a weekend of old-fashioned family fun at the "Merry Old Town" celebration. The festivities include a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the Manassas Christmas Parade, a gingerbread contest, ice skating, and lots of holiday activities for all ages.
Located just 30 miles from the nation's capital and a short ride from the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, this charming historic town is home to a variety of shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants. It is the perfect place to get in the spirit of the holidays with the fun annual events.
Santa Lights Manassas - Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Friday, November 30, 2018, 5:15 p.m. rain, snow or shine, the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony takes place with great fanfare on the Manassas Museum front lawn at 9101 Prince William Street. Santa arrives at the Manassas Depot via VRE train at 6 p.m.
The evening includes a live concert on the lawn of the Manassas Museum, the lighting ceremony, free hayrides, and visits with Santa. After Santa lights the tree on the museum lawn, he greets all the children and listens to their holiday wishes at the Harris Pavilion gazebo. The ice rink will be open. Families can also visit the Manassas Museum and downtown shops and restaurants, as well as enjoy free wagon rides, to get into the holiday spirit. Park along the side streets in Historic Downtown or in the parking garage located off Prince William Street.
Manassas Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 1, 2018, beginning at 10 a.m. it's a "Rockin' Christmas," parade through Old Town Manassas. See amazing floats, local celebrities, live performances, marching bands, equestrians, animated characters, giant balloons, and Santa at the Manassas Christmas Parade. The parade route begins at Mathis Avenue and concludes at the intersection of Center Street and Grant Avenue. Enjoy enchanted Christmas stories at the Train Depot from 2 - 5 p.m. Bring a new, unwrapped gift to the parade to donate to Un-Trim-A-Tree. A float will travel along the parade route before the parade begins to collect the toys.
Manassas Gingerbread Contest and Display
The annual gingerbread contest including gingerbread houses with cotton candy rooftops and peppermint-drop footpaths will be on display throughout town during the “Merry Old Town” Celebration in Old Town Manassas. Winners will be selected by the public.
You can participate in a gingerbread house class and workshop at the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory in Manassas. There is a class for older children and one for families both take place on Sunday, December 2, 2018.
You bring one bag of candy to share and they supply homemade gingerbread, fresh royal icing, and fancy trimmings for each person to make their own unique “home sweet home.” The first session is timed to allow attendance at the 2 p.m. matinee performance of A Christmas Carol – The Broadway Musical upstairs in the Kellar Family Theater!
On Saturdays throughout the holiday season, hop in a carriage and tour the historic streets of Historic Downtown Manassas. Take in the sights and sounds of the season. Carriage rides will leave from the Train Depot and take you around Historic Downtown from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. (weather permitting).
Holiday Home Tour
Sunday, December 9, 2018, 1 - 4 p.m. The GFWC Woman’s Club of Manassas hosts the annual tour of homes. Tickets are $20 and allow visiting all five homes. Tickets are available mid-November at the Flower Gallery, The Things I Love, Manassas Museum and the Visitor Center at the Train Station. Profits benefit local charities and scholarships for local high school students.