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Dickens of a Christmas Starts Friday

The Roanoke Valley’s largest holiday celebration, Dickens of a Christmas, returns this year the first three Friday nights in December. Details about the free street festival are below.

The festival will kick off on December 6th with the lighting of the City of Roanoke Christmas Tree, on Salem Avenue in Wells Fargo Plaza. The ceremony begins at 5:30 pm with tree lighting at 6:20 pm and will include live stage performances by the Salem Choral Society, Divine Dance Center, and William Byrd High School Vocal Ensemble.

The City of Roanoke Christmas Parade, on December 13th, will follow the same route as previous years, beginning on Jefferson Street at Elm Avenue, turning onto Campbell Avenue, going past Market Square, and ending at Williamson Road. This year’s parade will start at 6:30 pm.

The Roanoke Valley SPCA brings back its beloved Pet Costume Contest December 20th on Salem Avenue at Wells Fargo Plaza. Pet owners may start registering their pets at 5:30 pm the night of the event. Contest begins at 6:30 pm.

Also taking place on December 20th, Downtown Roanoke, Inc. has added a new Coca Cola Mini Carnival featuring a Carousel and Magic Carpet Slide. Rides will be on Salem Ave and Market Street near the Christmas Tree and be free for all in attendance.

Elmwood on Ice  will be open all 3 night of Dickens  from 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm bringing a guarantee of ice to Dickens of a Christmas. More information on the ice rink can be found at

Festivities continue throughout the evening until 10:00 pm each night, including live stage and street performances by acts such as Plastic Musik (new this year), Hidden Valley High School Vocal Ensemble, Mill Mountain Theatre, and more.

Other activities taking place throughout the Historic Market area include the Cox Kids Zone, carriage rides, vendors, live carolers, fire-eater, sword swallower, photos with Santa, living nativity scene, and more. A full schedule of events can be found at

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