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'It's a holiday tradition' | Grand Illumination, Hot Cocoa war to kick off in Downtown Norfolk

The Grand Illumination celebration and many activities will welcome the start of the holiday season on Nov. 20.

NORFOLK, Va. — Author's Note: The video above is on file from Nov. 21, 2020.

Norfolk is set to welcome the holiday season officially with its Grand Illumination Celebration on Nov. 20.

While the traditional parade still won't be part of the festivities, there will be plenty of other activities in the downtown area that are sure to bring holiday cheer!

“We are kicking off the season where Downtown is full of holiday cheer, shows, events, dining, shopping, attractions and ice skating all within walking distance,” said Downtown Norfolk Council Director of Marketing and Communications Jessica Kliner. 

Kliner added, “As usual, the Downtown skyline will shine with the Grand Illumination of our Downtown buildings, and we are proud to share the joy of the season with all of our residents, businesses and visitors. We are also truly thankful for our sponsors that help us make the season bright including ADP, The Breeden Company, Lime, MacArthur Center, Marriott Norfolk Waterside and TowneBank."

The kickoff on Nov. 20 is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Among the features:

  • Dancers and marching bands
  • Siren City Pipe Band
  • The Rhythm Project
  • Entertainment by the Virginia Arts Festival
  • Snowfall on Granby
  • New holiday art installation in the Neon District

People also will get a chance to take a picture with Santa! 

If you'd like to check out the festivities by bicycle, you can join the Rudolph Ride from The Plot. People will meet at 6 p.m. at The Plot, located at 776 Granby St.

Events that are being held from Nov. 20 to 27 and through the month of December include the 7th Annual Great Hot Cocoa War, Poinsettia and Fresh Wreath Market, along with Holiday Movie Food and Drink Week. 

For more information on the holiday festivities please visit the Downtown Norfolk website.