Need a little Christmas? These 5 events will make you merry in no time

Appalachian Coal Town Christmas at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine

Now that we’re into November, it’s perfectly acceptable to celebrate the joy of Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of year, after all! So go ahead— lift your spirits with parades, light displays, cookies, and small-town cheer.

Here’s where to get started:

1. Lewisburg Holiday Festival

Nov. 18-19

If you associate Christmas with Victorian elegance, then this antebellum town deserves a weekend visit. The Lewisburg Holiday Festival gets the mood just right, too. Horses clop down the narrow streets, pulling carriages; strings of lights twinkle above the sidewalks; and timeless carols play from almost every block.

Live performances add to the merriment. Look forward to ice carving, tree lighting, face painting, and an “Elf on the Shelf” reading, among others.

Lewisburg’s upscale shops get into the spirit, too. Most will have generous discounts, like High Country Boutique. Stop in during the festival for 20 percent off Chan Luu jewelry. The Front Porch, a fine home goods store, will garnish deals on barware and accessories with free wine and cookies!

2. Holiday of Lights Festival

Nov. 23-31

Every year, all that’s merry and bright gathers at Bluefield City Park. With more than a million bulbs spread across a 1.5-mile course, the famous Holiday of Lights Festival packs lots of Christmas wattage. Sparkly animations and displays grab your attention, too.

The festival will also have special activities on select nights. Visit the Holy Family at “A Night in Bethlehem” nativity, go on carriage rides with “Frozen” characters, or enter a 5k race! The City of Bluefield has a complete list of activities online if you’re curious.

3. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

Nov. 24-26 and 30, Dec. 1-3

No Christmas should go without a live production of some sort, whether it’s “The Nutcracker” or a play. Fortunately, Fayetteville’s Historic Fayette Theatre has just the ticket: “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

This award-winning comedy pleases the entire family with its engaging characters and hijinks. Follow along as the boisterous, disruptive Herdman kids finagle their way into the town’s Christmas pageant. Nobody knows what to think, since the siblings are infamous pranksters. The Herdmans have never heard of baby Jesus, either. But one thing’s for sure: the town production won’t be the same.

4. Appalachian Coal Town Christmas

Nov. 24-25 and Dec. 1-2

This old-time event warms the heart with winter traditions and family activities. Held at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, the Appalachian Coal Town Christmastreats you to marshmallow roasts, carols, and swags of pines and lights. Go underground for a fascinating mine tour or stay above ground for carriage rides. An ornament workshop, decorated historic homes, and gifts add to the charm.

5. Fayetteville Christmas

Nov. 25-Dec. 25

“America’s Coolest Small Town” has just as much gusto for Christmas as it does outdoor recreation. Starting on Nov. 25, downtown Fayetteville will have Shop Small Saturday. Enjoy discounts on adventure gear, antiques, clothes, and home decor! It’s also an excuse to pop into a cafe for cocoa, cappuccino, and a cookie. When in Rome, right?

Then, come back for an Old-Time Christmas Celebration on Dec. 1-2. Fayetteville will deck the halls with a “Greening of the Town” and an ugly sweater contest. Crafts, carols, and a “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” parade make things even more fun.

What’s your favorite Christmas festival or event in southern West Virginia?