Roaming Roanoke: Holiday Events
Happy New Year! While the holidays have come and gone and 2021 is underway, Roaming Roanoke is going to take one last look at some holiday events in the region.
Two of my holiday favorites are The Nutcracker ballet and looking at Christmas lights! We are so lucky that Blue Ridge PBS made both of these happen despite the Covid pandemic challenges!
Blue Ridge PBS is just one organization that changed its holiday events to remain safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. Blue Ridge PBS set-up and hosted Santa’s Winter Wonderland! The television station grounds were transformed to Santa’s Winter Wonderland and included many of PBS’s television show characters helping in Santa’s Workshop or providing entertainment. The entire event was drive-thru! We got to stay warm and comfy in our car and see all of the lights, Santa’s helpers, our favorite characters from PBS, and we even got to see Santa and Mrs. Claus! We were able to speak to Santa from the car and hear him through the car radio! All of the lights displays were set to music as well. All we had to do was tune in to a radio station in the car! Our young kids loved seeing Elmo, Pinkalicious, and so many more as a part of the light display and Santa’s Winter Wonderland! The lights were spectacular to view as well! My one-year-old was truly mesmerized and excited with all of the Christmas decorations and lights! She oohed and aahed the whole drive-thru! This whole event was free (but did accept donations to support PBS)!
Another favorite event of mine is The Nutcracker ballet. I was a ballerina growing up and still am at heart! I can still remember some of The Nutcracker choreography! I can hum the Sugar Plum Fairy music. My five-year-old daughter loved watching The Nutcracker ballet two years ago! Now she takes ballet lessons as well. I wanted to take her to see the famous ballet in person, but you know, Covid happened. Thankfully we still got to watch it! The Southwest Virginia Ballet found a way to perform The Nutcracker for audiences. They teamed up with Blue Ridge PBS, the City of Roanoke’s Berglund Performing Arts Theatre and others to perform The Nutcracker, film it, and broadcast and stream it for FREE to audiences!
Dancers performed The Nutcracker scenes in several places all over Roanoke. It was fun to see the dances not just on stage but at places like the Roanoke Star! It really added a hometown feel to the classic story! Southwest Virginia Ballet’s website says, “The beautiful steps, the hummable music, the memorable moments will all be there — along with some surprising twists. As the Nutcracker steps into a cinematic format, the community will be showcased in ways unique to this performance.”
While this certainly was a different experience for The Nutcracker, it was definitely memorable! The Southwest Virginia Ballet’s website says, “No tickets will be sold, but collaborators have created many ways to support this once-in-a-lifetime community gift. Offering this gift of a virtual Nutcracker to families in their own homes, school children, either virtually or in classrooms, nursing home residents and hospital patients, is but a small thank you for the past 30 years of community support.”
Thank you to Blue Ridge PBS and sponsors and Southwest Virginia Ballet for helping make these holiday events possible in 2020!
As the new year is underway, if you have a place or event for Roaming Roanoke to visit, please let us know!