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Christmas season kicks off in Bedford

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Tree lighting, parade usher in Centertown’s events

By Tom Wilmoth

    The Christmas season has officially arrived in Bedford with a tree lighting this Friday and the Christmas Parade on Saturday.

    Bedford Main Street Inc. is promoting a wide range of events throughout the season and sponsors this weekend’s events.

     “It’s about what is going on [in Bedford],” stated Sara Smith, executive director of Bedford Main Street. The promotion means that you can find events to enjoy throughout the season.
    This Friday at 6 p.m. the Christmas tree lighting will be held at Centertown Plaza and the evenings events will include carriage rides and a trip to Santa Land, where Santa will be available for photos with the children. All of those will be centered at the Plaza.
    And then this Saturday, Dec. 3, the Bedford Christmas Parade will feature the theme of “A Bedford Christmas” with more than 100 entries already signed up.
    The parade will follow the traditional route, beginning at Peaks Street, going South on Bridge Street and then turning east onto Main Street (see the above map for the full route).
    Main Street will feature some Christmas music presented by Taylor Rodriquez at the courthouse prior to the parade reaching that point. The parade judges and emcee will also be positioned in front of the courthouse as parade entries pass by.
    “It should be a lot of fun,” Smith stated of the parade.
    The theme allows for a wide variety of entries. “We really wanted it to be wide open,” she said. “Bedford means so many different things to so many different people. Whatever your interpretation is of those things we wanted to celebrate it.”
    All three high school bands will be participating.
    Bedford Main Street provided a few suggestions on watching the parade:
    • Viewing locations along the route are available on a first come, first served basis.
    • Feel free to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets to sit on. Show a little extra kindness and courtesy to children and those with limited mobility, stay down in front so those behind you don’t miss seeing their favorite parade entry, and while everyone loves dogs (especially those dressed up for Christmas), your dog needs to be on a leash and crowd-friendly.
    • The parade can be viewed from the sidewalk on both sides of the street along the route. (Exception: the sidewalk in front of the new courthouse is closed.) There will be barricades at all intersections along the parade route to keep the audience out of the street and to allow avenues for pedestrian crossing. There will be a parade marshal at each barricaded intersection to keep these areas clear and to facilitate safe emergency crossing, and there will be a large contingent of uniformed police officers posted throughout the area.
    • Carpooling is important for those attending. Street parking is available on a first come, first served basis. If you park on the street, make sure you obey all posted signage and restrictions and do not block any driveways or alleys. Do not park in any private parking lots unless you have express permission from the property owner to do so. There will be no parking along the parade route and on some adjacent side streets beginning at 5 a.m. on the day of the parade. There will be signs in place to indicate the restrictions. The Police Department will have vehicles towed on Saturday morning that have not been removed from the street.  Designated handicap parking is available in West Depot Parking Lot.
    • The streets along the parade route and some adjacent side streets will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at 5 a.m. The roads will remain closed until town maintenance crews finish cleaning the route – all streets are expected to be open by 2 p.m.
    • There will be portable restrooms at various locations around the parade route, including the Rec. Field and Farmers Market Pavilion.
    • Use of alcoholic beverages is absolutely prohibited. Disregarding this rule will result in immediate removal from the parade.
    • Bedford Main Street is the main point of contact for the parade by calling 540-586-2148 or at bedfordmainstreet@gmail.com.
    Events being promoted by Bedford Main Street for the season include:
    • Nov. 16  - Dec. 31, Welcome Center, Festival of Trees (free).
    • Nov. 25  - Jan. 14, Model Train Exhibit (free), Bedford Museum.
    • Dec. 2 at 6 p.m., Centertown Plaza, Tree Lighting with Santa and Karen’s Karolers (free).
    • Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m., Caroling thru Town (free), Main Street UMC.
    • Dec. 2 - Dec. 16, Centertown Shops Window Decorating Contest (free).
    • Dec. 2 - Dec. 31, English Meadows - Elks Home Christmas Light Display (free).
    • Dec. 2 - Dec. 31, Liberty Lake Park, Christmas Light Display.
    • Dec. 2/9/16/23 at 6:30 p.m., Santa Land (free), Carriage Rides* ($5/rider) at Centertown Plaza, Karen’s Karolers (free).
    • Dec. 4 from 3-6 p.m., ‘Tis the Season with Santa and Music at Status Barber Shop.
    • Dec. 4/5 from 1-5 p.m., Annual Holiday Studio & Gallery, Tour at Goose Creek Studio/ Bower Center/Electric Company (and others) (free)
    • Dec. 9/10/11 from 6-9 p.m., National D-Day Memorial Flames of Memory Luminary Event (free).
    • Parade, Dec. 3,  11 a.m.
    • Dec. 10 from 6-8:30 p.m., An 1850s Christmas Celebration Costumes, Refreshments, Music
($40/ticket lynchburgtickets.com), Historic Avenel.
    • Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Pet Pics w/Santa in Centertown Plaza ($5 donation), Friends of Bedford Animal Shelter.
    • Dec. 11 at 7 p.m., Abendmusik Concert, Bedford Presbyterian Church (free).
    • Dec. 14 from 8-11 p.m.,  Ugly Christmas Sweater  Party with Robotic Jive,  Clam Diggers Pub & Eatery.
    • Dec. 16 from 3-6 p.m., Holiday Open House & Santa Selfies (free) at Wendy Witt Real Estate & with Town Kitchen and Provisions.
    • Dec. 17 from 7:30-9:30 p.m., Holiday Concert ($10 donation), Bedford Community Orchestra, Bedford Middle School  Auditorium.
    • Dec. 21 from 7-10 p.m., Winter Solstice Candlelight All Faiths Ceremony and Community Potluck (free), The Labyrinth Spa.
    • 2nd Fridays Events, Dec. 9, 12 Months: Multi Media Works by Carol Burnette (free), Goose Creek Studio 5-8 p.m., The “Brass Five” Holiday Concert (free), Bower Center for the Arts 7 p.m.