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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Weekend Radar: Parade, Illumination, Soul Santa, Yuletide Monsters

We’re leaning heavily into the Christmas spirit this weekend with our picks.

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On the Radar

Christmas Parade – I’d end up on the naughty list if I didn’t include this one. Not much else to say beyond the title. It’s a big parade with all the parade things, bands, floats, large floating things, lots of people you don’t know waving at you from cars, stormtroopers, and intensely smiling people. The weather looks perfect.

  • Downtown Richmond | Route starts Science Museum of Virginia to the Richmond Coliseum on Broad | Dec 4, Parade Start 10 AM | Free | Website

Grand Illumination – They turn on the city’s holiday lights. You can enjoy the party downtown for the live show and spend the evening with news anchors Deanna Allbrittin and Eric Phillips, meteorologists Matt DiNardo and John Bernier and sports anchor Natalie Kalibat. DJ Lonnie B will be on hand to keep the music going and Mayor Levar Stoney will flip the switch and turn on the city’s holiday lights.

  • Kanawha Plaza | 8th and Canal Streets | Dec 3rd, Starts at 5 PM lights on 6 PM | Free | FB Event

Under the Radar

Soul Santa – Soul Santa is coming to town, specifically the Black History Museum and Cultural Center.  “As we continue to do our best to keep everyone safe, Soul Santa will visit virtually again this year. Our special guest is NBC12’s Jasmine Turner. Jasmine will interview Soul Santa on the Soul Santa Network (SSN) and he will be joined by some of his special friends for fun activities. Registration is now open so sign up and tune in! Every child who registers will receive a Christmas card in the mail from the big man himself!”

  • Virtual | Dec 4th & Dec 11th, 10 AM & 11 AM | Free | Register Here

Krampusnacht “Yuletide Monsters” – A a jam-packed evening full of Krampus themed art from local artists, burlesque performances, live music, DJs, libation specials, a toy drive, and more.

  • Gallery 5 | 200 W. Marshall Street | Dec 3rd, 5-11 PM | Free | FB Event

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Photos: All the Saints Theater Company Oregon Hill Halloween Parade

The theme of this year’s All the Saints Halloween Parade was “World on Fire Halloween Parade: A Funeral March for Billionaires and Beyond!”

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If you enjoyed the parade you can make a donation here to insure that All the Saints Theater Company can continue their efforts not just with this parade but all year round.

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2nd Street Festival Announces 2021 Headliner Plunky & Oneness

For over 50 years, Richmond saxophonist, songwriter and producer J. Plunky Branch has been at the vanguard of Afro-centric jazz, funk, R&B, house music, and go-go, weaving these interrelated musical forms into a forward-looking message of empowerment, positivity, and cultural awareness.

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The 2nd Street Festival will return this fall, live and in person, Saturday – Sunday, October 2-3. Marking its 33rd year, the festival celebrates the rich culture of the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood in Downtown Richmond. This FREE event is produced by Venture Richmond Events.

Over the years, it has grown to be one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest street festivals. In 2019, thousands visited historic Jackson Ward to reminisce about the days when 2nd Street was the heart and soul of Richmond’s African-American community and was known as “the Harlem of the South.” Today, Jackson Ward continues to be a thriving neighborhood and community. The 2nd Street Festival is an annual celebration and homecoming over two days that features three stages of live musical entertainment along with a Kidz Zone, popular food vendors, a marketplace and Artists Row to shop, and the Richmond Metropolitan Antique Car Club.

This year the festival features headliner Plunky & Oneness on Saturday, October 2. Many other great artists will be showcased over the two-day event.

Saturday’s Headliner, Plunky & Oneness

J. Plunky Branch
For over 50 years, Richmond saxophonist, songwriter and producer J. Plunky Branch has been at the vanguard of Afro-centric jazz, funk, R&B, house music, and go-go, weaving these interrelated musical forms into a forward-looking message of empowerment, positivity, and cultural awareness. As a native Richmonder, he was mentored by local R&B musicians and music educators, including jazz violinist Joe Kennedy, Jr.

Along with his band, Plunky & Oneness, he has appeared in concert with some of the biggest names in Black music, including Patti Labelle, Ray Charles, Earth Wind & Fire, Frankie Beverly & Maze, LL Cool J, Chuck Brown, and more. His song “Every Way But Loose” was a top-ten soul music chart hit in London in the 1980’s and his hit single, “Drop,” was released in 2007. He also wrote “2nd Street Jaunt,” a song that Venture Richmond used in TV commercials promoting the 2019 festival.

In addition to being a veteran saxophonist, J. Plunky Branch has served as an administrator, lecturer and teacher. Plunky is a two-time recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Fellowships and in 2017 was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force for the Promotion of the Arts in Virginia. Throughout his career Plunky has entertained and taught thousands, and in the process, has developed a broad and loyal following.

More information on the 2nd Street Festival and additional artists performing will follow later this summer as we continue to follow CDC and state guidelines for Covid-19 protocol for large outdoor events. A commitment to safety and adherence to local, state, and federal ordinances and guidelines is crucial.

For up-to-date information about the 2nd Street Festival, please visit: https://venturerichmond.com/our-events/2nd-street-festival-2021/

The 2nd Street Festival is presented by Dominion Energy, Altria, NewMarket Corp., and the City of Richmond

The 2nd Street Festival is sponsored by Virginia Union University, Brown Distributing, CoStar
Group, Community Foundation, Radio One Richmond, NBC12 and CW Richmond

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