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Weekend Event Picks: Dominion Christmas Parade, Grand Illumination, Light Up The Tracks, and more

This weekend, the Richmond area gets fully into the holiday spirit with two grand illuminations, a parade, an old-fashioned Victorian Christmas, and more. Plan your weekend here!

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Richmond Grand Illumination Downtown – This Friday downtown Richmond will get considerably brighter Friday night. Festivities start at 5:50 PM at the James Center and lead up to to the flipping of the switch that turns on the lights on the James Center, surrounding buildings, the massive Christmas tree, and a herd of lovely deer. Get there early to get a spot. Get the scoop here.

35th Annual Dominion Christmas Parade – The 35th annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade will take place on Saturday, December 1st at 10:00 AM. The parade will depart from the Science Museum on W. Broad Street and continue east to 7th Street. This beloved Richmond tradition attracts more than 100,000 spectators each year from everywhere in Virginia, with thousands more enjoying the live television broadcast. Free to watch, of course! More here.

Light Up The Tracks in Downtown Ashland – Join the Town of Ashland for a lighting ceremony to kick off the month’s Christmas festivities on Saturday evening. Enjoy a concert by the Community Chorus, then watch as the Plaza is transformed into a vintage holiday spectacle fit for a postcard. Free to attend; after party at The Dept $5. More info here.

Old-Fashioned Christmas at Maymont – Celebrate a charming, old-fashioned Christmas and experience a tradition enjoyed by generations of families at Maymont this Sunday. Victorian ladies and gentlemen graciously welcome you to the estate and invite you to visit the Dooleys’ Gilded Age mansion. Marvel at the grand Christmas tree and the beautifully decorated formal rooms, see the gifts and games of 1893 and stop by the Belowstairs area where holiday preparations are underway. Free admission; fees for activities. Find out more here.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Weekend Event Picks

Weekend Radar: Mardi Gras RVA, Frozen Science, Black Book Expo, and tattoos to fight lyme disease

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Welcome to the Weekend Radar–the evolution of our Weekend Event Picks! In it, we hope to give you some events that might already be on your radar that you might want to check out (on the radar), some that are a bit under the radar, and at least one or two that’s a bit out there and zany. You know, the stuff that makes Richmond so uniquely…Richmond! Let’s go.

On the radar

Mardi Gras RVA 2020 –Dogtown Dance Theatre presents the 10th annual Mardi Gras RVA on February 22nd.  This family-friendly event will have a multitude of diverse performances by Dogtown’s own artists, live music from Elana Lisa and the Hot Mess, an interactive parade including local businesses and artists, and authentic styled New Orleans food served by Sophia’s International Cuisine.

  • Dogtown Dance Theatre | 109 W. 15th Street | Saturday, February 22nd – 3:30 – 8:30 PM | $15 | TICKETS

Under the radar

Science After Dark: Frozen Science – Calling all magical snow queens, quirky and courageous princesses and reindeer-loving outdoorsmen: you are invited to come in out of the cold and warm up to a flurry of ice and snow-themed activities, featuring swimming pools full of a snow-like sensory polymer, paper snowflake making, Supercool liquid nitrogen demos, a soap cloud activity, snowball catapult making, and winter character crafts. In the Dome, we’ll have two special showings of Frozen at 5 pm or 8 pm (extra ticket required) and an all-live planetarium show at 7 pm (space is limited to the first 250 guests, no ticket required). After the shows, step outside to stargaze through telescopes with the Richmond Astronomical Society, weather permitting. (Brrr! Don’t forget your hat and coat.)

  • Science Museum of Virginia | 2500 W. Broad Street | Friday, February 21st – 5:00 – 8:00 PM | $10 and up | EVENT WEBSITE

Black Book Expo – Elegba Folklore Society will present the Black Book Expo February 22 – 23 in its Cultural Center in the RVA Arts District, 101 E. Broad St, corner of 1st & Broad. Featured authors will be on site along with a wide and varied selection of books. Elegba Folklore Society has presented the Black Book Expo since 2013, and it has become a programmatic staple.

  • Elegba Folklore Society | 101 E. Broad Street | Saturday, February 22nd – Sunday, February 23rd, 1:00 – 5:00 PM | FREE | EVENT WEBSITE

Valor Awards Workshop – Valor awards are given to officers for acts of bravery, boldness, determination, and heroic courage. Know a person in your life that deserves such an honor? Maybe it’s yourself! At this event, you can reflect on some of the amazing people in your life and make valor awards to present to them. Throw a pin on it and make it a brooch, even. For even more fun, sign up with a friend and make one for each other.

  • ArtWorks Richmond | 300 Hull Street | Sunday, February 23rd, 12:30 – 2:00 PM | $20 | TICKETS

…WTF?

Get Tattooed to End Lyme Disease – For the fourth year in a row, Loose Screw Tattoo will help make a difference during the Ink to End Lyme flash event on February 29th. Funds raised will support Lyme Warrior’s efforts to invest in research, treatment, and support for those living with the disease. The event is one of dozens occurring around the country to support the organization. During Ink to End Lyme, Loose Screw will lower its shop minimum and price the flash designs at $50 and up. The event always draws a crowd of tattoo collectors, artists and volunteers who bring it to life. Fresh and exclusive flash designs will be by Loose Screw’s talented team of internationally known artists, including Jesse Smith, Jason Stephan, Nick Mitchell, Chris Jenkins, Jen Bean, Anna Wolff, and Dondrae Usual.

  • Loose Screw Tattoo | 3313 W. Cary Street |10:00 AM – 6:00 PM | $50 and up | WEBSITE

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Weekend Event Picks

Weekend Radar: Valentine’s events, Auto Show, and sheep heart dissection at the Science Museum

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On the radar

Virginia International Auto Show – Check out new cars, trucks, and SUVs throughout the Greater Richmond Convention Center at the 2020 Virginia Motor Trend International Auto Show. The show runs Friday, February 14th through Sunday, February 16th. You can view the latest models and concept cars under one roof in a non-selling environment.

  • Greater Richmond Convention Center | 403 N. 3rd Street | Friday and Saturday, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM; Sunday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM | Tickets start at $5 | SHOW INFO

Under the radar

Valentine’s Day events for gals, pals, and lovebirds alike – Whether you’re looking to hit the town with a gal, a pal, or your significant other, there’s something for everyone this Valentine’s Day. We won’t bore you with an exhaustive list of all the restaurant offerings, but here are a few unique events that caught our eye. There’s a Desserts & Rose flight at Blue Bee Cider, a special Palentine’s Day menu at Perch in Scott’s Addition, a five-course Hogs & Kisses dinner at Brunch, and even a Haunts of Richmond tour, if you’re into that.

  • Various locations | Various times through Sunday, February 16th | Prices vary

…WTF?

Sheep Heart Dissection at the Science Museum – How does the Science Museum of Virginia celebrate Valentine’s Day? With hearts, of course. But, the Museum is not celebrating the iconic red symbol representing love; it is celebrating the organ that pumps blood throughout the body. On Valentine’s Day, the Museum is offering special sheep heart dissection demonstrations to help guests understand the structure and function of the vital organ.

  • Science Museum of Virginia | 2500 W. Broad Street | Friday, February 14th, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 3:30 PM | $15.50 | EVENT LISTING

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Weekend Event Picks

Weekend Radar: Cats the Musical, Environmental Film Festival, ChinaFest, and the Dirtwoman Documentary

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Welcome to the Weekend Radar–the evolution of our Weekend Event Picks! In it, we hope to give you some events that might already be on your radar that you might want to check out (on the radar), some that are a bit under the radar, and at least one or two that’s a bit out there and zany. You know, the stuff that makes Richmond so uniquely…Richmond! Let’s go.

On the radar

Cats The Musical – The movie might have been the ultimate flop, but Cats the Musical is one of the longest-running, most successful Broadway shows of all time. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking 2015 Olivier award-nominated musical Cats comes to Richmond direct from its sell-out seasons at the London Palladium. Adapted from TS Eliot’s ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’, this “groundbreaking musical” (Daily Express) comes together in a sparkling fusion of music, dance, and verse, and has now taken on a new life for a new generation.

  • Altria Theater | 6 N. Laurel Street | Various times through Sunday, February 9th | $48.50 and up | TICKETS

RVA Environmental Film Festival – The annual Richmond Environmental Film Festival showcases films that raise awareness of environmental issues relevant to the Richmond region, our nation. The festival runs February 7th through the 14th.  The festival started way back in 2008 as The Biggest Picture: Richmond’s First Environmental Film Festival under the James River Film Society. In 2011, the Sierra Club – Falls of the James Group backed the event as the RVA Environmental Film Festival. Support from the community for the Festival grows with each passing year.

  • Various locations | Various times through Sunday, February 9th | FREE | SCHEDULE

ChinaFest: Year of the Metal Rat – Join VMFA in a celebration of the Lunar New Year and ChinaFest: Year of the Metal Rat. Explore Chinese art and culture through art-making activities, demonstrations, and performances. Create your own lion dance-inspired mask and create a Tao Tie-inspired paper vessel. Watch the dynamic Lion Dance, beautiful performances by Yu Dance Arts, and so much more.

  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts | 200 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard | Saturday, February 8th, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM | FREE | EVENT WEBSITE

Under the radar

Studio Two Flea – Get out of the house and into a midwinter mart of vintage and handmade goods, a curated collection of some useful stuff, some lovely stuff and some weeeeird stuff. Not your average market. Our own Richard Hayes will be selling his wares, too!

  • Studio Two Three | 3300 W. Clay Street | Saturday, February 8th, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM | FREE | EVENT WEBSITE

…WTF?

Spider Mites of Jesus: The Dirtwoman Documentary –When he was an infant, he suffered from the ‘Spider Mites of Jesus’ (his mother couldn’t pronounce spinal meningitis). This caused mental challenges that resulted in his lifelong illiteracy. At 13, he began selling his body on the streets as a drag prostitute. When he was arrested, he took a dump in the back of the police car, leading the cops to give him the moniker: Dirtwoman. Since then he’s run for mayor, gotten kicked out of the inauguration of America’s first black governor (Douglas Wilder), posed for his own pin-up calendar (weighing in at 350 pounds), offered crabs from his crotch for a GWAR video and hosted the annual Hamaganza fundraiser that provided ‘Hams for the Hamless.’ When he died last year at 65, it was on the front page, top-of-the-fold of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and was featured nationally on NPR.

  • Bowtie Movieland Theatre |1301 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard | Various showtimes throughout the weekend | FREE | MOVIE LISTING

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