RVA Illuminates and other local holiday traditions go virtual


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — This year some of your favorite local holiday traditions will look and feel a little different. From RVA Illuminates to visits with Santa, much of it is going virtual in Virginia.

On December 4, Kanawha plaza and the City of Richmond will still light up but this year with rising Covid-19 cases, RVA Illuminates will happen without the crowd. You can watch the countdown safely on 8News.

“This year it is televised illumination but it will still be all the fun all the excitement that occurs on-site,” said Priscilla Wright, Recreaction Program Manager for Richmond Parks and Recreation Department.

Wright said the tree will still light, there will still be a musical performance and your 8News favorites, Anchor Katie Dupree and Meteorologist Matt Dinardo will still be hosting.

“We want everybody to be safe, stay home, watch it online,” Dinardosaid.

103.7 Play’s Jack Lauterback and Melissa Chase will also be there for the virtual live event. Wright suggested you Zoom with friend and watch from the comfort of your couch.

“Pop some cocoa and eat some popcorn and watch us as we continue to light the city,” Wright said.

City Organizers are also hoping families stay home and watch.

“We are hoping with RPD and our friends, our security friends from RMC that we are able to set some type of barriers,” Wright said.

103.7 Play is also asking viewers to go online and nominate an RVA Illuminator this year. Illuminators are someone who is doing good in our community. You can learn more information and submit your nomination online here.

Also in the spirit of the season, 8News is partnering with Conexus for the Gift of Light Campaign. This fundraiser gives children the gift of light and sight through eye exams and glasses.

“Some of these kids have never seen clearly before so when they see it for the first time it really is magical,” Dinardo said.

Viewers can lend their support with a donation online. A $10 donation gets a child an eye exam, and a $50 contribution covers an eye exam and glasses for a child. In addition, if you donate you will be entered for a chance to win a Tacky Lights Tour for a family of four.

Another tradition going virtual is the historic Miller & Rhoads Santa Tea. A tea showing is $10 and ou can book online here.

If you’re planning that annual visit to Santa at Chesterfield Towne Center or Short Pump Town Center, socially distant photos by reservation are an option.

If you’d rather stay home, both malls are also teaming up with JingleRing to bring safe and secure Santa visits online. JingleRing has 400 performers worldwide and lets you choose your Santa preference based on ethnicity, language and faith.

RVA Illuminates


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