Spectacular parades on the land and on the water will highlight this year’s Hampton Holly Days celebration in the downtown district.
The event will include the return of the popular Holly Days Parade, being held for the first time since 2019. It will conclude with the beautiful Lighted Boat Parade at the waterfront, visible all along the Hampton River.
All of the events are downtown and along the waterfront, and all are open to the public with no admission charge. There will be food vendors, street performers and a very family-friendly atmosphere. Santa and his elves plan to be on hand.
Here is the schedule of Holly Days events:
• Holly Days Lighting Party, 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8 — A celebration to light up downtown with all the colors of the season, including motion effects, snow shows, and a 12-foot video wall showing holiday photos submitted by citizens. Enjoy live entertainment on stage all night and interact with strolling holiday characters along Queens Way. Free gift-wrapping station, light-up giveaways, kids’ activities, free outdoor s’mores stations, food vendors selling hot chocolate and more — or just come and relax with dinner and drinks from one of downtown’s restaurants. Friday’s musical performances includes jazz and holiday music from the Dave Keiselman Quartet at 5 p.m., and holiday music from the H.M. Johnson band at 7:45. Stage located at corner of Queens Way and Wine Street.
• Holly Days Market, 5-10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, and noon-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 — Vendors, artists and crafters will continue selling holiday merchandise along Queens Way, between Wine and Eaton Streets until 5 p.m. when the Holly Days Parade begins. Beat the traffic and come early for the parade to shop for distinctive holiday gifts (and maybe a little something for yourself). Enjoy shopping with live and strolling entertainment, free gift-wrapping, outdoor s’mores stations, food vendors, kids’ activities, and more! Live music includes holiday tunes from the Jennifer Gammill Duo at noon and the Skip Hancock Duo at 2:45.
• Holly Days Parade, 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 — The return of the joyous parade along Settlers Landing Road and other adjacent streets. This year’s parade will mark Hampton’s designation as an All-America City. The parade will feature marching bands and floats, starting at Eaton Street and ending at Darling Stadium.
• Holly Days Lighted Boat Parade, 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 — Brightly decorated power boats and sailboats will illuminate the Downtown Waterfront. It’s a sight that will take your breath away.
Hampton residents are encouraged to submit family photos, both old and new, to be displayed on the Holly Days video wall. You can submit up to three photos showing how your family celebrates the holiday of your choosing. Click here to submit photos.