The holiday season is a particularly eventful and exciting time in Williamsburg, as locals and tourists enjoy festive activities throughout the area.
“I just think people get in that holiday mood and they tend to take that time to get together with family and do events that you remember for a lifetime,” said Bob Harris, vice president of tourism at the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance.
Music is a defining factor of the holiday spirit, and the 2018 holiday season features numerous concerts to enjoy.
Returning traditions such as the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops concert complement new additions to the calendar like an Irish Christmas celebration at the Kimball Theatre.
Whatever events you choose to check out, they’re all part of something much larger than an individual.
“It’s part of tradition,” Harris said.
» Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops: For the first time, the WSO unites with Bruton Parish and Williamsburg Presbyterian choirs for a more spectacular showing of holiday favorites than ever. 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 2 at Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, 215 Richmond Road. Tickets are $30, available at williamsburgsymphony.org.
» Grand Illumination: Colonial Williamsburg’s annual celebration features unique decorations, live music across multiple stages and a climactic fireworks display visible far and wide. It’s a throwback to the 18th century, when fireworks and gunfire celebrated military victories, new governors and the like. 4-7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in Colonial Williamsburg. Free.
» Williamsburg Community Chapel Christmas concerts: More than 150 singers and instrumentalists take the stage to celebrate the joy and meaning behind the Christmas season. 7 p.m. Dec. 6-8, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 4 p.m. Dec. 9 at Williamsburg Community Chapel, 3899 John Tyler Highway. Tickets are free and are available on a first-come, first-served basis at wcchapel.org.
» Wintertide: The Williamsburg Choral Guild’s Christmas gift to the community, the free themed concert, returns. This year’s concert also features the Williamsburg Youth Chorale. 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 9 at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 1333 Jamestown Road. Free; attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food donations for FISH, Inc.
» Caroling at the Coffeehouse: Sing along as carolers gather outside Charlton’s Coffeehouse along Duke of Gloucester Street. 6-6:45 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays Dec. 9-23 at 429 E. Duke of Gloucester St. Free.
» Christmas in Killarney: An Irish Christmas Celebration: Celebrate Ireland’s traditions with Christmas songs and Irish dancers. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14 at the Kimball Theatre. $40 or $35 for students, tickets available at bit.ly/2CW7MXE.
» Cantori Choral Ensemble Christmas concert: The ensemble celebrates the season with its annual concert tradition. 5 p.m. Dec. 16 at Walnut Hills Baptist Church, 1014 Jamestown Road. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. More information is available at cantoriwilliamsburg.org/events.
» Williamsburg Classic Swing Orchestra’s Big Band Christmas: These musicians breathe new life into iconic big band songs of the 1930s and ‘40s. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Kimball Theatre. General admission is $20, senior and student tickets are $17. For more information and tickets, visit bit.ly/2pXunKS.
» A Crooner’s Christmas: Good Shot Judy pays tribute to the sounds of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Michael Buble and others in this holiday-themed show. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Kimball Theatre. Tickets are $32, available at bit.ly/2AgyQOS.
» The King’s Singers: The British a capella ensemble returns to Williamsburg to celebrate its 50th birthday. 7:30 p.m., Dec. 21 at St. Bede Catholic Church. Tickets are $49, available at vafest.org or by calling 282-2822.