(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

This monthly calendar listing is prepared by the USAG Fort Lee Public Affairs Office. The inclusion of off-post events is meant to encourage Team Lee members – particularly those new to the area – to go out and explore the many historic, recreational and entertainment activities offered throughout Central and Southeast Virginia. The Army does not promote or endorse the associated sponsors, organizations or businesses. The full schedule of Family and MWR activities is available at lee.armymwr.com or on the Digital Garrison app.  Community groups seeking volunteer support from Fort Lee can submit a request to susan.n.garling.civ@mail.mil.

Career Skills Seminar | Dec. 2

This regularly scheduled Transition Assistance Program event – conducted from 10 a.m. - noon in the Soldier Support Center – provides an opportunity to learn about the Army Career Skills Program. Its features include free job coaching, licensure and credentialing, job placement and more. The seminar is for transitioning service members, veterans and spouses. To register, call 757-550-1766 or 804-734-6612. For general questions, email verna.f.bellamy.civ@army.mil.

Grand Illumination | Dec. 2

Fort Lee’s official tree-lighting kickoff for the holiday season is set for 4-6 p.m. on the Lee Club lawn, corner of Mahone Avenue and Battle Drive. The celebration will feature music by guest carolers, free hot chocolate and cookies, food trucks, mini-train rides and the always-popular arrival of Santa Claus. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

Holiday Concert | Dec. 2-3

The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band will perform two holiday concerts at the Lee Theater, both starting at 7 p.m. The first night is open to DOD ID cardholders and select community leaders only. The second night is open to AIT personnel and their unit/organization leaders. Max attendance at either show will not exceed 304 people. Admission is free. The program will feature a blend of today’s holiday hits combined with classic tunes from past decades.

Holiday Bazaar | Dec. 2-6

The Fort Lee Main Exchange is hosting this special outdoor event where shoppers can find unique holiday gifts from local vendors and partake in delicious food truck fare. The activity is open to all community members. Daily hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. All Exchange restaurants and mall-area vendors will be operating as well throughout the event.

Richmond Raceway Bizarre Bazaar | Dec. 2-5

Attracting more than 500 vendors from near and far, this holiday event at the Richmond Raceway Complex, 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, is a shopper’s paradise. Handcrafted decorations, gourmet foods, jewelry and accessories, clothing, toys and antique furniture are just a short list of items to be found at this festive sales event. The hours are 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily. Tickets are $11 for adults and $2.50 for children. For additional info, visit www.thebizarrebazaar.com.

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ASCII (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Magic of Holiday Season | Dec. 3-5

The City of Petersburg is kicking off the holiday season in grand fashion with a series of events at various locations throughout the weekend. The holiday tree lighting at Union Station, 103 River Street, will feature entertainment, food vendors and fireworks. A holiday farmers market on River Street is set for Dec. 4, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Later that afternoon, a holiday parade begins at 3 p.m. along Crater Road. On Dec. 5, the Petersburg Area Arts League, 7 E. Old Street, will present its annual display of beautifully decorated Christmas trees. For the full schedule of events, visit www.eventbrite.com/d/va--petersburg/holiday--events.

Co-Parenting: Two Parents, Two Homes | Dec. 4

For separated parents, raising a child amicably can be challenging. This class, held from 1-2 p.m., at the Army Community Service center, Bldg. 9023, will help participants focus on the responsibilities of parenting and recognize the pitfalls of putting children in the middle of conflicts. Registration is required for this free program. Call 804-734-6381.

‘O Christmas Tree’ Holiday Open House | Dec. 4

During this free event, Santa’s elves will greet visitors as they enter the elegantly decorated Magnolia Grange House Museum in Chesterfield. The staff will share stories about the traditions of the Christmas tree and the types of gifts commonly exchanged in the early 1900’s. The event also will feature music by the Harken Back String Band, refreshments and an opportunity to buy handcrafted items in the gift shop. The open house is set for 1-4 p.m. For further details, call 804-748-1498.

PGC Christmas Parade | Dec. 4

Featuring a guest speaker and marching troops from Fort Lee, and an appearance by Santa Claus and his helper elves, the annual Prince George County Christmas Parade is set for Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. Community members are welcome to watch the procession as it proceeds along Courthouse Road, starting at Beazley Elementary School.

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Lighted Boat Parade | Dec. 4

This special holiday event along the Yorktown Waterfront will begin at 6 p.m. with caroling around a beach bonfire, a performance by the Fifes & Drums of York Town and complimentary hot apple cider. The boat parade begins at 7 p.m. with watercraft large a small showcasing spectacular holiday light displays. Admission is free. Yorktown beach is located off Route 17 (331 Water Street), just before Gloucester Bridge. Further information is available at www.visityorktown.org.

Petersburg Symphony Holiday Concert | Dec. 5

“The Messiah Overture,” “Ava Maria,” and Mozart’s “The Sleigh Ride” will be among the featured selections performed by the Petersburg Symphony during its annual holiday concert, starting at 4 p.m. in the Petersburg Public Library, 201 W. Washington Street. General admission tickets are $10. There is a livestream option for those who can’t attend in person. Further information is available at www.petersburgsymphony.org. 

Newcomers Orientation | Dec. 6

Service members, civilian employees and their spouses are invited to this monthly briefing in the Soldier Support Center auditorium, starting at 2 p.m. Participants will learn about various installation activities including the Exchange, Child and Youth Services, Safety, Housing, FMWR and others. All participants are required to follow COVID-19 safety protocols. For further info, call 804-734-6388.

Money on the Move Class | Dec. 7

The Army Community Service Financial Readiness Program hosts this free in-person training session every first Tuesday of the month from 9-11 a.m. in Room 125 of the Soldier Support Center. Topics include financial entitlements and major costs associated with PCS moves. Seats in each class are limited, so pre-registration is advised. This training is mandatory for E-4 and below and O-2 and below. For more information and signup, call 804-765-3800.

Pearl Harbor Day Ceremony | Dec. 7

The commonwealth’s annual Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony will start at 11 a.m. Dec. 7 in the Virginia War Memorial’s outdoor Shrine of Memory area. The presentation will include remarks from John Maxwell, commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services, and a series of wreath-layings. The name of each Virginian who perished in the attack will be read and remembered with the tolling of the ship’s bell from the USS Virginia. The VWM is located at 621 South Belvidere Street. For other info, call 804-786-2060.

Daddy Boot Camp | Dec. 8

A free “Daddy Boot Camp” class for expectant and new fathers is set for Dec. 8, 10-11 a.m., at the Army Community Service facility on Mahone Avenue. Participants will learn the basics of infant development, baby safety and available community resources. Registration is required. Call 804-734-6381.

D&D Holiday Party | Dec. 8

An ugly Christmas sweater party is planned for the final 2021 Dinner and Discipleship event at Memorial Chapel. The Religious Support Office staff invites Fort Lee community members to join them for an evening of food, fun and prizes for the tackiest holiday apparel. Bible studies will follow the festivities. The event start time is 5 p.m. For more information, call 804-734-6494.

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Ugly Sweater Party | Dec. 11

Wear your favorite ugly Christmas sweater and share the holiday spirit with others in the community during this free celebration hosted by Family and MWR at the HideAway club on 5th Street. The event will feature special holiday drinks and snacks. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the party starts at 8 p.m. For further info, call 804-734-1755.

Richmond Choral Christmas Concert | Dec. 12

The Richmond Choral Society will present a program of holiday music with pieces from Handel, Rutter and others on Dec. 12, 4 p.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2315 North Parham Road, Richmond. Ticket prices range from $10 - $18. A livestream option is available. Additional information is available at www.richmondchoralsociety.org.

DES Holiday Parade | Dec. 12

Police and firefighters from the Directorate of Emergency Services will escort Santa through Fort Lee neighborhoods on Dec. 12 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Also accompanying the entourage will be Sparky the Fire Dog and McGruff the Crime Dog. To ensure safety, children are asked to remain on the sidewalk and not run out into the street near the passing vehicles. The procession will proceed through neighborhoods in the following order: Jackson Circle, Jefferson Terrace, Harrison Villa, Madison Park, Monroe Manor, Adams Chase and Washington Grove.

Sustainable Landscaping Class | Dec. 16

During this free information session, Master Gardener Robin Hulbert will talk about steps people can take to positively impact their local ecosystem, with an emphasis on utilizing native plants to attract and support pollinators. The presentation starts at 11 a.m. in the Ettrick Recreation Center, 20261 Woodpecker Road, South Chesterfield. Signup is required. Call Tiffani Davis at 804-706-2596.

Holiday Gift Wrapping | Thru Dec. 23

Holiday gift wrapping stations are available to all Fort Lee Family Housing residents thru Dec. 23. They are located at neighborhood community centers or the main welcome facility on Sisisky Boulevard. Guests also can enjoy complimentary hot chocolate or apple cider. Available hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. All gift-wrapping supplies are provided.

GardenFest of Lights | All Month

The Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights is an annual Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden holiday tradition featuring dazzling decorative displays, model trains, holiday dinners and hot chocolate (for purchase), and more. The attraction continues through Jan. 9. The hours are 4-10 p.m. daily (except when closed on federal holidays). Ticket sales are online only and patrons must provide a 30-minute arrival window on the specified date of their visit. Additional details are provided on the venue’s website, www.lewisginter.org.

Winterfest on the Wisconsin | All Month

A Nauticus Winterfest celebration aboard the USS Wisconsin along the Downtown Norfolk waterfront will be offered five days a week throughout December. It will feature uniquely themed light zones, below-deck tours, live music and an inaugural “Santa experience.” Also new this year is the restaurant in the retired battleship’s historic wardroom. Times and ticket prices are listed at www.winterfestonthewisconsin.com.