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Norfolk, Va.(November 8, 2007) – In Norfolk, Va., the highly anticipated ‘Grand Illumination Parade,’ already in its 23rd year, kicks off the seaside city’s holiday season on November 17.  At precisely 7 p.m., spectators will join their voices in a synchronized community countdown that signals, “It’s time to turn on the lights!”  All at once, the skylines of downtown Norfolk and Olde Towne Portsmouth will illuminate with more than 80,000 white lights that can be seen for miles on a clear day. Forty locations in Norfolk remain illuminated throughout the holiday season, including major attractions such as: The Chrysler Museum of Art, the MacArthur Center and the USS Wisconsin

Following the lighting ceremony, more than 100,000 parade goers will line the streets of downtown Norfolk to watch the ‘Grand Illumination Parade.’ Spectators will be dazzled as choreographed dances, marching bands and creative floats pass by, all reflecting this year’s “Holidays Around the World” theme.  In addition to the ‘Grand Illumination Parade,’ Norfolk has a wide range of activities and attractions that are sure to spread holiday cheer among all this season.  Beyond the following sampling, a comprehensive list of events and information about Norfolk’s cultural venues, world-class restaurants and historical landmarks and museums can be found at


·         Garden of Lights” at the Norfolk Botanical Garden

Nov. 22 – Dec. 31, 2007; Nightly from 5:30p.m. to 10:00p.m.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden’s two and a half mile “Garden of Lights” driving tour is bigger and better than ever, displaying close to one million twinkling lights of all colors and sizes creating a 155-acre Winter Wonderland.  The multi-evening event will feature nightly entertainment, Yule Tide tram rides and two miles of fun for the whole family.  Tickets on sale October 15, 2006 and sold per car for $10.


And don’t miss the Polar Express!

Nov. 26 – Dec. 20, 2007; M-Th 4:30p.m. to 6:00p.m.

All aboard! The Polar Express pulls into the Norfolk Botanical Garden again this season.  Children can create a holiday keepsake craft while sipping hot cocoa and nibbling on cookies, followed by a reading of the award-winning book, The Polar Express. And no holiday would be complete without a trip to the North Pole.  After the book reading, children can hop onboard the Yule Tide tram for a ride through the “Garden of Lights”. Admission is $8. For more information, visit


·         The MacArthur Center on Ice

Nov. 17 – Dec. 31, 2007

Who needs Rockefeller Center, when the MacArthur Center in downtown Norfolk comes complete with open skating, figure skating exhibitions, lessons, skating with the Norfolk Admirals and live musical performances. Admission is $5 per person including skate rental. For more information, visit


·         Virginia Stage Company Presents “A Christmas Carol”

Dec. 5 -22, 2007

This holiday classic is back by popular demand.  Dickens’ timeless story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future will come to life at the historic Wells Theatre on Granby Street.  Performed by the region's only fully professional resident theatre company, this year’s “A Christmas Carol” is sure to delight patrons and remind them of the true meaning of the holiday season. Admission ranges from $8 to $42.50. For more information, visit:


·         Virginia Ballet Theatre Presents “The Nutcracker”

Dec. 7– 9, 2007; Showtime: 12/7 at 7:30 p.m., 12/8 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., 12/9 at 2p.m.

The Virginia Ballet Theatre is set to entertain patrons this holiday season as they take them on an age-old journey with Clara and her Nutcracker Prince to battle the Rat King, visit with the Snow Queen i
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