‘Old Fashioned Christmas’ set to march through Washington; Celtic holiday sounds follow in Castleton

‘The whole town will be buzzing with the spirit of the holidays’

Free shuttle service from high school parking lot to celebration

“Christmas in Little Washington is all about good memories,” observes Washington Mayor John Fox Sullivan, “reliving past memories and creating new ones.”

For that reason, the outgoing mayor encourages one and all to “come experience the sheer joy of being with people of every age who have big broad smiles on their faces.”

How can they not smile, what with the spectacular annual Christmas procession winding through the holiday adorned town, made up of costumed marchers and colorful floats, antique cars and fire trucks, galloping horses and Santa Claus.

Heck, George Washington himself, who surveyed the county seat now named in his honor, might even make an appearance at this year’s celebration, dubbed an “Old Fashioned Christmas.”

An Artisan Market kicks off the festivities at 11 a.m. in the fountain square, lasting until 4 p.m. The parade begins at 1:30 p.m. In addition, holiday food and cheer will be served by restaurants and vendors alike.

Parking this year is an issue due to soggy ground at the Washington Firehouse, with limited parking available in the town itself (no parking is allowed along the parade route, which runs the lengths of Gay and Main streets). So free shuttle buses will carry parade-goers from Rappahannock County High School on Route 211 (only two miles south of the town, where there is plenty of parking) to the Christmas celebration. Shuttle service begins at 11 a.m.

“The whole town will be buzzing with the spirit of the holidays,” agrees Castleton CEO and Artistic Director Dietlinde Turban Maazel, who following the parade is hosting a “Celtic Christmas Concert” at Castleton at 6 p.m.

“This year, we moved our concert back so people could enjoy the parade, and then join us for warming cider and the sounds of the season,” she explains, referring to celebrated Celtic musicians Linn Barnes and Allison Hampton, who will be joined by WETA personality Robert Aubry Davis.

The Celtic performers have been described as “a Washington institution” for their memorable Christmas concerts. With a musical partnership spanning four decades, the four musicians of the Barnes and Hampton Celtic Consort offer a rare combination of styles and instrumentation, creating memorable concerts.

The program will include ancient and traditional Western European works, as well as more familiar treats, including Silent Night and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. During the concert, Davis will read from holiday selections by contemporary poets, including Langston Hughes and Dylan Thomas.

Concert tickets are $15 to $35, with the performance held in the Theatre House at Castleton (663 Castleton View Road). Call Connie Payne at 540.937.3454 for more information and visit www.CastletonFestival.org to purchase tickets.

About John McCaslin 469 Articles
John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at editor@rappnews.com.