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On Saturday December 9th, downtown Harrisonburg will be decking the halls for Winter Wonderfest, a day of shopping, dining, and holiday festivities. The event will feature seasonal activities, promotions from local businesses, the first ever Cookie Tour, photos with Santa, and appearances from the Grinch, elves, and more!

Whether you want to take the kids out for a fun-filled day, need to get a head-start or finish your holiday shopping, or want a study break, this event welcomes all downtown from noon to 6pm. Here's what's happening at Winter Wonderfest:

Winter Wonderfest

Make your first stop the host location on the corner of South Main and Bruce streets (next to Ten Thousand Villages)! Starting at Noon, this is where you will check in for the Cookie Tour. Tickets for the tour are sold out so you would have needed to purchase a ticket in advance to participate. Even if you don't have ticket for the tour, start here and grab some hot chocolate, make holiday crafts, pick up a holiday bucket list to map out your day, and shop from local vendors. Here are some other things you'll want to check out:

Art Market at Larkin Arts

Visit Larkin Arts' Art Market from 12-6pm to purchase locally made arts and crafts directly from the artist. There will be beautiful displays and pieces for purchase. You'll be able to find the perfect gift for anyone on your list. 

Photos with Santa at Agora Downtown Market

Agora Downtown Market will be hosting photos with Santa from 1-3pm. A photographer will not be provided so make sure to bring your own camera and your smiles! Plus, if you have a dog, Blue Ridge Dog will be taking photos of dogs with Santa (or should we say, Santa Paws) on Sunday from 11am-3pm.

The Movie, Elf


Is it really the holidays if you haven't seen the movie Elf yet? The movie will be playing at Court Square Theater (41 Court Sq.) at 4:30pm. Spend $10 at a downtown retailer during the festival and bring your receipt to get in to the show for free. Before the show, grab a cup of joe at a local coffee shop like Black Sheep CoffeeShenandoah Joe (hot chocolates, peppermint mochas, draft coffee, and coffee refills are 10% off), or Heritage Bakery ($2 peppermint hot chocolate with candy cane stirrers and marshmallows).


Listen for carolers from the Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir throughout downtown. Because remember, as Buddy the Elf would say, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." 


Look for the Grinch and Elves

Snap a photo with the Grinch and elves throughout downtown. Post to Facebook or Instagram using these hashtags: #WinterWonderfestHburg and #DowntownHarrisonburg!

Activities and Promotions at Businesses

Many local businesses will be offering sweet deals and holiday specials to make your holiday season even better!

Billy Jack's Breakfast Tasting

Get out your favorite Christmas pajamas and get in the holiday spirit! Billy Jack's will open the doors at 8:30am for their brunch buffet. A $25 deposit will hold your spot and the cut-off is at 70 people, so reserve your spot before it's too late! 

Eggnog Bowl/Gingerbread Cookie Decorating at Friendly City Food Co-op

From 2-4pm, head to the Friendly City Food Co-op to try their eggnog (both dairy and non-dairy) and vote for your favorite. All voters will have the chance to win the eggnog they voted for. While you're sampling the 'nogs, your kids can decorate a gingerbread cookie for a sweet treat!

Cookie Decorating Contest by Wolfe Street Brewery

Want the opportunity to win $25 in downtown dollars? Wolfe Street Brewery is hosting a cookie decorating contest where 2 winners will be chosen for the best cookies (provided by Bittersweet Bakery) by posting a photo of their cookie on Facebook, tagging both Wolfe Street (@wolfestreetbrewing) and Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (@downtownharrisonburg) in the post, and including holiday hashtags like #WinterWonderfestHburg. Photos need to be posted on Facebook by Saturday, Dec. 9th at 11:59pm. Wolfe Street will also host a holiday movie marathon from noon to 6pm, with holiday trivia starting at 6pm (winners will get prizes from Wolfe Street!).

Holiday Open House at The Mark-It

The Mark-It will be full of talented makers. Stop by from 11-4pm for refreshments while you shop! More details here

The Mitten Performance

The talented students of Dance & Company will perform, The Mitten, a heartwarming holiday tale that brings Jan Brett's classic storybook to life. Through music and movement, the dancers bring Jan Brett' s classic storybook to life. The Mitten is a fun family event that kids of all ages are sure to enjoy. Seating is limited so be sure to arrive early! Showings will be at 3pm and 5pm at Dance & Company, 115 S Main St.

Holiday Goodies

It gets chilly walking around in December, so enjoy a free, hot cup of hot chocolate from Oasis Fine Art & Craft, Shenandoah Bicycle Company, The Lady Jane, withSimplicity, and more. And it's always fun walking around while munching on something, so try Shirley's Gourmet Popcorn's flavors of the month - dark chocolate peppermint and white chocolate peppermint popcorn. 


  • Agora Downtown Market (165 S Main St.)
    The Isle Company - Free Lotion Bar ($10 value) with any $40 purchase! Select Seasonal Fragrances 25% off.
    New Creation - $5 and $10 featured items that have been discounted up to 60% off
    Heartworn Vintage - Spend $25 for a chance to enter the shop small raffle
    Bluestone Running - Buy one, get one 30% off shoes

  • Bluetique (187 N Main St.) - 15% off all holiday dresses from 12-6pm
  • Bring Your Own (44 S Main St. - Airstream) - Reusable coffee cups 25% off - you can grab one and then warm up with some hot coffee or tea! 
  • Cuban Burger (70 W Water St.) - Specialty Cocktail will be offered for $6 during Winter WonderFest
  • Downtown Wine & Gourmet (41 Court Sq.) - Free wine tasting from 12-9pm
  • The Frame Factory & Gallery (139 N Liberty St.) - Insta-framing!  Special Instagram sized frames and mats, $39.
  • Food.Bar.Food (126 W Bruce St.) - Happy Hour 4-6pm 'Buy one, get one free' from Happy Hour Small Plate & Half Bowl menu with purchase receipt dated 12/9 from any downtown merchant or Cookie Tour Ticket
  • Glen’s Fair Price Store (227 N Main St.) - 20% off Melissa & Doug toys
  • Green Hummingbird (320 S Main St.) - Holiday goodies for everyone!
  • Heritage Bakery & Cafe (212 S Main St.) - $2 Peppermint hot chocolate with a mini candy cane stirrer and marshmallows; Coloring books for kids!
  • Hugo Kohl Jewelry (217 S Liberty St., #103) - In-store holiday specials on all sterling silver and gold jewelry  from 10am-2pm
  • The Lady Jane Shop (117 S Main St.) - Enjoy 25% off all holiday cards, ornaments, + gift wrap, and keep warm with a cup of cocoa from their  Hot Chocolate Bar!
  • Lafah Cafe (20 S Mason St.) - Receive a cookie with every meal purchase (doesn’t apply to carry-out orders)
  • Mossy Creek Fly Fishing (480 E Market St.) - In-store sales and new 2018 product available for the holidays
  • Oasis Fine Art & Craft (103 S Main St.) - Complimentary hot chocolate
  • Rocktown Gift Shoppe (212 S Main St.) - 10% off entire store plus variety of free samples
  • Shenandoah Bicycle Company (135 S Main St.) - hot chocolate special and nacho samples
  • Shenandoah Joe (64 S Mason St.) - 10% off hot chocolates, peppermint mochas, draft coffee, and coffee refills
  • Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn (102 S Main St.) - Dark Chocolate Peppermint and White Chocolate Peppermint are the flavors of the month
  • Ten Thousand Villages (181 S Main St.) - 25% off fair trade bath & body products
  • Walkabout Outfitter (90 N Main St.) - Live Music with Simply Folk from 12-3pm
  • withSimplicity (108 S Main St.) - Free hot cocoa bar

Tell us if you're coming to Winter WonderFest by joining our Facebook event. We'll see you downtown on Saturday for some holiday cheer!


Susie Patrick is a Marketing Intern at Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and a senior at James Madison University, where she majors in Communication Studies. She will graduate in May 2018.