The Friendly City Merchants & Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance bring you

Tis the Season to be Downtown!

The most magical day in Downtown Harrisonburg is back and bigger than ever! Join The Friendly City Merchants and Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance Saturday, December 11, for Winter Wonderfest. Enjoy carriage rides, photos with Santa, carolers, holiday shopping, performances, a holiday movie, and more!

Set a Reminder

Mark yourself “Interested” on Facebook to be reminded about this event and get notifications about updates.

This event is presented to you by:


Sleigh Rides

1pm-4pm | Main Street & Court Square

Horse-drawn carriages are coming to Downtown Harrisonburg! Sign-ups for time slots will open at noon. The sign-up table will be located at the intersection of Main and Bruce. Carriage rides will begin at the Visitors Center parking lot behind the Hardesty-Higgins House/ Heritage Bakery & Cafe. Each ride can accommodate 6-8 people. Masks must be worn when on the carriage.

This activity is made possible with generous support from:

Cookie Tour


Join us for the sweetest tour of Downtown! Browse downtown shops & festivities on the tour to build your own plate of locally-made holiday cookies. The tour is self-guided, and great for groups of friends and families alike! Learn more and sign up on our registration page coming soon.

This activity is made possible with generous support from:

Gingerbread House Contest

11-4pm | Harrisonburg Homes

Vote on your favorite gingerbread house creations! This contest includes amateur (various age brackets) and professional categories. Come back soon to learn how to enter to win!

This activity is made possible with generous support from:

Court Square Theater

Holiday Movie

4pm | Court Square Theater

Enjoy FREE admission to see the holiday movie, Elf with receipt from a downtown business made during Winter Wonderfest. $5 donation without receipt.

Rating: PG
Run Time: 1 Hour 37 minutes

This activity is made possible with generous support from:


Photos with Santa

4-7pm | The Springhouse on Court Square

Meet and take photos with Santa and Mrs. Clause!

This activity is made possible with generous support from:

Concert on Court Square

6:30pm | Court Square

Enjoy live music right on Court Square! Featuring bluegrass TikTok sensation SPENCER HATCHER!

This activity is made possible with generous support from:


Downtown Light Spectacular

6:30 – 10pm | Downtown Harrisonburg

Enjoy the spectacle of holiday lights and decorations all across Downtown Harrisonburg! More details coming soon.

This activity is made possible with generous support from:

Parade Floats & Marching Bands

6-8pm | Downtown Harrisonburg

Experience Harrisonburg’s Holiday Parade like never before! More details coming soon.

Parade floats will be stationed on Newman Avenue and East Market Street.

This activity is made possible with generous support from:

City of Harrisonburg


Holiday Market

8am-2pm | Turner Pavilion

The Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market will have many holiday-themed products and vendors.

Pop-Up Holiday Market

9am – 4pm | The Perch
  • Cards by Clare
  • Clark’s Canine Cookies
  • Darren Woodward
  • Jessie & Zeke Trainum
  • Lish&Etc
  • LPM Pottery
  • Mother Bear Healing Arts
  • The Plant House


Santa Run, Walk, ‘n Roll

11am-12pm | Downtown Harrisonburg

We’re kicking off Winter Wonderfest with The Arc of Harrisonburg and Rockingham‘s fourth annual Santa Run, Walk, ‘N Roll! Race swag includes Santa suits for adults, elf ears for children, and a snazzy drawstring bag to collect goodies along the way.

Community Yoga

9:30 – 10:30am and 11am – 12pm | Shenandoah Yoga

This in-person yoga class celebrates the upcoming winter solstice and benefits the local food bank, just a few blocks from the studio. All levels are welcome, including new, current and former students – no yoga experience required. An online option will also be available.

Sip & Stroll

11am – 8pm | Downtown Harrisonburg

Sip & Stroll is an element to our events that replaces our usual beer garden. Adults aged 21+ can purchase a beer, wine, or cocktail at a participating brewery, cidery, or restaurant and enjoy it while strolling within designated sections of downtown. Wristbands are $3 and are available at the HDR information booth and participating establishments.

Live Nativity

11am-1pm | Asbury Church

Stop by Ashbury church to see a Christmas display featuring live performers.


Play Reading

11am-1pm | Court Square Theater

Enjoy a free play reading of “The Girl Who Made Emus Believe They Could Fly” by local playwright Dwayne Yancey, presented by the Valley Playhouse.


Winter Fairy Makeup

11am-4pm | withSimplicity

Get a winter fairy makeover at withSimplicity!

Characters + Carolers

11am-4pm | Downtown Harrisonburg

Meet some of your favorite holiday characters and enjoy your favorite carols as characters and characters make their way all across Downtown Harrisonburg!


Smith House Galleries

11am-4pm | 311 S Main St

Stop in to see the 6th Annual Arts Council of the Valley Artist Member Exhibition, featuring works by 33 artists. 

Selfie Station

11am – 8pm | Liberty Park

Commemorate the occasion with a selfie! Perfect spot to take a photo for this year’s card.

This activity is made possible with generous support from:

Free Samples & Kids Craft Area

11am – 8pm | Shenandoah Hemp Supply (inside Agora)

Enjoy free samples of both their CBD infused peppermint bark and CBD infused eggnog! Stop by their kids craft area for a DIY Hemp wooden ornament.

Holiday Market at Sage Bird

11am-5pm | Sage Bird Ciderworks

More Vendors on Sunday, Dec. 12!

Flash Mob!

12pm | Court Square

Enjoy this pop-up performance from Harrisonburg High School!


Make a Holiday Ornament (Free!)

1-5pm | The Friendly Fermenter

Come enjoy a brew and have some holiday fun making an ornament. or, better yet, let the kids make the ornaments and you focus on the beer!


Live Music from Buddy & Ted

1-4pm | Pale Fire

Ted Lawhorn and Buddy Thomas have been playing music for most of their lives. Many different bands through the years and many different genres of music. They came together over 10 years ago as a duo to play a Sunday gig and have been playing music together ever since. Mixing different genres with various instrumental mixes, they carrying on a eclectic musical conversation between two “Buddies.”
Come and join the conversation!


Mini Holiday Oxford Punch Needle Workshop

1 – 5pm | Rocktown Yarn

This $65 workshop includes all the materials required to try out punch needling. which is so easy to pick up and relaxing to do.

Crafts, Hot Chocolate, & Marshmallow Roasting!

2pm – 4pm | Harrisonburg Baptist Church 

Head over to Harrisonburg Baptist Church to join them for kids crafts, a fire pit for marshmallow roasting, hot chocolate, and Christmas games.


Dance & Co Performance

2pm | Court Square Theater

Cozy up in Court Square Theater with a FREE performance from Dance & Co before the holiday movie event.


Holiday Music & More!

12 – 4pm | Massanutten Regional Library

12:15 – 4PM – Seasonal music in the Library Atrium

  • 12:15 – 1:30pm – Holiday strings music performed by students from Shenandoah Valley Preparatory Music Program
  • 1:45 – 3pm – Choral and strings performances from Eastern Mennonite School students
  • 3:10 – 4pm – Strings ensemble from JMU School of Music 

Gingerbread coloring activity in the children’s department.

Shop the Circulation department’s small “Bookstore” shelves – books make great holiday gifts!

Winter Wordfest

1pm – 7:30pm | 41 Court Square (Capital Ale/ Court Square Theater building)

Do you love books? Twelve local authors will be selling books, giving autographs, and answering questions from book lovers and aspiring authors. Signed books make a perfect gift for the bibliophile in your life! Authors include:

  • Letitia Bates
  • Sydney Tooman Betts
  • Lois Carter Crawford
  • A. Duncan
  • Allison Garcia
  • Margaret Locke
  • Candace Meredith
  • Shernae Storella
  • Kristi Strong
  • Jackson Tobin
  • Elizabeth Vincent
  • Shirley Nan Washington


Winter Wonderland Photobooth

4 – 7pm | Denton Park

Take a photo at the Winter Wonderland Photobooth! Free printed photos from The Rosy Co.

This activity is made possible with generous support from:

Art Opening: Alterations by Ashley Sauder Miller

5 – 6pm | Dart Resale & Trade

A body of work created with second hand clothing and fabric. Created exclusively for exhibition at Dart Resale and Trade.


X2 Comedy Show with Special Guest Santa & Mrs. Claus

7pm | Friendly City Dance Room

X2 Comedy brings in hilarious national, regional, and local touring comedians to entertain people with clean comedy PG-13 shows in the Shenandoah Valley. Hosted by JMU Professor Chris Womack with entertainment from stand-up comedians Dawn Davis Womack and Paul Synder (Charlotte, NC) plus JMU’s New & Improv.’d will do holiday-themed improv with suggestions from the audience and special guests Mr. and Mrs. Claus!

Live Music from Tristan Dougherty

7pm | Pale Fire

Tristan Dougherty is a folk musician and singer-songwriter based in Richmond, Virginia. With meditative finger-style guitar playing and warm, illuminative lyrics, he ties together stories of love lost, memory untangled, the search for happiness, and finding meaning in the simple things around us.


Live Music: Three Funk Disciples

7:30pm | Sage Bird Ciderworks

Enjoy live music while sipping on your favorite cider!


Tree Lighting

8pm | Court Square

Official tree lighting ceremony for the City of Harrisonburg. Check back soon for more details.



Glen’s Fair Price Store

227 N Main St

In celebration of their 80th anniversary, Glen’s Fair Price is offering 50% off almost all merchandise in the store. Don’t forget to check out their window display featuring “Santa’s Workshop,” an animated projection on the front window.



187 N Main St,

Enjoy 20% off the entire store, plus anyone who spends $50+ will be entered to win $100 gift certificate and other freebies


Want more holiday fun? Make sure to check out these resources for more events and promotions in Downtown Harrisonburg this season:

Handmade Holidays

Celebrate the holiday season in Downtown Harrisonburg! Make holiday decorations, gifts, and more at a variety of business locations throughout the month of December thanks to these workshops organized by the Friendly City Merchants group.

Downtown Harrisonburg Gift Guide

Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance welcomes you to our historic shopping district where you can shop for everyone on your list! Check out our gift guides for inspiration from over 30 local and independently owned businesses.

Shop Small & Win Big!

We’re making shopping small even sweeter this holiday season! Save your holiday shopping receipts from Downtown Harrisonburg businesses, because each week in December we’re drawing two lucky winners to win big in downtown gift certificates.

Winter Wonderfest would not be possible without support from these generous sponsors:

City of Harrisonburg