By Christal Holmes, Campus Visit and Communications Manager
It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays in Richmond! With the start of this festive season comes all of the favorite traditions that the holidays bring…including colder weather. If you’re a coffee lover like me, it’s exciting to see the return of the holiday flavors at Starbucks too! Whether you’re a student, visitor, or resident of Richmond, there are many fun things to do to kick off the holiday season: get your calendars ready!
One of the first traditions for many area residents is the Jefferson Hotel’s Grand Illumination, which was held on this past Monday night. The Jefferson sits adjacent to the VCU School of Business’ Snead Hall. Reopened in 1907 after being gutted by a fire, the iconic landmark is not only a convenient option for visitors to the campus, but has a rich history of guests including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and twelve U.S. Presidents just to name a few. The hotel’s marble pools at the Jefferson’s Palm Court were also home to several full-sized alligators until 1948; today only bronze statues of the alligators decorate the hotel’s main entrance. In 1969, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
With its stunning architecture, award-winning restaurants, and AAA Five Diamond Hotel rating, The Jefferson offers an exceptional experience for visitors to Richmond. If you missed out on their Grand Illumination and will be coming to town, don’t worry, the hotel will remain decorated through January 6, 2013 – be sure to drop by and see their beautiful decorations. There are also still quite a few other events that you can catch in order to get you in the holiday spirit.
Our Student Admissions Ambassadors will be gathering together for their annual Winter Wonderland dinner this Friday night, November 30, to celebrate the end of the fall semester and the beginning of the holiday season. Friday evening will also mark another favorite local tradition with the Grand Illumination of the James Center and the downtown Richmond skyline beginning at 5:50 p.m. between 9th-12th and Cary Streets — the city skyline will remain lit nightly into the New Year.
If you’re planning to visit campus this weekend you’ll want to note that on Saturday, December 1, the 29th Annual Dominion Christmas Parade will take place. The parade kicks off at the Science Museum of Virginia on West Broad Street and proceeds east through downtown Richmond for approximately three miles to 7th Street. West bound traffic lanes on Broad Street will be closed to traffic. If you’re planning to attend our 10:30 a.m. information session in the Welcome Center, which is also located on Broad Street, you’ll want to allow additional time for driving and parking. If you’re visiting campus and sticking around for the weekend, you may also want to head over to Maymont Park for the Old Fashioned Christmas at Maymont on Sunday, December 2, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
While it’s not a holiday tradition, Saturday, December 8, is a special day at VCU as we hold our winter Commencement exercises. We congratulate our newest VCU grads and wish them much success in the future. If you’re planning to visit with us on that day for our 10:30 a.m. information session, please note that traffic patterns and parking may be impacted. Refer to our Visit VCU website for further details.
December 8 also marks the James River Parade of Lights and the beginning of the Annual Fan Holiday House Tour. Last but not least -– it’s not the holidays without the return of “The Nutcracker” at the Carpenter Theatre. The show will run this year from December 14-23.
More details about these holiday traditions and more can be found on the Richmond Holiday Calendar.
We hope that as you’re enjoying the holidays and all of the fun and excitement that they bring, our prospective students don’t forget that our scholarship deadline is this Saturday, December 1. Our regular decision deadline will also be quickly approaching at the end of the winter break on January 15. Remember that our staff is here to help you through the application process and answer any questions that you have. You can feel free to reach us by phone at (804) 828-1222 or toll-free at 1-800-841-3638 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.