Holiday festivities returning to Charlottesville and Albemarle County

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 5:56 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Many Holiday festivities are making a comeback after being canceled in 2020. There’s hope this shopping season will also make a comeback, benefitting small businesses as tourists come to the area for seasonal events.

In just two weeks, Grand Illumination is set to happen on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall, which annually brings in hundreds of people to the Charlottesville and Albemarle County area.

“We know the holidays are such a magical time here in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. The destination really transforms and welcomes visitors to things like Grand Illumination,” Brantley Ussery with the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau said.

Across Charlottesville and Albemarle County, holiday events like tree lighting at Boar’s Head Resort and Ix Art Park’s Holiday Market will go on throughout December and into the new year.

Ussery said this comes after a strong tourism season throughout the fall, with many traveling for sporting events at the University of Virginia or weddings across Central Virginia.

“It means a lot to see these types of holiday events coming back. It’s not only something that puts everybody in the holiday spirit,” he said. “But it also, it’s just something locals and visitors can enjoy. We’ve drawn visitors from places like the Washington D.C. market, Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, maybe people who just want to get away for the holiday weekend.”

That’s something small businesses can take advantage of, and there are ways for small businesses and entrepreneurs to get an extra financial boost. The American Rescue Plan offers financial programs for cities, counties and towns to utilize, though it may take some time for individual businesses to receive funding.

“The Rescue Plan funds are time limited, so local governments are moving faster than they sometimes do in rolling out new programs,” Scottsville Town Administrator Matt Lawless said. “So here at the end of one year, and planning for the new year, if maybe an entrepreneur is taking that leap into starting their own business or thinking about how they can grow their new business, coming into the holidays is a good time to think about those things.”

For example, the town of Scottsville is starting a program to help small businesses and entrepreneurs move their business to the downtown area, in an effort to fill vacant storefronts.

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