A good time to be downtown

Published 9:05 pm Monday, November 26, 2012

With temperatures dipping into the 20s during the post-Thanksgiving weekend, the weather may have given some folks the nudge into the Christmas season that they needed after gorging themselves on turkey and all the trimmings on Thursday. There’s nothing quite like seeing one’s breath against a star-filled sky to put one in mind of halls to be decked, trees to be trimmed and gifts to be wrapped.

For those who need a bit more of a push — and for those who just can’t get enough Christmas — the city of Suffolk has lined up a big weekend downtown to launch the holiday. Tours, teas, a ballet and a downtown-wide open house will help folks get into the spirit of the holiday, enjoy some special time with family and friends and cross off a few of those remaining items on the gift list.

The fun starts on Friday, with the kickoff of the Downtown Holiday Open House, a weekend-long event featuring discounts and holiday specials, free refreshments, live entertainment, crafts, dining incentives, workshops, afternoon tea, visits with Santa and more at restaurants, shops, galleries and museums all around downtown Suffolk. A free trolley will circulate through the area to ensure easy access to all of the excitement. For more information, call 514-4130 or visit www.suffolk-fun.com.

Email newsletter signup

One of the city’s biggest Christmas events of the year will take place on Saturday and Sunday, when the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society will host its 36th annual Candlelight Tour. The tour will give visitors a rare look into some of Suffolk’s oldest and most iconic houses, which will be specially outfitted for the holidays. A Sugar Plum Kitchen behind the society’s Phillips-Dawson House on Bank Street will offer baked treats and candies. For more information, call the historical society at 539-2781.

Another historic downtown building, the former Suffolk High School, which now houses the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, will be the location for another holiday favorite this weekend, as Ballet Virginia International brings back its version of the beloved Nutcracker Suite on Saturday and Sunday.

A cast of more than 50 local children will dance their way through the classical Christmas favorite, and the stars will take time to chat with guests and sign autographs during a Sugarplum Tea event on both days. The tea and the ballet have become new family traditions for many of the folks who attend. For more information, call 923-0003 or visit www.suffolkcenter.org.

During ribbon-cutting ceremonies and similar events, Suffolk officials like to quote the city’s motto: “It’s a good time to be in Suffolk.” This weekend, especially — and especially downtown — we couldn’t agree more.