Two Christmas events scheduled in Driver

Published 4:59 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2020

After Thanksgiving, Driver is kicking off Christmas with two events to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

The annual Christmas in Driver event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 28 at 3129 Kings Highway. This one-night event will celebrate Small Business Saturday with local shops ready with gifts to complete anyone’s shopping list.

“The businesses will be open all day for shopping for Small Business Saturday, but the event will start at 5,” said Terri Moore, from Driver Events.

The night will be full of activities to do. There will be live entertainment, including Greg Parker from the General Store with his band, The Last Call Band. There will be much to see, like a large nativity set and an outdoor Christmas movie. Kids can write letters to Santa at Happy Hour Glass Works and see him arrive at 5:30 p.m. on a fire truck to The Knot Hole Station and have a socially distant meeting.

Due to COVID-19, the annual event has faced changes to follow regulations and keep everyone safe. Santa will be outside instead of an upstairs room to let the line socially distance in the fresh outside air. Also, no chili or Brunswick stew will be available like in past years.

“We are taking a step back and getting back to more basics,” said Moore. “The event is free, so come on out. We’ll be there.”

Another event will take place for the first time at The Peppermint Path. These 12 days of Christmas will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from Nov. 27 to Dec. 20, at 3150 Kings Highway.

The Peppermint Path got its start in October as the Driver Haunted Forest. With her friend Heidi Adkins and a group of high school volunteers working for their community service credit, Amy Wright put on a Halloween event for the community to enjoy. According to Wright, the response was overwhelmingly positive.

“We would sincerely like to thank the community for the overwhelming support and positive feedback for our first ever haunted forest here in Driver,” said Wright. “We were all very humbled by the compliments and the overall appreciation that outpoured from many of our guests who were just looking for some normalcy and something fun to do.”

Riding off the fun of the haunted woods, Wright and Adkins decided to transform the 500-foot-long path once again, but this time for Christmas, to bring some joy into the community again during this challenging year.

The lights throughout the path will include gingerbread, snow, the North Pole, toys, and live characters, including a rumor on Facebook that Buddy the Elf will make an appearance. The rest of the five-acre property will be vendors with food and gifts for sale, a house to visit Santa, carriage rides and visits from the Nansemond River High School Choir.

Wright has received the permits and the OK from the city of Suffolk, as well as health regulations to follow to keep everyone safe.

“ I could not be more excited about what we have in store,” said Wright. “It is sure to be magical.”

Visit facebook.com/driverevents for more information and updates on the two events.