In marches the Christmas season: Several parades kick off holidays

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Christmas lights brighten the night this time of year, and ceremonies brighten the soul.

So far the forecast calls for clouds and a low around the freezing mark.

The parade theme is "Wild, Wild, West Christmas". The parade in Essex starts at 6:30pm at Talbot St. S and Fairview Ave. and travels northbound to Maidstone Ave. The tree lighting will take place at 5:45 p.m. Friday in Rocky Mount as part of the Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas events. - The town's tree lighting kicks off the festivities at 6 p.m.at the Vinton Municipal Building. A free Christmas concert will follow the parade at Hatton High School.

Saturday's schedule features the Trinity Christmas Parade beginning at Love Chapel Church at 10 a.m., the Elkmont Christmas Parade at 1 p.m. and the Shelia Smith Christmas Parade in Priceville at 2 p.m.

Fincastle: Saturday, 2 p.m. Among the massive lineup: marching bands and majorettes, ballet dancers and cheerleaders, pageant queens, the Quantico Marine Corps Band and Santa Claus.

Franklin County: Sunday, 3 p.m.

Santa's Wonderland and Winter Festival & Parade will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in Town Hill.

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