Richmond “holidaze” is on tap! This weekend, Richmond Ballet’s sumptuous “Nutcracker” starts its run, and you can exercise and see tacky lights at the same time, explore holiday house tours and view the festive James River Boat Parade.

‘The Nutcracker’

Starts Friday

Richmond Ballet’s rendition of “The Nutcracker” has been called pretty-near perfect. New this year, both Clara roles will be performed by dancers of color, and Anthony Oates, a star School of Richmond Ballet alum, will be stepping into the role of the lead male Cavalier. Times and prices vary at Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, 600 E. Grace St. or (800) 514-3849. Through Dec. 23.

Tacky Lights run

CarMax Tacky Light Run

Tacky Light Run


Why drive by the tacky lights when you can run? Sports Backers hosts a lively, festive Tacky Light Run through the Walton Park neighborhood in Midlothian where you can see some of the best decorated homes during a 6K run. Runners get in the spirit by dressing up with lights and tacky Christmas sweaters, too. Starts at 6 p.m. $25-$45.

James River Parade of Lights

Rescheduled from December, James River Parade of Lights will bring brightly decorated boats to the James River this Saturday. (Photo from 2008).

James River Parade of Lights


Even the boats get in the holiday spirit around here. Check out vessels all dressed up with lights motoring down the James River. Spectator spots at Libby Hill Park, 28th and East Franklin streets; Osborne Park and Boat Landing, 9530 Osborne Turnpike, Henrico County; and Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road, Chester. Festivities start at 4 p.m.; viewing starts at 6 p.m., depending on location. Check Facebook for any updates, especially in case of inclement weather:

Fan Holiday House Tour and Church Hill Holiday House Tour

Saturday and Sunday

House lovers, this one is for you. Go behind closed doors and tour Fan District houses elaborately decorated for the holidays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $25 in advance, $35 day of tour. Church Hill also hosts a holiday house tour, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. $25.

3209 Hanover Ave.

This house at 3209 Hanover Ave. in Richmond’s Museum District is included on the RTD Tacky Lights list.

Tacky Lights

Through Dec. 31

It’s prime tacky lights season, people! Get out to see the Richmond area’s Tacky Lights. A few of our favorites: the double lights at 9604 and 9606 Asbury Court, the fabulous drive-by display at 8720 River Road, and the Live Grinch who will be at 1411 Pennsylvania Ave. on Friday and Saturday for photos with fans, just to name a few. Find the full list on Page C4. For more stories, suggested routes and driving directions, go to our Tacky Lights guide at

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— Colleen Curran

Colleen Curran covers arts and entertainment for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She writes the weekly column Top Five Weekend Events.

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