The official Merry Old Town season kicks off this weekend with holiday events in Manassas that run from Friday through Sunday.
Manassas Christmas Parade
On Friday, Dec. 4, Santa arrives in Old Town at the historic train depot via the Virginia Railway Express at about 6 p.m.The festivities will include entertainment and the lighting of the Old Town Christmas tree, plus free hayrides around Old Town and a chance to meet Santa at the Harris Pavilion gazebo.The Manassas Museum will also be conducting its annual holiday open house from 5 to 8:30 p.m. with free admission, entertainment and refreshments.

The holiday events continue the next day with the 64th annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade.Steve Urry, marketing and event coordinator for Historic Manassas Inc., said the parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Mathis Avenue and “winds its way over to Center Street and then goes down center Street right to Old Town.”The parade will last about two-and-a-half hours, he said, and visitors will be able to park for free in the garage at Prince William and Main streets.Doug Burroughs, owner of the Flower Gallery on Sudley Road, will be the grand marshal and Linda Womack, registrar for the City of Manassas, will be the parade’s Woman of the Year.”She’s been participating in different committees since she moved here in 1967,” Urry said.

The merchants of Old Town will be hosting their annual merchants open house on Sunday, Dec. 6, from noon to 5 p.m. with refreshments and another appearance by Santa.The gingerbread house contest entries will be on display in shop windows and customers can vote for their favorites in stores.Free horse-drawn carriage rides will be available from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 6 and on Dec. 13.

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