Middleburg, Va., is revered and down Washington Street. Treading on the beloved as the heart of hunt and coattails of the hunt, floats, bands and horse country, and the area’s burgeoning wine market only furthers the rustic, pastoral charm of this historic Virginia town. From world class dining to unparal- leled antiquing, and surrounded by award- winning resorts, the Middleburg area has quietly become one of the premier travel destinations on the East Coast.
Each December, more and more travel- ers find themselves fancying the holidays in country, during Middleburg’s unparal- leled annual Christmas celebration. Last weekend, on Dec. 1, 12,000 guests made it out for the most moving Christmas in Middleburg yet.
As always, residents and guests flocked to Middleburg Elementary School for Breakfast with Santa and a silent auc- tion to kick off the festivities. Throughout the day, the craft fair at the Middleburg Community Center offered audiences of all ages a chance to experience traditional and contemporary craft traditions, and the Middleburg Garden Club hosted a success- ful sale of Christmas greens and wintry flowers at its Christmas Green Sale.
Of course, nothing compared to the annual Hunt Review, Middleburg’s celebra- tory Christmas Parade, with the longstand- ing tradition of horses and hounds parading down Washington Street. Treading on the coattails of the hunt, floats, bands, and troops passed by, with plenty of animals and the signature antique fire trucks– and, of course, Santa, who closed the procession as he rode in on an ornate horse-drawn coach. Guests stayed warm while waiting for the parade to ride by thanks to hot choc- olate and baked goods from the Middleburg Methodist Church.
After the parade, children were offered the chance to take hayrides towed by local draught horses, which took them around town in unique fashion and with great excitement. For parents and other adults, the Wine Crawl was a special treat, where local wineries set up in town from end to end, providing tasting flights as you go.
At the day’s end, the Piedmont Singers rung in the holiday season at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, spreading song and merriment throughout the town to close the ceremonies. It was a day of community, laughter, merriment and joy, perfect to welcome in the 2012 Christmas season. The holidays have not yet even arrived, but already we cannot wait for next year’s Middleburg Christmas celebration.