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Delta Dental Dickens of a Christmas December 1, 8, 15 - 2023

The Roanoke Valley’s largest holiday celebration, Delta Dental Dickens of a Christmas, returns taking place on the first three Friday nights in December.

Parade Map

Night 1 - December 1, 6pm - 10pm: Featuring The City of Roanoke Christmas Tree Lighting

The Christmas Tree Lighting takes place on Salem Avenue in the Plaza behind the Market Building. The ceremony begins at 5:30 pm with the tree lighting at 6:20pm and will include live stage performances.

You can watch the tree lighting live on WDBJ7, too.

Night 2 - December 8, 6pm - 10pm: Featuring The City of Roanoke Christmas Parade

The parade begins on Jefferson Street at Elm Avenue, turns onto Campbell Avenue, goes past Market Square, and ends at Williamson Road. This year’s parade will start at 6:30pm.

The parade is rain or shine!

You can watch the parade on WZBJ24. 

Our parade is now FULL.

Night 3 - December 15, 6pm - 10pm: Featuring the Roanoke Valley SPCA Pet Costume Contest   

The beloved Roanoke Valley SPCA Pet Costume Contest returns, taking place on Salem Avenue at the Plaza behind the Market Building. Pet owners may start registering their pets at 5:30pm the night of the event. The contest begins at 6:30pm.

Categories: Best Holiday Theme, Crowd Favorite, Most Creative, and Funniest Costume

PARK Roanoke Silent Disco 

Immerse yourself in a world of dancing never before seen at Dickens of a Christmas. PARK Roanoke is bringing the fun to Century Plaza with a silent disco! Grab a pair of wireless headphones and groove to the beats. The only catch? People not wearing headphones won't hear the music, creating a unique disco experience from 6pm to 9pm.

Northwest Ace S'mores Station

Indulge in the delightful flavors of winter at the Northwest Ace S'mores Station. Head to Salem Avenue behind the City Market Building to roast your marshmallow to golden perfection over a firepit and warm your hands at the same time. FREE pre-made kits include all of the s'more making essentials, including chocolate, graham crackers, and a marshmallow. Kits are available 6pm to 9pm while supplies last.

Additional Information

There will be a Kids Zone with inflatables, games, and activities each night of Dickens.

Carriage Rides will be available on the first and third nights of Dickens for $5 per person. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Children 3 and under are free.

We created a beautiful insert for Delta Dental Dickens of a Christmas in The Roanoke Times. The insert includes details about performances (singing and dancing), entertainers (fire performers, sword swallowers, balloon artists, etc.), which businesses are open late, and general event information.

Look over the insert to know exactly what you can expect at Delta Dental Dickens of a Christmas. 

The Elf on the Shelf® Adventure

We’re excited to bring back The Elf on the Shelf® Adventure sponsored by Gentry Locke again this year! You can come on a fun scavenger hunt and find the 16 Scout Elves hiding in downtown stores.

Learn more

Parking and Street Closures

We recommend PARK Roanoke because they offer parking in lots and garages at rates lower than privately owned lots and garages. You can find a full list of downtown parking options here

Please review the street closures for all three nights of Delta Dental Dickens of a Christmas. 

Sign up to Volunteer at Dickens

Thank you to these great sponsors: