Merry Marion: A Holiday Destination

Skip the crowded cities, and instead visit the charming small town of Marion, VA for a perfect holiday destination. When Marion prepares for the Christmas season, they go all out. From stunning light displays that grow each year to town-wide events and live music, there is no shortage of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Kick off your holiday celebrations with a full four-day weekend of cheer in merry Marion – beginning Thursday, December 2nd through Sunday, December 5th.

Thursday | Dec 2, 2021

When you arrive in Marion, you’ll be greeted by Christmas light displays and nostalgic decor throughout the Hallmark movie-worthy small town. Once you check-in to your choice of lodging in Smyth County, head downtown to kickstart your holiday weekend with free events and street performers 5-8pm. 

Merchants will be open later with discounts, open houses and drink and food specials. Enjoy the holiday window decorations, a downtown full of twinkling Christmas lights and a Town Christmas Tree in the middle of it all. The independent shops and galleries make Christmas shopping just a little more fun.

The General Francis Marion Hotel will host an indoor Christmas Craft Market, with almost 20 vendors, selling everything from goats milk soap and cupcakes to homemade wooden arts and ornaments. The Merry Marion Indoor Craft Market runs Thursday December 2 through Saturday December 4.

Window decorations in Marion, VA, a holiday destination, featuring lit christmas trees and a collection of nutcrackers on a brick lined street.
Marion hosts an annual window-decorating contest that delights visitors every holiday season.

For a full list of Merry Marion activities visit:

Friday | Dec 3, 2021

The jolly festivities continue on Friday evening with a quintessential small town Christmas Parade beginning at 7pm. Don’t forget to wave to Santa at the end of the parade line. As is tradition in Marion, he’ll be riding in to town on the back of of a fire truck!

Marion’s Christmas Parade coincides with their monthly First Friday event from 5-8pm. Enjoy “First Fridays” with live music, extended hours, tours, food and drink specials, and shopping discounts at participating businesses throughout downtown. Sure to be a highlight of your holiday destination trip in Marion.

Small town parade float with a dozen girl scouts wearing elf hats and decorated with Christmas lights in Marion, VA a holiday destination.
Local Girl Scout Troop in the annual Christmas parade. Photo courtesy of Marion Downtown.

Don’t miss: 

  • The FORD Studios will be featuring a FREE Greeting Card Station where you can make a one of a kind holiday card plus seasonal music, sweet treats & more.
  • Christmas Market at the General Francis Marion Hotel with unique arts and crafts to check off your “nice” list.

Saturday | Dec 4, 2021

Find unique gifts for those hard to shop for relatives at the outdoor MINI Christmas Market on Saturday open from 10am – 6pm. Hosted at the Farmers Market and showcasing 22 vendors offering locally produced juried crafts, including quilts, baskets, jewelry, woodcrafts, weaving, pottery, carvings, photography, painting/drawing/illustrations, and other handmade goods. Grab some lunch or dinner at one of the food trucks at the event, or warm up at one of Marion’s independent restaurants.

Can’t make it on December 4th? The Marion MINI Christmas Market is held every Saturday from Nov. 27th – Dec. 18th from 10am – 6pm. 

Handcrafted ornaments available at the Marion VA MINI Market, a holiday destination in Smyth County VA.
Locally produced crafts at the MINI Market in Marion, VA.
The Historic Lincoln Theatre in Smyth County VA Home of Song of the Mountains
The Lincoln Theatre, built in 1929. Photo Courtesy of

A quintessential event in Marion, Song of the Mountains at the Lincoln Theatre is a must see while you’re in town. This popular, syndicated PBS show showcases the music of the region. Take a seat and relax after a full day of shopping and relax with a live performance of the sounds of Southwest Virginia. The December 4th performance features headliner James Easter of the legendary Easter Brothers, plus folk singer Michael Johnathon and world-class banjo picker Stevie Barr.

Bonus Day:

Sunday | Dec 5, 2021

If you want to extend your trip to enjoy 4 full days of Christmas cheer, you can end on the perfect note with a showing of John Hardy’s A Christmas Carol back at The Lincoln Theatre on Sunday at 3pm.

Choose Your Smyth County Adventure!

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