Double the holiday fun //
Twins Layla, left, and Leyah DeBruhl, 4, compare books they received Saturday at the annual Holiday Open House at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. More than 160 books were donated by the Sistahs Book Club for the free event. More photos, B2.
The first pedestrians stream across the newly opened T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge over the James River. Mayor Dwight C. Jones led the ribbon-cutting for the lighted bridge during the Grand Illumination on Friday. Richmond poured $11.3 million in state and city funds into the span open only to pedestrians and bikes. The new river crossing sits above a 1901 dam and links Brown’s Island on the North Side to an overlook on the South Side near the entry to the Manchester Bridge. Another $200,000 was spent on eight, 17-foot-tall metal rings that Denver artist Joshua Wiener created to adorn the South Side path to the 1,600-foot bridge. The bridge is named for a senior city planner who advocated for the bridge before his death in 2014. Construction began in October 2015 on the only current city structure named for a city employee.
Yellow foliage in Byrd Park
Open house at museum // Dozens of families enjoyed refreshments, arts and crafts, activities and exhibits at the annual Holiday Open House at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, featuring Soul Santa.
Above, Ma’Tazia Wormley, 7, inspects the selection of free books donated by Sistahs Book Club, while Ronnie Nelson Sidney, right, author of the highly acclaimed children’s book “Nelson Beats the Odds,” signs copies of his book.
Quincey Grimes, 6, right, inspects the gingerbread man he decorated as his brother, Chase, 2, works on a Christmas tree. The two were making holiday ornaments for their father, Cedric Grimes.
The museum, located at 122 W. Leigh St. in Jackson Ward, will host another holiday open house from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.
Lighting up the holidays // Richmond kicked off the holiday season last weekend with a plethora of holiday traditions, starting with the 32nd Annual Grand Illumination last Friday in Downtown. Hundreds of people of all ages were warmed by the music and entertainment as they joined the countdown at the James Center at10th and Cary streets for the lighting of Richmond’s skyline and the center’s 46-foot Christmas tree. The tree features more than 4,700 lights, and each building illuminated in Richmond’s skyline has more than 5,000 lights. Revelers also enjoyed entertainment at Main Street Station in Shockoe Bottom.
On Saturday, the holiday joy continued with the 33rd Annual Dominion Christmas Parade along Broad Street in Downtown. Thousands of spectators lined the sidewalks for the event, which featured dozens of bands, floats and entertainment from across the state. The route began at the Science Museum of Virginia and ended at Broad and 7th streets, near the Richmond Coliseum. The parade draws roughly 100,000 spectators yearly and was broadcast live on WTVR-CBS 6.
Spectators break into applause as the 46-foot Christmas tree at the James Center lights up with the city skyline and the Richmond Boys Choir serenades the crowd. Below, giant wreaths and yards of garlands adorn Main Street Station in Shockoe Bottom, where people enjoyed music, food trucks and a free movie last Friday night.
Josiah Nicholas, 2, reaches out to touch a lighted reindeer during Friday’s Grand Illumination at the James Center.
“Angry Birds” float along the parade route, bringing smiles to the crowd.
Floats and units in the Dominion Christmas Parade draw cheers from spectators bundled up along Broad Street on Saturday.
Majorettes with the Richmond Public Schools All-City Marching Band make their moves.
Cheery “elves” from Prestige Dance Studio in Midlothian wave to the crowd near the beginning of the parade route.
The Trojan Explosion, Virginia State University’s marching band, prepares for their next musical selection.