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Holiday Almanac

Dec. 1 Over 400,000 tiny lights arranged in a botanical theme transform Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden into a winter fantasy-land during their Gardenfest of Lights, 5:30-10 p.m. nightly through Dec. 30 (except Dec. 24 and 25). The first illumination takes place tonight, 5:30 p.m. Adults $5; seniors $4; children $3. 1800 Lakeside Ave. Advance tickets available during regular garden hours, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 262-9887. See the bright new holiday event in Richmond, Celebrate Illuminate, as magical lights from the State Capitol to the 17th St. Farmer's Market light your way on an adventure through the River District. Illumination begins at the State Capitol at 5 p.m. and continues to the James Center, Shockoe Slip and the Canal Turning Basin. Finish the night with an Urban Light Works show across from Main Street Station and shopping at the 17th St. Farmer's Market. Call (804) 646-0477 for more information. See the winter wonderland glow warm. It's the Grand Illumination of the James Center, 6 p.m. in Downtown Richmond, with the VMI marching band, the Budweiser Clydesdale horses, rides, carriage-rides, petting zoo and entertainment. Cary Street between 10th and 12th streets. Free. (804) 344-3232. Dec. 9 The eighth annual James River Parade of Lights dazzles viewers beginning at dusk. This lighted-boat parade cruises the James River from Richmond to the Varina-Enon Bridge. More than 20 boats are decorated with lights. Parade begins at Libby Hill Park in Richmond (entertainment 4:30 p.m., parade 5:30 p.m. and moves to Kingsland Reach Marina and Osborne's Landing (entertainment, 5:30 p.m.; parade 7:50 p.m.) Two locations in Chesterfield: The Dutch Gap Boat Landing, (entertainment, 5:30 p.m.; parade, 8 p.m.) and the bluff at 1611 Citie of Henricus (entertainment, 5:30 p.m.; parade, 8:15 p.m.) Parade times are approximate. Arrive early; parking limited. (804) 717-6681. Did we miss your event? Send us an e-mail. For residential lights, check out our Holiday Lights Tour

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