Posts Tagged ‘Church Hill’

This weekend is a busy weekend for holiday activities in the Richmond area.  You are probably best off doing the scheduled activities this weekend and saving the other ongoing favorites for during the week.  Just my humble opinion!  One of my family’s favorite activities, the James River Parade of Lights, will be held Saturday night, December 11, at 6pm.  The 18th annual parade begins in Richmond up by Libby Park and travels along the James River through Henrico and Chesterfield, ending at Henricus Historical Park.  There are several viewing sites along the route where you can find various fun activities to pass the time.  There are 5 main viewing sites:


Libby Hill Park (Corner of 28th and Franklin St)- 
Entertainment begins at 4:30 p.m.  There will be holiday music, hot cider and cocoa, hot dogs, roasting marshmallows, bonfire and a big count down to the lighting of the boats.  The actual parade doesn’t start until 6pm.

Intermediate Terminal Dock/Rockett’s Landing (Dock & Water St.)- You can also view the parade here at 6pm.


Osborne Park and Boat Landing – Entertainment begins at 5:30 and will include a bonfire, fire dancers (I have no idea what this is, but it sounds awesome), Jonathan Austin Juggling and Magic (if you have kids, you know him, he’s great and the kids love him), holiday music, and concessions.  Santa will also be there giving glow bracelets to the kids.  The parade is expected to arrive here between 7pm and 7:30pm. 


Dutch Gap Boat Landing – (441 Coxendale Rd) There are no planned activities at this location that I could find so if you are looking for a quick view this might be the place to go.  The parade is expected here between 7:30 and 7:45pm.  

Henricus Historical Park (251 Henricus Park Rd) – Entertainment here begins at 5:30pm with Zebo the Clown, face painting, arts & crafts for the kids, music and concessions.  There will also be complimentary cider and cookies. You can tour the 1611 Citie of Henricus and talk with the settlers about their lives and holidays in the 17th century.   The parade is expected here between 7:45 – 8:00 p.m.


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Wednesday is Day 2 of the Richmond Home and Garden tours being held as part of Historic Garden Week.  This tour will give you a glimpse of one of the most historic neighborhoods in Richmond — Church Hill.  Homes in this neighborhood date back to the early 1800’s.  Church Hill experienced a serious physical decline during the 1950s, due mostly to absentee landlords. As a result, the Historic Richmond Foundation was established in 1956 out of concern for “saving and enhancing the setting for St. John’s Church.”  In 1957, the City Council created a historic district ordinance.  The preservation of Church Hill marked the formal beginning of the preservation movement in Richmond. 

The Church Hill tour includes the famous “Carrington Row”, the St. John Mews, and other historic homes and gardens dating back to the early 1800’s.  Among other things, visitors will see French, American, Asian, and Latin American paintings and artifacts, a framed collection of early American documents, antiques, a letter dating from the War of 1812, and a piano previously owned by Supreme Court Justice Powell.  It sounds like this tour is going to focus more on homes, than gardens, unless the targeted homes have fantastic gardens as well.      

In addition to the Home and Garden tour, there will be complimentary refreshments available in the back gardens, 2300 Club, 2300 East Grace St. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be a free reenactment at St. John’s Church of Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech.   You do need to show proof of a paid Garden Week ticket.  The reenactment starts at 12:30 p.m. and runs for about 40 minutes in duration.  Finally, the White House of the Confederacy (1201 E. Clay St.) is also offering free admission all week with proof of paid ticket from any Garden Week tour in the state.   

The tour runs from 10am-4:30 and ticket prices are the same as yesterday.  A complete schedule is available here.  This is a walking tour so make sure you wear comfortable shoes.  There is also no pre-determined “route” for the tour, you can visit the houses and gardens in any order.

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Ok, so its St. Patrick’s Day and I’m sure there are 365 bars in town all with great parties.  But, since most people are already at the bar, I decided to post about the Church Hill Irish Festival this weekend.  The festival will be held on March 20th 10am-7pm and March 21st 10am-6pm.  A $2 donation is requested at the gate with all proceeds benefitting various area charities and neighborhood causes (click here for the full list). 

The festival opens with a walking parade at 10am on Saturday.   The actual street festival will take place in front of St. Patrick’s Church on N. 25th Street between Broad and Grace.  There will be Irish music, dancers, bagpipers, over thirty Irish vendors and tons of Irish food and drinks. 

This is a kid-friendly event in that there will be children’s games, face-painting, and crafts.  Connor’s Heroes  is sponsoring a huge children’s play area as well.

One of the big hits of this festival is all the live music.  The Band lineup this year is great, check out the schedule for Saturday and Sunday


There is no designated parking for the festival, but regulars say the best bet is to park North of Broad Street.  You can check out other tips to enjoying the festival at the Richmond.com User Guide.

Bottom line is there will be tons of food, beer, and music.  The only thing better than St. Patrick’s Day is two whole days of celebrating where you don’t need to go to work the next day!  Enjoy everyone and drive safe!

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As most of you know, Richmond is full of history.  Because it was Sunday, I thought it would be fitting to choose a church for our activity of the day.  St. John’s Church is located in Church Hill (hence the name) at 2401 East Broad Street.  It was the first Church built in the City of Richmond and was completed in 1741.  The Church is a National Historic Landmark in recognition of its role in the Revolution.  Most notably the church was the location of Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech in 1775.  Many people who made contributions to the history of Richmond and Virginia are buried in the church’s cemetary, including: George Wythe; former Governors John Page and James Wood; Elizabeth Arnold Poe, mother of Edgar Allan Poe; and Dr. James McClurg, a Virginia delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

The Church itself is beautiful.  But the stained glass windows are amazing.  Nine of the windows are memorials.

Tours are conducted Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  Sunday hours are 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.  The last tour leaves daily at 3:30pm.  Tour tickets do cost money so be sure to check the website for current prices.  Click here to see the tour brochure.   St. John’s Church also holds historical reenactments at the original location of the Second Virginia Convention of March 1775.   Professional actors portray the “founding fathers” who participated in the animated convention debates culminating in Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech.  A calendar of events is available here

St. John’s is also an active Episcopal Church with services every Sunday.  The schedule can be found here.

Enjoy this piece of history!  I’m looking forward to some live pictures and videos this upcoming week.  Thanks for all your support, we hit 300 fans on Facebook in just 2 days!  I will also be posting activities on Twitter now.  Follow us at @RichmondVA365.

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This post comes a day early since the event actually isn’t until tomorrow, but I wanted to allow everyone to make their plans early!  Plus, I already have a post in mind for tomorrow, so you’ll just have to check back and see!  Shamrock the Block is the annual kick off of the outdoor festival season in Richmond, Va. 

The festival will be held on Saturday March 13 from 12-6pm at the 17th Street Farmer’s Market in Shockoe Bottom.  The event itself is free (food and drinks are not) with food, live music, and plenty of drinks.  All proceeds go to benefit SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now).  Check here  for the Live Band lineup.

This year the event is more family friendly with a larger kids area including  jugglers, face-painting, bouncy houses, and more.  Dogs are welcome too as long as they are leashed. 

The event is rain or shine, and unfortunately, it sounds like it might be a wet one tomorrow.  But where there is green beer and St. Patrick’s Day parties, who cares?  Enjoy partying with 20,000 of your closest friends and please be safe and bring a designated driver!!

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