Author Archives: nextgenweb

Dickens of a Christmas Celebrates 35th Anniversary

The Star City is preparing for Dickens of a Christmas, a hugely popular holiday festival spanning the first three Fridays in December.

This free event brings old-fashioned holiday favorites such as carriage rides, roasted chestnuts, parades, and performers to the streets of Downtown Roanoke. Events include the lighting of the City of Roanoke Christmas Tree, Santa’s Workshop, and Coca-Cola’s Snow Zone.

New for the 35th anniversary is the Winter Carnival, which is scheduled for Friday, December 8th from 6p-10p. The addition will include a jungle crawl, winter race games, and a host of rides and carnival games for the family. All-you-can-ride wristbands are available for $5.

For a full schedule events, as well as information on entertainment, exhibits, and sponsors, please visit

Westlake Towne Center Christmas Celebration Planned

The Westlake Tree Lighting and Holiday Open House is scheduled for Thursday, December 7th at Westlake Towne Center. The event begins at 5:30p and culminates with the lighting of the Westlake Towne Center Christmas Tree at 7:30p. Admission to the event is free and includes live music, refreshments, giveaways, and a visit from Santa.

A special screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” will take place at Westlake Cinema at 8pm for those who donate a new, unwrapped toy to We Care of Franklin County during the event.

For more information, visit or call 540.721.5288

Downtown Moneta Christmas Parade Scheduled

The 6th Annual Downtown Moneta Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting will be taking place this Friday, December 1st from 6p to 8p in Celebration Square. The popular community festival features music, local food and craft vendors, and a visit from Santa!

If you can’t make it to this event don’t worry! There is another tree lighting event taking place in Westlake on December 7th. Read about that event Here.

This event is sponsored by the Moneta Volunteer Fire Department and Moneta Square Association and is located on the Bedford side of Smith Mountain Lake.

Fall In Love with Smith Mountain Lake

Fall Couple Engagement photo by Nicole ColwellUncover All That Autumn Has In Store

We’ve barely crossed the threshold into September and Smith Mountain Lake is already brimming with the sights, sounds and simmering smells that signify that the autumn season is upon us. Soon the lush greenery that hugs our mountainsides will be sprinkled with foliage in shades of copper and burgundy. Hayrides and pumpkin picking will top weekend to-do lists. And area wineries will be bustling with visitors eager to sample their latest harvest.

Speaking of wine, the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival, the area’s signature event, is scheduled for Saturday, September 27th and Sunday, September 28th at Lakewatch Plantation in Moneta. Twenty-seven Virginia wineries will be on hand as well as 85 food and craft vendors. Tickets can be purchased online at A full list of ticket vendors is listed on the site as well.

The Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival is a wonderful opportunity to mix and mingle with wine enthusiasts from all across the world. And if you’re new to the area, or thinking of relocating, it’s a great chance to meet new friends and learn more about the Smith Mountain Lake area.

New to the area this year, after a 40 year hiatus, is the Franklin County Agricultural Fair. The event takes place September 10th-13th at the Franklin County Recreation Park located in Sontag. Patrons will enjoy carnival rides, exhibition tents showcasing various attractions including a petting zoo and pony rides, and food vendors serving up fair favorites such as kettle corn and cotton candy. You can visit for more information.

Another fall festival worth noting is the 12th Annual SML Fall Chili and Craft Festival scheduled for Saturday, November 1st at Bridgewater Plaza. This full-day event features music, crafts and a competitive chili cook-off where visitors get to sample recipes from a number of participants. Each visitor gets to vote for their favorites in the categories of “Best Chili,” “People’s Choice,” and “Showmanship.” Tickets are $5 at the gate which allows visitors to sample chili from each booth.


If you’d like more information on what to see and do during your stay at Smith Mountain Lake, then I encourage you to explore my website, You’ll have access to more than just real estate listings; you’ll learn more about the everyday culture and lifestyle of this beautiful location.


I’m your resource for everything Smith Mountain Lake. Let me show you how welcoming the lake lifestyle can be.