Enjoy an Old West Christmas weekend | NevadaAppeal.com

Enjoy an Old West Christmas weekend

by Karel Ancona-Henry
For the Nevada Appeal

Christmas on the Comstock begins Saturday with an array of festivities, including a Christmas Train of Elves, visit from Father Christmas, shopping, and Parade of Lights.

Saturday’s revelry offers families an interactive experience, said Patrick Gilmore of Virginia City Convention & Tourism Authority.

“We offer a unique celebration, the best in Northern Nevada in part because of the backdrop of the town,” Gilmore said.

One of the most popular events is the Christmas Train of Elves. Passengers on the Virginia & Truckee will be served cocoa and cider and read a Christmas story by Santa’s elves during the 45-minute holiday-themed outing. Children should be sure to bring their wish list, as those will be collected for delivery to Santa.

The Christmas Train runs at 12:30, 2, 3:30 and 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Dec. 5 and 12. It also runs at 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11. Tickets cost $12 for adults (ages 13 and older), $6 for children (ages 6-12) and free for children 5 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the F Street Depot on the day of departure, or online at virginiatruckee.com.

Father Christmas, resplendent in Victorian garb, will be on hand at the visitor’s center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All are invited to stop by for cocoa, sweets and a visit.

The Parade of Lights is a favorite event that begins at 5 p.m. and features about 25 entries and music by area school bands.

“We’ve added marching bands, which has been a lot of fun,” Gilmore said.

Piper’s Opera House hosts a Christmas Ball Saturday, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Dinner, catered by Gold Hill Hotel, begins at 7 p.m. The Grand March takes place at 8:30 p.m. Dancing to the music of The Fort Point Garrison Band, playing period instruments and music, starts at 8 p.m.

Guests are encouraged to come dressed in period clothing, formal Western attire or in whatever makes you happy, Gilmore said.

Tickets cost $20, available at the visitor’s center.

Other events include:

A Gold Hill Christmas Follies takes place at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9 at Gold Hill Hotel, one mile south of Virginia City on Highway 342. A Christmas variety show with song, dance and comedy plus four-course dinner. Cost is $45 for adults and $15 for children 12 and younger. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 775-847-0111. Overnight accommodations are also available.

Comstock Nites Christmas Crawl Back In Time takes place Dec. 18. The Union Brewery, Red Dog Saloon, Ponderosa Saloon and other participating Virginia City saloons offer drink specials, raffle prizes and music. Prizes will be awarded for the best Western dressed, Western Christmas, and saloon costumes. There will be a small donation for the local Community Chest Christmas food baskets going to Storey County families in need. Participants will receive a certificate showing locations visited.

The Virginia City Visitor’s Center is located at 86 S. C St. For overnight accommodations, more information, parade forms and updated information about the Christmas Crawl, go to visitvirginiacitynv.com or call 775-847-4386 or 800-718-7587.