Christmas comes to Hampton as families enjoy city’s annual holiday events

HAMPTON, Va. - The holiday season is in full swing in Hampton!

The city held its annual Grand Illumination and Lighted Boat Parade Friday night.

News 3 Photojournalist Ryan Sage was there to capture the fun Christmas atmosphere.

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"It's snowing in Phoebus," said Laura Sanford, Vice President of Phoebus Events.  "It's our seventh year in Phoebus of doing this wonderful community event. We always want to be a part of that holiday spirit."

Parents like Jeffrey Van Grove enjoyed the outing as part of his family's annual tradition during December.

"So far we're enjoying ourselves. We've seen Santa... it's got that Christmas spirit, that Christmas feel - the stuff you get excited about come Christmas time," Van Grove said.

Other local parents were also feeling the spirit.

"This is a great way to get in the holiday spirit, for us to take some family photos and just get ready to see St. Nick," said Susan, another parent. "The kids love it here. They're so excited - even the little one is amazed."

"Every year we do a big nautical parade of lights on the Hampton River, and this year is no different," said Ryan Downey, Director of Media for the City of Hampton Convention Bureau.

Downey said there were about 30 boats "decorated to the nines" that took part in this year's Lighted Boat Parade.

"It's an awesome feeling. You know, we live in Coastal Virginia, so it's great to see these boats. It's exciting for our Hampton residents, our visitors to come out and partake in and enjoy the festivities around the holidays," Downey told us.