CBN’s first ever Christmas Village attracted scores of visitors to Regent’s campus over the weekend. The free event featured a dazzling display of Christmas lights, over 40 vendors, the area’s largest Christmas tree, and numerous children’s activities.
The two weekend celebration had been planned with families in mind. Children flocked to Santa’s cottage, where their parents snapped pictures of them with the jolly old man himself. The carnival rides and scavenger hunt were also a hit with children (and adults) of all ages.
Both children and adults marveled at the 40-foot Christmas tree. Lily Winsted (‘20 ) College of the Arts & Sciences, described it as being “Like a bonfire – I can’t stop looking at it!”
Much of Regent’s campus transformed into an old-world style celebration of Christmas. In front of the Communications Building, guests admired antique cars while Victorian carolers sang classic Christmas carols. Huge snowflakes were projected onto the Divinity Building, and even the fountain was illuminated with red and green lights.
Visitors browsed stands selling everything from handmade aprons to goat cheese. Operation Blessing offered guests complimentary cookies and hot apple cider. Visitors also enjoyed free carriage rides and a live nativity, complete with several animals.
In addition to families from the community, Regent University students also enjoyed the Christmas Village.
“I haven’t experienced anything like it before” said Ritter Minnix (’20) College of Arts and Sciences, “everyone did a great job.”
“The lights were amazing,” said Lexie Curson (19’) College of the Arts and Sciences. She noted that her favorite part was the live nativity, which she thought was “a really sweet addition to the whole experience.”
Gordon Robertson, CEO of CBN, first thought of holding the event while he was in Germany filming a documentary. Robertson enjoyed visiting one of the Christmas marketplaces that are common in Germany, realizing that the Virginia Beach area does not have anything similar; Robertson decided that CBN would start hosting a Christmas market for the community to come and enjoy.
CBN’s Christmas Village will be back Dec. 13, 14, and 15, from 6-9 p.m. each night. Things kick off at noon on the 15th, with a 5k run to benefit military families, and that evening will feature a free performance of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Brass Band.
CBN is hoping to make the Christmas Village an annual event; they view it as a way of saying thank you to the Virginia Beach community.
Julie Taylor is a staff writer for the Daily Runner.