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25 Things You Need to Know about Bayport Credit Union 25 Nights of Northern Lights

    • Like any new event, Bayport Credit Union 25 Nights of Northern Lights has drummed up questions and excited anticipation, so we've put together 25 things you need to know about this event to enjoy it for all it's worth! 
    • 1. No fireworks this year
      Instead you’ll get 25 nights of a custom-designed sound and light show in City Center, called BayPort Credit Union 25 Nights of Northern Lights.
2. There will be more than 100 opportunities to see the show

Visitors will experience a series of 5-minute theatrical sound and light shows, occurring at the top of the hour between 6 and 10 p.m., Dec. 1-25, which adds up to 125 shows!

3. A new holiday tree will be revealed

The star of the show will be a 42-foot color- and pattern-changing tree, called the Larry King Law Holiday Show Tree, which will also control the lighted displays suspended around the fountain.

4. Open access to the fountain

With no restricted access to the fountain, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the show!

5. Three Saturdays of fun

As an added treat, special events will be held on three consecutive Saturdays in December. Called North Pole Nights, the events will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 1, 8 & 15. Enjoy carolers, a winter carnival, children’s crafts, Santa’s Workshop, decorated storefront windows, plus more!

6. The first North Pole Night

The theme for the first special event on Dec. 1 will be Journey to the North Pole and it will serve as the official opening of the BayPort Credit Union25 Nights of Northern Lights. Right before the very 1st of the 125 shows kicks off at 6 p.m., a ceremony with City Officials will be held at 5:50 p.m.

7. Dec. 1st Performances

Performers include Power House Dance Group at 5 p.m.; Soundscapes at 5 p.m.; the Academy of Dance at 6:10 p.m.; the City Arts Dance Company at 7 p.m.; holiday carolers at 5 p.m. and 7:10 p.m.; Santabones at 6:10 p.m.; CNU A Capella groups from 6:10 p.m. to 8 p.m (CNU A Capella groups include the Newport Pearls, Extreme Measures, and Take Note).

8. The second North Pole Night

The theme for the second special event on Dec. 8 will be Holiday Candy. Special candy-themed decorations will transform City Center into a magical Candyland!

9. Dec. 8th Performances

Performers include Dance Works at 5 p.m.; Academy of Dance at 6:10 p.m.; Wacky Chad at 7:10 p.m., holiday carolers at 5 p.m. and 7:10 p.m.; Soundscapes at 5 p.m.; Santabones at 6:10 p,m. and 7:10 p.m.; CNU A Capella group Extreme Measures at 6:10 p.m.

10. The third North Pole Night

The theme for the third special event on Dec. 15 will be Snow Pets. Pets, on a leash or in a pet carrier or stroller, are welcome to join the holiday fun. The night will include animal organization displays, pet adoption, pet merchandise vendors, and special pet activities.

11. Dec.15th Performances

Performers include the Academy of Dance at 5 p.m.; Passage Middle School at 6:10 p.m.; the City Arts Dance Company at 7:10 p.m; holiday carolers at 5 p.m. and 7:10 p.m.; Santabones at 6:10 p.m. and 7:35 p.m.; Wacky Chad at 5 p.m. and 6:35 p.m.; Harmonica Club at 7:10 p.m.

12. Free interactive bracelets

The first 3,000 people attending North Pole Nights on Dec. 1, 8 & 15 will receive a special L.E.D. wristband, designed to illuminate and change colors in sync with the 5-minute light show at the top of each hour. Pick up your bracelet at the corner of Mariners Row and Fountain Way, starting at 5 p.m.

13. Food and beverage specials

During North Pole Nights on Dec. 1, 8 & 15, the patios of many City Center restaurants will become Jingle and Mingle Lounges, offering holiday-themed specials to keep you merry and bright! Participating businesses include Aromas, Burger Theory at the Holiday Inn Newport News at City Center, Salsa's Mexican Grill, Kitchen 740 at the Newport News Marriott at City Center, Neo Kitchen + Bar at Cinemark City Center 12, and Tradition Brewing Company.

14. Santa will be there

The former Coldwater Creek at 705 Mariners Row has magically morphed into Santa’s Workshop! Bring the kids – and a camera, of course – to capture that special moment when your children meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a few of their hard-working elves! Open 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 1, 8 & 15 during North Pole Nights and from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 1-2, Dec. 8-9, and Dec. 15-16.

15. Strolling entertainment

Visitors to North Pole Nights on Dec. 1, 8 & 15 will be able to interact with a variety of strolling entertainers, like Wacky Chad (a juggler and comedian), Imagine Circus Performers, and a Walking Christmas Tree!

16. Free trolley rides

During North Pole Nights on Dec. 1, 8 & 15, guests can take a short trolley ride to the new Holiday Inn Newport News at City Center for photo ops in the lobby with a beautifully decorated sleigh and special gifts for kids and adults – a stuffed animal for children 5 and younger and a sweet treat for older guests! 

17. Buy One Get One Half Off

Burger Theory Restaurant at the Holiday Inn will offer “buy-one-get-one-half-off” on all of its entrees, as one of the restaurant’s Jingle Mingle Lounge specials.

18. Breakfast with Santa

A Holly Jolly Brunch with Santa will be held Dec. 2 and Dec. 16 at the Holiday Inn Newport News at City Center. Enjoy a delicious brunch buffet, children’s activities, and a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

19. Decorated windows

Storefront and office windows throughout City Center will be filled with special holiday displays. Many were created by community groups. Look for windows by Lee Hall Train Foundation, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Sister Cities Foundation, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, Newport News Public Schools, The Mariners’ Museum, Peninsula SPCA, and Newport News Public Libraries at the end of Mariners Row, closest to Merchants Walk.

20. Live Nativity Scene

A live nativity will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 1, 8 & 15 on the Market Stage, which is between Loft and A Perfect Setting, on Mariners Row.

21. Free Holiday Train Rides for the Kids

A track-less train for children will be set up in the Market Square of City Center from noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 1-2, Dec. 8-9, and Dec. 15-16.

22. Free Admission and Free Parking

Admission each night is free and free parking is available in the three City Center parking garages, with entrances found on Fountain Way, Merchants Walk, and Canon Boulevard (at Mariners Row).

23. Social Media Updates

Event updates will be posted on Twitter at @nnfestivals, on Instagram at nnspecialevents, and on Facebook. You can also stay updated with events happening in Newport News by signing up for the weekly event calendar and visiting our Events page.

24. There will be adult holiday cheer nearby

After you’ve taken the kids to see the sound and light shows around the fountain, Santa’s Workshop, North Pole Nights and everything associated with it, carve out some time for yourself and add these adult events to your holiday calendar: Newport News Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl (3 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8) and SantaCon Newport News (2 to 11 p.m. Dec. 15). Both events are being held in City Center at Oyster Point.

25. You will have a chance to win $250!

AND a prize package to help you celebrate the season! There will be two chances to win - Like and follow our Facebook page and stay tuned - the contest will begin next week and the details will be released on our social media pages.

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