It’s the time of year to celebrate Thanksgiving, and there’s no better way to do it than with Wine & Country style. Celebrations and special events may look a little different this year, but there is still plenty to do in and around town to welcome in the holiday season. From vineyard and brewery events to shopping local, kick off the holidays with a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend in Charlottesville!

Top & Above Photo: Rachel May Photography

Switch Up Your Centerpiece

Give your centerpieces fresh life by adding in pretty greenery, holly branches, etc. from your yard or a local greenhouse. Have fun arranging what you find in a vase for the middle of the table, then scatter any leftover pieces down the table runner. Or, consider tucking them into your napkin rings to add an extra pop of color and texture at each place setting. If you want to order a last-minute arrangement from a local florist, see our list of top vendors here.

Tables set for dinner at Barboursville Vineyards

Vineyard Celebrations & Pairing Tip

If you want someone else to do the cooking this year, several local vineyards will be offering special Thanksgiving events. Barboursville Vineyards is one that will feature a four-course feast on Thanksgiving Day paired with their wines. For more seasonal celebrations, check out our Wine & Country calendar.

Not sure what wine to pair with your Thanksgiving meal this year? Try picking up a bottle or two of Chardonnay from a Virginia winery. This wine pairs especially well with turkey. Although it can taste different depending on where it grows and how it’s made, it typically offers moderate acidity, buttery and vanilla flavors when aged in oak, as well as flavors like apple and lemon. For another pairing recommendation or to set aside a local bottle to pick up, call our Wine & Country Shop.

Grand Illuminations in Charlottesville

These traditional outdoor celebrations showcase some beloved parts of town while also featuring fun for the entire family. The Grand Illumination at Boar’s Head Resort will take place November 27–28, 2020, and will include carriage rides, holidays treats, a visit from Santa and, of course, the festive tree lighting ceremony. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, this year’s Boar’s Head event will be limited to hotel guests and Boar’s Head members. So perhaps plan a visit or a “staycation!”

Charlottesville’s Grand Illumination on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall will also look a bit different this year. The celebration will be broadcasted locally on NBC29/CW29 on December 4 from 6:30–8:00 p.m. The show will feature musical acts that will be holiday related, uplifting, positive and inspirational. Then, watch as the giant tree is lit to kick off the holiday season!

The Blessing of the Hounds Tradition

This annual event is traditionally held on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. The event showcases local foxhunting tradition and its English origins, as well as includes a brief blessing ceremony with bagpipes, a soloist, horses and hounds. Guests can enjoy cider and donuts and see the morning’s hunt begin. This year’s Blessing of the Hounds will take place on November 26 at 10 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick.

Shop Local

If you are thinking about Thanksgiving, chances are you are also thinking about holiday shopping. Wine & Country encourages you to shop local this year more than ever, as many local business owners may be struggling due to the pandemic. Enjoy the convenience of the Chralottesville City Market’s Drive Thru Market, or visit The Farmers Market at IX Art Park on Saturdays. Mask up and stroll along the Downtown Mall to browse the many local shopping options in downtown Charlottesville. And, of course, you can check out the Wine & Country Shop in Ivy for all your holiday needs, from award-winning local wines and artisan foods to a wide selection of local gift options. Our Guide to Christmas Tree Farms in Virginia is another wonderful way to make memories and support local this holiday season. 

We wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend! Be sure to follow Wine & Country Life on Instagram for entertaining and recipe ideas. If you are looking for more local events, look no further than our extensive online events calendar. ~


Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in Virginia Wine Country. Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an annual art book celebrating elegant Virginia weddings, are complemented by the Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA—a beautiful lifestyle boutique that brings the pages of the magazines to life. The Shop features over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made foods and award-winning Virginia wines and craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country covers the grape-growing foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Lynchburg to Leesburg, including points in between like Charlottesville and Middleburg. Ivy Life & Style Media also creates other projects, including, a collection of local resources including a popular calendar of events, family services guides and features on education, health and family day trips for parents and teachers in Charlottesville, as well as the a guide to resources for Charlottesville tourists and newcomers.