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Bridgewater Plaza announces date for annual holiday event

“Santa Around Bridgewater Plaza,” one of Smith Mountain Lake’s oldest and most beloved holiday traditions, will take place on Nov. 27 at Bridgewater Plaza.


The annual event kicks off the holiday season with refreshments and specials by participating businesses, an Elf on the Shelf contest and more from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Santa will arrive by boat at 11 a.m. to hear wish lists at Smith Mountain Lake Coffee House.


Kevin Gray, owner of the coffee shop, said he’s thrilled to be hosting the event, which had to be cancelled last year because of the pandemic.


“All of the merchants of Bridgewater Plaza are so excited that we’ll be able to safely hold this awesome SML tradition again,” said Gray, who will offer free hot chocolate and cookies to children.


“Parents and grandparents around the lake love to bring their kids to see Santa, stroll the decks of the plaza, enjoy some food and do some holiday shopping without having to leave Smith Mountain Lake,” he added.


Ryan Waters, managing partner of Bridgewater Marina & Boat Rentals, noted that the celebration corresponds with Small Business Saturday, a national movement that encourages people to shop locally for the holiday season. 


“It’s important to shop local, especially this time of year when foot traffic is slower at retail businesses and they could really use a boost,” Waters said. “Smith Mountain Lake has so many awesome businesses that are happy to help you find the perfect holiday gifts.”


Santa Around Bridgewater Plaza is free. For photos with Santa, please bring your own camera. Drawing for the Elf on the Shelf contest will take place at 2 p.m. at Bridgewater Marina.


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